I am a race-critical urban and cultural sociologist. I study the role of culture in reproducing and transforming social inequality, with a particular interest in pop culture, community-based organizations, and everyday art and culture.
My research investigates the role of culture in reproducing and transforming social inequality. I am interested in cities, arts, and social change, particularly on the level of social interaction and the production of “community”. Current research projects examine interactional aspects of culture, media and identity, from the use of local identity in casino expansion projects to visions of a multiracial urban utopia through community arts participation to the sociology of Miley Cyrus.
As a long-time cultural worker and activist, I have worked with many women’s and trans-affirming cultural organizations on issues of violence prevention, self-expression, and arts and culture. From 2013-2017, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at first Skidmore College and then Muhlenberg College. I have also taught courses in education and in sociology at Penn, Moore College of Art and Design, and Ursinus College.
Outside of higher education, I am a longtime community-based educator, having worked with K-12 students and adults in museum settings, nonprofits, and a variety of arts organizations, including The Girls’ DJ Collective, of which I am co-founder, and Philadelphia’s Leeway Foundation, where I sit on the Board of Directors. I am committed to public, engaged scholarship.
I received a joint PhD in Sociology and Education from the University of Pennsylvania in August 2013, where I also received the 2013 Arnold Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Doctoral Student from the Graduate School of Education, the Dean’s Scholarship (GSE), and served as a 2012-2013 Graduate Fellow for Teaching Excellence at Penn’s Center for Teaching and Learning.