Innovation Studio 240A
Affiliated Department or Office
The Global School
AB History and Literature Harvard University
MA Sociology and Historical Studies New School for Social Research
PhD Sociology and Historical Studies New School for Social Research

Dr. Mimi Sheller is the Dean of The Global School and is an internationally recognized scholar and higher education leader, with fifteen years of executive leadership across academic units, research centers, and professional organizations. Prior to joining WPI, she was tenured Professor of Sociology, Head of the Sociology Department, and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dr. Sheller was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from Roskilde University, Denmark, in 2015, the Drexel Provost’s Award for Outstanding Career Scholarly Achievement, in 2018, and has held Visiting Professorships and Fellowships at the University of Miami (2019); the Annenberg School of Communication at University of Pennsylvania (2016); the Penn Humanities Forum (2010); the Center for Mobility and Urban Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark (2009); Media at McGill University, Canada (2009); the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (2008); and Swarthmore College (2006-2009).

Dr. Sheller was founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities, founding co-director of the Centre for Mobilities at Lancaster University, England, and past President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility. She helped to establish the “new mobilities paradigm” and is considered a key theorist in the interdisciplinary field of mobilities research and in Caribbean studies. Her work has received research funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, the British Academy, the U.K. Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Macarthur Foundation, the Mobile Lives Forum, and the Graham Foundation in Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Dr. Sheller serves on the international Advisory Boards for the Society for Caribbean Research, the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at University of Pennsylvania, the Bauman Institute at the University of Leeds, the Asia Mobilities Research Network and the Academy for Mobility Humanities at Konkuk University, South Korea, and the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation. She is also an Honorary Member of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Mobility and the Humanities at University of Padua, Italy. Dr. Sheller has also offered expert consultation for the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction, the National Science Foundation’s Haiti Earthquake Research Review, the Social Science Research Council’s Climate Change Group, and companies such as Michelin.

Dr. Sheller has published more than 150 articles and book chapters, and is the author or co-editor of fifteen books, including Advanced Introduction to Mobilities (Edward Elgar, 2021); Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020); Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes (Verso, 2018); Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity  (MIT Press, 2014); Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2012); Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Routledge, 2003); and Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (Macmillan Caribbean, 2000). 

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5: Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Gender Equality Goal

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Clean Water and Sanitation Goal

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Goal

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities - Reduce inequality within and among countries

Reduced Inequalities Goal

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Sustainable Cities and Communities Goal

SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 13: Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate Action Goal

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Goal
Worcester Business Journal
WPI receives $500K to expand Caribbean coastal community adaptation research

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans award that will see WPI will co-design climate resilience plans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Global School will also lead knowledge sharing between NOAA climate adaptation partnership teams in the Caribbean and the Northeast. 

Tomorrow is the Problem
Haiti in the Contemporary Imagination

Mimi Sheller, Dean of The Global School, discusses some of the historical and cultural underpinnings behind inequalities in power and mobilities in this podcast exploring Haiti and its future. The podcast is a project of the Knight Foundation Art + Research Center at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.