Professor Theo Greene joined the faculty at Bowdoin in 2015. His research, writing, and teaching interests lie at the intersections of gender, sexuality, urbanism, and culture. His research broadly uses sexual communities to understand how urban redevelopment shapes and reconfigures how individuals conceptualize, identify with, and participate in local communities. His current book project, entitledNot in MY Gayborhood: Gay Neighborhoods and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen, currently under contract with Columbia University Press, explores the persistence of iconic gay neighborhoods in Washington, DC through ephemeral acts of placemaking by nonresidential community actors (vicarious citizens).
His ongoing research draws on queer placemaking in cities to challenge the notions of placemaking as stable. An upcoming project, to be published in Studies in Symbolic Interaction, draws on ten years of ethnographic fieldwork in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and Portland, ME to consider how gay bars and nightlife venues constitute a collection of spaces within the same place, which shifts based on the appropriation of space by various LGBTQ subcultures. Another project examines how LGBTQ Youths of Color translate street-corner practices traditionally associated with the iconic ghetto into claims of local community membership within Chicago’s Boystown gayborhood. Greene has also begun research on queer placemaking in Portland, Maine, which will also culminate in a digital archive historically tracing Portland’s queer geographies. He also hopes to incorporate Portland and Maine in future research on placemaking and the production of queer communities in resort towns.
Greene has been honored for both his teaching and scholarship. In 2020, Greene was awarded the Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty at Bowdoin. That same year, his article, "Aberrations of Home: Gay Neighborhoods and Experiences of Comming Among GBQ Men of Color," published in The Handbook of Research for Black Males (Michigan State University Press) received the Distinguished Article Award in Sexualities from the American Sociological Association's Section on Sexualities.
Currently, Greene serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Sexualities Sections with the American Sociological Association, as well as Chair of ASA’s LGBTQ Caucus. Outside the classroom, Greene enjoys extending his research for the Common Good. In addition to sitting on the Board of Advisors for “The Corner,” the Whitman-Walker Health Cultural Center, Greene also sits on the Board of Directors for the Frannie Peabody Center.
Works in Progress
Not in MY Gayborhood! Gay Neighborhoods and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen (under contract with Columbia University Press).
"Street Corner Citizenship: Gay Neighborhoods, Vicarious Citizenship, and the Self-Enfranchisement of LGBTQ Youth."
"Placemaking and the Mediation of Virtual Communities in the Time of COVID."
"Making Dupont Gay Again: Place Reactivation and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen."
"Queering the American Dream." Chapter in Preparation for the Handbook on the American Dream, Robert Hauhart and Mitja Sardoc, eds.
Published Articles and Book Chapters
2021. "'Your Bench is My Dancefloor!': Queer Subcultures and the Production of Places in Contemporary Gay Bars." Studies in Symbolic Interaction 54.
Forthcoming. "The Whiteness of Urban Queer Placemaking." In Somewhere Beyond the Rainbow: Critical Essays on the Gayborhood and Beyond. Christopher Connor and Daniel Okamura, eds. Lexington Books (in production).
2019. "Queer Cultural Archipelagos are New to Us." City & Community 18(1): 23 - 29.
2019. “Aberrations of Home: Experiences of Community in Gay Neighborhoods as GBQ Men of Color.” Pp. 189 - 209 in The Handbook of Research for Black Males, Theodore Ransaw, Richard Majors, and Charles Gause, eds. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.
WINNER: 2020 DISTINGUISHED ARTICLE IN SEXUALITIES AWARD Sociology of Sexualities Section, American Sociological Association
2018. "Queer Street Families: Place-making and Community Among LGBT Youth of Color in Iconic Gay Neighborhoods.” Pp. 268 - 181 in Queer Families and Relationships After Marriage Equality. Michael Yarborough, Angela Jones, and Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis, eds. New York: Routledge.
2014.“Gay Neighborhoods and the Rights of the Vicarious Citizen.” City & Community 13(2): 99 – 118.
2021. Review of Civic Intimacies: Black Queer Improvisations of Black Citizenship (by Niels van Doorn). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. American Journal of Sociology 126(2): 472 - 475.
2019.Review of Gay Inc.(by Myrl Beam).Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Mobilizations: An International Journal 24(4): 249 – 250.
2019. Review of The Gang’s All Queer (by Vanessa Panfil). New York: New York University Press. The American Journal of Sociology 124(5): 1627 - 1629.
2018. Review for How Places Make Us: Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities (by Japonica Brown-Saracino). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. City & Community 17(4): 1276 – 1278.
2018. Review of Pride Parades: How A Parade Changed the World (by Katherine McFarland Bruce). NewYork: New York University Press. Contemporary Sociology 47(1): 55 - 57.
2014. “Sex and the Postindustrial City.” Review of Cities and Sexualities (by Phil Hubbard). NewYork: Routledge. Journal of Sex Research 51(4): 482 –483.
Presenter. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 8 - 11, (San Francisco, CA) Virtual, ’Quare’ Spatial Politics: Rethinking the Spatial Imagination of LGBTQ Communities of Color. (Invited Session on Queer Spatial Politics).
Presenter. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 8 - 11, (San Francisco, CA), Virtual Meeting, “‘Quaring’ the Queer Classroom: Reflections on Deconstructing and Decolonizing Queer Subjectivities in the Classroom.” (Invited Session on Laboring in Academia from an Intersectional Perspective).
Presenter.American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 10 – 13, New York, NY, “Making Dupont Gay Again: Place Reactivation and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen.”
Presenter.Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, March 14 – 17, Boston, MA, “The Whiteness of Queer Placemaking.”
Panelist.ASA Sociology of Sexualities Pre-Conference: Sexualities, Race and Empire: Resistance in An Uncertain Time, August 9 – 10, Philadelphia, PA, “Plenary: Past, Present, and Future Sexualities Studies.”
Speaker. “Street-Corner Citizenship: Queer Youth Placemaking in Iconic Gay Neighborhoods,” American University, October 26.
Presenter. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 12 – 15, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, “Queer Youth Placemaking in Iconic Gay Neighborhoods.” Thematic Session: “Mobilizing Culture in Divided Cities.”
Presenter. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 12 – 15, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, “Aberrations of Home: Gay Neighborhoods and the Experiences of Community Among GBQ Men of Color.”
Critic. Eastern Sociological Association, February 23 – 26, Philadelphia, PA “Author-Meets-Critics Session of School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom by Catherine Connell (University of California Press, 2015).
“Street-Corner Citizenship: Gay Neighborhoods, Vicarious Citizenship, and the Self-Enfranchisement of Queer Youth,” UC Irvine, Department of Sociology Colloquium Series, January 12.
Presenter. CLAGS After Marriage Conference, October 1 – 2, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY “Street Corner Citizenship: Gay Neighborhoods, Vicarious Citizenship, and the Self-Enfranchisement of Queer Youth.”
Panelist. “The Many Nations of the Midcoast,” Think and Drink (Rockland, ME), Maine Humanities Council, December 8. “Gentrification and the Politics of Place,” A Conversation with Brian McCabe – Georgetown University, October 11.
Presenter. Property: Rights of Ownership and Responsibilities of Stewardship in Multidisciplinary Perspective, October 17, Bates College, Lewiston, ME “Street Corner Citizenship: Gay Neighborhoods, Vicarious Citizenship, and the Self-Enfranchisement of Queer Youth.”
Presenter. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 17 – 21, Chicago, IL “Gay Neighborhoods and the Self-Enfranchisement of Queer Youth.”
"Making Dupont Gay Again: Place Reactivation and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen," Bowdoin College, Karofsky Encore Lecture, February 14. Available here.
"Not in MY Gayborhood! Gay Neighborhoods and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen," Smithsonian Anacostia Museum's "Rights to the City" Series, January 18.
"Street Corner Citizen: Gay Neighborhoods and the Self-Enfranchisement of LGBT Youth of Color."
Boston University, Urban Inequalities Workshop, December 6.
“Making Dupont Gay Again: Place Reactivation and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen”
Whitman-Walker Health, November 5.
Bates College, Department of Political Science, May 8
American University, Metropolitan Policy Project, January 31.
“Street Corner Citizenship: Queer Youth in Iconic Gay Neighborhoods.”
Georgetown University, October 29. Available for viewing here.
American University, American Studies Month, October 26.
UC Irvine, Department of Sociology Colloquium Series, January 12.
“What’s in a ****?The Ambiguities of Talking Sex.”TEDxBowdoinCollege, Brunswick, ME, March 31.Available here.
“Sexuality Outside the Binaries,” Featured Lecture, Shimitomo Bank, New York, March 15.
Panelist.“The Many Nations of the Midcoast,” Think and Drink (Rockland, ME), Maine Humanities Council, December 8.
“Gentrification and the Politics of Place,” A Conversation with Brian McCabe – Georgetown University, October 11.
"Understanding Labels: The Terms We Use to Describe Groups of People & How Those Evolve to Reflect Societal Values." Maine Calling (Maine Public Radio). April 21. Available for Listening here.
"Distribution Requirement Being Updated to Move from Awareness to Engagement." Bowdoin Website. October 13. Read the article here.
"National Honors for Sociologist Theo Greene." August 28. Read the article here.
"Queer Placemaking in Portland, Maine and Beyond." The Mews with Marpheen Chan. December 1. Available for Listening here.
"Cancel Culture: How Does This Societal Trend Affect People, For Better or For Worse?" Maine Calling (Maine Public Radio), December 6. Available for listening here.
"Professor Theo Greene Stays Busy After Sabbatical" by Lily Randall (The Bowdoin Orient), November 8. Read the article here.
“Men and Friendships: How Do Men Make and Maintain Friendships?” Maine Calling (Maine Public Radio), August 23. Available for listening here.
“‘You’re Welcome Here’: Revelry and Sadness at a Gay’s Mainstay Final Weekend,” by Teo Armus (TheWashington Post), July 1. Read the article here.
“What D.C.’s Disappearing Gay Neighborhoods Mean for Local Culture,” The Kojo Nnamdi Show WAMU 88.5 (National Public Radio), December 5. Available for listening here.
“Legendary Gay Bar Seeks New Home East of the Anacostia,” by Lauren Ober.WAMU 88.5 (National Public Radio), September 26. Available for listening here.