Travis Bost

PhD Student, (he/him)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Race & environment, political ecology, historical geography of the Caribbean & U.S. South, environmental planning, political economy of uneven development.

Working Dissertation


Persistent Plantation: Political Economy and the Roots of Planning Failure in Louisiana


Prof. Sue Ruddick


My research interests center on the historical geographical development of capitalism in former plantation societies, with a focus on New Orleans and South Louisiana. I am particularly interested in the role played by institutions and practices of planning in structuring uneven development, differential exposure to environmental hazard, and the political ecology of race.

My dissertation examines the roots of repeated planning failure in New Orleans and Louisiana. I ask how the emergence of the region's modern environmental planning institutions in the early twentieth century intersected with the decline in the region's historic sugar plantation economy. Using lenses of Caribbean and Third Worldist political economy, I trace how the historic structures of the plantation — its dependent economic structures, flawed paths of social and state formation, and oppressive racial regimes of rule — informed the development of the region's critically flawed practices and institutions of environmental planning and governance into the present.
Prior to entering academia, I worked as a licensed architect in New Orleans and Boston, where I worked on strategies for developing urban infill housing, urban mobility planning, and public artwork installations associated with state and federal infrastructure projects.


M.Des.S., Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
B.A., M.Arch., Tulane University