I advise graduate students in political geography generally. I am particularly interested in students whose work is on political borders, social boundaries, identity categories, nationalism, globalization, and the sovereign state system. My regional expertise is in South Asia, however, I am willing to take on students with similar thematic interests irrespective of their regional focus. Please send me an informal email describing your potential research interests if you are considering applying to graduate school at the University of Hawai`i.
Current Graduate Students:
Dylan Beatty (PhD Geography) Topic: The Geopolitics of the Spratly Islands
Azmeary Ferdoush (PhD Geography) Topic: India-Bangladesh Border Enclaves
Kyle Kajihiro (PhD Geography) Topic: Pearl Harbour and the 'Lost Geography' of US Empire
Micah Fisher (PhD Geography)
Guanpei Ming (PhD Political Science)
Donovan Preza (PhD Geography)
Angkana Rawichituan (PhD Geography)
Benjamin Schrager (PhD Geography)
Dylan Beatty (MA 2015 Geography) Topic: The Geopolitics of the Spratly Islands
Nick Cosmas (MA 2015 Geography) Topic: Thailand-Malaysia Border
Hillary Strasser (MA 2015 Geography) Topic: Geopolitics of Resources in Myanmar - Winner of the 2015 Wiens Award
Jaya Reinhalter (MA 2014 Geography) Topic: Intentional Communities: Place-based Articulations of Social Critique
Kyle Kajihiro (MA 2014 Geography)Becoming Pearl Harbour: A 'Lost Geography' of American Empire (Role: Advisor) - Winner of the 2014 Wiens Award
Borjana Lubura-Winchester (MA 2013 Geography)Topic: Humanitarian Intervention in Libya: Fighting for Human Rights or Regime Change? (Role: Advisor)
Jay Ireland (MA 2013 Geography) Event, Representation, and Immigration: The Political Discourse of Arizona's SB 1070 (Role: Advisor)
Kuan-Chi Wang (MA 2013 Geography) Techno-production Network and Edamame Trade between Taiwan and Japan (Role: Advisor)
Brandon Barbour (MA 2011 Geography) Thesis title - Narative, the Event, and Identity Categories in Xinjiang (Role: Advisor) Winner of the 2012 Wiens Award
Thomas Belfield (MA 2011Geography) Thesis title - Jakarta: Of Other Spaces (Role: Advisor)
Geography 151: Geography and Contemporary Society
This course provides an introduction to the field of human geography by analyzing the contemporary process of globalization. Does globalization mean the death of distance and the end of geography? Or as the world becomes increasingly connected does location matter more than ever? The major subfields of human geography – including economic, political, cultural, population, urban and environmental geography – are covered by introducing the major debates and analyzing how globalization is affecting the spatial organization of each set of processes.
Geography 335: Political Geography
This course considers the geography of the world political system. It analyzes the development of the modern sovereign state system, the emergence of nations and nationalism, and the idea of sovereignty. It will emphasize the linkages between changing economic systems and the political organization of space. Topics will include borders, states, territoriality, sovereignty, nationalism, geopolitics, and homelands. The course concludes by assessing contemporary challenges to the sovereign state system both in terms of international organizations like the United Nations, European Union and World Trade Organization and sub-state actors like insurgent groups and terrorists.
Geography 695: Concepts and Theories in Geography
This course provides an overview of the foundational concepts and theories in the discipline of geography. Topics will include: early geographers; establishing the academic discipline; environmental determinism; Berkeley School cultural geography; spatial science and the quantitative revolution; humanistic geography; structuralism and marxism; poststructural and postmodernism; feminist geographies; contemporary trends in geographic technologies and physical geography. This course is required for all incoming geography graduate students. In addition to developing a general understanding of the discipline, students will also write a literature review of their specific subfield.
Geography 735: Seminar in Political Geography
It has become a truism that the process of globalization is characterized by both increased flows between sovereign states and the increased hardening of political borders. While capital flows are eased through global trade agreements, the movement of people is increasingly regulated and securitized. The essence of globalization, therefore, cannot be captured by a single phrase like the borderless world or Fortress Europe. Instead it appears that a profound shift is occurring that reshapes how we understand borders, territory, and sovereignty. Indeed, despite the rhetoric of flows and connections, in the past ten years at least 22 security barriers were initiated or expanded worldwide, which is double the number built during the entire Cold War. In 2010, approximately 20,000 km of the world’s political borders are marked with walls or barriers. An additional 25,000 km are ‘hardened’ but unfenced boundaries. Far from being borderless, this era of globalization has resulted in the most strictly bordered period in the history of the world.This seminar in political geography considers what these changes to security practices at borders, and within states, mean for how we understand the connections between a people and a territory. Do they represent a fundamental reconfiguration of the concept of sovereignty? Or are they simply the latest iteration of a long term trend towards discrete bounded territories?
Geography 757: Research Seminar in Cultural Geography
The purpose of this seminar is to engage with the most recent understandings of how geographies of identification and difference are constructed, contested, and renegotiated in the contemporary world as power, place, and identity intersect. The course will emphasize post-structural and post-colonial approaches to identification and categorization; particularly those that unpack the performative aspects of place-making and identification processes as well as the narrativity and enactment of place and identity. The course will specifically explore the territorialization of identity categories; nations and homelands as social constructs; power dynamics around place and scale; and the importance of boundary making narratives and practices in shaping the categories we use to understand the world around us.