Joshua F.J. Inwood

Joshua F.J. Inwood

Joshua F.J. Inwood

Senior Scientist in the Rock Ethics Institute
Professor of Geography
Director of Penn State Lab for Analysis of Culture and Environment (PLACE)
(On sabbatical leave through December 2023)
311 Walker Building


PhD, Geography, University of Georgia
MA, Geography, Kent State University
BA, Geography, Michigan State University
BA, History, Michigan State University


Joshua Inwood is a professor of geography and African American studies and a senior research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia and before coming to Penn State was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee and Auburn University.  

Inwood is committed to understanding the material conditions of peace and justice and is engaged with these concerns through a variety of research and teaching projects. At its heart, his research seeks to understand the social, political, and economic structures that make human lives vulnerable to all manner of exploitation, as well as how oppressed populations use social justice movements to change their material conditions. 

Most recently he has worked on the movement to address human wrongs through truth and reconciliation commissions, specifically the burgeoning truth movement within the United States. This National Science Foundation funded research has engaged with a truth and reconciliation commission that took place in Greensboro, North Carolina, in the late 1990s. 

Other research projects that he has been involved in connecting Civil Rights and labor struggles in the U.S. South following the end of segregation, and the way legacies of racism, violence, and social activism continue to frame contemporary anti-racist struggles. Inwood contributes to the literature on urban spaces, political geographies, justice, and historical, and cultural geographies, as well as others.  

Recently Inwood received the Stanley Brunn Young Scholar Award. The award is given to an individual in honor of contributions that have opened up new areas of inquiry for political geographic research. In 2015 Josh also received the Glenda Laws Award for outstanding contributions to geographic research on social justice issues. 

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