I write and teach about food politics, immigration, political economy, and the U.S-Mexico border at Whitman College.
My first book, Intimate Enemies: Landowners, Power, and Violence in Chiapas (Duke University 2007) grew out of sixteen months of interviews with powerful coffee planters, pistoleros, and the peasant groups that fought against them in southern Mexico (read more about Intimate Enemies here).
My second book, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf (Beacon 2012), explores the all-American desire to change the world by changing what people eat through the story of long running battles over the country's most basic staple--sliced white industrial bread (read more about White Bread here).
New Project! I am working on a new book of narrative nonfiction titled, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: Love and Survival on the Edge of America. The book tracks the collision of entrenched poverty, militarized policing, and gender violence in contemporary America through the harrowing story of one young woman growing up undocumented in a small, rural Arizona border town. It's a sledgehammer account of immigrant life wrapped in an unsentimental love story.
Along with academic journals in the U.S. and Mexico, my writing on has appeared in The Believer, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Salon, Gastronomica, and The Huffington Post. I've appeared on numerous national and regional NPR radio programs, and been interviewed for stories in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Foxnews.com, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, and other media. Listen to extended interviews with me on 99% Invisible, Against the Grain, PRI's To the Best of Our Knowledge, or Slate's Farm to Table Podcast.
I have an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. I've received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council and won teaching prizes from UC Berkeley and Whitman College.