Associate Director, Civic Engagement
Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow
Graduate Student Worker
Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice
Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice
Director | Contact Gianpaolo Baiocchi
Gianpaolo Baiocchi is a sociologist and an ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. He has written about and continues to research instances of civic life both in his native Brazil and in the US. He is a leading social science expert on participatory democracy who has for the last decade engaged public officials, voluntary organizations, and policy makers on the practice and implementation of participatory processes. His books and academic articles on citizen engagement on budgetary matters (“participatory budgeting”) are among the most cited in the scholarly literature and have been published and translated in several languages. As one of the founders of the Participatory Budgeting Project, he has worked with city officials in several US cities, and has presented his work to the World Bank, to the UNDP, HUD, and to both the World and US Social Forums. His work has appeared in specialist and general-audience publications from The American Sociological Review and American Journal of Sociology to The Boston Review and Le Monde Diplomatique. His most recent ethnographic research, The Civic Imagination (Paradigm, 2014), which he co-authored with Elizabeth Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Stephanie Savell, and Peter Klein, examines the contours and limits of the democratic conversation in the US today and argues for a reparative, but critical, intervention in that discussion.
Associate Director, Civic Engagement | Contact Racquel Forrester
Racquel Forrester is the Associate Director of Civic Engagement at Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and works to leads programming and community engagement initiatives at UDL. Previous to this role, Racquel worked at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service leading the NYU Urban Initiative, a provostial effort to reinforce NYU’s scholarly strength. A Brooklyn native, Racquel is deeply committed to advocating and empowering New Yorkers. She’s worked alongside several non-profits to lead local community initiatives in Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn and advocated for the preservation of job-intensive land use in industrial zones. Racquel also organized resilience initiatives post Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn’s waterfront communities, with research published in “Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay.” Racquel has a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from CUNY Hunter College. She recently completed Columbia University’s Executive Education Program for Developing Leaders in nonprofits.
Administrative Aide | Contact Sara Armstrong
Sara Armstrong joins the NYU Gallatin Office of Faculty Service Administrative Aide team after several years of working as a part-time office assistant at other universities. She provides support for the faculty, staff, and facilities on the 5th floor as well as for the Urban Democracy Lab. Sara grew up in Yonkers, New York and moved to Manhattan in August 2022. She loves to watch and write comedy television, and in her spare time, she enjoys knitting, baking, and reading.
Affiliated Staff | Contact Mehmet Darakcioglu
Mehmet Darakcıoglu is Assistant Dean, Global Programs at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and is currently working to support the work of the Urban Democracy Lab. He is a historian of the modern Middle East with a focus on the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. He completed his PhD at Princeton University and his dissertation examined the employment of government translators and the establishment of the Translation Bureau, which became the forerunner of the Ottoman Foreign Ministry. Prior to his doctoral studies, he earned a joint master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied US foreign policymaking during the Johnson administration. At Princeton, he received the Ertegün Graduate Fellowship, and at the University of Texas, he was awarded the Iranian Studies Scholarship. Mehmet’s research and teaching interests include social and intellectual history, dissemination of information, imperial bureaucracies and institutions, and linguistic diversity in the Ottoman Empire. He is also interested in international relations and language policies across the world. Topics of courses he taught at Penn include diversity in the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman Turkish. He also taught language courses at Princeton and at New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center. Before joining Gallatin, Mehmet served as associate director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he played a leading role in the renewal of the US Department of Education’s Title VI grant, which provided funding for national resource center programming and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships for the grant cycle 2014 through 2018. He also spearheaded collaborative programs in global education with schools of education and with minority-serving institutions, developed academic events and curricula, led outreach efforts, and managed other federal funds and fellowships.
Affiliated Staff | Contact Conor Brady
Conor Brady is Director, Global Programs at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and is currently working to support the work of the Urban Democracy Lab. Conor holds an MPA in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner, a Master’s in Teaching from Pace University, and a BA from Boston College. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York, Conor joined Gallatin in 2019 after more than ten years of service in the NYU Office of Global Programs where he served in positions of progressive leadership. Conor was inspired to work in international education after studying abroad for a year at the London School of Economics as an undergraduate, and later spending a year teaching at a secondary school in southern Malawi. Prior to Malawi, Conor taught for two years in NYC public schools as a NYC Teaching Fellow. Outside of the office, Conor is an activist and volunteer for multiple organizations in NYC working for criminal justice reform.
Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow | Contact Puneet Bhasin
Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow 2021-2022. Puneet Bhasin is a political scientist specializing in the international and comparative political economy of industrially advanced nation states. Bhasin’s academic interests lie in analyzing the relationship between labor market institutions, financialization of economies, and inequality; the political economy of global finance; politics of macroeconomic phenomena such as secular stagnation and the middle-income trap; geopolitics of American monetary power and its prospects; and the history of capitalism. Prior to New York University, Puneet was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany (2019-21), and previously, a concurrent postdoctoral fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University and the Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance, Brown University (2018-19). Bhasin’s research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the Tobin Project. From 2000 to 2008, he worked in New York City for McKinsey & Company and Deloitte & Touche. Bhasin has also served as an independent consultant with the Economic Justice Program at Open Society Foundations in New York, the IFMR-Center for Microfinance in Ahmedabad, and the Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur.
GGFUP Instructor | Contact Manny Patole
He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and LLm/ME specializing in Water Governance and Conflict Resolution and Water Conflict Management from a joint University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy & UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education program.
- Teaching and Research interests
- Community Economic Development
- Environmental and Racial Justice
- Intersectional Community Planning
- Transboundary Groundwater Management
- Urban Resilience and Sustainability
- Urban Water Management
Graduate Student Worker | Contact Christine Thomas
Global Fellow, 2022. Christine is a graduate student at Gallatin pursuing a concentration in International Creative Media Production. While serving in the Republic of Guinea with the Peace Corps as a maternal and child health educator, she first witnessed the influential nature of creative media in conveying harsh realities and advocating for their alteration, soon after changing her career path from community medicine to creative advocacy. She hopes to continue to hone her ability to visually capture and share the narratives of those affected by injustice, and use these skills to pursue advocacy-focused work for a global social justice or human rights focused organization one day. She views visual storytelling as an essential tool in challenging perspectives and inciting passion for change in the face of global states of oppression, and she strives to contribute to a dialogue that not only elicits awareness of inequity, but evokes its transformation.
Research Assistant | Contact Ben Kubany
Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice | Contact Anisa Jackson
Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice | Contact Anna Stielau
Visiting Scholar | Contact Nantina Vgontzas
Global Fellow | Contact Ama Akoto
Ama Akoto is a Black feminist student studying anthropology at NYU Gallatin. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Ama holds a deep-seated love for Chocolate City and the communities within. She is also an auntie, sister, friend, and avid reader. Ama pursues her academic interests with the hope of continuing to fight against unjust systems and prioritizing the narratives of communities facing inequality and injustice.
Ama’s academic research has focused on marginalized and minority populations in urban spaces, with a particular focus on African Americans in Washington, DC. Her experience as someone who recognizes inequity at home and beyond informs her research about and relationships with at-risk communities by stressing the importance of an empathetic, comprehensive, and people-based approach. Through her personal, academic, and professional endeavors, Ama centralizes family and community in her efforts to analyze and decry social injustice and disparity.
Global Fellow | Contact Manal Bawazir
Manal is a master of Urban Planning student at NYU Wagner, specializing in Urban Analytics. Her approaches to urban planning are informed by her lived experiences growing up in Jeddah and moving to New York City for her studies. Living in different yet similarly complex urban landscapes has honed her interdisciplinary methodology. She is interested in questions about place, belonging, and community, and wants to use her research skills to help advance place-based and grassroots methods of planning and community empowerment. Manal is a member of the Paterson Mapping Project (PMP), a collective of researchers, activists, and students whose work seeks to collect and democratize data on housing and policing. Her main work with the collective involves researching and employing counter-narratives to inform community-centered practices in Paterson, New Jersey. As of 2023, Manal has been working on a comparable research project on the city of Jeddah.
Global Fellow | Contact Nathan Cheng
Nathan is a current student at Gallatin concentrating in global economics and environmental science with a focus on urban sustainability. He is most interested in how conglomerates can balance profit making with environmental preservation on a small scale, specifically within communities that bear the cost of company development. As a Fellow, he will investigate the ways in which urban economies, environments, and societies are interconnected via local involvement in the community.
Global Fellow | Contact Sophia George
My name is Sophia, and I am a first-year grad student in the EX: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement Master’s program at New York University. I am a 2023 Gallatin Global Fellow in Urban Practice. I am interested in studying homelessness, affordable housing, space, and place through a sociological lens. During my undergraduate career, I worked as a research assistant with a local CBO, Neighbors in Need, to better understand the barriers to housing the homeless. My work with Neighbors in Need motivated me to continue studying how this vulnerable population is impacted daily and the community-based changes made to protect those facing displacement. Having taken an urban sociology and a public humanities course this year, my coursework has focused on the different uses of space, community-based efforts, and local policy practices which is what attracted me to the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco). I am excited to work with them this summer in the hopes of expanding my understanding of community-based efforts for those facing displacement.
Global Fellow | Contact Soph Moore
Soph Moore is interested in the way that identity is constructed in the United States in urban spaces, particularly in regards to racially ambiguous ethnic minorities and their relationship to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Her current research focuses on Armenian American communities, especially descendents of the Western Armenian diaspora. Her work investigates how their stories of shared histories and futures inform their identities and shape their relationship to trauma, privilege, and the “homeland.” She is currently engaged in an ethnographic project connecting interviews with Armenians from both Yerevan and New York City. In the NYU Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement (XE) department, her methodology has centered around qualitative sociology. Soph received her bachelor’s from UC Berkeley where she majored in English Literature and Gender and Women’s Studies.
Global Fellow | Contact Mychal Pagan
Mychal Pagan is an award winning artist-scholar, creative writer, and community-based researcher who utilizes ethnography, oral history, and photojournalism to inform his documentary filmmaking practice. Mychal is passionate about bringing the power of storytelling back to his community for those who are too often unable to harness the power of their own narratives. He was awarded grants by the Urban Humanities Research Fund to co-produce, co-direct and co-edit two pieces — a short documentary series about the financial costs of incarceration as well as another short documentary about carcerality, debt, and car ownership. Mychal has also curated media projects that shed light on post-release experiences for organizations such as the Thrive For Life Prison Project and the Prison Education Program. Mychal’s work has been published in outlets such as The Gallatin Review, Confluence, Fire in the Lake, Missives, and The New York Times. His photo essay “Public Transit” was showcased at NYU School of Law’s gallery. Mychal is currently studying visual sociology, narrative design, and filmmaking at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he is a member of the Dean’s Honor Society. Mychal’s ultimate goal is to become an renowned scholar and documentary filmmaker known for research-driven storytelling and impact across BIPOC communities.
Global Fellow | Contact Dee Perry
Dee Perry (she/they) is a first-year graduate student in Steinhardt’s Environmental Conservation Education MA program. She spent ten years as an informal science educator in the Bay Area, California. There, they developed professional learning structures while leading a team of equity-focused early career educators. It was a joy. With that experience, she brings both the practice and theory of critical pedagogy to everything she does. A student once again, their research focuses on democratic community education toward climate change justice and resilience in cities and their neighborhoods. She continues to develop her knowledge of ecology, social science, critical theory, and urban studies. They also love all kinds of related media, especially climate fiction and science fiction; they will talk to you about Octavia Butler all day. With her service dog at the lead, she continues to explore her new home of Los Sures, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Global Fellow | Contact Anthony Phillips
Anthony Phillips is an educator, advocate, and scholar. His interests are in gender, race, sexuality and social justice. As an undergraduate, he majored in sociology at Amherst College to understand the social factors affecting people of color. As a mellons mays undergraduate fellow, he constructed a capstone project to combat inequality. Following undergrad, he was a teacher, diversity instructor, and manager of the black students union in Litchfield CT. He taught and developed his own curriculum with a concentration on African American history. He also served as a liaison between students and faculty in order to meet the needs of students of color on a predominantly white campus. As he engaged with his students and curriculum, he developed an even stronger interest in the study of blackness. For Anthony, the interdisciplinary nature and malleability of blackness has the condition of possibility to transform society.
Past Visiting Scholars & Doctoral Fellows
Sarah Miller Davenport
Sarah Miller Davenport Sarah is a lecturer at in US history at the University of Sheffield. Her most recent book, Gateway State: Hawai’i and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire explores how Hawai’i became an emblem of multiculturalism during its journey to statehood in the mid-twentieth century. Her current research examines the reinvention of New York City as a global city after the 1975 fiscal crisis, with a focus on the contingencies, politics, and policies behind the city’s efforts to attract massive foreign capital and investment. She is particularly interested in how local and national conditions shaped the city’s approach to globalization, and seek to provincialize globalization by centering New Yorkers as both producers and subjects of the worldwide economic changes of the late-20th century.
Dean’s Scholar, 2020-2022. Aran Chang graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA degree in Medicine, Science, and Humanities, focusing on history of science and Korean history. At the beginning of his undergraduate journey, Aran was actually a Biochemistry major, but after taking the class “Moral and Social Programs in Healthcare” at Northeastern University, he reflected on his own childhood experiences and how it often felt like the healthcare system failed to address the needs of his community. Along with what he learned in the classroom from his mentor, the late Susan Setta, Aran wanted to learn more about history and the medical humanities. He transferred to Johns Hopkins for his sophomore year to pursue his interests in medical humanities alongside his premed workload and working in a VCA transplant laboratory. Aran wanted to learn more about public health and continue expanding his interest in the medical humanities before applying to medical school. In Gallatin, he found a program that allows him the flexibility to take STEM courses to prepare him for medical school, but also allows him to pursue his interests on how to help marginalized communities gain better access to healthcare.
Doctoral Fellow, 2021-2022. Yasmeen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Performance Studies. Her dissertation, “Tracing Black Movements: Chor[e]ographing Dis/placements in North Carolina’s Piedmont,” combines Black feminist theories, performance studies, archival assemblage, and visual analysis. Through the combination of these fields, Yasmeen critically interrogate four iterations of black displacement, or as she has termed it dis/placement, in North Carolina’s piedmont region. By way of regional comparative work, she demonstrates that black dis/placement has commonalities regardless of their location. Her work has been supported through fellowships with NYU’s Public Humanities Initiative and NYU’s Urban Doctoral Fellowship.
Yasmeen’s project, Through Their Eyes, [re]posits questions of housing, urban development, and city planning with a primary focus on photographs taken by children. Through visual analysis, this project argues that queries regarding accessibility, accommodation, and affordability might best be started with the needs of children. Yasmeen’s supervising mentor is Michael Dinwiddie.
Doctoral Fellow, 2021-2022. Sam is an ethnographer studying masculinities and migration in the contemporary Middle East. He is scheduled to receive my PhD from the NYU Department of Sociology in August 2022. His primary research examines how displacement and exile shape people’s gendered definitions of self and morality, experiences of agency, and orientations towards the future. A second project focuses on the political and epistemological tensions between vernacular and transnational approaches to humanitarianism in Lebanon. His research has received support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Max Weber Stiftung/Orient-Institut Beirut and his writing has been featured in Contexts and the edited volume Refugees as City-Makers.
Sam’s supervising mentor for the Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice is Gianpaolo Baiocchi.
Luis Rincón Alba
Doctoral Fellow, 2021-2022. Luis Rincón Alba is a Colombian artist and scholar based in New York City since 2010. He has taught at the Art and Public Policy and Performance Studies departments at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Performance Studies Department at New York University. As an actor, performer, and oral narrator, he has collaborated with different artistic collectives in his home country and also in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, and Italy. His creative and academic work centers on the performativity of festive and carnival performances. His scholarship traces the aesthetic and political genealogy of carnival practices in contemporary literature, performance art, and music and how this emergence troubles historical understandings of race, gender, and class. Rincón Alba is particularly interested in the transnational elements present in the festive performance traditions from the Colombian Caribbean coast and how they challenge notions of nationality and draw connections with the greater Caribbean. His academic research areas include Caribbean studies, critical race theory, contemporary philosophy and aesthetics, experimental ethnography, and Latin American and Caribbean theater and performance art history. Luis Rincón Alba is also the co-artistic director of the collective MUSA Presents, a musical and performance collective that explores the potential of ancestral Caribbean music to build community in New York City.
Luis’ project, Sonic Ancestralities: Music, Activism, and Mutual Aid, gathers musicians, activists, and scholars working on mutual Aid and community building in NYC and Colombia. The main goal is to allow music to guide a conversation on the current state of activism that would help us understanding how it has shaped both ancestral and current struggles for freedom and more just society. Luis’ supervising mentor is Malik Walker.
Visiting Scholar 2021-2022. Marcelo Danéris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Valley University of Rio dos Sinos (2008), along with a Master’s Degree (2012) and Doctorate (2016) in Political Science from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), where he also has a post-doctorate appointment in Public Politics. He was Secretary of the State Government of Rio Grande do Sul under Tarso Genro’s administration, during which he served as Executive Secretary for Economic and Social Development of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (CDES_RS) from January 2011 until December 2014. He served as Councilor of Porto Alegre for two terms (2001-2004; 2007-2008) and Parliamentary Secretary in the Chamber of Deputies, in which he was also appointed Chief of Staff of Federal Deputy Henrique Fontana (Worker’s Party, Rio Grande Do Sul [PT/RS]). In 2019 he served as a volunteer professor at the State University of Rio Grande do Sul (UERGS). Between 2019 and 2021 he was Deputy Director of the Francisco Juruena Superior School of Management and Control within the Court of Accounts of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (TCE-RS).He is currently a member and researcher at the Instituto Novos Paradigmas (INP), based in Porto Alegre.
Daniel Hart London
Visiting Scholar 2021-2022. Daniel Wortel-London is a scholar of urban history and political economy. A proud native of the New York region, he received his B.A. in American Studies and History from Ramapo College (2008), his M.A. in History from the CUNY Graduate Center (2011), and his Ph.D. in United States History from New York University (2020). He has been published in the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the Journal of Tourism History. He has also served as an editorial board member of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and has presented his research at the conferences of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Urban History Association, and the American Association of Geographers. He has served as a Jefferson National Fellow and a Louis Galambos National Fellow in Business and Politics at the Hagley Museum and Library. In addition, his work has been featured in Dissent and the Washington Post, and has worked as a research coordinator for the Adelphi Institute, Civworld at DEMOS, and the New York City DSA. His expanded C.V. and writings can be found on his website, www.publicspaced.com, and can be followed on twitter at @dlondonyu.
Beryl Liu served as a 2019-2020 Dean’s Scolar. Beryl is an aspiring actor, producer, and filmmaker. She completed an undergraduate degree at McGill University where she co-produced and directed her first narrative short film, Rêverie 11:12. A Chinese-born Canadian, Beryl is passionate about bridging cultures and differences through creative mediums. She believes that the dramatic arts of film and theater are at the heart of bringing stories to life, and offers insight into the human experience. At Gallatin, she is pursuing an artistic thesis on the study of actor-character relationships, the technical variances—psychological, intellectual, and emotional—between stage and camera acting, and the exploration of how this craft serves in the process of storytelling. Beryl has worked with several film-related organizations to explore international collaboration in film co-production and distribution, with involvement in festivals such as Sundance and Festival de Cannes. She believes that creative story weaving in cinema and theater is essential for sharing unvoiced narratives, and necessary to foster understanding and compassion.
Sara Dima Abi Saab
Sara Dima Abi Saab served as a 2020-2021 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. Sara is an NYC and Lebanon based activist, and a PhD Candidate at New York University in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies on the Cultural Studies track. Dima’s research focuses on municipal politics in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-1990 to frame and understand the trajectory of municipalities. She is working with Minim – an international collective of urban activists, to produce a global directory of “municipalist” efforts and a physical publication, provisionally entitled “The ABCs of Municipalism” aimed at New York City-based community activists.
Khaled Malas served as a 2020-2021 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. Khaled is an architect and art historian from Damascus. He is a PhD candidate at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts where he is writing a dissertation on a class of medieval magico-medicinal bowls that feature the Kaaba in their cavetto. He is working with Bricks and Mortals, an organization that seeks to defend faith-based institutions in face of the pressures of gentrification in New York City. His project, entitled Harlem Charms, revolves around magic and talismans in his changing neighborhood. He will produce an ‘artist-book’ on “meanings and expectations of efficacious technologies in a contemporary urban context.” At Gallatin next Fall, he will be teaching a class entitled Medieval Mediterranean Technologies of ‘Magic’.
Vicente Rubio-Pueyo served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2020-2021. Vicente Rubio-Pueyo, originally from Spain, has been living in the US since 2006. An adjunct instructor at Fordham University, he writes on Spanish and US politics. His research is in the field of contemporary Spanish cultural studies with strong interdisciplinary ties to urban studies, political theory, media studies, and other fields. He is currently working a book on political cultures, the State, and movements in contemporary Spain from the 70’s Transition to the post-15M present context.
Michelle Esther O'Brien
Michelle Esther O’Brien served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2020-2021. Michelle Esther O’Brien is a practicing psychotherapist. She received her PhD (Graduand) from the Department of Sociology at New York University. Her dissertation focused on how capitalism shapes LGBTQ organizing in New York City. Michelle is a co-editor of Pinko, and her writing has appeared in Social Movement Studies, Work, Employment & Society, Commune, Homintern, Endnotes and Invert. She is currently studying psychoanalytic practice at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR).
Eric Goldfischer served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2020-2021. Eric Goldfischer’s work focuses on the role of anti-homelessness in urban political economy, urban political ecology, design, and urban planning, with a particular interest in how people experiencing homelessness have reimagined and reframed urban environments as sites of belonging rather than dispossession. Eric comes from a background in community organizing and popular education. He co-founded a collaboration called Power at the Margins, which brings together scholars, activists, and practitioners in housing justice work biannually for a big gathering and conversation. He currently serves as Research Manager at WIN NYC.
Semiha F Turgut
Semiha F. Turgut served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2019 – 2020. She is a PhD candidate in urban and regional planning at Istanbul Technical University. During her Master and PhD studies she worked in several research projects on local development, economic development and youth participation. In her last project she worked as a research coordinator in Istanbul Urban Resilience Project of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. She is granted as a Fulbright Visiting Researcher and in New York she is focused on her PhD research on Smart Cities. Within this topic, she investigates Smart Cities from the perspective of philosophy of science; from the perspective of Thomas Kuhn. Her research includes evaluating the concept within planning theories.
UDL Scholar 2017-2018. Aguasvivas received his MA at Gallatin in 2018. He was active with UDL programing and research, contributing to research on housing precarity in New York City. He continues to be active with Gallatin Alumni on issues of political engagement.
Leigh Campoamor served a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2018-2019. Leigh Campoamor holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. Her work connects global political-economic processes with subjective experiences by ethnographically exploring the everyday spatial politics of Latin America’s expanding cities in a time when macroeconomic growth has produced new networks of communication and new forms of precarity. The book she currently writing, Public Childhoods: Urban Labor, Family, and Futurity in Peru takes child street labor in Lima as a node for assessing gender and generationality, transnational development, urban social movements, and everyday experiences of poverty. She is also working on a parallel project that examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility and urban consumer-citizenship through a case study of a transnational telecom giant that presents digital technologies as tools of democratization and children’s rights activism.
Simone Gatti served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2018-2019. She is a Brazilian urbanist, architect, and guest professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo – FAUUSP. She is a postdoctoral researcher in a cooperation agreement between the University of São Paulo and the Public Ministry of the State of São Paulo in the areas of Housing and Urbanism, where she develops research on social housing and participatory processes. She is a collaborating researcher at LabCidade and NAPPLAC of FAUUSP and acts as a representative of civil society in participatory councils of the municipal government of São Paulo. In New York she conducted research on three different forms of rent existing in American housing policy (Public Housings, the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Rent-Controlled Housing) and their social and economic conflicts.
Paula Freire Santoro
Paula Freire Santoro served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2018-2019. She is a Brazilian urbanist, architect, and professor of Urban Planning at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo – FAUUSP. She currently coordinates observSP research with LabCidade | FAUUSP and is conducting a survey on Inclusive Housing Policies: a dialogue between São Paulo / Brazil and New York / USA. She holds a specialization in Land Policy in Latin America by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Panama (2007) and was Technical Assistant of the Public Ministry of the State of São Paulo in the areas of Housing, Urbanism and Environment (2011-2013). She has also been a researcher at the Instituto Pólis (2001-2011), Instituto Socioambiental – ISA (2007-2008) and the Laboratory of Urbanism of the Metropolis – LUME FAUUSP (2001). In New York, she conducted further research related to her comparative study of inclusionary zoning policies in New York and São Paulo.
Jose Manuel Robles Morales
José Manuel Robles Morales served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2018-2019. He is currently an assistant professor in the department of Sociology III at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). He is the director of the Masters program in Official Statistics and Social and Economic Indicators which is part of the EMOS (European Masters in Official Statistics) network of EuroStat. He is also editor of the Spanish Journal of Sociological Research (JCR journal) and member of the research group “Data Science and Soft Computing for Social Analytics and Decision Aid.” His research focuses on the political uses of the Internet and the social consequences of technological development. He works with quantitative data based on surveys and “Big Data.” José Manuel has published more than forty papers in different academic journals and is currently preparing a book for Palgrave Macmillan.
H Jacob Carlson
H. Jacob Carlson served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2017 – 2018. He is an urban and political sociologist, focused on democracy, housing, and changing cities. His current research examines the various causes and consequences of gentrification and displacement – and the relationships between the two.
He is a postdoctoral research fellow at S4 at Brown University. Jake was previously a Dissertation Fellow with the Institute for Research on Poverty and a Research Fellow at Participatory Budgeting Project. He remains actively engaged actively engaged with UDL, co-authoring the November 2020 white paper, The Case for a Social Housing Development Authority.
Riccardo Emilio Chesta
Riccardo Emilio Chesta served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2017. He is a Research Fellow at the Department of Political Sciences and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore and at the Carlo Azeglio Ciampi Institute for Advanced Studies in Florence. His research interests are in Social Theory and Theorizing, Sociology of Knowledge and Expertise, Science and Technology Studies, Contentious Politics and Political Participation, Sociology of Work and Environmental Politics. Specifically he has studied the interrelations between expertise and democracy both for contentious politics and sociology of knowledge.
Will Keats-Osborn served as a UDL Visiting Scholar in 2014-2015. He is a PhD candidate, Killam fellow, and Joseph Armand Bombardier fellow at the University of British Columbia. As a sociologist of knowledge, he is interested in exploring the everyday activities of reading, talking, thinking, and writing that constitute the realization of ideas. His current research concerns the cooperative social practices of reporters, editors, researchers, and other participants involved in the production of longform, reported magazine features.
Kiana Karimi served as a 2019-2020 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. She is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies. Her dissertation research focuses on the micropolitics of everyday life and the performance of gender in Iran. Her research interests include digital humanities, gender politics, the performance of everyday life, performance philosophy, immigration and transnational identity, and the Iranian diaspora. She has directed a series of digital publications for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and has moderated and taught online workshops for women in small towns in Iran about tools and techniques for participation in the city council elections. Combining her background in engineering, web design and her decade-long experience as a women’s rights activist, she has developed the first-ever eyewitness reporting and networking platform for Farsi speakers (TribuneZamaneh.com) as an alternative to commercial and insecure platforms such as Facebook. As part of Barzan Gender in Translation Program, she has translated over 30 journal papers from English to Farsi in an accessible language for grassroots activists. For her fellowship at the Urban Democracy Lab, she worked to develop a digital archive to showcase the music and musicians of the Bronx for the Bronx Music Heritage Center. Her writings have been published the London Review of Books blog, Women Learning Partnership, RadioZamaneh (fa) and We Change (fa) among other outlets.
Nantina Vgontzas served as a 2019-2020 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice, receiving their PhD in Sociology upon conclusion of their fellowship. Their research explores the labor and environmental politics of the rapidly expanding logistics sector. Not only is this sector a key node in the global distribution of goods, but as e-commerce firms increasingly orient their delivery operations around major metropolitan markets, logistics is positioned to reshape the social and political alliances of the global city. Through political education and engaged scholarship with community partners, Nantina is studying how the efforts of warehouse workers to improve their working conditions are intersecting with community efforts to mitigate the environmental harms of warehouse expansion. In addition to UDL, their work has been supported by the Center for Engaged Scholarship, AI Now Institute, and Center for Applied Data Ethics, and has been featured in New Global Studies, Labor Studies Journal, Boston Review, The Nation, and other outlets.
Ayasha Guerin served as a 2018-2019 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. She received her PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis in 2020. She is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and curator who lives between Berlin and Vancouver. She is an Assistant Professor of Black Diaspora Studies at the University of British Columbia in the Department of English. For her fellowship, she developed educational materials for CAAAV, a Chinatown-based anti-gentrification and tenant’s rights organization. She credits her fellowship with deepening her engagement with New York City, and her dissertation, which begun as a historical examination of New York’s waterfront, grew into a more contemporary project.
José Soto-Márquez served as a 2018-2019 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. He is a PhD candidate in Sociology. He researches and teaches on the topics of migration, race/ethnicity, gender, theory, cities, work, inequality, health, and the family. His dissertation focuses on one of Europe’s so-called “lost generations” and draws on two years of ethnographic observations of and 135 in-depth interviews with young and high-skilled Spanish immigrants, who left Spain after the 2008 global financial crisis. His doctoral work explores Spanish immigrants’ divergent and gendered social mobility, assimilation/integration, and ethnoracial identification across New York City, Buenos Aires, and London. As a doctoral fellow, he worked with NYU’s Prison Education Project developing survey materials, and for him, the fellowship allowed him to fully see the impact of research as it was being developed.
David Sugarman served as a 2018-2019 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. He earned his PhD in English from NYU in 2019. His research and teaching focuses on 20th and 21st century American studies, urban theory, and literary theory. In addition to teaching and advising at Gallatin, he teaches at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. As a doctoral fellow, he worked with the Baltimore Housing Roundtable and YES – the Youth Empowerment Society, a service organization for homeless youth. He worked on a zine with narratives of homeless youth. David remains actively engaged with the UDL, currently serving as steward of UDL’s Student Organizers.
Sara Duvasic served as a 2017-2018 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice, and as a UDL Visiting Scholar in Spring 2020. She received her PhD in Sociology in 2019, and is currently a Research & Policy Advisor at Oxfam America and an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Public Fellow. She has remained actively engaged with UDL, and recently co-authored the November 2020 white paper, The Case for a Social Housing Development Authority. As a doctoral fellow, she worked with Crown Heights Tenants Union and Right To The City developing qualitative research on precarious housing conditions on a project that involved Gallatin MA and undergraduate students. She describes her fellowship as giving her the opportunity to “ learn and practice community engage research, working collaboratively with housing rights activists and practitioners and helping to manage a research team.” This helped her “ build the skills needed to conduct research that has academic salience while also being accountable to community stakeholders.” She decided, after the fellowship, to pursue a career in engaged research rather than a tenure-track academic position.
Maysam Taher served as a 2017-2018 Doctoral Fellow in Urban Practice. She is a doctoral candidate in MEIS’s Culture and Representation track. Her dissertation “Borders in Disrepair: Archival Excavations and Present Crises at the Hinges of the Mediterranean” takes a treaty of colonial reparations signed by Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi in 2008 as a point of departure to examine how such a document came to perform a dual contradictory function: that of compensating Libya for colonial crimes committed by Italy between 1911 and 1947 through $5 billion in infrastructural investments, and that of formalizing an extraterritorial infrastructure of European border policing located in Libya. Rather than repairing a history of conquest, deportation, and confinement, the treaty inscribes into law the reproduction of extractive and carceral orders, now appearing under renewed postcolonial forms. Her project restages the binational efforts in research and historiography that articulated the claim for reparations in order to demonstrate how colonial archives, their postcolonial rearrangements, and their counter-archival off-shoots are themselves institutions of border-making and unmaking, with material effects that can shape the present and open up multiple futures. She was a recipient of the 2018 Robert Holmes Travel/Research Award for African Scholarship and a 2019-2020 Doctoral Research Fellow at NYU’s Center for the Humanities. She is a current contributing editor at The New Inquiry.
UDL visiting scholar and Global Faculty in Residence, 2015. Mockus is former two-time mayor of Bogota, Colombia, and one-term senator in that country. He is founder and president of Corpovisionarios, an NGO dedicated to addressing urban issues through creative civic interventions of the kind Mockus introduced as Mayor. He taught a course and collaborated with UDL’s public programing.