Rachel Heiman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School. She received her B.A in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the generative relationship between habits, sentiments, and spaces of everyday life and emerging cultural, political, economic, and environmental conditions. She is the author of Driving after Class: Anxious Times in an American Suburb (University of California Press, 2015) and co-editor (with Carla Freeman & Mark Liechty) of The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography (School for Advanced Research Press, 2012). Her current project, for which she received a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Post-Ph.D. Research Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and an ACLS Fellowship, brings together anthropology, urbanism, and architecture to explore emerging subjectivities, modes of citizenship, and regimes of governance amid efforts to redesign suburbia for a more sustainable future. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Humanities Center, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, and a faculty fellow at the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies. In Spring 2021, she was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Advanced Research Collaborative at the Graduate Center/CUNY.
Rachel Heiman served as Chair of the Urban Studies Program from 2016-2018 and Coordinator of the Prior Learning Program in BPATS from 2004-2018 and 2021-present.
2004 Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1996 M.A. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1992 B.A. in Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
Driving after Class: Anxious Times in an American Suburb. California Series in Public Anthropology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015.
The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography. Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012. (Co-edited with Carla Freeman & Mark Liechty)
SELECT ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS:
“Introduction” in The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography, eds. Rachel Heiman, Carla Freeman, and Mark Liechty. Pp. 3-29. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012. (Co-authored with Mark Liechty & Carla Freeman)
“Gate Expectations: Discursive Displacement of the ‘Old Middle Class’ in an American Suburb” in The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography, eds. Rachel Heiman, Carla Freeman, and Mark Liechty. Pp. 237-69. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012.
“‘At Risk’ for Becoming Neoliberal Subjects: Rethinking the ‘Normal’ Middle-Class Family,” in Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation, eds. Lynn Nybell, Jeffrey Shook and Janet L. Finn. Pp. 301-13. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
“The Last Days of Low-Density Living: Suburbs and the End of Oil,” Built Environment 32 (May 2007): 213-26.
“The Ironic Contradictions in the Discourse on Generation X, or How ‘Slackers’ are Saving Capitalism,” Childhood 8 (May 2001): 275-93.
“Vehicles for Rugged Entitlement: Teenagers, Sport-Utility Vehicles, and the Suburban Upper-Middle Class,” New Jersey History 118 (Fall/Winter 2000): 22-33.
“2017 Access Awardee Rachel Heiman Reflects on Experiences in Salt Lake City, ” Vernacular Architecture Newsletter (Winter 2018).
“Anxious Times in an American Suburb," UC Press Blog: Where Bright Minds Share Bold Ideas (August 15, 2014)
"Book Review of Protecting Suburban America: Gentrification, Advocacy and the Historic Imaginary, by DeniseLawrence-Zúñiga," Journal of Anthropological Research 75 (Summer 2019): 301-302.
"Book Review of Creative Urbanity: An Italian Middle Class in the Shade of Revitalization, by Emanuela Guano," Anthropology Book Forum, July 3, 2017.
"Book Review of Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City, by Julian Brash," PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 38 (November 2015): 365-67.
“Book Review of Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars, by Amy Best,” Journal of Consumer Culture 7 (November 2007): 413-15.
Class anxieties, subject formation, suburban life, sustainable design, habits of affect, structures of sentiment, the consumption of class security, racial & spatial politics of class, zoning & the built environment, ethnography & ethnographic writing, youth culture & family life, United States, global middle classes
Awards And Honors
Advanced Research Collaborative/CUNY, Distinguished Vistiing Fellow, 2021
Stanford Humanities Center, External Faculty Fellow, 2018-2019
American Council of Learned Societies, ACLS Fellowship, 2018-2019
Wenner-Gren Foundation, Post Ph.D. Research Grant, 2017-2018
Vernacular Architecture Forum, Access Award, 2017
Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies, Internal New School Faculty Fellow, 2016-2017
National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH Summer Stipend, 2016
The New School Provost’s Office, Faculty Research Fund Grant, 2015
The New School Provost's Office, Distinguished University Teaching Award, 2010
Russell Sage Foundation, Visiting Scholar, 2006-2007
School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, Westfeldt Bunting Summer Fellow, 2006