I am an historian, writer, and non-profit founder with wide-ranging interests. As an academic, my scholarship focuses on three interrelated thematic areas: the history of slavery and freedom in Latin America; the process of racial formation in the region; and the ways in which gender shaped the experience of enslavement and racialization. My scholarship is also inspired by the methodological concern of recovering the subjectivities of enslaved and free people of African descent who rarely had direct access to writing and whose voices were heavily mediated when they did appear on record.
As a writer, I tend to be more varied. I have written commentary on topics such as fashion, pop culture, and travel, with the latter subject being particularly close to my heart. My early exposure to international travel came while a scholarship student at a private high school. I participated in immersive programs in Mexico and France, where I stayed with host families and took classes at local schools. Those experiences nurtured within me an abiding interest in foreign languages and cultures. As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, I majored in both History and Spanish, and spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina to conduct independent research on race and national identity in the region. My semester abroad, in turn, cemented my love of research, which led me to pursue a PhD in Latin American History at the University of Michigan, where I was awarded a Fulbright fellowship for dissertation research in Peru.
Because of how formative travel has been for me, and because I know how cost-prohibitive it can be, I was moved to co-found The Wandering Scholar, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to make international education opportunities accessible to students from low-income backgrounds. As the first person in my family to graduate college and pursue an advanced degree, I understand that all it takes is the right opportunity at the right moment in time to change a person's entire trajectory in life, and The Wandering scholar works to create just that.