TerraViva Approach: Core Themes

The approach I bring to my work draws on critical theories from the social sciences (especially urban studies, anthropology and geography), decolonial/postcolonial studies, public history, tourism studies, political ecology, performance and religious studies, including contributions from eco-feminist, decolonial and Black scholars examining race, space and public memory. From undergraduate school to graduate school, I have always learned across multiple disciplines.

Below are key themes that shape my work. 

1. Systems, relationships & flows

  • Multi-scalar dimensions and interrelationships (translocal, (trans)national, neighborhood, regional, etc.)
  • Migrations and diasporas
  • Interrelationships between different urban and ecological systems
  • Regenerative economics (circular/distributive)

2. What are the practices of (b)ordering (and creating inequalities) in a specific context?

  • Race and racialization and how it shifts over time and space (esp. U.S./Latin America)
  • Examining ongoing legacies of colonialism and imperialism (especially in planning and tourism)
  • Racial/spatial (b)ordering and the making of “nature,” “culture’ and “heritage” (e.g., through museums, tourism, media)
  • Critical analysis of built environment/landscapes and practices of inclusion/exclusion
  • Privatization/regulations of public space
  • Focus on processes of domination/exploitation (e.g., the making of official histories/stories)

3. How are people seeking justice and strengthening resilience?

  • Eco-social justice and planetary ethics
  • Micro- and embodied acts of resilience, resistance and solidarity
  • Arts, culture and civic engagement/social movements
  • Power of public spaces and place-making/occupying practices
  • Participatory dialogue and governance; citizen-led planning

4. Feeling the body/relational ways of experiencing

  • Environmental perception and embodied, phenomenological experiences (how people feel/experience through their body in a specific context)
  • Intersectionality (interrelated dimensions of differentiation, based on race, gender, sexuality, etc.) and its impact on how one experiences place/space
  • The multi-sensory and transformative experiences of walking (and expressions through music, dance, practice)
  • Violence in all forms (including symbolic and representational)

Scholars of Influence:

  • Sara Ahmed
  • Suki Ali
  • Aisha Beliso-De Jesús
  • Marisol Blanco
  • Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • Neil Brenner
  • W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Frantz Fanon
  • Michel Foucault
  • Stuart Hall
  • Donna Haraway
  • David Harvey
  • bell hooks
  • Tim Ingold
  • Henri LeFebvre
  • Doreen Massey
  • James Leland Matory 
  • Katherine McKittrick 
  • Ali Meghji
  • Timothy Mitchell 
  • Carolyn Nordstrom
  • Jean Muteba Rahier
  • Laurajane Smith
  • Diana Taylor
  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot
  • Peter Wade