Emmaia Gelman is a 2021-22 postdoctoral Lecturer in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis at NYU, where she teaches political and cultural histories of race, queerness, rights, and movements and their intersections with colonialism and capitalism. She earned her PhD in the American Studies program at NYU SCA (2021), and her Masters in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT (2007).
Emmaia's research investigates political and cultural processes in the production and contestation of US ideas about race, identity, and “protecting rights”– particularly the largely behind-the-scenes role of conservative institutions in producing them, and the deployment of those ideas to oppose antiracist organizing in domestic and global spheres. This work uses historical research, cultural studies analysis, and political archives, and is grounded in ongoing conversation with Black, Jewish, Arab, Muslim, and queer community organizations.
Her dissertation, “Empire against race: a critical history of the Anti-Defamation League, 1913-1990”, historicizes the hate crimes framework, anti-bias education, and the establishment of “subjects of remedy” in the context of neoconservative projects including the marginalization of antiracist movements, anti-communism, and global pursuits of Western power.