Event Andrews Conference Room, 2203 SS&H

Unaffordable America: Poverty, Housing, Eviction
Matthew Desmond, Harvard University

Matthew Desmond is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of the award-winning book, On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.

Desmond is the author of On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters (2007), which won the Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship by the American Sociological Association, as well as two books on race in America (both with Mustafa Emirbayer): Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America (2009) and The Racial Order (forthcoming). He has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. Desmond is the principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee’s low-income private housing sector. His work has been supported by the MacArthur, Ford, and National Science Foundations, as well as by the American Philosophical Society; it also has been profiled in major news outlets such as The New York Times, National Public Radio, Science, and Das Erste. His current project combines ethnographic fieldwork, survey data, and documentary analysis to explore the causes, dynamics, and consequences of eviction among the urban poor and, more broadly, to plumb the inner workings of disadvantaged neighborhoods and the low-cost housing market.

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