James R. Curtis , Ph.D.

James R. Curtis , Ph.D.

Professor of Geography
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840
562 985-4978 | Fax: 562 985-8993
jrcurtis@csulb.edu | Office: PH1-221

Research Interests

James Curtis is an expert in urban and cultural geography with a particular emphasis the US-Mexico Borderland, Urban Latin America, Urban Ethnic Geography of the U.S. and Popular Culture. His teaching interests include cultural geography, urban geography, ethnic geography as well as Latin America, North America, and World Regional Geography.


  • BA, San Jose State University, Geography
  • MA, San Jose State University, Geography
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Geography

Selected Publications

  • James R. Curtis, review of “Satan’s Playground: Mobsters and Movie Stars at America’s Greatest Gaming Resort,” by Paul J. Vanderwood (Duke University Press, 2010), in the “Southwestern Historical Quarterly,” Vol. 114 (April 2011), pp. 460-461.
  • James R. Curtis, “Yard Shrines in Miami’s Little Havana,” in Southern Crossroads: Perspectives on Southern Religion and Culture, edited by Walt H. Conser and Rodgeer M. Payne. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2008, pp. 27-38. (Reprinted from the Journal of Cultural Geography, 1980).
  • Daniel D. Arreola and James R. Curtis, “Border Towns,” in The Borderlands: An Encyclopedia of Culture and Politics on the U.S. Mexico Divide, edited by Andrew G. Wood. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008, pp. 54-57.
  • James Roberto Curtis. Shangó (a novel). Houston: Arte Público Press, University of Houston, 1996, 197 pp. (Reviews available on request.)
  • Daniel D. Arreola and James R. Curtis. The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1993, 259 pp; published in paperback, February 1994. (See Awards.) (Academic reviews available on request.)
  • James R. Curtis, “A Typology of Brazilian Urban Squares: Its Application in the City of Manaus,” in Cites and Urban Geography in Latin America, edited by Vicent Ortells Chabrera, Robert B. Kent, and Javier Soriana Martí. Edita: Universitat Jaume I, España, 2005, pp. 39-60.
  • James R. Curtis, “Barrio Space and Place in Southeast Los Angeles, California,” in Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places: Community and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary America, edited by Daniel D. Arreola. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004, pp. 125-141.

Grants and Fellowships

  • Research Support Grant, The National Geographic Society, 1998; $3,525 for field work on urban structure in Ensenada and La Paz, Baja California, Mexico.
  • Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1995 Summer Seminar at UCLA on “Contemporary Immigration to the United States.”
  • Research Support Grant, The National Geographic Society, 1994; $3,185 for field work on Mexicali’s Chinatown.
  • Fellow, U.S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program; six- week study-tour of Brazil, summer of 1993.
  • Fellow, U.S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program; six-week study-tour of Pakistan, summer of 1986.
  • Research Support Grant, American Philisophical Society, 1983; $1,200 for field work on Cuban municipalities in exile in Miami.