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 facilitating peace during active war and violence.
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 and spatial processes rooted upon a refusal of violence. At stake is a re-thinking of peace beyond the dominant definition of absence of violence.
I am an Assistant Professor of Geography at The City University of New York (CUNY) where I am a Faculty at the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs at The College of Staten Island (CSI) and Graduate Faculty at the Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) Doctoral Program and Environmental Psychology (EP) Doctoral Program at The Graduate Center. I teach courses in Urban Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Introduction to Geography. I also formed 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.
Currently, I am a Co-Investigator 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). Our 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. Learn more about our research here.
I am a Faculty Fellow for the Andrew W. Mellon Transformative Learning in the Humanities at CUNY (2021-2022), Faculty Fellow for CUNY Social Practice (2021-2022), and Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Human Rights at CUNY John Jay College (2021-22). Previously, I was a Faculty Fellow at the CUNY Center for Place, Culture and Politics (2019-20). In 2022, I have been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
I received my PhD in Geography (2018) from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Humanities from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design. I have a Masters in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.