is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Harvard University.
Their dissertation, Yellow Peril, Black Power, is an historical and ethnographic study of collaborations between African American and Chinese American people in New York City from the 1960s to the present with a particular focus on criminal and criminalized activities. Yellow Peril, Black Power explores how crime works as a kind of mutual aid—a set of practices around which people collaborate to secure resources, protection, and social mobility—in the absence of, or in opposition to, the state. Maya also writes more broadly about social theory, capital, forensics, and childhood.
Maya is currently a visiting scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University. They teach courses on anthropological research at Harvard University and a writing course on business and labor in fiction and film at New York University. Maya holds master's degrees in anthropology from Harvard University, social sciences from the University of Chicago, and humanities and social thought from NYU. They received their undergraduate degree in social and cultural analysis from NYU.