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 AU’s Metropolitan Policy Center in the School of Public Affairs and co-lead the Environment Team at AU’s new Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
My scholarship, situated at the nexus of critical geography and urban studies, is broadly concerned with urban environmental injustices in both the South and North. Drawing on critical theoretical traditions, 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 discourse through ethnographic, cinematic, and literary narratives and stories in Bangalore, Mumbai, and a cross-section of global cities.
My work has also turned to questions of race, place, and climate justice in Washington, DC, where I have been conducting research on legacy environmental racisms, housing segregation, and deep histories of climate vulnerability in Ward 7 near the Anacostia River. In recent work, I have called for an abolitionist and anti-racist reconceptualization of climate justice. More broadly, I have written on urban and environmental history in the US through an anti-racist and intersectional feminist lens. At core, I seek to theorize and politicize prospects for more just and sustainable urban futures across the North-South divide and to decolonize urban ecologies.
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 (January 2019) CV, please click here.