Matthew Kaliner

Matthew Kaliner
B.A., Brandeis University; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University

Matthew Kaliner

Visiting Lecturer in Sociology

Studies the intersection of culture and the city, focusing on arts, crime, and image or reputation.

I use spatial/mapping, statistical, and ethnographic methods to better understand how culture bears on urban processes. I try to unpack this through discrete research projects that tap into the different issues and contexts. For instance, in my dissertation, I investigated how neighborhoods' reputation for violence in DC impacted real estate markets and newcomers' willingness to buy in, above and beyond official crime rates. I also studied the spatial dynamics of visual artists communities in Greater Boston, tracking artists' role in neighborhood formation and revival.

At Harvard University I teach courses that blend culture and urban studies with questions of community, a focus on learning through research projects, and a high degree of engagement from students. I primarily teach courses on "Media and Popular Culture," "Arts, Culture, and Urban Neighborhoods," "Reinventing Boston," and "The Pursuit of Community in America." I also advise a number of independent studies and theses all aspects of popular culture and urban life.

At Wellesley this Fall, I will be teaching AMST 225 / SOC 225: Life in the Big City: Urban Studies and Policy.

In addition to my research and teaching, I am heavily engaged in the local arts community. I was appointed to the Board of the Somerville Arts Council in April of 2016, and joined the Board of the Somerville Open Studios (one of the largest open studio events in the US with nearly 400 artists involved each year) in August of 2016. When I'm not teaching or conducting research, you can find me putting up posters for or volunteering at various festivals, or going on bike rides around New England.