About Me

I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. 

My dissertation examines the role of large scale infrastructure projects in modern state formation. Today it is taken for granted that states act as promoters of large scale infrastructure projects in the name of “development.”  Drawing on historical legislative and administrative records, I use the cases of the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroads, and the Hoover Dam to uncover the American lineages of this governmental rationality. In doing so, I explore how states came to play the central role in making physical territory governable and the nation-state a meaningful spatial container for economy and society, how questions of technology and expertise intersected with questions of the proper balance of what became known as public and private power in a liberal democratic society to generate novel political institutions and ideologies, and how territorial expansion acted as a recurrent source of political contestation. I ask these questions while analyzing the United States within its broader historical and international context–as a simultaneously postcolonial and settler colonial nation that would become a global superpower in the twentieth century–and the contradictions this generated.

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 while learning through action the ways in which academics can best work in coalition with practitioners and directly with communities to fight for social change. With AEMP, I am currently finalizing publication of a book project, Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement and Resistance (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2020).

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 UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative, and the Tobin Project. My research has been published in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies.


You can download my CV here.

Upcoming Events

July 18-21, 2020

Presenting “Indigenous Dispossession, the Public Lands, and Early Government Promotion of Infrastructure in the United States” at the “Decolonizing Development” Mini-Conference at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics

August 8-11, 2020

Co-organizing the CHS-GATS Mentorship Event at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association with Amanda Ball and Kristin Foringer

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