Steve Graves

Dr. Steve Graves
Associate Professor / Economic, Forensic, Pop Culture
(818) 677-3517
Office location:
Sierra Hall, Room 130-D



  • Ph.D., (1999) University of Illinois
  • M.A., (1993) Miami University
  • B.S.Ed., (1991) Ohio University
  • B.A., (1988) Ohio State University

Courses Taught

  • 150 World Regional Geography
  • 301 Cultural Geography
  • 417 California Geography and History

Selected Publications and Presentations

Selected publications

2008 Graves, Steven and Christopher Peterson. Usury Law and the Christian Right: Faith Based Political Power and the Geography of American Payday Loan Regulation. Catholic University Law Review 57 (3) (forthcoming June 2008)

2005 Graves, Steven and Christopher Peterson. Predatory Lending and the Military: The Law and Geography of “Payday” Loans in Military Towns. The Ohio State Law Journal. 66(4):653-832.'

2005 Graves, Steven. Encyclopedia of New York State. Entries for: Hip Hop Music and Rock and Roll. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

2003 Graves, Steven. Landscapes of Predation, Landscapes of Neglect: A Location Analysis of Payday Lenders and Banks. Professional Geographer. 55(3): 303-317.


2007 “Payday Lending in Mississippi” Mississippi Center for Justice. Economic Summit on Payday Lending. Jackson, MS. July.

2006 “Mapping Usury and the Christian Right” Association of American Geographers annual meeting. Chicago, IL March.

2005 “Targets on Their Back: Payday Lenders and the Military”. California Geographical Society annual meeting. Yosemite National Park, CA April.

2004 “Movin' On Up:Urbanized TV Landscapes and the Growth of Gentrification”. Association of American Geographers annual meeting. Philadelphia, PA March.

Research and Interests

I teach a variety of courses at CSUN, but I focus on human or cultural geography where I enjoy teaching students how to read the landscape and how to understand cultural processes that color their lives.

My research in recent years has focused on the spatial dymanics and the local effects of predatory lending, especially payday lending. I am keen to demonstrate how site location behaviors exhibited by this industry lay bare the business strategies employed by payday lenders and how these strategies affect the lives of people living in regions targeted by predatory lenders. I have also done research on the music industry, cultural landscapes and waste transportation issues.

On the service front, I have worked for a number of years on a variety of initiatives to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs. Most significant has been my involvement with Teachers for a New Era, a ambitious project to reconfigure the way school teachers are trained in the university.

When I'm not working I enjoy spending time with my kids and traveling. I am an avid fan of the teams fielded by my alma mater, The Ohio State University. I also like to listen to blues, bluegrass and rock 'n roll.