Associate Professor of Sociology (On leave for the 2023–2024 Academic Year)
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 in production with Columbia University Press, explores the persistence of iconic gay neighborhoods in Washington, DC, through acts of ephemeral placemaking by nonresidential community actors (vicarious citizens).
His ongoing research draws on queer placemaking in cities to challenge the notions of placemaking as stable. His most recent work, 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, culminating 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. In 2023, Greene received the 2024 Early Career Award in Sexualities from the American Sociological Association.
Outside of Bowdoin, Greene holds numerous positions within the American Sociological Association. He serves as Chair for the Section on Sexualities and Chair of the Publications Committee for the Community and Urban Sociology Section. In 2022, Greene also began his tenure on the Editorial Board of City and Community as Associate Editor for Symbolic Interaction. 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 and the Equality Community 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." (Currently Under Review at Social Problems).
The Use of Public Spaces. (In preparation for The Oxford Handbook on Urban Sociology).
"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."
Published Articles and Book Chapters
Forthcoming. "Gay Neighborhoods: Reimagining the Traditional Conception of the American Dream." In The Routledge Handbook of the American Dream, Vol. 2. Robert Hauhart and Mitja Sardoc, eds. London: Routledge.
Forthcoming. "We Will Always Remember": Reactivating Queer Spaces as Expressions of Grief, Solidary, and Protest After Pulse. In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, Fourth Edition. Nancy Fischer and Laurel Westbrook, eds. London: Routledge.
2022. "'Your Bench is My Dancefloor!': Queer Subcultures and the Production of Places in Contemporary Gay Bars." Studies in Symbolic Interaction 54: 137 - 165.
2021. "The Whiteness of Urban Queer Placemaking." Pp. 143 - 160 in The Gayborhood: From Sexual Liberation to Cosmopolitan Spectacle. 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.
Panelist. "Untold Stories of Studying Sexualities: A Simon-Gagnon Lifetime Achievement Award Conversation."
Panelist. Association of Black Sociologists Annual Meeting (Virtual Meeting) Plenary: Black Capital and Chocolate Cities.
Presenter Society in the Study of Symbolic Interaction Annual Meeting (Virtual Meeting) "The Whiteness of Urban Queer Placemaking."
Presenter. Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, March (Virtual Meeting) "Queer Placeaking in the Time of COVID-19." (Invited Section on Sexualities in the Time of COVID).
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.
"Cancel Culture Has Grown in Scope Since The Term Came to Use A Few Years Ago -- We'll Explore How This Phenomenon Has Morphed." Maine Calling (Maine Public Radio). February 25. Available for listening here.
"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.