Natalie Oswin

Urban and Social/ Cultural Geography

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography
Managing Editor, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Office: Burnside Hall Room 418
Tel.: (514) 398-5232
Fax.: (514) 398-7437

natalie.oswin [at] (E-mail)

Academic background

  • Assistant Professor, Dept of Geography, National University of Singapore (2007-2008)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Geography, National University of Singapore (2005-2007)
  • PhD in Geography, University of British Columbia (2005)


Research interests

I study the geographies of sexuality, drawing particularly on queer and postcolonial theories to understand the workings of heteronormativity in various sites. I have conducted field research in Singapore and South Africa and have engaged in conceptual work on the notion of queer geographies, the sexual politics of global urbanism, and the politics of mobility in global cities. I am currently completing a book manuscript on sexual citizenship in Singapore while also beginning research into the expansion of gay-friendly policies in cities worldwide and planning research into foster care and adoption in Canada.

Selected publications

Journal articles

Rosenberg, Rae and Oswin, Natalie. 2015. “Trans embodiment in carceral space: hypermasculinity and the U.S. prison industrial complex.” Gender, Place, and Culture 22(9), 1269-1286.

Oswin, Natalie. 2014. “Sexual citizenship in Singapore: heteronormativity and the cultural politics of population.” Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 36.

Oswin, Natalie. 2014. “Queer time in global city Singapore: neoliberal futures and the ‘freedom to love’.” Sexualities 17(4): 412-433.

Oswin, Natalie. 2012. “The queer time of creative urbanism: Family, futurity and global city Singapore.” Environment and Planning A 44(7): 1624-1640. 

Oswin, Natalie. 2010. “The modern model family at home in Singapore: A queer geography.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 35(2): 256-268.

Oswin, Natalie. 2010. “Sexual tensions in modernizing Singapore: The postcolonial and the intimate.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28(1): 128-141.

Oswin, Natalie. 2008. “Critical geographies and the uses of sexuality: Deconstructing queer space.” Progress in Human Geography 32(1): 89-103.

Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “Producing homonormativity in neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, redistribution and the Equality Project.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 32(3): 649-670.

Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “The end of queer (as we knew it): Globalization and the making of a gay-friendly South Africa.” Gender, Place and Culture 14(1): 93-110.

Oswin, Natalie. 2006. “Decentering queer globalization: Diffusion and the ‘global gay’.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24(5): 777-790.

Oswin, Natalie. 2004. “Towards radical geographies of complicit queer futures.” Acme: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 3(2): 79-86.


Edited journal special issues

Oswin, Natalie (guest editor). 2015. “World, city, queer.” Theme issue of Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 47(3).

Oswin, Natalie and Eric Olund (guest editors). 2010. “Governing intimacy.” Theme issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28(1).

Oswin, Natalie and Brenda Yeoh (guest editors). 2010. “Mobile city Singapore.” Theme issue of Mobilities 5(2).


Book chapters

Oswin, Natalie. “Queering the city: Sexual citizenship in creative city Singapore,” in Urban Politics: Critical Approaches, Mark Davidson and Deborah Martin (eds). London: Sage, pp. 139-155.

Oswin, Natalie. 2014. “Queer theory,” in The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, Peter Adey, David Bissell, Kevin Hannam, Peter Merriman and Mimi Sheller (eds). New York: Routledge Press, pp. 85-93.

Oswin, Natalie. 2013. “Geographies of sexualities: The cultural turn and after,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography, Nuala Johnson, Richard Schein and Jamie Winders (eds). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Press, pp. 105-117.

Oswin, Natalie. 2011. “Sexuality – Part I,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography, John Agnew and James Duncan (eds). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Press, pp. 465-474.