Miriam Greenberg

DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentSociology Department
AffiliationsCenter for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California,
Chicano Latino Research Center,
Latin American & Latino Studies
Phone831-459-3516 (msg)
Web Site Office Hours Sign Up
Personal Webpage
Critical Sustainabilities: Competing Discourses of Urban Development in California
No Place Like Home
OfficeRachel Carson College, Sociology, Room 208
Office HoursWednesdays 9:00-12:00pm; and by appointment. To sign up: https://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/lmeqk
Campus Mail StopRachel Carson College Faculty Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Miriam Greenberg

Research Interests

Urban sociology, geography, urban environmental studies, urban political ecology, disaster and crisis, sustainability studies, media and cultural studies, social movements, social theory, and the social, cultural, and environmental history of New York City, Buenos Aires, and California.

Biography, Education and Training

2000 - Ph.D. Sociology with Highest Distinction, City University of New York.

1986 – B.A. Urban Studies with a minor in Media Studies, Eugene Lang College at the New School for Social Research.

Miriam Greenberg is Professor of Sociology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research links urban studies, cultural studies, and the study of place, space, politics, and the environment.  She holds a PhD in Sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center, and is the author of Branding New York:  How a City in Crisis was Sold to the World (Routledge, 2008), and Crisis Cities: Disaster and Redevelopment in New York and New Orleans (Oxford, 2014). Since 2013, she has been directing the Critical Sustainabilites project, which can be found at: https://critical-sustainabilities.ucsc.edu/

Honors, Awards and Grants


  • 2014.  U.C. Humanities Research Institute: Residential Research Group, UC Irvine, in "Urban Ecologies."

  • Present-2010. Faculty Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California.

  • 2010. Winner of the Robert E. Park Book Award for Branding New York: How a City in Crisis Was Sold to the World, from the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.


  • 2013-12.  University of California’s Humanities Research Institute, California Studies Workgroup Grant for “Critical Sustainabilities: Analyzing Competing Discourses of Urban Development in California.” $18,000.

Selected Publications


Chapters in Books

Journal Articles

Selected Presentations

Public Lecture or Forum Participation

  • 2013. Talk in honor of David Harvey for "Social Justice and the City 1973-2013: 40th Anniversary Celebration", for the Graduate Program in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons The New School for Design and The Center for Place Culture and Politics, City University of New York.

  • 2011. "The Abandoned Movie Set: Art, Space, and the Politics of Crisis in 1970s-Era New York City." Talk given for workshop "Cultural Landscapes of Boom and Bust" for the “Creative City Limits: Urban Cultural Economy in a New Era of Austerity” conference. Department of Geography, University College London.

  • 2011. "Seminario Abierto: Branding New York: How a City in Crisis was Sold to the World." Área de Estudios Urbanos del Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani de la Facultdad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires. 

Papers Presented at Professional Meetings

  • 2015.  “Challenging Uneven Development: Right to the City Organizing in the Wake of Disaster,” for the Community Responses to Disaster and Crisis Panel, Eastern Sociological Society Meetings, New York City.

  • 2015.  Presider, “Presidential Session: Loft Living: Twenty-five Years Later” In honor of Sharon Zukin's book. Eastern Sociological Society Meetings, New York City.

  • 2013. "Critical Sustainabilities: Competing Discourses of Urban Development in California", for the Sustainable California? Panel at the American Association of Geographers in  Los Angeles.

  • 2012. "Landscapes of Risk and Resilience: The Socio-Spatial Production of Environmental Crisis in the U.S. and Latin America." RC24 panel: "Current Research in Environmental Sociology," International Sociological Association.

  • 2012. "New Urban Imaginaries in the Branded City: Towards a Critical and Comparative Approach." RC21 panel: "The role of design and social justice in 21st century cities: Paradoxes and challenges." International Sociological Association, Buenos Aires.



Courses Taught

SOCY 105A Classical Sociological Theory
SOCY 260 Culture, Knowledge, Power
SOCY 10 Issues and Problems in American Society
SOCY 177 Urban Sociology
SOCY 177E Eco-Metropolis
SOCY 177G Global Cities
SOCY 131 Media, Marketing, and Culture
SOCY 201 The Making of Classical Theory