• Ujju Aggarwal

    Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Experiential Learning


    Ujju Aggarwal is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Experiential Learning in the Schools of Public Engagement and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Anthropology. Her research examines questions related to public infrastructures, urban space, racial capitalism, rights, gender, and the state. 

    She is currently completing her first book, The Color of Choice: Raced Rights and Inequality in Education, a historically informed ethnography of choice as it emerged in the post-Civil Rights period in the United States. Her work has been appeared in popular outlets, scholarly journals, and edited volumes including Transforming Anthropology, Scholar & Feminist Online, Educational Policy, and Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State: Inequality, Exclusion, and Change (edited by Leela Fernandes). 

    Prior to joining The New School, she was Visiting Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy at Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Vermont Center for Fine Arts and has also taught at Hunter College (CUNY) and Educational Opportunities Center (SUNY). Her research has been supported by the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (UT Austin), the National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation, the Center for Place, Culture and Politics (CUNY Graduate Center), and the Davis Putter Fund. 

    In addition to her academic training, Ujju also brings a long history of working to build local and national organizations that work for educational justice, immigrants’ rights, and transformative justice as well as projects that focus on the intersection of arts and social justice, popular education, and adult literacy. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the K-16 Committee of the American Studies Association, as an Advisory Board Member of the Parent Leadership Project (Bloomingdale Family Head Start Center, PLP), and as an Advisory Board Member of PARCEO (Participatory Action-Research Center for Education Organizing).

    Degrees Held:

    PhD 2013, The Graduate Center, CUNY

    Professional Affiliations:

    American Anthropological Association

    American Association of Geographers

    American Education Research Association

    American Studies Association

    Critical Ethnic Studies Association

    Recent Publications:

    Aggarwal, U. (2018) After Rights: Choice and the Structure of Citizenship. In Fernandes, L. (ed.) Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State. New York: New York University Press. 

    Aggarwal, U. (March 2017) Defend and Transform: The Fight Forward for Public Education. Anthropology Now. 

    Aggarwal, U. (with Mayorga) (Spring 2016) From Forgotten to Fought Over: The Case of One School Closing in New York City The Scholar & Feminist. Issue 13.2. 

    Aggarwal, U.  (2016) The Ideological Architecture of Whiteness as Property in Education Policy. In Journal of Educational Policy 30 (1). Pp: 128-152

    Aggarwal, U. (2015) School Choice: The Freedom to Choose, The Right to Exclude. In Picower, B and E. Mayorga (Eds). What’s race got to do with it?: How current school reform policy maintains racial and economic inequality. New York: Peter Lang.

    Aggarwal, U.   (2014) The Politics of Choice and the Structuring of Citizenship: Post-Brown Education, Inequality, and Rights, Transforming Anthropology 22 (2). Pp: 77-89

    Aggarwal, U. (with Mayorga and Nevel) 2012. Reflections on a School Closure: Families and Teachers Organize During a Time of Neoliberal Education Reform. in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology (Special Section: School Closings and Struggles for Educational Justice), 18 (2). Pp: 156-164

    Aggarwal, U. (with Hirschman & Nevel) 2012. Making a Difference in Schniedewind, N. and Sapon-Shevin, M. (eds.) Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education. Boston: Beacon Press.

    Aggarwal, U.  (with Gonzalez, Nevel, & Placencia) 2009. Women Creating Change: The Center for Immigrant Families’ English Literacy Project in Miller, M. and King, K (eds.), Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience.. Information Age Publishing.

    Current Courses:

    QualMethods:Power, Pol, Praxis

    Self-Directed Learning Fund

    Self-Directed Learning Reflect

    IS: SDL Project - LA

    IS: SDL Project - NLA

    Methods: Power, Pol, Praxis

    Beyond Policing

    Race, Class, Urban Struggle

    Beyond Policing