David Fasenfest

David Fasenfest

Associate Professor
Adjunct Professor and Graduate Faculty, Environmental & Urban Change, York University, Canada


313-577-2735 (fax)


 3229 FAB

Curriculum vitae





David Fasenfest

Dr. Fasenfest received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1984. His research interests center on urban sociology, race/class/gender, labor markets and workforce development, income inequality and community economic development.  His most recent publication, Marx Matters (Brill) received a 2022 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Publication.

During his 25 years as an Associate Professor at Wayne State University Dr Fasenfest has received several WSU internal grants and almost $5 million in external funding, has produced five edited volumes, written 29 refereed book chapters, 28 refereed journal articles, contributed 40 essays to academic journals and has written entries in academic Handbooks and Encyclopedia. For the past 20 years he has edited of the journal Critical Sociology (SAGE UK, Impact Factor of 1.883; 5-year Impact Factor of 2.682), in 2000 was the founding editor for the book series Studies in Critical Social Sciences (published by Brill NL, with 250 books in print and 70 manuscripts under contract) and in July 2019 became the founding co-editor (with Alfredo Saad Filho, King’s College London) of the series New Scholarship in Political Economy to promote innovative scholarship by new Ph.D.s and early career scholars (also published by Brill, with 25 books in print and 32 manuscripts under contract).

In addition to his general efforts to disseminate critical scholarship, for the past four years, he provides guidance and support to new Ph.Ds. and early career scholars through workshops on how to succeed in academic publishing given at institutes and universities in Japan, China, England and Germany.  Most recently he has been appointed Adjunct Professor and Graduate Faculty in Environmental & Urban Change, York University, Canada and as an External Research Associate of the York Center for Asian Research.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Urban sociology

  • Critical sociology

  • Marxist sociology


David Fasenfest has been active internationally for the past twenty years.

This is a sample of his international presentations:

  • “On the Importance of Korean Marxism” presented at Korean Capitalism and Marxism, Korean Office for Research and Education, York University, Toronto, 28-29 January, 2023
  • “Integrating Regional Research on Poverty” presented at Bottom Workers in Asia: Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Bangladesh, organized by the Institute for Social Theory and Dynamics, Tokyo and Hiroshima, 25-27 September, 2022
  • “On a Socialist Transition” presented at Why the USSR Has Gone: Lessons for the Future of Socialism, International Conference, Center for Modern Marist Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg, August 20-21, 2021
  • “Marx and Modernization: A Critical Evaluation” presented at The 3rd World Marxism Conference, Peking University, Beijing, July 17-18, 2021
  • “Limits of Technology Led Development” presented at Global Transformation of Modern Society and National Development Goals of Russia, III Moscow Academic Economic Forum, Moscow Academic Economic Forum and the Free Economic Society of Russia, Moscow, May 26-27, 2021
  • “Engels an​d the Reduction of Global Poverty,” VI Saint Petersburg Economic Congress (SPEC-2020), S.Y. Witte Institute for New Industrial Development, Free Economic Society of Russia, St Petersburg, December 4
  • “What is to be Undone: How to improve the conditions of the working class,” International Forum on Engels and the Science of the XXI Century, Center for Modern Marxist Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian National Library, Free Economic Society of Russia, Moscow, Nov 28
  • “Global Poverty: A Marxian Analysis,” International Conference on Marxism and Anti-poverty of Mankind, Special Session on Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of Engels's Birth & the 150th Anniversary of Lenin's Birth, School of Marxism, Peking University, Beijing November 27

Over the past several years he has received a grant from the Institute of Social Theory and Dynamics, Hiroshima, Japan, to organize and participate in a three day workshop on the political economy of Japanese capitalism, Tokyo December 2019. He received a grant from the Norwegian Research Council to participate in a workshop at the Norwegian National Technical University to present his work on constructing the research object, Trondheim October 2018 and from the Norwegian National Technical University to participate in a Professional Development Workshop, Trondheim, December 2022..

He was invited to participate in the Second World Congress on Marxism, Peiking University, Beijing May 2018. His work on research methods and proposal development was the focus of a grant from Shanghai University to participate in a five days seminar, Shanghai May 2017. He continues to be invited to universities to offer workshops to graduate and early career scholars on academic publishing (most recently SOAS, London 2018; Shanghai University Shanghai 2018; King's College London 2019; University of Eastern London 2020; Loughborough University London 2020).


  • Ph.D. (Sociology) August, 1984, University of Michigan
  • M.A. (Sociology) May, 1982, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.A. (Chinese Studies) May, 1979, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.A. (Economics) May, 1978, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A. (Economics) June, 1971, City College of CUNY, New York

Awards and grants

Lifetime Achievement Award, Marxist Section, American Sociological Association, 2017.


  • Workshop: A Critical Assessment of Japanese Society, Institute for Social Theory and Dynamics, Hiroshima, Japan, December 20-23, $7,500


  •  Fifty Years Since 1968: A reflection on social protest globally, Institute for Global Studies, Shanghai University, November 30-Deember 1 $4,000
  • Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Seminar: “Constructing the Research Object in Social Research,” Trondheim, Norway, October 10-13 $3,500
  • Second World Congress on Marxism, Peking University and the School of Marxism, Beijing, China, 5-6 May $4,000
  • Seminar on Preparing Graduate Students for Research and Publication, Shanghai University, China, May $7,500 


  • Seminar on Research Methods and Proposal Development, Shanghai University, China $5,000
  • Workshop on Academic Publishing, Shanghai University, China $4,500
  • Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris, CUNP - Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, “Sociological Theory and Practice Revisited,” Paris, France, September 20-25 $7,500


  • Michigan Emergency Managers: Processes, Practices and Performance, Michigan ACLU $25,000


  • RCN-SEES: Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology (SMART) Coordination Network, (Co-PI/Steering Committee Member), National Science Foundation SEES, (Award Abstract #1140000) $721,800
  • Input/Output Analysis of Labor Contribution and Educational Attainment in Gross National Production, Center for Education and Work, Georgetown University, (Contract RX 2462-477-DF) $35,000


  • Leveraging Partnerships to Sustain and Grow Tier-One Automotive Jobs in Michigan, MEDC and contributing corporate partners, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Manufacturing Competitiveness Program, Job Training Grant, , (Grant # 04-1278, UAW Tier 1 Consortium) $600,000


  • Supporting Female Prisoners Post-Release, for Women ARISE/Project PROVE, Hudson-Webber Foundation $300,000
  • Implementing Employment Training in State Prisons through Distance Learning: A Pilot Program (continuation funding, Year 2), Hudson-Webber Foundation $100,000


  • Judicial Oversight Demonstration Project Impact Evaluation Survey, Urban Institute, Washington, DC $842,000
  • New Economy Employment in an Old Economy Region: A Study of Temporary Employment in Southeastern Michigan, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research $63,480
  • Implementing Employment Training In State Prisons through Distance Learning: A Pilot Program, Hudson-Webber Foundation $150,000


  • Evaluation of the Economic Adjustment Program, Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce $299,262
  • Adult Prisoner Education Environmental Scan and Impact Assessment, Michigan Department of Corrections $101,757
  • Adult Prison Education Pilot Development, Hudson-Webber Foundation $43,200
  • Statewide Household Survey on Workforce Issues, Regional Workforce Development Boards $125,991


  • Evaluation of the national planning and implementation process of the EDA program for local economic development, US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration $209,000
  • Environmental Scan and Strategic Plan of Workforce Development, and a survey of households assessing workforce experience and labor supply, City of Detroit, Employment and Training Department $165,059

Selected publications

  • Marx Matters (ed.) Leiden: Brill

Forthcoming publications

  • The Emergence of Critical Sociology, in Clyde W. Barrow (ed) Encyclopedia of Critical Political Science, London: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Marxism or Economic Sociology, in Milan Zafirovski (ed.) Handbook of Economic Sociology, New York: Routledge
  • Fallacies of Neoclassical Economic Knowledge, in Fran Collyer (ed) Research Handbook for the Sociology of Knowledge, London: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • 海外全球学研究期刊的梳理与介绍 (Introduction to Global Research Journals), with Xiaoxiao Xie, Chinese Global Studies Review, Shanghai University, China
  • Megacities, in George Ritzer (ed). Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition, London: John Wiley & Sons
  • Sociology, (with Graham Cassano) in Beverley Skeggs, Sara R. Farris, and Alberto Toscano (eds) Handbook of Marxism, London: Sage
  • Global Poverty: A Marxian Analysis, (with Alfredo Saad-Filho) in ВОПРОСЫ
  • ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОЙ ЭКОНОМИИ (Problems in Political Economy), Moscow: Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences

Courses taught by David Fasenfest

Winter Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022

Fall Term 2021