people

Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Dr Ben A Gerlofs

BA_GERLOFS.jpg

Room 10.36

391 72840

bgerlofs@hku.hk

Assistant Professor

BA (Aquinas College); MA (Syracuse); PhD (Rutgers)

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HKU Scholar Hub

Dr. Gerlofs works at the intersection of urban, cultural, political, and historical geography. His current projects are concentrated around three major foci: 1) the political economy of urbanization in historical perspective; 2) the dynamics of contemporary urban social movements; and 3) processes related to neighborhood change, including but not limited to gentrification. Much of his work has explored these issues in the dynamic hyper-metropolis that is Mexico City—the most populous urban area in the western hemisphere—whose historic neighborhoods are being demographically and aesthetically altered at an incredible rate, and whose systems of governance are on the edge of wholesale renovation as the city sheds the guise of the Federal District and is reborn as the State of Mexico City for the first time since the Mexican Revolution. His current book project, Monstrous Politics: Geography, Rights, and the Urban Revolution in Mexico City, interrogates the multivalent transformations of the Mexican capital from the last years of the Porfiriato to the present, and he is in the process of developing new comparative urban research based in Hong Kong.

Research Interests
  • Urban Geography
    (gentrification and neighborhood change, ethnography, global and comparative urbanism)
     

  • Political Geography
    (urban geopolitics, urban governance, social and political movements)
     

  • Cultural Geography
    (urban aesthetics, dialectics, ‘structures of feeling’)
     

  • Historical Geography
    (cultural landscapes, urbanization, ‘social formations’)

Courses

GEOG2078

Cities and the Urban World: A Global Introduction to Urban Geography

6

credits

Annual; 1st Semester

GEOG3414

Social Justice and the City

6

credits

Annual; 2nd Semester

GEOG4002

Directed Project in Geography

6

credits

Annual; Full-year

GEOG4003

Honours Dissertation

12

credits

Annual; Full-year

GEOG4004

Directed Project in Urban Governance

6

credits

Annual; Full-year

Selected Publications

  forthcoming, 2022  

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, Monstrous Politics: Geography, Rights, and the Urban Revolution in Mexico City. Vanderbilt University Press

  2021  

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, "Deadly Serious: Humor and the Politics of Aesthetic Transgression". Dialogues in Human Geography (DOI: 10.1177/20438206211054610).
     

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, "Seismic Shifts: Recentering Geology and Politics in the Anthropocene". Annals of the American Association of Geographers (DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2020.1835458).

  2020  

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, “Dreaming Dialectically: The Death and Life of the Mexico City Charter for the Right to the City.” Urban Studies (DOI: 10.1177/0042098019868102).

  2019  

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, “Policing Perception: Postpolitics and the Elusive Everyday.” Urban Geography (DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2018.1558633).

  2018  

  • Ben A. Gerlofs, “Así No (Not Like This): Resisting Postpolitics on Mexico City’s Avenida Chapultepec.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12659).

Current Projects
  • "Evolving Geographies of Neighborhood Change in China's Greater Bay Area: Land Use, Planning, and Aesthetics in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong"
     

  • "Capital Disasters: Citizenship, Gentrification, and the Politics of Geological Instability in Mexico City"
     

  • "Understanding the Dynamics of Contemporary Urban Change in Hong Kong and Singapore"
     

  • "Neighborhood Change in Hong Kong's Kennedy Town: An Aesthetic Survey Investigation"
     

  • "Relevance, Revisited: Promoting Geographical Research Within and Beyond the University"