Who We Are

Project Leadership & Team
The project is led by Jessie Daniels, Professor of Public Health, Sociology and Psychology at the Graduate Center and Hunter College and Polly Thistlethwaite, Chief Librarian at the Mina Rees Library, of the Graduate Center.

The project team includes Collette Sosnowy, Heidi Knoblauch, Wilneida Negron, Morgane Richardson, and Emily Sherwood.

Jessie Daniels
An internationally recognized expert on Internet manifestations of racism, Jessie Daniels is Professor at the Graduate Center and Hunter College.  She is the author of two books about race and various forms of media, White Lies (Routledge, 1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), as well as dozens of peer-reviewed articles in journals such as New Media & Society, Gender & Society, American Journal of Public Health, and Women’s Studies Quarterly.

From 1995-1999, Daniels taught Sociology at Hofstra University, then left academia to work in the Internet industry (1999-2000). There, she worked as a Senior Producer, creating live, online events for Fortune 500 companies. She came back into academia through an NIH-funded research project at Rikers Island, New York City’s largest jail, that explored the role of masculinity and race in promoting health for young men leaving jail and re-entering their communities (2002-2005). An article in the journal Health Promotion & Practice based on that research won the 2012 Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year Award.

Since 2007, Daniels has maintained a scholarly blog, RacismReview (with Joe R. Feagin), which regularly gets 200,000 unique visitors each month and has received well over two million visitors since it began. Her current work focuses on the ways gender, sexuality, race, and political economy influence feminist blogging; a recent piece about this research appears in the edited volume, Cyberfeminism 2.0 (Peter Lang, 2012). You can find her research on Academia.edu.  She was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for 2012-2013. Forbes magazine recently named her one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.”   In September, 2013, her post at the LSE Impact blog, “From Tweet to Blog Post to Peer-Review: How to be a Scholar Now,” was viewed more than 5,000 times in the first month. She can be found on Twitter @JessieNYC.

Polly Thistlethwaite
Offering a clear voice on issues of open access to scholarly communication since the beginning of JustPublics@365,  Chief Librarian Polly Thistlethwaite officially joined as co-PI on July 1 . Thistlethwaite has been on the Graduate Center’s library faculty since 2002 as Associate Librarian for Public Services. Before that, she served in libraries at Colorado State University, Hunter College, New York University, and Yale University. She has also held positions with CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and several local and national library organizations.

Connecting people to potentially life-saving information is central to Thistlethwaite’s work. She connects her activist past to her work as a librarian in this this way: “As a member of ACTUP and a junior librarian in the mid-to- late 1980s, I spent a lot of time sneaking AIDS activists into research libraries to get them the scholarship and data they needed. Although today, more of the medical literature is available to anyone now, the majority of academic work still remains locked.

How to make scholarly communication available to a wider audience has been central to the JustPublics@365 project, and early on we turned to the library for guidance on the nuances of this issue.  You can follow her on Twitter @MissReadings.