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

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

Jason Barabas is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University and the Director of the Master of Arts in Public Policy (MAPP) program. His Ph.D. is from Northwestern University and he has held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and Princeton.   His research and teaching interests lie in the subfields of American Politics, Methodology, and Public Policy.  In his research, Professor Barabas blends interests in American politics–particularly representation and public opinion–with scholarship on public policy, political psychology, and methodology. A central question motivating him comes from democratic theory: do citizens get what they want from government? Consequently, most of his research emphasizes the public dimension of public policy. Sometimes he focuses on attitudes toward reforms for major programs like Social Security or Medicare. Other times he concentrates on how citizens learn about issues from each other or the mass media. But irrespective of the application or the methods used, Dr. Barabas studies public opinion with an eye toward what role citizens play in the policy process.  Current and future projects related to climate change and water policy issues–particularly on Long Island, and he is also working on a range of projects that fall within the Labor, Class, and Economic Policy thematic area.

Themes: Environmental Justice Studies; Labor, Class and Economic Policy Studies

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.