Dr. Xuefei Ren awarded Urban Studies Grant to research pandemic impacts

March 4, 2022

Collaborating with faculty from York University (Canada) and University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), MSU Sociology Associate Professor Dr. Xuefei Ren is awarded a grant to study COVID-19's impact in vulnerable urban neighborhoods in Toronto, Johannesburg, and Chicago.

Dr. Ren recieved one of seven grants from The Urban Studies Foundation's The Pandemics and Cities research funding scheme to provide awards of up to £25,000 towards partnered urban research on Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. The scheme was very competitive, with over ninety applications received, the foundation reported.

"The city after Cov­id-19: vulnerability and urban governance in Chicago, Toronto, and Johannesburg" includes recipients Drs. Roger Keil and Philip Harrison, along with Dr. Ren. 

Dr. Ren is a comparative urbanist whose work focuses on urban development, governance, architecture, and the built environment in global perspective.She is the author of three award-winning books: Governing the Urban in China and India: Land Grabs, Slum Clearance, and the War on Air Pollution (Princeton University Press, 2020), Urban China (Polity, 2013), and Building Globalization: Transnational Architecture Production in Urban China (University of Chicago Press, 2011). She is currently working on two new projects. The first project examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on urban governance in six countries, including China, the United States, Canada, Germany, Brazil and South Africa. The second project compares culture-led revitalization in post-industrial cities, with Detroit, Harbin, and Turin as case studies. Her research has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has been selected as a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (2021-2023). She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.