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In his research and teaching, he is particularly interested in the interrelations between cities, globalization, and issues of political ecology, sustainability, and creative practice, which he approaches from a comparative, transnational perspective.

He is currently Professor and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Oregon, which comprises the School of Architecture & Environment, School of Art + Design, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. He is also an Honorary Research Professor in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. 

Previously, he was Professor of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, where he launched and directed the ASCA Cities Project and served as founding Director of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA). From 2010-2014, he was also Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), a research institute and doctoral school focused on the interdisciplinary study of contemporary society, politics, and culture.

In addition, he has held visiting appointments at various universities internationally, including New York University, The New School, University of California-Berkeley, University of Edinburgh, University of Freiburg, Queen Mary University of London, University of Venice, and the University of London Institute in Paris.

His recent book publications include Imagining New York City (Oxford University Press, 2015), as well as the edited volumes Deconstructing the High Line (Rutgers University Press, 2017), Global Garbage (Routledge, 2016), Cities Interrupted: Visual Culture and Urban Space (Bloomsbury, 2016), Inert Cities: Globalization, Mobility and Suspension in Visual Culture (I.B. Tauris, 2014), and Paris-Amsterdam Underground (Amsterdam University Press, 2013). He is also general editor of the book series Cities and Cultures.

He serves on a number of editorial and advisory boards, including for the journals Francospheres, Places, and Journal of American Culture, as well as for the Centre for the GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway University of London and the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University in Denmark.

His work has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), British Academy, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.