Economics, University College London, BSc
University of Minnesota, MA
University of Minnesota, 1983, PhD


I’ve been mainly pursuing various themes in the history of twentieth-century geography. I’ve worked on the role played during the Second World War of several American geographers especially within the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA). More recently, along with Elliott Child, UBC, we’ve looked directly at the roles of the CIA and geographers in the larger project of Cold War Area Studies. At the same time, I’ve also been interested in a parallel group of German geographers during the same period who worked for the Nazis, particularly, the Haushofers, father and son, Walter Christaller, and August Lösch. An interest in the mid-twentieth geographer William Warntz led me to research early computerization, and followed by an examination of its contemporary manifestation, Big Data. I’ve also been interested in early forms of Big Data during the Vietnam War, including as GIS. Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, was a key promoter. Most recently, I’ve looked at some of geography’s 1960s Vietnam War protestors, as well as those concerned with Civil Rights. The most important was Bill Bunge. I’ve published a series of papers specifically on Bunge’s life and works. I am also involved in a larger project concerned to write about the history of North American radical geography from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s. A jointly edited book with Eric Sheppard, Spatial Histories of North American Radical Geography, is in preparation, due out in 2019. In early 2018 I published an experimental textbook in economic geography with Brett Christophers, Economic Geography: A Critical Introduction. And finally, I continue to work with Tom Hutton, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC, on the innovation economies of Vancouver and Seattle, recently writing briefing papers for Metrovancouver Planning Department.

Honours: Distinguished University Scholar, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Fellow of the British Academy.


CLAYTON, D. and BARNES, T.J. 2015 ‘Continental European Geographers and World War II’ Journal of Historical Geography 47, 11-15

BARNES, T.J. and ABRAHAMSSON, C. 2015 ‘Tangled complicities and moral struggles: the Haushofers, father and son, and the spaces of Nazi geopolitics’ Journal of Historical Geography 47, 64-73



BARNES, T.J. 2014 ‘What’s old is new, and new is old: History and geography’s quantitative revolutions’ Dialogues in Human Geography 4(1), 50-53

BARNES, T.J. 2014 ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore. A response to Joel Wainwright’s Geopiracy’ Human Geography 7(3), 65-69

BARNES, T.J. and WILSON, M. 2014 ‘Big Data, Social Physics, and Spatial Analysis: The Early Years’ Big Data & Society 1(1), 1-14

PECK, J. and BARNES, T.J. 2014 ‘Introduction: Dispatches from the Fifth Summer Institute in Economic Geography’ The Professional Geographer 66(1), 1-3

BARNES, T.J. 2014 ‘Cordon bleu filling. Author meets critics symposium: Verena Conley’s Spatial Ecologies’ Progress in Human Geography 38(1), 161-163



BARNES, T.J. and MINCA, C. 2013 ‘Nazi Spatial Theory: The Dark Geographies of Carl Schmitt and Walter Christaller’ Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103(3), 669-687

BARNES, T.J. 2013 ‘Folder 5, Box 92’ Social and Cultural Geography 14(7), 784-791

BARNES, T.J. 2013 ‘Big data, little history’ Dialogues in Human Geography 3(3), 297-302

BARNES, T.J. 2013 ‘What Regional Studies Might Have Been: Cold War American Social Science’ Regional Studies 47(3), 461-464



HAYTER, R. and BARNES, T.J. 2012 ‘Neo-liberalization and Its Geographical Limits: Comparative Reflections from Forest Peripheries in the Global North’ Economic Geography 88(2), 197-221

BARNES, T.J. 2012 ‘Notes from the Underground: Why the History of Economic Geography Matters: The Case of Central Place Theory’ Economic Geography 88(1), 1-26

BARNES, T.J. 2012 ‘Remembrance of Things Past. A reply to Allen Scott’ Economic Geography 88(1), 33-36



SHEPPARD, E. and BARNES, T.J. 2011 ‘Can error statistical theory include everything that matters?’ Progress in Human Geography 35(4), 573-575

BARNES, T.J. 2011 ‘This is like déjà vu all over again’ The Professional Geographer 63(3), 332-336

BARNES, T.J. and HEYNEN, N. 2011 ‘A classic in human geography: William Bunge’s (1971) Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution’ Progress in Human Geography 35(5), 712-715



BARNES, T.J. and SHEPPARD, E.S. 2010 ‘”Nothing includes everything”: Towards engaged pluralism in Anglophone economic geography’ Progress in Human Geography 34, 193-214

BARNES, T.J. 2010 ‘Taking the pulse of the dead’ Progress in Human Geography 34, 668-677

Winter 2018

GEOG122 Geography, Modernity and Globalization Sections

The human geography of the modern world since 1945: global interdependence in economic geography, geopolitics, and cultural geography; consequences of modernization, including demography, urbanization and environmental effects; regional case studies; reactions to modernization.

Winter 2018

GEOG361 Introduction to Economic Geography Sections

History and methods of economic geography. Location of resource industries, manufacturing, and service activities with emphasis on British Columbia in its North American and world setting. Recommended for students with no previous exposure to Economic Geography, before taking other courses in the 36x and 46x series.

Winter 2018

GEOG545A Topics in Human Geography - TOPS HUMAN GEOG Sections