Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Experiential Learning
Ujju Aggarwal is a cultural anthropologist whose 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). Her next project traces counter-topographies of uneven urban development temporally and spatially through a theory of what she terms carceral care.
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, for two decades, Ujju has worked 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).
American Anthropological Association
American Association of Geographers
American Education Research Association
American Studies Association
Critical Ethnic Studies Association
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.
Education, Race and Place (Open Campus)
Education, Race and Place
Pathways to Learning
Race, Class, Urban Struggle