Kevin Loughran

Area(s) of Interest:  Critical urban and regional theory, urban political ecology, environmental sociology, the sociology of race, cultural sociology


Kevin Loughran is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. His research investigates the production of social space from a cultural and political-economic perspective, focusing especially on urban parks and public spaces. He analyzes how social inequalities become inscribed in space and explores how urban growth, governmental planning decisions, and demographic changes have come together over time to produce unequal social geographies along lines of race and class. Drawing on urban sociology, environmental sociology, cultural sociology, and the sociology of race, his research examines how powerful actors such as city governments, urban planners, and real estate developers create social spaces and how everyday users of social spaces interpret, subvert, and reinvent the production of space through political and cultural action. His work has appeared in Sociological Theory, City & Community, Du Bois Review, and in three edited collections.

Kevin received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and two M.A. degrees from Columbia University, where he was also a researcher at the Center for Contemporary Black History. In 2015 he was a Mellon Foundation Summer Fellow at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.


2016. “Imbricated Spaces: The High Line, Urban Parks, and the Cultural Meaning of City and Nature.Sociological Theory 34(4): 311-34.

2015. “The Philadelphia Negro and the Canon of Classical Urban Theory.” Du Bois Review 12(2): 249-67.

2015. “Urban Spaces, City Cultures, and Collective Memory.” With Gary Alan Fine and Marcus Anthony Hunter (first author). Pp. 193-204 in the Routledge International Handbook of Memory Studies, edited by A.L. Tota and T. Hagen. London: Routledge.

2014. “Parks for Profit: The High Line, Growth Machines, and the Uneven Development of Urban Public Spaces.”  City & Community 13(1): 49-68.