Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of critical psychology, women’s studies, social welfare, American studies and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY and founding faculty member of The Public Science Project, a university-community research space designed in collaboration with movements for racial and educational justice. In addition, she has been recognized as Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa (UNISA) Psychology Department, 2021–24. As a scholar, expert witness in litigation, a teacher, and an educational activist, her work centers theoretically and epistemically on questions of justice and dignity, privilege and oppression, and how solidarities emerge.

She taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1991, and then came to The Graduate Center, CUNY. She has served as an expert witness in a range of educational, racial- and gender-justice class action lawsuits, including girls suing for access to Central High School in Philadelphia and The Citadel in South Carolina; students of color suing for racial equity in Wedowee, Alabama; youth fighting for equitable financing and facilities in Williams v. State of California; and, most recently, a finance inequity lawsuit for the children of Baltimore.

With a rich international network of collaborators and activist scholar colleagues, she has spent time teaching and researching at the Institute for Maori Studies in Auckland, New Zealand; the Centre for Narrative Research at the University of East London; University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa; Universidad Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil; and at the Euroclio Institute in Nicosia Cypress.

Across thirty years, her key publications include many “classics”: books and articles on high school push outs, adolescent sexuality (called the “missing discourse of desire”) the national evaluation of the impact of college in prison, the struggles and strength of the children of incarcerated adults, the wisdom of Muslim American youth, as well as chapters and books on epistemic justice and critical participatory inquiry.

Author or co-author/editor or co-editor of more than 20 books, her most recent publications include:

Fine, M. (2017) Just Methods: Expanding the Methodological Imagination. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fabricant, M. and Fine, M. (2012) Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover of Public Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Sirin, S. and Fine, M. (2008) Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated identities through Multiple Methods. New York: New York University Press.

Fine, M., M. Torre, R. Roberts, J. Bloom, L. Chajet (2004) Echoes of Brown: Youth Documenting and Performing the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fine, M., Torre, M., Boudin,K., Bowen, I., Clark, J., Hylton, D., Martinez, M. “Missy,” Roberts, R., Smart, P. and Upegui, D. (2001) Changing Minds: The Impact of College in a Maximum Security Women’s Prison. www.publicscienceproject.com

Fine, M., Weis, L., Powell, L. and Burns, A. (2004) Off White: Essays on Powr, Privilege and Resistance. New York: Routledge.

Fine, M. and Weis, L. (1998) The Unknown City: The Lives of Poor and Working-Class Youth Adults. Boston: Beacon Press.

Guinier, L., Fine, M. and Balin, J. (1994) Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change at an Ivy League Law School. Boston: Beacon Press.

Fine, M. (1991) Framing Dropouts: Notes on the Politics of a Public High School. Albany: SUNY Press.

Asch, A. and Fine, M. (1988) Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture and Politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

She has been honored with a range of professional awards, including honorary degrees from Bank Street College, Lewis and Clark, and Stanford University, and the Distinguished Alumni award from Teachers College Columbia, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association.


Seminars & Working Groups

Wellcome's Mindscapes NYC Working Group

The Center for the Humanities, CUNY is hosting a Working Group for local Mindscapes partners in New York to workshop projects and collaborate over the next year.