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Schnell, Steven M.

Schnell, Steven M.

Graduate Center 103
  • Background Information
    I am a Professor of Geography at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where I teach courses in cultural geography, the power of place, globalization, the geography of the US and Canada, the geography of Sub-Saharan Africa, the geography of Pennsylvania, and Geography Senior Seminar. I obtained all my degrees from the University of Kansas. My current research interests focus on the creation of local economies in an age of globalization, with an emphasis on sustainable, local agriculture. I am also undertaking a new study of the role and depiction of place and place identity in graphic novels and comics.
  • Biography
    Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, I have lived in Kutztown since starting at KU in 2002. I also play cello in the KU Symphony Orchestra.
  • Course Regularly Taught
    GEG 020 - Elements of Cultural Geography
    GEG 110 - Geography of the United States and Canada
    GEG 112 - Geography of Pennsylvania
    GEG 120 - Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa
    GEG 225 - Spaces of Globalization
    GEG 380 - Senior Seminar in Geography
    FYS 100 - The Power of Place
  • Degrees
    Ph.D - University of Kansas, Geography, 1998
    MA - University of Kansas, Geography, 1994
    BA - University of Kansas, Geography and English, 1992
  • Publications
    Editor, Journal of Cultural Geography (since 2017)
    Editor, The Geographical Bulletin (2005-2017)

    2018. Exploring Place Attachment and the Immigrant Experience in Comics and Graphic Novels: Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. In: Jeffrey Smith, ed. Explorations in Place Attachment. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 97-113.

    2016. Localism and Food and Nutrition Security. In: Bill Britchard, Meera Shekar, and Rodomiro Ortiz, eds., Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security, pp. 349-367. New York: Routledge.

    2014. Microbreweries, Place, and Identity in the United States. In: Mark W. Patterson and Nancy Hoalst-Pullen, eds. The Geography of Beer: Regions, Environment, and Societies, pp. 167-187. First author, with Joseph F. Reese. Amsterdam: Springer.

    2013. Food Miles, Local Eating, and Community Supported Agriculture: Putting Local Food in its Place. Agriculture and Human Values 30(4): 615-628.

    2013. You Gotta Know the Territory: The Work of James “Pete” Shortridge (So Far). Introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Geography honoring the work of cultural geographer James R. Shortridge. Journal of Cultural Geography 30(1): 1-5. First author, with John Patrick Hardy and L. Scott Deaner.

    2013. Deliberate Identities: Becoming Local in a Global Age. For a special issue of the
    Journal of Cultural Geography honoring the work of cultural geographer James R. Shortridge. Journal of Cultural Geography 30(1): 55-89.

    2011. The Local Traveler: Food and Place in State and Provincial Tourism Guides, 1993-2008. Journal of Cultural Geography 28(2): 281-309.

    2007. Food With a Farmer’s Face: Community-Supported Agriculture in the United States, Geographical Review 97(4): 550-564.

    2007/8. Cyber-Trashing the Third World. The Sylvanian (PA Chapter of Sierra Club newsletter, circulation 30,000) November 2007-February 2008: 18-19. Available online at: [http://pennsylvania.sierraclub.org/PA_Chapter_2008/Conservation/Sustainability/Cyber-trashing-the-third-world.html].

    2007. Genuine America, in The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia, eds. Richard Sisson, Christian Zacher, and Andrew Cayton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2000 words (pp. 69-71).

    2004. Pattonsburg is Dead, Long Live Pattonsburg: Sense of Place in the Face of Disaster. Middle States Geographer 37: 9-18. First author, with Gregory Haddock.

    2004. Old West and New West in Garden Park, Colorado. Montana: The Magazine of Western History 54(4): 32-47. First author, with Curtis Sorensen, Soren Larsen, Matthew Dunbar, and Erin McGrogan.

    2004. Hex Signs and Pennsylvania Barns, in Geography of the Philadelphia Region: Cradle of Democracy, ed. Percy H. Dougherty. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Geographers (pp. 79-86).

    2004. Philadelphia’s Cultural Geographies, AAG Newsletter 39(1):1, 4.

    2003. Microbreweries as Tools of Local Identity, Journal of Cultural Geography 21(1): 45-70. First author, with Joseph F. Reese.

    2003. Creating Narratives of Place and Identity in “Little Sweden, U.S.A.”, Geographical Review 93(1): 1-29.

    2003. The Ambiguities of Authenticity in Little Sweden, U.S.A., Journal of Cultural Geography 20(2): 43-68.

    2002. The Making of Little Sweden, U.S.A., Great Plains Quarterly 22(1): 3-21.

    2001. The Kiowa Homeland in Oklahoma, in Homelands in the United States: A Geography of Culture and Place Across America, eds. Richard Nostrand and Lawrence Estaville. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press (pp. 139-154).

    2000. The Kiowa Homeland in Oklahoma, Geographical Review 90(2): 155-176.
  • Research Interests
    My research may at first glance appear eclectic – my publications include papers about Swedes, Kiowas, microbreweries, flooded Midwestern towns, and sustainable agriculture, among others. However, there is a common thread that runs through most of my work – understanding how people become psychologically rooted in place, the ways that they derive their identity from place, and how people intentionally maintain or establish their place’s distinctiveness. In the face of increasingly homogenized popular, global, and corporate culture, many people want to move away from what geographer Ed Relph has called “placelessness” – where places become more and more alike – and are willing to take action to make it happen. The term for this return to the local is “neolocalism.” I have long been interested in the ways that people attempt to make their places distinctive, and how their identities become intertwined with the places they live. My current research examines the strategies used by communities to create more viable local economies in the face of increasing globalization. I am also editor of the Journal of Cultural Geography.