I work as a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey (United States). In research and teaching, I explore ways in which people exploit each other while exploiting nature, environments, and, indeed, the entire biosphere. I have written history and ethnography on topics as diverse as settler colonialism, racism, slavery, land reform, climate change, oil, and renewable energy – in Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe. My current work takes me to southern Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar, an energy-rich blow zone. Provisionally entitled Utopia of Wind: Politics after Fossil Fuels, the project will reassess property, aesthetics, biodiversity, work, and other Left values in light of the transition towards clean energy. Throughout, I have sought to dismantle associations taken for granted: those between land and freedom, between whiteness and nature, and between oil and progress. You may read current and older texts through the links to below.
As a scholar-activist, I wish to promote social justice and sustainability at the edge of capitalism. The public university lies at that margin. At Rutgers, I serve as vice-president of the AAUP-AFT, the faculty labor union. The union strive to make higher education affordable to students and rewarding and secure for faculty of all backgrounds and identities. We defend academic and freedom, and, in resisting the Trump administration, we also champion the freedom of immigrant and Muslim students, faculty, and staff. This labor activism has taken me back to issues of climate change. Rutgers AAUP-AFT has sponsored the New Jersey March for Science and the Jersey Renews Coalition for renewable energy. In these many ways, I would like to preserve higher ed. as a public good – one that enfranchises people economically and politically while nurturing innovation, criticism, and dissent.
Energy without Conscience
Whiteness in Zimbabwe
My second book came out in 2010 with Palgrave Macmillan. You can learn more about the work and buy it here.
The Johannesburg Mail and Guardian reviewed the book here.
From Enslavement to Environmentalism
University of Washington Press published my first book in 2006 in its Nature, Culture, Place Series. You can learn more about the work and buy it here.
The Zimbabwe Independent reviewed the book here.