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Tori Sinanan

Doctoral Fellow


Campus Am Neuen Palais
Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 1, Room 0.15
14469 Potsdam


consulting hours
by appointment only

Dissertation Project

Mapping (under)development: A situational analysis of rural East Trinidad.

How do rural Trinidadians navigate their social arena? How can their narratives showcase the complex interactions between social institutions, geography and other, often taken for granted actants? In Trinidad and Tobago, material and social resources have historically trickled down from both the global and local West. This legacy of colonialism and current neo-colonial influence leaves rural citizens to grapple with a rapidly changing social arena that, by design, has excluded the nuance and realities of their existence.

Within this thesis, I will transcribe the lived experiences of rural, East Trinidadian people into maps to illustrate connections between historical and contemporary developments in Sangre Grande. These situational maps aim to provide a theoretical outline of how coloniality, neoliberal capitalism and geography create an arena of socio-cultural institutions and policies through which citizens must navigate. The research combines sociological theories surrounding post-development, the coloniality of power and citizenship with elements of ethnographic inquiry to preserve the voices of rural citizens and will further illustrate how rural knowledges are created. In addition to the theoretical goals of the dissertation, I will show how mapping can be used to democratise social policy, and further, allow citizens to shape social policies to their communities. 


I am currently a PhD fellow within the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms based in Freie Universität Berlin. I first completed my BSc. in Psychology, with a minor in Anthropology at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, before moving on to complete an MSc. in Sociology at the same institution. While at the UWI, I taught tutorial sessions in Caribbean Gender Studies, Anthropology and Sociology, and was given the opportunity to guest lecture within the latter two disciplines. I also worked as a research assistant for a United Nations investigation into local values in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as for a project that aimed to help democratise the courtrooms of regional High Court Justices and Magistrates. 

Research Interests

  • The Coloniality of Power
  • Neocolonialism in the Caribbean
  • Post-development Studies
  • Citizenship
  • Human Geography
  • Decolonial Gender Studies 


Kerrigan, Dylan, Peter Jamadar, Elron Elahie, and Tori Sinanan. 2019. “Securing Equality For All: The Evidence and Recommendations.” In Securing Equality For All In The Administration Of Justice: Proceedings of the Caribbean Judicial Dialogue, edited by Janeille Zorina Matthews and Jewel Amorah, 61–98. Kingston: Pear Tree Press. Link to e-book 

Conference Papers

“I am going to fight to the last”: Connecting the Survival Strategies of Rural Women in Trinidad to Global Processes”, Understanding Local Entanglement of Global Inequalities: Socio-Cultural Transformation and Decolonial Thought, The University of the West Indies. April, 2018.

“The Eye of the Beholder: Taboos and Body Policing Through the Cultural Lens of Trinidadian Women’s Body Modification”, 3rd Biennial Department of Behavioural Sciences Postgraduate Conference, The University of the West Indies St. Augustine. March, 2017.