BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 2, 2008 – Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies has named Gerry Kearns as director of the School of Public and International Affairs.
Kearns comes to the university from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a senior lecturer in geography, a fellow of Jesus College, and co-director of the Centre for Gender Studies, convenor of the university’s historical and cultural geography research cluster.
Kearns is on the editorial boards of Historical Geography, Irish Geography, and Journal of Historical Geography, and is the geography convenor for the European Social Science History Association. He has edited two works in urban studies, Urbanising Britain: Essays on Class and Community in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 1991) and Selling Places: The City as Cultural Capital, Past and Present (Pergamon, 1993).
Kearns has just finished a book, Geopolitics and Empire: The Legacy of Halford Mackinder (in press, Oxford University Press), exploring the similarities and connections between British imperialism in the early 20th century and U.S. imperialism today. Kearns also researches Irish nationalism, focusing on the geographical dimensions of national identities and three broad models have been identified: the nation, the diaspora, and the cosmopolis. From this research project, Kearns is preparing a book, Anticolonial Nationalism: The Legacy of Young Ireland, for Manchester University Press. Kearns’s third area of research is on the demography and ideology of AIDS. This work will result in a book, Making Space for AIDS, which Kearns is currently shopping to publishers.
Before his appointment at Cambridge, Kearns also taught at the University of Liverpool and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He resides in Blacksburg and received a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in geography from Cambridge.
John Randolph is the outgoing director of the School of Public and International Affairs. Randolph guided the development of graduate programs at the Alexandria campus in the National Capital Region and at the campus in Richmond, and established promotion and tenure policies. Enrollment in the school now approaches 500 students. Its master of public administration and master of urban and regional planning programs rank in the top 10 percent nationally. Randolph is currently the program chair for urban affairs and planning and a professor of environmental planning.