Research Interests

Gentrification Studies
Critical Latinx Geographies
Carceral Studies
cultural production
Women of Color Feminisms

Gentrification and its Discontents: Gang Injunctions, Encampment Sweeps, and Latinx Stylistic Disruptions to Mass Surveillance in Los Angeles,

identifies how the city of Los Angeles mobilizes anti-Blackness and carceral logics to achieve the goal of gentrifying majority working class communities of color, particularly through the control of public space like city parks. I investigate how technologies of surveillance and policing such as encampment sweeps, gang injunctions, and other data-driven policing tactics criminalize unhoused people, Black and Indigenous Latinx, sex workers, Queer and Trans communities of color and community organizers in Echo Park’s central public parks. I look specifically at two sites–MacArthur Park and Echo Park–two public parks and neighborhoods in central Los Angeles that have experienced encampment sweeps in preparation for Super Bowl LVI hosted in Inglewood, CA. In alignment with city officials’ efforts to “clean up '' the city, these two parks are among the only green spaces available to mainly immigrant residents living in impoverished, overcrowded conditions. As the city prepares to host upcoming international events such as the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the summer Olympics in 2028, efforts to sanitize the city have reached a fever pitch. Residents that threaten the city’s narratives of modernity are at even greater risk of marginalization and removal (Avila, 2004; Hernandez, 2017). My research shows how residents and unhoused alike practice tactics of refusal and also engage in placemaking and resistance to policing, surveillance, and removal through a range of community or art-based methods such as zine-making, graffiti, curating nightlife spaces, archiving sites of memory, and even the deployment of fashion, make-up and non-normative, embodied aesthetics.

Candyman’s Haunting: The Violence of Gentrification, Criminalization and Policing 

Abstract: Using Candyman directed by Nia DaCosta this paper explores spaces in the process of gentrification such as Chicago’s Cabrini-Green and Los Angeles’ Echo Park with the horror film’s connections to haunting, memory, and racial trauma. I develop what I call layered geographies of racialized classed gender to think about these complex issues of racialization and settler-colonial histories that manifest in the land and to theorize how gentrification re-produces historical legacies of dispossession of minoritized residents that is registered in terms of space, hauntings and embodiment.

Spatial Disruptions at UCLA’s Thinking Gender Conference Feminists Confronting the Carceral State 2019

Getting up: Gentrification, gang injunctions and graffiti in Echo Park, Los Angeles

M.A. Thesis

In the summer of 2011 the city of Los Angeles granted Echo Park, a neighborhood to the immediate northwest of downtown, a 45-million-dollar renovation grant to clean up Echo Park Lake. During the grand reopening of the park in 2013, the neighborhood of Echo Park wa simultaneously met with the Glendale Corridor Gang Injunction, a civil law suit against six alleged gangs in Echo Park. Despite the neighborhood’s significantly decreased crime rate the gang injunction was quietly passed without notification. Using Marcia Ochoa’s methodology of time travel and huecos negros (2016), I examine a long history of dispossession an displacement in Echo Park beginning with Chavez Ravine and continuing into The Belmont Tunnel dubbed the graffiti mecca of the west coast as examples of displacement due to what I call an affective economy of white pleasure. Additionally, I look at how stipulations in gang injunctions by policing what is considered non-normative expressions of femininity and masculinity through style and dress on bodies of color. I argue that graffiti and placas become visual spatial disruptors to ongoing narratives of Latinx erasure in Echo Park

Research Featured in Blogs Echo Park History