Dept. of Political Science
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark, where I teach classes on Latin American Politics, Social Movements, Human Rights and classes in both the MA in Political Science Program and the PhD in Global Urban Studies.
My first book, "Bootstrap Justice: The Search for Mexico's Disappeared" (2023, Oxford University Press) asks how people living in settings marked by normalized rights violations transform into rights-claiming and, ultimately, rights-bearing citizens. I center the voices and perspectives of people whose lives have been upended by the disappearance of their loved ones in Mexico. The book argues that as people participate in ongoing mobilization and claim-making over time (1) their legal consciousness— their understandings of the state and of themselves as citizens and political actors—shifts, and that with these shifts, (2) their ability to challenge impunity is likewise transformed.
This study is part of a larger research agenda of state-civil society relations, specifically how informal institutions, relationships and mobilization shape judicial and human rights outcomes.
In AY 2021-2022 I was a Visiting Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University. Prior to joining Rutgers, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University in 2015, and earned an MA in Teaching from Brown University, and a BA in Political Science and Economics from Swarthmore College. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Mexico and Colombia, and previously worked as a human rights accompanier in Colombia. My research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, the Fulbright Garcia-Robles program, and the Social Science Research Council.