Catherine FennellAssociate ProfessorAnthropology957 Schermerhorn Extension, Mail Code: 5523, United StatesPhone:+1 212 854 4552
Catherine Fennell's work focuses on the decline and transformation of a key infrastructure of the 20th century US welfare state -- subsidized housing. She interrogates how the material and social legacies of such housing shape the politics of difference, collective care and obligation, and utopian imagination in the urban Midwest. A recent book, Last Project Standing: Civics and Sympathy in Post-Welfare Chicago (Minnesota 2015),interrogates how an effort to demolish and rebuild troubled public housing projects also became one to rebuild the kinds of citizens who would be capable of caring for themselves and others, far better than any failed welfare bureaucracy. An emerging project follows how inhabitants of "shrinking cities" manage the physical aftermaths of houses that have ceased being homes and have instead become waste. She also has interests in urban infrastructure and the urban sensorium. Her ethnographic and archival work and her writing has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Horowitz Foundation, The Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, The Russell Sage Foundation, and the Quadrant Initiative at the University of Minnesota, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
2016 "Are We All Flint?," Limn. Issue 7. http://limn.it/issue/07/
2016 "The Family Toxic," South Atlantic Quarterly. 115 (1): 9-32.
2015 Last Project Standing: Civics and Sympathy in Post-Welfare Chicago. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
2015 "Emplacement" for "Theorizing the Contemporary," Cultural Anthropology
2015 (with Daniel Tucker) “Dis-placemaking,” The Avery Review. Issue 10.
2014 "Experiments in Vulnerability: Sociability and Care in Chicago's Redeveloping Public Housing." City and Society. 26 (2): 262 - 284.
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.