My experiences working and studying in a variety of cities throughout my twenties and a long-running interest in African politics led me to the discipline of geography in the first place. I am an urban geographer mainly interested in the politics of urban governance and development. Cities are vital sites for the remaking of social and material infrastructures and I attend to the practitioners that do this work.
My dissertation project focuses on the politics of planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Though "slum" infrastructures have long characterized its urban fabric, Addis Ababa is steadily being reordered through new investments, a variety of transnational flows, and state programs of massive redevelopment. Within this transformative and ambivalent period, I explore the work lives of planners who advance renewal programs on core urban land. As planning becomes a standard (if contested) practice of governing urban lives and landed property, it regrounds urban questions of class, citizenship and of the influence of party/political ideology. The project draws on "low theory" convergences of socio-legal studies, postcolonial studies, Marxism and new African urbanisms. With support from a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship and an affiliation with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the Addis Ababa University, I completed the fieldwork stage of this project in 2015. Now I am writing. My dissertation commitee includes Dr. Steve Herbert (Chair), Dr. Ben Gardner, Dr. Lucy Jarosz, and Dr. Victoria Lawson.
My door is open to students, scholars, planners, policymakers, activists, urbanists, and others!
Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center
American Association of Geographers
Law and Society Association