Jeffrey Banister

About Jeffrey Banister

Director, Associate Research Social Scientist, Associate Editor, and Associate Research Professor--Southwest Center, Journal of the Southwest, and the School of Geography and Development.


American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Fellow (2014-2015): The Visual Culture and Politics of Water Control in Mexico City

Political Geography of Megaprojects in Mexico

States and Illegal Geographies

Research Interests

Jeffrey Banister is director of the Southwest Center, where he is also associate editor and research social scientist.  He is associate research professor in the School of Geography and Development.  As associate editor of Journal of the Southwest, he has built on the university’s tradition of collaborative investigation and publication in the social and natural sciences and humanities with Mexican institutions. Much of this includes acquiring, translating, editing, and publishing scholarship from Mexican researchers in an effort to bring critical scholarship in and on Mexico into the English language bibliography.  His research and teaching focus primarily on resource governance and politics in the US-Mexico borderlands, Mexico, and Latin America. His most recent project, in collaboration with UA professor of art history, Dr. Stacie Widdifield, explores the visual culture of water control and provision in Mexico City from the early to middle twentieth century. This is an interdisciplinary investigation of the Mexican capital’s large potable water system constructed at a crucial phase of national modernization. 

Selected Publications

2017.  "The Shifting Geopolitics of Water in the Anthropocene."  Geopolitics 22(2). (With A. Clarke-Sather, B. Crow-Miller, K. Anh Thomas, and S. R. Stephensen).

2016  Building Cities, Constructing Citizens: Sustainable Rural Cities in Chiapas, Mexico.  Journal of Latin American Geography 15(1): 111-131 (V. Soto and J.M. Banister).  DOI: 10.1353/lag.2016.0004

2016  Mexico City’s Xochimilco Potable Water System: History and Visual Culture During the Porfiriato Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Latin American History (J.M. Banister and S.G. Widdifield). DOI:10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.305

2015  Seeing Water in Early-20th Century Mexico City: Henry Wellge’s “Perspective Plan of the City and Valley of Mexico, D.F., 1904-(October 2015) Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM.                    

2015  Introduction to special issue of Territory, Politics, Governance on illicit economies and the geographies of enforcement (J.M. Banister, Geoffrey A. Boyce, and Jeremy Slack).

2015  You and What Army? Violence, the State, and Mexico’s War on Drugs, Territory, Politics, Governance (G.A. Boyce, J.M. Banister, and J. Slack). DOI:10.1080/21622671.2015.1058723

2015   A state of suspended animation: Urban sanitation and water access in Nogales, Sonora, Political Geography (S. Kelly-Richards and J.M. Banister). DOI:10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.04.002

2015  Patria Fugáz: The Troubled Birth of Agrarian Populism on Sonora’s Río Mayo, 1910 to 1934.  Journal of the Southwest 57(1): 104-144 (J.M. Banister)

2014  The Debut of ‘Modern Water’ in Early-20th-Century Mexico: The Xochimilco Potable Waterworks Journal of Historical Geography 46: 36-52 (J.M. Banister and S.G. Widdifield).

2014 Are You Wittfogel or Against Him? Geophilosophy, Hydro - Sociality, and the State.” Geoforum 57: 205-214 (J.M. Banister)

2012  Translation of Deluges of Grandeur: Water, Territory, and Power on the Río Mayo, 1880-1910 (published originally in 2011 in Water Alternatives).  Región y Sociedad 24(3) enero-abril: 11-51.

2012  Towards a ‘New Culture of Water’ on Sonora's Rio Mayo. The Southwestern Geographer Vol. 15: 15-37 (J.M. Banister).

2011  Deluges of Grandeur: Water, Territory, and Power On Northwest Mexico’s Río Mayo, 1880-1910.  Water Alternatives 4(1): 35-53.

2008  The Dilemma of Water Management 'Regionalization' in Mexico under Centralized Resource Allocation. Water Resources Development 24(1) (C.A. Scott and J.M. Banister)

2007  Decentralizing Mexico’s Water Resources: Why History Matters. Sonárida 12(23): 20-23 (J.M. Banister and C.A. Scott),

2007 Stating Space in Modern Mexico. Political Geography 26: 455


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Contact Information

Jeffrey Banister
Director (Southwest Center), Associate Research Social Scientist (continuing status), Editor, and Research Professor
Telephone: 520-621-1031
Fax: 520-621-2889
Office: ENR2 S425


Ph.D. Geography, University of Arizona, 2010

M.A. Latin American Studies, University of Arizona, May 1995

B.S. Criminal Justice, Northern Arizona University, May 1992


Courses Taught

Geog 210--Political and Cultural Geography of Globalization

Geog 250--Environment and Society in the US-Mexico Borderlands

Geog 375--Metropolitan Tucson

Geog 407--The American Landscape

Geog 408--Arizona and the Southwest

Geog 696B--Geographies of State Formation (graduate seminar)