16 Social Scientists Join the Faculty of the Division in 2016

Dean's Office
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UChicago SSD

The Division of the Social Sciences welcomes 16 new faculty members, ranking from assistant professor to professor. This cohort represents an impressive range of expertise in many fields and methodologies. Please welcome our newest additions to the Division of the Social Sciences:

Luc Anselin – Professor, Department of Sociology

Luc Anselin is one of the founders of the field of spatial econometrics. His current work focuses on the analysis of spatial data (i.e., data containing a specific location) ranging from exploration to visualization and modeling. His work encompasses the development of appropriate methods, their implementation in open source software, and application in empirical studies, including environmental and natural resource economics, real estate economics, economics of innovation, criminology, public health, electoral studies and international relations. Anselin’s publications include many hundreds of articles and several edited books in the fields of quantitative geography, regional science, geographic information science, econometrics, economics, and computer science.

Anselin joins the University of Chicago from Arizona State University, where he was Regents' Professor, Walter Isard Chair, and the founding director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. He also previously held appointments at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Texas at Dallas; West Virginia University; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University (‘80). He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected fellow of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. In 2006, Anselin received the prestigious Alonso Memorial Prize for Innovative Work in Regional Science. He is an honored recipient of the 2005 Walter Isard Award.

  • Research Foci: spatial econometrics, analysis of spatial data.

Ruth Bloch Rubin - Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Ruth Bloch Rubin studies American politics, with a substantive focus on legislative institutions, political parties, and American political development.  Combining archival and interview data, her current work explores how divisions within political parties drive congressional development and structure lawmaking.  Challenging existing theories of party power in Congress, she highlights the role of intraparty organizations in shaping both substantive and procedural change. Rubin is also working on a project that examines Congress’s provision of health services to American Indians in the early nineteenth century. She joins the University of Chicago from Harvard University, where she was Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014.

  • Research Foci: American politics, with focus on legislative institutions, political parties, and American political development.

Benjamin Brooks - Assistant Professor,  Department of Economics

Benjamin Brooks develops innovative computational approaches to overcome problems of incomplete information in economic theory. His research contributes to fundamental questions in economics, such as how a firm decides to divide a market, and what welfare consequences such decisions have. Brooks was a Research Fellow with the Becker Friedman Institute in 2015-2016, and came to the University of Chicago from Princeton University, where he earned his PhD. He has held research posts at Princeton, Yale University, and the World Bank, and was the recipient of the Harold W. Dodds Fellowship in 2012-2013. He graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a BA in mathematics and quantitative economics in 2008.

  • Research Foci: Microeconomic theory, auctions, repeated games, computational game theory.

Leonardo Bursztyn - Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Leonardo Bursztyn's current research uses field experiments to understand how individuals make schooling, consumption, and financial decisions, and how these decisions are shaped by individuals' social environments. Bursztyn's research has been published in leading academic journals such as Econometrica, the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Journal of Political Economy. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Chicago, Bursztyn was an assistant professor of Economics at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Bursztyn received his Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard University in 2010.

  • Research Foci: political economy, development economics, and labor economics.

Manasi Deshpande - Assistant Professor,  Department of Economics

Manasi Deshpande studies public finance and labor economics, with a focus on social insurance and public assistance programs. Deshpande’s research interests include the effects of social insurance and public assistance programs on consumption, health, and well-being, and the interaction between these programs and labor markets. Her dissertation work studied the long-term effects of welfare programs on the labor market outcomes of children in adulthood and on household labor supply and disability receipt. Deshpande was previously a pre-doctoral fellow in Health & Aging and Disability Policy Research at the NBER and received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She recently served on the Social Security Advisory Board’s Disability Policy Advisory Panel. Prior to graduate school, she was a policy advisor at the White House National Economic Council and a research assistant at The Hamilton Project at Brookings. Deshpande received a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. She holds a B.A. in economics, mathematics, and humanities from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Research Foci:  empirical public finance and labor economics, with focus on effects of social insurance and public assistance programs and their interaction with labor markets.

Adom Getachew - Neubauer Family Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Adom Getachew is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College. Her research interests are situated in the history of political thought, with specialized interests in international law, theories of empire and race, black political thought and post-colonial political theory. Getachew’s current project, “The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination,” excavates and reconstructs an account of self-determination offered in the political thought of Nnamdi Azikiwe, W.E.B Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Eric Williams, Julius Nyerere and Michael Manley during the height of decolonization in the twentieth century. Drawing on archival research in Barbados, Ghana, Switzerland, Trinidad and the United Kingdom, the project illustrates how these anti-colonial critics, intellectuals and statesmen reinvented the concept of self-determination as a project of world-making in which they reconceived international political and economic relations. Getachew was most recently Provost Career Enhancement Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago during the 2015-2016 year. Getachew holds a joint PhD in Political Science and African-American Studies from Yale University.

  • Research Foci: history of political thought, with specialized interests in international law, theories of empire and race, black political thought and post-colonial political theory.

Alice Goff - Assistant Professor, department of History

Alice Goff is a historian of modern German cultural and intellectual life. Her research and teaching focus on the relationships between material objects and political thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Goff’s current research traces the history of artworks caught up in the looting, iconoclasm, and shifting boundaries of German states during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars and the consequences of their displacement for German political, religious, and intellectual practice at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  Goff will join the University of Chicago in Fall 2017 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship with the Michigan Society of Fellows. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015.

  • Research Foci: history of museums, aesthetics, and the relationships between material objects and political thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Greg Kaplan – Professor,  Department of Economics

Greg Kaplan joins the University of Chicago from Princeton University where he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. In his research, Kaplan deploys close microeconomic analysis and theoretical modeling to make novel contributions to major macroeconomic questions, such as the impact on labor supply of young adults’ decisions whether to form households, or how tax rebates boost consumption among households with largely illiquid assets, such as housing and retirement wealth. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University and M.Sc. in Economics from London School of Economics. Kaplan has most recently published on consumption and fiscal stimulus payments, mobility and labor market risk, and migration.

  • Research Foci: Macroeconomics, Labor Economics, Applied Econometrics.

Darryl Li – Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Operating at the intersection of law and anthropology, Darryl Li’s research addresses vital contemporary issues. His current research looks at law, violence, and Islam. In his first book, under contract with Stanford University Press, Li focuses on transnational jihad movements in the international legal order. He is also at work on a project funded by the Social Science Research Council on migrant labor in private military industries. Before joining The University of Chicago, Li earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he later served as an Associate Research Scholar in Law and a Robina Visiting Human Rights Fellow, and Ph.D. from Harvard. In addition to his academic work, Li has written amicus briefs, served as an expert witness in human rights cases, and written for major media publications.

  • Research Foci: War studies, international law/legal anthropology, migrant labor in private military industries; South Asia, Middle East.

Emily Talen – Professor, Division of Social Sciences

Emily Talen is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Urbanism and serves on the editorial boards of Open Urban Studies Journal and Urban Morphology. Her research focuses on the link between urban design and social issues like equity and affordability. In her current book project, Talen explores the ideal of the neighborhood, comparing a wide range of perspectives on what makes a neighborhood, and the relationship between idealized neighborhood plans and reality. A previous text, City Rules: How Regulations Affect Urban Form, looks at urban codes over the ages -- showing that while many contemporary codes stifle communities, encouraging sprawl and even blight, revised codes can produce a more positive outcome. She has also investigated the link between subsidized housing and walkability of urban neighborhoods, and is active in developing methods to teach urban design. Talen comes to the University of Chicago from Arizona State University, where she was Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Research Foci: Urban form, sustainable cities and new urbanism.

Pietro Tebaldi - Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Pietro Tebaldi’s current research projects include an evaluation of current US healthcare reform (including the Affordable Care Act) that proceeds by estimating consumer demand and assessing how subsidies affect insurers' costs and market power. Tebaldi received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and M.Sc. in Economics and Social Sciences at Bocconi University.

  • Research Foci: Industrial Organization, Health Economics, Applied Microeconomic Theory.

Mareike Winchell – Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Mareike Winchell is a socio-cultural anthropologist who received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work explores how Bolivian land and resource reforms affect existing ethical and political traditions related to rural hacienda patronage. Her dissertation, “Intimate Landscapes: Patronage, Kinship, and the Ethics of Inequality in Post-Hacienda Bolivia” traces political claims premised on kinship duties and elite accountability as critical responses to government reforms. Her research integrates ethnographic, archival, and oral historical methods.

  • Research Foci: Indigeneity, political subjectivity, morality and justice, law, aesthetics, bureaucracy, land reform, race, nationalism, labor history, kinship and intimacy, history, affect, nationalism, race, materiality, and revolutionary movements.

Daniel Yurovsky - Assistant Professor, Department Of Psychology 

Dan Yurovsky studies how children’s rapid language acquisition emerges from the interaction of their learning mechanisms and the structure of their learning environments. Yurovsky’s work combines behavioral and computational analysis of infants’, children’s, and adults’ learning mechanisms with corpus analyses of the language children hear and the world they see. He was most recently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, working with Mike Frank from 2012 to 2016. He holds Ph.D.s in Cognitive Psychology and in Cognitive Science from Indiana University.

  • Research Foci: Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Cognitive Science; Learning; Cognition; Attention; Cognitive Development; Language Acquisition.



Michele Friedner – Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development

  • Research Foci: deaf, disability, India, development, anthropology, value, stigma.

Justin Grimmer - Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

  • Research Foci: Congress, representation, bureaucracy and political methodology.

Elliot Lipnowski - Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

  • Research Foci: microeconomic theory, information economics; organizational economics.