Academic Writing

Injustice Unseen: Coverage of Migrant Labor in Alternative Food Media

Written for The Sociology of Food with Professor Jessica Epstein.

“This paper is an investigation of discourse around migrant labor in alternative food media, broadly defined. The central question is whether food journalists talk about labor, and if so, whose labor? I will also explore what the framing of particular labor issues tells us about the media outlets being studied here. The conceit here is that there is a gap in how agricultural labor activists talk about their issue space compared food media, especially compared to more ecological issues of sustainability. The truth of this assertion, how it manifests in different media, and possible causes are of primary interest. This investigation contributes to the study of labor in the present day, currents of immigration and the commodified body, and racism through the discursive erasure of marginalized populations and marginalized work.”

“Totally Normal, Pedestrian Behavior”: Deviance, Marijuana Legalization, and the Reformulation of Drug Risk

Written for Risk and the Body with Professor Jessica Epstein.

“Marijuana is having what one might call a “moment.” In the past three years, four states have legalized recreational weed. The notion that pot is inherently dangerous is becoming an object of ridicule—just a quick look at Vice’s article “Why Weed Really Is ‘Infinitely Worse’ Than Cigarettes, Just as Canadian PM Stephen Harper Says” reveals that the 20-something writing the piece doesn’t really think “too many fucking strains” is a reason for concern. But is the new acceptance of marijuana’s safety (and, concurrently, social normalcy) reflected by a complete reversal in the assessment and management of risks surrounding its use? As I’ll show, it’s not quite that simple. New types of risks are emerging and being regulated in some surprising ways—and social control is being distributed in ways often constituted by these risk management responsibilities.”

Thesis: African American English in Portland

Advised by Professor Kara Becker.

I collected, quantified, and analyzed speech data from native Portlanders. Through the lenses of sociolinguistic variationism and linguistic anthropology, I investigated a specific dialect of African American English that’s spoken in Portland’s Black community.