UMass Amherst

Professor of Geography

B.A., Smith College, 1968

Ph.D., Clark University, 1984

  • Rethinking economy and economic dynamics
  • Diverse economies/community economies
  • Alternative economic development practice in the US, Australia and the Asia Pacific region
  • Economic subjectivity and politcs

Research Interests

My current work involves rethinking economy and re-visioning economic development. With my collaborators, I draw on political economy, poststructuralist theory, feminism, and ongoing community-based research to pursue three major research directions:

  • Producing a language of the diverse economy that highlights the variety of transactions, forms of labor, class relations, types of enterprise, ecological relationships, and development dynamics in contemporary economies
  • Generating narratives, models and projects of non-capitalist and alternative capitalist development
  • Constructing and strengthening community economies in place through local action research.

Much of my writing is done under the pen name of J.K. Gibson-Graham, which I share with my longtime collaborator and research partner, Katherine Gibson. Our first book The End of Capitalism (as we knew it) was published in 1996. Currently we are writing a “sequel” entitled Reluctant Subjects: Ethics and Emotions for a Post-capitalist Politics, to be completed by the end of 2004.

Major Research Projects

The Community Economies Project 

Ongoing umbrella project involving Katherine Gibson, Jenny Cameron, Stephen Healy, Ken Byrne, Anasuya Weil and others in the US and Australia. For information see

Lives and Livelihoods in the Community Economy

Interview project focused on hidden, alternative, informal and community-creating economic activity. Products include a book of interviews on the model of Studs Terkel’s Working. With Ken Byrne, Stephen Healy and Anasuya Weil.

Constructing the Community Economy in the Face of Globalization

Focuses on alternative models of development in both wealthy and poor countries, highlighting the strategies of marshalling surplus and creating well-being directly, rather than through the circuitous path of capitalist industrialization. With Stephen Healy and Katherine Gibson.

Inventing the Enterprise: Markets as Sites of Political Engagement and Economic Subjectivation (2004-2005)

Research Fellowship at the International Center for Advanced Study, New York University. The fellowship project will document and theorize six alternative capitalist and non-capitalist enterprise complexes (including groups of worker cooperatives) located in Spain, India, Argentina, the US, and Italy.

Rethinking Economy: Envisioning Alternative Regional Futures (1999-2001)

Poststructuralist action research on the hidden and alternative economies in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. Involved more than 25 community-based and academic researchers. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

Women and the Politics of Place

Ongoing project involving 20+ activists and academics worldwide. The goal is to make visible and foster the development of a globally emergent form of feminist politics. Coordinated by Arturo Escobar and Wendy Harcourt of the Society for International Development and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Key Publications

2004 J.K. Gibson-Graham, Reluctant Subjects: Ethics and Emotions for a Post-capitalist Politics (in progress).

2003 J.K. Gibson-Graham “Enabling ethical economies: cooperativism and class” Critical Sociology 29(2): 123-61.

2003 J. Cameron and J.K. Gibson-Graham “Feminising the economy: metaphors, strategies, politics” Gender, Place and Culture 10(2): 145-57.

2002 J. Graham, S. Healy and K. Byrne “Constructing the community economy: civic professionalism and the politics of sustainable regions” Journal of Appalachian Studies 8(1): 49-60.

2001 Community Economies Collective “Imagining and enacting noncapitalist futures” Socialist Review 28 (3 +4): 93-135.

2001 J.K. Gibson-Graham, S. Resnick and R. Wolff (eds) Re/Presenting Class: Essays in Postmodern Marxism. Durham: Duke University Press.

2000 J.K. Gibson-Graham, S. Resnick and R. Wolff (eds) Class and Its Others. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

1996 J. K. Gibson-Graham, The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Recent Courses Taught


GEO 102 The Human Landscape 

GEO 360 Economic Geography 

GEO 494G Economic Alternatives


GEO 660 Rethinking Economy

GEO 792G Community/Economy

GEO 792G Subjectivity/Economy


faculty / adjunct faculty & post-docs / grad students / staff / alumni
© 2004 University of Massachusetts Amherst / Site Policies / UMass system
This site is maintained by the Department of Geosciences