Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (2015)
Title: "Promised Land: The Politics of Abandonment and the Struggle for a New Detroit"
M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Master of Arts in City and Regional Planning (2008)
Title: “Pork Chop Politics: Constructing Rural Economies and Imagining Alternatives”
B.A. Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology (major), Photojournalism (minor) (1999)
Title: “Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Healthcare Networks in Honduras”
Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Assistant Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development, 2015
Urban studies, critical race studies, political ecology, environmental justice, agro-food studies, social movements, critical development studies, property and land tenure, participatory research, ethnography.
2014 Sara Safransky, “Greening the Urban Frontier: Race, Property, and Resettlement in Detroit,” Geoforum 56: 237-248.
2014 Andrew Newman and Sara Safransky, “Remapping the Motor City and the Politics of Austerity,” Anthropology Now 6, 3: 17-28.
2012 Sara Safransky and Wendy Wolford, “Land Grabs in the Americas and their Alternatives,” published online by the Land Deal
2012 Sara Safransky, “Book Review: Liquid Materialities: A History of Milk, Science and the Law. By Peter Atkins.” Cultural Geographies
2010 Kevin Fox, Elizabeth Hennessy, Scott Kirsch, Lisa Marshall, Sara Safransky, Autumn Thoyre, and Jenna Tiitsman, “Book Review
Essay: A Catalog of Things. Edited by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel,” Social & Cultural Geography 11, 2: 191-199.
MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW
2014 Sara Safransky, Article, “Green urbanisms: Competing vision for postindustrial futures in Detroit,” Antipode, Special Issue on
Critical Agrarianism in Theory and Practice.
2014 Linda Campbell, Andrew Newman, and Sara Safransky, eds. Detroit: A People’s Atlas (book proposal submitted to Wayne State University Press; manuscript under preparation.)
AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, & GRANTS
2014 Institute for Human Geography Grant (co-PI, Detroit collaboration)
2014 Wenner-Gren Foundation Engaged Anthropology Grant
2014 Social Science Research Council Grant for Critical Agrarian Studies Workshop (co-PI)
2013 Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2013 Contested Landscape Summer Institute Fellow, Cornell University
2012 Antipode Scholar-Activist Project Award (co-PI, Detroit collaboration)
2012 Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
2012 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant
2011 Landscape Architecture Foundation Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship
2010 University of California Community Forestry and Environmental Resource Fellowship (collaborator on engaged scholarship
2010 Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program
2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (3-year fellowship)
2008 Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Graduate Fellow with “The Changing Nature(s) of Land”
1998 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant, Undergraduate Thesis Field Research
2012 Tuition Incentive Scholarship
2012 Linda and David Lewis Summer Research Fellowship
2011 Off-Campus Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
2010 Latin American Studies Tinker Field Research Grant
2008 Best Master’s Thesis Award, Department of City and Regional Planning
2008 Robert E. Bryan Fellowship, Carolina Center for Public Service
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2010 Teaching Assistant, Environmental Justice, Anthropology Department
2009 Co-Instructor, Geographies of Economic Change, Geography Department
2008 Teaching Assistant, World Regional Geography, Geography Department
2008 Co-Facilitator, Food Systems and Economic Development Workshop, Planning
2008 Teaching Assistant, Power, Property Rights and Social Movements, Geography Department
2007 Teaching Assistant, The Fate of Food, Geography Department
2007 Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Women’s Studies, Women’s Studies Program
2011-12 Doctoral Dissertation Research, Detroit, MI, fifteen months
2010-11 Participatory Research and Documentary Production, Warren County, NC, one month
2010 Preliminary Dissertation Field Research, Detroit, MI, two months
2009 Exploratory Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and surrounding region, two months
2008 Collaborative Team Research, Eastern NC, one month
2007-08 Master’s Thesis Research, Eastern NC, three months
2004 Research Assistant for Book Project on Food Politics, three months
2000 Research Assistant for Book Project on Redevelopment in Stamford, CT, six months
2013 “Green Redevelopment as Settler Colonialism: Struggle over Land and the Future of Detroit,” American Association of
Geographers Annual Conference, Los Angeles, April 9.
2013 “Hantz Off Our Land: Urban Redevelopment, Land Politics, and the Greening of Detroit,” Invited Colloquium Talk, Whittier
College, Whittier, CA, March 7.
2012 “Uniting Detroiters: Public Participation in the Motor City,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San
Francisco, November 14.
2011 “The Politics of Abandoned Land in Detroit,” American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, Seattle, April 17.
2010 “Re-imagining Detroit: The Country in the City,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, November
2009 “Prairie Gold: The Global Rush to Farm Fuel,” Bio-fuels Conference, sponsored by Journal of Peasant Studies, Halifax, Canada, October 16-17.
2009 “Smithfield Food Inc.’s ‘Good Food. Responsibly.’ and Imagining Alternatives,” American Association of Geographers Annual
Conference, Las Vegas, March 24.
2008 “Pork Chop Politics: Constructing Rural Economies and Imagining Alternatives,” Food and Social Movement Panel at Agriculture
Food and Human Values Society Conference, “Resilient Culinary Cultures: Disaster, Innovation, and Change in Foodscapes,” University of New Orleans, New Orleans, June 4-7.
2008 “Building Local Food Systems in North Carolina,” Sawyer Seminar, Fate of Food Conference, UNC-Chapel Hill, April 25-26.
INSTITUTIONAL & COMMUNITY SERVICE
Current Member, Editorial Board, Uniting Detroiters Project
2011-12 Co-Organizer, Research Justice Working Group, Detroit
2008-12 Board Member, Center for Integrating Research and Action, UNC-Chapel Hill
2011 Member, Hiring Committee, Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill
2010-11 Graduate Committee, Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill
2004-10 Board Member, Maverick Farms, Valle Crucis, North Carolina
2010 Coordinator, Social Movements Working Group, UNC-Chapel Hill
2009-10 Curriculum Committee, Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill
2008-09 Colloquium Committee, Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill
American Anthropological Association; Association of American Geographers; Center for Integrating Research and Action (UNC-Chapel Hill); Social Movements Working Group (UNC-Chapel Hill); Land and Sovereignty Research-Activist Collective