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Stan Brunn


Stan Brunn labels himself a cosmopolitan Middle Westerner after being raised in small towns and rural areas in a half-dozen states. He taught previously at the University of Florida and Michigan State University.  He joined the University of Kentucky department in 1980 as chair and served in that capacity from 1980-88.  He was appointed by the governor as State Geographer from 1988-1989. His teaching and research interest include political, social and urban geography, the geographies of information and communication, time-space geographies and innovative cartographies. He has offered seminars on technological hazards, cyberspace, humane geographies, peace and reconciliation.

Stan’s research includes a number of authored, edited and co-edited books and numerous articles which have appeared in geography and interdisciplinary journals. His most recent books are about Wal-Mart, E-Commerce, 9-11, the sixth edition of Cities of the World, an Atlas of the 2008 Elections, an Atlas of Central Eurasia and  a three volume edited work on Engineering Earth: The Impacts of Megaengineering Projects, which was based on an international and interdisciplinary conference he co-organized in 2008, The Changing World Religion Map (2016: 5 volumes, 208 chapters, 3800 pages) and Mapping Across Academia (2017 with Martin Dodge) on the increased use of maps by scholars in the humanities and social and physical sciences.  Recent articles and chapters, many with friends around the country and world, have dealt with the global financial crisis, immobility in rural Appalachia, religion/music interfaces, tamps and state identity, sparsely settled areas, classifying world cities, cognitive map of South African students, North Dakota’s oil boom economies and the geographies of silence.  He is currently editing another megabook, The Changing World Language Map, which like the religion volume, will include authors from many different disciplines and countries.  Also he is editing Stamp as Messengers of States in Transition and projects on small islands, cyberspace, isolation, religion, ethnic minorities, scholarly networks and disciplinary history. 

He has taught for short periods in Australia and nearly twenty European and Central Asian countries, including Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iceland, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China.  In 2007 he was a Fulbright Lecturer at Semey State University on Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan and in fall 2009 he was Visiting Professor at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth.  He spent his 2010-2011 sabbatical year in Ghent, Belgium, Cape Town, South Africa and Reykjavik, Iceland.  He has also been a US election observe in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.  In the past few years he has taught in Krakow, Poland; Presov, Slovakia and Sofia, Bulgaria. Where he will teach next, he does not know, but he will be a cruise ship lecturer in early 2018 to Central/Middle America.

During the past for decades he has made many presentations at dozens of national and international conferences.  He was elected University of Kentucky Distinguished Professor I the College of Arts and Sciences in 1989-1990. He has been active in the Association of American geographers, including editor of both The Professional Geographer and the Annals, AAG.  He received AAG Honors in 1994, a NCGE Mentor Award in 2004 and in 2006 the Lifetime Achievement Award from SEDAAG (Southeast Division, AAG); also has as served on a number of IGU, NCGE and AAG committees, including co-chair of the AAG Centennial Coordinating Committee and Archive Committee.  During the past two decades he has worked with educators in Kentucky to improve the quality and content of geography instruction in the state’s schools.  Among the many highlights of his career, aside from traveling in more than one hundred countries, was his appearance on the NBC Today Show in 1971 to discuss his proposed political reorganization of the U.S.  He also has Brunn Creativity Awards in his honor awarded to deserving AAG and NCGE members.

His hobbies include collecting creative maps and landscape paintings, studying futuristic and endangered geographies, singing in a choir, leading book discussions, learning other languages, working on crossword puzzles and writing poetry (one a week) on social justice issues, politics, environmental quality,and humor.

NOTE: Professor Brunn is now an emeritus professor, but continues to be involved in promoting geography and geographies whenever and wherever he is called on. He defines retirement as a time/space to do what you really wanted to do in your previous fifty years.  He maintains there is more geography that we don’t know that we do know.