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My research projects have always imagined a better world and worked to bring about that future. My topics and approach come out of my work as an activist for social justice. For my M.A. thesis I wrote an ethnography of Indonesian activism focusing on how the Occupy social movement travelled from the encampment in lower Manhattan to Indonesia both online and in physical space. Now, in my doctoral research I'm engaged with exploration beyond our solar system through space science, interstellar space, SETI, imagination, futures, and science fiction. A key part of this is to understand how space science and exploration imagine and work toward futures that are more just. As author Ursula K. Le Guin wrote:
Why Anthropology? I took a circuitous route to anthropology, starting in biology because I wanted to understand marine mammal minds and societies. I then moved to philosophy to ask "what is a mind?" I went to religious studies for the stories we tell about our minds and societies. Then settled in anthropology because it lets me do all of them at once. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories we tell about where we come from, why we’re here, and where we’re going. To compliment the humanities work in religious studies I wanted a way to look at what people were actually doing on the ground in everyday life. So I added an anthropology degree, and in my first anthropology class I realized I’d been an anthropologist all along. It is the field of study that allows me to do interdisciplinary work as I try to answer the questions I’ve always had about humanity, the planet, and the universe.
I have a lot of opinions, often about politics, capitalism, histories, presents and futures. Perhaps you followed me on Twitter because of my posts about these issues, and if you like those you will find more depth on here. With more characters, and the ability to add more images and links and have troll-free conversations, we'll be able to come up with better ideas, critiques, and solutions.
Thank you for making my research, writing, and work on social media possible.