PhD candidate, The New School for Social Research
Expected Completion: December 2014
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
"Civic Struggles: Jews, Blacks and the Question of Inclusion at The City College of New York, 1930-1975"
Areas of Expertise: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Social Theory; Sociology of Education; Historical Institutionalism
My dissertation, “Civic Struggles: Jews, Blacks and the Question of Inclusion at The City College of New York, 1930-1975,” is a historical sociological analysis of the transformation of racial and ethnic exclusion in U.S. higher education in the 20th century. Contrary to the popular memory of City College as the institutional paragon of liberal citizenship in the U.S., racist practices had a significant life at City College throughout the 20th century. Until the 1950’s, blacks and Jews acted in concert at City College, believing each other to be similarly affected by institutionalized racism. However, following the “Knickerbocker-Davis Affair” of 1949, officially tolerated anti-Semitism declined at City College, and Jewish and black politics increasingly diverged. This divergence manifested itself most dramatically in the 1969 campus take-over by hundreds of black and Puerto Rican students. The take-over led to an Open Admissions policy, the most radical democratization of access to higher education in U.S. history. Open Admissions, however, further divided Jews and blacks, leading large segments of the college’s Jewish constituency to abandon City College, undermining the legitimacy of the expansion of citizenship the policy entailed. Combining structural, institutional and cultural analysis, my dissertation shows how City College has served as a vehicle for transformative struggles over the structure and meaning of American citizenship and the making of racial inequality.
I am spending the 2014/2015 academic year as a visiting faculty member at Colby College where I will be teaching Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and Urban Sociology, among other classes. As a Teaching Fellow at The New School for Public Engagement in 2006 I taught "The Sociology of Race;" this fellowship was renewed in the fall of 2007 and the fall of 2008. It was also renewed in the summer of 2008 when I taught a course "Identity and Identity Politics." At Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, under the same fellowship, I taught a class on culture and power titled "Domination and Resistance," in spring 2007. Finally, as an Adjunct Lecturer at Baruch College from 2005 to 2014, I taught "Introduction to Sociology," "Social Movements," "The Sociology of Race," "Sociological Theory," as well as a curricular capstone course titled "Citizenship and Higher Education in the U.S., the Case of The City College of New York."
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