Kate Swanson

Kate Swanson

Professor of Geography

Storm Hall 304B
Department of Geography
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4493

(619) 594-3508

Curriculum Vitae PDF file

Google Scholar Leave geography site

Dr. Kate Swanson has wide ranging interests in critical human geography, but she currently focuses on youth migration in Latin America and the U.S./Mexico border region. In recent years, she has worked extensively with migrants in Mexican and American immigration detention centers. Her research explores issues surrounding youth, rights, inequality, violence and poverty.

Her past research includes work concerning: urban informal economies; policing and zero tolerance; research ethics and methodologies; identity, power and inequality; pedagogy and geographic education; and environmental policy. Her geographic focus is also broad and she has undertaken field research in Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador, as well as China, Vietnam, and Scotland.

Based upon her past work, she is the author of three books, including ‘Begging as a Path to Progress: Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador’s Urban Spaces,’ (University of Georgia Press, 2010). She has also published her work in a variety of journals including: Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Antipode; Gender, Place & Culture; Environmental Management; and Urban Geography. Currently, she is a Co-Editor of Emotion, Space and Society. Her teaching largely focuses on critical social and environmental issues around the world.

Given her current research interests, Kate welcomes students interested in migration and detention in the US/Mexico border region. However, she is open to other topics as well; please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada, 2005
  • M.A., University of Guelph, Canada, 1999
  • B.A., University of Guelph, Canada, 1996
  • GEOG 348: Environment and Development
  • GEOG 554: World Cities: Comparative Approaches to Urbanization
  • GEOG 586: Qualitative Methods in Geographic Research
  • GEOG 700: Research Design in Geography
  • Borders and migration
  • Geographies of children and youth
  • Identity, power and inequality
  • Cities and urban geography
  • Qualitative methodologies