Dr. Meghan Gilbert-Hickey has recently been published as a contributor and co-editor of the book Race In Young Adult Speculative Fiction by University Press of Mississippi. Along with Miranda A. Green-Barteet, Dr. Hickey present an anthology of essays that examine the unfolding genre of speculative fiction and of systemic racism and discrimination that have been embedded yet overlooked within these narratives. This anthology features the contributions of Malin Alkestrand, Joshua Yu Burnett, Sean P. Connors, Jill Coste, Meghan Gilbert-Hickey, Miranda A. Green-Barteet, Sierra Hale, Kathryn Strong Hansen, Elizabeth Ho, Esther L. Jones, Sarah Olutola, Alex Polish, Zara Rix, Susan Tan, and Roberta Seelinger Trites.
Guttman’s Dr. Kristina Baines Organizes and Co-Hosts Anthropology Webinar Addressing Contemporary Issues
With Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cool Anthropology Victoria Costa, Guttman Faculty Dr. Kristina Baines organized and co-hosted the interactive virtual event Anthropology and the Public: Pressing Questions, Responsibilities and Opportunities, which aired live on YouTube on March 1, 2021. The webinar brought together a wide network of anthropologists, social scientists, educators, students, and practitioners of various fields to exchange and elaborate critical, multidisciplinary ideas that contribute to the public good. Featuring panelists and breakout sessions to address an array of contemporary social and environmental issues, the gathering included discussions concerning public health, medical anthropology, climate change and environmental justice, race and racism, media, journalism, technology, and art. The workshop included student facilitators from 5 continents, over 300 registrants, 150 active participants, including Guttman alumna, former Peer Mentor, and College Assistant Hannia Delgado and former Guttman staff member Baird Campbell. The event was funded through a grant by the Wenner Gren Foundation and co-sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division and Berghan Books.
Guttman Faculty Drs. Makris and Gatta Publish Op-Eds on “Equitable and Just” Recovery for US Cities and Towns
Following the publication of their book, Gentrification Down The Shore, Guttman Urban Studies faculty Dr. Molly Vollman Makris and Dr. Mary Gatta released op-eds in The Progressive and ArcaMax, Politics section, on February 12, 2021. Based on research the co-authors conducted on Asbury Park, New Jersey, both articles respond to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan for economic recovery during the ongoing pandemic. In “Rescue Our Cities and Towns” and “Commentary: Rescue our cities and towns,” the co-authors emphasize “long-term progressive planning… that means a continued focus on economic security for working families, fully funded public education, universal health care, and environmental and racial justice measures.” By calling for an “equitable and just” policy direction, Drs. Makris and Gatta assert that cities and towns throughout the United States “will need sustained support from the federal government to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 world.”
Guttman Community College Partners with LaGuardia Community College on Program to Virtually Connect Young People Around the World—Funded by Stevens Initiative
Grantees will bring together thousands of young people from the United States and the Middle East and North Africa for an exciting opportunity to engage with global peers through virtual exchange.
Dr. Kristina Baines and Guttman Students Participate in Pandemic Journaling Project and Featured in The New York Times
In the Introduction to Urban Community Health courses she taught during the Spring II and Fall I 2020 semesters, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Kristina Baines’ students interacted with the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) – a public research initiative developed at the University of Connecticut, which invites participants to respond to weekly prompts about their experiences living through the pandemic. Students could either create journal entries (written, audio or visual methods) or reflect on the journal entries that others posted on the public section of the site. The aim of Dr. Baines’ assignment is to involve students in documenting the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of everyday people rather than official narratives. In their responses, students were able to consider their contributions to this alternative history on personal and scholarly levels. Overall, Dr. Baines’ students have welcomed this space to share their thoughts and feelings about the impact of the pandemic on their lives.
Arts in New York City Faculty Lyricist for Shows Produced by the Lowbrow Opera Collective, Winner of NAMT’s 15-Minute Musical Challenge, and Recipient of Spark Grant
Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls, a musical featuring the work of Adjunct Instructor Prof. Sara Cooper, an accomplished playwright and lyricist who teaches the Arts in New York City course in Guttman’s Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, was one of five selected for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 15-minute Musical Challenge. Produced in part by the Beck Center and the Baldwin Wallace University Program, the first fifteen minutes of the performance premiered virtually on February 12, 2021, and ran through February 28. Prof. Cooper wrote the lyrics to music by Lynne Shankel. According to Broadway World News Desk, “the show is based on the true story of the women who fought United States Radium Corporation in the 1920s for knowingly poisoning them and subsequently changed United States labor laws forever.”
On the historic date of January 6, 2021, Instructor of Political Science Prof. Douglas Medina was the invited guest on A New Day, a radio broadcast hosted on WBAI 99.5FM by Dr. Johanna Fernandez, author of The Young Lords: A Radical History and Associate Professor of History at Baruch College, CUNY. In the midst of the worst stage of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, the scholars discussed the US response to the coronavirus; the socioeconomic effects on workers and communities of color; the latest in workers’ rights movements; and most prominently, that morning’s dramatic results of the Georgia run-off election and the certification of the 2020 presidential election by Congress.
Guttman faculty member Dr. Ria Banerjee has been selected for the maximum funding of the CUNY Community College Research Grant (CCRG) Mentored Undergraduate Research program to continue a creative storytelling archival project that began in AY 2019‐2020. The CCRG Mentored Undergraduate Research program is designed to support faculty basic research endeavors and to increase the number of associate degree students engaged in faculty mentored research projects. Dr. Banerjee’s work with Guttman students to document and explore their interactions with the legacy of colonialism captures faculty commitment to the student-centered pedagogy and opportunities for guided research strongly supported the College.
Dr. Molly Vollman Makris and Dr. Mary Gatta have co-authored Gentrification Down the Shore, an insightful ethnographic case study recently released by Rutgers University Press. The book explores the evolution of Asbury Park, New Jersey, a beach town vibrant in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before bearing the downward impact of broader structural socioeconomic changes on US urban areas.
“We can disagree and still be friends… Most of the time, a literature classroom is a philosophical space. It’s about how we live, how we react to each other, how we deal with love, and who we are constantly becoming. So, disagreement and argument… help us really understand what we think and why.”
Associate Professor of English Dr. Ria Banerjee specializes in literary modernism, primarily Anglophone British, European, and Indian writing of the 1910s-1930s – “partly because I love that ‘modernist mood’ and partly because so much of what people lived through at the beginning of the 20th century bears eerie parallels to what we are going through now.” Presently, she is at work on the manuscript of her book, tentatively titled Drafty Houses, where she posits that the way “modernist [English] authors wrote about changing, renovating, and restructuring houses and personal spaces in fiction actually speaks to how they thought the UK ought to change politically.” Avoiding direct confrontation with the authorities, “established authors like T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf wrote about rooms, buildings, and houses as a kind of substitute for… the nation as a shelter for citizens.” These writers became what Dr. Banerjee calls “tepid activists,” who were “outraged at the many political atrocities carried out by the UK at home and abroad, especially in the British colonies, [but] tried to find ways to be critical without being arrested,“ or having their writing banned.