Graduate Student Fellows


2017-2018 Graduate Student Fellows


Ibrahim Shikaki is a Palestinian economic researcher currently completing his PhD in economics at NSSR. His research interests include macroeconomics, development economics and political economy. His work studies the evolution of the wage and profit shares in the Palestinian economy as well as the economic impact of the Israeli occupation, both theoretically and empirically.


Since 2014, Michael McHugh has worked as a full-time employee of The New School’s Lang College and studied as a part-time graduate student at The New School for Social Research, where this May he will complete his master’s degree in liberal studies. Michael’s graduate thesis focuses on worker cooperatives, and how they offer a unique opportunity to transcend capitalism now, while also creating fundamental, lasting change. Specifically, his thesis imagines The New School’s own transition to a worker cooperative structure, while carefully considering the benefits of, challenges to, and motivations for doing so. Prior to The New School, Michael worked for The Posse Foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Grinnell College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with honors.

Guillermina Altomonte is a journalist and a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at The New School for Social Research. Her dissertation is an ethnographic study of the labor done by elderly patients, their families, and workers in health care institutions to collectively design and produce transitions in elder care under structural conditions that largely place this responsibility and its costs on individuals. As a Heilbroner fellow she will focus on theorizing the coproduction of care by paid and unpaid actors as they jointly sustain social reproduction. By foregrounding the work of negotiating projects and futures in transitional elder care in New York City, her goal is to expand existing definitions of care work and, more broadly, conceptions of labor in late capitalism.


Meredith Hall is a doctoral candidate in sociology at The New School for Social Research. Her dissertation, The Claiming of Color: An Inquiry into the Processes of Modern Possession sets out to develop a theoretical framework for the sociological study of attribution—the social process of assigning credit for the creation of an idea or work. Are colors inventions, resources, or commodities? Are they created or discovered? Who gets credit for innovations in color? Meredith aims to answer these questions by examining the market in color as part of a larger economic sociology of attribution. Her work brings together sociological literature on standardization and classification, research on scientific and artistic production processes, and critical legal studies on property rights to help explain how color developed as an object of ownership and credit in the United States during the twentieth century. She also holds a master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University and most recently co-authored, along with Robin Wagner-Pacifici, “The Resolution of Social Conflict” for the Annual Review of Sociology (2012).

 Daniel Wagnon: After operating a non-profit offering services to the homeless and under privileged in the Bay Area, Daniel came to the New School to complete his PhD in Philosophy. His research aims to uncover and bring to light the tradition of Phenomenological Marxism which until now remains an obfuscated, under-appreciated, and largely forgotten movement within 20th century Marxism and socio-political theory. His dissertation attempts to rectify this through the pursuit of three lines of analysis. The first task seeks to unearth and explicate the principle features of this tradition along with the major figures who make up this movement. The second focus attempts to demonstrate the virtues of this tradition in juxtaposition to the more dominate interpretations and forms of Marxist thought – namely, structuralism, critical theory, economism, and orthodox Marxism – where Phenomenological Marxism can be understood as both avoiding, and responding to, the set of problems which undermine these other approaches. Finally, it is argued that by utilizing the conceptual resources found in Phenomenological Marxism, primarily we-subjectivity, lived-history, groups-in-fusion, group-intentionality, etc., we can find the resources for offering a re-interpretation of Marxist Praxis that provides new avenues for understanding the dynamics which sustain effective collective social-political action, while avoiding the problematic binary between a praxis rooted in either an over-centralized vanguard party, or a disperse network of de-centralized, though ineffective, affinity-groups.

 Amanda Zadorian is a Ph.D. candidate in Politics at the New School for Social Research. Her research concerns the forms of political legitimacy and accountability that accompanied processes of global economic financialization. Her dissertation, Competing for Legitimacy: Oil Industry Reform in Russia and Brazil, is a study focused on national oil companies Rosneft and Petrobras during the 2004-14 commodity boom. The adoption of a shareholder identity for the state in the oil industry requires us to revise our traditionalmodel of oil-rich “rentier states” to include forms of governance by professional and financial benchmarks, which further reduce the accountability of political leadership to society.