Current Research

Keith’s research and writing focus on racial capitalism, environmental justice, environmental law and policy, political economy, and the state. He has also worked in digital research methods, the Digital Humanities, and critical approaches Geographical Information Science (GISc).

Keith is currently developing a book manuscript that examines the role of environmental policy in shaping the relationships between race and environment. The manuscript builds a case for a theory of the racial environmental state. This is a framework for examining the fundamental ways in which race and environment shape the operations of the state. It in turn points to the terrains of struggle and social change organized through logics of racial capitalist, colonial, and imperial domination through the making and governance of the environment. That is, the racial environmental state poses contradictory sites of foreclosure and possibility for organizing and building within, against, and beyond the state.

Within the manuscript, this framework enables an examination of the ways that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process has transformed the logics and governance of, and community organizing around race and environment within the US since passage of the US National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. This research builds on Keith’s doctoral dissertation, titled “Institutionalizing Environmental Justice: Race, Place, and the National Environmental Policy Act.”

Keith is also currently working on a project exploring the case for border abolition through the intimate relationships between jaguar geographies along the US-Mexico border, border fortifications, settler colonialism, and racial capitalism.

Other Publications

Additional Research Interests

In addition to his research on race and the environment, Keith has been actively involved in NEH grant funded initiatives aimed at promoting the growth of Asian American Studies. Information about these projects is available on their respective websites: