IU Geography alumni Nik Heynen (PhD 2002) was named a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers. The AAG Fellows program that recognizes geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing the discipline. The title of AAG Fellow is confered for life. Dr. Heynen is a Distinguished Research Professor of Geograhy at the University of Georgia.
from the AAG: Dr. Nik Heynen’s sustained and exemplary record of research, mentorship, and service has left an enduring impact on the discipline of geography. Dr. Heynen’s scholarship has been transformational and field-defining in the areas of urban political ecology, abolition geographies and ecologies, and geographies of neoliberalism and racial capitalism. His work theorizes and demonstrates empirically how racialized processes of capitalism, white supremacy, and settler colonialism produce structurally unjust geographies and ecologies. His work centers Black scholars and their scholarship to create a social justice-oriented research agenda that produces not only rigorous, theoretically sophisticated scholarship but also practical, justice-centered work. Dr. Heynen’s scholarship is only surpassed by his commitment to his advocacy for reparations and service within the discipline. Dr. Heynen has served as part of the editorial collective at Antipode and was the founding Chair of the Institute for the Geographies of Justice. He has served as an editor for Annals of the AAG and is the founding editor of the University of Georgia Press book series Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation, as well as a co-founding editor of Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. Dr. Heynen has a long-standing research and service relationship with the Gullah-Geechee community on Sapelo Island, where he frequently returns to support the restoration of traditional agricultural practices. Dr. Heynen’s service shows a sustained commitment to anti-racist, justice-oriented advocacy and action. Despite his over 100 publications, millions of dollars in external grant funding, and abundant service commitments, Dr. Heynen finds time to be a patient, caring, and selfless mentor within the discipline as well. His students have gone on to accept academic positions at some of the most prestigious institutions and departments in geography and are a testament to his caring, supportive, and effective mentorship.