The spiral is a movement from the bottom up to the top, from the simple to the complex. [...]
The spiral defines the perpetual movement of life and of all evolving things;
it is characteristic of the dialectic.
As a cultural and political anthropologist, I strive to understand how and why people organize politically in urban contexts characterized by poverty, insecurity, and governmental neglect. Since 2006, I have been doing ethnographic fieldwork in urban Haiti, and in 2017, I began to work with Haitian deportees in Haitian and U.S. cities. I have also written about maternal health and birth experiences, Carnival politics, protest rituals, and the military.
Working in the Caribbean, I am drawn to the region's epistemological attachments to Spiralism, or the school of thought that takes the spiral as an organizing principle that disrupts linear notions of history and conventional centers of power. I look to the ti nèg. or "small man," for elaborating how the world works and how it might work differently. All of my writing grapples with the potential and problems people encounter when staking claims for power, livelihood, and respect in the face of forces of marginalization.
I pursue this work through my position as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College.
For more, see my c.v.