I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in Government in the Department of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College. In the Summer of 2023, I finished my Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University, with an emphasis on International Relations and Political Theory. I am a teacher-scholar with expertise in ethics, international law, migration and citizenship, history and international organizations, and international political economy.
With my current interdisciplinary research project, I want to contribute to ongoing debates on the shortcomings of current legal categories of protection for non-citizens by exploring to which extent they owe their potentialities and limits to notions of deservingness that sideline broader articulations of political responsibility. I take an ethnographic approach to the processes of construction of the categories of the stateless, refugee, and temporary protected status (TPS) through UN archival work and fieldwork with communities of rights claimants.
As part of my professional development, I participated in the SSRC/NU Dissertation Development Program (Summer 2018); completed Northwestern’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching Teaching Certificate (2018-2019); participated in the Graduate Writing Place writing groups (2019-2021); and joined the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs 2020-2021 cohort of the Global Impacts program. Before starting my Ph.D., I worked for three years in higher education administration. I love incorporating lessons from the Improv course I took at Second City in my teaching.
THE GLOBAL POLITICS OF CITIZENSHIP: PRODUCING AND PROTECTING THE “DESERVING” SUBJECT
My work focuses on the intersections of ethics and politics in international and US legal frameworks involving migration and citizenship. I examine how negotiations of deservingness intersect with constructions of race, gender, religion, class, and state borders to justify hierarchies, exclusions, and injustices through law. It also points towards the need to reconceptualize political responsibility in global politics, especially taking into consideration displacement related to climate change.
My current research project explores the ethics involved in crafting legal categories in the margins of citizenship. I ask how deservingness has been enmeshed in the processes of creating and reforming law for non-citizens. I argue that notions of deservingness incentivize rights claimants to take personal and individual responsibility for structural inequality and injustice, reinforcing narrow narratives on rights and movement while sidelining broader notions of political responsibility. Deservingness inhabit the tense spaces between individual and collective responsibility, personal narratives and global crises (in the plural), and negotiations of equality and difference around citizenship, without ever resolving them - and that is why it is so effective.
Each chapter of my dissertation conducts an ethnographic exploration of how state representatives, advocacy organizations, NGOs, rights claimants, and scholars have negotiated limits in legal categories through desert, in this way establishing hierarchies within humanity and conditions for one to access rights. The dissertation first offers a theoretical and methodological approach for thinking about the global politics of the margins of citizenship informed by a postcolonial critique of deservingness. Then, it explores how notions of deservingness have shaped rights in the human rights, refugee, and stateless international protection regimes between the early 1940s and the late 1960s. And finally, exposing the overlap of international law and national contexts, it investigates how deservingness has animated US immigration policy in relation to the gaps in the international definition of the refugee. It especially considers the construction of the TPS in relation to the US intervention in El Salvador, the advocacy of Haitian TPS recipients to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, and the potentialities and shortcomings of the refugee status and the TPS to address increasing displacement connected to climate change.
I propose a critical exploration of the limits of law and assert that our current inability to propose effective solutions to rightless people requires a closer engagement with citizenship and its margins. Instead of assuming that national citizens deserve all, and that we have to come up with justifications to give gradations of rights to non-citizens, we should further explore the mechanisms, processes, and institutions through which (national) citizenship remains a privileged status. While there seems to be a relationship between law and deservingness, this connection remains underexplored in academia and either ignored or unquestionably accepted in public policy.
Work In Progress
Above politics: the construction of human rights in the negotiation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Lessons learned from ‘Encanto’: Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature teaches us about flaws of U.S. immigration policy, Northwestern Now, 03/28/2022.
Granting temporary protected status to Ukrainians is a start, but it’s not enough, Chicago Tribune, 03/17/2022
“Feeding Agrarian Reform with Food Donations: a Covid-19 Story from Brazil” (2020).
Living With Plagues: New Narratives for a World in Distress Impressions and Reflections.
Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
“A Conversation about the Politics of Rights within Rights as Weapons” (2019).
Book Symposium: A Discussion on Clifford Bob’s Rights as Weapons
Ethics and International Affairs Journal
Instructor of Record
Introduction to International Relations (Fall 2023)
Human Rights (and Wrongs): the International Politics of Human Rights (Fall 2023)
International Relations Theory (Fall 2022)
Introduction to International Relations (Spring 2023)
Northwestern University/Sciences Po/Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle
Program in Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought
French Politics, Society, and Culture (Fall 2019)
International Political Economy (Winter 2019)
Politics of Religious Diversity (Fall 2018)
Politics of the Middle East (Spring 2018, Winter 2017)
Introduction to International Relations (Spring 2019, Winter 2018, Spring 2017)
Introduction to Law in the Political Arena (Fall 2017, Fall 2021)
National Security (Fall 2016)
Foreign Aid and U.S. Foreign Policy (Spring 2022)
Training in Teaching
Northwestern’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, 2018-2019
Yearlong combined seminars, workshops, mentoring, and discipline-specific discussions on learning goals, assessments, and evaluation. Emphasis on critical pedagogies and active learning.
Teaching Committee - Department of Political Science
Monthly pedagogical discussions exploring teaching and learning issues in the discipline of Political Science, participation in teaching workshops, development of teaching philosophy, teaching events planning, and mentorship of peer graduate students.
A three-week, cohort-based online program designed for instructors of all levels, backgrounds, and teaching contexts to reflect on the evolving needs of students and instructors, with an emphasis on mental health, exploring how elements of course design can have varying impacts on students, and learning to implement Universal Design for Learning principles to create more supportive, inclusive, and accessible learning environments for all.