• Faculty

  • Robert von Mahs

    Urban Studies Associate Professor; Urban Studies and Environmental Studies Chair (Spring 2024); Lang Faculty Sophomore Advisor


    Office Location
    A - 66 West 12th Street

    Download vCard

    Robert von Mahs


    Dr. von Mahs joined the New School in 2005. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. His research and teaching interests include poverty and homelessness, comparative social policy analyses, globalization processes, social control and the criminalization of the poor, social movements, and ethnography. Dr. von Mahs has been awarded grants from the German Marshall Fund, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. Prior to coming to the New School he taught at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    Degrees Held

    • PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, University of Southampton, Southampton UK, 2005
    • Master of Arts in Geography, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1996

    Professional Affiliation

    • Council of Adult and Experiential Learning, since 2023
    • American Sociological Association, since 2001
    • Urban Affairs Association, since 1998
    • Association of American Geographers, since 1995

    Recent Publications

    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2013). Down and Out in Los Angeles and Berlin: The Sociospatial Exclusion of Homeless People. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2021) Wishing the Wall Back: The Struggles of Eight “Unification Losers” in Post-socialist Berlin. Urban Geography, 42:9, 1310-1332
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2018). „1933,“ Or What Hitler’s Ascendency Teaches Us About Authoritarianism: 10 Historic Lessons For The Age Of Trump (Feature Essay) Public Seminar, October 08, 2018. Available at: http://www.publicseminar.org/2018/10/1933-or-what-hitlers-ascendency-teaches-us-about-authoritarianism/
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2016). Better must Come, Exiting Homelessness in two Global Cities (Book Review) International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(2): 477-479.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2015). On the Other Side of the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Fall. Public Seminar, Oct. 29, 2015. http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/10/on-the-other-side-of-the-berlin-wall/#.WeuhbtOGPaY
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2014). Besides One’s Self: Homelessness Felt and Lived (Book Review). Social and Cultural Geography, 15 (2): 231-233.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2013). Punitive Approaches and Welfare Intervention: Reflections and Future Research Directions. European Journal of Homelessness, 7 (2), December 2013: 391-396.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2013). Xavier de Souza Briggs, Susan J. Popkin and Jon Goering 2010: Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty and. Jim Silver 2011: Good Places to Live: Poverty and Public Housing in Canada. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. (Book Review) International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(6): 2231-2235.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2013). Get Lost! The Impact of Punitive Policy on Homeless  People’s Life Chances in Berlin.  In Lippert, Randy and Kevin Walby. Policing Cities: Urban Securitzation and Regulation in a Twenty-first Century World. Routledge (Routledge Series Frontiers in Criminal Justice)
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2013) Engaging, Examining, and Overcoming Urban Homelessness: The Prospects of Critical Civic Engagement in New York City. Symposium on Building and Sustaining Community-University Partnerships in Urban Areas. Journal of Geography, 112 (2), 43-57.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen.(2012).  A “Buddy Researcher?” Prospects, Limitations, and Ethical Considerations in Ethnographic Research on Homeless People in Berlin. In Valado, Martha Trenna and Randall Amster (eds). Ethics and Advocacy in Research with Homeless People. Lexington Books, Oxford.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen and Donald Mitchell (guest editors, 2011). The Americanization of Homelessness. Urban Geography, 32 (7), 923-1085.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2011) Introduction: An Americanization of Homelessness in Post-Industrial Countries. Urban Geography, 32 (7), 923-932.
    • von Mahs, Jürgen (2011) Homelessness in Berlin: Between Path-dependence. Urban Geography, 32 (7), 1023-1042.
    • DeVerteuil, Geoffrey, Jon May, and Jürgen von Mahs (2009) Complexity not Collapse: Recasting Geographies of Homelessness in the Punitive Age. Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 33, Oct. 2009, pp. 646 - 666

    Research Interests

    Critical Pedagogy; Educational Outcomes, Urban Poverty and Homelessness; Substance (Ab)Use Policy, Community and Urban Development; Grassroots Organizing and Social Movements; Globalization and Welfare State Restructuring; Comparative Social Policy Analysis; Ethnographic and Life Course Research; 20th Century History; Urban Theory;

    Awards And Honors

    • The New School -- Sabbatical Leave at full pay, Fall 2023
    • Faculty Advising Excellence Award Recipient – Eugene Lang College, Spring 2019
    • Distinguished University Teaching Award – Nominee – Fall 2018
    • The New School -- Sabbatical Leave at full pay, Spring 2017
    • New School for Public Engagement – Civic Engagement Fund Grant, “Engaging, Understanding, and Overcoming Homelessness” Fall 2011-Spring 2013, Amount Received: $ 10,000
    • Eugene Lang College, Faculty Enhancement Grants for Research Assistants, Fall 2010-Spring 2018, Amount Received: $ 19,100
    • The New School -- Pre-Tenure Sabbatical Leave at full pay, Fall 2009
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – Curriculum Development and Travel Grant, August 2007: Amount Received: $ 7000
    • Project Pericles – Civic Engagement Course Curriculum Development Grant “Engaging Homelessness,’ Fall 2007, Amount Received: $ 5,000
    • Eugene Lang College, Faculty Enhancement Grant, July 2007, Amount Received: $ 1,000
    • Andrew W, Mellon Foundation – Curriculum Development Grant for Hybrid Course, Amount Received: $3,000

    Current Courses

    Independent Study
    UURB 4990, Spring 2024

    Future Courses

    Dynamic Metropolis
    ULEC 2620, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Independent Study
    UURB 3950, Fall 2023

    Pathways to Learning In
    NHUM 1112, Fall 2023

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.