Transportation and Infrastructure; Sustainable Planning; Animal Geographies and Transport Animals; Forest-Based Livelihoods; Social Movements and Rebellions; Cartography. Myanmar (Burma); Northeast India; US Northeastern Cities
My research employs critical theories of power and resistance to look at the evolving geographies of transportation and mobility systems. Recently, my research has brought me to Myanmar (Burma) and to Arunachal Pradesh, India, to look at the use of trained elephants for transportation in forested areas. I’ve also written about the politicized decline of canal transport in Britain, Ireland and Canada, and about the relationship between urban deindustrialization and urban transportation planning in New York City during the mid-20th century. My research frequently makes use of qualitative mapping techniques and thematic geovisualization. I collect and write about paper maps, especially those that portray relationships between landscape, mobility, and power in inventive, stimulating or provocative ways.
Shell, J. (2019). Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants. New York: W.W. Norton.
Shell, J. (2019), “The Enigma of the Asian Elephant: Sovereignty, Reproductive Nature, and the Limits of Empire.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109 (4), 1154-1171.
Shell, J. (2019), “Verkehr, or, Subversive Mobility: Recovering Radical Transportation Geographies from Language,” Human Geography 11 (3), 11-29. PDF here.
Shell, J. (2018), “Elephant Convoys Beyond the State: Animal-Based Transport as Subversive Logistics.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Online copy published, page assignment pending.
Shell, J. (2017), “Mapping the Geography in Karl Marx’s Capital,” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Map PDF link.
Shell, J. (2015), “When Roads Cannot Be Used: The Use of Trained Elephants for Emergency Logistics, Off-Road Conveyance, and Political Revolt in South and Southeast Asia.” Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 5(2), 62-80. PDF here.
Shell, J. (2014). “Elephant States.” n+1 volume 18. 127-144.
Shell, J. (2010), “Innovation, Labor and Gridlock: The Unbuilt Freight Plan for Manhattan’s Geography of Production.” Journal of Planning History 9(1), 3-20. PDF link.
2019. "Vadological Transportation: Elephants, Horses, and other Fording Animals in Times of Flood." Delivered to the Hansa to Lufthansa Conference at University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK.
2018:“The Question of ‘Chenango’ Labor: World War I, Urban Class Conflict, and the Re-Planning of Freight Flows in New York City.” Delivered to The American Association of Geographers Conference, New Orleans.
2017: “Working Elephants, Mahouts, and Roadless Transport Labor in the Indo-Burmese Borderlands.” Delivered to the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
2017: “Burma’s Unique Population of Trained Elephants: Conservation and Co-production of Mobility.” Delivered to The American Association of Geographers Conference, Boston.
2016. “Transport Animals and Subversive Mobility.” States of Circulation Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2016. “Animal Mobilities and Scrambled Maps: Creative Cartography and Mapping Geography Which Is ‘Hard to Map.’” Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, San Francisco, USA.
2016. Discussant for “Interrogating the Anthropocene in the Himalayan Region: Hazards, Infrastructure, and Environmental Justice.” Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, San Francisco, USA.
2015. “How to Get Around in Zomia: Human-Elephant Mobilities Beyond the State.” Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, Chicago, USA.
2015. Chair and Organizer of “Geographies of Zomia: Implications of James C. Scott’s Art of Not Being Governed for Geographic Research and Knowledge” Paper Session. Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, Chicago, USA.
2015. “Transportation and Revolt.” Border Sessions, The Hague, The Netherlands.
2014. “Coproduction of Human-Elephant Mobilities in Southeast Asia.” Annual Royal Geographical Society Conference, London UK.
2012. Chair and Co-Organizer (with Kafui Attoh) of “Placing Justice and Struggle in Transportation Studies” Paper Session. Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, New York City, USA.
GUS 2002 Space and Place
GUS 5159 Geographic Inquiry
GUS/ENST 3307, GUS 5307 Transportation and Culture
GUS/ENST 3061, GUS 5061 Fundamentals of Cartography