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Andrew J. Herod

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Distinguished Research Professor
Adjunct Professor of International Affairs
Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
Director, UGA à Paris Study Abroad Program

I am a human geographer and political economist interested in how the economic geography of capitalism is made.  Within that broad description, I have been particularly focused upon exploring how working people play active roles in shaping economic landscapes under capitalism and how, in turn, the physical and ideological form of the landscape can sometimes enable and sometimes constrain the possibilities for working people’s actions – that is to say, I am interested in the ways in which working people make their own geographies but not under the conditions of their own choosing.  It is this approach to understanding working people’s spatiality – what I have termed “Labor Geography” – upon which I have focused much of my research for the past 25 years or so.  My research has involved such diverse topics as: how US east coast dockers struggled to control the location of work once technological innovations like containerization began to affect their industry in the 1950s; how dockers also went about building new geographical scales of organizing in response to the growing national spatial integration of the cargo-handling industry; how autoworkers were able to bring General Motors’s operations to a grinding halt in the late 1990s by striking at several strategic choke points in the corporation’s structure; how Western unions went about working with unions in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s to help rebuild the labor movement there after the collapse of Communism; the role played by the US labor movement in fighting Communism in Latin America and the Caribbean, and what this meant for the subsequent globalization of US capital; and the challenges faced by precarious workers in industries such as cleaning and how they are fighting to resist the pressures being brought to bear upon them by neoliberal capitalism.

A second, though related, area of my scholarship has been on the topic of what has come to be termed “globalization.”  Globalization is many things – an economic process, a political process, a cultural process, and a historical process.  But it is also a fundamentally geographical process, as different parts of the planet are connected together – and sometimes disconnected – in new and different ways than they were in the past.  Importantly, this connecting of places geographically also plays out in a historically uneven manner.  My main goal, then, has been to understand globalization as a historical-geographical process, both materially and also ideologically (i.e., how do we think about globalization and how do the ways in which we think about it shape what we believe is happening in the global economy and therefore what might be possible politically?).  Within this broad goal I have been particularly interested in articulating how working people have played active roles in promoting globalization in some times and places and in resisting it in others, with both activities playing profound roles in shaping how the contemporary global economy functions.  What I suggest is that the creation of new linkages between different places and the rescaling of contemporary economic, political, and social life (what we call "globalization") do not come about solely through the actions of collective capital but, rather, are the result of deeply contested processes, ones in which workers have played – and continue to play – fundamental roles.  Recognizing this means that we can collectively imagine different futures for our planet and different versions of “globalization” (such as proletarian internationalization) rather than simply accepting a neoliberal version of what globalization is.

More recently, along with colleagues Al Rainnie, Susan McGrath-Champ (University of Sydney), and Graham Pickren (Roosevelt University), I have written on the topic of Global Production Networks (GPNs), especially on the role played by workers in shaping these networks’ organizational (and thus spatial) structures.  Extending our interest in how commodities are put together and how the contested labor process shapes the manner in which this occurs, we also have explored how they are taken apart in other types of networks – what we are calling Global Destruction Networks (GDNs) – as their constituent elements (like precious metals, plastics, and so forth) are extracted for possible re-use as inputs into new GPNs.  As with our work on GPNs, so does our work on GDNs detail how workers' activities and the ways in which the labor process is organized shape these networks’ structures.  Through this work we have sought to insert a focus upon labor into the so-called “circular economy” literature.

Many of my publications can be found on line here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrew_Herod/contributions

I would be interested in supervising graduate students with interests in any of these areas, as well as with interests in issues of labor and political economy more generally.

In terms of teaching, at the undergraduate level I regularly teach the “Human Geography: People, Places, and Cultures” (GEOG 1101) course.  This focuses upon a number of topics, including: what it means to "think geographically"; critical perspectives on cartography as a mode of representing the world; demographic structure and change in various parts of the world and their connection to processes of economic development; and how 19th and 20th century imperialism have shaped patterns of global development in ways that still affect the lives of the planet’s inhabitants today.   I also teach the “Globalization and the Making of the Modern World” (GEOG 3620) course.  This focuses upon three key issues: i) how do the ways in which we conceptualize globalization shape what we think is happening in the global economy (is the state becoming weaker in the face of global capital, for instance, or is it simply functioning in different ways than before?)?; ii) how did European and US imperialism in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries serve as a “first round” of globalization and with what effects?; iii) how are transnational corporations connecting the planet together in new and different ways as part of a “second round” of globalization?  A third undergraduate class that I teach – though only on the UGA à Paris Study Abroad Program in Paris – is the cross-listed course “Paris and Modernity: Power, Politics, and Identity in the City” (GEOG/ INTL/ HIST 4634).  This course focuses upon: France’s rise as a global power (especially the creation of the first and second empires in the 18th and 19th centuries and the French government’s efforts to present itself as a Muslim power during its 19th century conquest of North and West Africa); the rebuilding of Paris from the late 18th century to the early 20th century as Paris was reimagined as a grand capital city fit for an empire and home to the principles of modernist rationalism (this section of the class looks at how the city was physically redesigned and rebuilt to allow the ruling elites to exercise political power over Parisian society and how, in turn, this urban form was resisted); and, finally, what it means to “be French” today in the context of France being a multi-cultural society (thanks to its imperial legacy) and the growing efforts of the European Union to encourage people to abandon national identities and to create post-national ones – i.e., to get people to think of themselves not as French or German or Italian but as “European.”

At the graduate level I regularly teach a variety of courses which all focus, in different ways, upon questions of political economy.  These include: “Labor, Class and Politics” (INTL/GEOG 8355), which explores the nature of work, workers, and labor representation in advanced capitalist societies; and “Seminar in Economic Geography” (GEOG 8620), which focuses upon various topics concerning how we think about "the economic" as a field of investigation and how various economic actors (the state, global capital, labor) interact with one another to shape how the contemporary capitalist economy functions.  I have also taught the “Seminar in Social Theory in Geography” (GEOG 8920), which I created in the mid-1990s and within which I have covered various topics (such as a seminar exploring debates around questions of globalization, a seminar on reading Capital, and a seminar looking at society-nature relations, amongst others).  Finally, for over two decades I was responsible for the “Seminar in Geographic Thoughts and Methods” (GEOG 8910), which I taught as a philosophy of science/ history of geographic thought class and in which we explored questions concerning how the ways in which we think about the world epistemologically shapes how we understand it and can make claims about it through the practice of “science” (it was, in other words, a class in which we thought about how we think about the world and the various natural and social processes shaping it).

Lastly, since 2004 I have directed the UGA à Paris Study Abroad Program.  This is a six-week program in which students can take 6 credit hours towards their undergraduate degrees whilst spending time in the city that Walter Benjamin called “the capital of the 19th century” and that Gertrude Stein claimed was “where the 20th century was.”  We also spend time in Normandy and Brittany and in the Loire Valley.  We accept both UGA and non-UGA students.

Education:

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY 1988-1992, New Brunswick, NJ.  Ph.D. in Geography (4.0 GPA).  Dissertation title: “Towards a Labor Geography: The Production of Space and the Politics of Scale in the East Coast Longshore Industry, 1953-1990” (440 pages).

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY 1986-1988, Morgantown, WV.  Master of Arts in Geography (4.0 GPA).  Thesis title: “Industrial Reorganization and the Local Response to Plant Closures: A New Politics of Manufacturing Decline” (118 pages).

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL 1983-1986, Bristol, England.  Bachelor of Social Science in Geography (First Class Honours); subsidiary subject Sociology (Distinction).

Of note:

VISITING APPOINTMENTS:

2015  Visiting Professor, Hellenic Open University, Athens, Greece.  Funded by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Fulbright Specialist Program, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), Institute of International Education (IIE), United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington, DC.

2005  Visiting Distinguished Professor, Work and Organisational Studies, School of Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney, Australia.

2002  Hilary Term Scholar in Residence, UGA at Oxford Program, Keble College, Oxford, England.

 

AWARDS AND HONORS:

2017    Invited to present a Keynote Address to the 2017 Alumni Seminar on “A Sense of Place,” University of Georgia, February 17-18: “The Nature of Place in a Globalizing World.”

2013    My article “Dockers and seafarers: What the politics of spatial embeddedness and geographical scale have meant for union organizing in the European maritime trades,” written with Leah Carmichael, that appeared in Labor Studies Journal (2012) 37.2: 203-227, was awarded “Best Article from Volume 37” by the Labor Studies Journal Editorial Board.

2012    Invited to present the Keynote Address to the 2012 Academic Affairs Faculty Symposium of the University of Georgia, Unicoi Conference Center, March 23-24: “The Teaching/Research Nexus: How Disciplinary Research Can Enhance the Quality of Teaching and Learning and How Teaching Can Motivate and Engage Research Faculty.”

2012    The 2012 Office of International Education Study Abroad Award for making “major contributions to the study abroad effort at the University of Georgia by working directly with a study abroad program and/or contributing to the infrastructure that advances UGA’s overall study abroad effort” through developing and directing the UGA à Paris Study Abroad program, helping “identify and work with bureaucratic hurdles faced by study abroad directors…serv[ing] on numerous OIE committees and…advis[ing] and mentor[ing] several UGA study abroad directors.”

2011    The Harold and Florence Mayer Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, WI“Labor union organizing strategies in early 21st century USA.”

2009    William A. Owens Creative Research Award.

Awarded by the University of Georgia Research Foundation in recognition of outstanding research in the social and behavioral sciences.  One award is made per year.  "The William A. Owens Award is given to recognize an outstanding body of nationally and internationally recognized scholarly or creative activities in the social and behavioral sciences” (Nominating guidelines)

2009    My article “Local political practice in response to a manufacturing plant closure: How geography complicates class analysis,” published in Antipode (1991; 23.4, 385-402), was listed by the journal’s publisher as one of the 40-most influential articles published in Antipode between 1969 and 2009.

2008    The 2008 Outstanding Research Honors Award, Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers.

Awarded by the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers Honors Committee for exceptional research.  One award is made per year.  “Nominees for this award should meet the following criteria: (1) A significant record of quality research and publication in scholarly journals, books, and other appropriate formats.  This record may reflect the cumulative work of several years or the publication of important contributions in a shorter period of time: (2) Evidence of research leadership at both an institutional (college, university, industry) and organizational level (professional associations) where scholarly papers are presented and students and colleagues are advised” (Nominating guidelines)

2001    American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) Imogene Okes Research Award.

Awarded for the best article published during 2000 in the field of adult and continuing education[Ben Salt, Ron Cervero, and Andrew Herod (2000): “Workers’ education and neoliberal globalization: An adequate response to transnational corporations?”  Adult Education Quarterly51.1: 9-31.]  “AAACE’s Commission of Research sponsors the Imogene Okes Research Award to recognize persons whose research contributes significantly to the advancement of adult and continuing education.  Begun in 1976 under the auspices of the AEA-USA, the award has been given [on a periodic basis] to…individuals on the basis of their published work” (Commission of Professors of Adult Education guidelines).

2001    Creative Research Medal, University of Georgia Research Foundation.

“The Creative Research Medal is awarded by the University of Georgia Research Foundation as a recognition of outstanding accomplishment in research and creativity for a research project or creative activity with a single coherent theme.  Faculty at the University of Georgia are nominated for the Creative Research Medal by their colleagues and chosen by a committee of distinguished faculty representing both the humanities and sciences.  Each year individuals who have carried out a research project or creative endeavor of truly outstanding quality are honored this way” (Creative Research Medal guidelines, UGA Research Foundation).

2000    National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Journal of Geography Awards Task Force Best Content Award.

Awarded for the best article published during 1999 in Journal of Geography (Andrew Herod “Using industrial disputes to teach about economic geography,” Journal of Geography 98.5: 229-241).

1999    My book Organizing the Landscape: Geographical Perspectives on Labor Unionism (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis and London, 1998) was designated a “Breakthrough Book” by Lingua FrancaMay/ June 1999, p. 16-17 (Lingua Franca was the academic magazine about intellectual life which the New York Times [10/18/01] once called “a must-read for intellectuals”).  The book was recognized for providing a “more nuanced understanding of how labor struggles and agreements contribute to the transformation of specific landscapes.”

1996    Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers Young Research Worker.  Invited address to the Economic Geography Study Group, Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers, Glasgow, Scotland, January 3-6.

1994    J. Warren Nystrom Award for the best Ph.D. dissertation in Geography 1992-93, Association of American Geographers.

1993    The M.G. Michael Award, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia for excellence in research.  (One award made in competition open to all faculty ranks throughout the College.)

“The M.G. Michael Award was established in 1944 to stimulate new initiatives in scholarship in all areas of the Arts and Sciences.  Its primary purpose is to encourage the development of a new (and perhaps adventurous) idea or project during the coming year.  The Award implies faith in that purpose and in the ability of the faculty member selected to plan and conduct the proposed research; it is not given in recognition of previous research accomplishments.  Nevertheless, it does require evidence that recipients have been proficient researchers” (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences award guidelines).

1993    Best Ph.D. Dissertation 1991-92, Industrial Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

1992    Best Graduate Student Paper, Political Geography Specialty Group, Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers, San Diego, CA, April 18-22.

1991    Best Graduate Student Paper, Conference of the Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers, State College, PA, October 4-6.

1988    Prize, Appalachian Studies Conference Student Essay Competition, Radford VA, March 18-20.

 

BIOGRAPHIES/ PROFILES:

2015    Interview with Dr. Juscelino Eudâmidas Bezerra (Departamento de Geografia da UNB e Professor Colaborador do Programa de Pós-graduação em Geografia da Universidade Estadual Ceará-UECE).  Citation is: Bezerra, J.E. “Entrevista ao Professor Dr. Andrew Herod”, Revista GeoUECE: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia da UECE Fortaleza/CE, vol. 4, no. 6, pp. 175-191, Jan./Jun. 2015.

2010    Research and public service featured in the “Back Page” feature of the Georgia Magazine, September Issue (vol. 89, no. 4), p. 56 (published by the Office of Public Affairs, University of Georgia).

2009    Research and public service featured in spread in UGA Research Magazine, October Issue, pp. 20-25 (published by the Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Georgia).

2008    Research on globalization (with photo spread) featured in Exploring Nationalism by Robert Gardner, Margaret Hoogeveen, Daniel McDevitt, and Angus Scully, p 269 (McGraw-Hill Ryerson: Toronto).  Exploring Nationalism was created specifically for the Alberta Social Studies 20-1 Program of Study but is used across Canada in Grade 10 high school, including in a French-language version.

2004    “Andrew Herod: Questions of class and geographies of labour.”  A biography written by Ruth Panelli in Social Geographies: From Difference to Action, pp. 220-222 (Sage: London).

 

OTHER:

Member, Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census.  Appointed by Executive Order of the Honorable Nathan Deal, 82nd Governor of the State of Georgia, to ensure an accurate enumeration of the population of Georgia in the census undertaken on April 1, 2020.

 

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