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. Notably, I'm working on what a global critical race and racism framework would entail that is applicable across all geographies. In Knoxville, I am also researching precarious labor, race, gender, and the stigma of a criminal record along with ongoing research and training projects with colleagues at the University of Tennessee; specifically, a project on racial microaggressions on campus and being part of a group of faculty who are part of the education team training Knox County public school employees about cultural competency. 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 eight-year-old, Niko. Niko loves parkour, Princess Mononoke and the song "Wolves" by Selena Gomez. I'm partial to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Rhye, and anything from the 80s. 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.