I am a doctoral candidate in political science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and an adjunct professor at Hunter College.
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. I am currently building up a database of narcomensajes.
Other work on Mexico looks at historical and organizational patterns in the use of violence by criminal groups.
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.