MacArthur Fellows Program

Donald M. Mitchell

Cultural Geographer | Class of 1998

Cultural Geographer
Syracuse, New York
37 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1998

About Don's Work

Don Mitchell is a cultural geographer with interdisciplinary interests in the fields of labor, labor history, landscape, and social justice.

Mitchell's work blends agricultural studies with original archival research on immigration, illustrating how landscape is frequently a social construction influenced by human labor. In his writings, he examines the impact of human intervention on topology, as well as how conflict among different groups determines the contours and characteristics of the world. Mitchell's book, The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape (1996), explores agricultural migrant labor and labor conditions, and demonstrates their impact on the shaping of the early-twentieth-century, rural California landscape. He is also the author of Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (2000) and The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (2003). His articles have appeared in journals such as Urban Geography, the Social Text, and Historical Geography.


Mitchell is a professor and chair of the Department of Geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Prior to this appointment, he taught at the University of Colorado (1992-97).

Mitchell received a B.A. (1987) from San Diego State University, an M.S. (1989) from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. (1992) from Rutgers University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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