Kacy McKinney

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography

 Tuesdays 12:30 - 3:30 and by appointment
 McCardell Bicentennial Hall 313



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE1418 - Global Youth      

Global Youth
In this seminar we will explore global manifestations of youth culture and politics. We will map connections across time and place, exploring how young people around the world respond to global economic change, unemployment, lack of opportunity, and barriers to education and mobility. We will use key concepts from Human Geography, such as scale, space, place, region, and globalization to explore both everyday experiences and momentous mobilizations of young people. We will work to understand geographies of difference and of interconnection, linking the uses of social media, organizing, and cultural production around the world with those of students at Middlebury. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2014

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GEOG0200 - Food Geographies      

Food Geographies
How do food and eating shape our social relationships and our understandings of environment and place? Where does our food come from, and what does it take to get it to us? These questions are fundamentally geographic. Exploring how food is produced, distributed, and consumed leads to a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between societies and environment. The understanding, interpretation, and analysis of these relationships define the discipline of human geography. In this course we will take a critical approach to the study of food across multiple scales, from food systems in Vermont to the global political economy of food. We will explore the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of food in particular spaces, places, environments, contexts, and regions, providing an advanced introduction to key concepts and modes of analysis in human geography. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. SOC

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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GEOG0205 - Nature, Power, and Society      

Geographies of Nature, Power, and Society
This course provides an introduction to the contributions of human geography to the interdisciplinary field of political ecology. Political ecology offers a framework for understanding and critically rethinking explanations of human interactions with the environment, working toward equitable and sustainable solutions. For political ecologists, environmental change and social conflict result from uneven access to resources, and hence from power relations. Human geographers contribute concepts of scale, space, place, spatial interactions, and situated knowledge. We will integrate concepts from both fields to study human-environment interactions, and to analyze the production of knowledge and discourses about environmental problems. 3 hr. sem. SOC

Spring 2013, Spring 2015

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GEOG0210 - Geo Perspect on Internat'l Dev      

Geographic Perspectives on International Development
This class is an exploration of some of the key concepts, theories, ideologies, and practices of international development as they relate to issues of environmental and social change. We will approach these “ways of knowing” about development and the environment through three topics: (1) “natural” disasters; (2) oil; and (3) waste. For each of these topics we will draw on multiple case studies across the world including Haiti, New Orleans, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and South Africa. These case studies will help us to more fully discuss and understand the dynamics of who does development, how, where, why, and with what results. With each of the themes we will examine different practices of international development, including post-disaster international aid, the shipping and dumping of waste, and environmental conflicts in the everyday lives of people in oil-rich areas of the world. This approach will allow us to break down mainstream discourses of development and “sustainability,” critically examine development practice, and imagine alternative approaches to development. 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP SOC

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015

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GEOG0230 - Geography of South Asia: Youth      

Geography of South Asia: Youth
In this course we will explore the idea of regions through the representations and history of the area of the world referred to as South Asia, viewed through the lens of Geographies of Youth. Geographies of Youth is the study of how social and economic transformations, operating from the global scale to everyday local activities, are altering young people’s lives. We will use key concepts from geography, such as scale, space, place, identity, and context to explore everyday experiences of young people in Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Focusing on the themes of politics, education, and work, we will consider connections among young people in these places and students at Middlebury. 3 hrs. lect. AAL SOC

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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GEOG0417 - Feminist Geography      

Seminar in Feminist Geography
Feminist geographers have made major contributions to the discipline of Geography over the past several decades. In this course we will focus on how feminist geography might help us to address critical questions about spatiality and power relations. We will read key writings on feminist thought and practice and consider how axes of difference from gender and race, to sexuality and class work to constitute particular spaces and places. Seminar readings will also engage different methodological approaches employed by feminist scholars. We will focus on feminist contributions to understandings of knowledge production, work and social reproduction, development, globalization, and political processes. (Senior majors only; others by waiver) 3 hr. sem. SOC

Fall 2015

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GEOG0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Junior majors only. (Approval Required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015

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GEOG0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Senior majors only. (Approval Required)

Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015

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GEOG0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Students with a departmental GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible to complete a two-credit senior thesis. In order to complete a senior thesis, students must have a proposal approved by a primary thesis advisor and a secondary departmental reader prior to registering for the first 0701 credit. Upon completion of the thesis, thesis students will present their work in a public seminar and defend the thesis in front of the departmental faculty. Thesis presentations and defenses will typically take place during the final week of classes or the examination period. Upon completion of the presentation and defense, the primary advisor and secondary departmental reader will be responsible for evaluating and grading the thesis. It is strongly encouraged that students considering a thesis discuss their ideas with an advisor during the semester prior to registering for formal thesis credits. (Approval only)

Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015

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GEOG1006 - Space & Place in the Graphic      

Space and Place in the Graphic Novel
The graphic novel is an increasingly popular genre combining art and written work used by journalists, fiction and nonfiction writers, artists, and academics. This genre presents new and exciting ways of understanding and representing space and place, concepts at the heart of human geography. In this course we will read graphic novels by Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, and Art Spiegelman, among others. We will also read key texts from human geographers: Doreen Massey, Gillian Rose, David Harvey and Tuan Yi-Fu. Students will practice visual analysis, maintain reading journals, write critical reviews, and create mini graphic novels exploring space and place. ART SOC WTR

Winter 2014

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IGST0404 / SOAN0404 / GEOG0404 - GeoLabor and Youth      

Global Geographies of Labor and Youth
In this seminar we will examine the relationship between the spatial organization of the global political economy and the lives of working people and youth. We will investigate a variety of industrial and agrarian contexts in North America, Latin America, South Africa, India, and China. We will place an emphasis on the problems posed by labor and capital mobility, and global production networks that impact worker organization and the lives of children and young people. Students must have advanced reading ability in a language other than English as they will be required to work with foreign language sources. This course is equivalent to SOAN 0404 and GEOG 0404. (Approval required) 3 hrs. sem. AAL CMP SOC

Spring 2014

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Research Areas

Development Theory, Geographies of Food, Geographies of Youth, Agricultural and Environmental Change and Rural Livelihoods, Qualitative Methods, Brazil, India


Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle

MA, University of Texas, Austin

BA, University of Texas, Austin


McKinney, Kacy. (In Press) "Situating corporate framings of child labor: Toward grounded geographies of working children in globalized agriculture" Special Theme Issue: Contested Capitalisms and Encounters, Geoforum


McKinney, K. 2014. “‘Hybrid cottonseed production is children’s work’: Making sense of migration and wage labor in India” ACME: International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 13(2): 402-423 (http://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1014/868)


McKinney, K. 2013. “Troubling notions of farmer choice: Hybrid Bt cottonseed production in Western India” Journal of Peasant Studies 40(2): 351-378.


McKinney, Kacy. (In Progress) “Sequential art, spatial theory, critical pedagogy” For: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space


McKinney, Kacy. (In Progress) On Becoming, In the Field. (Book manuscript is based on dissertation research)


McKinney, K.and M. Orzolek. 2012. Medusa: A Graphic Novel. She Was Solitary: New Orleans. (Non-Refereed Publication)





Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753