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Brittany Cook

I am an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in the Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy. Broadly speaking, through my scholarship, I strive to futher our understanding of how global assemblages of capitalism and political power touch ground to shape local spaces and practices, specifically in the Eastern Mediterranean/Western Asia. Through my recent research, I examined the ways in which global standards and development initiatives touch ground in the environmental, political, and social context of olive oil production in Jordan. In particular, I focused on how the promotion of (often international) projects such as organic farming and women's production of rural goods shape the social and material dynamics of rural agricultural production and rural spaces themselves. I conducted a year and a half of research in Jordan with funding from the Fulbright US Student Program, the American Center for Oriental Research, and the Society of Women Geographers.

As a feminist political geographer, I am interested in how, what we colloquially think of as the state, coheres and falls apart through everyday practices and processes of individuals. I am also interested in the ways in which gender is enrolled and performed within this context. Examining everyday processes of the state in the Middle East is an important tool for highlighting how the state is constructed within a broder global and historical context while simulatenously taking into accounts its real effects on daily lives. This feminist approach also drives my interest in ethical research methodologies, inclusive international scholarship, and the role of language within Middle East geographies.

In addition to my academic research, I have spent time exploring ways of doing more collaborative projects. For example, I volunteered with an organization that uses public participatory GIS (PPGIS) as a strategy for mobilization and advocacy in Palestinian Jerusalemite communities. Through this mapping experience I simultaneously explored issues related to governance, settler colonialism, landscape, PPGIS, and open source technologies.

Contact Information
PhD in Geography, 2018, University of Kentucky with a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies
MA in Geography, 2012, University of South Carolina
BA in Geography and Anthropology, 2009, University of Mary Washington
Research Interests
  • Political Ecology
  • organic agriculture
  • rural geography
  • Commodity Chains and Networks
  • Jordan
  • Middle East
  • feminist political geography
  • development
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Geography
  • New Mappings Collaboratory
  • University of Jordan
  • Center for Strategic Studies