Sarah Elwood is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington, and a faculty affiliate of the UW’s West Coast Poverty Center, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, and Certificate in Public Scholarship. With Vicky Lawson, she co-directs the Relational Poverty Network (RPN), a transnational interdisciplinary community of scholars collaborating to develop conceptual frameworks, research methodologies, and pedagogies for the study of relational poverty.
Elwood received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota and previously held faculty positions at DePaul University and the University of Arizona. Her research contributes to relational poverty studies, critical GIScience and digital geographies, visual politics and mixed methods, and urban geography. Current activities include research on poverty politics of creative activisms around homelessness, feminist and critical race theorizations of digital geographies, and a collaborative public scholarly project on horizons of critical poverty studies under emerging nationalist populisms. Her work has appeared in Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, among others. She is co-editor of 3 books, Relational Poverty Politics: Forms, Struggles, Possibilities (with Victoria Lawson), Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information in Theory and Practice (with Daniel Sui & Michael Goodchild), and Qualitative GIS: A Mixed Methods Approach (with Meghan Cope).
Elwood's work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, National Geographic Education Foundation, and others. Her research, teaching and community collaborations have been recognized by the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award, the Department of Geography’s Student Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Sustainable Seattle’s Sustainable Community Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award from the AAG’s Political Geography Specialty Group.
- Lawson, V., Elwood, S., Daigle, M., González Mendoza, Y., Gutiérrez Garza, A., Herrera, J., Kohl, E., Lewis, J., McCutcheon, P., Ramírez, M. Reddy, C. 2023. Abolishing Poverty: Towards Pluriverse Futures and Politics. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
- 2018. Elwood, S. and Leszczynski, A. Feminist Digital Geographies. Gender, Place and Culture. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1465396
- Lawson, V. and Elwood, S. 2018. Relational Poverty Politics: Forms, Struggles, Possibilities. University of Georgia Press.
- 2017. Elwood, S., Lawson, V., Sheppard, E. Geographical relational poverty studies. Progress in Human Geography 41(6): 745 – 765.
- 2017. Elwood, S. and Hawkins, H. Intra-disciplinarity and visual politics. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 107(1): 4-13. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2016.1230413.
- 2017. Elwood, S. and Wilson, M. Critical GIS Pedagogies Beyond “Week 10: Ethics”. International Journal of Geographic Information Science 31(10): 2098-2116. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2017.1334892.
- Elwood, S., Lawson, V., Nowak, S. "Negotiating Poverty and Privilege: Middle class place-making and poverty politics" The Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105(1): 123-143
- Elwood, S. and Mitchell, K. 2015. Guest editors Cultural Geographies, “Technology, Memory, and Collective Knowing,” 22, 1.
- Mitchell, K. and Elwood, S. 2015. Intergenerational Mapping and the Cultural Politics of Memory. In Hakli, J. and Kallio, K. eds., The Beginning of Politics: Youthful Political Agency in Everyday Life. Routledge/Taylor&Francis, 33-52. [Reprint]
- Victoria Lawson, Sarah Elwood, Santiago Canevaro and Nicolas Viotti, ‘”The Poor are us”: middle class poverty politics in Buenos Aires and Seattle’. Environment and Planning A Vol. 47
- Elwood, Sarah, Victoria Lawson, and Samuel Nowak. "Middle-Class Poverty Politics: Making Place, Making People." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105, no. 1 (2015): 123-43.
- Lawson, Victoria, and Sarah Elwood. "Encountering Poverty: Space, Class, and Poverty Politics." Antipode46, no. 1 (2014): 209-28.
- Mitchell, K. and Elwood, S. 2013. Intergenerational Mapping and the Cultural Politics of Memory. Space and Polity 17, 2, 33-52.
- Elwood, S. and Mitchell, K. 2013. Another Politics is Possible: Neogeographies, Visual Spatial Tactics and Political Formation. Cartographica 48, 4, 275-292.
- Mitchell, Katharyne, and Sarah Elwood. "Mapping Children's Politics: The Promise of Articulation and the Limits of Nonrepresentational Theory." 30, no. 5 (2012): 788-804.
- Mitchell, K. and Elwood, S. 2012. From Redlining to Benevolent Societies: The Emancipatory Power of Spatial Thinking. Theory and Research in Social Education 40, 134-163.
- Elwood, Sarah. "Volunteered geographic information: future research directions motivated by critical, participatory, and feminist GIS." GeoJournal 72, no. 3-4 (2008): 173-183.
- Elwood, S., 2006. "Critical issues in participatory GIS: Deconstructions, reconstructions, and new research directions." Transactions in GIS, 10(5), pp.693-708.
- Elwood, Sarah A., and Deborah G. Martin. "“Placing” interviews: location and scales of power in qualitative research." The Professional Geographer 52, no. 4 (2000): 649-657.
Research Advised: Graduate Dissertations
Research Advised: Publications
- Thompson, S. (2022).“Homes not shelters”: co-productions of home in financialized social housing for women in Vancouver, Canada. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2021.2014668.
- Thompson, S. (2022). Caring Housing Futures: A Radical Care Framework for Understanding Rent Control Politics in Seattle, USA. Antipode. DOI: 10.1111/anti.12874.
- Thompson. S. (2022). “Not your ‘poor dear’”: Community, care, and support in women’s non-profit housing. Gender Place & Culture 29(8), 1121-1140. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2021.1937063.
- Announcement: Winners of the GeoAI Prompt Contest - November 16, 2023
- UW Alums Share Their Stories as "Geographers in Practice" - October 1, 2022
- 2022 Awards, Honors and Achievements - June 15, 2022
- Department of Geography marks the passing of our long-time faculty colleague and former chair, William "Bill" Beyers - February 15, 2022
- Unlearning Poverty - July 8, 2021
- Unlearning Poverty - May 19, 2021
- Introducing New Faculty in the Department of Geography - October 24, 2019
- M.A. Student Amelia Schwartz Receives Award from UW Center for Human Rights for Work on Indigenous Water Rights - May 16, 2019
- First Year Ph.D. Student Isaac Rivera Receives Simpson Center's Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship! - March 12, 2019
- Congratulations to Professor Kim England, Named As the New Harry Bridges Endowed Chair in Labor Studies - November 1, 2018
- UW News Highlights Innovators in Geography Featuring Professor Sarah Elwood and GIS Workshop - October 3, 2018
- Yurika Harada Receives Mary Gates Research Scholarship - January 22, 2018
- GIS Workshops Partner with Community Activists - May 24, 2017
- Geography alum helps unearth wealth of ORCA card data - August 23, 2016
- Bellingham City Club Presentation: The Poor are Us: Middle Class Poverty Politics - February 9, 2016
- Spotlight on Geography Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects - June 2, 2015
- Shedding light on complexities of poverty - May 28, 2015
- Revisiting Critical GIS' workshop was a success! - October 21, 2014
- Congratulations to Our Mary Gates Scholars! - April 2, 2014
- West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) Seminar by Vicky Lawson and Sarah Elwood - November 13, 2013
- Congratulations to Drs. Elwood and Lawson for their Recent NSF Research Coordination Network Grant! - February 26, 2013
- Sarah Elwood Wins UW Distinguished Teaching Award - May 31, 2012
- Dr. Sarah Elwood Wins Award from Sustainable Seattle! - January 3, 2012