My research is broadly concerned with racist and sexist violence, poverty, and environmental risk as forms of harm and death. It uses phenomenological and person-centered ethnography to examine how people experience and address these forms of harm and death through practices and relations of care, and how these practices and relations of care intersect with state-based efforts to protect vulnerable communities. My dissertation project focuses on Antofagasta, the extremely unequal capital of Chile's booming copper mining industry in the Atacama Desert, where over the last decade thousands of predominantly Black and Indigenous migrants from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador have seized government lands and built around 70 so-called "campamentos" (self-built settlements) on the arid hillsides surrounding the city. Located in zones that city authorities consider at high environmental and infrastructural risk, the campamentos are the focus of well-meaning state demolition and resettlement programs, and are also the targets of state-based and everyday racist, anti-migrant, and sexist violence. The dissertation focuses on the individual lives of migrant women who live in and lead these campamentos as they endure the slow destruction of their communities and struggle for the urbanization of their campamentos into permanent neighborhoods that may afford different possibilities for being a migrant woman in Chile in the margins of established state protection mechanisms.
Prior to my doctoral work, I earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Psychology from UC Berkeley. I have also conducted ethnographic work on Christian addiction treatment centers in self-built settlements in Peru.