CAREER: Pace University, New York, NY, lecturer, 1989-90; Eugene Lang College of the New School for Social Research, New York, NY, lecturer, 1989-93; University of North Carolina, Wilmington, lecturer, 1993-94, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, 1994-96; State University of New York at Buffalo, assistant professor of sociology, 1996—. Manuscript reviewer for Pine Forge Press, Gender and Society, 1996-97, and Urban Affairs Review, 1997; advisory board member for Wilmington Community Coalition, 1994-96, and CURE AIDS of Wilmington, 1994—; Wilmington Revitalization Initiative, member of grant-writing committee, 1995; Mema Project, Wilmington, NC, grant writer, 1995. Member of Project South and Puerto Rican Policy Institute.
MEMBER: American Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems.
AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from University of North Carolina Center for Teaching Excellence Course Development, 1994, University of North Carolina at Wilmington Faculty Summer Research Initiative, 1994, University of North Carolina, 1994, 1995, American Sociological Association/National Science Foundation, 1995, State University of New York at Buffalo, Research Development fund, 1997, University of New York at Buffalo, Julian Park Publication Fund, 1998, and Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, 1998, 1999; College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, University of Buffalo, 2000.
Selling the Lower East Side: Real Estate, Culture, andResistance in New York, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
Contributor to books, including Communities in Cyberspace, edited by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith, Routledge, 1999; and From Urban Village to East Village: The Battle for New York's Lower East Side, edited by Janet Abu-Lughod and others, Blackwell, 1994.
Contributor to periodicals, including Urban Affairs Review, Sociological Quarterly, Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, Journal of Community Practice, Rising East, Effective Teaching (online), Comparative Urban and Community Research, and Applied Social Research. Editorial board member, Journeys: The International Journal of Travel Studies.
SIDELIGHTS: Sociologist, researcher, and professor Christopher Mele lived in the Lower East Side of New York City during the 1980s while a graduate student at the New School for Social Research. Selling the Lower East Side: Culture, Real Estate, and Resistance in New York City draws on his research while he was there and looks at the changes wrought in this area during the twentieth-century. During that time, the Lower East Side was transformed from an over-crowded ghetto populated by Eastern Europeans and other immigrants to a neighborhood chiefly occupied by Puerto-Ricans and blacks that then began to attract artists and other bohemian types with its affordable housing and studio spaces. The area eventually became the high-rent, trendily renamed East Village that glamorizes and commercializes the neighborhood's crime, poverty, noise, and drug-related social problems. In the Online Gotham Center for New York City History Mele explained, "I am interested in examining the diverse ways the Lower East Side has been characterized since the late nineteenth century and how these characterizations have effected the area's development." He added, "In ways both intentional and unintentional, the dominant representations of the Lower East Side work their way into the various resistance tactics of local organizations and residents."
Sarah Ferguson noted in her Village Voice review of "Selling The Lower Eastside: Mele compiles an impressive wealth of archival data and historical surveys along with his own field research to illustrate how cultural representations have helped shape the political and economic development of the LES since the nineteenth century."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, February 15, 2000, Deborah Bigelow, review of Selling the Lower East Side: Culture, Real Estate, and Resistance in New York City, p. 186.
Village Voice, March 28, 2000, Sarah Ferguson, "LES Is More," p. 62.
Gotham Center for New York City History Web site, http://www.gothamcenter.org/ (February 8, 2002), "The Virtual Podium: Christopher Mele."