IMG_1988I  work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at American University in Washington DC. My research
focuses on eviction, race, displacement and the spatial and temporal dynamics of contemporary urban social movements from Occupy Wall Street and anti-gentrification activism to Black Lives Matter. Broadly I am interested in historical and contemporary struggles for social justice, the production of urban space, and understanding dynamics of race, class, and gender in formation of political subjectivities.

 Currently I am preparing my first book manuscript titled: The Activist’s City: Social Movements, Structures of Feeling, and the Politics of Place this work traces the spatial and temporal dynamics of waves of mobilization, organizing and protest as activists navigate the complex afterlives of “movement moments”. Bringing together affect theory, critical race theory, oral history, political ethnography and urban studies, this book examines how in San Francisco and New York City, in the midst of rapid gentrification activists transformed urban spaces to create a counter-hegemonic politics of place.

My academic work has been published in Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Antipode, Sociological Quarterly, American Anthropologist, Anthropological TheoryAnthropological QuarterlyAbolition JournalRadical Housing Journal among others. I have also been published in media outlets such as The GuardianN+1AlterNetThe Indypendent, Racialicious, Counterpunch, and Waging Nonviolence, among other online and print periodicals, as well as in a number of edited books and anthologies.

I have an ongoing commitment to working with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project   a counter-cartography and digital media collective that founded in 2013 to produce maps, tools, reports, zines, murals, videos, oral histories, and public scholarship for housing justice. Most recently I co-edited (with other collective members) the project’s first atlas:  Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement & Resistance (PM Press 2021). (You can read a forum about it in Society and Space here. ) Additionally in 2013 I co-founded, with Erin McElroy, the oral history wing of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project called the Narratives of Displacement and Resistance Project . This oral history project aims to document urban change and resistance by foregrounding the stories of people who have been, or who are being, displaced. Through collecting life-histories and placing them on an online map of the city, the project creates a living archive, documenting deep and detailed neighborhood and personal histories. These projects have won the Alternative Geography award from the American Association of Geographers (AEMP), the Susan Garfinkle prize in Digital Humanities from the American Studies Association (Narratives of Displacement and Resistance) and the Emancipatory Practice award from the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association (Counterpoints.)

My research and writing have been funded by the The American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New York Council for the Humanities, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and The Center for Place Culture and Politics.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and I have an ongoing commitment to just urban spaces.

One response to “About”

  1. […] Manissa Maharawal, Writer, Scholar, Activist (manissamaharawal.net) […]

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