Brian J. Godfrey

Professor of Geography and Chair of Earth Science and Geography

Brian Godfrey’s interests center on urban and regional change. Brian studies global cities, place-making and public space, race and ethnic geography, memory and heritage, urban political ecology, and global urbanization. Favoring the analytical lens of historical geography, he asks how and why social, spatial, and environmental patterns change over time. For example, what are the causes and consequences of urban redevelopment, immigration, gentrification, historic preservation, ecological restoration, and so on? His scholarship focuses largely on the Americas—particularly the United States, Latin America, and Brazil—while his teaching covers global issues.

BA, Pomona College; MA, PhD, University of California-Berkeley
At Vassar since 1985


Ely Hall
Box 482


GEOG/INTL/URBS 252 Cities of the Global South: Urbanization and Social Change in the Developing World
GEOG 304 Senior Seminar: Issues in Geographic Theory and Method

Selected Publications

Published Books

  • 2021. Preserving Whose City? Place, Memory, Identity. Rowman & Littlefield, 223 p. (ISBN 978-1-5381-3654-6 cloth, 978-1-5381-3662-1, ppk, 978-1-5381-3663-8, eBook). 
  • 2006. Cidades da Floresta: Urbanização, Desenvolvimento, e Globalização da Amazônia Brasileira. Manaus: Editora da Universidade Federal do Amazonas, 384 p. (ISBN 85-7401-183-5; with J.Browder).
  • 1997. Rainforest Cities: Urbanization, Development, and Globalization of the Brazilian Amazon. New York: Columbia University Press, 429 p. (with J.Browder; ISBN 0-231-10654-8 cloth; ISBN 0-231-10655-6 pbk).
  • 1988. Neighborhoods in Transition: The Making of San Francisco’s Ethnic and Nonconformist Communities. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 233 p. (ISBN 0-520-09718-1).

Selected Publications: Articles and Book Chapters

  • 2018. “Remembering Rio: From the Imperial Palace to the African Heritage Circuit.” The City as Power: Urban Space, Place, and National Identity, eds. A. Diener and J. Hagan, Rowman & Littlefield, 105-120.
  • 2016. “Cities of South America.” Cities of the World: Regional Patterns and Urban Environments (6th edition), Roman and Littlefield: 137-186 (with Maureen Hays-Mitchell).
  • 2016. “New Ethnic Landscapes: Place-Making in Urban America.” Contemporary Ethnic Geographies of America, Roman & Littlefield: 59-89.
  • 2013. “Favelas, Urban Renewal, and Guanabara Bay: Environmental Justice and Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro.” Sustainability: A Global Urban Context, Michigan State Univ. Press: 359-388.
  • 2012. “Envisioning Amazonian Frontiers: Place-making in a Brazilian Boomtown.” Journal of Cultural Geography 29, 2: 215-238 (with Sam Thypin-Bermeo).
  • 2012. “Regulating Public Space on the Beachfronts of Rio de Janeiro.” Geographical Review 102, 1: 17-34 (with Olivia M. Arguinzoni).

Recent Professional Papers and Presentations

  • 2018. “Counter-Memory, Race, and Memorialization: African Heritage Sites in New York and Rio de Janeiro.” Paper presented at the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), July 25, 2018.
  • 2018. “Contested Understandings of the World’s Largest Urban Forest.” Paper presented a session on “Trees in the City: Socio-Ecological Interactions in the Urban Forest” at the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans, LA, April 12, 2018.
  • 2017. “Rio’s African Heritage Circuit: Counter-Memory, Race, and Social Justice.” Paper presented in a session on “Race, Place and Violence: Historical and Contemporary Issues” at the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA, April 7, 2017.
  • 2016. “Olympic City: Legacies of Athletic Mega-Events in Rio de Janeiro.” Lecture at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, October 16, 2016.
  • 2016. “Brazil in Crisis: What is Really Going on?” Lecture for the Center For Lifetime Learning, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Sept. 14, 2016.
  • 2014. “Remembering Rio: Historic Place-Making, Memory Brokers, and Brazilian Nationalism.” Paper presented in a session on “Narrating the Nation through Urban Space” at the Association of American Geographers, Tampa, April 9.
  • 2013. “Defensive Ethnic and Immigrant Communities: Responses to Urban Change In San Francisco, New York, and Beyond.” Co-organizer of a panel at the Urban Affairs Association, San Francisco, April 5.

Wendy Graham (wegraham)

  • Critics, Coteries, and Pre-Raphaelite Celebrity, Columbia University Press, 2017.
  • “Henry James and the Lesser of Two Modernisms,” Henry James Review 1 (Winter 2014): 48-59.
  • “Pre-Raphaelite Brothers, Lovers, and the Sister Arts,” in A Companion to British Literature: Volume IV: Victorian and Twentieth-Century Literature 1837-2000. Robert DeMaria Jr., Heesok Chang, and Samantha Zacher (London: John Wiley and Sons, 2014), pp. 107-128.
  • “Social Sciences and the Disciplines,” chapter 29, in Henry James in Context, Ed. David McWhirter (Cambridge UP, 2010), pp. 310-320.
  • “Notes on a Native Son: Henry James’s New York,” American Literary History 2  (Summer 2009): 239-267.
  • “Signifying in The Ivory Tower,” Henry James Review 1 (Winter 2009): 68-74.
  • “Knickerbocker Modernism in ‘Crapy Cornelia’,” Henry James Review 3 (Fall 2008): 236-244.
  • “Growing Up Absurd: The Search for Self in Henry James’s The American,” in A Companion to Henry James, Ed. Greg Zacharias (Blackwell, 2008), pp.51-69.
  • “Pictures for Texts,” Henry James Review 1 (Winter 2003): 1-26.
  • “The Rift in the Loot: Cognitive Dissonance for the Reader of Merchant Ivory’s The Golden Bowl,” Henry James Goes to the Movies, Ed. Susan Griffin (Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 2001), pp.305-332.
  • “Henry James and British Aestheticism,” Henry James Review 3 (Fall 1999): 265-274.
  • Henry James’s Thwarted Love, Stanford University Press, 1999.