essayist | geographer | cartographer

ph.d candidate in the department of geography at u. of kentucky

urban cultural & economic geographer

studying proptech and affordable housing

check out my latest essay, "Red Wine Vinegar," here


ian spangler headshot
peer-reviewed articles

Spangler, Ian. 2021. “What Seeps from the Pores.” you are here: a journal of creative geography 22: 6-13. (free | buy issue)

Spangler, Ian. 2020. “Hidden value in the platform’s platform: Airbnb, displacement, and the un-homing spatialities of emotional labor.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 45: 575-588. (paywall | free)

Stone, Meredith, Ian Spangler, Xavier Griffin, and Stephen Hanna. 2016. "Searching for the Enslaved in the ‘Cradle of Democracy’: Virginia’s James River Plantations and the Reproduction of Local Social Memories." Southeastern Geographer 56.2: 203-222. (free)

peer-reviewed conference proceedings

Nemer, David, Ian Spangler and Michaelanne Dye. 2018. “Airbnb and the Costs of Emotional Labor in Havana, Cuba.” 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 245-248. (paywall | free)

book reviews

Spangler, Ian. 2019. Review of Work: The Last 1,000 Years, by Andrea Komlosy. Labour and Industry: A Journal of the Social and Economic Relations of Work. 29.4: 388-391. (paywall)

Spangler, Ian. 2019. Review of Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940, by Julian Capó Jr. Antipode Book Review Symposium. (free)

Spangler, Ian. 2019. Review of Creole Italian: Sicilian Immigrants and the Shaping of New Orleans Food Culture, by Justin A. Nystrom. The AAG Review of Books 7.4: 243-246. (free)

literary journals

Spangler, Ian. 2021. “Red Wine Vinegar.” Southern Humanities Review 54.2: 45-65. (journal website)

Spangler, Ian. 2015. “Distortion, or Nothing Is Where You Think It Is.” Blotterature Literary Magazine 2.2: 4-14. (journal website)

in preparation/under consideration

Zook, Matthew and Ian Spangler. “A crisis of data? Transparency practices and infrastructures of value in data broker platforms.” Submitted to Annals of the American Association of Geogrpahers.

Spangler, Ian. Submitted. “The Pony Island Lighthouse Keeper.”

Spangler, Ian. “Sweat matters: on the epistemology and spatial politics of perspiration.” For submission to cultural geographies.

selected paper presentations

“Data brokers in the platform economy: analyzing transparency as infrastructure in financialized debt markets.” Digital Geographies Conference: Critical perspectives on the platform economy. Virtual attendance.


“Codes, screens, and the racialization of platform real estate.” RGS-IBG Meeting. Virtual attendance.


“Dislocating frictions: race, financialization, and platform real estate technologies in the US.” IAG-NZGS Combined Conference. Virtual attendance.


“Conservative innovations: Understanding forms of development in digital real estate technologies.” American Association of Geographers. Virtual attendance.


“Sweat Matters: On the politics of perspiration.” 10th Annual Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference. Lexington, Kentucky.


“Airbnb, gentrification, and the value of everyday life: playing host as emotional labor in New Orleans.” American Association of Geographers. Washington, D.C.


“Commodifying Authenticity in New Orleans: Airbnb and the Emotional Labor of Playing Host.” American Association of Geographers. New Orleans, Louisiana.


“Google, Airbnb, and Reproducing ‘The 73.’” 12th Annual Landscape, Space, and Place Conference. Bloomington, Indiana.


“The ‘death-threat’ of Newtown Pike: Davis Bottom as a liminal landscape.” 11th Annual Landscape, Space, and Place Conference. Bloomington, Indiana.


invited lectures & media appearances

"Re-commoning Territory: Diversifying Housing Tenure with Platform Cooperatives,” panelist with Maksym Rokmaniko, Maral Sotoudehnia, and Andy Yan. 221A Roundtable. 18 June.


"The Rosenwald Schools: Creating a Spatial Dataset at the National Level,” with Tiffany Tolbert and John Hildreth. National Trust for Historic Preservation: Preservation Leadership Forum Webinar Series. 30 January.


Interviewed by Sandy Hausman, with Dr. Stephen Hanna, Meredith Stone, and Xavier Griffin. More to the tour: Slave history at Virginia’s plantations.” WVTF radioIQ.


Interviewed by Emily Hollingsworth, with Dr. Stephen Hanna, Meredith Stone, and Xavier Griffin. “UMW Team Examines Slavery Narratives.” UMW Eagle Eye.


ongoing research projects

    I. platform real estate.
    Following research from geographer Joe Shaw, my dissertation explores the spatialization of digital real estate platforms. That is, how do new technologies for the management, transaction, surveyance and surveillance of real estate transform how we come to own the earth—and, perhaps more importantly, who gets to own it? Learn more here. from the verge
    II. short-term rentals.
    I have longstanding interests in short-term rental platforms and their relationships to the lived experiences of gentrification. Drawing on contemporary writing about platform urbanism, my research into short-term rentals shows how they facilitate feelings of "displacement in place"—and why that can actually be good for platforms like Airbnb. photo by ian spangler
    III. sweat.
    Inspired by the Sweat Geographies Collective, I've recently become fascinated with how sweat has been constiuted as an object of medical inquiry. Current trends in sweat sensing technology, which blur the lines between medical devices and consumer goods, call into question: how does sweat "matter" in the age of ubiquitous computation? thumbprint
Image sources from left to right: The Verge | Photo by author | Clark & Lhamon 1917

web mapping portfolio

A selection of my recent web mapping projects.

My cartography typically explores questions of race, representation, and memory in the context of the US South.

creative writing

essays and stories.

I mostly write creative nonfiction, especially memoir-type stuff and researched essays. In it, I try to explore the complicated relationships between people and the places they inhabit. Previously, my writing's been published in Blotterature Literary Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, and you are here: the journal of creative geography.

blotterature cover
Researched Essay
Distortion, or
Nothing Is Where You Think It Is

Blotterature Literary Magazine (2.2)

"When Steve Mishenko sat down in 1996 to pen a map of Johnsonburg, he probably never expected that it would still be looked at almost two decades later. He wasn't a geographer. Steve was simply a man with sore feet and a fantastic sense of direction—he never owned a car, and walked most places until the day he died. You wouldn't expect his presence to linger long after his death; yet, there we were..."

you are here cover
Researched Essay
What Seeps From The Pores

you are here: the journal of creative geography (22)

"Sweat is contextual. Perspiration is epistemic. Sweat isn’t actually sweat at all. There’s no shortage of metaphors, turns of phrase, or manners of speaking that make us think about sweat in the abstract — but, despite being one of the most fundamental and ubiquitous expressions of everyday corporeal life, we rarely think of sweat literally. Except, maybe, for how to hide it. How to keep it in..."

southern humanities cover
Researched Essay
Red Wine Vinegar

Southern Huamnities Review (54.2)

"The traps are a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar and dish soap poured into glass jars. They’re covered in saran wrap, and their surface area, pulled taut with a rubber band, has been judiciously poked by a fork or a toothpick. Flies will enter via the poked holes, drawn in by an abstract promise of sweet. Foolishly, they can’t figure out how to escape. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the liquid and so the flies get stuck and..."


I offer freelance services in copy editing, audio transcription, and GIS consulting. Please reach out to me via email for samples, questions, or quotes.

copy editing

Experience as a copy editor at disClosure and creative nonfiction editor at Rappahannock Review.

audio transcription

Practical experience transcribing qualitative interviews in the context of academic research.

GIS consulting

Fluent with Esri Suite, QGIS, and Leaflet. Practical experience in urban planning, hydrology, historical GIS.



ian [dot] spangler [at] uky [dot] edu