Steven Rubin is a documentary photographer whose work highlights numerous critical and contemporary issues including health disparities, rural poverty, refugee migration, immigrant detention, and the social and environmental impacts of energy development. Prior to coming to Penn State, he worked for more than two decades as a freelance photojournalist, traveling on assignment around the world and throughout the United States.
A Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in northeast India, he is also the recipient of the Leica Medal of Excellence, a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship and a grant from The Fund for Environmental Journalism. As a Community Fellow with the Open Society Institute (Baltimore), he co-directed the innovative program Healing Images, providing digital cameras, instruction, and therapy to survivors of torture. He was also a Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute (New York), which supported his timely photographic investigation of the federal government’s detention and treatment of immigrants – work that has been widely circulated by Amnesty International and Human Rights First.
His current projects investigate the rise of wind energy in the Midwest, the precarious conditions of Burmese Chin refugees in India, the upsurge of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the social and environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development in Pennsylvania. His book, Shale Play – Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields with documentary poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf, was published in August 2018.