Class of 2023


Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA

Major: International Comparative Studies, focusing on the Middle East

Mellon Project: Decentralized Energy Infrastructure and Community Resistance, Imperialist Humanitarianism, and Climate Reparations in MENA

I am pursuing an honors thesis guided by the following research question: how does the involvement of foreign actors impact the agency of autonomous, decentralized renewable energy for a local community? During the summer of 2021, I conducted an anthropological literature review of decentralized renewable energy (DRE). Drawing from case studies of DREs in Jordan, Lebanon, Italy, Washington DC, Central Africa, and India, I observed the (1) implementation of DREs as a form of community resistance, (2) the involvement of foreign actors in a local landscape, and (3) how the adaptation-mitigation nexus relates to the politics of DRE implementation. With this framework in mind, I plan to investigate how the involvement of foreign actors in decentralized energy systems furthers imperialist aims. In my countries of interest, Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan, foreign entities support most DRE projects. I hope to also conduct fieldwork and interviews in one of these countries to contrast on-the-ground dynamics with global narratives of local energy systems.


What is the best thing about your Mellon Mays experience?

The community and relationships I have built.