about

I hold a PhD in Cultural Studies from UC Davis, with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. I am currently a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I am affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. I am a co-organizer of the 2019-2020 Sawyer Seminar, “Interrogating the Plantationocene.”

My research addresses how power shapes rural environments, with a particular focus on the political ecology of agrarian change in the postcolonial Caribbean. In my work, I use ethnographic and historical methods to understand changing formations of power, knowledge, and capital in the Afro-Americas. My commitment a liberatory political ecology is indebted to a long critical humanist tradition in Caribbean studies, and draws from my interdisciplinary training in cultural studies, environmental humanities, postcolonial theory, and comparative literature.

I am conducting ongoing ethnographic research on Haiti’s high Central Plateau while preparing my first book manuscript, Freedom’s Ground. In Freedom’s Ground, I examine how 20th century political transformations shaped the socio-ecologies of Haiti’s central borderlands. The book draws primarily from fieldwork conducted with the Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP, or Peasants’ Movement of Papaye) in central Haiti between 2013 and 2017. Freedom’s Ground is an ethnography of one contemporary articulation in a broader genealogy of radical agrarian life whose geography stretches across the Afro-Americas.

 

Image: Woodring, Brown and Burbank geological map, published in Geology of the Republic of Haiti (1924)

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