My interests in geography are broad, but are tied together by a commitment to historical-materialist analyses (with an emphasis on the historical part of the equation), and a strong – though not exclusive – focus on understanding the political-economic determinants of landscapes, cultures, and urban public spaces.
Keywords: public space geography of labor landscape historical materialism
My interests in geography are broad, but are tied together by a commitment to historical-materialist analyses (with an emphasis on the historical part of the equation), and a strong – though not exclusive – focus on understanding the political-economic determinants of landscapes, cultures, and urban public spaces. More specifically, recent research focuses on:
- Historical geography of labor and landscape, focusing particularly on migratory labor and the California agribusiness landscape (resulting in the books, The Lie of the Land: Migrant workers and the California Landscape and They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape and the Struggle Over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California).
- Urban public space, focusing particularly on protest, law, policing, and struggles over the regulation of its use, the position of homeless people in it, and the logics of capital that shape it (resulting in the books, The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space and The People’s Property? Power, Politics, and the Public [with Lynn A. Staeheli]).
- The historical-geographical-materialist production of culture – and struggles over it (resulting in the book Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction).
- A bunch of other things on which I have published articles: the history of geography; the transformation of the university; the Anthropocene and the capitalist production of nature; and “SOUPies: A Slightly Older Urban Phenomenon” (look it up).
I am just about done editing two books:
- Food Across Borders (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, forthcoming Fall 2017), edited with Matthew Garcia and E. Melanie DuPruit. An interdisciplinary book examining the role that geopolitical, social, and bodily borders play in shaping the production, procurement, preparation, and consumption of food in North America.
- Revolting New York: How 400 Years of Riot, Rebellion, Uprising and Revolution Have Shaped a City (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, forthcoming Winter 2018), General Editor with (the late) Neil Smith. A big, accessible, hard-hitting historical geography of New York as seen through urban revolts and responses to them.
The second project is quite exciting (not that the first one wasn’t) begun by Neil Smith and a number of his students in 2007 and finally coming to fruition, which, if nothing else shows how wrong Michael Moore was when he argued in early 2017 that the airport demonstrations against President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” came out of nowhere: this book shows just where they came from – 400 years of struggle that have made a city.
I am currently working on a book called Mean Streets: Homelessness, Public Space, and the Limits to Capital, which I hope to have fully drafted by the end of 2017 and am doing the preliminary research to write the next volume of my California labor and landscape series, which will cover the United Farm Workers era.
I am also busy learning Swedish (though “learning” is not likely the term my teachers would use).
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