Catherine FennellAssistant ProfessorAnthropology957 Schermerhorn Extension, Mail Code: 5523, United StatesPhone:+1 212 854 4552
My work examines the transformation of the US welfare state and its effects on the politics of belonging, race and development in the urban Midwest. Through my ethnographic and archival research, I have focused on how urban built environments in tremendous social and material flux shape the ways in which urbanites come to understand social difference, and practice new forms of care and concern. In particular, I am interested in how the sensory and affective qualities of such environments cultivate novel attachments to a place, as well as commitments to the people and things gathered within it. I am finalizing revisions on a book manuscript that investigates Chicago's ongoing public housing reforms as a policy experiment that conjoined the palpability of past welfare failures with the potentials of "post welfare" social protection. A new project investigates the burgeoning building deconstruction movement in the urban Midwest, and pays close attention to the ethics of waste disposal and waste remediation.
book manuscript under review, Last Project Standing: Civics and Sympathy in Post-Welfare Chicago.
forthcoming, "Experiments in Vulnerability: Sociability and Care in Chicago Public Housing's Wake." City & Society.
2012 "'The Museum of Resilience'": Raising a Sympathetic Public in post-Welfare Chicago," Cultural Anthropology. 27(4): 641-666.
2011 "Project Heat and Sensory Politics in Redeveloping Chicago Public Housing," Ethnography. eds. Robert Fairbanks and Richard Lloyd. 12(1): 40-64.
2010 Book Review, The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area, by Richard Walker, Environment and Society: Advances in Research. Volume 1: 202-204.