Faculty Affiliates

Héctor Alcalá is affiliated with the Department of Family, Population and Preventative Medicine and the Program in Public Health. His research focuses on health disparities, with a strong focus on racial and ethnic disparities and disparities by nativity status. This work explores differences between broad racial categories, examines how policies have impacted these disparities, and examines the heterogeneity that exists within racial and ethnic groups. In this research, he has investigated a variety of outcomes including access and utilization of health care, arrests, tobacco use and dietary behaviors. Also, he studies the impact of early life adversity on health, including child abuse and parental incarceration. In particular, I examine how adversity impacts cancer risk and known correlates of cancer like smoking, cancer screening and use of other preventive health services.

Themes: Race and Social Justice Studies, Immigration and Mobility Studies

Jennifer Anderson is an interdisciplinary historian, who has long been interested in the connections among people, natural environments, and material culture. Her book, Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America (Harvard University Press, 2012), explores how the desire for beautiful mahogany furniture in colonial North America had significant human and ecological impacts in the West Indies and Central America where these coveted trees were harvested by enslaved Africans.

Her current research investigates the multi-faceted economic and cultural ties between New York and the Caribbean. As New York became a main provisioner of food to sugar islands such as Jamaica, Barbados, and Antigua, planters (including some who owned land in both places) and their enslaved Africans routinely moved between these very different regions. While taking this larger context into consideration, her next book (in progress) focuses on Long Island’s complex history–from the 17th to the 19th century–as a venue of engagements among Native peoples, European settlers, and enslaved Africans that involved generations of conflict, adaptation, and innovation. My specific emphases include Native history, settler-colonialism, agriculture, maritime industries (i.e. whaling, fishing, oystering, ship building, merchant trade, etc.), labor, migration, provisioning, and the environmental impacts of these activities. She has co-organized a conference with Anya Zilberstein, entitled  “Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic,” held at the Huntington Library (San Marino, CA) in October 2018.  And she is an Editor of the Long Island History Journal .

Themes: Race, Labor and Social Justice Studies; Environmental Studies

Abena Asare is Assistant Professor of Modern African Affairs & History. Her research spans questions of diaspora, human rights, and transitional justice in Africa and the African diaspora. Published in both policy-focused and academic journals, her work focuses on the importance of marginalized histories when contemplating questions of African social and political progress.

She is the author of Truth Without Reconciliation: A Human Rights History of Ghana (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

In 2018-2019, she is Scholar-in-Residence at the NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Themes:  Race and Carceral Studies; Social Justice

Timothy K. August is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University, and will be moving to the Department of English in the fall.  He is an affiliate of the Department of Asian and Asian American studies, and a core faculty member for the Media, Art, Culture, and Technology master’s certificate. His research interests include: critical refugee studies, diasporic Vietnamese literature, postcolonial criticism, theories of food and eating, world literature, and Asian American studies.  His publications have appeared in MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the US, LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, American Quarterly, Television & New Media,   Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies, JAAS: Journal of Asian American Studies, and the Global Asian American Popular Cultures anthology. He is currently completing a book manuscript, The Refugee Aesthetic: Relocating Southeast Asian America, under contract with Temple University Press, which addresses why a number of  Southeast Asian American authors have recently embraced the refugee identity as a transformative position.

Themes:  Immigration and Mobility Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies

Pamela Block is Professor and Director of the Concentration in Disability Studies for the Ph.D. Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, a former President of the Society for Disability Studies (2009-2010), and a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is also affiliated with the Stony Brook University Departments of Occupational Therapy, Cultural Analysis and Theory, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics.

Dr. Block received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University in 1997. Her dissertation was entitled “Biology, Culture and Cognitive Disability: Twentieth Century Professional Discourse in Brazil and the United States.” She researches disability experience on individual, organizational and community levels, focusing on socio-environmental barriers, empowerment/capacity-building, and health promotion. Her qualitative research combines historical analyses with community-based ethnographic and participatory approaches. Dr. Block continues to study multiple marginalization and the intersections of gender, race, poverty, and disability in Brazil and the United States. She has taught in the areas of disability studies, autism studies, assistive technology, foundations of OT, qualitative research design, human subjects research ethics, and grant writing. Most recently, Dr. Block has been involved in supporting disability social entrepreneurship through organizations such as EmpowerSCI – a nonprofit providing independent living skills and secondary rehabilitation to individuals with recent spinal cord injury, and VENTure – a policy and technology think tank on issues of concern to people who use ventilators. Dr. Block organized the NIH-funded strand of the Society for Disability Studies 2013 and 2014 meetings entitled “Translational Research in Disability Studies and the Health Sciences,” and received NIH Funding for the 2015 “Converging Sciences Summit: Community Engagement and Population Health” at Stony Brook University.

Themes: Disability and Social Justice Studies.

Mary Jo Bona is professor and chair of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University with her affiliated department in English.   Bona’s expertise in feminist literary studies examines the nexus between gender and ethnicity, with transnational migratory identities, material cultures, and Italian diaspora studies as primary intersections. Bona received a stipendiary award and entrance into the Academy of Teacher Scholars at Stony Brook and co-developed with her undergraduate students a course on African American and Italian American women writers.  A specialist in the field of multiethnic American literature and feminist studies, her authored books include Women Writing Cloth: Migratory Fictions in the American ImaginaryBy the Breath of Their Mouths: Narratives of Resistance in Italian AmericaClaiming a Tradition: Italian American Women Writers, and a book of poetry, I Stop Waiting For You. Bona is also editor of The Voices We Carry: Recent Italian American Women’s Fiction and co-editor (with Irma Maini) of Multiethnic Literature and Canon Debates. Bona is a series editor of Multiethnic Literatures for SUNY Press and serves on the SUNY editorial board. Bona published chapters on the culture and canon debates for the Cambridge volume on American Literature in Transition, on mother/daughters for a volume in the Routledge History of Italian Americans, and on queer daughterhood in La Mamma: Interrogating a National Stereotype for Palgrave. Her current project focuses on a reinterpretation of mother-daughter studies through an analysis of literary queer diasporic daughters and their mothers in a genre bending women’s narratives.

Themes:  Diaspora Studies and Migration

Simone Brioni  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. His main field of research is the literary and filmic representation of migrations and Italian colonialism.  His work considers Italian cultures in a transnational perspective: as such he is interested in critical approaches that include postcolonial theory, cultural studies, film studies, translation studies, and the interconnections between race and gender studies. He has focused on self-representation by migrant writers from the Horn of Africa, a recent and vibrant research fields in Italian Studies. On these topics he has organized conferences, research events and a three-day festival, and he has published a monograph, two edited volumes, two documentaries and several articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. His first monograph, The Somali Within: Language, Race and Belonging in ‘Minor’ Italian Literature (Cambridge: Legenda, 2015), analyses the processes of linguistic and cultural translation and self-translation, the political engagement with race, gender, class and religious discrimination, and the complex strategies of belonging and un-belonging at play in the literary works in Italian by authors of Somali origins. The edited volumes Aulò! Aulò! Aulò! Poesie di nostalgia, d’esilio e d’amore / Aulò! Aulò! Aulò! Poems of Nostalgia, Exile and Love (Rome: Kimerafilm, 2012) and Somalitalia: Quattro vie per Mogadiscio/ Somalitalia: Four Roads to Mogadishu (Rome: Kimerafilm, 2012) include respectively the documentaries Aulò: Postcolonial Rome and The Fourth Road: Mogadishu Italy, which he has  co-written with Ermanno Guida and Graziano Chiscuzzu and co-written respectively with Ribka Sibhatu and Kaha Mohamed Aden. These editorial projects are the result of a unique encounter between individuals of different cultures, experiences, and professional skills who came together with the common purpose of developing new communicative forms to counter the amnesia of the Italian colonial past and the negative representation of immigrants in the Italian media. On this topic he has also co-edited (with Shimelis Gulema – Africana Studies) the volume The Horn of Africa and Italy: Colonial, Postcolonial and Transnational Cultural Encounters (Oxford: Peter Lang, Forthcoming May 2017, New Comparative Criticism Series).

Themes:  Immigration and Mobility Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies

Meta Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics. Her research has examined discouragement in job search, referral-based hiring and its role in career development, whether and how American families fund their children’s higher education, and the influence of financial education on the debt experiences of younger American adults. An ongoing project investigates “The Graying of American Debt”. Her work has appeared in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Review of Financial Studies, among other outlets. Prior to joining Stony Brook University, she served as a member of the Research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the economics faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Meta holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.

Themes: Labor, Class, and Economic Policy Studies

Anne O’Byrne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, and her research interests are in Social and Political Philosophy, mainly working with 20th century and contemporary European authors.  She is interested in the themes in democracy and anarchism, and in the ways in which traditional political theory has struggled with questions of identity. Her current research project, The Genocide Paradox, examines the political and theoretical structures that are the grounds of genocide, and also the source of resistance to it.

Themes: Migration Studies and Racial Justice

Peter Carravetta has been at Stony Brook for ten years as holder of the D’Amato Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies.  At Stony Brook he has moved from the erstwhile Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures to, as of fall 2018, the Philosophy Department.  He comes from a background in contemporary critical thought (Italian, French, American mostly; did work in semiotics, hermeneutics, history of poetics and interdisciplinary studies).   Much of his work has focused  on ethnic studies in an historical framework with a strong emphasis on Italy; throughout, he has been studying migrations, and even developed a general theory on it (now the Introduction to his latest book: After Identity. Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture, 2017). Before coming to SB, He was Director of the World Studies Program at Queens College, which was intrinsically interdisciplinary, and team-taught courses with fellow linguists, anthropologists, and social studies faculty from the Education Department.   He is currently working on (and close to finishing) two books, the first on the origins of Italian emigration to the North America, in which he tries new approaches, and wherein among other issues (such as the rise of newspapers, skewed taxation policies, and birth of leftist parties) he delves into the role of geographical societies and the impact of Africa on Italian (and French, and German) national policy in the years 1868-1890s. The other book deals with the notion of humanity, as expressed in the long tradition of Humanities Studies, but starting from the contemporary debate on the post-human (and indeed from the ongoing crushing of the liberal arts university).  The approach is philosophical, historical, and socio-political at once.

Themes:  Immigration and Mobility Studies; Environmental Justice Studies

Mark Chambers researches environmental and technological cross-cultural exchanges between Native American, European, African, and African American people in North America. Since 2012, he has taught courses as a visiting professor in the Department of Africana Studies, including those on North American Natural Disasters and the history of science, medicine and technology.  He completed his PhD in history at Stony Brook University, where he studied Early American Environmental History. His current research follows the shifting character of what reveals “industrial” risks for enslaved and free African Americans in the early lead mining region of Missouri before early industrial times, and raises new questions about how “dangerous trades” fared before what may be considered the “classic” industrial era. Within this mining and smelting region, he also examines the environmental vulnerabilities of early nineteenth century Americans who were engaged with newly emerging “dangerous trades” in the production of the white and red lead at the first manufactory built near the Mississippi River in the Missouri Territory. As early as 1811, a Philadelphia merchant making white lead established this factory in St. Louis, Missouri, and used working class and enslaved African Americans to manufacture white lead. This new factory lead to instances of lead colic and deteriorating ecological conditions in the city of St. Louis polluting local streams, which alarmed neighbors to the possibilities of lead poisoning. With his background in early American lead mining and lead production, as well as his experiences teaching natural disasters, he aims to assist the Center’s efforts and contribute to the ongoing outreach to local communities on Long Island.

Themes: Environmental Justice Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies

Reuben Kline is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department and Director of the Center for Behavioral Political Economy. He applies behavioral economic theories and experimental social techniques to issues of equity, fairness, procedural justice, and cooperation. In particular, his research focuses on climate change mitigation behavior, income inequality, and pay discrimination. His research has been published in such places as Nature Climate Change, Nature Human Behaviour, and Journal of Politics.

Themes: Environmental Justice studies; inequality and inequities in global climate change

Juan Carlos Conesa is Professor and Chair of the Economics Department.   His research focuses mostly on the macroeconomic implications of alternative fiscal policy arrangements, and more specifically on the implications and normative analysis of social security systems and general taxation, also on the implications of health care systems and their financing.  Some of his work has dealt with the distributional impact of social security reforms; other on intra-cohort economic inequality and its implications for tax progressivity.  Key articles in this last vein include: “On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code”, Journal of Monetary Economics 2006, which seeks to determine the long run optimal shape of the income tax; and “Taxing Capital Income: Not a Bad Idea After All!”, American Economic Review 2009, which analyzes the role of capital income taxation as a redistributive instrument in an environment that explicitly allows for the optimal determination of progressive labor income taxation.

Themes: Labor, Class, and Economic Policy Studies

Peggy Spitzer Christoff is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies and currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at SUNY-Stony Brook University.  She received her B.A. in International Relations from the University of Minnesota (1976) and an M.A. (1978) and a Ph.D. (1984) also in International Relations, from American University in Washington, D.C.

Peg supports multi-disciplinary activities in three ways:  1) through collaborative field research in Asian communities relating to local women’s involvement in climate change adaptation; 2) by enhancing pedagogical practices and student service projects to highlight the dynamic and changing qualities of Asian America, Asia, and US-Asian relations; and 3) by promoting the creation of high-quality digital collections to ensure that research materials are widely available. She has received an FAHSS grant (2016), a Presidential Mini-Grant for Departmental Diversity Initiatives (2015), and a Talent Grant from the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center (2013). In 2017, she received an award for teaching excellence with technology. She serves on the Global Citizenry and Fulbright advisory boards.

Before coming to SBU in 2012, Peg managed programs and conducted research in Washington, D.C. for the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery for Asian Art, the Library of Congress’s John W. Kluge Center for International Scholars and Federal Research Division, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s China Debate Series, and the East-West Center’s Asia Matters for America initiative.  Before that, she wrote and published several articles and a book titled Tracking the Yellow Peril:  The INS and Chinese Immigrants in the Midwest (2002).

Themes: Environmental Justice and Immigration and Mobility Studies.

Patricia A. Dunn is a professor of English and a member of the English Teacher Education Program.  Her research shows how disability studies intersects with rhetoric, composition, and literature. Disability studies examines the role society plays in exacerbating an individual’s impairment—from the lack of ramps and elevators for wheelchair users, to inaccessible course materials in education, as well as negative depictions of disabled characters in literature and media. She is a member of the Department of English, and she often teaches courses in the English Teacher Education Program (for students becoming teachers of high school English). She also teaches classes in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, and she is an affiliate of the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department. She has published two books on composition theory and the teaching of writing: Talking, Sketching, Moving: Multiple Literacies in the Teaching of Writing (2001), and Learning Re-Abled: The Learning Disability Controversy and Composition Studies (1995). In 2011,   Learning Re-Abled  was republished online at the Writing Across the Curriculum Clearinghouse. Her third book, co-written with Ken Lindblom, was published in 2011: Grammar Rants: How a Backstage Tour of Writing Complaints Can Help Students Make Informed, Savvy Choices about Their Writing. Her latest book, Disabling Characters: Representations of Disability in Young Adult Literature, was published in 2015.

Themes: Disability Studies and Social Justice Studies.

Debra Sabatini Dwyer‘s research consists of health and labor economics with ties to public policy. Her research also focuses on general market failures and evaluation of the healthcare sector in the United States, including the Affordable Care Ac​t​. Dwyer ​ thinks the ACA shouldn’t be repealed, and suggests closing loopholes while having a public option and a stronger mandate for healthcare insurance instead of moving towards a private non-competitive market.

Themes: Labor and Public Policy Studies;  Health Studies

Nicholas Eaton is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology.  He is also affiliated faculty with the program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  The area of his research relevant to this affiliation is his  studies of mental health disparities and minority stress processes. In particular, he has published numerous articles regarding the characterization and explanation of mental health problems experienced by individuals whose identities are societally oppressed. This has led to several papers on race/ethnic differences in mental health, such as a study published in JAMA Psychiatry detailing the processes by which race-based discrimination in a large sample of Black Americans had diffuse, deleterious effects on multiple forms of mental health. Numerous other studies have investigated mental heath disparities between sexual minority (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual) and heterosexual individuals, framed within a minority stress model. Finally, he has published on gender disparties in mental health between cisgender women and men. Finally, he is one of the original faculty members of the TransYouth Project, which is the largest longitudinal study of transgender children in the United States.

Themes: Race and Social Justice Studies

Paul Gootenberg is SUNY Distinguished Professor of History and Sociology and current Chair of the Stony Brook History Department. Trained as a Latin American economic historian, he has a longstanding interdisciplinary interest in study of inequalities.  In 2010, he co-edited with Mexican anthropologist Luis Reygadas Indelible Inequalities in Latin America: Insights from History, Politics, and Culture (Duke, 2010), based on a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral research site on that theme at Stony Brook University (2003-06). His major area of scholarship is the history of drugs, licit and illicit, which intersects with carceral studies and other social inequalities-social justice themes.  He is author notably of Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug (UNC Press, 2008) and most recently (with Stony Brook biologist Liliana M. Dávalos), of The Origins of Cocaine: Peasant Colonization and Failed Development in the Amazon-Andes (Routledge, 2018). His drug research has led to varied interventions in drug policy, among them:  Chair of the Open Society Foundations-Social Science Research Council “Drug, Security, and Democracy” (DSD) fellowship program (2011-14); Coordinator of the Beckley Foundation (UK) report  “Blueprint for Regulation: Cocaine, Coca and  their Derivatives” (2016); and co-founder of the Drug Policy Alliance “Drug Researchers’ Roundtable”  (2018–), a New York City workshop designed to engage drug researchers with grassroots drug reform and healthcare activists.

Themes: Carceral Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies; Labor, Class, and Economic Policy Studies

Heidi Hutner is Associate Professor of English and Sustainability at Stony Brook and former Director of the Sustainability Program and Associate Dean in the School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences.   She teaches and writes about environmental literature, film and media, environmental justice, ecofeminism, and ecocriticism. Hutner is also an active public speaker on environmental issues.She would like to participate in projects engaging these themes at the CSISJ.

Themes: Environmental Justice Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies

Genna Hymowitz is a psychologist at the Stony Brook Medicine Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, the Director of the Behavioral Medicine Program of the L. Krasner Psychological Center, and a clinical assistant professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, and surgery. She completed her undergraduate degree at Brown University, and she completed her doctoral training at Stony Brook University.  Dr. Hymowitz provides individual and group evidence-based psychological interventions for weight management, smoking cessation, chronic pain, and insomnia, and depression and anxiety related to chronic medical illnesses.  Her research focuses on investigating biopsychosocial factors related to chronic medical conditions including obesity and gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders.

Themes: Race and Social Justice Studies;

Sung Gheel Jang is is the director of Geospatial Center in the Stony Brook School of Marine Sciences, and the faculty director of the Advanced Graduate Certificate of Geospatial Science and Minor in Geospatial Science(GSS) at Stony Brook. As a certified GIS Professional (GISP), Dr. Jang teaches both fundamental and applied topics in geospatial sciences/geographic information systems (GIS) including digital cartography, geospatial narratives, GIS design and application I & II, GIS database and design, GIS project management, and geospatial science for the coastal zone.  He would like to contribute his expertise on geospatial analysis and mapping to the areas of Environmental Justice (EJ) Studies.  By nature, almost all EJ issues are occurred somewhere at certain geographic units or places (called neighborhoods or communities) and knowing where is extremely important to understand the EJ issues. For example, we often observe certain neighborhoods have worse water quality or poor access to groceries than other neighborhoods. When we map those EJ characteristics, demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the geography of interest, we may be able to reveal underlying patterns or associations. We can then better understand various factors associated with the EJ issues so that we may be able to come up with effective policies or plans to mitigate and/or remove the EJ problem.   His expertise on managing census databases using both Esri ArcGIS server products and open-source mapping platforms would benefit the fellow EJ researchers in CSISJP. He is more than happy to collaborate with various CSISJP researchers who want to better understand geospatial context of their research topic.

Themes: Environmental Justice Studies

Adrián Pérez Melgosa is Associate Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His work centers on the transnational and cross-cultural dynamics that get captured in the cinema of Anglo and Latin America and Spain. His articles have appeared in Social Text, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, and Latin American Literary Review, among other journals. His book Cinema and Inter-American Relations: Tracking Transnational Affect was published by Routledge in 2012 and has been reprinted in 2014. He has coauthored the edited collection Revisiting Jewish Spain in the Modern Era (Routledge 2013). He is currently at work in two research projects. The first one, co-written with Daniela Flesler, is entitled The Memory Work of Sepharad: New Inheritances for Twenty-First Century Spain. It undertakes a critical study of the many Spanish cultural and touristic initiatives articulated around the memory of the country’s medieval Jewish past. The second, The Social and Cultural Map of Latino Long Island, is a digital humanities project which, through a combination of statistical data and oral-history, maps the transnational histories of migration of the local Latino Community.

Themes: Immigration and Mobility Studies, Race and Social Justice Studies.

Liz Montegary is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  She was trained in the field of feminist and queer cultural studies, and her primary goal as a scholar and a teacher is to develop more nuanced analyses of contemporary modes of power and strategies for resisting injustice. Her research and teaching interests center on US-based LGBT social movements, the militarization of US citizenship and public policy, and the sexual politics of race, mobility, and dis/ability in the 21st century. Her forthcoming book, Familiar Perversions: The Racial, Sexual, and Economic Politics of LGBT Families (Rutgers, 2018), takes issues with recent “family equality” activism and demonstrates how, in the past few decades, only the most racially and economically privileged LGBT families have been afforded a sense of legitimacy within US national culture. She is also the co-editor of the collection Mobile Desires: The Politics and Erotics of Mobility Justice (Palgrave 2015), which showcased academic, activist, and artistic work seeking to transform the sociocultural and political-economic structures that make travel, migration, and other bodily movements possible for some and impossible for others, and she is currently writing a book about the privatization of the US-led “war on terror” and the US Department of Defense’s newly configured strategies for mobilizing racially and economically vulnerable families at home in the service of imperial expansion and domination abroad. Collectively, her scholarly work aims to develop alternative analytic frameworks for building more transformative coalitional movements in the name of racial, sexual, and economic justice.

Themes: Race and Social Justice Studies; Labor, Class, and Economic Policy Studies

Ian Alan Paul is a transdisciplinary artist and theorist whose work examines instantiations of power and practices of resistance in a wide variety of global contexts. His work is formally diverse, often making use of writing, photography, video, and code, and is conceptually informed by critical theory and continental philosophy. Presently, Ian is exploring destituent power and the politics of refusal in a series of experimental documentaries and is coediting an anthology of essays and artworks that explores the role that media texts, technologies, and practices have played in consolidating the so-called European Migrant “Crisis” as an object of political contention, affective investment, and legal and legislative maneuver.

Over the course of his life, Ian has lived, taught, and worked for extended periods in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, and Palestine. He has taught, lectured, and exhibited internationally, and has had his work featured in The AtlanticAl JazeeraArt ThreatMada MasrJadaliyyaArt Info, and C Magazine, among others. He received his PhD in Film and Digital Media Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 and his MFA and MA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2011.

Themes: Immigration and Mobility Studies

Shobana Shankar is Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University.  My research and teaching support the work of the Center in two thematic areas: race and social justice and carceral studies. As an historian of Africa with work experience at the United Nations and UNICEF, the historical and contemporary inequality brought about by the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades and European colonization have been important subjects of study in my work. I also conduct research on the moral and religious dynamics of aid for ethnic minorities, the poor, and physically disabled. These interests inspired my research in carceral studies, which has focused on studying the lives of African-American women prisoners in Jim Crow Mississippi.  Becoming an affiliate of the Center would allow me to improve my work by engaging with a community of Stony Brook scholars who examine themes of inequality as I do but work in diverse disciplines and on different geographical areas. With colleagues in History and other Departments, we have begun to discuss a mapping project of Long Island’s carceral system to study its impacts on racial and socioeconomic minorities. As Long Island’s demographics change, especially with new immigrants, I hope to be able to contribute to expanding our understanding of African and Asian diasporas on Long Island, especially as Stony Brook becomes the site of their increasing interactions.

Themes: Carceral Studies, Immigration and Mobility Studies, Race and Social Justice Studies

Nancy Tomes is Distinguished Professor of History at Stony Brook University.  She is the author of several books, including A Generous Confidence: Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Art of Asylum-Keeping; The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life; and most recently, Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and American Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers.  Currently she is  particularly interested in the connections between deinstitutionalization (the closure of public mental health facilities) and the expansion of the carceral state, and how historical analysis of the  failures of deinstitutionalization may be helpful to current efforts at decarceration.   In addition to her considerable historical work on the history of mental institutions, she is continuing to work with Lucy Winer on the Kings Park project, which includes a focus on mental health issues in correctional facilities.   She and Winer recently received a grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health care to develop a digital archives and learning site that will include material on those issues.

Themes: Carceral Studies; Immigration and Mobility Studies; Race and Social Justice Studies.

Aurélie Vialette specializes in 19th-century Iberian cultural studies (popular music, journalistic discourse, archival studies, and mass and working class organizations). She conducts her research in Spanish, Catalan, Basque, and Galician, and she includes these languages in the classroom as well, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Her first book, Intellectual Philanthropists: the Seduction of the Masses (Purdue University Press, 2018), focuses on the cultural production that responds to the workers’ educational and social phenomena, such as poverty, the rise of revolutionary movements, and the integration of masses of workers into the cultural, political, and social concert in 19th-century Iberia (Catalonia, Basque Country, Asturias, Galicia).

Her second book project is titled “Disposable Bodies: Penitentiary Colonization and the Failed Rebirth of the Spanish Empire” and explores primary sources about the carceral system that unveil crucial contemporary issues regarding criminality, imprisonment, and mass incarceration. The proposals to reform the penitentiary system in the nineteenth-century included issues that our civil society is constantly examining: the prisoners’ labor, their education in prison, juvenile crime, or questions that are similar to the “broken windows policy.”  Architecture, the use of prison buildings, and the modes of life of prisoners, were also discussed – questions that resonate deeply with the issue of mass incarceration. I explore the human aspect of banishment implied in penal colonization, and examine and historicize the carceral archipelago as a space of exception.

She also has a strong interest in Digital Humanities and she is working on a project that explores the musical archives  included in her book. The project, built with Omeka and Neatline, will be available soon at avialette.com.

Finally, she is also interested and has published on the journalistic networks by women writers between Mexico and Spain in the second half of the nineteenth-century.

Themes: Labor, Class and Gender Studies;  Carceral studies

David Wiczer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics.  His research falls into 2 principal topic areas: 1. the interaction between public disability insurance (Social Security Disability Insurance) and economic conditions. In this work I am affiliated as a Research Economist with the Disability Research Center as a Research Economist. A forthcoming article called “Occupational Hazards and Social Disability Insurance” estimates the difference in health outcomes associated with different occupations and finds that some occupations are inherently dangerous, and were it not for social provision of disability insurance, too few workers would chose these occupations and everyone, including those in safe occupations, would be worse off.  Other papers look at how variations in economic conditions contribute to disability awards, across states, counties, time, and economic era, including longterm demographic and economic trends such as deindustrialization.  2. His other area of study is earnings mobility, looking at when occupations and labor earnings change abruptly both upwards and downwards.  His research tries to characterize the determinants of increases or decreases, from larger conditions such as recessions or expansions to smaller-scale ones, such as whether a company is expanding or contracting.

Themes: Labor, Class and Economic Policy Studies; Immigration and Mobility Studies

What Faculty affiliates do; how to apply to become one (from our by-laws):

  1. Faculty member affiliation is open to all faculty members who either teach a course with content that significantly addresses themes of the Center; conduct research in the thematic areas of the Center; or otherwise demonstrate an intellectual/pedagogical commitment to the aims and concerns of the Center.  
  2. Nomination and selection: Applicants seeking faculty associate membership in the Center shall be nominated to the Steering Committee either by themselves or someone else.
    1. applications must include the following, sent to the Center Director:
      1. the individual’s curriculum vitae
      2. a statement describing the nature of their interest in CSISJ, and designating which thematic area or areas they wish to affiliate with.  
    2. Faculty member affiliates may be elected either by a unanimous vote of the Steering Committee or by a simple majority vote of those attending a Members Meeting or participating in electronic balloting.
  3. Duties and commitments:  Center faculty member associates shall be active in Center affairs and, as needed, agree to be willing to serve on standing committees of the Center.
    1. Each affiliate should also pledge to become involved in online discussions, meetings, planning and balloting of Center activities in their designated thematic area(s).
    2. Affiliates are expected to participate in Center-wide deliberations, including electronic balloting and meetings as appropriate.
    3. Renewals: once elected, faculty member associates will receive a written request from the Director annually, each fall, asking if they wish to renew their membership. If they fail to participate regularly in Center activities, the Director can recommend to the Steering Committee that their faculty member associate status be rescinded.

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