I am a PhD student in the department of Theology. I received my Bachelors degree from the University of Virginia in economics and environmental thought and practice (ETP). As part of a capstone project for the environmental thought and practice major, I traveled to Panama to study how coffee plantations in the Chiriquí Highlands incorporated practices of economic and environmental justice in their business strategies.
My interest in environmental justice continues to shape my research projects. For my dissertation, I retrieve the theories of property of twelfth and thirteenth century canonists and theologians, who saw property primarily as an expression of the political values of equality, rights of subsistence, and liberty. I contrast this with contemporary conceptions of property, which are shaped by the early modern tendency to prioritize the economic value of property over its political value. Our conceptions of property influence the way we see and interpret problems of environmental justice. In the final chapter of the dissertation, I show how the theory of property I retrieve provides a better lens for ethically evaluating the phenomenon of land grabbing, focusing on contemporary cases of land grabbing in South America.
My research focuses on recovering and developing the tools and insights of the Catholic moral tradition to engage problems in environmental justice and political ethics.