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Joshua Hagen, Ph.D.
HH 207
(304) 696-2505
email Prof. Hagen

I joined the Geography Department at Marshall University in 2003 after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in Geography and Political Science and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Geography. I have taught a variety of courses at Marshall, including Human Geography, Geography of Europe, Geography of Russia, Political Geography, Population Geography, and World Regional Geography.

My research consists of two parallel tracks. One focus is the role of architecture, historic preservation, and urban planning in nationalist movements and state-building. A second broad area examines the nature of international borders in what is proclaimed to be an emerging borderless world.

My most recent project is a book co-edited with Alexander C. Diener titled Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation-State (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010; cover photo). Since most students are accustomed to visualizing the world as a mosaic of distinct nation-states, this book aims to generate interest in political geography and international relations by offering scholarly examinations of the historical development and contemporary issues surrounding some visually ‘odd’ international borders, like Namibia’s Caprivi Strip or the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia. The book uses the apparently unnatural contours of these borders to expose students to broader theoretical and practical discussions concerning the nature and function of international borders in an increasingly globalized and transnational world.

We decided to build on this project with offering a more general treatment of the topic of borders. This book focuses on international political borders by tracing the historical evolution of borders from nebulous frontiers between ethno-tribal groups and large empires, to walled cities with loosely defined feudal jurisdictions, to modern nation-states and the transformation of colonial to post-colonial territories. The book also engages contemporary processes of globalization and the multifaceted changes that are occurring in a geopolitical system ostensibly founded on the sanctity international borders. The book is specifically intended to offer an accessible entry point to these issues for undergraduate students. The book, titled Borders: A Very Short Introduction, is under contract with Oxford University Press.

My second major research track explores the political and cultural debates surrounding of urban planning and historic preservation. Working in collaboration with Robert Ostergren, this project entails a systematic examination of entire building program implemented or planned by the Nazi regime. In short, we are exploring the motivations, means, and results of the regime’s wide-ranging plans to re-organize Germany’s cities in order to create a disciplined population and military-industrial infrastructure capable of expansionist war. This book, titled Building Nazi Germany: Place, Space, Architecture and Ideology, is under contract with Rowman & Littlefield.


  • Diener, Alexander and Joshua Hagen (2012) Borders: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press. (Cover Photo)
  • Hagen, Joshua (2011) Theorizing Scale in Critical Place-Name Studies, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 10:1, 23-27.
  • Diener, Alexander and Joshua Hagen (2011) Geopolitics of the Kaliningrad Exclave and Enclave: Russian and EU Perspectives. Eurasian Geography and Economics 52:4, 567-592.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2010) Architecture, Symbolism, and Function: The Nazi Party’s ‘Forum of the Movement, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28:3, 397-424.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2010) Mapping the Polish Corridor between the Wars, Imago Mundi: The International Journal of the History of Cartography 62:1, 358-377.
  • Hagen, Joshua and Alexander Diener, eds. (2010) Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation State. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD. (cover photo)
  • Hagen, Joshua and Alexander Diener (2010) Introduction: Borders, Identity, and Geopolitics, in Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation State, ed. Joshua Hagen and Alexander Diener. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD., pp.1-14.
  • Hagen, Joshua and Alexander Diener (2010) Kaliningrad, Russia: Discontinuity as Threat to Sovereignty, in Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation State, ed. Joshua Hagen and Alexander Diener. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD., pp.121-137.
  • Hagen, Joshua and Alexander Diener (2010) Conclusion: Borders in a Changing Global Context, in Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation State, ed. Joshua Hagen and Alexander Diener. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD., pp. 189-194.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2009) Historic Preservation in Nazi Germany: Place, Memory, and Nationalism, Journal of Historical Geography 35:4, 690-715.
  • Hagen, Joshua and Alexander Diener (2009) Theorizing Borders in a 'Borderless World’: Globalization, Territory, and Identity, Geography Compass 3:3, 1196-1216.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2009) Architecture, Urban Planning, and Political Authority in Ludwig I’s Munich, Journal of Urban History 35:4, 459-485.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2008) Parades, Public Spaces, and Propaganda: The Nazi Culture Parades in Munich, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 90:4, 349-367.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2007) "Pork" Spending, Place Names, and Political Stature in West Virginia. Southeastern Geographer 47:2, 341-364.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2006) Preservation, Tourism, and Nationalism: Rothenburg as the Jewel of the German Past. Ashgate Publishing: Aldershot, United Kingdom and Burlington, VT. (cover photo)
  • Hagen, Joshua and Robert Ostergren (2006) Architecture, Spectacle, and Place during the Nuremberg Party Rallies: Projecting a Nazi Vision of Past, Present, and Future, Cultural Geographies 13:1, 1-25.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2005) Rebuilding the Middle Ages in the Twentieth Century: Rothenburg ob der Tauber After the Second World War, Journal of Historical Geography 31:1, 94-112.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2004) The Most German of Towns: Creating an Ideal Nazi Community in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 94:1, 207-227.
  • Hagen, Joshua (2003) Redrawing the Imagined Map of Europe: The Rise and Fall of the Center, Political Geography 22:5, 489-517.


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