Research Projects

My research is primarily concerned with the historical and long-term roots of structural inequality and how inequalities manifest in our society based on current and historical power configurations. I seek to make connections between the local and global imaginaries of power and hierarchy, racism and the legacies of colonialism that lead to the asymmetric appropriation of global wealth and power. And, I am particularly interested in how these affect Black people on the African continent and the diaspora, as well as how they inform, not only the possibilities for Black futures, but also how Black people resist, and persist under the conditions of modern racial capitalism. My research is necessarily transdisciplinary.

  1. Coloniality, Blackness, and Regimes of Disposability – reveals the links between current and historical power configurations and the racialized foundations of the modern world system that lead to the deployment of regimes of disposability against, and the abjection of, Black people on the continent and the diaspora.
  2. Small Island Development and Climate Change – Questions at the center of the project include: what types of development strategies are currently available to a small island developing state like Dominica in today’s global economy? How does global climate change affect and influence these strategies and the overall political economy of the country? What is the role of global governance with regards to the impact of climate change on SIDS like Dominica? Agriculture and fishing sectors make up a significant portion of the Dominica’s balance of payments so how does climate change affect those sectors specifically? (Talk* at UCR’s Bio Dept. Senior Seminar – 11/2020; American Sociological Association Presentation** – 8/2019). [*in Keynote; **in PPT]
  3. Commodification of Citizenship – Commodified citizenship has been on the rise in developing countries since the early 1990s. I have collected administrative data on the commodified citizenship program in Dominica for the period 1990 to 2015 for a case study. Additional, lines of inquiry include, examining the relationship between commodified citizenship and political legitimacy, exploring questions pertaining to cross-border security, and commodification of citizenship as resistance to the global power order and thinking otherwise. (Peer Reviewed Paper)
  4. Power & Hierarchy: African Underdevelopment in World Historical Perspective – Framing this research on fellow Caribbean scholar, Walter Rodney’s, and that of world-system scholars I establish Africa’s position in the modern world-economy, historically and under the current world order. I seek to empirically demonstrate the structural and historical constraints the continent faces in the highly unequal global capitalist system. I acknowledge Africa’s agency from a regional and various national perspective. (Peer Reviewed Paper; Talk* to UCR Sociology Dept – 11/2020)[*in Keynote]
  5. COVID19 Pandemic Coverage in the United States – Narratives and reporting have the power to change public opinions, promote specific public policies, and reframe public discourse on a subject. Keeping this in mind, I have designed a research project that seeks to empirically measure this. I am in the process of creating a dataset of articles from five leading newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Houston Chronicle), to help identify and track narrative changes in print media, covering the period February 1, 2020 to August 1, 2020. (California Sociological Association Annual Meeting Presentation* – 11/2020)[*in Keynote]
  6. Tracing the evolution of distant othering and racism (in collaboration with Anderson and Chase-Dunn at IROWS) – research project on the geneology of othering, positing that othering has existed in some form or another since the Stone Age, evolving with the uneven expansion of social complexity and the emergence of hierarchies. Our argument is that at its core, distant othering involves the fear of a perceived threat to the existing social order and furthermore with the emergence of global capitalism, the racialized version of othering is violent, a violence that becomes particularly intense when rates of profit collapses (i.e. economic crises) and/or when group-status is threatened. (Preprint SocArXiv)
  7. Southern California Community Initiatives for Improved Well-being (in collaboration with C. Ivey, UC Riverside’s College of Engineering, Center for Environmental Research and Technology) – The project leverages wearable sensors to measure a person’s individual exposure, on a day to day basis, to PM2.5 and PM10 PM2.5 in internal (at home and at work) and external (during commutes, while outdoors) spaces. As part of this project, we measure and try to understand disparities in exposure in Southern California’s Inland Empire across varying socioeconomic backgrounds. (Peer reviewed paper)