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People

Directors || Faculty Fellows|| Postdoctoral Fellow || Dissertation Writing Fellows || Visiting Fellows || Past Fellows

Directors

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director 

Email: rgilmore@gc.cuny.edu

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she is also Director of the Center for Place, Culture. She writes about abolition, racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, the aesthetics and politics of seeing, and labor and social movements. A second edition of Golden Gulag will appear soon, along with two collections of essays. Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (with Craig Gilmore, in Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.), and “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (in Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.). Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, and is working on a number of inter- and transnational projects. She is a co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project; Critical Resistance; and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. Honors include the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the Association of American Geographers’ Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Practice (2014); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); and the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017).

Peter Hitchcock, Associate DirectorPeter Hitchcock

Email: phitchcock@gc.cuny.edu

 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

Email: mtaylor2@gc.cuny.edu

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

Email: dharvey@gc.cuny.edu

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.

Faculty Fellows

Nichole Marie Shippen
LaGuardia Community College
Email: nshippen@lagcc.cuny.edu

The Politics of Spectral Death: Settler Colonialism and Anti-Indian Violence in a United States Reservation Border Town

Bio: Shippen received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is currently Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Political Science at LaGuardia Community College at CUNY and has taught a course on the Politics of Death and Dying for the Political Science Department at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Decolonizing Time: Work, Leisure, and Freedom (2014), for Palgrave Macmillan’s Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice Book Series. Her book reconsiders discretionary time as a measure of freedom through the concept of temporal autonomy as developed through the Aristotelian-Marxist and critical theory traditions. Her research is further enriched by the respective contributions of feminist, post-colonial, and critical race theory.

Her current research focuses on border violence through the lens of settler colonialism and Critical Indigenous Theory. During the CPCP fellowship, she is completing an article, “The Politics of Spectral Death: Settler Colonialism and Anti-Indian Violence in a United States Reservation Border Town,” as part of a larger book project titled, A Refusal of Solidarity: Tribal Sovereignty and the American Liberal Democratic Settler-State, which considers the refusal of solidarity as a form of political resistance against the temporal and spatial boundaries defined by the liberal democratic settler-state.

Maggie Dickinson
Guttman Community College
Email: maggie.dickinson@guttman.cuny.edu 
Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America’s Growing Food Safety Net

Bio: Maggie Dickinson is assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at Guttman Community College, CUNY. Her book “Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America’s Growing Food Safety Net” is forthcoming from the University of California Press in Fall 2019. As a cultural anthropologist, her research focuses broadly on food and welfare policy, inequality, and the politics of redistribution.​

Prathibha Kanakamedala
Bronx Community College
Email: prathibha.kanakemedala@bcc.cuny.edu 
The DeGrasse Family of the City of New York

Bio: Prithi Kanakamedala is an Assistant Professor of History at Bronx Community College. Her research interests include nineteenth-century free Black communities in Brooklyn and New York, race and citizenship in the early republic, and the material culture of New York City. As a public historian she has worked for Place Matters, Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and Danspace Project. She curated the semi-permanent history exhibit Brooklyn Abolitionists which is still on view at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Her current work looks at racial solidarity in early nineteenth century New York. Prithi holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex and is originally from Liverpool, England.

Judith Marie Anderson
Borough of Manhattan Community College, Center for Ethnic Studies
Email: juanderson@bmcc.cuny.edu 
Disrupting Racial Politics in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bio: Judith Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Center for Ethnic Studies at Borough of Manhattan Community College.  She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2010.  As an Afro-Latin Americanist, her research focuses on politically mobilizing Africans and Afro-descendants in Buenos Aires. She examines the resurgence of Black identity in Argentina, the “European nation of Latin America,” as well as the most recent endeavors of local Black activists.  The Pan-African efforts of organizers concentrated in the City of Buenos Aires have led to several initiatives with large and small-scale gains including the historic re-inclusion of Afro-descendants on the 2010 national census after more than a century of absence.  Dr. Anderson has several publications based on her work and she also leads study abroad programs to both Argentina and Brazil.

John Paul Narkunas
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Email: jnarkunas@jjay.cuny.edu
Outsourcing ‘Revolution’: Neoliberal Governmentality, Financial Capital, Social Media, and the Privatization of the Speech

Nicholas Boston
Lehman College
Email: NICHOLAS.BOSTON@lehman.cuny.edu
Polish-BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) Everyday Cosmopolitan Solidarities in the Time of Brexit

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sonia Vaz Borgesfoto-bio-2
Email: sborges@gc.cuny.edu
“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

Samuel Stein
Geography
Email: sstein@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Labor, Land Use and the Luxury City

Bio: Samuel Stein is a geography PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center and an Urban Studies instructor at Hunter College with a background in tenant organizing, labor research and policy advocacy. His work focuses on urban political economy, with an emphasis on housing, real estate and gentrification in New York City. His dissertation uncovers the complex structural linkages between unions and non-profits, the real estate industry, and the New York City planning apparatus, in order to reveal why many working class institutions have supported planning programs that accelerate gentrification. In February, 2019, Verso will publish his first book, Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State, which analyzes how the growing concentration of capital in real estate has altered the profession of planning.

Zeynep Oguz
Cultural Anthropology
Email: zoguz@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Matters of Oil: Geology, Time and Territory in Turkey’s Geographies of Oil Exploration

Bio: Zeynep Oguz is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the Graduate Center. She received her MA in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University and BA in Sociology from Bogazici University. Building on environmental anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), and critical studies on time and temporality, her doctoral research addresses the world-making effects of geological knowledge and natural resources. Funded by the National Science Foundation and Wenner-Gren Foundation, her doctoral project examines the state-led oil exploration and extraction activities in Turkey, analyzing how oil exploration endeavors have rearranged the relations between time, environments, people, and the Turkish state in uneven, violent or unanticipated and creative ways, as well as the kinds of political futures they have enabled and foreclosed.

Talia Sandwick
Email: tsandwick@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Critical Participatory Scholarship for School Safety: Building Restorative Cultures of Safety and Accountability in times of Racialized Structural Violence

Jonathan Kwan
Philosophy
Email: jkwon@gradcenter.cuny.edu
The Social Ontology of the People

Bio: Jonathan Kwan is a philosophy Ph.D. candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research primarily lies in social and political philosophy and intersects with environmental and indigenous philosophy. Jonathan’s dissertation, entitled “The Social Ontology of the People,” develops an eco-political account of the people in order to inform the issues of indigenous territorial rights, structural racist domination, and immigration controls. In his efforts to contribute to cross-cultural and comparative approaches to philosophy, Jonathan also has interests in Chinese and Buddhist philosophy. Jonathan has taught widely at various campuses across CUNY including Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Baruch College, and LaGuardia Community College. In addition to serving as a fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, Jonathan is also a Mellon Humanities Alliance Teaching Fellow, a Communication Fellow at the Schwartz Communication Institute, and a fellow at the Center for Global Ethics and Politics. He also serves as the Associate Managing Editor for the Journal of Social Philosophy.

Francesca Manning
Email: fmanning@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Landlordism, Ground Rent, and Land Speculation in Struggles Over Land

Rebeca Pineda Burgos
Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures
Email: rpineda@gradcenter.cuny.edu
The Many Deaths of Hugo Chávez: Illness, the Body and Post-Hegemony in Contemporary Venezuelan Art and Literature (2013-2015)

Bio: Rebeca Pineda Burgos is a Candidate in the PhD program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York. Her research focuses on contemporary Venezuelan cultural objects as novels, film and visual arts and their interpretation of chavismo and sociopolitical Venezuelan reality.

Visiting Scholars

Maria Luisa Mendonca
Rutgers
Email: marialuisam222@gmail.com
The role of international financial capital in the Brazilian land market

Bio: Maria Luisa Mendonça holds a PhD in Human Geography from the Department of Philosophy, Literature and Social Sciences at University of São Paulo/Brazil (USP), and is currently a research scholar at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Her research includes history and political economy of agriculture, food, land and water systems, and geopolitical processes of resistance by rural social movements in Brazil and internationally. Her recent book, Political Economy of Agribusiness (Annablume, Sāo Paulo, 2018) demonstrates the central role of the food system in international relations as a result of a dialectical movement of economic crisis and expansion in connection with critical areas such as trade agreements, financial markets, environmental justice, and transnational activism. Her current research project anticipated a trend in financial capital to “migrate” to farmland markets in the Global South, especially after the subprime crisis in the United States’ real estate market in 2008. This research on financial markets and land speculation includes building an international network of scholars and social movements throughout Latin America, North America and Europe. She has published her work in refereed journal articles, in public educational reports and in journalistic outlets. Her experience includes documentary filmmaking, investigative journalism, and community based research. She has taught international political economy at University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and at the center for advanced research Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). Mendonça was one of the founders of the World Social Forum and has served in expert meetings on the Right to Food for UN-Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Human Rights Commission. She is the founder of Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (Network for Social Justice and Human Rights – www.social.org.br) in Brazil and the editor of the book “Human Rights in Brazil,” which has been published annually since 2000.

Mamyrah Prosper
IRIDAC, Graduate Center, CUNY
Email: mamyrahp@gmail.com

Bio: Mamyrah Prosper is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute of Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and The Caribbean (IRADAC) at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). She received her Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology as well as graduate certificates in African & African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Florida International University in Miami in 2015. She also holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University in Fort-Lauderdale as well as a B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York. Prosper’s doctoral work centered on a coalition of social movement organizations calling for an end to the ongoing “non-governmental” occupation of Haiti. She is interested in the construction of neocolonial nationalist ideologies and collective identities in relation to race and class, gender and sexuality, education and language, and religion. Prosper has served as an organizer with land and housing rights organizations Take Back the Land-Miami in the U.S. 

Deepa Jani 
English, SUNY Old Westbury
Email: janid@oldwestbury.edu

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: Literary Humanism and the Problem of Human Dignity, and Bandung, Frantz Fanon, and Edward Said: Postcoloniality and the Question of Humanism

Bio: Deepa Jani is Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Old Westbury in Long Island.  She specializes in Global Postcolonial and Postmodern literatures, Anglophone African and World Literatures, and Critical Theory.  Her research also focuses on gender and critical race studies, humanism and human rights discourse, and globalization studies.  Her articles on Coetzee and critical theory have appeared in two edited collections, one of which is on postcolonial studies and the other on critical studies.  Additionally, her second article on Coetzee was published in the Oxford Journal, Forum for Modern Language Studies.  Her interview on Coetzee appeared in the film and App, Traverses: J. M. Coetzee in the World.  She has also served as peer reviewer in the fields of Postcolonial and World Literatures and Critical Theory.  She is currently completing her first book manuscript titled “J. M. Coetzee: Ethics, Subalternity, and the Critique of Humanism.”  In preparation for her second book project on the legacy of humanisms from the Global South, she is also working on the article “Bandung, Frantz Fanon, and Edward Said: Postcoloniality and the Question of Humanism.”

Tom Angotti
Urban Policy and Planning Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
Email: tangotti@hunter.cuny.edu

SLOWDOWN OR QUICK FIX? Climate Justice, Capitalism, People and Cities and a memoir.

Bio: Tom Angotti is Professor Emeritus of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was the founder and director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. His recent books include Zoned Out! Race, Displacement and City Planning in New York City, Urban Latin America: Inequalities and Neoliberal Reforms, The New Century of the MetropolisNew York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate, which won the Davidoff Book Award, and Accidental Warriors and Battlefield Myths. He is an editor of progressivecity.net and Participating Editor for Latin American Perspectives and Local Environment. He is active in community and environmental issues in New York City.

Christopher Loperena
Email: cloperena@gc.cuny.edu
The Racial Logics of Extraction

Past Fellows