Academic Profile

Alex joined the School of Geography and the Environment in January 2017 having previously taught at the University of Nottingham and Durham University. Alex has a BA (Hons, first class) and PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Alex's research interests combine cultural and historical geography and urban studies with a commitment to experimental artistic practices and grassroots social activism. His work explores, in particular, the city as a site of political contestation drawing on a range of methods (archival, ethnographic and participatory). For the past 15 years, Alex has conducted extensive fieldwork in Germany (most notably in Berlin). More recently, he has worked across Europe as well as North America. Alex has published widely in major geography and other interdisciplinary journals. He is the author of The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting (London: Verso, 2017), Metropolitan Preoccupations: The Spatial Politics of Squatting in Berlin (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015) and co-editor of Geographies of Forced Evictions: Dispossession, Violence, Insecurity (London: Palgrave). He has written for the Guardian, openDemocracy and New Left Project.

Current Research

Alex's current research focuses on the history of squatting in Europe and North America and its relationship to broader currents in contemporary urban thinking. He has recently completed two books on the subject: a monograph on the history of squatting and radical housing politics in Berlin (Metropolitan Preoccupations: The Spatial Politics of Squatting in Berlin) and a more popular history on the subject (The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting). Research for these projects was supported by the British Academy. It is, moreover, in this context, that Alex completed a collaborative project with Katherine Brickell (Royal Holloway) and Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia (Lancaster) on the global geographies of forced evictions. This project culminated in the recent publication of an edited collection (Geographies of Forced Evictions: Dispossession, Violence, Insecurity).

A longstanding commitment to the study of housing insecurity has also informed Alex's recent work on urban precarity. Alex recently completed a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship in which he explored the geographical dimensions of precarious living in contemporary European cities and its impact on how we think about and inhabit cities. Alex is finishing a number of writing projects related to the Fellowship. He has also begun work on a documentary film exploring the history of housing struggles in West Berlin in the 1960s and 1970s.

Alex is trained as a cultural and historical geographer and has longstanding interests in the historical geographies of performance and contemporary artistic practice. He has written extensively on the history of Weimar Berlin as a space of social, cultural and political experimentation. He continues to work on the contemporary arts and has collaborated with artists in a number of different contexts.

Alex is a member of the editorial collective at Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

Teaching

Undergraduate

Alex delivers lectures for the Preliminary Examination and the Final Honours School. He convenes an FHS option on "New Approaches to Urban Geography."

At Christ Church, Alex and his colleagues are responsible for teaching students across the breadth of geographical topics for the Preliminary Examination and the Final Honours School.

Postgraduate

Alex teaches on the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance. He convenes and teaches on the "Urban Natures" core course.

Alex welcomes enquiries from individuals wishing to undertake doctoral or post-doctoral research in the following, or related, areas: histories and geographies of urban protest; critical urbanisms and new social movements; contemporary urban theory; global geographies of squatting; alternative urbanisms and radical housing politics; the politics of precarity; cultural geography, environmental humanities and artistic practice; historical geographies of performance; German studies.

Selected Publications

  • View Dr Alex Vasudevan's ORCID profile
  • View Dr Alex Vasudevan's Scopus profile
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Books

Journal Articles

Special / Edited Collections

Book Chapters

Book Reviews

Exhibition Catalogues

  • Joan Fontcuberta, Datascapes (Nottingham: Djanogly Art Gallery, 2009). The catalogue was produced to accompany an exhibition that was held at the Djanogly Art Gallery between 25 April and 14 June, 2009.

Other Publications

Press Publications