Theo Greene

Affiliation: Sociology
Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of the Sociology Department

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, entitled Not 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.  


  • PhD, Sociology; Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies; Northwestern University, 2015
  • MA, Sociology, Northwestern University, 2008
  • AB, English and History, Georgetown University, 2002