Faculty

JOVAN SCOTT LEWIS

I am an assistant professor of Geography and African-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The postcolonial formulary of the Caribbean and its Diaspora are core to my work. For that reason my research focuses on the experiences and articulations of everyday individual subjectivity, the circumstances of state economic underdevelopment, and of the ethical notions that are produced by the comprehensive condition of impoverishment. In my first book project, Scammer's Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica, published by University of Minnesota Press, I explore how structural and enduring poverty in Jamaica is responded to through crime. In Scammer's Yard, criminality serves as a reparative mechanism, made logical by the recognized crime of underdevelopment induced by the postcolonial economic stricture of structural adjustment. My current research continues to pursue these core themes in the United States through an analysis of the value and function of blackness as a means of economic and political transformation in Tulsa, OK. I started the Berkeley Black Geographies Project in 2016 after joining the Geography Department at the University of California, Berkeley. 

BRANDI THOMPSON SUMMERS

Brandi Thompson Summers is an assistant professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research builds on epistemological and methodological insights from cultural and urban geography, urban sociology, African American studies, and media studies by examining the cultural, political, and economic dynamics by which race and space are reimagined and reordered. Brandi's book, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City (UNC Press), explores how aesthetics and race converge to locate or map blackness in Washington, D.C. In it, she demonstrates the way that competing notions of blackness structure efforts to raise capital and develop land in the gentrifying city. Her current book project, tentatively titled Routes of Race, Resistance, and the Geographies of Belonging in Oakland, California, is an interdisciplinary study that examines the complex ways in which uses of space and placemaking practices inform productions of knowledge and power. 

SHARAD CHARI

Sharad Chari is a geographer who has worked between Marxist agrarian studies, historical ethnography, Black Marxism and Southern feminisms. Sharad is author of Fraternal Capital: Peasant-workers, self-made men and globalization in provincial India (2004), co-editor of The Development Reader (2008) and Other Geographies (2017), and is on the editorial team of Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory. His book in process, Apartheid Remains, is based on long-term resarch since 2002 in Durban, South Africa, in neighborhoods in an industrial-residential patchwork landscape, a valley that traps pollution and foists its burden on people racialized ‘Indian’ and ‘Coloured’ in South African racial capitalism, many of whom found radical political alternatives in coalitional Black politics. This book, and a series of articles on Black thought have opened new areas of research on Black women's militancy and queer futurity during and after South Africa's unfinished revolution and on the notion of 'oceanic economy,' linking the Black Atlantic to the Southern African Indian Ocean.

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