Sheyda Aboii

Research Interests: Blackness, race, indigeneity, documentation, membership, belonging, immigration, toxic exposure, water, citizenship, borders, structural violence, bodily affect, environment, post-industrial worldings, the social meaning(s) of policies, and divergence of local practice from federal policies


Sheyda M. Aboii grew up in Pflugerville, Texas, where she first discovered an interest in humans and their environment while studying river water quality and serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission. She graduated from Harvard University in 2014 with an A.B. degree in Government and served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration before beginning her current studies in Medicine and Anthropology. 
I am interested in exploring what occurs when immigration, urban shifts in land use, and the environment collide—when people, toxins, and policies merge to form bodily and social narratives. My current research proposals include the question of immigrant membership following common toxic exposure in Flint, Michigan, and the practice of subsistence fishing in the Anacostia River amidst standing consumption advisories.

Published Work:

Aboii, Sheyda. 2016. “Undocumented Immigrants and the Inclusive Health Policies of Sanctuary Cities.” Harvard Public Health Review, Special Volume (7) on Refugee Health. Available at:
Aboii, Sheyda. 2012. “Exploring the Gap Between Water Supply and Energy Development.” StateImpact Texas. Available at:
Aboii, Sheyda. 2012. “Why Groundwater Is Running Out in the Panhandle.” StateImpact Texas. Available at:
Aboii, Sheyda and Terrence Henry. 2012. “Why Earthquakes Are Shaking North Texas: Scientists Investigate Links to Disposal Wells.” StateImpact Texas. Available at:
Buchele, Mose and Sheyda Aboii. 2012. “What Texas Can Do About Oil and Gas-Related Earthquakes.” StateImpact Texas. Available at: