Graduate Student Directory

Key MacFarlane
  • Title
    • PhD Candidate
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History of Consciousness Department
  • Affiliations Social Sciences Division, Sociology Department
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, Room 415 (HISC Office)
  • Mail Stop History Of Consciousness

Research Interests

I am a geographer interested in issues of uneven development, landscape, dispossession, waste, memory, value, the american west, and philosophies of time and space.

My research examines how global inequalities are negotiated and expressed – but also challenged – in urban space. I am concerned with how the violence of racial capitalism and uneven development is materially embedded in the urban environment over time, including within bodies themselves. What interests me in particular is when buried legacies of violence reemerge at certain times and places, posing both problems and opportunities for local governments and the interests of global capital. The central question my research asks is: how are value and violence negotiated within the land itself? And how does this negotiation play out across urban and global scales?


My dissertation – “Dead Land: Geographies of Life and Death in the San Francisco Bay Area” – examines how certain forms of life and capitalist value in the Bay Area are made possible through the racialized production and displacement of death, locally and on a global level, in the form of material waste.  

I am also collaborating with Katharyne Mitchell on a book length project about global spaces of sanctuary for migrants and refugees, looking at how such spaces are formed through the radical "recollection" of past events, pre-liberal laws, and certain theological traditions.

Biography, Education and Training

M.A., Geography, University of Washington

B.A., English and Philosophy, Colgate University

Selected Publications




2019. Time, Waste, and the City: The Rise of the Environmental Industry. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 51.1: 225–247 {link}


2019. Marshland: Hamburg G20 and the Return of the Hanseatic LeagueSociety and Space (Open Site), July 19. {link}


2019. Hamburg's Spaces of Danger: Race, Violence and Memory in a Contemporary Global City. With K. Mitchell. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 43.5: 816–832 {link}


2019. Children of the GraveHuman Geography 12.1: 73–77 {link}


2019. Governing the Noisy Sphere: Geographies of Noise Regulation in the US. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. OnlineFirst. {link}.


2019. Beyond the Educational Dystopia: New Ways of Learning Through Remembering. With K. Mitchell. In Beyond Market Dystopia: New Ways of Living: Socialist Register 2020, eds. G. Albo and L. Panitch. New York: Monthly Review Press.


2019. Negative Research: Sonic Methods in Geography and Their LimitsThe Professional Geographer. OnlineFirst. {link}


2019. Climate MathematicsACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. 18.4: 803–815. {link}


2019. The Sanctuary Network: Transnational Church Activism and Refugee Protection in Europe. With K. Mitchell. In Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration, eds. K. Mitchell, R. Jones, and J. Fluri. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar: 410–424 {link}


2018. Geographies of Lifelong Learning and the Knowledge Economy. With K. Mitchell. In Making Workers: Radical Geographies in Education. London: Pluto Press: 67–82 {link}


2018. The Choice Machine and the Road to Privatization. With K. Mitchell. In Making Workers: Radical Geographies in Education. London: Pluto Press: 119–136 {link}


2017. A thousand CEOs: Relational thought, processual space, and deleuzian ontology in human geography and strategic management. Progress in Human Geography 41.3: 299320 {link}


2016. Crime and the Global City: Migration, Borders, and the Pre-Criminal. With K. Mitchell. In Oxford Handbooks Online {link}




2020. Capital and Space. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition, ed. A. Kobayashi. New York: Elsevier {link}




2019. Review of Assembly by Michael Hardt and Antonio NegriOrganization Studies {link}


2016. Review of Soundscapes of Wellbeing in Popular Musicedited by G. Andrews, P. Kingsbury, and R. Kearns. The Canadian Geographer 60(4): e48–e49 {link}




2019. A road trip through New Mexico's Atomic Past. With LuLing OsofskyHigh Country News (13 May) {link}


2018. The Greenhouse Effect: Life Under Glass ArchitectureMute Magazine (4 February) {link}