- PhD, City + Regional Planning, UC, Berkeley
- MPP, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC, Berkeley
- MA, International + Area Studies, UC, Berkeley
- Racial capitalism
- Urban inequality
- Social movements
- Democratic practice
- Anti-racist action
As a scholar of racial capitalism, urban inequality and struggles for social justice, my research is motivated by three questions: 1) how is urban inequality reproduced? 2) how are inequalities normalized? and 3) how do marginalized communities and their allies contest these injustices?
I explore how places and practices construed as informal, illegal or lawless buttress networks of elite power and produce different kinds of urban spaces. Influenced by more than two decades of social movement activism, all my research begins from the premise that ordinary people have the capacity to understand and transform the conditions of their existence; indeed, communities are always engaged in life-making projects of survival and transformation. To this end, my research includes the knowledge and lived experiences of marginalized communities as part of building transformative social theory. Methodologically, I use feminist ethnography and archival analysis to understand how urban inequality is produced, maintained and contested, expanding the research gaze beyond the poor to investigate how the economic practices and value systems of elite actors reproduce inequality. Theoretically, I draw inspiration from feminist and Marxist geography, critical urban studies and anti-racist thought. Much of my research has been centered in Paraguay, drawing on relationships and expertise built through seventeen years of work there, with an additional research focus on Brazil. I also engage intellectual and activist projects in Albuquerque, New Mexico on themes of poverty, policing, anti-racism and abolition.
Forthcoming. Outlaw Capital: Everyday Illegalities and the Making of Uneven Development, University of Georgia Press, in the series Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation.
Peer Reviewed Articles
“Work Outside the Wage,” Editorial introduction to a special issue of the same name, Antipode, with Aman Luthra and Christian Anderson (co-editors). 2022.
“Informal Work and Sustainable Cities: From Formalization to Reparation,” One Earth, with Manisha Anantharaman, 3(3): 290-299, 2020. Spanish Translation.
"Outlaw Capital: Accumulation by Transgression on the Paraguay–Brazil Border," Antipode 52 (5), 2020.
"Uncertainty and the governance of street vending: A critical comparison across the North/South divide,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 43(3): 460-475, with Ryan Devlin, 2017. Spanish Translation.
“Affect and the dialectic of uncertainty: Governing a frontier city,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35(4), 2017.
“City-stories: Narrative as diagnostic and strategic resource in planning practice in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.” Planning Theory, 16(1), 2017. Spanish Translation.
“Reckonings and Encounters: The Work of Ananya Roy,” In C. Mukhopadhyay (Ed.) AESOP Booklet Series B: Exploring the Abstractions within Planning Debate, with Sara Hinkley.
Forthcoming. "Rethinking Sustainable Development Practice: From Intervention to Reparation,” In Teaching Environmental Politics & Justice, Sikina Jinnah, Flora Lu and Jessie Dubreuil (eds), Edward Elgar Press, with Manisha Anantharaman.
“Outlaw Capital and Territories of Populism,” GenUrb’s Feminist Explorations of Urban Futures Conference, York University, September 26 – 28, Toronto, 2019.
“Territories of Populism: Dispatches from Latin America,” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, April 3 – 7, Washington DC, 2019.
“Critical Theory from the South: Provincializing the Urban Revolution,” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, April 3 – 7, Washington DC, 2019.
“Urbanism and Frontier Economies: New Perspectives on Globalization from Ciudad del Este (Lecture in Spanish: Urbanismo y Economía Fronteriza: Nuevas Perspectivas sobre la Globalización desde Ciudad del Este),” the School of Architecture, Design & Art at the National University of Asunción, June 28, Asunción, Paraguay, 2018.
“The Urban Question in Paraguay (Lecture in Spanish: La Cuestión Urbana en Paraguay),” 11th Conference of Paraguay from the Social Sciences, School of Science, Technology and Art at the National University at Pilar, June 7-9 Pilar, Paraguay, 2018.
“The Right to the City & Urban Ethnography (Lecture in Spanish: El Derecho a la Ciudad y la Etnografía Urbana),” Catholic University, June 16, Asunción, Paraguay, 2018.
“Work Outside the Wage: Seeing Politics and Possibilities with Critical Comparison,” Annual Meeting of the American of Associations of Geographers, April 10-14, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018.
“Pedagogies of Race & Racialization,” Annual Meeting of the American of Associations of Geographers, April 10-14, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018
“Engaging Southern Theory: Challenging Hierarchies of Place & Knowledge,” Annual Meeting of the American of Associations of Geographers, April 10-14, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018.
“Contraband City: Outlaw Capital & Urban Development in the Brazil-Paraguay Borderlands,” UNM Geography Department Colloquium, November 3, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2017.
“Uncertainty & the Management of Street Vending: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay & New York City,” with Ryan Devlin, Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 12 – 15, Denver, Colorado, 2017.
“Organizing & Planning I: Labor & Work,” Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 12 – 15, Denver, Colorado, 2017.
“Organizing & Planning II: The Scholar’s Role in Social Movements,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 12 – 15, Denver, Colorado, 2017.
“Affective governance: Scales of political authority in a Paraguayan frontier town,” Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, April 5–9, Boston, Massachusetts, 2017.
“Deal-making, livelihood and urban rights,” Global Metropolitan Studies Symposium, 3-4 April, University of California, Berkeley, California, 2017.
“Sanctuary: A Rising Resistance Movement,” UNM Community & Regional Planning Teach Week, March 1, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2017.
“Understanding ‘Trumpism’ through Racism and Whiteness,” UNM Community & Regional Planning Teach Week, February 28, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2017.
“Outside the wage: Spaces, politics, possibilities,” American Association of Geographers. March 29 - April 2, San Francisco, California, 2016.
“Cities of Hope? Urban Organizing in a Global and Precarious World,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, November 2 – 6, Portland, Oregon 2016.
“Contraband city: Geographies of extralegal work and life in Paraguay’s frontier economy,” Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, May 13, Berkeley, California 2016.
“Livelihood outside the law: Street vendor politics & everyday planning practice in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,” Community & Regional Planning, University of New Mexico, February 4, 2016, Albuquerque, New Mexico 2016.
“Storytelling & planning,” Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 22 – 25, Huston, Texas, 2015.
“City-stories: Narrative as diagnostic of power in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 22 – 25, Houston, Texas, 2015.
“Rethinking urban governance: Making theory from ordinary cities,” Latin American Studies Association Congress, May 27 – 30, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2015.
“Clientelism, the ‘urban poor,’ and street vendor politics in Paraguay,” Relational Poverty Network Annual Meeting, October 27, Seattle, Washington, 2014.
“Critical geographies of corruption and the emotional politics of clientelism,” Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, April 8 – 12, Tampa, Florida, 2014.
Coronavirus and urban informality, with the Center for Investigation, Development and Innovation at the National University of Asunción, funded by Paraguay’s National Directorate of Science & Technology
The urban politics of informal recycling in Asunción, with Colectivo Guara, funded by the Fulbright Scholar Program and a UNM RAC Grant
Member, Sanctuary Campus Working Group, UNM
Facilitator, "Embodying Anti-Racism," A Course in Unlearning Racism
Community Action Projects with UNM students to support divesting UNM pensions from private pensions by passing a student government resolution, publishing a research blog about the impact of COVID-19 in prisons and producing a short documentary about the historic divestment win.
Fulbright Scholar, 2019
International Dissertation Research Fellow, Social Science Research Council, 2013
Fulbright Student Research Fellowship, 2013
Human Rights Fellow, UC Berkeley Human Rights Center (with the Centro de Documentación y Estudio, Asunción, Paraguay), 2012
Chancellor's Public Fellow, American Cultures Engaged Scholarship Program, UC Berkeley, 2010