Fellows & Affiliates
Justin McBrien earned his PhD in environmental history at the University of Virginia. His work focuses on the intersections between capitalism, climate change, and environmental justice activism during the Cold War era. He has published a variety of articles in both scholarly and popular venues, including a piece in The Washington Post on rural climate activists in the 1950s and an article in the volume Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (PM Press, 2016) where he first introduced the concept of the Necrocene, an idea now used across a wide range of disciplines to describe the current extinction event as not just of the erasure of species, but of peoples, languages, and cultures. Justin is currently writing a manuscript, “The First Extermination Event: Capital and Extinction.”
Gillet Gardner Rosenblith is a historian of race, space, gender, and poverty in the 20th century United States. In addition to her work with the Memory Project, she is working on her book, which will be based on her dissertation, “Criminalization, Empowerment, and the End of Public Housing as We Knew It, 1969-2000.” Gillet has done extensive collaborative research and published on the Confederate Statues in Charlottesville. She also contributed to the Charlottesville Syllabus. At present, Gillet is also helping the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, North Carolina build an archive from their extensive organizing materials. She is an award-winning teacher who has taught in the Departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, History, and African and African American Studies.
Micah Ariel Watson is a filmmaker and playwright with roots in the Black church and an addiction to 16mm film. Her short film 40th & State screened at TIFF Cinematheque, MOCA in LA, and BlackStar Film Festival. Micah was a 2019 Sundance Theater Lab Finalist and a 2019 O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist for Wake Up Music! Her play Alaiyo is the 2020 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Hip-Hop Creator Award, Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, and received distinction for the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. Micah was selected for Tribeca Film Festival’s 2020 N.O.W. Creator’s Market. She is the writer/director of Black Enough, a web series streaming on YouTube. Originally from Wichita Kansas, Micah is an MFA graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts.