Visiting Assistant Professor
urban, political, Africa

Carnegie 104d FA 2021 / Carnegie 106 SP 2022


Curriculum Vitae

I am an urban and political geographer with substantive interests in governance, development and infrastructure both material and social. My longer-standing research project examines how Ethiopia’s planners deal with the social, political and technical challenges during rapid urbanization. Recently, I have also begun a new archival project on the relationships of county-run poor farms in Minnesota to welfarism and settler colonialism. While the projects differ in some key respects, they each ground the governance of social class within a place-based approach.

In Spring of 2023, I am offering two courses. One is a project-based special topics course, Unearthing the Poor Farm: Local geographies of land, law and livelihoods (GEOG 394). The other, Race, Place and Space (GEOG 250/AMST 250), is a discussion-based course that balances local encounters with broader national and global geographies.

I live in Minneapolis with my wife, Krista, and our son, Soren.

Project Website

Selected Publications

Grobelski, Tiffany, Versluis, Anna, and McClelland, Jesse (2023) Discovering Geography through Doing Geography: Project-Based Learning in an Introductory Undergraduate World Geography Course Journal of Geography.Pre-print edition available.

McClelland, Jesse (2020) “Planning for ‘Renaissance’: Vanguard urbanism in Addis Ababa” In Lisa B. Welch Drummond and Douglas Young (Eds.), Socialist and Post-Socialist Urbanisms: Critical Reflections from a Global Perspective Toronto: Toronto University Press, 153-167.

McClelland, Jesse (2017) “Urban expansion leads to friction among regions in Ethiopia” In Tau Tavengwa and Léonie Newhouse (Eds.), “The Corridor” (Special Issue of Cityscapes Magazine in association with Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity), 7-8. Download this special issue here.

McClelland, Jesse (2016) “Situating the Excessive City: Social and material infrastructures of Addis Ababa” In Helawie Sewnet (Ed.) Building Ethiopia II: Innovations and Development Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (Addis Ababa University / Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule–Zürich), 32-39.


PhD, Geography, University of Washington
MA, International Human Rights Law, American University in Cairo
BA, Philosophy, Grinnell College