Working in the interdisciplinary intersections of anthropology and architecture in the study of design and labor, my research focuses on rural-urban migration in China and the relationship of the discipline of architecture to the industry and practice of construction. 

My project brought me to Xi’an, China, where I spent two years in fieldwork, moving between local construction sites and architectural studios. To better understand the lives of rural migrants who are employed to build China’s rapidly-growing cities, I spent three months working on a high-rise building project, I lived with workers in urban village dormitories, and I traveled with rural migrants to their hometowns in the countryside. I am a Research Associate at Newcastle University, UK. I was previously a fellow in anthropology and architecture at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. I am currently expanding my dissertation into a manuscript.

> Read more about my research from a recent interview at the University of Michigan



I received my doctorate in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from New York University in September 2015. I studied an undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with double degrees in Chinese Language and Literature and Journalism. Between undergraduate and graduate school, I worked in journalism and media, including a digital video start-up and five years at WBUR 90.9 Public Radio in Boston.

ANALYTICSWith Amplify, I work on learning analytics and educational data mining projects. I’m a Project Principle on the K-8 Science digital curriculum product. I’m part of a team developing novel analytical approaches to measuring student achieveme…


“China Constructs: Labor, Value and Architecture on a Chinese Construction Site” is an ethnographic account of the lives of rural migrant workers in central western China. My research explores the social distance between the practices of architectural design and the physical labor of building. To conduct this research, I received grants from The National Science Foundation (DDIG), the Social Science Research Council, (IDRF) and the Wenner Gren Foundation.


In addition to adapting “China Constructs” into a book manuscript, I have also begun groundwork to look at how trade with China offers a vector for class transformation and social change to many non-elite merchants and traders in Mexico City. I am also working on several other preliminary ethnographic projects involving material culture of construction, and the social life of fashion and the global relations between design and production.