I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley.
I am a political and historical sociologist working at the intersection of society and space. My work unpacks relationships of power and knowledge, and the political, economic, and material landscapes they are embedded within. 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 award-winning 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 federalism accommodated (or not) the contradictions of territorial expansion and development. In doing so, I theorize the United States as a case of state formation perched between between the age of empires and nation-states and ask what kind of political institutions are needed to make equitable decisions over land. 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. Since 2015, I have worked closely with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP). Inspired by feminist and decolonial epistemologies, AEMP produces data, maps, and analyses with communities fighting for housing justice instead of about them. This work has resulted in, among other publications and projects, a collaboratively published 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. I’ve taught and led classroom collaborations at UC Berkeley and Stanford. 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 UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, and the Tobin Project, among others. My research and writing have been published in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies, Environment & Planning D: Society and Space, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and Contemporary Sociology, and has won awards from the American Sociological Association section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology, and Honorable Mentions from the Theory section and the Comparative-Historical Sociology sections. I have been an invited speaker at venues from the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, to Urban Planning at MIT, and the Museum of Capitalism.
You can view my CV here.
July 20, 2023
Presenting “Politics in Space: The Case of the First Transcontinental Railroad and the Limits of Federalism” at the Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics, Rio de Janeiro