Faculty Bio

Joseph Nevins

Professor of Geography and Director of Independent

Joseph Nevins was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests include socioterritorial boundaries and mobility, violence and inequality, and political ecology; he has conducted research in East Timor, Mexico, and the United States-Mexico border region. His courses include: Geographies of Mass Violence; the Political Geography of Human Rights; Population, Resources and Sustainable Development; and Lines, Fences and Walls: The Partitioning of the Global Landscape. His non-academic writings have appeared in print and online in a variety of publications including Al Jazeera English, CounterPunch, Boston Review, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, NACLA Report on the Americas, The Nation, Tikkun, The Washington Post, and Z Magazine.


Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War on “Illegals” and the Remaking of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary, New York: Routledge, 2010. (A significantly revised edition of Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the “Illegal Alien” and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary, 2002.)

Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid, with photographs by Mizue Aizeki, San Francisco: Open Media/City Lights Books, 2008.

Co-edited with Nancy Peluso, Taking Southeast Asia to Market: Commodities, Nature, and People in the Neoliberal Age, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008. Also published by the Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia) in 2009.

A Not-So-Distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor, Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. 2005. Updated version of 1st edition, entitled Pembantaian Timor Timur: Horor Masyarakat Internasional (translated into Indonesian by Nug Katjasungkana) published by Garba Budaya and Fortilos (Jakarta, Indonesia) in 2008.

Selected academic journal articles and book chapters

“The Speed of Life and Death: Migrant Fatalities, Territorial Boundaries, and Energy Consumption,” Mobilities, published online July 28, 2017; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2017.1349392

“The Right to the World,” Antipode, published online March 7, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/anti.12324

Co-authored with Kenneth Wolkin, "‘No sovereign nation, no reservation’: producing the new colonialism in Cayuga Count(r)y," Territory, Politics, Governance, , published online October 6, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2016.1238318

“Academic Jet-setting in a Time of Climate Destabilization: Ecological Privilege and Professional Geographic Travel,” The Professional Geographer, Vol. 66. No. 2014: 298-310.

“A Matter of Life and Death: Human Rights at the Boundaries of Immigration Control,” in Lois Lorentzen (ed.), Hidden Lives and Human Rights in America: Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2014: 275-300.

“Policing Mobility, Maintaining Global Apartheid—from South Africa to the United States,” in Jenna M. Loyd, Matt Mitchelson, and Andrew Burridge (eds), Beyond Walls and Cages: Bridging Immigrant Justice and Anti-Prison Organizing in the United States, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2012: 19-26. 

 “Embedded Empire: Structural Violence and the Pursuit of Justice in East Timor,” The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 99, No. 5, 2009: 914-921.

 Dying for a Cup of Coffee? Migrant Deaths in the US-Mexico Border Region in a Neoliberal Age,” Geopolitics, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2007: 228-247. Abridged and translated version published in German in Wissenschaft & Frieden (Science & Peace), May 2008: 15-18.

“Contesting the Boundaries of International Justice: State Countermapping and Offshore Resource Struggles Between Australia and East Timor,” Economic Geography, Vol. 80, No. 1, 2004: 1-22.