I envision education as a space for liberation. In my teaching, this entails drawing on ethnography, history, and political economy to encourage students to interrogate the structural underpinnings of social inequalities. By doing this, we challenge widely accepted views predicated on culturalist explanations that often “blame the victim.” As part of creating a liberatory classroom space, I encourage student narratives in the classroom to promote diverse and marginalized perspectives. This enables us to understand more fully the complexities of social life. I also employ pedagogies of care to recognize students as holistic human beings, and to create a classroom setting in which students become comfortable enough to be active participants in co-constructing knowledge.
My research broadly engages questions concerning how activists mobilize education as a vehicle for envisioning and enacting new futures. One project examines how a school promotes the dual goals of Asian American minority recognition, and multiracial diversity to advance racial equality in education. My second project examines the fraught and contested ways in which solidarities are formed among people of color. Studying youth activists, the project focuses on how racial genealogies shape the possibilities for their solidarity-work. This work has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, and Penn’s Urban Studies Program. My research articulates with the anthropology of education, activism, ethics, migration, and urban studies.
ED 14: Introduction to Education
ED 46/SOAN 040: Race, Nation, Empire, and Education
ED 65: Qualitative Research Methods
ED 68/SOAN 020: Urban Education