Brittany Meché is a transdisciplinary scholar working across the fields of Environmental Studies, Security Studies, African/Diaspora Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Science and Technology Studies at Williams College. Brittany earned her PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines the politics of environmental expertise, global security projects, French and United States empire, and the making of Black/African diasporic worlds. Brittany’s work has been featured in Transition, Antipode, Society and Space, ACME, Environment and Society, and in the edited volume A Research Agenda for Military Geographies. Brittany previously served as the Gaius Bolin Postdoctoral Fellow at Williams College and the McMillan-Stewart residential fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She is currently completing two book manuscripts. The first, entitled Sustainable Empire: Nature, Knowledge, and Insecurity in the Sahel, is a solo authored study of security interventions, climate change, and the afterlives of empire in the West African Sahel. The second, entitled Heartbreak and Other Geographies: Assembling Katherine McKittrick, is a volume co-edited with Camilla Hawthorne celebrating the work of Katherine McKittrick.
Camilla Hawtorne is a critical human geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist broadly interested in the racial politics of migration and citizenship, inequality, social movements, and Black geographies. Her work engages critical human geography, diaspora, Black European studies, and postcolonial/feminist science and technology studies.
She currently serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Hawthorne is a principal faculty member in UCSC's Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program, and an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center and the Legal Studies Program. She is also director of the Black Geographies Lab at UCSC. Her teaching is focused on race, immigration and citizenship; political economy; Black geographies; subjectivity and identity; and social theory.
Her monograph, Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean explores the politics of Blackness and citizenship in Italy. In this project, she examines the ways the Italian-born children of African immigrants have mobilized for a reform of Italian citizenship law in the context of the Eurozone economic crisis and the southern European refugee emergency. This book represents one of the first ever in-depth studies of Black Italian political mobilizations in Italy. She is also co-editor of The Black Mediterranean, and The Black Geographic (under contract with Duke University Press).
Kaily Heitz is a Black geographic scholar and Early Career Fellow in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas Austin. She received her PhD in Human Geography from UC Berkeley (2021), and her BA in Environmental Analysis from Pitzer College (2014). She is interested in issues of visual representation, affect, cultural landscapes, Black feminist geographies, gentrification and displacement, and urban development. Her current work examines the lived experiences and representations of Blackness as they pertain to the identity and development of place in Oakland, California.
Kerby Lynch received her doctorate from UC Berkeley and has been heavily involved in the development of blockchain programs at the University, including Blockchain @ Berkeley. Kerby entered into blockchain development because she saw it as a vehicle for systemic economic adjustment for low income and POC communities. Kerby wants to ensure that the aspect of economic justice is prioritized as the blockchain sector continues to go mainstream. Through her work at Digital Currency Traders Alliance, Kerby hopes to expand educational opportunities for low-income communities by creating blockchain developer certificate programs at community colleges. Kerby currently resides in Berkeley, CA.
I am interested in Black geographies beyond the plantation. My first book project examines the historical and contemporary relationship of blackness to the frontier, in order to think through the place of blackness in settler geographies and imaginaries. I ask questions about Black and Indigenous claims to space through my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
My research is indebted to Black Caribbean thinkers and writers, whose work has pushed me toward entirely new questions and possibilities for Black life in the Americas.
I interrogate racial capitalist political economy and racialization in the Sacramento River Basin of Northern California (Nisenan Maidu and Plains Miwok Territory). I engage in multiscalar analysis of how hydrological infrastructure and the commodification and preservation of agricultural production establish settler colonial temporalities of white futurity, undergirded by racialized fear and promise, with special attention to these structures' historical antecedents in the Atlantic plantocracy and their export into U.S. imperial endeavors in the Pacific. I analyze how migratory and displaced laboring populations demonized by these formations offer alternate societal imaginaries through their material and poetic interventions throughout the landscape of the Sacramento Valley.
I earned my PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, my M.A.in Cultural Studies from the University of California, Davis, my M.S. in Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute, and my B.A. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary.
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