Michelle Fine

Michelle Fine

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies, Social Welfare, American Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY and founding faculty member of The Public Science Project, a university-community research space designed in collaboration with movements for racial and educational justice. In addition, Fine is recognized as Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa (UNISA) Psychology department, 2021 – 2024. As a scholar, expert witness in litigation, a teacher and an educational activist, Prof. Fine’s work centers theoretically and epistemically on questions of justice and dignity, privilege and oppression, and how solidarities emerge.


Michelle Fine taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 – 1991, and then came to the Graduate Center, CUNY. Fine has served as an expert witness in a range of educational, racial and gender justice class action lawsuits including girls suing for access to Central High School in Philadelphia and The Citadel in South Carolina, students of color suing for racial equity in Wedowee Alabama, youth fighting for equitable financing and facilities in Williams v. State of California, and most recently a finance inequity lawsuit for the children of Baltimore.


Across thirty years, key publications include many “classics” – books and articles on high school push outs, adolescent sexuality – called the “missing discourse of desire,” the national evaluation of the impact of college in prison, the struggles and strength of the children of incarcerated adults, the wisdom of Muslim American youth as well as chapters and books on epistemic justice and critical participatory inquiry.


Michelle Fine has received a range of professional awards including Honorary Degrees from Bank Street College, Lewis and Clark, Stanford University and the Distinguished Alumni award from Teachers College Columbia, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association.