About

I am a doctoral candidate in political science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and an adjunct instructor at Hunter College. I research and teach about violence and crime, primarily in Latin America. During the fall I am teaching a course on Central American politics.

During the spring and summer of 2018, I conducted field work in Mexico City and Cuernavaca. I plan to continue this research in 2019.

My dissertation project examines the ways in which criminal and other non-state groups communicate with wider society by leaving public messages (narcomantas or narcomensajes). I am particularly interested in the use of these messages to build legitimacy, and justify violence. Focusing on these very local ‘events’ allows me to shift the focus from broad matters of state security, to more particular concerns of citizen (and non-citizen) security. As part of this project, I am assembling a database of narco-messages; I have over 6,000 events so far.

Other work on Mexico looks at connections between the military and trends in criminal violence.

A side project (currently quite a long way off to the side) looks at sites and systems of detention in the War on Terror, particularly the camps at Guantánamo Bay.