Austin ZeidermanDr. Austin Zeiderman

Assistant Professor of Urban Geography


Room: STC 6.00, St Clement’s Building, LSE

Links: Google Scholar page


Austin Zeiderman is an interdisciplinary scholar who specialises in the cultural and political dimensions of cities, with a specific focus on Latin America. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as a Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colgate University.

Austin’s research adopts an ethnographic and historical approach to contemporary forms of urbanism. He is particularly interested in how cities are planned, built, governed and inhabited in anticipation of uncertain futures. His book, Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá (Duke UP), focuses on the government of environmental hazard in the self-built settlements of the urban periphery. Austin is also beginning a new research project on rapid urban transformations associated with port expansion in the city of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Aspects of Austin’s research have appeared in a range of venues, such as Public Culture, Environment and Planning AAmerican Ethnologist, openDemocracy, and the Guardian. He has received fellowships and awards from the Fulbright Program, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. From 2012 to 2014, Austin coordinated the Urban Uncertainty project at LSE Cities, where he remains a Research Associate. Raised in Philadelphia, he has previously worked on urban and environmental issues in Baltimore and San Francisco.

Research Areas

  • Cities and urbanism
  • Urban politics, governance and the state
  • Security and risk
  • Rights, citizenship and democracy
  • Urban infrastructures, ecologies and environments
  • Colonial and postcolonial history
  • Housing, resettlement and displacement
  • Ethnographic and historical methods
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Latin America
  • Science and technology
  • Urban and social theory



Selected recent publications:

Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá. (2016) Durham: Duke University Press.

“Adaptive Publics: Building Climate Constituencies in Bogotá.” (2016) Public Culture.

“Prognosis Past: The Temporal Politics of Disaster in Colombia.” (2016) Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

“Submergence: Precarious Politics in Colombia’s Future Port-City.” (2016) Antipode.

Uncertainty and Urban Life.” (2015) Public Culture (lead author; co-written with Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Jonathan Silver, and Astrid Wood).

“Spaces of Uncertainty: Governing Urban Environmental Hazards.” (2015) In Modes of Uncertainty: Anthropological Cases, edited by Limor Samimian-Darash and Paul Rabinow, 182-200. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

“Commentary on: ‘Pandemic prophecy, or how to have faith in reason’ by Carlo Caduff” (2014) Current Anthropology. 55 (3). 312-315.

Living Dangerously: Biopolitics and Urban Citizenship in Bogotá, Colombia.” (2013) American Ethnologist 40 (1): 71–87.

On shaky ground: the making of risk in Bogotá.” (2012) Environment and Planning A 44 (7): 1570–1588.

For Bogotá’s desplazados, living in a high-risk zone is a very mixed blessing.” (2014) The Guardian, 28 March.

Securing Bogotá.” (2013) OpenDemocracy, 14 February.

“El Cartucho ist verschwunden” (“The Disappearance of El Cartucho”). (2013) Die Welt Der Städte, le Monde diplomatique No. 14, 83-85.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.