Photo by Angelo Matteo Caglioti
I am Associate Professor of Sociology and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies at the UC Santa Cruz. My work addresses the racial politics of migration and citizenship and the insurgent, abolition geographies of the Black Mediterranean. I am co-editor of The Black Mediterranean: Bodies, Borders, and Citizenship (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) and The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, Futurity (Duke University Press, 2023), and author of Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean (Cornell University Press, 2022), translated into Italian as Razza e cittadinanza. Frontiere contese e contestate nel Mediterraneo nero (Astarte Edizioni, 2023).
My current project, Black Mediterranean Geographies of Abolition: Toward a Relational Theorization of Global Racisms, explores the connections between Black liberation struggles in southern Europe and North America. It does so through the development of a relational theoretical framework for understanding not only the links between antiracist political movements across borders, but also the intertwined histories of racism and colonialism that defy methodological nationalisms and bounded geographical comparisons. From a conjunctural analysis of U.S. Reconstruction and the Italian Risorgimento staged via a critical dialogue between Du Bois and Gramsci, to a study of circulations between prison abolitionists in the United States and Frontex abolitionists in Italy, this book weaves an interconnected, global story about abolition geographies stretching across the Black Mediterranean and Black Atlantic diasporas. These diasporas are connected through histories of racial capitalist dispossession, technologies of displacement and confinement, and creative strategies of resistance and world-making.
I am founder and co-facilitator of the UCSC Black Geographies Lab. I am also an advisory board member for the Science & Justice Research Center and a faculty affiliate of the Italian Studies Program, the Legal Studies Program, the Visualizing Abolition Studies Certificate Program, and the Center for Monster Studies. Beyond UC Santa Cruz, I am Past Chair of the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, and I serve on the editorial boards of Environment and Planning D: Society & Space and California Italian Studies.
I am project manager and faculty member of the Black Europe Summer School, a two-week intensive course on citizenship, race, and the Black diaspora in Europe that is held for two weeks each summer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In addition, I continue to collaborate with activist collectives in the United States and Europe working at the intersection of anti-Blackness and xenophobia.