Barnard - Headshot 2016

I am an assistant professor of sociology at New York University. I received my PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2019.

I am currently writing two books. The first, Conserved: Coercion and Care for Mental Illness in California is in press with Columbia University. It examines how the state of California has “abdicated authority” over the mental health system, leading to a situation in which people with severe mental illness are subject to repeated episodes of ineffectual forced treatment and deprived of both rights and transformative care. A second book, Mental States (under contract with Columbia University Press), examines how governmental and medical institutions constitute different populations of people as “severely mentally ill,” which creates policy dilemmas that reproduce differences between the mental health systems in the U.S. and France.

Recent publications include an article on media representations of forced treatment in California, an article with Tonya Tartour on the work of lawyers representing patients committed to hospitals without their consent in New York, an article with Isabel Perera on lessons from France for the U.S. mental health system, and an article on attempts to promote the autonomy of people with psychiatric disabilities in France. I have some academic papers that may or may not ever be published on civil commitment hearings and clinical decision-making in the two countries.

I have shared my academic work through a variety of venues. I have prepared a brief (with Neil Gong) based on my research on involuntary treatment and published op-eds in the Street Sheet, Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, and SF Chronicle. Finally, I’m involved in the DemoWatch project studying police-protester interactions in the Occupy movement, through Goodly Labs.

I’ve previously studied social movements against food waste (as an undergraduate at Princeton University) and the local politics of climate change in Ecuador (as a graduate student at Oxford University). My book “Freegans: Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America” is available from University of Minnesota Press, and papers from this project have been published in Ethnography and the American Journal of Sociology.

Some of my other interests include running, vegan cooking, and listening to the same poorly recorded punk rock from the 1980s I liked in high school.