Edward William Soja (b. 1941, in Bronx (New York City), U.S.) is a postmodern political geographer and urban planner on the faculty at UCLA, where he is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning, and the London School of Economics. He has a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. His early research focused on planning in Kenya.
In addition to his readings of American feminist cultural theorist bell hooks (b.1952), and French intellectual Michael Foucault (1926 - 1984), Professor Ed Soja's greatest contribution to spatial theory and the field of cultural geography is his use of the work of French Marxist urban sociologist Henri Lefebvre (1901 - 1991), author of The Production of Space (1991). Soja has updated Lefebvre's concept of the spatial triad with his own concept of spatial trialectics which includes thirdspace, or spaces that are both real and imagined.
Soja focuses his critical postmodern analysis of space and society, or what he calls spatiality, on the people and places of Los Angeles. In 2009 the University of Minnesota Press will release his latest book on socio-spatial justice in Los Angeles.
Soja has collaborated on research and writing with, most notably, Professor Allen J. Scott (UCLA), Michael Storper (UCLA, LSE), Fredric Jameson (Duke University), David Harvey (Johns Hopkins, CUNY), and various faculty and students in the departments of Urban Planning, Architecture, Policy Studies, and Geography at UCLA.
- Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London: Verso Press, 1989.
- Scott, A.J and E.W. Soja, eds. The City: Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1996.
- Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1996.
- Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2000.
- "Writing the city spatially", City, November, 2003.
- Bell, Thomas L.; Muller, Peter O. (March 2003). "Book Review". Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93 (1): 248–250. ISSN 0004-5608. (A review of Soja's Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, ISBN 1-57718-001-1.)
- Edward Soja, webpage at UCLA
- Recent students/advisees:
J.Miguel Kanai, (PhD, UCLA, 2008), Asst. Prof. University of Miami, Geography: http://www.as.miami.edu/geography/people/JMiguelKanai.html
Stefano Bloch, (MA, UCLA, 2005) PhD candidate, University of Minnesota, Geography: http://www.geog.umn.edu/people/studentprofile.php?UID=bloch