The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Jessa Loomis

Lecturer in Economic Geography

Background

I joined the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology as a Lecturer in Economic Geography in 2020. I am a broadly trained human geographer with research and teaching interests across urban, economic and feminist geographies. My research aims to demystify the ‘magic’ of finance by tracing macroeconomic change in everyday life. By focusing on the everyday geographies of financialization, including examining how people adapt to and resist the demands of finance-led growth, my work highlights the dynamism and contingency at the heart of economic life and makes way for an alternate politics of the economy. 


Before joining Newcastle, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban and Economic Geography in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University (US). I earned my doctorate from the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky (US) and also hold graduate certificates in Social Theory and Gender and Women's Studies.

Research

My recent research examines efforts to democratize financial knowledge and promote financial inclusion for low and moderate-income (LMI) populations in the United States. During 14 months of in-depth qualitative research, I examined the implementation of one-on-one financial coaching programs in Boston, Massachusetts. Here my work advances the idea that the financialization of the economy is achieved not only through policies that structure the financial landscape, or through the actions of traditional financial actors on Wall Street, but also through efforts to shape the financial behaviors and dispositions of urban residents. This research calls into question the motivations and terms of the so-called ‘democratization of finance’ and suggests the need to more closely examine the conditions and material outcomes of the financial inclusion agenda in the United States.


Another area of my work considers the history and future of the subdiscipline of economic geography. Two co-authored publications—one in Environment & Planning A: Economy and Space (2018) and another in Progress in Human Geography (2020)— intervene in scholarly debates about the current terrain of knowledge production in geography and speak back to narratives about the history and future of the subdiscipline from my vantage point as an early career and feminist scholar. These publications, along with a co-authored book chapter (2020) on feminist contributions to economic geography in the Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies, advance a feminist analysis of the politics of knowledge production and call for diversifying perspectives and broadening conversations within economic geography.


I served as an elected member on the Economic Geography Specialty Group board of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and along with Kelly Kay (UCLA), Emily Rosenman (Penn State), Renee Tapp (University of Illinois-Chicago), and Wanjing Chen (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), I created and co-organize the Women in Economic Geography Social Hour at the annual AAG conference (2017-2020). 

 

Teaching

During the 2020-21 academic year, I am contributing to the following modules:

  • GEO1010 Interconnected World (Lecturer)
  • GEO2099 Economic Geography (Module Leader & Lecturer)
  • GEO3160 Crises of Economy: Money and Labour (Seminar)

Publications