Maya S. Kearney

American University


Maya S. Kearney is an Anthropology PhD candidate at American University in Washington, DC. She got her BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Spelman College and MA in Applied Anthropology from University of Maryland, College Park. Her research fields include socio-cultural and urban anthropology, carceral geography, and Black geographies with a topical focus on political economy, urban housing and development, race and space/place, and prisoner reentry. Her dissertation examines state processes that have transformed urban space into what she calls a “gentrified-carceral city”and explores how gentrification impacts housing security for men and women reentrants in material and symbolic ways that is connected to a sense of place and belonging. She uses her research to inform equitable housing and reentry policy for transformative change. For the 2022-23 academic year, Maya will be an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellow.