I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the Department of Sociology. I received my Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University in December 2011. My research focuses on structural racism, global political economy, and precarious labor. I have published in the Annual Review of Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Global Networks, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Tourism Geographies, GeoJournal in several edited volumes, and in a series of Working Papers. I have also conducted studies for the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2008-2009 I was a Visiting Researcher at the Social Research Institute at the University of Costa Rica where I conducted field research for my dissertation on racial stratification in the tourism global value chain. From 2010-2013 I was a tourism sector team leader and coordinator for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded research project Capturing the Gains: Economic and Social Upgrading in Global Production Networks. For the project I conducted field research in Kenya and Uganda and oversaw data collection in South Africa, China, India, and Indonesia. In fall 2012 I helped organize and participate in the Capturing the Gains African research stakeholder meeting in Nairobi, Kenya and the Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. Summer 2014 I began conducting research on the working conditions and racial and gender contours to domestic work in four regions of Uganda. I am also researching precarious labor, race, gender, and the stigma of a criminal record in Knoxville, TN. My research, teaching, service, and activism are anchored in social justice and a belief in an anti-racist, feminist, transformative praxis.
I am married to Blair Christian and we are happy parents to a precocious seven-year-old, Niko. We live in Old North Knoxville in a hundred-year-old house with lots of history. I grew up in Seattle, WA with two older brothers and parents who gave me a love for the city, good music, and social justice.