Kevin E. McHugh

Associate Professor
(480) 965-3510
COOR 5590


Kevin McHugh is a cultural geographer with interests in geographical thought and theory.  His research advances understandings of space, place, landscape, and movement as fundamental in making, remaking, and imagining worlds.    

Kevin’s research pushes new ways in thinking, sensing, and experiencing geographies.  His ongoing project, a thermal imaginary, draws on infrared photography and imaging in a series of experimental encounters in sensing and rethinking bodies, objects, spaces and places as thermal intensities.  This work challenges anthropocentric modes in sensing, thinking, and being, opening up attunements to the vibrancy of matter and life, with implications for understanding intensities and forces—global warming, urban heat islands, environmental injustice—as expressive forms of geopower.  In a related stream of work, Kevin draws on film and critical aesthetics in cultivating a phenomenology of human and more-than-human geographies.  Kevin seeks to create new ‘mappings’ of affective atmospheres in contributing to a geophilosophy and ethics in which all bodies, objects, and things matter.  

Kevin teaches broadly at the undergraduate and graduate levels, serves as disciplinary faculty in the Barrett Honors College, and mentors doctoral students in Geography and the Environmental Social Science Ph.D. program in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.  Kevin served as Associate Director in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, 2011-2014.

Research Interests

Geographical thought and theory, cultural geographies, senses and the city, phenomenology, non-representational theory, object-oriented ontology, cinematic and posthuman geographies

Additional Affiliation(s)

Faculty, PhD program in Environmental Social Science, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Honors Disciplinary Faculty, Barrett, The Honors College

Awards and Honors

SGSUP nominee for the Zebulon Pearce Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2011

ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year Award Nominee: 2003, 2004, 2006

Selected Publications


Ann Fletchall, Chris Lukinbeal and Kevin McHugh. 2012. Place, Television, and the Real Orange County. Stuttgart, Germany: Franz Steiner Verlag

McIntyre, N., D. Williams and K. McHugh, eds. 2006. Multiple Dwelling and Tourism: Negotiating Place, Home and Identity. Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing,.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Warren S.D., K. McHugh, J. Roehner. Forthcoming. After the Crossing: Affective Afterlives of Found Objects in the Sonoran Desert Borderlands, Journal of the Southwest.

McHugh K. Forthcoming. Touch at a Distance —Toward a Phenomenology of Film, GeoJournal special issue in Media Geographies.

Kitson J.L. and K. McHugh. 2014. Historic Enchantments—Materializing Nostalgia, Cultural Geographies. DOI: 10.1177/1474474014549946.

McHugh, K. and Fletchall, A. 2012. Festival and the Laughter of Being. Space and Culture 15(4).

Katz, S. and K. McHugh. 2010. Age, Meaning, and Place: Cultural Narratives and Retirement Communities. In Guide to Humanistic Studies in Aging, eds. T. Cole, R. Ray, and R. Kastenbaum, 271-292.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

McHugh, K. 2009. Movement, Memory, Landscape: An Excursion in Non-Representational Thought. GeoJournal. 74 (3): 209-218.

McHugh, K. and A. M. Fletchall. 2009. Memento Mori: The Death of Youngtown. The Professional Geographer.  61 (1): 21-35.

McHugh, K. 2007. Un-poetically "Man" Dwells, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 6 (2): 258-277.

McHugh, K. 2007. Generational Consciousness and Retirement Communities, Population, Space and Place.  13: 293-306.

Courses Taught


Introduction to Human Geography
Social Geography
Journey Stories: People and Place in Motion (icourse)
Landscape, Place, and Memory (Barrett Honors College)
Qualitative Research Methods
Geographic Research Methods


Contemporary Geographic Thought
Geographic Perspectives on Landscape
Culture, Society, and Place
Qualitative Research Methods


1984 - Ph.D. (Geography) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1977 - M.A. (Geography) Arizona State University
1976 - B.S. (Geography) Pennsylvania State University