Founding Directors

Arjun Appadurai (2004-2008):  Dr. Appadurai is a prominent social-cultural anthropologist, having formerly served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School. He has held various professorial chairs and visiting appointments at some of top institutions in the United States and Europe. In addition, he has served on several scholarly and advisory bodies in the United States, Latin America, Europe and India. Dr. Appadurai is world renowned expert on the cultural dynamics of globalization, having authored numerous books and scholarly articles. The nature and significance of his contributions throughout his academic career have earned him the reputation as a leading figure in his field. After leaving The New School in 2007, he was appointed Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.
Benjamin Lee (2004-2011):  Dr. Lee is a professor of Anthropology and Philosophy and the former Provost of The New School, where he is currently teaching courses at the intersections of Design, finance and social science at Parsons: the New School for Design. Previous to his current position, Dr. Lee was a professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at Rice University where he also directed the Transnational China Project at the James A. Baker Institute of Policy Studies. From 1999-2001, he was a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong in the Department of Comparative Literature. Lee was the founding director for the Center for Transcultural Studies in Chicago and is currently a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He holds a PhD in Anthropology and a MA in Human Development from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lee has written extensively on the anthropology and philosophy of language, literary theory, and global cultural studies.

Academic Directors

Mark Frazier (2012-Present): Dr. Frazier is a professor in the Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research. He teaches and writes about the political economy of China, with particular emphasis on labor issues.  Dr. Frazier’s recent research examines the politics of labor and social policies in China. He joined the New School in 2012 after five years at the University of Oklahoma, where he held an endowed position in Chinese Politics and served as the Chair of the Department of International and Area Studies. His research focus is on labor and social policies in China, and more broadly on state-society relations, urban politics, inequality, and public policy. He is the author of Socialist Insecurity: Pensions and the Politics of Uneven Development in China (Cornell University Press 2010) and The Making of the Chinese Industrial Workplace (Cambridge University Press 2002). He has published articles in Asia Policy, Studies in Comparative International Development, and The China Journal. He has also contributed op-eds to The New York Times and The Diplomat.
Sanjay Reddy (2012-2014): Dr. Reddy is an Associate Professor of Economics at The New School for Social Research. His areas of work include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy. He has consulted for development agencies and institutions like Oxfam, UNICEF, and the World Bank. His research concentrates on political economy, development, welfare economics, inequality and poverty, international trade and finance, philosophy and economics, and integrative social science. Recent publications include International Trade and Labor Standards: A Proposal for Linkage (Columbia University Press 2008), “Global Development Goals: The Folly of Technocratic Pretensions” (Development Policy Review, January 2008); “Has World Poverty Really Fallen?” (Review of Income and Wealth, September 2007), “International Debt: The Constructive Implications of Some Moral Mathematics”(Ethics and International Affairs, Spring 2007), “How Not to Count the Poor” in Debates in the Measurement of Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2009).


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