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Dr. Joshua Inwood

Specialties: Cultural Geography, Qualitative Methods, Critical Race Theory, Urban Geography
Joint Appointment: Africana Studies Program
See Also: Curriculum Vitae


My research is a commitment to understand the material conditions of peace and justice and seeks to empower vulnerable populations through a variety of research and teaching projects. Most recently I have worked on the movement to address human wrongs through truth and reconciliation commissions, specifically the burgeoning truth movement within the United States. This NSF funded research has engaged with a truth and reconciliation commission that took place in Greensboro, North Carolina in the late 1990s. While truth processes have been the focal point of academic discourse for at least a decade, the majority of relevant research has examined them outside of a North American context. My research has argued that reconciliation processes in the US not only emerge as a site for producing knowledge about past violent events, but serve as an important avenue for contemporary political activism. My work has demonstrated how US reconciliation processes link racism and class exploitation with fundamental economic developments that produce violent outcomes. This perspective broadens our geographic understandings of rights claims for oppressed and marginalized populations through a focus on cross ethnic alliances. This research also highlights the continuing significance of the Civil Rights and labor struggles in the U.S. South following the end of segregation and the way legacies of racism, violence and social activism continue to frame anti-racist struggles. Additionally, my research addresses the interconnected ideas of race, urban geography and political economy most recently through an examination of the US Civil Rights Movement. This research builds on current understandings of civil rights by bringing an understandings of the political economy that emerge from the African American experience of slavery. For example, in a piece published in Environment and Planning A, I argue the Poor People’s Campaign is an important moment to examine the changing coordinates of the US political economy. Specifically, I argue that the failure of the US civil rights struggle to remake economic processes demonstrates the limits of social democratic movements to transform capitalism. This raises questions about the ability of social democratic movements to fundamentally engage with and transform contemporary neoliberal economic policies. This research built on my previous research that engaged with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s concept of the “Beloved Community.” Through this research I explore how Dr. King’s work emerges from a larger international and anti-colonial struggle that sought to integrate African American and Western notions of community with post-colonial struggles in Africa and Asia.   Not only do I maintain that Dr. King’s social theory offers a contemporary geographic vision that confronts neoliberal economic policy while providing an alternative model of community development, I also outline a broader and more international understanding of the civil rights movements within the US.

Contact Information

Dr. Joshua Inwood Ph.D., University of Georgia Associate Professor 408 Burchfiel Geography Bldg. Knoxville, TN 37996-0925
Phone: (865) 974-6170 Email:
Inwood speak’s geography:

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I firmly believe that teaching and research are related activities. Teaching well is often correlated to excellent scholarship. It is with this realization that I approach the teaching of university students. The ability to communicate my enthusiasm and excitement for geography is an important part of my agenda as a scholar and an educator and I relish the opportunity to communicate the importance of geography to the lives of my students.  If you are interested in learning more about what geographers do and how geography can change the world I am happy to chat.