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Karen Culcasi

Associate Professor of Geography

Profiles and Info

ResearchGate for Karen Culcasi

Categorized As

Role: Faculty,
Focus or Research Area: Geography,

My research and teaching focus on a variety of topics within political geography, critical cartography, and geopolitics in Southwest Asia and North Africa (a region often called “Middle East,” but this is a problematic term so I use Southwest Asia and North Africa).


PhD, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
M.A.,  Maxwell School, Syracuse University
B.A., University of Vermont


My research uses critical and feminist geopolitical frames to examine contested places and identities. My work focuses on the "Middle East," the Arab world, and Appalachia.

I am currently working on:

  • A West Virginia Humanities funded project on Islamophobia and Muslim's daily lives in West Virginia.
  • A Franklin Philosophical Society Grant for archival research on maps of the so-called "Middle East," which have been published in textbooks from across many Arab-majority states since the early 20th century.

Recent Publications

  • Book, Displacing Territory: Syrian and Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Check it out at the University of Chicago Press or Amazon.

  • As part of the celebration of the 100th edition of the  Arab World Geographer, I published a paper titled "Decolonizing the 'Middle East'"

  • Funded through WVU's Humanities Center, I am pleased to post a set of "fact sheets" on Refugees and US Refugee Laws.

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