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


Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director (on sabbatical 2017-2018)


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, Acting 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

Javiela Evangelista
City Tech, African American Studies
Email: JEvangelista@citytech.cuny.ed
“Reshaping National Imaginations in the Midst of Civil Genocide: Denationalization in the Dominican Republic and Transnational Activism

Bio: Javiela Marcelina Evangelista received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). As an Assistant Professor in the African American Studies Department, at New York City College of Technology – CUNY, Javiela leads instruction on the Caribbean. She has also developed and taught courses,such as The Heritage of Imperialism, that connect the Caribbean to other regions. Javiela’s research explores the intersections of governmentality, racialization and xenophobia, movements and consciousness for black lives, migration and citizenship, and human rights in the Dominican Republic. This year, Javiela presented research at The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico and The Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology (SLACA) in Antigua, Guatemala. She has a forthcoming review with the National Political Science Review.

Jesse Schwartz
Laguardia Community College, English
Serial Protest: The Bolshevik Revolution, Racial Socialisms, and US periodical Culture 1917-1924

Bio:Jesse W. Schwartz is an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY. In 2013, he received his PhD in English and American Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, and his interests include radical American literature, periodical studies, Marxism, critical race studies, and Russian-American cultural relations. His current work traces the literary and political responses to American socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on representations of the Russian Revolution in US print cultures.

Vartan Messier
Queensborough Community College, English,
Consciousness, Resistance and Revolution in Ousman Sembene’s Cinema

Bio: Vartan Messier is an Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College (CUNY) and specializes in contemporary fiction, film and media studies, postcolonial studies, and continental philosophy.  His work examines interdisciplinary discourses pertaining to the formation of cultural and gender subjectivities across transnational networks of global interconnectivity. Engaging with theories of intertextuality and intermediality, his publications have focused on investigating the aesthetics and politics of media interaction and consumption across texts and contexts. His current book project is a transnational study of the interconnections between desire, gendered subjectivity, and notions of cultural specificity in 20th and 21st century works of film and literature from the U.S., Western Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. At CUNY, Professor Messier has taught freshman composition, introductory courses in literature and media studies, as well as upper-division courses on contemporary and postcolonial fiction, media criticism, literary theory, and film.

Megan Behrent
NYC College of Technology, English,
Poetry & Politics: Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and the Women’s Liberation

Bio: Megan Behrent is an Assistant Professor of English at NYC College of Technology, CUNY. She received a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Stony Brook in 2013. Her research focuses on literature and social movements, in particular texts associated with second-wave feminism, and the intersection between race, gender, sexuality and class in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. She has also written on educational policy and radical pedagogy and is a contributor to Inside Our Schools (Harvard Education Press) and Education and Capitalism (Haymarket Books). Her current project tentatively titled “Poetry & Politics: Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and the Women’s Liberation Movement” explores the friendship between Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich, the literary and political influence they had on each other and the evolution of their political thought in the context of political debates about race, class and sexuality within the Women’s Liberation Movement.

Leigh Binford
CSI, CUNY, Anthropology
Post-insurgent Subjectivity: Salvadoran Revolutionaries Twenty Years Later

Lara Saguisag
CSI, English
Regimes and Revolutions: Fictions of Childhood and the Marcos Era

Bio:Lara Saguisag is Assistant Professor of English (Children’s and Young Adult Literature) at CUNY – College of Staten Island. Her forthcoming book, Incorrigibles and Innocents: Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Newspaper Comics, draws from and builds on histories and theories of childhood, comics, and Progressive Era conceptualizations of citizenship and nationhood. Her current project, tentatively titled “Regimes and Revolutions,” examines the ways Philippine children’s literature, comics, and cartoons were shaped by and responded to the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

Sarah Ohmer 
Lehman College, Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies, and Africana Studies
Axe-ocracy and Empowerment by Black Brazilian Women Writers

Bio: Dr. Sarah Soanirina Ohmer joined the LALPRS department as Assistant Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Fall 2015. She was previously an Assistant Professor at the University of Indianapolis (2011-2015). She received her Ph.D. in Latin American Culture and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in Cultural Studies and Doctoral Certificate in Latin American Studies (2012). Dr Ohmer specializes in gender and race in Latin American literature and society, cultural theory, postcolonialism, and trauma.  This year, she joined the Editorial Board of the Women’s Studies Quarterly Editorial Board. Dr Ohmer’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, race and trauma in literature by Black Women from Cuba, Brazil, and the US African American and Afro-Latino women. Her interdisciplinary training includes trauma studies, critical ethnic studies, literary analysis and cultural studies.Sarah Soanirina Ohmer is Franco-Malagasy, born in France with roots in Madagascar. She speaks French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Fulbright Fellowship enabled her to work on her book manuscript, Keloids of Modernity: Trauma, Race and Gender in Black Women’s Literature. Dr. Ohmer dedicates her work to bridging the personal with the theoretical, in her research, classroom and in life!

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

Morgan Buck
Domestic Landscapes: Housing and the Politics of Home in Johannesburg, 1930-1994

Ricardo Gabriel
Somos Boricuas y Estamos Despertando: Decolonial Education and the Rise of Puerto Rican Studies at the City University of New York, 1965-1975

Brendan Beck
Uneven Policing: Economic Bubbles, Metropolitan Restructuring, and Law Enforcement

Bio: Brenden Beck is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is interested in how the carceral state responds to socio-spatial changes and economic restructuring. His dissertation analyzes low-level policing in the contexts of suburbanization, gentrification, and fiscal crises.

Shemon Salam
The Rise of the Fast Food Proletariat

Jeremy Randall
The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and The Production of Revolutionary Culture

Brendan Kibbee
Graduate Center, Music
Street Assemblies and Counterpublics in Postcolonial Dakar

Bio: Brendan Kibbee is a PhD Candidate in Music at the City University of New York, Graduate Center.  His dissertation, Street Assemblies and Counterpublics in Postcolonial Dakar, rethinks ways that music is integrated with economic life in a contemporary, post-colonial urban setting, generating forms of solidarity, community service, patronage, and political action.  Brendan’s research has been funded by Fulbright-Hays and the Society for Ethnomusicology’s 21st Century Dissertation Fellowship.  He has taught at City College and John Jay, CUNY, as well as Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Visiting Scholars

Maria Luisa Mendonca
The role of international financial capital in the Brazilian land market

Bio: Maria Luisa Mendonça is a visiting scholar in the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a PhD in Human Geography from the Department of Philosophy, Literature and Social Sciences at University of Sao Paulo (USP). She is the founder of Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (Network for Social Justice and Human Rights – in Brazil and the editor of the book “Human Rights in Brazil,” which has been published annually since 2000. From 2014 until 2016 she was a visiting professor in the International Relations Department of University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). In 2013 she was a visiting scholar in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University.

Sarah Raymundo
University of Philippines-Diliman Quezon City, Center for International Studies
Indigenous beliefs as science of resource management and political mobilization

Mamyrah Prosperimg_2551
IRIDAC, Graduate Center, CUNY

Bio: Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper 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. She is currently working on her manuscript tentatively titled “Negotiating Sexuality in Occupied Haiti: Social Movements, NGOs, and the Christianized State”. 

Diane Wong
Cornell University, Government

Bio: Diane Wong is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University and visiting scholar at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, where she writes on race, gender and the gentrification of Chinatowns. As a scholar activist and educator, her research stems from a place of revolutionary praxis and love for community. As a first generation Chinese American woman born and raised in Flushing, Queens, her research is intimately tied to Chinese diaspora and the urban immigrant experience. Her current research explores how gentrification politically impacts the Chinese immigrant communities in San Francisco  New York City, and Boston. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, American Political Science Association, and Cornell University’s American Studies Program. Diane also works as a community organizer with groups like CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Chinatown Art Brigade, and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

Past Fellows