Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning
Ph.D. in Geography, Syracuse University
Professor Soja teaches in the Regional and International Development (RID) area of Urban Planning and also teaches courses in urban political economy and planning theory. After starting his academic career as a specialist on Africa, Dr. Soja has focused his research and writing over the past 20 years on urban restructuring in Los Angeles and more broadly on the critical study of cities and regions. His wide-ranging studies of Los Angeles bring together traditional political economy approaches and recent trends in critical cultural studies. Of particular interest to him is the way issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality intersect with what he calls the spatiality of social life, and with the new cultural politics of difference and identity that this generates.
In addition to his work on urban restructuring in Los Angeles, Dr. Soja continues to write on how social scientists and philosophers think about space and geography, especially in relation to how they think about time and history. His latest book brings these various research strands together in a comprehensive look at the geohistory of cities, from their earliest origins to the more recent development of what he calls the "postmetropolis." His policy interests are primarily involved with questions of regional development, planning and governance, and with the local effects of ethnic and cultural diversity in Los Angeles.