Carrie Mott, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Current Projects

My research interests center on questions of space and power. Our everyday spaces are human constructions, subject to the decisions made by people who occupied powerful positions in the past. In much of my teaching, research, and publication, I work to understand how those in marginalized social positions are forced to navigate spaces constructed by people who sought to exclude them.

I have carried out archival research through several institutions in the US Pacific Northwest, including the US National Archives, Washington State University, The University of Washington, and the Yakima Valley Museum. I look at the role played by reclamation infrastructure in the ongoing process of settler colonialism in the Intermountain US West, particularly in the arid lands of the Columbia River Basin. Through this work, I show how the dispossession of Columbia Basin Native American tribes from their lands and access to water is directly tied to US federal government strategies aiming to increase white settlement of the inland Pacific Northwest and to ensure that whites held power and access to wealth accumulation. Federal reclamation projects such as dams and irrigation systems played a significant part in that process.

Since coming to UofL in 2018, I’ve carried out considerable archival research with UofL’s Archives and Special Collections Library. This work is focused on the racial history of Louisville, with a particular emphasis on Black history and Louisville’s civil rights movement. My research with UofL Archives and Special Collections plays a part in the classes I teach (especially in GEOG 324: Race and Place and GEOG 305: Historical Geography) as well as through scholarship, such as in Uncovering Racial Logics, an educational website I co-created with UofL colleagues.

I am also very interested in questions of citation, authority, and knowledge production in Geography, something I’ve written about with Daniel Cockayne (University of Waterloo). Ordinary academic practices such as citation, research methodology, and publication constitute a politics in themselves which ultimately elevate the voices of some while marginalizing others.

Find my publications through, ResearchGate, or by sending me a request via email.

Research Interests

Political Geography
Historical Geography
Feminist Epistemologies
Race in the United States
Settler Colonialism
The US West


GEOG 200 Human Geography in a Changing World
GEOG 300 Globalization and Diversity
GEOG 324 Race and Place
GEOG 305 Historical Geography
GEOG 340 Environmental Conflicts in the United States