Welcome! I’m a sociologist studying urban environmental institutions in India and the United States. In Fall 2020, I joined the Department of Sociology at UC-Santa Barbara as an Assistant Professor. My research has been published in venues such as Social Forces, the International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, and the Economic & Political Weekly. I am currently working on a book manuscript that examines how renewed relations based on caste and community have upheld manual systems of informal recycling in Delhi, despite the introduction of collection trucks and incinerators.
Driving my interests is a deeply held conviction that modern capitalist societies leave too little space for creating healthy individuals and communities. Seeding insatiable greed and creating deep racialized inequalities, communities are not only stripped of resources, but deprived of precious air and water, cultural dignity, creative expression, language, and forms of knowledge. This is what has made studying infrastructures such an important lens for my work: it isn’t just that they’re connective—though that has been key to revealing otherwise imperceptible planes of inequality; they’re a site where human “needs” are created via the transformation of precious, often sacred, elements.
Social theory has been vital to my political awakening, provoking me to join struggles for social transformation and justice. As an instructor and mentor, I connect sociological concepts with students’ own experiences with the aim of similarly empowering them to locate their agency in relation to wider social structures.