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Geographers on the Market: Jordan Brasher

Contact Information: jbrashe3@vols.utk.edu

I’m a cultural-historical geographer with interests in race, place, and memory. My work is driven by the following question: How do societies selectively remember the past and whose voices, stories, histories and memories are valued on and through the memorial landscape? I am especially interested in the politics of remembering slavery in the Americas. My doctoral research (PhD Expected in 2020, currently ABD, The University of Tennessee) focuses on understanding the celebration of the Confederacy in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil, where thousands of ex-Confederates migrated after the end of the U.S. Civil War. This research was funded by a National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Fellowship, which helped support intensive Portuguese language study and a nine-month period of fieldwork in Brazil. My research and public writing have appeared in outlets like The Conversation (US), USA Today, The Activist History Review, The Tennessean, Papers in Applied Geography, Social & Cultural Geography, and FOCUS on Geography. See my profile for more information about my work.

I obtained an M.S. in Geography from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK) in 2016, focusing on the political geographies of haven and refuge for African Americans fleeing the intense racial violence of the Jim Crow South. The foundation of my interest in race, place, and memory began as an undergraduate at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), as tensions built over the campus’ memorialization of ex-Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan founding father Nathan Bedford Forrest at Forrest Hall. I earned a B.S. in Geosciences with minors in Archaeology and Environment and Human Society at MTSU in 2014.

Over the course of my graduate studies, I have had the good fortune of working as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Intern for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation (Nashville, TN), the City of Brentwood (Brentwood, TN), and Wilson County Planning (Lebanon, TN). I have also been a participant in the Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO) Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN) and worked as a Research Consultant for Global Commercial Insights, LLC. I am interested in working in the federal government, the private sector, or in academe using my skills and experience in teaching, research and analysis, GIS, and language capabilities.