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Mohammed Rafi Arefin

Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow
(212) 992-9826
1 Wash Pl, Room 416

Office Hours
Monday 10-12

B.A. Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
M.A. Geography and Development Studies, University of Arizona, 2013
Ph.D. Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2018

Mohammed Rafi Arefin is an urban geographer whose research combines insights from urban geography, political economy, and social theory to study the politics of waste and sanitation. In his current research he is investigating the development and contestation of Cairo’s garbage and sewerage systems from the early 20th century to the present. Focusing on questions of urban history, accumulation, labor, and protest, Rafi’s work positions sanitation as a project of both state oppression and popular resistance. Rafi also explores his interest in waste and sanitation through collaborative projects on the North American hazardous waste trade and a more recent project on the microbiome and the microbiology of the built environment. His academic work has appeared or is under review in Geoforum, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Antipode, and the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. He has also published public scholarship in Edge Effects, Jadaliyya, and Discard Studies. Rafi’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA), the Mellon Foundation and the State of Wisconsin, the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, and the NYU Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Teaching and Research Interests

urban geography; infrastructure; critical geography; waste; discard studies; sanitation; infrastructure; political economy; development; psychoanalysis; affect; microbiome; urban political ecology; the Middle East

Mohammed Rafi Arefin