Dr Jessie Speer

Dr Jessie Speer

Assistant Professor in Human Geography

Department of Geography and Environment

Room No
CKK 3.16
Office Hours
Book via Student Hub
Key Expertise
Home, Housing, Displacement, Gender, Qualitative methods

About me

Jessie Speer joined the Department of Geography and Environment as Assistant Professor in 2020. Her research examines struggles over urban and domestic space at the margins of housed society. She engages political economic, feminist, and postcolonial approaches to urban displacement to examine how unhoused people contest normative domesticity and capitalist housing markets.

Her current book project, based on in-depth ethnographic and archival research, examines the demolition of homeless encampments in the United States as part of a larger attack on urban informality. Other projects include literary and historical analysis of memoirs and oral histories of homelessness, legal anlaysis of the nexus between migration and housing displacement in the United Kingdom, and the development of activist community archives.

Jessie formerly practiced law in California, working at legal aid clinics assisting people experiencing domestic violence and eviction. She holds a PhD in Geography from Syracuse University and has received fellowships and awards from the Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, British Academy, and Antipode Foundation.

selected publications

Speer, J. (2019). “A collection of stories, poetry and theories”: Homelessness, outsider memoirs, and the right to theorize. GeoHumanities. 5(2): 326-341.  

Speer, J. and Goldfischer, E. (2019). The city is not innocent: Homelessness, survival, and the value of urban nature. Capitalism Nature Socialism. doi:10.1080/10455752.2019.1640756 

Speer, J. (2018). Urban makeovers, homeless encampments, and the aesthetics of displacement. Social & Cultural Geography. 20(4): 575-595. 

Hennigan, B. and Speer, J. (2018). Compassionate revanchism: The blurry geography of homelessness in the USA. Urban Studies. 56(5): 906-921. 

Speer, J. (2018). The rise of the tent ward: Homeless camps in the era of mass incarceration. Political Geography. 62: 160-169. 

Speer, J. (2017). “It's not like your home”: Homeless encampments, housing projects, and the struggle over domestic space. Antipode. 49(2): 517-535. 

Speer, J. (2016). The right to infrastructure: A struggle for sanitation in Fresno, California homeless encampments. Urban Geography. 37(7): 1049-1069.