• Faculty

  • Laura Y Liu

    Associate Professor of Global Studies and Geography


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    A - 66 West 12th Street

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    Laura Y Liu


    Laura Y. Liu is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Geography and Affiliate Faculty in Sociology. She is an interdisciplinary scholar of space, identity, visuality, politics, and power. Her research examines the relationship between political organizing and socio-spatial knowledge, especially around uneven working and living conditions, and toward the redistribution of resources and power. In particular, her work focuses on community and labor organizing; migration and urban/global development; and the interplay of spatial politics with art and design. She is interested in creative, experimental, and multi-modal approaches to research and organizing, and the collective production of knowledge and analysis.

    She has written about militarized border spaces; anti-sweatshop organizing; geography and industry in art; digital technologies, labor, and urban space; and the impact of September 11 on Chinatown. Her articles have appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly; Urban Geography; Gender, Place, and Culture; and Social and Cultural Geography.

    At The New School, Liu is co-founder, with Ujju Aggarwal, of Praxis Tank, dedicated to elevating knowledge borne from freedom struggles; and the practices-pedagogies-experiments that advance collective transformation and movements for liberation. Liu is also a member of the collaborative Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster.

    Liu serves on the Advisory Board of the Urban Studies Program at Guttman Community College, CUNY. She is an inaugural member of the Ann Snitow Prize Organizing Committee.

    Degrees Held

    PhD, Geography, Rutgers University
    MA, Geography, Rutgers University
    BA, Architecture, University of California at Berkeley

    Professional Affiliation

    Association of American Geographers
    American Studies Association
    Association for Asian American Studies

    Recent Publications


    2019     “Seats of Tension: Collaboration, Access, Security, Expression.” In I Stand in My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School, Frances Richard (ed.). New York: The New School; Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    2017     “Material Circuits of War.” In “Images Unwalled,” Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster (Miriam Ticktin, Radhika Subramaniam, Victoria Hattam, Laura Y. Liu and Rafi Youatt) Anthropology Now, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 24-37.

    2017     “Ain’t I a Worker?!: Gendered Labor and the Worker as Political Subject in Workers’ Center Organizing,” WSQ: Women Studies Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 3-4 (Fall/Winter), pp. 137-153.

    2014     LITtle by LITtle, art/chapbook (with Jennifer Firestone). Zürich, Switzerland: Dusie Kollektiv.

    2011     “The Geography of Industry.” In Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave, (exhibition catalogue). Knoxville, TN: Knoxville Museum of Art, pp. 67-74.

    2010     Situated Technologies Pamphlets 7: From Mobile Playgrounds to Sweatshop City, (with Trebor Scholz). Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, and Mark Shepard (eds.). New York: The Architectural League of New York.

    2008     “Blank Slates and Disaster Zones: The State, September 11, and the Displacement of Chinatown.” In Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State, Michael Sorkin (ed.). New York: Routledge, pp. 177-211.

    2006     “ ‘Hen’s Teeth’ in Geography: Women of Color and Inter-disciplinary Strategies for Navigating the Discipline,” Gender, Place and Culture, Vol. 13, No. 1: pp. 34-43.

    2006     “Counterhegemony and Context: Racial Crisis, Warfare and Real Estate in the Neoliberal City,” Urban Geography, Vol. 27, No. 8, pp. 714-721.

    2000     “The Place of Immigration in Studies of Geography and Race,” Social and Cultural Geography, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 169-182.

    Invited Talks

    2019     Keynote Lecture, “Contingent Worker Solidarity: Which Workers are We Similar To?,” Collective Responsibility: National Forum on Labor Practices for Grant-Funded Digital Positions, Project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Pittsburgh, PA, April 24-25.

    2014     Keynote Lecture, “Sweatshop City: Migration, Labor, and Organizing in Urban Space,” Space Oddities: Urbanity, American Identity, and Cultural Exchange, Austrian Association for American Studies conference, University of Graz, Austria, Nov. 21-23.


    Research Interests

    Community, neighborhood, and labor organizing; migration and mobility; gender and geography; race and space; militarism and development; visuality; qualitative and multi-modal methodologies

    Awards And Honors

    2018-2019    Mellon Engaged Scholarship Fund for Faculty, Placekeeping–Here to Stay (with Betty Yu), Eugene Lang College, The New School.

    2018-2019    Faculty Fellowship, Imaginative Mobilities, Mellon Sawyer Seminar, The New School.

    2015-2016    Faculty Fellowship, Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought (GIDEST), The New School.

    2011-2012    Visiting Research Scholar, Sweatshop City, The Center for Place, Culture and Politics, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

    Future Courses

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Community Organizing
    UGLB 3022, Spring 2024

    Global Economies
    UGLB 2111, Fall 2023

    Global Engagement Colloquium
    UGLB 3903, Spring 2024

    Global Gender and Sexuality
    UGLB 3314, Fall 2023

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Fall 2023

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