I study the past and present of modernity and modern space. I am particularly interested in frontiers and contact zones, both rural and urban, and I understand modernity in terms of commodification —from rubber tapping in early-twentieth century Amazonia to a street undergoing gentrification in present-day Thailand. My latest publication is the book Transnational Frontiers of Asia and Latin America from 1800 (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Bradley Tatar. My favorite area of research is the Tropics, and I have done both archival and ethnographic research in tropical South America and Southeast Asia. My current book project is a historical geography of the modern tropics, in transnational perspective. In my teaching, which also informs my writing, I like to engage students through radical philosophical questions such as culture vs. nature, masters vs. slaves, and the like.
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