2022 Award Recipient

Maya S. Kearney

Maya S. Kearney is the recipient of the 2022 AAA Dissertation Fellowship for Historically Underrepresented Persons in Anthropology. This award was created to encourage members of racialized minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations.

Maya is an anthropology PhD candidate at American University in Washington, DC. She received her BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Spelman College and MA in Applied Anthropology from the 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 are connected to a sense of place and belonging. She uses her research to inform equitable housing and reentry policy for transformative change. Ms. Kearney’s work has been funded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Association of Geographers (AAG), and American Anthropological Association (AAA).