EP Professor Nicholas Freudenberg’s At What Cost Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health

On Tuesday March 16 from 4 to 5:30 pm EP Faculty Member Nicholas Freudenberg, CUNY Distinguished Professor of Public Health is launching his newest book!


The new book At What Cost Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health (Oxford University Press) explores how recent changes in capitalism have made it harder for people to get the food, health care, education, work, transportation and social connections they need to sustain health. The book also analyzes the many efforts across the country and the planet to create healthier, more equitable and sustainable alternatives to corporate domination  and suggests how we can build a more effective and powerful movement to achieve these changes. At the event, Nick will provide an overview of the book and Marion Nestle, Professor Emerita of Nutrition at NYU,  and Mary Bassett, the former NYC Health Commissioner now at Harvard University , will comment on the book, followed by a Q and A. The registration link for the zoom event is https://sph.cuny.edu/event/at-what-cost-modern-capitalism-and-the-future-of-health/

Click here for more information on the event!

Dr. Freudenberg is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Hunter College and the Graduate Center and is director of the CUNY Doctor of Public Health program. For more than 20 years, he has worked with community organizations, civic groups and government agencies to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to improve the health of disadvantaged urban communities. His current research focuses on three areas: the development of multi-level policies and programs to reduce the adverse impact of incarceration on health; environmental and policy strategies to reverse current epidemics of obesity and diabetes; and the impact on population health of corporate practices in the food, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, firearms and automobile industries.

EP Professor Michelle Fine Nominated as Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa

Distinguished Environmental Psychology Professor Michelle Fine has accepted an affiliation as Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa, continuing to grow connections between the University of South Africa and CUNY.

Congratulations, Dr. Fine!

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Founding faculty member, with Maria Elena Torre, of The Public Science Project, Fine is author of more than 15 books and over 100 articles. Current projects involve collaborations with domestic violence activists fighting for the release of DV survivors from prison; youth of color documenting the impact of the pandemic and racial uprisings on their generation; a collaborative series of national conversations with Muslim American youth and a national participatory project designed by and for LGBTQIA+ youth of color. Her newest book, JUST research in Contentious Times was published in 20217 by Teachers College Press.

Fine has testified as an expert witness in well known gender, sexuality and race discrimination education cases, and is the recipient of a range of awards including: 2018 STAATS Award from the American Psychological Foundation for Lifetime Achievements in Science; the 2017 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Qualitative Methods from Division 5 of the American Psychological Association; the 2013 Strickland-Daniels Mentoring Award from the Division of Psychology of Women of the American Psychological Association, 2013 American Psychological Association Public Policy Research Award, the 2012 Henry Murray Award from the Social Psychology and Personality Society, 2011 Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Congrats to EP Professor Cindi Katz on her Honors from AAG

Environmental Psychology Professor Cindi Katz received 2021 Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the American Association of Geographers.

In honoring her work, the AAG cited Katz’s “immense impact on contemporary human geography. Her theoretical and empirical contributions to geography and beyond are of the highest quality. Her enthusiasm for her field and relentless efforts to identify and transform exploitative power relations have had a profoundly positive influence on geographic theory, practice, and education. Katz’s scholarship is among the most significant in the discipline.”

To read more about Professor Katz’s honors, please click here!

Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and on the faculties of Environmental Psychology, American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Earth and Environmental Sciences, where she is Executive Officer. Her work concerns social reproduction and the production of space, place and nature; managing insecurity in the domestic and public environment, the cultural politics of childhood, and the consequences of global economic restructuring for everyday life. She has published widely on these themes as well as on social theory and the politics of knowledge in edited collections and in journals such as Society and Space, Social TextSigns, Feminist Studies, Annals of the Association of American GeographersProgress in Human Geography, Social Justice, and Antipode. She is the editor (with Janice Monk) of Full Circles: Geographies of Gender over the Life Course (Routledge 1993), Life’s Work: Geographies of Social Reproduction (with Sallie Marston and Katharyne Mitchell) (Blackwell 2004), and The People, Place, and Space Reader (with Jen Jack Gieseking, William Mangold, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert) (Routledge 2014). Her book Growing up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives (University of Minnesota Press 2004) received the Meridian Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work from the Association of American Geographers. Katz held a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2003-4, and was the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professor of Gender Studies at University of Cambridge in 2011-12.

EP Alum Gieseking Shares Queering Lockdowns: NYC After the Pandemic


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of New York City is hosting “Queering Lockdowns: New York City After the Pandemic”

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
7 p.m. ET

$10 suggested donation

Click here for more details!

Writers Jeremiah Moss and EP Alumni Jen Jack Gieseking sit in conversation about the future of NYC’s queer spaces after the COVID-19 lockdown. What has happened in the past? How will spots where LGBTQ people gather be different after 2021?

Please support The Bureau of General Queer Division bookstore by purchasing a book here.


Jeremiah Moss’s best-selling book “Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul” is an unflinching chronicle of gentrification in the twenty-first century and a love letter to lost New York. Vanity Fair called it “essential reading for fans of Jane Jacobs, Joseph Mitchell, Patti Smith, Luc Sante, and cheap pierogi.” His new book “Feral City” will be out in 2021.

Jen Jack Gieseking’s important study “A Queer NYC: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers” is the first lesbian and queer historical geography of New York City. Over the past few decades, rapid gentrification has led to the disappearance of many lesbian and queer spaces, displacing some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community. Gieseking highlights the historic significance of these spaces, mapping the political, economic, and geographic dispossession of a thriving community that once called certain neighborhoods home.

EP Prof. Checker’s Talk on Environmental Gentrification and Sustainability in NYC

The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice

Presented by Melissa Checker

Upper West Side Neighborhood Naturalists

Monthly Meeting

February 22, 2021

5:00 – 6:30 PM

Click here for Registration

From state-of-the-art parks to rooftop gardens, many of New York City’s unsightly industrial waterfronts have recently been transformed in green, urban oases.  This presentation takes an in-depth look at the promises and pitfalls of urban sustainability and environmental justice activism in New York City.

Dr. Melissa Checker is the Hagedorn Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the CUNY graduate Center. She is the author of Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town and co-author of Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice.

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Gentrification versus Environmental Justice: EP Faculty Dr. Melissa Checker’s The Sustainability Myth

EP Faculty Member Dr. Melissa Checker publishes
The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice


Uncovers the hidden costs and contradictions of sustainable policies in an era driven by real estate development

From state-of-the-art parks to rooftop gardens, efforts to transform New York City’s unsightly industrial waterfronts into green, urban oases have received much public attention. In The Sustainability Myth, Melissa Checker uncovers the hidden costs—and contradictions—of the city’s ambitious sustainability agenda in light of its equally ambitious redevelopment imperatives.

Focusing on industrial waterfronts and historically underserved places like Harlem and Staten Island’s North Shore, Checker takes an in-depth look at the dynamics of environmental gentrification, documenting the symbiosis between eco-friendly initiatives and high-end redevelopment and its impact on out-of-the-way, non-gentrifying neighborhoods. At the same time, she highlights the valiant efforts of local environmental justice activists who work across racial, economic, and political divides to challenge sustainability’s false promises and create truly viable communities.

The Sustainability Myth is a cautionary, eye-opening tale, taking a hard—but ultimately hopeful—look at environmental justice activism and the politics of sustainability.

“Using the saga of the doomed New York Wheel as a dramatic example of short-sighted, ill-conceived urban development or ‘sustainaphrenia,’ Melissa Checker’s ethnography cruelly exposes the failings of neoliberal technocracy. From redlining to rezoning, from environmental justice to environmental gentrification, she brilliantly exposes the ruptured logics of pairing sustainability with urban redevelopment.” ~Julian Agyeman, co-author of Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities

“In this revelatory study, based on assiduous fieldwork, Melissa Checker exposes the false promises of “sustainability.” She coins the word ‘sustainaphrenia’ to convey the feeding frenzy of politicians, real estate moguls, developers, planners, and upscale homebuyers who are lulled by the siren of Bloomberg’s ‘luxury city,’ facilitated by the rezoning of vast swaths of New York City. The result is the greening of some neighborhoods and the browning of others. Checker also comes to the epiphany that the environmental justice activists whom she admired are another symptom of sustainaphrenia, as the twin threats of overdevelopment and climate change are cast asunder.” ~Stephen Steinberg, author of Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy

About Dr. Melissa Checker

Dr. Melissa Checker (PhD NYU, 2002) serves on the faculties of the PhD Program in Anthropology and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also the Hagedorn Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College. Her research focuses on the politics of urban sustainability, environmental racism, grassroots activism, and managed retreat. Her book, The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice was published in 2020 (NYU Press.

She is also the author of Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town (NYU Press, 2005) and co-editor of Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice (with Cynthia Isenhour and Gary McDonogh, Cambridge 2015) and Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power and Public Life (with Maggie Fishman, Columbia U Press, 2004), In addition, she has authored a number of academic articles and book chapters, as well as articles for popular magazines and newspapers.

Click here for more information on The Sustainability Myth.


Celina Su’s new “Just Research” Workshop Series

Environmental Psychology Faculty Member Dr. Celina Su leads a new workshop series on Just Research:

“Just Research: Study, Struggle, Solidarity” is a short workshop series on conducting public scholarship and democratizing the production of knowledge. The workshop will take place over 5 weeks, provides $500 as an honorarium upon completion, and is specifically tailored for adjunct instructors in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

This workshop series aims to help CUNY Adjuncts to advance research projects (including but not limited to dissertations) that draw upon some aspect of Community-Based Research and related methodologies, such as Participatory Action Research, Appreciative or Asset-Based Inquiry, Collaborative Inquiry, and Practice-Based Research. Such research tackles community problems, with the aim of combining knowledge and action for policy or social change.

The workshop series will focus on:

1) skills and strategies for participating effectively in such research,

2) navigating issues of rigor and validity in such work,

3) developing appropriate research strategies and outlines of presentations/ articles/ chapters for dissemination, and building structures of support and room for reflexive work along the way.

4) building structures of support and room for reflexive work along the way.

Throughout the series, we will also prioritize our meetings as opportunities to broach typically overlooked or sensitive topics, to share concerns or reservations as well as aspirations related to our work, to support one another and make real progress on our respective projects, and to collectively share insights on negotiating academic milestones, disciplinary boundaries, and austerity in collaborative research.

This course aims to facilitate multi-disciplinary dialogues on theories and principles of community-based research (with special attention to race, gender, and class dimensions), the strengths and limitations of such approaches, and guiding practices and case studies/ models for successful research projects. We have designed this series to support and strengthen the significant scholarly, creative, and pedagogical work of adjuncts teaching in the humanities and humanistic social sciences across CUNY.


For more information, please click here!

EES Geography Colloquia, Spring 2021 Schedule

EES Geography Colloquia, Spring 2021
All talks on Thursday 4:15-6:15 except as noted

4 February
Shae Frydenlund
“Securitization, Surplus Populations, and Labor Frontier- Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”

WEDNESDAY 17 February
Sharon Zukin in conversation with Michael Storper about Zukin’s new book,
The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy

18 March
Nandini Bagchee
“Architectures of Cooperation”

25 March
Pinar Balci
NYC Department of Environmental Protection
“Sustainability Initiatives and Policies”

15 April
Gregory Sholette
“The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art”

29 April
Elizabeth Sibilia
“The Flowing Toxicity of Shipbreaking: Tracking Local Leakages and Global Contaminants”

“Securitization, Surplus Populations, and Labor Frontier-Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia” with Dr. Shae Frydenlund

Earth and Environmental Sciences Doctoral Program
Presents a Lecture by
Dr. Shae Frydenlund

University of Pennsylvania 

“Securitization, Surplus Populations, and Labor Frontier-Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”

Articulating intimate geopolitics with a world-ecology approach, I examine how the labor of Rohingya refugees – a ‘relative surplus population’ – is selectively reincorporated into capitalist circuits, and with what effects. I argue that processes of racialization and securitization join to position Rohingya refugees as a labor frontier for capitalist accumulation.

Thursday, February 4, 2021 4:15-6:15 p.m. EST

Topic: EES Colloquium—Dr. Shae Frydenlund
Time: February 4, 2021 04:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://gc-cuny.zoom.us/j/8509834448?pwd=dGlSdG1pOHlIa01IZXdteGliNTdGQT09 [gc-cuny.zoom.us]

Meeting ID: 850 983 4448
Passcode: EES

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Click here for the Full Spring 2021 Schedule for GEOS Talks!

Faculty Dr. Gordon-Nembhard on Collective Courage is the New Normal

Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard is the author of Collective Courage: A History of African-American Economic Thought and Practice, which chronicles the long history of economic cooperation in African-American communities. On May 30, 2020 she gave the keynote address at the Thinking, Learning and Doing in the New Normal Summit with KHEPRW!

Learn more and watch more videos from the summit: https://kheprw.org/newnormalsummit

Click here for Dr. Gordon-Nembhard’s Collective Courage: A History of African-American Economic Thought and Practice.

Dr. Gordon Nembhard is teaching ECO 740 Community Economic Development this semester!

ECO 740 Community Economic Development

(Tuesdays 6 PM to 8 PM EST) Online
John Jay

The term “community economic development” is used to refer to two different things: scale (economic development at the neighborhood level) and approach or philosophy (local community control over economic development). We will look at both, with special emphasis on marginalized communities, and African American experiences; as well as particular focus on community controlled grassroots economic development and values-based alternative strategies. Topics include, economic democracy, the solidarity economy, cooperative economics (especially worker cooperatives and housing cooperatives), feminist economics, community development financial institutions, employee ownership, community land trusts, and challenges such as gentrification and neo-liberalism.

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 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.