Emma Crane

Emma Crane

Race, Gender, and Political Economy

Emma Shaw Crane won the University Medal in 2009. 

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2009, she was a Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Fellow in Southern Mexico and Central America, where she helped to coordinate a series of popular education and community radio workshops for indigenous and Garifuna people’s organizations. The following year, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Colombia, where she worked with the Critical Medical Anthropology Group at the National University in Bogotá. With her colleague Camilo Ruíz, she did a yearlong ethnography of the young families of former combatants in Colombia’s civil war living with HIV. When she returned to the Bay Area, she worked in East Oakland with Street Level Health Project, a clinic and organizing project serving migrant workers and their families. In 2012-2013 she was a Research Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, where she conducted historical research on the entanglement of anti-poverty programs with counterinsurgency strategies in Oakland in the 1960s. With Ananya Roy, she organized a conference, titled Territories of Poverty, <http://blumcenter.berkeley.edu/territories/>, bringing together scholars of development in the Global South and scholars of the welfare state in the Euro-Atlantic to establish a new, interdisciplinary, relational agenda for critical poverty scholarship.

In January of 2014 Emma became  Academic Coordinator of the Urban Inequality and Poverty Collaborative < http://ced.berkeley.edu/collaborate/collaboration-in-action/urban-inequa..., housed in the College of Environmental Design. The Urban Inequality and Poverty Collaborative is a new initiative concerned with contemporary processes of urban inequality and poverty in the global South. With special emphasis on Brazil, India, and South Africa, the Collaborative will build research and teaching partnerships with key academic institutions, social movements, and pro-poor policy institutions located in these countries. In fall of 2014, Emma will begin a doctoral program in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU.

Emma writes: “My ISF major prepared me to take different kinds of knowledge seriously and to think across disciplines. It encouraged me create a research project that was meaningful to me, and allowed me to pursue learning about those questions anywhere that I wanted to. Because of the flexible coursework and limited requirements, I was able to take graduate classes, which helped me explore what kind of advanced degree I might be interested in. Finally—and for me, the most important part—of my ISF major was the freedom to take multiple classes with the same professors in several departments, and in doing so, build strong mentor relationships that are still deeply important to me years after graduating.” 

She titled her research program “Race, Gender, and Political Economy”. Emma’s thesis was titled “The Fight for the City: Race, Citizenship and Gang Injunctions in California.” Throughout her undergraduate years, she worked at a continuation high school facilitating radio and poetry workshops. Her students’ experiences with zero tolerance policing led to her thesis exploring how gang injunctions—local ordinances that prohibit things like standing in groups in public—target young men of color. She was particularly interested in thinking about how gang injunctions, and policing more broadly, mobilize collective anxieties about race and class to make public spaces unsafe for people of color and poor people—essentially, how they work to make the city whiter.


Forthcoming. Territories of Poverty: Rethinking Poverty Scholarship. Co-edited with Ananya Roy. University of Georgia Press. Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series.

Forthcoming. “Gray Areas: The War on Poverty at Home and Abroad” with Ananya Roy and Stuart Schrader. In Territories of Poverty. Co-editors Ananya Roy and Emma Shaw Crane, University of Georgia Press.

Forthcoming. “The Anti-Poverty Hoax: The Politics of Community Development in the American 1960s”, with Ananya Roy and Stuart Schrader. Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning.

2013. El Sonar de las Mujeres de la Tierra y el Mar. Co-edited with María Reyero and Luz Aída Ruiz. Adelante Alliance/Zuccotti Park Press.

2013. “Género, Estado y terror: vivencias del VIH” in Salud, normalización, y capitalismo en Colombia. Andrés Góngora and Marco Alejandro Melo, Editors. National University of Colombia Press, Bogotá.

2012. “Defending the Right to Health in Colombia”. With César Ernesto Abadía, NACLA Report on the Americas, 42:2, 70-73

2012. “Hamra”, “Home”, and “Open Letter on Our 6 A.M. Run” in Nowhere Near a Damn Rainbow: Writings from the Middle East. Hind Shoufani, Editor. Xanadu Press, Beirut.

2011. “Youth Radio: Celebrating Survival, Developing Voice” in Shut Up And Listen: Teaching Writing That Counts in Urban Schools by Christopher Knaus. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

2010. Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25. Naomi Shihab Nye, Editor. GreenWillow Books, Harper Collins. 2010. “La poesía es un acto político porque implica decir la verdad”. Revista Desinformémonos 7.