About Me

I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. 

I am a political and historical sociologist whose work examines the intersection of society and space. By centering space, my research approaches classical sociological questions such as the emergence of the modern state and the mechanisms of social reproduction and change from a fresh perspective that can consider the emplaced, material dimensions of social life and the power-laden struggles behind their production. This line of inquiry has led to research in multiple contexts, from historical studies of American state formation, to housing struggles in the present day San Francisco Bay Area, to questions of power, culture, and knowledge in social theory. 

My dissertation research uses large scale infrastructure projects such as the Erie Canal and first transcontinental railroad to investigate the role of space and territoriality in American political development. In my work, I reveal the way in which dispossessed Indigenous lands, as the “public lands” were woven into American public finance and the centrality of territory management concerns–such as infrastructure promotion–in American state formation. Through the case of the first transcontinental railroad, I also ask how American political institutions accommodated (or not) the contradictions of territorial expansion and development. In doing so, I theorize the United States as a case of settler colonial state formation and analyze the United States within its broader historical and international context–as a simultaneously postcolonial and settler colonial republican nation that would become a global superpower in the twentieth century–and the contradictions this generated. In other work, I use the history of infrastructure promotion in the United States to examine the origins of infrastructure-led development as a 20th and 21st century governmental rationality.

I am also an active public sociologist. Recurrent themes that motivate my work more generally are the intersection of society and space and questions about the power dynamics of knowledge and knowledge production. Since 2015, I have worked closely with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project to explore these themes in the context of the San Francisco Bay Area. This work has resulted in the book, Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement and Resistance (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2021).

I also express my commitment to public sociology  through my teaching where I seek to empower my students to be socially engaged and critical thinkers. My teaching has been recognized by awards from both the Graduate Division and the Berkeley Undergraduate Sociological Association.

My work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative, the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, and the Tobin ProjectMy research has been published in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and Contemporary Sociology, and has received an Honorable Mention for the American Sociological Association Theory Section Best Student Paper Award.

You can download my CV here.

Upcoming Events

July 9-11, 2022

 

 

 

August 5-8, 2022

Presenting “Untangling Republican, Imperial, and Settler Colonial Dimensions of American State Formation,” Decolonizing Development Mini-Conference at the SASE Annual Meeting, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Presenting “Untangling Republican, Imperial, and Settler Colonial Dimensions of American State Formation,” Theory Section panel of “Theorizing the United States” at the ASA Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA

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