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PhD    The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY

  Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (2018)

  Title: “Disorderly Histories: An Anthropology of Decolonization in Western Sahara”

MA     University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

            Master of Arts in the Social Science - Anthropology (2008)

            Title: “Policing the Migrant-Beggar: Social Structure, Sovereignty, and Sub-Saharan Africans in Morocco”


BA       Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

            Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies and French, with a focus on postcolonial francophone African politics and history (2003)


Current Position

Qatar Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC


2023     “Stranded in Decolonization: The Attritional Temporality of Human Rights Activism in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.” In In

the Meantime: Toward an Anthropology of the Possible, Adeline Masquelier and Deborah Durham, eds. 91-114. New York: Berghahn Books.

“Naming the City: Saharan Urbanization and Disaggregated Sovereignty” L’Ouest Saharien 17: 39-65.

2022     “Anticolonial Irredentism: the Moroccan Liberation Army and Decolonization in the Sahara” The Journal of North African Studies

(April 7, 2022): 1-27.

2020     “Disidentification with Nationalist Conflict: Loyalty and Mobility in Moroccan-Occupied Western Sahara.” Comparative Studies of South

Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Special Issue “Loyalty and Critique,” 40, 1 (May 1, 2020): 133–49.

2019     “On the Border in Northern Mauritania” L’Année du Maghreb 21 (December 10, 2019): 325-340.

2018     “‘Home Is Knocking on the Mind’: Decolonization, Translation and the Poetics of Longing for Western Sahara” CELAAN: Review of the

Center for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa XV, 2-3 (Fall 2018). Special Issue: Sahara and Identity: 31-72.

2013     “Global Futures and Government Towns: Phosphates and the Production of Western Sahara as a Space of Contention.” The Arab World

Geographer 16, 1 (Spring 2013): 101-124.


Manuscripts Under Review

“Sahara as Revolutionary Subject: Anti-imperial Politics of Northwest Africa in the Early 1970s” in Comparative Deserts. Brahim El Guabli, ed. Leiden: Brill Publishers. (under review)

Grants, Awards, Fellowships, and Honors


2020     Short term research grant, American Institute for Maghrib Studies

2013     Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship

  National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

2012     Short term research grant, American Institute for Maghrib Studies

            Kathryn Davis Peace Fellowship, Middlebury Arabic Language School

2011     Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Development Award


2019     Tuck Fund research grant, University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Princeton

2016     Ralph Bunche Dissertation Fellowship, CUNY

2015     Dissertation Writing Fellow, Committee on Globalization and Social Change, CUNY

            Dissertation Writing Fellow, The Center for Place Culture and Politics, CUNY

2013    GAB/Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow (2013-14), CUNY

Enhanced Chancellors Fellowship (2009-2013), CUNY  

2011    Anthropology Department pre-Dissertation Travel Award, CUNY

Pre-Doctoral Studies

2008     Critical Language Scholarship, Arabic

2006     Ann Cornelisen Alumni Fellowship for Foreign Language Study, Vassar College

2003     Phi Beta Kappa

2003     June J. Christmas Prize for academic excellence in the Program in Africana Studies Program, Vassar College

2003     Paul Robeson Award for thesis in the Program in Africana Studies, Vassar College

2003     Vassar College Departmental and General Honors

Selected Presentations

2021     “Sahara as Revolutionary Subject: Tracing a Constellation of Liberation Movements across Northwest Africa in 1972.” Comparative

Deserts Conference, Williams College, May 20-21, 2021.

2020     “‘They Film Us…We Film Them: Human Rights Activism and Proliferating Forms of Veillance in the Western Sahara Conflict.” Works-in-

Progress Talk, Anthropology Department, Princeton University, December 3, 2020.

2020     “Anticolonial Irredentism: Decolonization, The Liberation Army of Morocco and the Saharan making of the Maghreb in the 1950s.”

Decolonization, Development and State Building in North Africa. Brown University, Providence, RI, September 25, 2020.

2018     “Waiting in Conflict, Waiting in Judgment: Notes from a Summer on the Margins of the Western Sahara Conflict in Nouadhibou,

Mauritania.” Waiting: a Conference/Workshop. Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, April 16, 2018.

2017     Co-organizer, “Dependent Autonomies: Cultivating, Evading and Constituting Authority.” American Anthropological Association,

Washington, DC, November 29-December 3, 2017.

2017     “The Western Sahara in fiction, translation, and politics” Middle Eastern & Middle Eastern American Center, CUNY-Graduate Center,

March 15, 2017. With Prof Alex Elinson.

2012    Co-organizer, “Just Law: Intervention, Reparation, Emancipation” symposium at Center for the Humanities, CUNY-Graduate Center, May 3-

4, 2012

2011    Co-organizer, “Law, Justice and Global Political Futures” student-faculty seminar at Center for the Humanities, CUNY-Graduate Center,

2011-2012 academic year.

2009     Invited panelist, “Forty Years at Vassar College: Africana Identities in the Diaspora,” commemorating the Program in Africana Studies at

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, April 17-19, 2009.

Teaching Experience

Princeton University

Anthropology of Human Rights

Political Anthropology

Decolonization (scheduled)
Urban Ethnography

Ethnography, Evidence and Experience, Co-Instructor

The Ethnographer’s Craft, Co-Instructor

            Ethnographic Studies Certificate adviser

            Junior Papers undergraduate adviser

Pace University

Anthropology of Middle East and North Africa

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Research Experience

France, Service Historique de la Défense, Archives nationales d’outre mer, January 2020

  • Conducted archival research concerning Opération Ecouvillon, a joint 1950s Spanish-French counterinsurgency in the Sahara.

Sahrawi Refugee Camps near Tindouf, Algeria, January 2016

  • Recorded oral histories with an older generation of camp residents who experienced decolonization before the outbreak of conflict between the Moroccan state and Sahrawi nationalists.

Mauritania, February-August 2015

  • Spent summer months at a hub of activity in Nouadhibou, learning about how people’s mobility and regional commerce are shaped by the contours of ongoing political conflict. Recorded oral histories with people living throughout northern Mauritania.

Morocco, Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, March-December 2014, July 2013, July 2011

  • Conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Laâyoune/El Aaiún, the largest city in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Recorded oral histories with members of different generations that experienced decolonization efforts, both before and after the conflict, throughout Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, and Morocco proper.


American Anthropological Association, American Institute for Maghrib Studies, International Academic Observatory on Western Sahara (OUISO), Scientific Council Member

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