College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Geography and GIS > Faculty > Alex G. Papadopoulos

Alex G. Papadopoulos

  • Professor
  • ​PhD​
  • Geography and GIS
  • Faculty
  • Specialization: Urban and Political Geography, Sustainable Urban Development, Applied Diplomacy, European Union, SE Europe/Balkans studies.​​

  • 773-325-4752
  • ​990 West Fullerton, 4th floor, #4304
    Chicago, IL 60614​
​​​ Education:
  • PhD, The University of Chicago (Geography) – 1993
  • MA, The University of Chicago (International Relations) – 1985
  • BA, Franklin and Marshall College (Classics & Government)- 1984

​As an urban and political geographer, Alex's scholarship is informed by critical, comparative, and applied approaches to urban geography and planning, geopolitics, heritage/legacy built environments, and geographies of sexual difference. In this work, the changing character of state power speaks to the regulation and transformation of urban space, the political-spatial organization of cities, the construction of urban-ethnic identities, and the framing of privacy in cities in the context of contested performances of sexual difference. 

His research has explored as diverse topics as Greek statecraft's entanglements with the geopolitics of difference, urban cultures of resistance and exclusion in post-Tanzimat Istanbul, the emergence of “global" Brussels in the age of European integration, the resuscitation of commercial spaces in post-Soviet Saint Petersburg, the geographies of same-sex desire in modern Athens, and more recently, the ethical calculus of smart urbanism. The connective tissue and theoretical affinities of these very different scholarly endeavors are an abiding concern over the urban-spatial implications of state power.

​Recent work 

Alex's book Hellenic Statecraft and the Geopolitics of Difference, Routledge, 2021, explores the constitution of the modern State and Greek society through ideas and social facts that produced competing ontologies of Hellenism and Hellenicity: ideas about national origins, manifest destiny, cultural hierarchy, exceptionalism, privilege, and difference; social facts expressed as formal or informal norms, processes, and practices, affirming or disrupting the exercise of power and social and territorial control. Difference becomes the crucible upon which institutional actors and subjects sort their relationship to state, nation, and liberty. Accepting that difference exists in the state enables subaltern communities to claim a place in politics and engage in contestatory politics.

His newest book Spatial Futures: Difference in the Post-Anthropocene (Palgrave, 2024) (a co-edited collection with geographers LaToya Eaves and Heidi J Nast) invites readers to imagine power and freedom through the lens of the 'Black Outdoors', a transdisciplinary spatial concept that operates beyond the planetary, stratigraphic confines of the 'Anthropocene'. The chapters collectively point to the ontological-epistemological contradictions involved in forging liberatory spatial futures. Bringing new spatial imaginaries to bear in and outside geography, the book refuses the strictures of the 'cenic', entertaining difference as world-making.

Select book publications

  • Eaves, LaToya, Heidi Nast, Alex G Papadopoulos, eds. Spatial Futures: Difference and the Post-Anthropocene. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2024 – ISBN 9789819997602
  • Papadopoulos, Alex; Petridis, Triantafyllos. Hellenic Statecraft and the Geopolitics of Difference. London: Routledge, 2021 – ISBN 9781032006741 
  • Papadopoulos, Alex G; Duru, Asli (eds). Landscapes of Music in Istanbul. A Cultural Politics of Place and Exclusion. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript-Verlag, 2017 – ISBN 978-3-8376-3358-0).

Select courses:

  • GEO 201 Geopolitics
  • GEO 206 Boundaries and Identities
  • GEO 233 Comparative Urbanism
  • GEO 316 The European Union
  • GEO 331 Chicago: Global City
  • GEO 334 Urban Design


  • The Harm de Blij Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in Geography, American Association of Geographers (2019)
  • Rev. William T. Cortelyou-Martin J Lowery Award for Excellence, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, DePaul University (2011)
  • Spirit of DePaul Award, DePaul University (2011-12)
  • Vincent DePaul Professor, Society of Vincent de Paul Professors (2005-2019)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, DePaul University (1996)