2021 Dissertation Fellows

The Gittell Urban Studies Collective 2021 Dissertation Fellows are:

Maura McGee is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is an urban scholar, broadly interested in the comparative study of contemporary social inequalities. Her dissertation research investigates the dynamics of gentrification in multi-ethnic Black neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Paris, specifically focusing on their commercial landscapes. She examines the roles that race and migration play in the process of gentrification; how different approaches to state regulation and local urban development policies influence how gentrification proceeds; how that process affects places and people; and how communities respond in turn. Her work shows how differences between Brooklyn and Paris, and more generally, between the United States and France, shape the ways in which race, class, and nativity interact in constituting commercial streets and social life.

Hilary Wilson is a PhD candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research broadly examines the history of economic development policy in U.S. cities and the role of urban governance in (re)producing socio-spatial inequalities along the lines of race, gender, and class. In light of recent theorizations of financialization and its impacts on older industrial cities, her dissertation research traces the material and discursive dimensions of debt-financed development in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She focuses particularly on how ideologies of race and gender, as well as alternative visions of economic development, have shaped the city’s fiscal policy since the 1970s. 

Alexander Steers-McCrum is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation, What Does “Native” Mean: Disentangling and Decolonizing Settler Terms and Categories examines different ways of being Native American, in terms of race, ethnicity, nationhood, and indigeneity. He is a White guy and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He lives in Maryland with his wife and toddler.