Stefano Bloch

About Stefano Bloch

I am a cultural geographer and urban ethnographer who conducts research on transgressive subcultures, policing, and neighborhood change, with expertise in the history and theorization of graffiti as a socio-spatial practice and the use of autoethnographic research methods.  

After completing my MA at UCLA (Advisors: Edward W. Soja, Allen J. Scott, and Michael Storper) and Ph.D at the University of Minnesota (Advisors: Edward W. Soja, George L. Henderson, Karen Till, Abdi Samatar), I was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University, and from 2015-2017 I was a Presidential Diversity Fellow and Senior Research Associate in the Urban Studies Program at Brown University.

As of Spring 2018 I serve as the Chair of the committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the School of Geography and Development, and am faculty affiliate with the Institute for LGBT Studies

Areas of Study

Cultural Geography  —  Urban Sociology  —  Urban Studies  —  Cultural Studies  — Socio-spatial Theory — Geographic Thought — Qualitative Research Methods


As of Spring 2018, I have four projects in the works:

Going All City

I am going through the final edits for my book under contract with University of Chicago Press, entitled Going All City. The book is an autoethnography that focuses on traversing the city as a graffiti writer as a means of navigating violence and trauma.

Violent Crime / Graffiti Correlation Study

Second, I am co-authoring an article with Dr. Yesim Sungu at Boston University and Cyrus Madden at Brown University on the spatial correlation between where violent crimes clusters and where quality of life crimes in the form of graffiti occur. This article is based on two years of primary data collection and geo-tagged crime data from Providence, Rhode Island.

Canicide: the Killing of Pet Dogs by Police

Third, I am co-authoring an article with Professor Daniel Martinez (Sociology, University of Arizona) on canicide at the hands of police. We are relying on observations based on my field work with the Los Angeles Police Department as well as several years of shooting data from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs. We contend that the destruction of dogs by police is illustrative of race-based violence commitment by law enforcement in committees of color. 

Civil Gang Injunctions and Freedom from Nuisance

Fourth, I am co-authoring an article with Dugan Meyer (Ph.D student, University of Kentucky) focusing on how insidious forms of exclusion and criminalization of young men who are perceived and categorized as gang members within gentrifying communities is done to appease white liberal sensibilities and expectations for aesthetic coherence, safety, and comfort. 

Research Interests

Graffiti + Gangs, Crime + Policing, Racial Identity + Subcultures,  Gentrification + Neighborhood Change,  Latina/o + Chicana/o Urbanism,  Socio-spatial Theory + Transgression,   Ethnography + Autoethnography.

Selected Publications

"Place-based Elicitation: Interviewing Graffiti Writers at the Scene of the Crime," in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 2016.

"Why Do Graffiti Writers Write on Murals: The Birth, Life, and Slow Death of Freeway Murals in Los Angeles," in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2016. 

"Challenging the Defense of Graffiti in Defense of Graffiti," in Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art (J. Ross, Ed.), 2016.

"Hollywood as Waste Regime: The Revalorization of a Cast-Off Mattress as Film Prop," in City, 2013.

"Urban Redevelopment and the Los Angeles Housing Authority: Considering the Photography of Leonard Nadel," in APCG, 2012. 

"The Illegal Face of Wall Space: Urban Aesthetics in the Context of Neighborhood Change," in Radical History Review, 2012.

Stefano Bloch's picture

Contact Information

Stefano Bloch
Assistant Professor
Telephone: 520-621-3311
Office: ENR2 S-521
Office Hours: Wed 12:30-2:00


Post-Doctoral Fellow, Urban Studies, Brown University, 2017.

Ph.D. Geography, University of Minnesota, 2012.

MA, Urban Planning, UCLA, 2005. 

BA,  Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz,, 2001.

Courses Taught

GEOG 340: Cultural Geography (Undergraduate, Fall 2017)

GEOG 357: Geographical Research Methods (Undergraduate, Spring 2018)

GEOG 696G: Urban Geography (Graduate, Spring 2018)

GEOG 150: Crime and the City (Undergraduate, Fall 2018)

GEOG 689: History of Geographic Thought (Graduate, Fall 2018)