Robin Nagle

Image: Robin Nagle

Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University
M.A., Anthropology, Columbia University
B.A., Anthropology, New York University

Areas of Interest: Discard studies, material culture, labors of waste, urban geography

Course(s) Taught: Environmental Studies; Discard Studies; Invisible Metropolis; Science Fiction; Garbage in Gotham; Making a Museum; Oral History and Labors of Waste


    Research Collaborative Grant (with Rosalind Fredericks), Center for the Humanities, NYU, 2016
    Faculty Fellow in Residence, Third North Residence Hall, 2014 - present
    TED talk, 2013
    Roothbert Fund Fellowships, 1992, 1989
    AAAS Mass Media, Science, and Engineering Fellowship, 1988

Teaching Statement: The classroom is a starting point for building a collaborative community of scholars, but learning and teaching also thrive when they happen outside classroom boundaries. My goal as a teacher is to excite students about the themes around which a class is organized and to help them delve deeply into the questions and theories that we’ll explore. I want them to come to the end of a semester with far greater awareness of, and respect for, the complexity and nuance of the world around us. I also want them to be more confident in articulating their own analyses of the ideas, texts, and debates that we discuss.

Teaching is a privilege; like writing, it’s a skill that can always be improved. Every class is an opportunity to engage and challenge students more fully, and to create richer, more supportive conditions for our shared journey of intellectual discovery.


The Job is in the Field: Notes from Municipal Anthropology. Journal of Business Anthropology, 2016 (forthcoming)

Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

Discard Studies (co-founder with Max Liboiron), 2010

Claiming the Virgin: The Broken Promise of Liberation Theology in Brazil. Routledge, 1997.

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Updated on 09/09/2016