(PhD Johns Hopkins 1982; Dist Prof) Political economy, urban social theory, space, nature-culture, history and theory of geography
Neil Smith was trained as a geographer and his research explores the broad intersection between space, nature, social theory and history. He teaches in urban anthropology, cultural anthropology and environmental anthropology, and participates actively in the Center for Place Culture and Politics. His environmental work is largely theoretical, focusing on questions of the production of nature. His urban interests include long term research on gentrification, including empirical work in North America and Europe and a series of theoretical papers emphasizing the importance of patterns of investment and disinvestment in the real estate market. He also writes more broadly on New York City, focusing especially on the "revanchist city" which has filled the vacuum left in the wake of liberal urban theory.
His interests in social theory include political economy and Marxism and lie behind his theoretical work on uneven development. From the global to the local scales, he argues, our spatial worlds are constructed and reconstructed as expressions of social relations and especially as expressions of capitalist social relations. Uneven development is in many ways the hallmark of capitalism. More recently he has been studying the "geography of the American Century," trying to understand the ways in which global economic development in the twentieth century -- up to and including so-called globalization -- represent specific expressions of US power and responses to it. This has also led to considerable research on the construction of geographical scale. He co-edits Society and Space and sits on numerous editorial boards including Social Text and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.
Recent Visiting Appointments
Recent and Keynote Addresses
Recent Representative Publications
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Copyright 2012 PhD Program in Anthropology