Matthew Farish

Associate Professor
Sidney Smith, Room 5040


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

The US militarization of the planet; landscape, environment, and the Cold War in North America; geographical knowledge and the human sciences; settler colonialism; urban cultural geography.


I am a historical geographer, and much of my work has been concerned with relationships between militarization, geographical knowledge, and landscapes in the twentieth-century United States. I am currently working on two book projects: A history of the US militarization of the planet in the middle of the twentieth century (funded by SSHRC), looking backward and forward from that period, as understood through the construction and use of climate laboratories, proving grounds, and survival schools; and a series of overlapping essays on urban culture in the US from 1940 to 1990.


M. Farish, “The First Century of US Militarization in Alaska, 1867-1967,” in A. Howkins and P. Roberts, The Cambridge History of the Polar Regions (Cambridge University Press, in press, 2023).

M. Farish, “Below the Bombs,” in C. Lauzon and J. O’Brian, eds., Through Post-Atomic Eyes (McGill-
Queen’s University Press, 2020), 113-132.

M. Farish, “Making ‘Man in the Arctic’: Academic and Military Entanglements, 1944-49,” in S. Bocking and D. Heidt, eds., Cold Science: Environmental Knowledge in the North American Arctic during the Cold War (Routledge, 2019), 85-106.

L. Pitkanen and M. Farish, “Nuclear Landscapes,” Progress in Human Geography 42.6 (2018), 862-880.


PhD, University of British Columbia

Administrative Service

Associate Chair, Undergraduate, 2019 — present