Catherine Fennell's work examines the cultural transformation of the American welfare state and the effects of this transformation on the politics of citizenship, belonging and race within redeveloping cities. Through her ethnographic research, she has focused on how large-scale changes in the urban built environment shape the ways in which urbanites come to understand social difference, and practice new forms of social care, concern and intimacy. In particular, her interest is in how the sensory and affective qualities of everyday urban life cultivate personal attachments to a place, as well as compel private commitments to the people associated with that place. Her doctoral research investigated Chicago's ongoing public housing reforms as a policy experiment that conjoins the palpability of past and impending state failures to provide for citizenry well-being with the potentials of "post welfare" forms of social belonging. Her research plans include continued work on this project, as well as research on the ethics of "green" urbanism and sustainable urban redevelopment movements in the United States. Her latest book is "Last Project Standing: Civics and Sympathy in Post-Welfare Chicago (University of Minnesota Press), 2015.

Catherine Fennell

CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.

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Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880

1130 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

Tel 212-854-0507

Fax 212-854-0500

CSER@columbia.edu