Steering Committee

Piper Anderson
Part-time Faculty, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Piper Anderson is a community artist, writer, educator, and healing practitioner. In 2014 she founded Create Forward, which specializes in cultivating creative strategies for social change sourced from collective radical imagination. She previously served as Blackout Arts Collective’s Lyrics on Lockdown National Tour Coordinator and directed the cultural campaign that reached more than twenty-five U.S communities creatively catalyzing a dialogue about the impact of the prison industrial complex. Lyrics on Lockdown is now a course at NYU, taught by Anderson, where the mission has become to inspire the next generation of leaders to be advocates for justice. In 2014 she co-founded, to generate critical community dialogue on love in the era of mass incarceration. Her writings have been featured in, Huffington Post and four books: How To Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office (2004), Growing Up Girl: Voices from Marginalized Spaces (2006), Conscious Women Rock the Page (2008), and Love, Race, and Liberation (2010).

Gianpaolo Baiocchi
Associate Professor, Faculty Director of the Urban Democracy Lab, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Gianpaolo Baiocchi is a sociologist and ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. He has written about and continues to research instances of existing civic life and participatory democracy.  While much of his research and writing has been about Brazil, his most recent co-authored book, The Civic Imagination, examines the contours and limits of the democratic conversation in the US today.  His most recent research has been about the global travel and translation of blueprints of urban participation in the current era.  An engaged scholar, Baiocchi was one of the founders of the Participatory Budgeting Project and continues to work with groups improving urban democracy.

Dolly Chugh
Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Stern School of Business

Dolly Chugh is an award-winning professor at the New York University Stern School of Business.  She studies unintended forms of unethical behavior and bias, known as “bounded ethicality” and teaches MBA courses in leadership, management, and negotiations. Since, 2008, Dolly has also taught for KIPP, working with regional and school leaders at various points in the leadership pipeline.  Prior to becoming an academic, Dolly worked in consulting, banking, and publishing. Dolly received a B.A. from Cornell University where she earned a double major in Psychology and Economics and served as a two-time co-captain of the Varsity Tennis Team (1990), an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School (1994), and a PhD in Organizational Behavior / Social Psychology from Harvard University (2006).  She is currently writing a book (forthcoming by HarperCollins) tentatively titled The Person You Mean to Be:  How to Overcome Unconscious Bias to Build a Better Workplace and World.


Kimberly DaCosta
Associate Dean of Students, Associate Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Kimberly McClain DaCosta is especially interested in the contemporary production of racial boundaries. Her book, Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line (Stanford University Press, 2007), explores the cultural and social underpinnings of the movement to create multiracial collective identity in the United States. Before coming to NYU, Professor DaCosta taught in African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. Professor DaCosta’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Advertising Educational Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She teaches courses on consumerism, race, and on families. Professor DaCosta is an Associate Faculty member in the NYU Department of Sociology.



Shabnam Javdani
Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development

Shabnam Javdani’s research aims to understand, prevent, and target violence and violence-related health and mental health outcomes for underserved youth and families. Javdani’s work investigates how and why violence arises by examining the influence of trauma, neighborhood and community resources, and the response of the criminal justice system (e.g., policies and practices) on outcomes for youth and adults; examines the influence of gender on individual and institutional outcomes; and centralizes the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions for young women and men involved in, or at risk for entry into, the criminal justice system.


Dina Rosenfeld
Associate Clinical Professor, Silver School of Social Work

Dr. Dina J. Rosenfeld was the director of the undergraduate social work program from 1995 to 2014, and the assistant dean of undergraduate programs from 2007 to 2014. She has helped establish the Spirituality and Social Work Post-Master’s Certificate Program. She has spearheaded initiatives creating the dual major in social work and global public health and minors in interdisciplinary poverty studies and multi-faith and spiritual leadership. For the last 26 years she has served as an adoption consultant and community educator on adoption. In addition to the above, she has run process groups for workers at Visiting Nurse Service Hospice and has worked with individuals, groups, and couples for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dr. Rosenfeld has lectured on a variety of topics, including parenting an adopted child, multiracial families, staff and student supervision, Jewish feminism, social work and spirituality, and working with aging Holocaust survivors.


Andrew Ross
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, Director of the American Studies Program

Andrew Ross writes on labor, the urban environment, and the organization of work. Making use of social theory as well as ethnography, his writing sharply questions the human and environmental cost of economic growth. The author or editor of more than twenty books, including Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal, Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City, and Nice Work if you Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, The Nation, Newsweek and The Village Voice.


George Shulman
Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

George Shulman’s interests lie in the fields of political thought and American studies. He teaches and writes on political thought in Europe and the United States, as well as on Greek and Hebrew traditions. His teaching and writing emphasize the role of narrative in culture and politics. He is the author of Radicalism and Reverence: Gerrard Winstanley and the English Revolution and American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political Culture (2008). His most recent book, American Prophecy, was awarded the David Easton Prize in political theory. Focusing on the language that great American critics have used to engage the racial domination at the center of American history, American Prophecy explores the relationship of prophecy and race to American nationalism and democratic politics. Professor Shulman is a recipient of the 2003 NYU Distinguished Teaching Award.


Nikhil Singh
Associate Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis, History

Nikhil Pal Singh is a historian of the twentieth-century United States, who focuses on questions of race, political contention, and state power. He is the author of Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2004), winner of the Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians, and the Norris and Carol Hundley Prize from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. He has published extensively on topics including the history of liberalism, war, black radicalism, and US foreign policy. His edited collection of the writings of legendary civil rights activist Jack O’Dell, Climbin’ Jacob’s Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writing of Jack O’Dell, was published in 2010 by the University of California Press, where he also serves as an editor for the American Crossroads book series. His next book, Exceptional Empire: Race and War in US Globalism, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.


Gabrielle Starr
Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science; Professor of English

Gabrielle Starr is a scholar of eighteenth-century British literature and of aesthetics, as well as a researcher in experimental aesthetics, using the tools of cognitive neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and the humanities to explore the contours of aesthetic experience. Her first book, Lyric Generations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), is a history of the interrelation of lyric poetry and the early British novel, in which she argues for the need to understand the history of changes in literary form as emerging from cross-generic interactions. More recently she has engaged in empirical and theoretical work in aesthetics. Her most recent book is Feeling Beauty (MIT Press, 2013), and it explores the ways our responses to the Sister Arts of painting, poetry and music are mediated by brain-based reward processes and by the default mode network. This work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the form of a New Directions Fellowship to facilitate training in neuroscience, as well as by an NSF-ADVANCE grant (jointly with Nava Rubin) at NYU. She is currently director of a three-year, collaborative international project on brain responses to music, painting, and literary imagery.


Thuy Linh Tu
Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis

Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu’s research examines the relationships between culture and economy by considering how material structures, including commercial markets, state policies, and cultural geographies, shape seemingly immaterial productions, like art, fashion, and beauty. She teaches in the fields of American and Ethnic Studies, and offers courses on labor and immigration and race, health, fashion, and beauty. She is the author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian American Designers and the Cultural Economy of Fashion, and co-editor of the anthologies, Alien Encounter: Popular Culture in Asian America and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life.


Susanne Wofford
Dean, The Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Susanne L. Wofford is a distinguished scholar of epic poetry and of Renaissance and early modern literature. Her research interests include Shakespeare, Spenser, Renaissance and classical epic, comparative European drama and narrative and literary theory. Her publications include The Choice of Achilles: The Ideology of Figure in the Epic (Stanford University Press, 1992); Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World: The Politics of Community (coeditor) (University of California Press, 1999); Shakespeare: The Late Tragedies (Prentice-Hall, 1995); and Hamlet: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism (St. Martin’s Press, 1994). Her current projects include two books on Shakespeare and transnational Renaissance drama: The Apparent Corpse: Popular and Transnational Bodies on the Shakespearean Stage and Shakespeare and the Foreign: Intercultural Literacy and Literary Diaspora in Early Modern Europe. Professor Wofford is the recipient of many prizes and honors, including the University of Wisconsin Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching; the University of Wisconsin Romnes Fellowship; the Hilldale Award for Collaborative Research, UW-Madison; the Robert Frost Chair at the Bread Loaf School of English; the Isabel MacCaffrey Prize (awarded by the Spenser Society); the William Cline Devane Medal for Distinguished Teaching at Yale University; the Sarai Ribicoff Award for the Encouragement of Teaching in Yale College; and the Yale College-Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. Currently a member of the Modern Language Association’s Executive Committee for the Division on Comparative Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Literature, she has served as the President of the Shakespeare Association of America and serves or has served on the boards of the International Spenser Society, American Comparative Literature Association and the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes. She is a cofounder and current member of the steering committee of the Theater Without Borders International Collaborative.