I am a political geographer and cartographer with a regional focus in Southeast Asia. My current interdisciplinary and ethnographic research focuses on spatialities of peace. I study the phenomenon of community-led demilitarized geographic areas, popularly known as peace zones. I use the term insurgent peace to refer to the quotidian work of civilian communities in producing and maintaining the peace zones as processes of carving alternative political spaces and enacting a peaceful present and future in the context of active violence and war.
Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), International Peace Research Association (IPRA), and the American Association of Geographers (AAG), my research contributes to our understanding of the geographies of peace, local peacebuilding, civilian agency in war, and peace as a set of dynamic social processes rooted upon a refusal and disruption of the spatial logics of violence. At stake is a re-thinking of peace beyond the dominant definition of absence of violence.
Currently, I am a part of the project team for “Creating Safer Spaces: Strengthening Civilian Protection Amidst Violent Conflict,” a 4-year international and interdisciplinary research project funded by the UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This research aims to strengthen the field of unarmed civilian protection (UCP) and community self-protection research to create safer space for more communities amidst violent conflict.
I am an Assistant Professor of Geography at The City University of New York (CUNY) where I am a Graduate Faculty at the Earth and Environmental Sciences Doctoral Program at The Graduate Center and Faculty at the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs at The College of Staten Island (CSI). I am a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Human Rights at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at The Graduate Center.
At CSI, I teach Urban Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and run GeospatialCSI, a curricular initiative that aims to build a space and community among students to produce creative, collaborative and public-facing Urban Geography-centered inquiry and research. I received my PhD in Geography (2018) at UCLA, with a Graduate Certificate in Urban Humanities from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design. I have a Masters in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley.