Stephen Young

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: (608) 890-3097

Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Science Hall
550 N Park Street
WI 53706–1404

Office Hours:
Fridays 2:30–3:30pm or by appointment


Ph.D., Geography, University of Washington, 2010
M.Sc., Sociology, University of Edinburgh, 2002
B.A., Sociology, University of Leeds, 2000


Economic and Political Geography, Finance and International Development, Urban Governance, Youth Cultures, Race and Racism, Men and Masculinities.


I have two main areas of research. The first engages with economic geography and development studies to explore how young people in provincial India are resisting or accelerating processes of marketization. The second draws on work in urban and political geography to trace the emergence of new infrastructures of spatial and racial control in US cities since the postwar era.


One of my current research projects extends my historical work on race and urban governance by examining how digital technologies are currently being used to monitor and manage the “affective atmospheres” of the city. I am also beginning a new project that will pick up on my earlier interest in financial technologies and markets. In addition to examing initiatives that seek to make the livelihoods of poor populations more visible (e.g. microfinance), I am now exploring on the creation of financial spaces and practices that work to hide the wealth of elites.


Introduction to International Studies [Intl St 101]
Global Poverty and Inequality [Intl St 402]
Economic Geography [GEOG 510]
Research Design for Social Scientists [Intl St 620]
Seminar in Human Geography [GEOG 901]


Center for South Asia
International Learning Community
Development Studies
Institute for International and Regional Studies


On cities, race, and anticipatory governance in the US
S. Young & M. Bruzzone. Feeling the pulse of the city: Racial liberalism and the political geographies of tension in postwar Detroit. Forthcoming in Urban Geography
S. Young, A. Pinkerton & K. Dodds 2014. The Word on the street: Rumor, race, and the anticipation of urban unrest. Political Geography 38, 1, 57–67
A. Pinkerton, S. Young & K. Dodds 2011. Postcards from heaven: Critical geographies of the Cold War Military–Industrial–Academic complex. Antipode 43, 3, 820–844

On economic change, inequalities, and youth enterprise in India
S. Young, S. Kumar & C. Jeffrey 2017. Beyond improvisation? The rise and rise of youth entrepreneurs in north India. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 42, 1, 98–109
D. Rodgers & S. Young 2017. From a politics of conviction to a politics of interest? The changing ‘ontologics’ of youth politics in India and Nicaragua. Antipode 49, 1, 193–211
S. Young & S. Kumar 2016. College entrepreneurs in India: The fortune at the bottom of a pyramid scheme. In N. Ansell & N. Klocker [eds.] Geographies of Children and Young People (London: Springer)

On financialization, gender, and poverty management in India
S. Young & C. Jeffrey 2012. Making ends meet. Economic and Political Weekly 47, 30, 45–51
S. Young 2010. Gender, mobility and the financialisation of development. Geopolitics 15, 3, 606–627
S. Young 2010. The ‘moral hazards’ of microfinance: Restructuring rural credit in India. Antipode 42, 1, 201–230


Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2017

Blended Learning Fellow, 2016

University Housing Distinguished Teaching Award, 2014 and 2011

Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Fellow, 2012


Ritodhi Chakraborty and Wanjing Chen


A short KUOW radio feature about my US research is available here: KUOW