DeWitt Wallace Professor of Geography
Africa, political ecology, tropical agriculture, environment and development policy, and livelihood security
Carnegie Hall, 104d
Follow Professor Moseley on Twitter at twitter.com/WilliamGMoseley
TEACHING PORTFOLIO AND PHILOSOPHY
I am a human-environment and development geographer teaching courses on: introductory human geography; people, agriculture and the environment; Africa; development and underdevelopment; and a senior seminar on environment and development studies. In most of my courses I try to accomplish at least three goals: 1) to hone students’ skills as critical thinkers via reading, discussion and writing; 2) to foster geographic thinking and analysis through careful examination of spatial patterns of human processes, human-environment interactions, and connections between places and regions; and 3) to stimulate greater interest in understanding the world geographically. I am particularly concerned that my students be exposed to a variety of view points on any given issue, that they learn to analyze and deconstruct these view points, and that they go on to engage key questions and construct compelling arguments of their own.
I have research interests in political ecology, tropical agriculture, environment and development policy, and livelihood security. Most of my fieldwork has been undertaken in West and Southern Africa. My research over the past several years has fallen into three general categories: 1) analysis of the interaction between broader scale political economy and local human-environment interactions (or political ecology); 2) livelihood security, famine early warning and hunger; and 3) the environmental dimensions of modern and traditional agriculture. I also have ten years of practical experience in the field of international development as a project manager and policy analyst for organizations such as Save the Children (UK), The World Bank Environment Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Peace Corps. Much of this on-the-ground policy and program experience informs my research and teaching. As I do have an interest in real world policy, one of my hobbies is writing op-eds and articles for the popular press.
2022 Macalester College Thomas Jefferson Award Recipient
Inaugural lecture as DeWitt Wallace Chair: “Decolonizing African Agriculture: Food Security, Agroecology and the Need for Radical Transformation” https://vimeo.com/752675319
Video of live public conversation with former Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg & former student Julia Morgan. Big Questions Seattle: How Will We Sustainably Feed Nine Billion People in 2050? January 31, 2019. Seattle, WA.
MacTalks: How to make West African peanut sauce. My one and only cooking video.
Professor Moseley has led study abroad programs for Macalester in South Africa, Botswana and India.
- Macalester-Swarthmore-Pomona South Africa Study Abroad Program in Cape Town. “Poverty, development, multiracial politics, a breathtaking natural environment: they all come together in a unique study abroad program that seeks to prepare students for global citizenship.” [From Macalester Today Summer 2006]
- ACM Botswana’s University Immersion in Southern Africa Program. [Details]
- GEOG 113: World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization
- GEOG 232: People, Agriculture & the Environment (same as ENVI 232)
- GEOG 243: Geography of Africa: Local Resources and Livelihoods in a Global Context
- GEOG 363: The Geography of Development and Underdevelopment
- GEOG 477: Comparative Environment and Development Studies: A Seminar in Cultural and Political Ecology (same as ENVI 477)
Links for Geography course syllabi can be found on our Course Syllabi page.