Case Watkins is a geographer working at the intersections of power, environment, and justice. Dr. Watkins studies social-ecological interactions through time and across space—from the early colonial period to the present, and from agrarian landscapes in Latin America and the US South to the broader networks of the Atlantic World. He serves as an assistant professor of Justice Studies at James Madison University.

Published in 2021, his book Palm Oil Diaspora reconstructs the environmental histories and political ecologies of palm oil landscapes, foodways, and economies in Brazil and the South Atlantic. Blending ethnographic, archival, and geospatial analyses, the book reinterprets transatlantic flows of power and resistance to reveal a complex African diaspora of people, plants, and knowledge.

Drawing on fieldwork, archives, and digital mapping, his previous work has examined landscapes of race, class, and disaster; transnational migration, identity, and citizenship; agrarian, development, and environmental politics; and political ecologies of foodways, race, and agroecological change.

Hispanic & Latino influences in New Orleans (2009-2011).

Previous work appears in HALAC, Geographical Review, Journal of Rural StudiesEnvironment and History,  Journal of Latin American Geography, and Southeastern Geographer. Watkins co-authored Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Centurypublished in 2015 by LSU Press and winner of the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize awarded by the American Association of Geographers. He received the 2017 J. Warren Nystrom Dissertation Award from the American Association of Geographers. His latest book, Palm Oil Diaspora, is available from Cambridge University Press. Please recommend it to your librarians here.

Reach me by email: casewatkins [at]