Research

In my current research project (2013-22), I examine labor migration in rural western India to understand the relations between the seasonal migration of socio-politically and economically marginalized agrarian populations and social change in migrant home communities. I have published my ongoing research in Environment and Planning AGender, Place and Culture; and Geoforum. To collect data, I have conducted fieldwork by applying qualitative research methods in Yavatmal district in Maharashtra state. I am grateful to the Social Science Research Council and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for supporting my research. A paper based on my dissertation was awarded the 2019 J. Warren Nystrom Award by the American Association of Geographers.

Previously (2011-16), I have studied the politics of food-based entitlements in the region to explain a) the distribution of endowments (that can be exchanged for food) among various agrarian communities and b) food-based entitlements as biopolitics that embroils populations occupying multiple social locations and variegated relations with the development state. I have co-published this research in the Journal of Rural Studies, and my project was supported by Ohio University and the Friends of India Endowment Trust in Athens, Ohio

I am currently developing a new research project (2020-) to examine labor migration and social reproduction under climate change in rural western India. Drawing on scholarship primarily in human-environment and humanistic geography that examine the plurality of climate change and labor migration relations and my recent and future fieldwork projects in rural Maharashtra, I seek to understand labor migration, agrarian change, and social transformations under climate climate. A Faculty Enhancement Grant from Portland State University is supporting this research.

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