I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University’s Population Studies and Training Center, and I will begin a tenure-track appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Louis University in August 2024. I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University in June 2023.

A critical medical, psychological, and political anthropologist, my interests lie in migration, race, and ethnicity; urban precarity; experience and phenomenology; violence, risk, and care; theories on space and place; feminism; and decoloniality in Chile and Latin America and the Americas more broadly. Prior to my doctoral work, I received a B.A. in Anthropology and Psychology from U.C. Berkeley and directed an Indigenous-language community-based illustrated ethnographic film  in Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile). A public scholar and teacher, I believe in the power of ethnography to make anthropology responsive to the political demands of marginalized communities. 

My scholarship investigates the relation between migration, urban space, and racialized and gendered forms of precarity, subjectivity, and care in Latin America and its diasporas. My dissertation, “Ecologies of Care: Migrant Women, Precarious Housing, and the Politics of Eradication in Chile,” examines how migrant women make uninhabitable spaces livable and how, in this process, their lives become entangled with dangerous environments. I argue that the “ecologies of care” that result from this spatial transformation are in tension with state projects that allegedly protect migrant women by demolishing environments where poverty, crime, and risk take place. This research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, draws on 15 months of participant observation, person-centered interviews, and participatory mapping with predominantly Black and Indigenous Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian women living in self-built encampments around Chile’s northern border city of Antofagasta. Built on arid hillsides, these encampments are at high risk for fires and climate-change induced mudslides, and concentrate disproportionate levels of poverty and crime. The Chilean state conceptualizes poverty, crime, risk, and other forms of precarity as static and discrete spatial phenomena, and targets them by eradicating their manifestations in space. However, I show that, for migrant women, conditions of precarity transcend space and instead materialize around their bodies and communities. The ecologies of care that they build into dangerous environments—from domestic violence shelters to informal credit systems and situated ethical modes of being—thus suggest a different politics based not on eradicating precarity but learning how to live with it. I will soon adapt my dissertation into a book manuscript, titled Precarious Becomings: The Politics of Migrant Life in Chile.

A secondary project examines how young men displaced by the U.S. War on Drugs in Peru’s Amazon build Pentecostal addiction treatment ministries where they refashion the experience of coca paste addiction as spiritual warfare. I am currently developing a second major research project, titled Maddening Borders: Anti-Haitian Worlds Across the United States and Chile. This project examines the mental health effects of progressive alternative-to-detention programs in the United States and how they shape transnational Haitian family dynamics between the U.S. and Chile.