Dr John Carr

Dr John Carr

Senior Lecturer

PhD: Geography, University of Washington

Juris Doctor: University of Texas School of Law

B.A.: Philosophy (Honors), Trinity University

Arts, Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

Dr. John Carr is an urban and legal geographer whose work focuses on the intersections of urban geography, law, planning, and human and non-human environments.  In particular, his research seeks to address the questions that can only be answered by bridging the gaps among different disciplines.  Much of his research is based in community-based and participatory methodologies. In addition to his PhD in Geography from the University of Washington he also holds a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. For more than a decade, he practiced law in the areas of civil rights and complex litigation before entering academia.


Morven Brown 363
  • Book Chapters | 2021
    Carr J; Milstein T, 2021, 'Manatees and fossil fuel power plants: The paradox of endangered species laws', in Freedman E; Shipley Hiles S; Sachsman D (ed.), Communicating Endangered Species: Extinction, News, and Public Policy, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003041955-18
    Book Chapters | 2021
    Milstein T; Carr J; Castro Sotomayor J; Thomas M, 2021, 'Rewilding Environmental Communication through Transformative Teaching', in Takahashi B; Metag J; Thaker J; Evans Comfort S (ed.), ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication, Routledge, London, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780367275204-29
    Book Chapters | 2020
    Carr J; Milstein T, 2020, 'Political Identity as Ecocultural Survival Strategy', in Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351068840-19
    Book Chapters | 2020
    Carr J; Milstein T, 2020, 'Political identity as ecocultural survival strategy', in Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, pp. 311 - 332, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351068840-19
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Carr J, 2013, 'Making urban politics go away: the role of legally mandated planning processes in occluding city-level power', in Davidson M; Martin D (ed.), Urban Politics: Critical Approaches, SAGE Publications Limited, pp. 112 - 129, http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526402158.n7
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Carr J, 2011, 'Whose public space? The political geography of skateboarding.', in Brown M; Morrill R (ed.), Seattle Geographies, pp. 97 - 100
    Book Chapters | 2009
    Carr J, 2009, 'Foucault’s archeology and geneology', in Foss K; Littlejohn S (ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, SAGE
    Book Chapters | 2006
    Herbert S; Carr J; Erikson K, 2006, 'The scales of justice: federal-local tensions in the “War on Terror.”', in McGoldrick SK; McArdle S (ed.), Uniform Behavior Police Localism and National Politics, Macmillan, pp. 231 - 253
  • Edited Books | 2020
    Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J, (ed.), 2020, Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351068840
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Milstein T; Sherry C; Carr J; Siebert M, 2024, '“Got to get ourselves back to the garden”: Sustainability transformations and the power of positive environmental communication', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 67, pp. 2116 - 2134, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2023.2197140
    Journal articles | 2023
    Carr J, 2023, 'Legal geographies and ecological invisibility: The environmental myopia of evidence', Geographical Research, 61, pp. 207 - 221, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1745-5871.12572
    Journal articles | 2023
    Milstein T; Thomas MO; Hoffmann J; Carr J, 2023, '“Even I am a Part of Nature”: Unraveling the Human/Nature Binary to Enable Systems Change', Environmental Communication, 17, pp. 421 - 436, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2023.2199946
    Journal articles | 2022
    Carr J; Dionisio R, 2022, 'The prismatic immersion of urban ruins: A framework for the integration of ruins’ multiple geographies in urban regeneration', Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2022.103818
    Journal articles | 2022
    Paudel G; Carr J; Munro PG, 2022, 'Community forestry in Nepal: a critical review', International Forestry Review, 24, pp. 43 - 58, http://dx.doi.org/10.1505/146554822835224810
    Journal articles | 2021
    Carr J; Milstein T, 2021, '“See nothing but beauty”: The shared work of making anthropogenic destruction invisible to the human eye', Geoforum, 122, pp. 183 - 192, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.04.013
    Journal articles | 2018
    Carr J; Milstein T, 2018, 'Keep Burning Coal or the Manatee Gets It: Rendering the Carbon Economy Invisible through Endangered Species Protection', Antipode, 50, pp. 82 - 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/anti.12355
    Journal articles | 2017
    Carr J; Dionisio MR, 2017, 'Flexible spaces as a “third way” forward for planning urban shared spaces', Cities, 70, pp. 73 - 82, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2017.06.009
    Journal articles | 2017
    Carr JN, 2017, 'Skateboarding in dude space: The roles of space and sport in constructing gender among adult skateboarders', Sociology of Sport Journal, 34, pp. 25 - 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2016-0044
    Journal articles | 2016
    Carr J; Dickinson E; McKinnon SL; Chávez KR, 2016, 'Kiva's Flat, Flat World: Ten Years of Microcredit in Cyberspace', Globalizations, 13, pp. 143 - 157, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2015.1062603
    Journal articles | 2016
    Carr J, 2016, 'The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography', Geographical Review, 106, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1931-0846.2015.12116.x
    Journal articles | 2014
    Carr J; Vallor S; Freundschuh S; Gannon WL; Zandbergen P, 2014, 'Hitting the moving target: challenges of creating a dynamic curriculum addressing the ethical dimensions of geospatial data', Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 38, pp. 444 - 454, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2014.936313
    Journal articles | 2014
    Carr J, 2014, 'Introduction: towards a methodology for teaching the ethics of geocoded data privacy', Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 38, pp. 441 - 443, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2014.971402
    Journal articles | 2013
    McKinnon SL; Dickinson E; Carr JN; Chávez KR, 2013, 'Kiva.org, Person-to-Person Lending, and the Conditions of Intercultural Contact', Howard Journal of Communications, 24, pp. 327 - 347, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2013.805983
    Journal articles | 2012
    Carr J, 2012, 'Activist research and city politics: Ethical lessons from youth-based public scholarship', Action Research, 10, pp. 61 - 78, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1476750311414739
    Journal articles | 2012
    Carr J, 2012, 'No Laughing Matter: The Power of Cyberspace to Subvert Conventional Media Gatekeepers', International Journal of Communication, 6, pp. 2825 - 2845, https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/1317/826
    Journal articles | 2012
    Carr J, 2012, 'Public input/elite privilege: The use of participatory planning to reinforce urban geographies of power in seattle', Urban Geography, 33, pp. 420 - 441, http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/0272-3638.33.3.420
    Journal articles | 2010
    Carr J, 2010, 'Legal geographies-skating around the edges of the law: Urban skateboarding and the role of law in determining young Peoples' place in the city', Urban Geography, 31, pp. 988 - 1003, http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/0272-3638.31.7.988
    Journal articles | 2009
    Carr J; Brown E; Herbert S, 2009, 'Inclusion under the law as exclusion from the city: Negotiating the spatial limitation of citizenship in Seattle', Environment and Planning A, 41, pp. 1962 - 1978, http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a41196
    Journal articles | 2005
    Howard PN; Carr JN; Milstein T, 2005, 'Digital technology and the market for political surveillance', Surveillance and Society, 3, pp. 59 - 73, http://dx.doi.org/10.24908/ss.v3i1.3320

Visiting Scholar. University of Tasmania, School of Land and Food. Hobart, Australia. April-July 2016.

Erskine Fellow. University of Canterbury, Department of Geography. Christchurch, New Zealand. February-April 2016.

Outstanding Teacher of the Year. University of New Mexico. Highest pre-tenure university-wide teaching award. 2013


  • Recent Online Videos

    • Making Living Cities.  Unsomnia public scholarship lecture series, UNSW Centre for Ideas. Sept. 7, 2022

    • The Prismatic Geographies of Ruins, with Dr. Daniel Robinson. UNSW School of Humanities & Languages YouTube channel.  Discussing recent urban environmental research for public dissemination of Environment and Society research. May 2020.

    • Skateboarding’s Urban Geographic Context, with Duncan McDuie. Discussing the contexts for Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra’s book “Skateboarding and Urban Landscapes in Asia” (2021)



My Research Supervision

  • Behnaz Avazpour Ph.D. in Planning, University of New South Wales. (Anticipated graduation 2024). Behnaz is studying climate change adaptation through stormwater management in semi-arid cities.


  • Kristyn Glanville Ph.D. in Law, University of New South Wales. (Anticipated graduation 2024). Kristyn is studying the criminology of water theft in Australia.


  • Govinda Paudel, Ph.D. in Arts, Design and Architecture, University of New South Wales. (Anticipated graduation 2022). Govinda is studying the discourses and practices around forestry in Nepal.


  • Han Ayshan, Ph.D. in Arts, Design and Architecture, University of New South Wales. (Anticipated graduation 2021). Han is studying the discourses around law and justice in video game trailers.


  • Denise True, (as Reader) Ph.D. in Arts, Design and Architecture, University of New South Wales. (Anticipated graduation 2021). Denise is studying ways that Traditional Ecological Knowledge might be integrated into Australia’s Environmental Impact Assessment processes.

My Teaching

Frameworks of Environmental Relations & Leadership (IEST5001)

Core seminar for the Master, Graduate Diploma, and Graduate Certificate of Environmental Management, providing overview of the complex social, political, and economic contexts of socioenvironmental issues and inherent benefits and challenges in multidisciplinary approaches to environmental leadership.


Rethinking Environment: Sociocultural Theory (IEST5006)

Core seminar for the Master and Graduate Diploma of Environmental Management, offers a robust set of cutting edge and foundational theoretical approaches for understanding, rethinking, and intervening in the most pressing environmental challenges we face.

Living Cities: Promises & Risks of Urban Environments (IEST6912)

Postgraduate seminar exploring the roles cities can play in driving, exacerbating, and potentially addressing a range of environmental challenges. Exploring promises and risks of urbanism through a variety of lenses, such as socioeconomic class, environmental justice, consumerism, degrowth, and new approaches to urban nature and urban futures.


Urban Environments (ARTS3245)

Undergraduate program recruitment course for the Geography Major contextualising cities as part of wider environmental understandings and concerns, focusing on changes to thinking about urbanism over time.


Environmental Advocacy and Activism (Arts 1241)

Undergraduate program recruitment course for Environmental Humanities exploring a cross-section of theories and tactics for environmental change-making.