Mary Mostafanezhad, Faculty, Department of Geography, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Mary Mostafanezhad

Associate Professor
Office: Saunders 415
Telephone: 1 (808) 956-0653

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I am a human geographer broadly interested in understanding the role popular geopolitical discourses play in contemporary forms of market-based environmentalism, humanitarianism and development interventions. My research examines the implications of these practices through the theoretical lenses of critical geopolitics, political ecology and cultural studies across four contexts: 1) tourism; 2) agro-food initiatives; 3) international development and humanitarianism; and 4) transboundary environmental governance. Through ethnographic research, I highlight connections between popular culture, tourism and socio-economic and environmental change and how these transformations mediate everyday geopolitical experience in the Asia-Pacific region.


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2011
  • MS, Anthropology, University of Oregon, 2005
  • BA, Anthropology & Communication, Washington State University, 2003


  • GEOG 102: World Regional Geography
  • GEOG 330: Culture and Environment
  • GEOG 425: Geographies of Popular Culture
  • GEOG 6XX: Political Ecology
  • GEOG 610: Cultural Geographies of Tourism
  • GEOG 7XX: Research Methods in Human Geography
  • GEOG 757: Research Seminar: Cultural Geography


Bridging cultural, political and economic geography, my current research moves into new interdisciplinary terrain through an integrative study of tourism, development and socio-environmental change across two distinct geographic sites. In mainland Southeast Asia, I examine the political ecology of transboundary haze and environmental governance and the interrelated livelihoods of agriculturalist and tourism practitioners in the region. This project engages with emerging scholarship on cross-border environmental politics, tourism development and agrarian transitions. In Hawai‘i, my work considers the value and viability of agro-food initiatives and contextualizes these agendas within the broader shifting political economy of agriculture in the state.