Dr Naama Blatman-Thomas

Dr Naama Blatman-Thomas

Senior Lecturer

PhD, 2019 - Ben-Gurion University, Politics and Government

M.A., 2011 - Tel-Aviv University, Sociology & Anthropology

B.A., 2007 - Tel-Aviv University, Political Science, Sociology & Anthropology

Arts,Design & Architecture
Cities Institute

I am a Scientia Senior Lecturer at the Cities Institute. As an urban and political geographer, my work has focused on two geographical locations: Israel/Palestine and Australia. My work applies a comparative lens and collaborative research practice with Indigenous communities to interrogate the histories, lived realities and futures in-the-making of settler colonial cities. Using archival and ethnographic methods, I examine how cities are planned and re/developed considering enduring yet dynamic structures of settler colonial and Indigenous urbanisms. 

I am alumnus of the Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2020-2023) and previously held the positions of Research Theme Fellow at Western Sydney University (2022-2024) and Lecturer in Urban Geography at The University of Sydney (2019-2022). Prior to completing my PhD, I worked for several years in Human Rights and Palestinian non-for-profit organisations in Israel.

UNSW Cities Institute Room 218, John Goodsell Building
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Blatman N; Mays K, 2023, 'INDIGENOUS URBANISMS', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 47, pp. 106 - 109, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.13128
    Journal articles | 2023
    Blatman N; Sabbagh‐Khoury A, 2023, 'THE PRESENCE OF THE ABSENCE: Indigenous Palestinian Urbanism in Israel', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 47, pp. 119 - 128, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.13130
    Journal articles | 2023
    Blatman N; Sisson A, 2023, 'Rethinking housing inequality and justice in a settler colonial city', International Journal of Housing Policy, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2023.2269621
    Journal articles | 2023
    Blatman N, 2023, 'Settler urban geographies of decommissioned prisons: an invitation to a discussion', Urban Geography, 44, pp. 284 - 286, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2022.2131083
    Journal articles | 2021
    Blatman N, 2021, 'Indigenous urban life beyond city bounds: a more-than-urban approach', City, 25, pp. 187 - 192, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2020.1847850
    Journal articles | 2019
    Blatman-Thomas N; Porter L, 2019, 'Placing Property: Theorizing the Urban from Settler Colonial Cities', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 43, pp. 30 - 45, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12666
    Journal articles | 2019
    Blatman-Thomas N, 2019, 'Reciprocal Repossession: Property as Land in Urban Australia', Antipode, 51, pp. 1395 - 1415, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/anti.12570
    Journal articles | 2017
    Blatman-Thomas N, 2017, 'Commuting for rights: Circular mobilities and regional identities of Palestinians in a Jewish-Israeli town', Geoforum, 78, pp. 22 - 32, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.11.007
    Journal articles | 2017
    Blatman-Thomas N, 2017, 'From transients to residents: urban Indigeneity in Israel and Australia', Journal of Historical Geography, 58, pp. 1 - 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2017.07.006

Past and present grants (selected):

Geographical Society of NSW/ Symposium Funding Scheme (2024)

Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2020-2023)

The Henry Halloran Trust/ Research Seminar and Publication Scheme, The University of Sydney (Rogers D, Morton A, Troy L, Blatman N, Altun S) (2021)

Antipode Scholar-Activist Award (2019-2020)


I am currently undertaking research in three main areas:

First, through collaborations with First Nations communities and organisations, we examine access to and activation of land rights, and land politics and relations in settler-colonial cities and how they play out vis-a-vis government policies, planning and development and financialisation processes.

Second, I apply abolitionist tools to work across several areas of carceral geographies, including mapping prison geographies in Australia, probing the historical links between urbanisation and incarceration and changes to carceral structures in the context of settler colonial policies, and examining the contemporary politics and economics of redevelopments of decomissioned urban prisons.

Third, methodologically I am focusing on the role of storytelling and lived experiences in urban development, particularly as tools for intervening in urban processes to achieve more equitable and just cities.

Co-convenor, The Institute of Australian Geographers, Urban Geography Study Group (2021-2024)

Co-convenor, The Institute of Australian Geographers, Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights Study Group (2019-2020)