Andrew Newman

Andrew Newman

Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology
Undergraduate Program Director


 FAB 3023

Andrew Newman

My work combines ethnographic, historical, and collaborative approaches to urban research. I study and engage the processes by which neighborhood residents act collectively to re-shape the social, political, and physical terrain of their cities. My research is in dialogue with scholarship on the relationship between racism, inequality, and urban form/infrastructure provision; social movements in cities; and urban ecology and foodways. I am currently beginning a new project called Empire’s Garden that examines how late 19th century anthropological research on race in France shaped (and was shaped by) the visual culture of Paris at the time. The project is at once a history of anthropology, a history of Paris, and an analysis of how colonial ways of seeing the world continue to shape our vision in the present day. My fieldwork and research collaborations have been focused on Paris, France and Detroit, Michigan.

I am actively recruiting MA and PhD students who are interested in environmental, historical, and urban anthropology. Contact the department for more information about our graduate programs, or email me to discuss the possibility of coming to study with me at Wayne State.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Research topics

  • ecology and environmental movements in cities
  • links between race, racism, inequality, urban form, and infrastructure provision
  • visual & multi-sensory approaches to the city
  • urban foodways
  • impact of anthropology & social research on urban environments & vice-versa

Research methods:

  • urban ethnography
  • historical anthropology
  • collaborative research 

Area Focus:

  • urban U.S.
  • France 


 Fieldwork/Collaborative Research: Paris, France (ongoing since 2007) ; Detroit, United States (ongoing since 2011)


Ph.D., Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center, 2011

Awards and grants

  • Career Development Chair, Wayne State University (2021-2022).

    Michigan Notable Book honor for A People's Atlas of Detroit by the Library of Michigan (2021)

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, Wayne State University (2016)

    Runner-Up/Commendation for Julian Steward Book Award for Landscape of Discontent, Anthropology and Environment Society, American Anthropology Association (2015)

  • My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, The Antipode Foundation, The Human Geographies Foundation, The City of Paris Science Council and the Humanities Center at Wayne State University. 

Selected publications

2020 Newman, Andrew. “Paris.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Urban Studies. Ed. Richardson Dilworth. New York: Oxford University Press.DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780190922481-0013

2020 Campbell, Linda. Andrew Newman, Sara Safranksy, and Tim Stallmann (eds.). A People's Atlas of Detroit. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

2020 Newman, Andrew. "Redesigning the Republic? Public gardens, participatory design, and citizenship in immigrant Paris." In Life Among Urban Planners Practice, Professionalism, and Expertise in the Making of the City (Jennifer Mack and Michael Herzelfd, eds.). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2018  Newman, Andrew. " '…And then the wall was knocked down:' Movements, politics, and the built environment in multiethnic Paris." In Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City, 6th Edition. (George Gmelch and Petra Kuppinger, eds.). Denver, CO: Waveland Press. 

2017 Newman, Andrew and Sara Safranksy. “Learning from Field Notes No.4: The Trumbull Community: Reflections on the Politics of Urban Land and Participatory Research,” in "Symposium: The Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute Then and Now..." 
Antipode Foundation.

2015 Newman, Andrew. Landscape of Discontent: Urban Sustainability in Immigrant Paris. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

2014 Jung, Yuson and Newman, Andrew. An edible moral economy in the motor city: Food politics and urban governance in Detroit. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 14(1). pp. 22-31.

2014 Newman, Andrew and Sara Safransky. Remapping the Motor City and the politics of austerity. Anthropology Now. 6(3) pp 17-28

2013 Newman, Andrew. Gatekeepers of the urban commons: Vigilant citizenship and neoliberal space in multiethnic Paris. Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography 45(4). pp 947-964

2011 Newman, Andrew. “Contested ecologies: Environmental activism and urban space in immigrant Paris.” City & Society. 23(3). pp 192-209


Currently teaching

ANT 3333 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology, 3 Credits



Courses taught

ANT 5060 Urban Anthropology, 3 credits,

ANT 3100 World Cultures, 3 credits

ANT 1100 Introduction to Anthropology, 3 credits

ANT 7010 Theory I, 3 credits

ANT 7630 Graduate Seminar in Cultural Anthropology, 3 credits

ANT 7900 Sythesis, 3 credits