Dr. James Fraser
Dr. James Fraser is a Visiting Scholar & Professor at the University of Minnesota and consults on urban and environmental issues. He was previously on the faculty at Vanderbilt University (American Studies; Institute of Energy & the Environment), Duke University (Public Policy) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning.
James Fraser is an urban geographer with expertise in urban development, environmental geography, and the politics of governance. His research engages issues of social justice and how that intersects particularly with housing.
At its core, James Fraser's work analyzes the ways in which state-market-society relations shape political, social and economic impacts of the production of urban space both through the optics of understanding how individuals and communities experience urbanization and urban life. In particular, his work focuses on critical conceptualizations of community and community development that draws on political-economic and post-colonial theorizations to analyze the ways in which people make participate in processes of urban restructuring throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and connecting these themes to broader issues of belonging, property, personhood, and race. In doing so he examines capital-state and state-society relations and how they inform one another.
Currently, James Fraser is examining raced and classed-based processes that constitute the production of urban space, and how people experiencing poverty encounter and shape urban (re)development. His latest and ongoing work examines conceptualizations of precarity, precarious life, politics, and the manner in which different populations assemble survival and thriving strategies.
His current book project is entitled The Making of the Precarious City. His work has been supported by multiple National Science Foundation awards, contracts with government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as foundations including the Ford, Annie E. Casey, and NeighborWorks America. Fraser has testified before the Unites States Congress on urban redevelopment and housing, and his research for FEMA has been used in legislative sessions to inform floodplain policymaking. His work can be found in a wide range of public and academic outlets, and he serves as a reviewer the National Science Foundation, as well as for numerous academic journals and university presses.