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Adam Charboneau




- Stony Brook University

Research Topics:

Urban Studies, Local and Global Environmental Histories, Environmental Justice, Human Geography, Sustainability.


  • Bio/Research


    I’m an urban and environmental historian whose research interests lie at the intersections of public policy, class and race, and the uneven ways in which spatial transformations (i.e., development) affect socio-economic relations and our built and natural environments. Though most of my research and writing has focused on the contested politics of urban renewal and sustainability in and around New York City, I have recently gone further abroad in my efforts, writing about the kleptocratic tendencies of the government in South Sudan, which has bribed itself a weak measure of loyalty from fractious militia units through the destructive exploitation of the country’s natural resources and peoples. My doctoral work focused on the history of New York City’s community gardens and the various on-going efforts to preserve them. Complicating traditional narratives of these sites serving solely as spaces where the grassroots reclaim their right to the city, reimaging the metropolis as an oeuvre, this dissertation used New York’s community gardens as a prism for understanding the ways in which local appropriations of space are product of, and guided by, both bottom-up and top-down forces and are enmeshed in the contradictory politics of sustainability, urban renewal, and the festive rebranding of post-industrial cities. In a similar vein, I recently published a chapter examining the social, cultural, political, and economic forces converging in the uneven restoration—and potential environmental gentrification—of the lower Bronx River in the South Bronx. 

  • Publications


    “Intelligence and National Security in South Sudan: From Liberation to Predatory Kleptocracy,” in The Handbook of African Intelligence Cultures, ed. by Ryan Shaffer (New York: Rowman & Littlefield). In press, Fall 2022.

    “Restoring the Bronx River: Local Reclamation and Festive Rebranding in Postindustrial New York City,” in Coastal Metropolis: Environmental Histories of Modern New York City, ed. Steven Corey and Carl Zimring (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, March 2021), 98-111.

  • Links