John Brohman, 1951-2014

June 11, 2014

Dear friend of all of us, and of LAS more broadly, John Brohman passed away this past Monday, June 9. John, a geographer trained at UCLA, came to SFU in 1987, and was long one of the most important voices in the program. He taught countless undergraduate and graduate students, inspiring many to follow his lead and dedicate themselves to not just the pursuit of knowledge, but to being active participants in efforts to make better lives for the poor and dispossessed in Latin America.

I first met John a decade ago, when he bounded into an LAS meeting sporting his telltale Che Guevara t-shirt, ready to combat the administration, global capital, whomever stood in his way. In some his spirit might have seemed strident, but John was also a kind, decent person, always willing to go to extra lengths to help his students, and always full of mirth.  Both qualities have been on ample display in these past years, when in spite of devastating health problems, he has remained an active part of the program. Memorable was the time when, in spite of being hospitalized in Hawaii, he managed to oversee a student thesis. No one asked that he do this, but he did so without complaint. And so eager he was in these past years to get back into the classroom any time he felt well enough.

A complicated man no doubt, but a man who gave us all reason to smile, and a teacher who will leave a long legacy of students both informed and inspired. We will miss him dearly.

For those wanting to know more about his legacy as a scholar, some of his recent publications include:
Brohman, John (1996), Popular Development: Rethinking the Theory and Practice of Development, Oxford: Blackwell

Brohman, John (1996), Postwar development in the Asian NICs: does the neoliberal model fit reality? Economic Geography, 72, 2: 107-30.

Brohman, John (1996), New directions in tourism for Third World development, Annals of Tourism Research, 23, 1: 48-70.

Brohman, John (1996), The agroexport model and nontraditional exports in Central America: deja vu or something new? Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers Yearbook, 22: 1-16.

Brohman, John (1995), Universalism, Eurocentrism, and ideological bias in development studies: from modernization to neoliberalism, Third World Quarterly, 16, 1: 121-40.

Brohman, John (1995), Economism and critical silences in development studies: a theoretical critique of neoliberalism, Third World Quarterly, 16, 2: 297-318