1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences



My research interests center around conceptions of mental health/illness and access to mental health care. Specifically, I'm interested in novel ontologies and epistemologies that speak to "mental" health without relying on Cartesian dualism, and how these can be opportunities for healing, resilience, and resistance; I intend to explore these questions in Highland Guatemala. 


Although I have not officially started fieldwork research yet, I am primarily interested in studying poverty in urban centers. Beyond studying the roles of institutions in belaying and simultaneously reinforcing poverty and the conditions that lead to it, I am interested in the temporal and cyclical characteristics of poverty


My dissertation project is an ethnography of pregnancy in Mbarara, Uganda, a fast-growing city of some 60,000 people in southwestern Uganda. Two earlier researches studied: 1) the politics of memory and place in a post-industrial city in the mid-Atlantic US; and 2) bureaucratic constructions of difference in American healthcare. Across all three projects, a semiotic approach informs the way I think about the circulation, reformulation, or endurance of particular forms of social connection.



My research interests focus on African Traditional Religions (ATR), specifically Yoruba Indigenous Religions, and their relationship to world religions such as Christianity and Islam. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how practitioners of these religious traditions understand themselves in relation to these seemingly more powerful counter parts as well as how Yoruba practitioners understand the Afro-Atlantic phenomena of Orisha worship that has seemingly taken off and become (and perhaps has always been) its own thing entirely. 


For my doctoral studies, I am most interested in exploring the ethics of modern militaries, focusing specifically on war crimes, atrocities, and other violations of the laws of land warfare. I intend to focus on Western militaries and will be examining their training methodologies and culture to better understand what factors contribute to human rights violations.


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