Bob Choflet is a faculty lecturer in African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He studies the radical intellectual and political traditions that emerge from spaces of racialized poverty, particularly as they intersect with processes of capitalism, social reproduction, and urbanization.

His book project, “Unfit for Family Life”: How Regimes of Accumulation, Sexuality, And Antiblackness Built (and Rebuilt) West Baltimore, derived from in-depth oral histories conducted over a number of years with West Baltimore residents who have lived in (or currently live in) public housing. Their thinking, coupled with rigorous archival research, forms the basis of an investigation into the late twentieth century demolition campaigns that tore down most of Baltimore’s public housing communities and the early twenty-first century privatization schemes that rebuilt them.

The manuscript closely reads a corpus of planning documents to reveal that policy-makers, housing reformers, and real estate interests constructed a shared cultural politics that imagined black women as imperiled actors, public housing as an impediment to building normative family life, and housing demolition and privatization as a necessary and normalizing corrective. The archive of resident voices, fashioned through oral history work, counter-narrates this moment, demonstrating how black women theorized their own conditions, imagined and developed material demands independent of policy makers, and worked to put these demands into practice. The project serves as a model for thinking about how competing claims to public institutions offer competing visions for how to reproduce public life.

Dr. Choflet has earned a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Maryland's Center for Teaching Excellence, a Faculty Mentor Award from the Honors Program's Winston Family Honors, was a 2015-2016 Teaching Fellow for the University of Maryland's Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, and recently received a Teaching Innovation Grant.

He is the Co-Chair of the AASP Faculty Curriculum Committee and serves on the Pedagogy Committee for the College of Behavioral and Social Science’s Anti-Black Racism Initiative.


Courses Offered:   

AASP 202 - Black Culture in the US (Spring 2021)
AASP 398Q - Black Baltimore in the Postracial US (Fall 2021)
AASP 499O - COVID and the Color Line (Summer 2021)
AASP 498 - The Invention (and Reinvention) of Whiteness (Spring, 2021)

Areas of Interest

  • Racial Capitalism
  • Poverty and Class
  • Housing Reform
  • Urban and Community Studies
  • Privatization
  • Whiteness and White Space
  • Anti-Blackness in Housing


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Metropolitan State College of Denver
Picture of Robert Choflet holding an animal
1119 Taliaferro Hall
African American Studies Department
choflet [at]