I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC. My research focuses on issues of security, cities, development, postcolonialism, environmental crisis and racial capitalism in East Africa. I am currently working on a book manuscript titled, Recolonizing Security, which is an ethnographic study of the war on terror in Kenya. I have also written academic and public scholarship on piracy in the Indian Ocean, the securitization of refugee governance in East Africa, student activism in North America, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. I was previously an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and International Affairs at Northeastern University, and have also taught at the City University of New York. Additionally, I am an Editor of the journal, Focaal: A Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.
My research and writing have been generously supported through grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright, the H.F.Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. I hold a PhD and MPhil in Anthropology from the City University of New York Graduate Center, a MA in Sociology from Central European University, and a BA in Philosophy from Bard College.
The book I am completing is titled, Recolonizing Security: State Power, Social Transformation and Kenya’s War on Terror, and examines the shifting terrain of activism in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, the colonial origins of counterterrorism, and the transformation of the postcolonial state and cities under the auspice of the war on terror. As an ethnography of social transformation, the project traces the ways in which social relations, urban spaces, frontier zones, state institutions and struggles for social justice have been re-shaped by the war on terror in Kenya over the past two decades.
My writings have appeared in Anthropological Theory, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Anthropology Now, Cultural Anthropology (online), The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Waging Nonviolence, Africa is a Country, The Conversation, The Elephant, The Star (Kenya), Alternet, USA Today and N+1 as well as in several edited volumes. I was also a past editor and contributor to the Findings section in Anthropology Now from 2013-2016. My citations can be viewed on Google Scholar here.