Offshoot Projects

Throughout the PublicsLab’s existence, fellows created new organizations and initiatives for the performance of public scholarship. Here is a sample of the projects that took shape with the PublicsLab’s support, which continue to resonate within and beyond the Graduate Center.

Academia for All is an Instagram account created by PublicsLab Fellow Queenie Sukahdia. In it, she ‘translates’ scholarly humanities texts into bite-sized summaries for public audiences, in order to make them accessible beyond the ivory tower. The project is developed for publics who do not engage with scholarly thought on a day-to-day basis and uses Instagram as a platform because it is already home to an active community of “bookstagrammers” and most importantly is a common way people consume content today.

DocBloc logo


Docbloc was founded in 2021 by Senior PublicsLab Fellow Ash Marinaccio, with the mission of experimenting with documentary form and bringing together artists working across documentary genres for conversation and collaborations in live performance. Docbloc believes in the power of documentary storytelling and that solidarity is created when artistic movements are connected, and collaborations are fostered.

Edge Effect logo

Edge Effect Media Group

Edge Effect is a “think and do tank” that creates cultural gathering spaces where makers and audiences can share knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. Created by PublicsLab Fellows Jess Applebaum and Nic Benacerraf, this coalition unites scholars, artists, scientists, journalists, activists, and humanitarians of all stripes in the creation of works that address the harmful aspects of our profit-driven culture. Its process takes inspiration from the edge-blurring practices of devised theater, which foster a shared ethics of consensual collaboration, a generous and joyful workspace, critical self-awareness, and healing through antiracist and antipatriarchal action.

Queens Council on the Arts logo

How You Can Commission Art
PDF of Project

Born out of Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Commissioning Program, How You Can Commision Art is a step-by-step guide that walks everyday citizens through the process of creating your own art commission and develop new culture within your community that reflects your values. The handbook, edited by PublicsLab Fellow Daniel Valtueña, and addresses problems within the world of arts commissioning and offers possibilities for democratizing Art Commissioning Processes.

Iota School logo

Iota School

Iota is an organization focused on technical teaching, accessibility, and infrastructure development. Created by Patrick Smyth, Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanities Entrepreneurship at the PublicsLab, Iota works with major research centers in the humanities, sciences, and industry. Iota clients include Space Telescope Science Institute, the research center that performs scientific operations for the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes, and the City University of New York (CUNY). Iota also receives funding from Google to work on Sigstore, an open source project for securing software provenance. In addition, Iota is also developing the Iota platform, a flexible way to develop, host, and share curriculum.

The Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work logo

The Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work

The Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work (NAASW) strives to amplify a practice of social work aimed at dismantling the prison industrial complex (PIC) and building the life-affirming horizon to which abolition aspires. We are committed to working towards a social work rooted in solidarity over charity, one that is decolonized, de-professionalized, anti-capitalist, and is committed to accountability, reparations, and continual transformation. This requires that social work become unrecognizable from its current form. Its efforts include ongoing political education; research / knowledge generation around carceral and abolition social work; developing an online hub of abolitionist social work resources. PublicsLab Fellow Cameron Rasmussen is a core Collaborator with the organization.