Welcome to my website. I am currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, where I teach courses on environmental sustainability and global health, urban political ecology, and environmental justice. I am also a faculty affiliate of the Metropolitan Policy Center in the School of Public Affairs.
My scholarship, situated at the nexus of critical geography, urban studies, and development studies, is broadly concerned with urban environmental injustices in both the South and North. My research seeks fundamentally to understand how and to what end, states enact programs of environmental and spatial governance in urban areas, and how marginalized groups mobilize to claim rights and resources in the process. I focus on water and land as lenses into urban environmental change. Specifically, I study how urban land and the waters that flow through it are ruled, accessed, and struggled over at key historical moments. I develop ethnographic insights from Bangalore/Bengaluru, a globalizing city in India, to theorize inequality, state formation, and political agency. One of my central findings is that in contexts marked by a plurality of land tenures–as is the case for most postcolonial cities–market-oriented water policies are charged arenas for struggles over the right to belong. In 2017, I was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Grant to study land grabs and corruption discourses through ethnographic, cinematic, and literary narrative in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and a cross-section of global cities.
n seeking to decolonize academic inquiry, my work has also turned to questions of race, place, and climate justice in Washington, DC. I have also written on urban and environmental history in the US through a radical anti-racist lens. At core, I seek to theorize and politicize prospects for more just and sustainable urban futures across the North-South divide.
Prior to coming to American University, I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy initiative at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, based out of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science. I received a Master’s and PhD from the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at the University of California, Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies.
Please browse my research and publications to learn more. To download my latest (August 2017) CV, please click here.