Research/Areas of Interest:

Geographic information system; urban geography; housing; critical GIS


  • PhD, Geography and Geographic Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, United States, 2019
  • MA, International Communication, Focus in Intercultural Communication, American University, Washington D.C., United States, 2007
  • BA, History, Minors in French, Mathematics, and Environmental Physics, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, United States, 2005


Rebecca Shakespeare's research interests are in how people understand, encounter, and are impacted by the cities in which they live. Her NSF-funded dissertation research focused on urban housing, neighborhood changes, broad concepts of affordability, and understanding why people move (or don't move) within cities. She applies qualitative and GIS approaches to understand how urban residents perceive, impact, and are impacted by the places they live, work, and travel through. Her research and fieldwork has focused on New York City, Beijing, and Chicago, using a variety of approaches including sketch maps, GPS tracking, interviews, and policy analysis to understand affordability, social mix, and environmental exposure.

She holds a Ph.D. in Geography and GIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in International Communication from American University, and a B.A. in History from Indiana University Bloomington. Previously, she was a Presidential Management Fellow and lead digital media analyst at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (now USAGM).