- MAA, Applied Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park
BA, Sociology and Anthropology, Spelman College
- Internships Currently/Previously Held
- Research Assistant, AU Metropolitan Policy Center (MPC); Associate, Cultural Systems Analysis Group (CuSAG), University of Maryland, College Park; Student Researcher, DC Mayor's Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA)
Maya S. Kearney is a socio-cultural and urban anthropologist, specializing in urban ethnographic methodologies, carceral studies, and urban policy and transformation. She has done extensive research on mass incarceration and its impact on Black families and communities within the Washington, DC local context by exploring the needs and challenges of prisoner reentry. Her work examines how the processes of gentrification serve as an extension of the carceral state through the cultural experiences of returning citizens when navigating the DC housing landscape upon release. Her work centers community-based participatory research (CBPR) where she has organized and presented at events that bring together scholars and community organizations to facilitate dialogue and critical engagement around issues surrounding prisoner reentry. She views housing and carcerality through a place-based lens utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to understand the spatial patterns of gentrification and how this impacts the housing options available to returning citizens and their families.
In addition to her active research Maya has also worked on multiple National Park Service (NPS) projects, including the "Ethnographic Resource Study of the Henry and Robinson Farmsteads at Manassas Battlefield National Park" and the "Monocacy National Battlefield Park Oral History Project" with Drs. Rachel Watkins and Arvenita Washington Cherry.
Research Interests: prisoner reentry, gentrification, urban policy, race and place, carceral (Black) geographies, urban ethnography, ethnographic training methodologies.