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Thomas Puleo

Thomas Puleo

Assistant Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


School of Politics and Global Studies
Arizona State University
PO Box 873902
Tempe, AZ 85287-3902


  • Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
  • Assistant Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Thomas J. Puleo is an assistant professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies. He is a geographer by training and specializes in the concepts of space, place and landscape in both urban and rural contexts, particularly as they are implicated in the development and function of global processes at multiple scales. Because space, place and landscape are simultaneously economic, political, social, cultural, historical, technological and environmental, he takes a transdisciplinary approach to studying them. His book, The Valtellina and UNESCO: Making a Global Landscape, was published by Lexington Books in 2012. Global in scope and transdisciplinary in method, it examines the process through which local historic landscapes become global heritage sites. With Henry Sivak, he is the guest editor of ‘Catastrophic Geographies’, a special issue of the Geographical Review that focuses on human responses to natural catastrophes in multiple geographical and historical contexts. He has regional interests in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Europe and has written numerous journal articles on the earthquake that struck Val di Noto, Sicily in 1693 and that which devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2010, as well as on the evolution of the terraced landscapes of the Valtellina, a valley in the Italian Alps. He has served as the Barrett honors advisor to the Global Studies program since 2010. Since arriving at Arizona State University, his research and publication has benefitted from the generous support of grants from the Institute for Humanities Research.


  • PhD, Geography, University of California-Los Angeles, 2008
  • MA, Geography, San Francisco State University, 2005
  • BA, Literature, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1987


Journal Articles

In Press

Puleo, T. J. The disaster humanities: The art of place recovery. Progress in Human Geography

Puleo, T. J. The Sicilian Baroque: Reconciling post-quake tensions. Environment and Planning A DOI: 1068/a46295. (link )


Puleo, T. J. 2013. Parasitizing landscape for UNESCO World Heritage. Geoforum 45(March 2013):337-345. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.11.024. (link )

Puleo, T. J. and H. Sivak. 2013. Introduction: the ambivalence of catastrophe. Geographical Review 103(4):458-468. DOI: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2013.00013.x. (link )


Puleo, T. J. 2010. Baroque disruptions in Val di Noto, Sicily. Geographical Review 100(4):475-493. DOI: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2010.00054.x. (link )


Puleo, T. J. 2007. Filling in the blanks: Translating among systematic geographies. The California Geographer 47:63-77. (link )


Puleo, T. J. 2006. Culture, economy, and redevelopment in San Francisco's Fillmore District. Critical Planning 13:81-97.



Puleo, T. J. 2012. The Valtellina and UNESCO: Making a Global Landscape. Lexington Books. ISBN: 978-0739173466.

Book Chapters


Puleo, T. J. 2011. The European Union: Strategic expansion for increased consolidation. In: Burnett, M. T. ed., Enduring Questions, World Geography Database. ABC-CLIO. Santa Barbara, CA. (link )

Puleo, T. J. 2011. Travels in Sicily: Looking for nonni. In: Mercatanti, L. ed., Percorsi di Geografia: Tra Cultura, Società e Turismo. Patron. Bologna.