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School of Geography

Alex Schafran Dr Alex Schafran

Contact details

Room Manton 10.140
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 37383

Student hours:

Research overview

My research is generally not project-based, but rather a series of interrelated writing, editing, teaching and organizing projects with an interlocking cast of characters.

I am currently working on a monograph for the University of California Press which brings together my work on the San Francisco Bay Area into a full length account of the restructuring of the greater Bay Area over the course of my lifetime and subsequent production of the foreclosure crisis in California. I am simulaneously developing a book project on the links between housing and (in)equality in the United States with two American colleagues, Deirdre Pfeiffer and Jake Wegmann, and working to develop my photographic and field work in the French ballieue into a full length "text". The latter is the first step towards a larger research agenda which incorporates French urbanism in a variety of ways. I have recently been appointed as Adjoint Assistant Professor of Planning at the University of Colorado, Denver, an appointment which will enable me to do ethical and engaged work with talented colleagues over the coming years of a variety of subjects central to American urbanism.

I am always engaged in paper writing, generally with talented colleagues, and current projects include work on the urban nature of contemporary social movements with colleagues from the Contested Cities network, an exploration of the economic validity of Henri Lefebvre's urban revolution hypothesis, an expansion of my ideas on paramodernism and some dabbling in the possibilities of reliance structures to underly an urbanized update of the social contract with the talented Matthew Noah Smith.

I have recently taken over the Debates section at City, part of a broader engagement with global  and institutionalized urban studies. The framing paper, "Debating Urban Studies in 23 Steps", gives a good sense what I am trying to do and who I am as a scholar.

I am a former organizer who has never stopped organizing - I simply organize different people, and organize ideas as much as people. I have a wonderful Early Career Grant from the Regional Studies Association for a project which examines the future of regional governance in Northern England, and as part of this grant I am working to build a new networks of urbanists in the North in parallel to formal research on governance.

I am always actively looking for collaborators and enthusiastic students, whether for one-off writing projects, major international grants or a provocative conference. I am actively interested in building a team of doctoral students, and would welcome inquiries from any curious potential applicants who are urban-centric and take a holistic, ambitious and interventionist approach to their work. I will happily consider students from all discipliary and methodological backgrounds and orientations, but alas will not consider students who do not have real world work experience.

Additional information about my work can be found on my personal website*

*The University of Leeds is not responsible for the content of external websites.


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