Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director
Ruth Wilson Gilmore
is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center. She has many honors and awards, and has delivered invited lectures at universities and cultural institutions around the world. Among many publications, her prize-winning book is Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007). Current projects include a second edition of Golden Gulag, as well as several other book projects: Fatal Couplings: Essays on Motion, Racial Capitalism, and the Black Radical Tradition; and Big Things: Reconfigured Landscapes and the Infrastructure of Feeling. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and The Caribbean (IRADAC), and serves on the boards of many social justice, cultural, and scholarly formations in the US, Europe, and West Asia. She was a founding member of Critical Resistance, California Prison Moratorium Project, and other grassroots organizations.

Peter Hitchcock, Associate DirectorPeter Hitchcock
Peter Hitchcock
is Professor of English, Women’s Studies, and Film Studies at the City University of New York, Graduate School and University Center, and at Baruch College, CUNY. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Shanghai University. His most recent publications are The Long Space: Transnationalism and Postcolonial Form (Stanford University Press, 2010) and Imaginary States: Studies in Cultural Transnationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2003). He has been the Associate Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics since 2008.

Mary Taylor, Assistant DirectorMary
Mary N. Taylor is Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Her research focuses on sites, techniques and politics of civic cultivation, social movement, and cultural management; the relationship of ethics and aesthetics to nationalism and cultural differentiation, and people’s movements in interwar, socialist and post-socialist East-Central Europe and the Balkans. She specializes in studying, theorizing, and organizing radical and alternative pedagogical activities under different conditions of urbanization.  Cofounder of the Open University, Brooklyn, and of Brooklyn Laundry Social Club, she is on the editorial collective of LeftEast, and an organizer of an annual autonomous summer school that takes place in different locations in ‘postsocialist Eastern Europe’.  Currently, she is working on her book The Aesthetic Nation; Folk Dance, Populism and the Ethical Politics of Citizenship in Hungary. She has taught anthropology at Hunter College, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and urban methods and theory in the Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons School of Design.

David Harvey, Director of Research


dharveysunDavid Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York (CUNY) and author of various books, articles, and lectures. He is the author of Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism(Profile Books, 2014), one of The Guardian’s(“) Best Books of 2011, The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2010). Other books include A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Limits to Capital, and Social Justice and the City. Professor Harvey has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for nearly 40 years. His lectures on Marx’s Volumes I and II are available for download (free) on his website.  He was director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics from 2008-2014.




Advisory Board

Faculty Fellows

Helen Kapstein


Helen Kapstein is a tenured postcolonial scholar in the English Department at John Jay College, CUNY. She earned her PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her areas of interest include South African literature and culture, cultural and media studies, and tourism and museum studies. Her current projects include A New Kind of Safari, on islands, tourism, and nation-building, a series of articles on hysteria as a mode of transitional resistance, and a project on Nigerian short stories as saboteurs of the petroleum industry’s agenda. Her work has appeared in English Studies in Canada, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, and Studies in the Humanities, among other venues.

 Melanie E. L. Bush

Melanie bush

Melanie E. L. Bush, (Anthropology, 2002) is the author of Everyday Forms of Whiteness: Understanding Race in a “Post-Racial” World, 2011 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (second edition), and a variety of other publications. She is co-author with Roderick D. Bush of Tensions in the American Dream: Rhetoric, Reverie or Reality? (forthcoming 2014 / Temple University Press). She is an Associate Professor in Anthropology/Sociology at Adelphi University; and has been active for many years in the struggle for justice and social change.

 Sarah Keenan


Sarah Keenan is lecturer in Law at SOAS, University of London.  She teaches Property, Feminist Legal Theory and Indigenous Land Rights and is also engaged in community-based struggles around each of these issues.  Her research research draws on legal geography, feminist and critical race theory to think through the relationship between law, space and belonging (this is explored in her book ‘Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging‘).  In particular, Sarah has written on the role of long term leases of Aboriginal land in Australia’s Northern Territory Intervention, of the impact of identity testing in sexuality-based asylum claims, and of the conceptual and political links between property and governance, and between ownership and membership.

Jane Pollard

PollardJane Pollard is Professor of Economic Geography in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, UK. She has degrees in Geography (BA, Sheffield University UK, MA McMaster University, Canada) and Urban Planning (UCLA, USA). Her recent research interests span postcolonial political economy, financializing capitalism and the economic, political and social constitution of financial networks. While in the USA, she will be researching sub-prime debt markets and questions around institutional diversity and credit provision for low income groups.

Ariana Martinez


Ariana Martinez is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at LaGuardia Community College. She received her PhD from Rutgers University in urban planning and geography. She has analyzed the criminalization of Latino immigrant communities in municipalities where both space and citizenship are hotly contested. Martinez’s current scholarship focuses on national immigration policy, the urban transformation and empowerment of Latino communities, and LGBTQ immigrant enclaves. She is happy to call Queens
her home.

 Susanna Schaller

schaller-2-pictureSusanna Schaller’s work examines the construction of ideologies of place. Her work historically situates the use of business improvement districts as governance strategies to revitalize neighborhoods within the policies and planning discourses implicated in producing segregated urban spaces in US cities. In New York, she served as Senior Planner to the Municipal Art Society and worked extensively with a community development credit union in Upper Manhattan. With the support of the Colin Powell School at City College, Susanna introduced community-based research into her courses and hopes to further integrate practice, research and student- learning.


Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

M.A. and M.C.R.P., Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

B.A., English Literature, Barnard College, New York, NY


Schaller, Susanna and Johannes Novy. 2011. “New York City’s Waterfronts as Strategic Sites for Analyzing Neoliberalism and its Contestations.” In Fixity and Flow of Urban Waterfronts, ed. Gene Desfor, Jennefer Laidley, Dirk Schubert, and Quentin Stevens. New York: Routledge.

Schaller, Susanna. 2009. “Construyendo sobre lo urbano con distritos de mejoramiento comercial en Washington DC.” In La ciudad contemporania en Los Estados Unidos: Perspectivas a traves de las sciencias sociales, ed. Lisa M. Hanley, published by FLACSO/OLACCHI Quito, Ecuador

Schaller, Susanna and Gabriela Modan. 2008. “Contesting Public Space and Citizenship: Implications for Neighborhood Business Improvement Districts.” In Business Improvement Districts: Research, Theories, and Controversies, ed. Göktug Morçöl, Lorlene Hoyt, Jack Meek, and Ulf Zimmermann. New York: CRC Press (Taylor and Francis).

Schaller, Susanna with Johannes Novy. 2005. “Gemeinwesenorientierte Stadtteilerneuerung in Washington, DC. (Community-based Neighborhood Revitalization in Washington, DC).” In Handbuch Sozialraum, ed. Fabian Kessel, Christian Reutlinger, Susanne Maurer and Oliver Frey.

Schaller, Susanna and Gabriela Modan. 2005. “Contesting Public Space and Citizenship: Implications for Neighborhood Business Improvement Districts.” Journal of Planning Education and Research. Vol. 24, No. 4, 394-407. (Among the journals ten most cited articles 2005-2007)

Beneria Lourdes and Susanna Schaller. 2003. “Labor Market Informalization and the Changing Landscape of Cities.” Monopolis: Globalisierung und Stadtforschung, Wien, Sinn-haft, 14/15.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Christina HeathertonChristina pic
Christina Heatherton is a historian and interdisciplinary scholar of social movements. Her work explores the intersections of race, class, and gender. She is the author of The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution, Internationalism, and the American Century (forthcoming) and is currently editing a volume entitled The World Refuses: Global Struggles Against Racism and Imperialism, 1893-1933. Her work will appear in the volume Rising Tides of Color: Race, Radicalism, and Repression on the Pacific Coast and Beyond edited by Moon-Ho Jung (University of Washington Press, 2014) among other places. She is the co-editor with Jordan T. Camp of Freedom Now! Struggles for the Human Right to Housing in LA and Beyond (2012). She received her Ph.D. from USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity in 2012 and is currently a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.

Dissertation Writing Fellows

Briana Brickley

BrianaBriana is a doctoral candidate in the English program at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a graduate teaching/writing fellow at Hunter College, where she has taught courses on twentieth century multi-ethnic American literature, minority discourse, critical theory, and postcolonial literature. She received a master’s degree in literature from New York University, and a bachelor of arts in English and Black Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Her current research focuses on various forms of inequality that get exaggerated under global capitalism—from the economic, to the corporeal, to the disciplinary—and employs the body as a critical analytic with which to read a contemporary, transnational literary archive. Drawing from theories of affect and embodiment, queer of color critique, feminist theory, aesthetic philosophy, and postcolonial theory, her teaching and scholarship address how the dematerializing trends of neoliberal multiculturalism manifest in institutional bodies, bodies of literature, and the literal bodies of contemporary subjects living under increasingly limited conditions of possibility and existence.

José A. Laguarta Ramirez


José A. Laguarta Ramírez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He obtained his B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University, his J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico, and his M.Phil. from The Graduate Center. He has taught at Lehman College, the University of Puerto Rico Secondary School, and Pace University, and worked as a researcher in diverse academic and professional settings. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at The Graduate Center. His main areas of interest are social movements and Latin America.


Visiting Scholars

Dimitris Dalakoglouphoto_dalakoglou-1
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Anthropology, Sussex University (UK)
Dimitris Dalakoglou is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Anthropology at the University of Sussex. He is the co-editor of Revolt and Crisis in Greece and of Roads and Anthropology. Since 2012 holds an ESRC-Future Research Leaders grant for the project The City at a time of Crisis []. He is the author of various articles and book chapters e.g. neo-Nazism and neoliberalism, the crisis before the crisis, Beyond Spontaneity or the Road from capitalism to capitalism, Migrating-remitting-‘building’-dwelling and the Road.  His PhD thesis was titled an Anthropology of the Road (UCL, 2009). Since 2007 is member of the editorial collective of the journal Occupied London and the weblog ‘From the Greek Streets’. See also Athens Social Meltdown and Landscapes of Emergency.

Marina Sitrin
Marina received her PhD in Global Sociology from Stony Brook University and her JD in International  Women’s Human Rights from CUNY Law School. She is a movement participant, scholar and writer.

Marina is the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina, Horizontalism is an oral history of the autonomous and affective based movements that emerged in Argentina in the wake of the 2001 economic collapse. In 2012 Marina published Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism & Autonomy in Argentina , which explores in depth the challenges the movements in Argentina have faced in the creation of autonomy and self-organization.  Also in 2012 she co-authored, with Dario Azzellini, Occupying Language: The Secret Rendezvous with History and the Present. Occupying Language describes some of the main areas around which the current movements organize and grounds these experiences from movements in the Americas from which we draw upon in our current movements, from assembly formations to the importance of territory and love. Marina and Dario have co-written and edited, They Can’t Represent US! Reinventing Democracy From Greece to Occupy  to be released in June 2013 with Verso Press. This book is based in the voices of movement participants from Occupy, Greece, Spain, Argentina and Venezuela. It approaches democracy as a question – seeing the movements as rejecting the representational form and creating something else.

Marina’s work focuses on social movements and justice, specifically looking at new forms of social organization, such as autogestión, horizontalidad, prefigurative politics and new affective social relationships. While much of her most recent published work has been on the contemporary social movements in Argentina, she has worked throughout the Americas, Caribbean and Japan. Her current research includes the global mass assembly movements for ‘real democracy’ (from Greece, Spain and the US to Portugal, Brazil and Turkey).

Past Fellows