I am currently Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Humboldt State University (HSU). Prior to joining the faculty at HSU, I was Assistant Professor of Diaspora Studies, Human Rights, and Transnational Migration in the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University, Ohio. I received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a BA in Anthropology from San Francisco State University. My research and teaching interests span the subdisciplines of political ethnography, critical political theory, Asian cultural studies, mobilities studies, aesthetics and international relations with a particular emphasis on refugee politics in Southeast Asia.
As a Norwegian-American growing up in an immigrant community in Oslo, Norway, I became interested at an early age in how exiled groups form senses of belonging in the diaspora. I later went to live and study in Thailand where I became interested in the plight of Burmese refugees. As a practitioner of dance (I study Ballet/Middle Eastern/Indian/Tai/Thai), one way I engage my research community is through practice and performance. Students seeking mentorship in their Global Studies concentration, or looking to deepen their knowledge of transnational migration, humanitarianism, nationalism, performance studies, Asian Studies or ethnographic filed methods are encouraged to contact me.
My in-progress book manuscript, Aesthetic Nationalism: The Dance of War and Exile along the Thai-Myanmar Border, is based on embedded field research in Northern Thailand, where I conducted ethnographic and archival research with Tai refugees from Myanmar. I was the 2015 Moscotti Fellow for Southeast Asian Studies and my research has received funding from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar ASEAN Program, The École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) and language training from several Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowships, as well as a fellowship from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program for the Advanced Study of Thai. My work has appeared in Critique of Anthropology, the Review of Human Rights and in various edited volumes.
I am a member of the Asian Studies Association, the Association for Political Theory, the Dance Studies Association, the American Political Science Association and I serve on the board of the Burma Studies Group. I am the co-founder, with Osman Balkan, of APSA’s “Political Ethnography Working Group.”
Critical political theory, political ethnography, nationalism, migration, Southeast Asia (Myanmar and Thailand), everyday politics, humanitarianism.