Kevon Rhiney

Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), the Department of African American Studies, and the Department of Anthropology
Term 2023-2024
Department of African American Studies and Department of Anthropology

Kevon Rhiney holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica). He is currently an Associate Professor of Human-Environment Geography at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. He is also a past recipient of a British Commonwealth Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.

Rhiney’s research investigates the development and justice implications of global environmental change in the Caribbean, particularly the ways socio-ecological shocks are unevenly experienced by historically marginalized communities. His work specifically attends to events labelled as crises, exploring how these events (ranging from climate extremes, market volatilities to novel crop diseases) are made worse by underlying and historically contingent political-economic forces, but more importantly, how these forces are constantly being contested through the everyday struggles of vulnerable communities. Current research reflects new and growing interest in exploring the ways recent natural disasters in the Caribbean and the ensuing recovery efforts have become intertwined with underlying issues of uneven development, inequality, and ongoing post/colonial struggles. His work aligns with the growing interdisciplinary field of critical disaster studies that attend to the ways in which natural disasters are often socially produced and how the responses to these events are inherently political and contested.

While at Princeton, Kevon will be teaching and spearheading several initiatives that reflect his ongoing work and interest in the GeoHumanities. This will include a series of public-facing seminars and specialized courses. In Fall 2023 he will co-organize a half-day symposium that will explore the ecological and justice implications of resource extraction, including new forms of global conservation efforts that are premised on the commodification and financialization of non-human nature (e.g., forests, seagrass, shellfish etc.) as planetary-scale solutions to a range of global environmental crises. The symposium will bring together scholars, environmental activists and thought leaders from across North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, working at the intersection of climate, conservation ecology, and environmental justice. The symposium will serve as a critical space to begin envisioning alternative futures built around ideas of just transitions, insurgent knowledge and a post-extractivist world.   

Kevon’s research has been supported by a range of funding agencies including the Leverhulme Trust, Green Climate Fund, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His work has been published in a number of interdisciplinary journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Annual Review of Environment and Resources (ARER), Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Geoforum, and World Development. Various aspects of his research have also been featured in the print media, including the New York Times, Irish Times, and the National Post (Canada). 

In Fall 2023, Kevon will be teaching a course titled “Neoliberal Natures: Society, Justice and Environmental Futures.”