Working Groups

Working groups are collaboratories consisting of graduate students and professors from within NYU as well as members of business, non-profit and academic arenas beyond NYU. Working groups write papers together, host conferences, and meet regularly to discuss individual projects. Most groups formally cohere for one or two years though some are sustained over a longer period of time. Each working group has unique goals and praxis and new groups are being formed all the time.

If you are a doctoral student or faculty member interested in participating in a working group, please contact: Jessica Coffey, IPK's Program Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

IPK also accepts proposals for new working groups. For more information, see here.

Organizers

  • Arjun Appadurai
  • Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication New York University
  • Benjamin Lee
  • University Professor of Anthropology and Philosophy The New School for Social Research
  • Robert Wosnitzer
  • PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication New York University

Organizers

  • Erin O'Connor
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology Marymount Manhattan College
  • Richard Sennett
  • University Professor, NYU Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Harel Shapira
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Institute for Public Knowledge

Organizers

  • Natasha Iskander
  • Assistant Professor of Public Policy Wagner School of Public Service, NYU
  • Colin Jerolmack
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology New York University
  • Kaisa Ketokivi
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, Lecturer University of Helsinki, Finland

Members

  • Arjun Appadurai
  • Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication New York University
  • Craig Calhoun
  • University Professor of Social Science New York University
  • Stephen Collier
  • Assistant Professor, Graduate Program for International Affairs The New School
  • Jane Guyer
  • Professor & Chair Department of Anthropology | Johns Hopkins University
  • Benjamin Lee
  • University Professor of Anthropology and Philosophy The New School for Social Research
  • Randy Martin
  • Professor of Art and Public Policy New York University
  • Paul Melton
  • PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication New York University
  • Sanjay Reddy
  • Associate Professor of Economics New School for Social Research
  • Caitlin Zaloom
  • Assistant Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis New York University
  • Solon Barocas
  • PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication New York University
  • Raphaele Chappe
  • Doctoral Candidate | Department of Economics New School University
  • Peter Dimock
  • Editor | Bruce Initiative for Rethinking Capitalism
  • Elizabeth Koslov
  • PhD Student | Media, Culture & Communication New York University
  • Xiaochang Lee
  • PhD Student | Media, Culture & Communication New York University
  • Perry Mehrling
  • Professor in Economics Barnard College at Columbia University
  • Mary Poovey
  • Samuel Rudin University Professor in the Humanities New York University
  • Jennifer Telesca
  • PhD Candidate | Media, Culture & Communication | New York University
  • Natalia Besedovsky
  • PhD Candidate in Sociology Humboldt Universität
  • Kimberly Chong
  • PhD Candidate in Anthropology London School of Economics
  • Melissa Fisher
  • Assistant Professor | Anthropology Georgetown University
  • Bridget Kustin
  • PhD Candidate in Anthropology Johns Hopkins University
  • Edward LiPuma
  • Professor of Anthropology University of Miami
  • Robert Meister
  • Professor of Social and Political Thought | History of Consciousness UC Santa Cruz
  • Vyjayanthi Rao
  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs The New School
  • Robert Wosnitzer
  • PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication New York University

Members

  • Colin Jerolmack
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology New York University
  • Richard Sennett
  • University Professor, NYU Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Iddo Tavory
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology New School for Social Research
  • Jooyoung Lee
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar University of Pennsylvania
  • Harel Shapira
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Institute for Public Knowledge
  • Lucia Trimbur
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology John Jay College
  • Erin O'Connor
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology Marymount Manhattan College
  • R. Tyson Smith
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research Rutgers University

Members

  • Ruth Braunstein
  • PhD Candidate in Sociology New York University
  • Sylvie Honig
  • Doctoral Candidate University of Chicago
  • Shamus Khan
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology Columbia University
  • Ann Mische
  • Associate Professor of Sociology Rutgers, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Harel Shapira
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Institute for Public Knowledge
  • Iddo Tavory
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology New School for Social Research
  • Nancy Foner
  • Distinguished Professor of Sociology Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Natasha Iskander
  • Assistant Professor of Public Policy Wagner School of Public Service, NYU
  • Eric Klinenberg
  • Professor of Sociology at NYU | Editor of Public Culture New York University
  • Anne Rawls
  • Professor of Sociology Bentley University
  • Judith Stacey
  • Professor Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology
  • Carlos Forment
  • Associate Professor of Sociology The New School
  • Kaisa Ketokivi
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, Lecturer University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Michael McQuarrie
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology University of California, Davis
  • Sasha Roseneil
  • Professor of Sociology and Social Theory and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research University of London
  • David Stark
  • Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs Columbia University
    • Stacy Torres
    • Doctoral Candidate NYU Sociology

  • NYLON

    NYLON was created in 2001 by Craig Calhoun and Richard Sennett of New York University and the London School of Economics. It began as a network of young scholars within the two institutions and collaboration between them. Today, NYLON has expanded beyond its original boundaries; it now includes members from Cambridge and Oxford in the U.K.; from Chicago and Los Angeles in the U.S.; and on the Continent from Paris, Budapest and Frankfurt. NYLON researchers share a broad interest in culture and qualitative research methods; more, with ways that social processes turn into concrete cultural forms through practical activity. We are thus exploring informal, improvised social practices, as well as the bones of institutions; again, we try to integrate cultural analysis with an understanding of politics and political economy.

    NYLON is supported by New York University, London School of Economics, Cambridge University, Goldsmiths College-London and the Watermill Center for the Arts and Humanities.

  • Cultures of Finance

    The Cultures of Finance Working Group is an interdisciplinary effort to study the historical, technical, and social configurations of finance. Members include scholars from across the social sciences and humanities who are interested in engaging with recent work in the social studies of finance. Alongside technical devices, the group considers the ways in which cultures of finance circulate through ethical, political, social and discursive forms. Through a series of member meetings, public lectures, and special conferences, Cultures of Finance explores innovative research methods and develops research programs to address the complexity of what Arjun Appadurai has termed the global financescape.

    While early social scientific work on the economy did not draw a distinction between the social and the economic, a domain called the economy has been gradually cordoned off and subjected to increasingly technical arrangements, modes of calculation, and expert knowledge in the post-War era. One remarkable result of these interventions has been the emergence of vast circuits of financial action. In addition to technological apparatuses, constructed to resolve the smooth flow of capital across space and time, new knowledges, regimes of valuation, laws, and subjectivities have also been generated, accompanying the rise in the global circuits of circulating capital.

    Following the unprecedented rate of economic growth through the last 25 years, fueled by the explosive boom of financial forms of capital, we find ourselves in the ubiquitous company of finance. Home mortgages, student loans, credit cards, credit scores, retirement funds, and microfinance, once sequestered in specialized places, these activities and objects of capital markets have seeped into the spaces of everyday life. It is in the history of the evolving financescape (marked by a push towards ever increasing financialization) and its uncertain future (made visible through the contemporary credit crisis) that the Cultures of Finance Working Group finds its terrain.

    The Cultures of Finance working group writes a blog located here.

  • Craft of Ethnography

    Craft of Ethnography is a working group of early career scholars whose research and writing is rooted in the ethnographic method. The intellectual unity of the group is grounded in a shared belief that long-term participant observation fieldwork provides unique and valuable insights into the social world.

    The group meets regularly to discuss works-in-progress, focusing on a set of issues related to ethnographic field methods, and the special claims it allows its practitioners to make about social experiences, social practices, and social relations. The principal goal of the meetings is a rigorous examination of the process of transforming field notes into rich analytical accounts – including writing with an ethnographic voice; generalizing claims; integrating embodied and non-verbalized aspects of interaction.

    Members either are writing a manuscript or collecting ethnographic data. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

  • Humanitarian Action Initiative

     Since fall 2007 the Humanitarian Action Initiative has brought together practitioners and scholars working in the field of humanitarian action for discussions of shared interest. Sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, historians and others dialogue with representatives from the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and research institutes to reflect on such topics as humanitarianism's role in geopolitics, its narrative forms, organizational practices, and ethical commitments.

    Beginning in fall 2011, the Initiative is focusing its attention on humanitarian narrative. The IPK has established a partnership with University of Bologna, Italy, and is actively seeking new partners to form an international network and pursue this line of inquiry.

  • Belonging Today

    Belonging Today Working Group is a forum for recurring conversations, inspiration and collaboration between scholars on the topic of belonging and its transformations in the contemporary world.

    By belonging we mean three interconnected dynamics:

    1. person’s feelings or identification with a collectivity
    2. that collectivity’s recognition of her or his belonging, and
    3. the practices and material conditions which constitute belonging and exclusion or isolation.

    Our focus on belonging directs the gaze to several classical problems of social sciences, including solidarity, social bonds, social integration, differentiation, domination, change and distinction. In examining contemporary forms of belonging, the Working Group sees itself as a descendent of this long intellectual lineage but it does so without reproducing the conventional and theoretically fixed ways to understand the question, originally posed as “what holds society together?”

    In asking “how do people belong in the contemporary world”, and doing so from a multidisciplinary perspective, we re-address the original framing of the question by: (1) beginning with an understanding that there are multiple and coexistent forms and locations of belonging, as well as of exclusion, from those rooted in economic exchanges to those rooted in national beliefs, and from those located in the “private sphere” of intimacy, household and kinship to those located in the setting of community; (2) seeing belonging as both a political and personal question, a place of ambivalence and conflict, in which the capacity to belong, and the sense of belonging, is connected to an unequal access to both symbolic and material resources; (3) asking how contemporary belongings are formed and transformed in relation to collectivities, but also the life-projects of “individuals”, who sometimes seek forms of belonging, but other times seek to escape or disclaim them.

    Understanding contemporary belonging means accounting for changes in intimacy, family structure and gender roles, the growing importance of transnational ties and communities, the decline in long term wage based employment and unionized labor, extensive migration and redefined immigration policies to mention a few.

    Four foci of the Working Group include:

    1. Political belonging (membership; inclusion/exclusion)
    2. Economic belonging (work and organizational life)
    3. Localities of belonging (from the local community and neighbourhood to the non-local or transnational)
    4. Personal belonging (personally significant bonds and personal attachments).

    These sub-themes are not mutually exclusive, but overlapping, coexistent and mutually informative both empirically and theoretically. Moreover, in each case we seek to examine belonging in multiple ways: as a political question; in terms of the material infrastructures (from passports to policies to technologies) that make belonging possible or restrict it; as something rooted in practices and social categories, but also agency; in terms of how it is organized; in temporal terms (including biographical but also larger historical transformations); and finally, in terms of those who do not belong or whose belonging is restricted (as for example the undocumented immigrant).

  • Cities, Cultures, and Climate Change

     

    The aim of this working group is to foster rigorous, interdisciplinary research on the culture and politics of climate change, with an emphasis on cities but also with openness to additional sites and topics depending on participants’ interests. Through a series of regular meetings and occasional public events, we will engage emerging debates about cities and sustainability, the cultural politics of environmentalism, the possibilities for green design, the challenge of remaking infrastructure, and the problem of climate change governance. The complex nature of the issue and its impact necessitates a broad, interdisciplinary conversation between scholars across the social sciences, humanities, and professional schools, including fields built around design.

    The discussion we envision is also a global one: we welcome scholars working in and across different world regions. The nature of the issue challenges traditional divisions between Global North and Global South but also calls for depth of contextual knowledge. To this end, IPK will provide logistical assistance, meeting space, some funding and assistance in seeking external funds as appropriate to share work in progress on subjects such as: 

    -Cities and Climate Change

    -Democratizing the Green City

    -Critical Infrastructures

    -Green Design

     


Featured Publications

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Public Culture is IPK's interdisciplinary journal of transnational cultural studies.


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