I am interested in the intersections of communicative and ethical practice // grammar and space.
I work primarily with speakers of the Śhehrēt Modern South Arabian language in the Dhofar region of the Sultanate of Oman.
Space and Ethics: Śhehrēt Language
My dissertation explores communicative practices, domestic space, and everyday sociality in mountain-dwelling Śhehrēt communities. I examine talk and body movement both in interaction and around it, arguing that discourses and practices that modulate intercorporeal space (the space between the self and real and imagined others) enact, dispute, and negotiate public, intimate, and Islamic responsibilities. This work was funded by the Wenner-Gren foundation and UC Berkeley.
I am part of a collaborative group of scholars exploring topology as a set of tools and insights for anthropological treatments of spaces more and less abstract. William F. Stafford, Stéphane Gros, and I have brought together workshops, panels, and a collection of short essays. We are currently running a funded seminar and speaker series through the UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix.
I am working with a team of designers at MIT to develop digital protocols for studying the changes in orientation to and experience of interactional and intercorporeal space as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Working with Bread for the City, a social service organization in Washington, DC, I designed and conducted an ethnographic study to evaluate their free medical clinic. This study made recommendations for doctors around clinic process and channels for doctor-patient communication to better meet their goals of anti-racist and trauma-informed care organized around dignity, accessibility, and empowerment.
Digital Associational Life
Through the UC Berkeley Social Apps Lab and the National Museum of Denmark, I am project manager for the development of a web-based platform called MAPcity, that is intended to foster associational life in urban Denmark through exhibitions that crowd-source ‘common-work projects’ (faelleskab) and other distributed knowledge of urban residents. I work with software developers, urban designers, and social scientists in designing a prototype of our platform as well as writing large grants towards funding this collaborative project.