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Derek Ruez

I’m a geographer working at the intersection of urban, political, and cultural geographies, with additional graduate training in both sociology and gender and women’s studies. My work also engages interdisciplinary conversations around urban, queer, and migration studies, respectively, as well as social and political theory. My research has been published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Antipode, and Progress in Human Geography.

My dissertation research examines urban processes of migration and citizenship as they intersect with the politics of sexuality and minoritized sexual identities in Sydney, Australia. Situated against a backdrop of Sydney’s global city aspirations, economic shifts in the Asia Pacific, and Australia’s long history of racialized exclusion, the project draws primarily on interviews with lesbian and gay migrants and ‘2nd generation’ adult children of migrants who reflect the diversity of Australia’s migration streams—including historically important migration from Southern and Eastern Europe and increasingly significant movements from South, Southeast, and East Asia. In doing so, it contributes to literatures examining the politics of encounters across difference, develops a queer-political approach to the place of sex, relationships, and household formation in processes of migrant reception and citizenship, and engages with the work of Hannah Arendt to highlight the importance of plurality to queer and urban geographic approaches to politics.

In both my research and teaching, I am interested in exploring the politics of difference, identity, and exclusion and leveraging critical academic perspectives to analyze and, ultimately, transform socio-spatial formations that privilege some and devalue others. At the University of Kentucky, I have taught courses on the Regional Geography of Australia and U.S. Cities. I also regularly teach at Bellarmine University where I teach Introduction to Human Geography and an upper level interdisciplinary seminar on Global Urbanism.


Contact Information
822 Patterson Office Tower
Ph.D., Department of Geography, University of Kentucky
Graduate Certificate, Gender and Women's Studies, University of Kentucky
M.A., Sociology, University of Kentucky
B.A., Peace and Global Studies, Earlham College
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Geography
  • Social Theory