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. Much of my scholarship has focused on urban renewal in Addis Ababa amid Ethiopia’s rapid urbanization. I am now working on two new projects situated closer to the Macalester campus. One is a research project on legacies of county-administered poor farms in Minnesota. I want this work, still in its infancy, to be shaped by public engagements and also the archival research of Mac students. My other main contribution right now is to a collaborative study of critical pedagogy headed by the geographer Tiffany Grobelski at Gustavus Adolphus College.

For this academic year, I’ll be offering World Urbanization (GEOG 243) and Geography of Africa (GEOG 261) in the Fall. In the spring, I’ll be offering more topically-oriented courses: Human Geography of Global Issues (GEOG 111), Race, Place and Space (GEOG 250), and a special topic course inspired by legal geographies (GEOG 394).

As to my own training, I draw on an interdisciplinary background and qualitative skill set. I earned a PhD in Geography at the University of Washington, where I also worked in the Department of Law, Societies and Justice and in the African Studies Program. My “come to geography” moment came about while researching housing rights for my MA degree in International Human Rights Law at the American University in Cairo. At Grinnell College, I earned a BA in Philosophy and gained much from the opportunity to study abroad in Zimbabwe.

I live in Minneapolis with my wife, Krista, and our toddler, Soren. I welcome any inquiries regarding my work, collaborations, upcoming courses, etc.


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.