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Meet Professor Kacy McKinney
Meet Professor Kacy McKinney

Instructor, Urban Studies and Planning 



  • Non-Tenure Track Faculty Member, Urban Studies and Planning
  • Committee Member, USP TSUSP Diversity & Equity Committee
  • Member, Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative
  • Member and Secretary, Board of Directors, Sisters of the Road


Social movements, social equity, community development, international development, labor migration, environmental and agricultural change, visual methods, South Asia, Latin America  


  • UNST 220 Understanding Communities
  • USP 300 Introduction to Urban Studies
  • USP 317 Introduction to International Community Development
  • USP 350 Inclusive Engagement

Seeding whose future? Exploring entanglements of neoliberal choice, children's labor, and mobility in hybrid Bt cotton seed production in western India

Selected Works:


Office: Urban Center 370J

PhD, 2011, Geography, University of Washington at Seattle
MA, 2006, Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
BA, 2004, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Kacy McKinney is a critical feminist geographer and visual artist. She is an instructional faculty member focused on the undergraduate major in Community Development, bringing international perspectives into the study of community development. Her past research has focused on the relationship between technological and agricultural change, and labor migration and land rights in Brazil and India. Her current research is focused on using comics to change the narrative on houselessness through collaborative ethnographic cartooning. Her work has appeared in publications such as Geoforum, Journal of Peasant Studies, ACME: International E-Journal for Critical Geographers, and in books published through the University of Toronto Press and Routledge.

In Portland, Dr. McKinney serves as secretary of the board of directors of Sisters of the Road, a non-profit organization working to create systemic change to end poverty and homelessness by providing nourishing meals in a safe, dignified space.

Recent Projects

Changing the Narrative Around Student Homelessness Through Ethnographic Cartooning (Funded by the Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative)

This collaborative storytelling project seeks to change the narrative around homelessness through ethnographic cartooning focused on the experiences of Portland State University students. This project will result in a series of ten short comics created through collaborations between PSU students with lived experience of homelessness, Portland-based comic artists, and the research team - which includes the primary investigator and an undergraduate research assistant. These comics will center the voices and experiences of historically marginalized and oppressed groups – who are disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness.