Case Watkins is a cultural and environmental geographer and Associate Professor of Justice Studies at James Madison University. He holds a PhD in Geography and Anthropology from Louisiana State University. Dr. Watkins studies the interactions of cultures, politics, and environments; how they shape landscapes and societies, and what they can teach us about social and environmental justice.

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.

Based on mixed-method fieldwork in Brazil, Portugal, and Louisiana, his research has examined geographies 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 Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, 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. It was recognized with the Roberto Reis Book Award by the Brazilian Studies Association and an Honorable Mention for the Meridian Book Award by the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Recommend it to your librarians here.

Reach me by email: casewatkins [at]