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When and why do social movements coalesce to produce dramatic change? How are social movements institutionalized and what is gained and lost in that process? What happens in their aftermath? How do historians interpret these movements’ dramatic and more subtle effects on the lives of individuals and communities? These are some questions that animate my scholarship and teaching. My research interests include urban history, African American Studies, globalization, and policy history. I am the author of The Fixers: Devolution, Development, and Civil Society in Newark, NJ, 1960-1990 (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and the co-author, with Laura Warren Hill of The Business of Black Power: Community Development, Capitalism, and Corporate Responsibility (University of Rochester Press, 2012). I recently published an article entitled “Dangerous Librarians: The Survival of Branch Libraries in New York’s Fiscal Crisis” in Journal of Urban History. This is part of a larger project that illuminates late twentieth-century shifts in grassroots intellectual life, patterns of gentrification, and claims to public space through the history of urban public library systems. I’ve also taught at University of Rochester, Boston University, and Amherst College.
African and African American Studies, History
The Fixers: Devolution, Development, and Civil Society in Newark, 1960-1990. University of Chicago Press, 2016.
The Business of Black Power: Corporate Responsibility, Community Development, and Capitalism in Post-War America, edited by Laura Warren Hill and Julia Rabig, University of Rochester Press, 2012
"An Explosion in the 'Laboratory of Democracy,' " Black Power at Work, edited by David Goldberg and Trevor Griffey, Cornell University Press, 2010.
"What's the Matter with Newark?" Shelterforce, Journal of the National Housing Institute, Fall 2008.