Amanda Matles

Amanda-Matles headshot with rocks

Research Interests

  • Politics of social reproduction; racial capitalism; youth; policing; gentrification; cities; globalization; economic restructuring; critical participatory action research; participatory video.

Dissertation Topic: "The Challenges of Sanctuary in the Neoliberal City: Fundamental Contradictions, Emergent Solidarities"

Advisor: Cindi Katz

Amanda is geographer, artist, activist, and filmmaker. She uses participatory video methods to develop research about the everyday intersections of economic restructuring, law and social control in the lives of young people, and to document and analyze the complex making of human geographies.

Amanda earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2004 and was a 2010 fellow of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY. Amanda's most recent participatory video research project, Being Policed, was conducted with youth researchers from Make the Road New York in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 2013-2015. Together they produced a "call to action" video visualizing statistical data on the policing of youth, gathered as part of the project alongside interviews with youth leaders. The team also conducted numerous video interviews with young people about their everyday, embodied experiences of and visions for changes to Stop and Frisk policing and harsh Zero Tolerance policies. The project is archived online and has been used in classrooms, "know your rights trainings," and exhibitions. Amanda is committed to making compelling research contributions to public discourses through engagement with social movements for economic and social justice in her writing, teaching, and visual research.