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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

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Marisa Solomon

Marisa Solomon is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at The New School for Social Research whose work traces the social and material conditions that produce trash and trashiness as the terrain upon which differentially positioned actors make claims about space, the body and aesthetics.

MARISA SOLOMON is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at The New School for Social Research whose work traces the social and material conditions that produce trash and trashiness as the terrain on which differentially-positioned actors make claims about space, the body and aesthetics. Drawing on research in two historically black spaces — the working-class landfill town of Suffolk, Virginia and the gentrifying neighborhood of Bed-Stuy (often rhymed with Pig-Sty), Brooklyn, NY — her dissertation, Letting Trash Talk: Garbage in the Order of People, traces how trash’s material and discursive flows shape racialized spatial relations producing neighborhoods and people to be "cleaned" and "bettered." If trash is a way of naming the power relations that circumscribe black politics, "trashiness" is also a political-aesthetic practice through which claims of both betterment and refusal are mobilized.

Marisa’s work seeks to understand how trashiness is an effort to find and name resources on the social, political and economic scales of racial capitalism that circumscribes how, when, and for whom something (including trash) is allowed to be an aesthetic choice. Interested in the intersections between materiality, aesthetics, technology and infrastructure, Marisa develops an analysis of the racial and gendered aesthetics of political imaginations as they traverse scales from the body to the neighborhood to the region to the heretofore unrealized black future.

GRADUATE INSTITUTE FOR DESIGN, ETHNOGRAPHY & SOCIAL THOUGHT, 63 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10003