I am currently a doctoral student in cultural anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where I am doing collaborative research with former Lower East Side squatters for my dissertation research. I am focusing on how historical knowledge is produced and used by various actors, including activists, and oral history is a major part of that. I am actively engaged now with documenting and disseminating the history of squatting in New York, in part to support current efforts to mobilize a new squatting movement. I have been involved with squatting and community garden movements in NYC, most actively in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Before I started my PhD, I worked for the Columbia Center for Oral History for ten years as an interviewer and educator, and I continue to co-direct their annual Summer Institute. I consult and lecture widely on oral history education, am co-author of the Telling Lives Oral History Curriculum Guide, and teach a graduate course at Columbia University Teachers College on “Oral History as a Multidisciplinary Teaching Tool.” I was a lead interviewer on Columbia’s September 11, 2001 Narrative and Memory Project, for which I interviewed Afghans, Muslims, Sikhs, activists, low-income people, and the unemployed.
I live in the Bronx with my partner, our daughter, my two sisters, and a little black cat.