Emily R. Cummins, PhD


2616 Posvar Hall
412 383-4296


Emily Cummins is an interdisciplinary urban sociologist with specializations in globalization, , ethnography, and social movements. Her work is broadly concerned with the politics of the built environment in redeveloping cities, examining how the technical aspects of planning articulate with our social and political world. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Detroit her current book manuscript in progress looks at that various ways that narratives of a “future city” and grand plans for revitalization reconfigure racialized inequality in the present. Prior to this, Emily lived in southern New Mexico and worked on a number of border justice issues, including examining strategies to upgrade city services like electricity and water in the colonias, or the so-called informal neighborhoods along the U.S./Mexico border, as well as working with fair trade advocates and women’s sewing cooperatives from Chiapas, Mexico. She has published several articles in scholarly journals that utilize ethnography and combine elements from these various projects. Prior to joining the sociology department as a post-doc at Pitt, she held a fellowship at the Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.


  • Ph.D, Northeastern University, 2016

Fields of study: urban sociology, social movements, globalization, political sociology

Race, Class, and Gender