Rebecca A. Sheehan
Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator
I am a cultural historical geography, specializing in critically examining public spaces. My scholarship is based in qualitative inquiry and informed by a range of theoretical perspectives including, for example, feminism (especially performativity and intersectionality), actor network theory, and critical race theory. Most of my work has centered on New Orleans’s public spaces, where I have explored, for example, identity, inclusion and exclusion, homelessness, and increasingly memorialization, particularly concerning impacts and opportunities related to minority and underrepresented groups.
Recently, I have examined Confederate monument removal as well as ideas of regenerative memorialization. I will expand this research trajectory, concerning memory-work, in the U.S. South, particularly relating to regenerative memorialization, gender, and public spaces.
As a teacher-scholar, I work to engage students through a variety methods (e.g. discussion, expository essays, storytelling, spoken word, lectures) and media (e.g. documentaries, song, podcasts, TedTalks, popular books) of diverse sociocultural geographies, incorporating my own research when appropriate. My teaching fosters student development in critical thinking and spatial skills that may be applied to their personal and professional lives.
As a mentor to graduate students, I work closely with students as they develop and conduct their research projects, including sharpening their methodological, theoretical, and writing skills.