I am an urban and economic geographer who researches the connections between finance, urbanization, and inequality. My work is motivated by the aim of understanding the relationships that produce both wealth and impoverishment, with particular attention to the uneven geographies of financialization and racialization that characterize contemporary urban life. At its core, my research examines how entwined social, economic, and environmental crises become understood as problems to which the solution is finance. Methodologically I take a relational approach, examining how solutions to crises are narrated and experienced by financial industry actors, governments, community groups, and the intermediaries that connect them.
Within these broad themes my current work spans four related projects. The first considers how struggles against the socioeconomic inequality that characterizes capitalism are incorporated into the financial system through instruments like “social” and “green” investments. Building on a long-term project on the emergence of the social finance industry, I am examining the growth of racial justice philanthropy and also the connections between green and social finance. The second project investigates the effects of philanthropy on urban governance in cities in the American Midwest. The third project examines racialization in tax foreclosures and housing sales in Cleveland, Ohio in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crisis. The fourth project is a collaborative investigation of the effects of financialization in US higher education, examining the rise of Income Share Agreements to replace traditional student loans. I also have a long-standing interest in the politics of knowledge production in urban and economic geography.