CUGS Faculty

Garth Myers

Garth Myers CUGS Faculty


Most of my research examines urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa. I’ve done field research in and archival research on Zanzibar, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya, Lilongwe in Malawi, Dakar in Senegal and Lusaka in Zambia, among other places. I am interested in the legacies of European colonialism, the politics of urban planning, and cultures of environmental management in these cities. More recently, I’ve begun examining cities in the Caribbean, southern China and even Hartford, with some of these same interests in mind.

Xiangming Chen

Xiangming Chen Dean & Director, CUGS


I am a globally oriented comparative urban scholar with a main focus on cities in China. While a lot of my China based work has been about the megacities of Shanghai and Shenzhen, I have done field research in and published on China’s small cities and towns bordering North Korea, the Russian Far East, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan. I have also stretched the geographic focus of my research and publication to cities in Southeast Asia and South Asia, as well as the city of Hartford. In my secondary but even broader research focused on globalization, I have been examining the local and regional impacts of China’s investments in energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing in the Global South.

Emily Cummins

Emily Cummins CUGS Post-doctoral Fellow


As a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Urban and Global studies, my work as an interdisciplinary sociologist and urban ethnographer is focused on the politics of urban change, development, and the production of urban futures. I'm currently at work on my first book manuscript, which is an ethnographic study of future and place-making in the city of Detroit. Based on 16 months of fieldwork, broadly examines the contestations and expulsions that that spatialize in the (re)making of urban spaces. While most of my fieldwork has taken place in the context of the post-industrial U.S., a second project uses a comparative lens to examine issues of production and urban mobility in Bangkok, Thailand and Changchun in the Jilin province in China.

Luis A. Figueroa-Martínez

Luis A. Figueroa-Martínez CUGS Faculty


My scholarly interests range widely. My initial research focused on slavery, post-slavery and race in Puerto Rico. It resulted in the book "Sugar, Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico", co-published in 2005 by The University of North Carolina Press and Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Recipient of an essay award in 2006 from the Puerto Rico Chapter of the PEN Club International, this book examines the transition from slavery to post-emancipation on the island by looking closely at the southeastern Guayama region, the sugar plantation zone most dependent on African slave labor in Puerto Rico in the 1800s.