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 at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is also on the faculties of Women’s Studies and Film Studies at the GC. He is the author of five books, including The Long Space, for Stanford University Press. His most recent publications include, “Accumulating Fictions” for Representations,“Immolation” for the Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, “How to Read a Discipline” for Comparative Literature, “Culture and Anarchy in Thatcher’s London” for an anthology on Hanif Kureishi, “( ) of Ghosts” in The Spectralities Reader, “The Space of Time: Chronotopes and Crisis” for Primerjalna Knjizevnost, “Defining the World” inLiterary Materialisms and “Everything’s Gone Green: The Environment of BP’s Narrative” for Imaginations. Forthcoming articles include an essay, “Viscosity and Velocity,” for an anthology on oil (Cornell), and an essay on communism titled “The Leninist Hypothesis” for Poetics Today. Forthcoming book projects include a monograph on the cultural representation of labor, a monograph on worlds of postcoloniality, and an edited collection on the New Public Intellectual. He is currently working on two research projects: one about seriality in politics and culture; the other on the aesthetics of commodities and financial instruments.

Mary Taylor, Assistant Director


Mary N. Taylor is Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and PCP.marytaylorPolitics 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

Faculty Fellows

Sophie Marinezsophie_marinez
Borough of Manhattan Community College
“Sacred Twins: The Complex Dynamics Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic”

Bio: Sophie Maríñez is Assistant Professor of French and Spanish at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in French from The Graduate Center, CUNY (2010), and an M.A. in Liberal Studies with a focus on Dominican-American Identity and Literature from Empire State College, SUNY (2003). Her research interests include early modern French literature; French Caribbean studies; Haitian-Dominican relations; and Haitian and Dominican Diasporas in the U.S. Her current project focuses on the French Caribbean and the dynamics between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Her first book, Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France (Leiden: Brill, 2017), is an NEH-funded monograph on women who used their writings, and chateaux to convey their social and political identities. Prior to being in academia, she worked as a translator, a journalist and, a cultural attaché at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Mexico.

Kafui Attohpastedimage
Murphy Institute
“The Sharing Economy and the Idiocy of Urban Life”

Bio: Kafui Attoh, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education, received his PhD in Geography from Syracuse University. His broad interests are in the political economy of cities, the politics of public space and debates in and around the idea of the “right to the city.” More narrowly, Kafui’s research has focused on three areas: 1) urban transit’s role within the political economy of cities, 2) the struggles and livelihoods of the transportation disadvantaged and 3) the role of urban social movements (including the labor movement) in shaping mass transit policy. Currently he is working on a project focused on the impact of TNCs (Transportation Network Companies) on the public life of cities. His work has appeared in Progress in Human Geography, New Labor Forum, The Journal of Cultural Geography, The Geographical Bulletin, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Urban Studies, Antipode and Space and Polity.

Matthew Lau
Queensborough Community College
“Stephen Jay Gould: The Life and Times of a Self-Consciously Revolutionary Scientist”

Bio: Matthew Lau is assistant professor of English at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. His writings have appeared in Comparative Literature, The International Journal of the Kafka Society of America, Lana Turner, and on the website He is researching a biographical project on Stephen Jay Gould.

Leigh C LaBerge
Borough of Manhattan Community College
“Wages Against Artwork: The Social Practice of Decommodification”

Natalie Havlinnatalie_havlin
LaGuardia Community College
“Feeling Movements: Race and the Affective Politics of Alliance in U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production”

Bio: Natalie Havlin received a Ph.D. in English and a Graduate Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College at CUNY. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, race, and theories of coalition-building in Latina/o cultural production since the early 20th century. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Feeling Movements: Race and the Affective Politics of Alliance in U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production, which theorizes the role of affect in portrayals of intra-ethnic and interracial alliances by Latina/o cultural workers and their collaborators from the 1920s to the 1980s in New York City and San Francisco. During the CPCP fellowship, she is completing a book chapter analyzing the writing and radical social movement work of Chicana feminist Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martínez

Guttman Community College
“The Possibility of Consciousness and Revolution through the Study of Ethnography and Education”

Bio: Lori D. Ungemah received her Doctorate of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in International Education Development with a focus on Curriculum and Teaching. She taught in Title I secondary schools in Brooklyn for a eleven years before becoming an English professor and founding faculty member at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. Her research explores how curriculum includes or excludes various groups of students in a multiethnic urban high school through the voices of students and teachers. Professor Ungemah is interested in issues related to curriculum development, cultural relevance and sustainability, and urban education. For this year’s CPCP fellowship, she is exploring how a first year ethnographic research course on education sparks a critical consciousness in community college students. Additional academic and personal interests include creativity in curriculum, concepts of college readiness, participatory action research, young adult literature and urban fiction.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sonia Vaz Borgesfoto-bio-2
“The Liberation Struggle as Educational Practice and Militant Education”

Bio: Sónia is a historian, social-political activist, and organizer with interdisciplinary experience with youth and elderly people in several European countries. She has BA in Modern and Contemporary History – Politics and International Affairs from ISCTE-IUL Lisboa, and a Master’s Degree in African History from Universidade de Letras de Lisboa. She received her PhD Philosophy from Humboldt University Berlin. Her dissertation, titled Militant Education. Liberation struggle. Conscientization, and underground educational structures in Guinea Bissau 1963-1978, focuses on the liberation schools and the international school network created by the liberation movement during the guerrilla war for independence in Guinea Bissau. She is currently working on her book manuscript with the same title. Sónia is also working on a new project on oral history, under the provisory title Remembering the struggle(s). Life and (hi)stories of PAIGC militants. She is also the editor of the booklets Cadernos Consciência e Resistência Negra and author of the book Na Pó di Spéra. Percursos nos Bairros da Estrada Militar, Santa Filomena e Encosta Nascente. Sónia is currently working on her first short film with filmmaker Felipa César.

Dissertation Writing Fellows

Dissertation Writing Fellows

Neil Agarwal neil_agarwal
“Yellowing the Longarithm: How Money Solved the Problem of Freedom”

 Neil Agarwal’s dissertation explores money in early America through a framework of historical-geographical materialism. It traces the formation of a political imaginary of borrowers, lenders, paymasters, waged laborers, and shopkeepers from a society in which the majority of people were classed through markers of slavery, savagery, servitude, and felony. Agarwal is a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at the CUNY Graduate Center and has previously organized seminars on historicity and international law through the Center for the Humanities.

Christina Siener
“From Prison to Homeless Shelter: Camp LaGuardia and the Political Economy of an Urban Infrastructure

Hector Agredanoagredano_2
“Rails to Revolution: Railroads, Railroad Workers and the Geographies of the Mexican Revolution”

Bio: Hector Agredano is a doctoral candidate in the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. His research explores the development of rail infrastructures in Mexico in the early 20th century and their use by railroad workers and revolutionaries during the Mexican Revolution 1910-1914.

Jack Norton
“Little Siberia, Empire State: The Geography and Political Economy of Mass Incarceration in New York, 1968-2015”

Brian JonesBrian Jones
“The Tuskegee Revolt: Black Power and the Legacy of Booker T. Washington”

Bio: Brian Jones is a doctoral candidate in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. He studies black people’s educational struggles, past and present. Brian has contributed to several books, most recently What’s Race Got To Do With It? How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Inequality (Peter Lang, 2015). He is currently writing about a student uprising at Tuskegee University in the late 1960s.

Sooran Choi
“The South Korean Avant-garde, 1967-2002: Subterfuge as Radical Agency”

Annie Spencer
“How to Break an Addiction: Terminal Conditions and the Logic of Capital”

Bio: Annie Spencer is a doctoral candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center where she studies economic geography.  She is writing a dissertation on the present-day heroin crisis in the United States in the context of post-industrial economic restructuring.  Spencer holds an M.A. in International Trade, Investment and Development Policy from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and has taught undergraduate and MA-level courses in economics, economic geography, and cultural studies at Bates College, the University of Southern Maine, and Hunter College, CUNY.  Spencer was a doctoral fellow with the Grad Center’s Mellon Committee for Globalization and Social Change is a recipient of the Graduate Center’s 2016-2017 dissertation award in American Studies.

Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars

Mamyrah Prosperimg_2551
IRIDAC, Graduate Center, CUNY

Bio: Mamyrah Propser is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Institute of Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). Her research focuses on the neoliberal configurations of social movements in the American Global South engaged in the alter-globalization movement. Her doctoral work centered on a coalition of organizations calling for an end to the occupation of Haiti. Dougé-Prosper is concerned with the construction of postcolonial nationalist ideologies and collective identities in relation to race and class, gender and sexuality, education and language, and religion.

Ujju Aggarwalujju photo
Spencer Foundation fellow.
“The Color Choice: Race, Rights and Inequality in Education”

Bio: Ujju Aggarwal is a cultural anthropologist and a Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research engages questions related to urban education and social reproduction, Black freedom struggles, critical race theory, neoliberalism, raced and classed motherhood and the politics of care, and placemaking and urban space. She has helped build organizations and that address educational justice, violence against women, and health and reproductive justice as well as projects that focus on the intersection of arts and social justice, popular education, and adult literacy. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, Hunter College, and the Educational Opportunities Center (SUNY). Her research has been published in edited volumes as well as scholarly journals including Transforming Anthropology, Scholar & Feminist Online, and Educational Policy.  She is completing her manuscript, The Color of Choice: Race, Rights, and Inequality in Education.

Kübra Hıdıroğluimg_0458
Istanbul University
“Turkey’s Position on International Migration Flows and the Problem of Permanent Residence of Refugees”

Bio: Kubra Hidiroglu Alarcin received her MA from Uludag University, department of sociology (2012). Her thesis was entitled “Diaspora Studies in Sociology: Visions, Theories and Concepts.” And now she is a PhD candidate at the department of Sociology at the Istanbul University, Turkey. Her work focuses on “Turkey’s Position on International Migration Flows and the Problem of Permanent Residence of Refugees.” She is currently a visiting scholar at Cuny’s Center for Place, Culture and Politics. While at Cuny, her research focuses generally on migration, refugees, social conflicts between immigrant groups, interaction between host communities and migrants.

Recent Publications:
2014. “On the Concept of Diaspora”,Interdisciplinary Perspectives On Social Sciences, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.173-179.
2016. “Critical Perspective on the Migration Research: From Past to Today Migration Studies” ( Göç Arastirmalarina Elestirel Bakislar: Dünden Bugüne Göc Arastirmalari), Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, pp.129-132

Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau
“Food Sovereignty as a Politics of Self-Determination around Land, Space and Place”

John Ehrenreichus
SUNY-Old Westbury
“The Evolution of American Capitalism and the Transformation of the American Psyche”

Bio: John Ehrenreich is Professor of Psychology (formerly Professor of American Studies) at the State University of New York – Old Westbury. He has written extensively on American social policy and social structure. His books include The Altruistic Imagination: A History of Social Work and Social Policy in the United States; The Cultural Crisis of Modern Medicine (edited); and The American Health Empire: Power, Profits, and Politics (with Barbara Ehrenreich and the Staff of Health PAC). His new book, Third Wave Capitalism: How Money, Power, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest have Imperiled the American Dream, is published by Cornell University Press.

Alf Nilsen
University of Bergen
“Social Movements and the Making of the Postcolonial State in India”

Agustin Arosteguyphoto
Federal University of Minas Gerais
“Points of Culture – A Leisure Proposal from the Territory”

Bio: PhD student in Leisure and Societies at Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Master in Direction of Leisure Projects at University of Deusto, Spain and degree in Administration at University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Since October 2010, member of the Urban Management and Cultural Policy of City Forum of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC). Since April 2014, participates in the research group OTIUM and LUCE at Federal University of Minas Gerais. Has participated in many conferences all over the world: United Kingdom, Turkey, Spain, Brussels, Argentina and Brazil.

As a writer I have published two books, first in Spanish and then in Portuguese. One is a nouvelle “Carne de canhão” and the second, is poem book, “Minha vida é um limão, por favor devolvam meu dinheiro!” Since May 2015 I had a column of Brazilian contemporary literature for La Capital Journal from Argentina.

Past Fellows