Welcome to my website! I am an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, where I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on global urbanism, environmental justice, political ecology, and global health through the lenses of postcolonial/decolonial theory, critical race theory, and critical development studies. I am also a faculty affiliate of AU’s Metropolitan Policy Center in the School of Public Affairs, and Interim Faculty Director of AU’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
As a critical urban geographer, I am motivated by two central questions: (1) What are the root causes of urban environmental injustices? (2) How and why do marginalized groups contest such injustices and to what ends? My scholarship is situated primarily in the discipline of human geography, while also charting new terrain in the transdisciplinary fields of global antiracism, urban studies, and political ecology and environmental justice. I focus on contemporary struggles surrounding urban water and sanitation, land and housing, and flooding and climate change vulnerability in India and the US. I am especially interested in the relationship between histories of racial segregation and property law, and environmental inequalities shaped by race, caste, gender, and class. I am currently working on a book project, Outcaste Cities, focused on the making of property, ecology, and subaltern “others” in colonial and contemporary Bengaluru/Bangalore, India, in which I argue for an environmental ethics centered on anti-caste humanism. You can view a talk I gave at Dartmouth College, “Towards an Anti-caste and Abolitionist Epistemology for Environmental Justice in Urban India” on this work in progress. I am also a recipient of an American Council of Learned Societies-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for a collaborative book project that weaves together literary criticism and critical geography, Corruption Plots: Ethics and Publics of the City in Late Capitalism. Finally, I study environmental racism in the US. I have been conducting research on climate justice in Washington, DC’s Ward 7 on legacy environmental racism, housing segregation, and deep histories of climate precarity. You can see an an interview I did on for American University here. My recent coauthored work has called for an abolitionist approach to climate justice. This work was recently featured on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 on NPR.
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 CV, please click here.
***Credit for the banner art on my home page goes to the incredible feminist artist, Vidushi Yadav.***