Don Mitchell (geographer)

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For other uses, see Don Mitchell (disambiguation).

Don Mitchell (born 1961) is Distinguished Professor of Geography at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, shifting to Uppsala University, Sweden in 2016. From an academic household in California, he is a graduate of San Diego State University (1987), Pennsylvania State University (1989) and received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1992, working with Neil Smith.[1] He taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder before joining Syracuse in the late 1990s.

Considered an influential Marxist and radical scholar, he is best known for his work on cultural theory, and the People's Geography Project.[2] He works on labor struggles, human rights and justice.

He is also known for an editing technique, particular useful for book manuscripts or other long (10000 words or more) texts, as well as for texts having undergone multiple revisions over a long period of time. To Don Mitchell a text, the writer prints out the piece, rereads and makes edits on the pages, and then retypes the entire text (except for block quotes, which can be pasted from a previous draft). The technique eliminates the incoherence resulting from cutting and pasting, and it compels the writer to reread, revise, and even eliminate prose that no longer works. Don Mitchelling appears arduous but has the reputation of saving time over the long term.

In 1998, he became a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2008 a Guggenheim Fellow. He was awarded the Anders Retzius Medal from the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography in 2012.[3]

Main publications[edit]

  • Kenneth Olwig and Don Mitchell (eds.) 2009. Justice, Power and the Political Landscape London: Routledge.
  • Lynn Staeheli and Don Mitchell, 2008. The People’s Property? Power, Politics, and the Public. New York: Routledge.
  • Don Mitchell. 2003. The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space.
  • Don Mitchell. 2000. Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell. ISBN 1-55786-892-1
  • Don Mitchell. 1996. The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press


  1. ^ * Don Mitchell's homepage at Syracuse University
  2. ^ Mitchell, Don (1995). "There's No Such Thing as Culture: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Idea of Culture in Geography". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 20, No. 1. 20 (1): 102–116. doi:10.2307/622727. JSTOR 622727. 
  3. ^ Maxwell Geography Professor Don Mitchell to Receive Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography Award