Case Watkins is a cultural and environmental geographer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University. Dr. Watkins studies long-term relationships between societies and environments, especially the political ecologies and environmental histories of the African diaspora. His current book—provisionally titled Palm Oil Diaspora and due out in 2021—blends ethnographic, archival, and geospatial analyses to reconstruct the complex development of palm oil landscapes, cultures, and economies in Northeast Brazil and the Atlantic World from the early colonial period to the present.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork in New Orleans and Northeast Brazil, previous and ongoing projects have examined landscapes of race, class, and disaster; transnational migration, identity, and citizenship; colonial agro-ecological transformations; agrarian, development, and environmental politics; and foodways and agro-ecological change in Latin America and the African diaspora. Through teaching, research, and service, Watkins works to integrate and enact social, global, and environmental justice.
Previous work appears in HALAC, Geographical Review, Journal of Rural Studies, Environment and History, Journal of Latin American Geography, and Southeastern Geographer. Watkins co-authored Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century, published 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.
Reach me by email: casewatkins [at] gmail.com