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Research Projects

Research Projects


Forthcoming research publications, and projects that are submission-ready, include:

  1. An ethnographic investigation into South Africa’s digital divide and opportunities to transcend the geographies of apartheid through grassroots community Internet and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructures (forthcoming book chapter in Reimagining Urban Planning in Africa, Cambridge University Press); and

  2. An examination of Johannesburg, South Africa’s Ponte City Tower as physical embodiment of changing governing regimes and resident re-appropriation from apartheid to post-apartheid democracy.

  3.  With colleague Victor Chen, of the State of Colorado's Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), a study of historic redlining practices in Denver and Pueblo, Colorado. Two short introductory essays on the topic are supported by the American Council of Learned Societies' Mapping Inequality Project.


Early-stage or ongoing research projects include:

  1. Dissertation research: a mixed-methods investigation into how plans are received, re-formulated, and re-worked through repurposings, in the former "Bantustan" capital city of Mahikeng, North-West, South Africa (formerly Mafikeng and Mmabatho, the capital of the Bophuthatswana "Bantustan"). Research supported by the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group and Development Geographies Specialty Group;

  2. In collaboration with local researchers in Mahikeng, North-West, South Africa, and faculty at North-West University (NWU), a critical historical symposium into the life and legacy of Lucas Mangope, the former President of the Bophuthatswana Bantustan;

  3. An examination of “special districts” in Colorado in comparison with municipal governments, drawing on theoretical and empirical methods;

  4. With Prof. Elliott Sclar, an archival investigation of the 1948 Nairobi capital plan, crafted by British and South African planners and a window into a world-historical moment and subjectivity; 

  5. An engagement with the photography of South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and his work on securitization in Johannesburg; and

  6. An early-stage theoretical foray into abandoned indoor malls in the United States and the ways in which planners, developers, community groups, and residents are employing the concept of 'repurposing' in urban planning in such spaces. My focus is on how various actors re-envision and re-contextualize these spaces, within broad political-economic and social-structural conversations. 

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