Core Faculty:

Zahra Ali:

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Biography: Zahra Ali is a sociologist, her research explores dynamics of women and gender, social and political movements in relation to Islam(s), the Middle East and contexts of war and conflict with a focus on contemporary Iraq. She is interested in capitalism, (post)coloniality, decolonial feminisms and epistemologies. Zahra Ali is the author of Women and Gender in Iraq, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. She has conducted in depth ethnographic research among women, civil society and youth organizations in Iraq. She is also interested in Islam(s) in diasporic contexts and its transnational dynamics and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among diasporic Muslim communities in France and in the UK.

Department Affiliations: Sociology and Anthropology + Peace and Conflict Studies Program + Women's and Gender Studies Program

Nermin Allam:

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Biography: Nermin Allam is Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-Newark. Prior to joining Rutgers, she was a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar at Princeton University. Her research interests include: Social movements theories; gender politics; Middle Eastern and North African studies; and political Islam. In addition to numerous chapters and entries, Allam’s work appeared in Social Research: An International Quarterly journal, Middle East Law and Governance, and Sociology of Islam journal.  Her current book, “Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings,” published by Cambridge University Press, offers an oral history of women’s engagement in Egypt’s modern contentious politics. 

Department Affiliations: Department of Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies Program.

Jason Barr:

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Biography: Dr. Barr is a Professor at ExternalRutgers University, Newark in the Department of Economics, and an affiliated faculty member with the  ExternalGlobal Urban Systems Ph.D. program. His research interests include urban economics, and agent-based computational economics. Dr. Barr serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, the Eastern Economic Journal and the Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination. He is the author of ExternalBuilding the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skyscrapers (Oxford U. Press, 2016). He writes the ExternalSkynomics Blog, a blog about skyscrapers, cities, and economics.

Department Affiliations: Department of Ecnomics

Ira Cohen:

Steven J. Diner:

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Biography: Steven J. Diner is University Professor of History and Public Policy at Rutgers University-Newark. He received a PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 1972. He served as Dean of Arts and Sciences from 1998 to 2002 and Chancellor from 2002 to 2011. He taught previously at the University of the District of Columbia and George Mason University. His scholarship is focused on urban history and the history of higher education in America.

Department Affiliations: Department of History

Janice Gallagher:

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Biography: I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark. In my book manuscript, "Bootstrap Justice: The Search for Mexico's Disappeared" I argue that the sustained mobilization of the families of the disappeared have been the key catalysts for legislative and judicial advances, and under certain political configurations have  poked holes in the near blanket impunity for serious crimes in Mexico. I center the roles and voices of the people affected by human rights violations, and seek to understand how, why and to what effect they mobilize. Prior to joining Rutgers, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University in 2015, and earned an MA in Teaching from Brown University, and a BA in Political Science and Economics from Swarthmore College. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Mexico and Colombia, and previously worked as a human rights accompanier in Colombia. My research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, the Fulbright Garcia-Robles program, and the Social Science Research Council. 
Department Affiliations: Political Science

Eva Giloi:

Eva Giloi by Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study

(Photo by Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study)

Biography: Eva Giloi is an historian of modern German history and European cultural history. She has worked on topics ranging from material culture, visual culture, and museums; fame, celebrity, and charisma; socialization and childhood; the history of emotions; copyright and photographs. More recently, she has been applying concepts in urban geography to early twentieth century Europe and post-war Newark. In this ‘spatial turn,’ her work examines the concept of place-making, access and affect in city spaces, and the phenomenology of place, among other topics. Her publications on the topics of space and place include: “The Beauty of Blight: Creating Insiders and Outsiders through Aesthetic Invectives in 1960s Newark;” “How Public Figures Became Glamorous Accessories: Affect Worlds, Consumer Culture, and Visual Technologies in Nineteenth-Century Europe;” and “Socialization and the City: Parental Authority and Teenage Rebellion in Wilhelmine Germany.” She is the director of the Urban Humanities track in Global Urban Studies and has taught graduate seminars on “Urban Environment: Producing Place: Theories and Concepts in Urban Geography,” as well as on “The History of Emotions;” “Art and Politics;” and “History from Below.” She is the Lead Director of Newark Rhythms an arts-oriented research and public history project about urban renewal in Newark in the 1960s. By combining archival research, exhibitions, sonic-spatial and visual arts performances, and community outreach, Newark Rhythms aims to recover, document, and make present the history of the modernist architectural design of the Rutgers University-Newark’s campus as part of urban renewal in 1960s Newark, and how these developments related to social issues and artistic movements. In its current phase, the project is focusing on the concepts of “urban thresholds” and “embodied mapping,” oriented to different phenomenological and affective experiences of the urban space.

Department Affiliations: Federated Department of History

Peter Hepburn:

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Biography: I am a Sociologist and Demographer. My research examines how changes to three core social institutions—work, criminal justice, and housing—serve to produce and perpetuate inequality. I use a variety of quantitative methods and data sources to demonstrate and analyze disparities in exposure to precarious work, the criminal justice system, and housing instability. Throughout my research, I develop measures and models that allow for new insight into the variability of lived experience for disadvantaged populations and the transmission of inequality across generations.
Department Affiliations: Department of Sociology & Anthropology


Kimberly DaCosta Holton:

Alison Howell:

Alison Howell

Biography: Alison Howell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark, where she is also affiliated member of Women's and Gender Studies, the Division of Global Affairs, and Global Urban Studies. She previously held research fellowships at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) and in Politics, both at the University of Manchester, as well as a Fulbright at SUNY and Brown University. She is on the editorial boards of International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, Critical Military Studies, Critical Studies on Security, and the Review of International Studies. Her research focuses on topics relating to the international relations of medicine, technoscience, security and warfare in order to advance feminist, critical race, and disability studies approaches to global politics.

Department Affiliations: Department of Political Science - Newark

Jyl Josephson:

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Biography: Jyl J. Josephson is Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. Most of her scholarship is related to gender, sexuality, and politics. She is the author of Rethinking Sexual Citizenship (SUNY 2016). Her work has also been published in journals such as the Journal of Political Science Education, Feminist Formations, New Political Science, Trans Studies Quarterly, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Journal of Poverty, and Perspectives on Politics. In addition to a project on higher education and democracy, she is also conducting research on broad based community organizing, and along with Icelandic colleagues, on feminist, queer, and trans movements in Iceland.

Department Affiliations: Department of Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies program.

Jamie Lew:

Sean T. Mitchell:

Domingo Morel:

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Biography: Domingo Morel is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University - Newark. He is also an affiliate member of Global Urban Studies and the Center on Law, Inequality, and Metropolitan Equity at Rutgers Newark. His research program and teaching portfolio focus on racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, education politics and public policy. He is the author of Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award. He is also co-editor of Latino Mayors: Power and Political Change in the Postindustrial City. In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Morel has years of applied experience in education, political affairs, and public policy. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., he worked in higher education for special programs designed to provide college access and support services to students from traditionally underserved populations. He is also co-founder of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and past president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Brown University in 2014.

Department Affiliations: Political Science

Rachel Mundy:

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Biography: My work is concerned with the way music has defined modern notions of life, worth, and rights in a post-climate change world. My research sits at the intersection of sound studies, animal studies, the history of science, postcolonial history, and environmental history. Because music-making has been heard in the West as evidence of an inner “soul” since the 19th century, it has a foundational place in modern claims about personhood and human identity. I explore these claims through cases that connect human rights to animal voices. 

My first book, Animal Musicalites: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening has been credited with initiating an “animal turn” in music studies. I am currently working on a second book, Hearing Beyond Humanism, which shows how zoologists in the United States and Europe used musical listening skills to promote animal rights in the urban contexts of the 1960s and ‘70s. More broadly, I am interested in thinking about how “the humanities” can be reimagined for the post-climate change present. 

Department Affiliations: Department of Arts, Culture, and Media

Arthur B. Powell:

Biography: Arthur B. Powell is Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Urban Education at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, New Jersey, and Faculty Research Scientist and Co-Director of the Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning of the Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick. He received his B.A. in mathematics and statistics from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA; M.A. in mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and Ph.D. in mathematics education from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Dr. Powell’s research interests focus in the following areas where he has published extensively: writing and mathematics learning; ethnomathematics; development of mathematical ideas, reasoning, and heuristics; teacher professional development in the mathematics for teaching; collaborative problem solving in mathematics with technology; and rational number cognition. At present, he directs the Research Group on Communication, Technology, and Mathematics Learning that is engaged in an investigative and instructional project, called Mathematical Thinkers Like Me. To fund his collaborative research, Dr. Powell has garnered funding from local, national, and international agencies.

Department Affiliations: Affiliate Faculty Member, African American & African Studies Learning and Teaching, Graduate School of Education

Tim Raphael:

Isaias Rojas-Perez:

Alan R. Sadovnik:

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Biography: Alan R. Sadovnik is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Education, Sociology and Public Administration and Affairs at Rutgers University, Newark. He received his B.A. in sociology from Queens College of the City University of New York and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. He is the author or editor (or co-author and co-editor) of fourteen books including Equity and Excellence in Higher Education (1995); “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: Progressive Education in the 21st Century (2016); “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education(1999; Exploring Education: An Introduction to the Foundations of Education (1994, 2001, 2006, 2013, 2018); Knowledge and Pedagogy: The Sociology of Basil Bernstein (1995), Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader (2007, 2010, 2015); and Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era (2002). He received the Willard Waller Award from the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education Section in 1992 for the best article and received Critics Choice Awards from the American Educational Studies Association, in 1995 for Knowledge and Pedagogy, in 2000 for "Schools of Tomorrow..." and in 2003 for Founding Mothers and Others.

Department Affiliations: School of Public Affairs and Administration, Department of Urban Education, Sociology

Mara Sidney:

John Juo Wei Tchen (Jack Tchen):

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Biography: Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen is a historian, curator, writer, and dumpster diver devoted to anti-racist, anti-colonialist democratic participatory storytelling, scholarship, and opening up archives, museums, organizations, and classroom spaces to the stories and realities of those excluded and deemed “unfit” in master narratives. Professor Tchen is the Inaugural Clement A. Price Professor of Public History & Humanities and Director of the Clement A. Price Institute. Most recently, he is engaged with global warming crisis, eco justice, and the deep history of the region, founding New York Newark Public History Project. And he has been appointed onto the New York City Panel on Climate Change dealing with the 31-county regional estuarial impacts we are all facing. He has been supporting three Munsee Lunaape communities with their Homeland efforts reconstructing their language, maps, place names, and stories. The PHP is reframing the history of the estuarial region starting with the triple foundational histories of dispossession, extractivism, and enslavement. His ongoing series of work on eugenics in the New York City region surfaces how patrician elites fashioned a tested, measured, sorted tiered hierarchic system of “fit” European-descended “Nordics” on top, and the rankings of the great majority of “unfit” below--resulting in the Immigration Act of 1924 and practices of sterilization and incarceration all still impacting US political culture to this day. His book - Yellow Peril: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (2014) is a critical archival study of images, excerpts and essays on the history and contemporary impact of paranoia and xenophobia. In 1996, he founded the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific /American) Studies Program and Institute, and research collections, New York University, NYU. In 1980, he co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America.

Department Affiliations: Department of History

Melissa M. Valle:

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Biography: Dr. Melissa M. Valle is an assistant professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. She is also a core faculty member of the Global Urban Studies/Urban Systems Ph.D. program. Dr. Valle is cultivating a body of research that unpacks the notion of “racial worth” by elucidating how symbolic meanings become embedded within distributive frameworks and subsequently contribute to inequality in the Americas. Dr. Valle’s current book project, Battling for Worth: Race, Recognition, and Urban Change on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast is under contract with Oxford University Press and will be included in its Global and Comparative Ethnography Series. The book explores the criteria people use to determine what and who has worth, at different spatial scales, in the context of urban spatial and economic change in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Dr. Valle is a council member of the American Sociological Association’s Community and Urban Sociology Section, an editorial board member (2022-2025) of the ASA urban journal, City & Community, and an executive board member of the afrolatin@ forum. She is a recipient of a Fulbright student award to Colombia and has dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and Afro-American Studies from Howard University, a Master of Public Administration in public and nonprofit management and policy from New York University, a Master of Science for Teachers in childhood education from Pace University, and a Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy, and Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.

Department Affiliation: Department of Sociology & Anthropology, African American & African Studies 

Diane Wong:

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Biography: Diane Wong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. Previously, she was Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in American Politics and M.A. in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration from the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her interests include American politics, Asian American politics, gender and sexuality, urban governance, comparative immigration, race and ethnicity, cultural and media studies, and community rooted research. As a first-generation Chinese American born and raised in Flushing, Queens in New York City, her research is intimately tied to the Asian diaspora and urban immigrant experience. Her current book project, You Can’t Evict A Movement, focuses on intergenerational resistance to gentrification in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Her work draws from a combination of methods including ethnography, participatory mapping, archival research, augmented reality, and oral history interviews. Her research has received the Byran Jackson Research on Minority Politics Award, Susan Clarke Young Scholars’ Award, and the Don T. Nakanishi Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service in Asian Pacific American Politics. Her research has been funded by grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities New York, and Cornell University’s American Studies Program. Her work has appeared in Urban Affairs Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, Asian American Policy Review, and a variety of edited book volumes, journals, anthologies, podcasts, and exhibitions.

Department affiliation: Political Science

Affiliated Faculty:

Jennifer Austin:

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Biography: Jennifer Austin is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at Rutgers University, Newark. She received her Ph.D in Linguistics from Cornell University with a minor in Cognitive Science. Her research interests include first and second language acquisition, language contact, and the effects of bilingualism on language and cognition. She co-authored the book Bilingualism in Spanish-Speaking World: Linguistic and Cognitive Perspectives, and has written articles on syntactic and morphological development in children learning Basque, Spanish, and English. She is a member of the graduate faculty in Global Urban Studies and in Psychology at Rutgers-Newark and in Spanish and Portuguese at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Austin is also a co-founder of HoLa, a dual-language charter school in Hoboken, NJ, and is a co-founder and the faculty advisor of the Lives in Translation program at Rutgers-Newark.

Department Affiliations: Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, RU-N, GUS, RU-N, Department of Psychology, RU-N, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, RU-NB

Elise Boddie:

Christopher Duncan:

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Biography: I am an anthropologist whose research explores a variety of topics in the anthropology of religion, the anthropology of violence, and issues of indigenous rights. My work is based primarily Indonesia. A major focus of my research in recent years has been on the role of religion in communal violence and post-conflict dynamics in eastern Indonesia. I also explore how religious interpretations of the violence have influenced the post-conflict situation through an examination of peace and reconciliation initiatives, local efforts at memorial building, and the re-integration of forced migrants. Building on this work, I am currently developing a new research project that looks at religious pluralism amongst religious minorities in various parts of Indonesia, including several large cities with non-Muslim majority populations. I am also the Co-Director of the Rutgers International Institute for Peace. 

Department Affiliation: Department of Sociology and Anthropology

R. Brian Ferguson:

Lynn Kuzma:

Kusum Mundra:

Mary Rizzo:

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Biography: Mary Rizzo is an Associate Professor of History who specializes in modern U.S. cultural history, urban studies, public humanities, and digital humanities. She is particularly interested in food studies, representations of cities, and inclusive public history. After earning her PhD in American Studies from the University Minnesota, she built a successful career in public history, experience she brings to Rutgers University-Newark where she created the public humanities MA track in the Graduate Program in American Studies to prepare students to be leaders in public history and humanities organizations. An active scholar of American cultural and urban history, Rizzo published Come and Be Shocked: Baltimore Beyond John Waters and The Wire (Johns Hopkins University Press) in 2020. This book examines representations of Baltimore from the 1950s to the early 21st century to see how urban leaders have used art to shape how the city is seen and how artists have fought back through their own representations. She brings together her urban, public, and digital history work in the Chicory Revitalization Project, which uses the African American community poetry magazine, Chicory, which was published in Baltimore from 1966-1983, as the basis of civic conversations around poetry and social justice today. In 2015, she published Class Acts: Young Men and the Rise of Lifestyle. She has also published articles in American Quarterly, Museums & Social Issues, Exhibition, The Public Historian, and International Journal of Heritage Studies. In 2017, Rizzo won the Teaching Award for excellence in teaching NJ history for the travelling and digital Rebellion to Review Board exhibits from the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance. She is also on the advisory committee for the award-winning Queer Newark Oral History Project.

Department Affiliations: African and African-American Studies, American Studies

Lee Slater:

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Biography: Dr. Lee Slater is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Geophysics and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark. Dr. Slater pursues research on the use of geophysical technologies (a group of non-imaging methods analogous to medical imaging) for improving understanding of subsurface environmental processes. Dr. Slater has published over one hundred and fifty journal articles, ten book chapters, two edited books and one textbook. In 2018 he was elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union with the citation: "for visionary experimentation in near surface geophysics that has advanced understanding of subsurface hydrogeological and biogeochemical processes". Dr. Slater received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental sciences from University of East Anglia (UK), a Master of Science degree in marine geosciences from University of North Wales (UK) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Lancaster University (UK).

Department Affiliations: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Robert Snyder:

Genese Sodikoff:

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Biography: I am a cultural anthropologist interested in the political economy of biodiversity loss, conservation, and restoration and in zoonosis (animal-to-human disease). I have been conducting ethnographic and historical research on Madagascar since 1994, exploring themes such as the role of low-wage labor in biodiversity conservation efforts, the interdependence of biotic and cultural extinction events, human-animal relations, and the problem of zoonotic diseases.  My books include the monograph, Forest and Labor in Madagascar: From Colonial Concession to Global Biosphere (Indiana University Press, 2012), and the volume, The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death (Indiana University Press 2012).  

My current project is a multispecies ethnography of bubonic plague in the central highlands. It focusses on the ways state mortuary policies for plague victims have impacted rural people’s relationship to their land and deceased ancestors, as well as on the social repercussions of a pathogen that has become endemic to Madagascar’s landscapes. 

Courses: Medical Anthropology, Our Planet Crisis: Climate Change & Global Health; Humans, Animals & Society; Peoples and Cultures of Africa; Posthumanist Anthropology; Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Environmental Anthropology; and Environmental Conflict (graduate course).  

Department Affiliations:  Sociology and Anthropology (RU-Newark); GUS (RU-Newark); Division of Global Affairs (RU-Newark); Department of Anthropology (RU-New Brunswick); Department of Geography (RU-New Brunswick)

David Troutt:

Rose Cuison Villazor: