Bio and research


I am a political and legal geographer, with a longstanding interest in political economy. My route to Geography was by way of a B.A. in International Relations at the University of Ottawa and an M.A. in Political Economy at Carleton University’s Institute of Political Economy. I received my Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

My research focuses on the intersection of  policing, race, immigration, and borders. My most recent publications concern the political economy of racial profiling and policing in the U.S., and focus critically on the methodologies used to quantify and qualify racial profiling. In general I am interested in policing as a neglected aspect of statecraft, on the racialized and classed technologies that underwrite police work, on policing beyond the power of individuals in uniform (and hence on not getting caught up in the criminological definition of police as law enforcement) , on geopolitics (and policing) as practice , and on the need to rethink geopolitics and state power topologically beyond the conventional foreign policy/domestic policy divide.

A major theme in my research concerns the need to ground complex theory in robust, site-specific fieldwork. However, I am also interested in why fieldwork can often fail to substantiate the ‘cruddy’ mechanics of state power. I am particularly interested in how mainstream social science methodologies can sometimes limit research to the collection of ‘positive’ and ‘locatable’ data, and what we can learn about power when social science methodologies produce a lack of findings, or silence.

My theoretical interests have been shaped by the past decade of scholarship on the problem of topology, by work on law as violence, and by theories which emphasize the material (rather than narrowly textual) aspects of power.

I am editor, along with Dr. Sapana Doshi of the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series at the University of Georgia Press. You can also check the series out here.

I am an editorial board member for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Political Geography, Southeastern Geographer, and Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.

I received Ohio State’s university-wide Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2013), as well as a Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (2013) — and I love teaching.


2005 | Ph.D. Geography, Department of Geography, University of California at Los Angeles

1999 | M.A. Political Economy, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University

1997 | B.A. Hons. Political Science, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

1996 | B.A. Political Science, École d’Etudes Politiques, Université d’Ottawa


2012 – present | Associate Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University

May – June 2013 | Visiting Distinguished Professor, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University

2005 – 2012 | Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University

Research Areas

Theories of power and space in human geography

Site, geontology and practice

Topology and topography

Law and geography

Immigration law and enforcement

Detention and deportation

Racial profiling

U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border studies

Urban geography and policing

Sheriffing and national security

Energy geopolitics, oil boom and bust

Critical geopolitics



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