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Matthew W. Wilson

Ph.D. University of Washington, 2009
M.A. University of Washington, 2005
B.S. Northwest Missouri State University, 2002


Matthew W. Wilson, PhD, is Chair and Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky and Associate at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. He directs Mapshop. He is an editor at cultural geographies, an international, peer-reviewed quarterly journal. He co-edited Understanding Spatial Media (SAGE, 2017) and his most recent book is New Lines: Critical GIS and the Trouble of the Map (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). He has previously taught at Ball State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his current research examines mid-20th century, digital mapping practices. He earned his PhD and MA from the University of Washington and his BS from Northwest Missouri State University. His childhood was spent in Pumpkin Center, Missouri, a small farming community in Nodaway County, where his family has farmed for over 170 years.

Research Interests:
Critical cartography & GIS
cultural geography
urban political geography
Science and Technology Studies
Disciplinary History of Geography
Selected Publications:

[ Please click here for a full listing of publications. ]


Parraguez, Ana, Inga Gryl, Ricardo Truffelo, Matthew W. Wilson, eds. Forthcoming. SIG Critico en Chile: Traducciones, Situaciones, e Intervenciones. Santiago: Instituto de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales. [80]


Wilson, Matthew W. 2022. Technical Lands and Technical Lines. In Technical Lands: A Critical Primer. Jovis. Jeffrey Nesbit and Charles Waldheim, editors. pp. 64-69. [75]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2022. GIScience III: questions of time. Progress in Human Geography. 46:6. pp. 1431-1438. [74]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2022. GIScience II: newness and imminence. Progress in Human Geography. 46:1. pp. 224-233. [70]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2021. GIScience I: social histories and disciplinary crucibles. Progress in Human Geography. 45:1. pp. 166-177. [66]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2020. Criticality as interpretation, deception, distortion? LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture. No. 12. pp. 20-25. [65]

Guan, Wendy, Matthew W. Wilson, and Anne Knowles. 2019. Evaluating the geographic in GIS. The Geographical Review. 109:3. pp. 297-307 [61]

Barrett, Emily, and Matthew W. Wilson. 2019. Mapshop: Learning to Map, Mapping to Learn. Living Maps Review. No. 6. [60]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2018. On being technopositional in digital geographies. cultural geographies. 25:1. pp. 7-21. [54]

Wilson, Matthew W. 2017. New Lines: Critical GIS and the Trouble of the Map. University of Minnesota Press. [53]


Graduate Students:


Kinkead, Conley. (Ph.D., Geography). University of Kentucky. In progress (2022-present).

Stancil, Kenny. (M.A., Geography). University of Kentucky. In progress (2022-present).

Saindon, Jacob. (Ph.D., Geography). University of Kentucky. In progress (2021-present). (M.A., Geography). The Use of Distraction: Doomscrolling, Losing Time, and Digital Well-Being in Pandemic Space-Times. 14 April. University of Kentucky. (2019-2021).


Swab, John (Ph.D., Geography). University of Kentucky. In progress (2020-present). (M.A., Geography). Risky business: Visualizing and historicizing the role of geographic representation and thinking in American business. 26 June. University of Kentucky (2018-2020).


Spangler, Ian (Ph.D., Geography). University of Kentucky. In progress (2018-present). (M.A., Geography). “One More Way to Sell New Orleans”: Airbnb and the Commodification of Authenticity through Local Emotional Labor. 19 April. University of Kentucky (2017-2018).


Breen, Jessi (Ph.D., Geography). Picturing the Future City: Digital Mediation and Creative Placemaking. University of Kentucky. 9 January. (2014-2023).


Bosse, Amber (Ph.D., Geography). Cartographic Efficacy: Histories of the Present, Participatory Futures. 11 November. University of Kentucky (2015-2020).


Barrett, Emily. (M.A., Geography). Shiny objects, hiding places: Examining community-engaged data practices in Lexington, KY. 22 April. University of Kentucky (2018-2020).


Huntley, Eric M. Robsky (Ph.D., Geography). Reserved for the Whole Earth: Forms of Evidence, Ought Anxiety, and the Futures of Geographic Inquiry. 2 March. University of Kentucky (2014-2020).


Koff, Dan (M.Des., Graduate School of Design). Spatialized Archives: An Analysis of Methodologies for Working through Collections. 13 May. Harvard University (2014-2015).


Ayub, Zulaikha (M.Des., Graduate School of Design). Desert Sun: The Manhattan Project and Los Alamos, New Mexico. 14 May. Harvard University (2013-2014).


Craft, Andrea (M.A., Geography). Planning and Protest in Memphis: The Limits and Possibilities of Participatory Discourse. 24 April. University of Kentucky (2012-2014).


Cooper, Ryan (M.A., Geography). Re-Placing Sprawl: Mapping Place in an American Suburb. 15 April. University of Kentucky (2011-2013) and Ball State University (2010-2011). 


Preston, Bryan (M.S., Geography). Urban Gardening South of the Tracks in Middletown USA: An embedded qualitative GIS approach. 26 March. Ball State University (2010-2012).


Hollon, Debra (M.S., Geography). GIS and the Prehistoric Landscape: An Examination of Applicability. 23 March. Ball State University (2010-2011).