Tyler Adkins is a PhD student in Princeton’s department of Anthropology, where he studies southern Siberia (specifically Altai Krai and Altai Republic) as well as the anthropology of food and eating, kinship, and anthropological theory. At this juncture in his research, he is interested in how people in southern Siberia experience and respond to the unpredictable, recalcitrant nature of the material “stuff” in their lives, especially the ever-changing organic matter of food and drink. Along these lines, Tyler is curious about the ways in which people respond to the material qualities of food by storing, fermenting, drying, smoking, salting, freezing, selling, sharing, discarding, and—of course—eating it. Relatedly he is interested in the anthropology of the senses, especially questions of how such intimately private, subjective experiences as taste, touch, and smell affect human sociality. On a theoretical level, Tyler is interested in contemporary materialist and realist philosophical projects, as well as early twentieth century materialisms, especially those articulated by Soviet and French avant-garde movements. He similarly intrigued by the imbrications between psychoanalysis (particularly in the object-relations tradition), continental philosophy, and ethnographic theory in thinking about—as well as actually carrying out— the ethnographic process.
Current Student Research
Celeste Alexander works at the intersection of political anthropology, the anthropology of development, and environmental anthropology. Her fieldwork concerns political possibilities and limitations presented by community conservation and related development projects in north-western Tanzania. Working with institutional actors who mediate engagements between, on the one hand, peoples living outside of protected areas, and on the other, a diverse set of regulatory actors, development practitioners, and private investors, her research explores competing notions of community and democratic governance in a context of increasing calls for decentralization. In particular, she is interested in processes by which claims to authority, to land, to livelihoods, and to development in various capacities are asserted, assumed, or subdued.
Kessie Alexandre’s research engages built and natural environments, embodiment, memory, and critical race and gender studies in the United States and the Caribbean. Her current research examines the challenges of inadequate water systems in a postindustrial American city and follows various efforts to address these water issues through a combination of technoscience, environmentalisms, and urban design. Broadly she is interested in relations between the body, the state, and the cityscape as they are illuminated by infrastructure decay and governance. Kessie holds a B.A. in Public Health Studies and Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. Previously she has conducted research on water access, risk, and contagion in northwestern Haiti.
Mai K. Alkhamissi is a first-year PhD student with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the American University in Cairo. Mai has done fieldwork in Cairo from 2011 to 2013 on a project called the Imagination of the Political researching independent trade unions and artists who chose to display their art in public spaces. She taught introduction to Sociology at the American University in Cairo this past academic year. She did her MA fieldwork in 2013-2014 with craftsmen in Darb el Ahmar area of Cairo where she looked at how their methods of organizing impacts her understanding of what democracy is and different definitions of the political.
Quincy is interested in ethics and morality, sacrifice, divination, aesthetics, linguistic relativism, and iconicity and did fieldwork among Karimojong and other Ateker (agro-) pastoralists in north-eastern Uganda. His prospective dissertation seeks to give an ethnographic account about his Karimojong interlocutor’s pursuits of flourishing in relation to seemingly discordant imperatives such as the obligation to rustle their enemies’ cattle. In other words, it attempts to probe what ‘good (ejok)’ means when, apparently, often brutal plunder of others is considered by the said raiders and their kin as being virtuous. Previous ethnographers who have engaged this rather obscure controversy are either: astutely ambiguous; or argue that Karimojong moral judgements are founded on utility; or have inferred that Karimojong and other Ateker of concern act with expediency. However, it appears that critical Karimojong maxims like ‘dazzling God is most necessary for flourishing’ contest such inferences. Using phenomenology of language and conceptual analysis that are grounded in ethnographic participant observation, Quincy’s study is geared towards an understanding of his Karimojong interlocutors’ interpretations of a good life, an exposition of the enigmatic Nilotic category of ‘–jok,’ and, hopefully, a contribution to the interdisciplinary conversation on “apparently irrational beliefs.”
Nicole Berger is currently writing her dissertation on how transnational, national, and local-urban identities are being actively forged by members of the Tamil diaspora within the urban space of Paris, France. Her research explores the tensions between cosmopolitanism and nationalism(s) in contemporary urban spaces shaped by transnational migration. Her scholarship spans both French studies and Tamil studies, and explores the intersections between the two. Her research has been supported by the Georges Lurcy Fellowship for Study in France, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies. Prior to attending Princeton University, Nicole earned an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where her fieldwork-based thesis examined the localization of an Indian-origin transnational religious organization in Hawai’i. Her interests include migration, nationalism, transnationalism, and urban ethnography.
Hannah is a PhD candidate in Anthropology, interested broadly in anthropologies of knowledge production, landscape, and material history. Her current research involves multiplicities of understanding of place and natural rhythms in rural Alaska, looking at how field biologists, cowboys, and other locals embody knowledges about annual and generational changes in light, tide, and climate. Her other interests attend to the contested borders of cultural, biological, and archaeological anthropology, centering around engagements with animal bodies in natural history museum collections. Hannah holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Scripps College
Grace Carey is interested in the convergences of space, corporeality, and spirituality. While her interests sometimes appear divergent - from emphases on politics of space and racial dynamics in post-industrial Rust Belt cities to the emergence of charismatic Catholicism as a political movement - she in entrenched in the multitudinous connections between these points of experience and is interested in pursuing questions of religious community building in the United States.
Max Cohen is a first-year PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology studying political economic processes in the contemporary Americas. Currently, his research is on Silicon Valley company cultures. This research engages questions of work and finance, welfare and wellness, technology and subjectivity, and the spacing and timing of the home, workplace, and city – themes also explored in previous work. Max studied Business as an undergraduate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he also minored in Urban Studies, and he holds an MA in Social & Cultural Analysis from New York University. Since 2014, Max has assisted Caitlin Zaloom’s research on family finance in the contemporary US, including himself interviewing scores of college students and their parents across the country.
Jessica Cooper is a sixth-year graduate student currently completing her dissertation on California’s criminal justice and public mental health care systems, entitled “Care by Conviction: Surreal Life in California’s Mental Health Courts.” Based on two years of fieldwork in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jessica’s research examines how people positioned across stark power divides – such as professionals within the criminal justice system and people who are incarcerated, mental health professionals and their patients, and social workers and their indigent clients – come to relate to one another within state institutions that conjoin imperatives to care and control. Mental health courts aspire to provide social services in place of incarceration to people who have been convicted of crimes and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders by the state. “Care by Conviction” examines the political, ethical, and affective consequences of this attempt to turn courtrooms into clinics. Jessica works at the interface of medical, psychological, and legal anthropology to investigate how people register power dynamics within interpersonal relationships and how, in turn, people employ affective aspects of intimacy to reorganize understandings and distributions of health, freedoms, and justice. Jessica is presently a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow and has forthcoming publications in Cultural Anthropology and Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, and World Order.
Vinicius de Aguiar Furuie is currently studying river trade in the Xingu river, in the Brazilian Amazonia. A reader of economic and political anthropology, he is interested in debates about value, exchange, contract, credit, barter, commodity and kinship. He is also fascinated by the history of Amazonia and how it is felt in river life. In previous projects, Vinicius has done ethnographies of antinuclear social movements in Tokyo and media reception in a favela in São Paulo.
Elizabeth Durham is a third-year student interested in wellbeing, affective health, and material technologies of affective care, both in and out of medicalized and/or commodified settings; and in broader questions of what constitutes a well-lived life, and of the place of health therein. Her current research examines these themes in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, particularly in light of the country's ongoing socioeconomic and sociopolitical issues, and of recent "Global Mental Health" transnational development influences.
Prior to coming to Princeton, Elizabeth received her MPhil in anthropology (2015) from the University of Oxford, where she was awarded a Clarendon Scholarship; and her BA in anthropology (2012) from Carleton College. She also held a Fulbright Student Research Grant to Cameroon from 2012 to 2013.
Benjamin’s dissertation research focuses on drug consumption and identity-making practices of urban youths who recently ascended to the new middle class in Rio de Janeiro. My project examines the social and political effects of drugs (and their perceived risk), and asks how middle class identity and consumption patterns are being remade through educational interventions and discourses on risk. I aim to explore how new middle class “future of Brazil” youth, articulate their understandings of drugs, “middle classness” and citizenship in relation to drug prevention and discourses on risk, against the backdrop of the ascent of 40 million citizens into Brazil’s new middle class, intergenerational change and the prohibitionist policies of the “War on Drugs.” He has continued to be interested in photographic visual work from earlier research on Christian drug rehabilitation in Guatemala and crack harm reduction in Brazil.
Wei Gan is a first-year PhD student. She received her Bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Duke University in 2009. Graduating with distinction and the top departmental award, she completed a thesis based on extensive fieldwork with conspiracy theorists in Texas. Prior to coming to Princeton, she set up her own vegan ice cream company and worked as a bartender in New York City. Broadly, Wei is interested in the ethics and ethical projects of upper-class, urban Chinese of the post-80s generation. She is fascinated by questions of ontology, memory, time and narratives-as-myth, particularly in the contexts of post-socialist governmentality and (a)historical (re)construction. She explores projects of self and becoming in relation to fluctuating topologies of power and modes of meaning-making. She is working on incorporating visual and media anthropology as well as personal connections to Ireland into her research on contemporary China. Lastly, Wei hopes to unpack and disrupt the linear and universalizing discourses of American liberalism and what it means to be a (good) human being.
Thalia Gigerenzer is interested in the anthropology of anxiety, moods, wonder, embodiment and intimacy. Her research focuses on changing idioms of stress and well-being in India. Specifically, she is interested in how working-class residents of Delhi articulate their interior lives and re-imagine intimate relations in times of economic and social flux. Before coming to Princeton, Thalia worked as a sound artist and journalist. She is interested in using sound and other media to experiment with ethnographic forms.
Eva Harman's dissertation is a study of the effects of a fourteen-year civil war and post-war social life in Liberia. Her sixteen months of fieldwork in Liberia were supported by the Wenner Gren Foundation. In the field, she moved between households and schools, younger and older generations, market stands and kickball games, palm plantations and movie clubs, school assemblies and story-exchanging sessions, and rural and urban areas. She received support for writing her dissertation from the Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars and has been an invited guest at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.
Max Horder is a first-year PhD student interested in the interaction between state and non-state actors in Brazil. His current research is on the PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital), a prison gang which has come to organize and regulate security in both the prisons and favelas of the state of São Paulo. He is also interested in the relationships between violence, law and sovereignty in the context of the war on drugs in Latin America. He received his MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where he wrote a dissertation on the rise of influential hip-hop groups in peripheral urban areas of Brazil. He obtained his BSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics.
Brandon Hunter is interested in the use of ethnography to explore issues of labor and law in a number of contexts. In the United States, Brandon’s research looks at the development of laws designed to protect individuals from discrimination based on their criminal record and how such laws are situated within larger political movements aimed at reforming prisoner reintegration policy. In Latin America, Brandon’s research examines the role played by organized labor in tourism zones, and explores the way worker organizations shape the lives of the workers they represent. Brandon is broadly focused on the role of work in economic development schemes both in the United States and abroad, paying close attention to the complex ways such schemes use law to create and regulate market conditions.
Kamal’s primary research interests lie at the intersections of indigeneity, Russia, and post-socialism. Focusing on the Russian Far East (especially Primorsky Krai and the Kamchatka Peninsula), Kamal would like to investigate how official recognition or lack thereof for indigenous populations impacts both the self-construction of their identity and the constructions of these identities produced by ethnic Russians and the state. This interest led Kamal to also investigate the importance of specific others (such as indigenous populations) in creating specific Russian identities. Museum representation is central to this creating these identities, and Kamal's secondary interests include museum representation, the narratives that these representations produce, and the negotiations of these narratives by Russian museum visitors.
Aleksandar is looking into the ways physical and symbolic space are organized in postsocialist Kyrgyzstan, as well as in the ways various people – artists, migrants, bureaucrats – orient themselves in such spaces. This is coming from a broader interest in the intersections of postsocialism, postcolonialism, and postimperialism; and the intersections of the concepts of Europe and Asia. Aleksandar’s research will look at the ways various types of Kyrgyz nationalism inform different actors’ understandings of space and orientation in it, but also in the ways those nationalisms are informed by various understandings of spatial and temporal borders, kinship, modernity, and materiality. Aleksandar’s other research interests include migrations, time, infrastructure, education, and the postsocialist Europe and Eurasia more generally, especially the Balkans. He holds an undergraduate degree in sociology from University of Belgrade, Serbia, and an MA in anthropology from University of Sussex, UK. As part of the latter, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork with Serbian migrants in Switzerland, focusing on the infrastructural aspects of building and maintaining transnational social networks.
Sarah-Jane Koulen is a third year student interested in the development of international criminal jurisdiction, and in particular the establishment of international criminal courts and tribunals with jurisdiction over 'the worst crimes of concern to the international community' (Rome Statute). Her work will be geographically situated in The Hague (The Netherlands) and Arusha (Tanzania), and will attend to the ways in which the practice of international criminal law extends beyond as well as connects institutional and national boundaries. By following and learning from the transnational community of experts who work in the field of international criminal justice, she hopes to contribute to an understanding of how the field works, how experts in the field experience their work, and how transnational legal knowledge and expertise is produced and perpetuated through human labor and commitments. Sarah-Jane holds an LL.M. in Human Rights from SOAS, University of London.
Karolina Koziol’s research focuses on the development and transformation of border towns and their importance for trade and tourism in the Russian-Chinese borderlands. Her planned fieldsite is the town of Manzhouli in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia and the bordering Zabaykalsk in Russia. Before coming to Princeton, Karolina lived and studied in Berlin, Germany and Beijing, China.
Karolina received her bachelor’s degree in Asian and African Studies with a minor in gender studies from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany and was a visiting student at the Peking University in Beijing, China in 2012/13.
Kelly McKowen is a post-field doctoral student. His dissertation project, The Employment Ethic: Rethinking the Moral Economy of the Nordic Model, is an ethnographic study of the social and active labor market policies that shape the everyday lives and ethical commitments of the unemployed in contemporary Norway. Kelly's doctoral research in Oslo has been supported by the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Einar and Eva Lund Haugen Scholarship, and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education. He is also a former graduate fellow with Princeton's Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars, as well as a U.S.-Norway Fulbright grantee. His most recent publication, "A Welfare 'Regime of Goodness'? Material Self-interest, Reciprocity, and the Moral Sustainability of the Nordic Model", is featured inSustainable Modernity: The Nordic Model and Beyond (Routledge, 2018).
Alexandra Middleton is a third-year student working at the interface of medical anthropology, neuroscience, disability studies, embodiment, feminist studies of science, and experimentality. She is currently conducting fieldwork in Gothenburg, Sweden, examining these themes as they relate to the development of brain-machine-interface prosthetic technologies and the use of virtual reality in treating phantom limb pain (PLP). Alexandra is interested in questions of subjectivity, patienthood, care, pain, iterativity, the moral economy of hope in experimental science, and how spaces outside of the lab and clinic (i.e. the home) become sites of science-in-the-making.
Alexandra holds a BA in cultural anthropology with a minor in neuroscience from Duke University, where she followed pre-medical training. She has also conducted research in Togo and Brazil. Alexandra is also a documentary photographer and plans to incorporate visual methodology (photography and film) into her dissertation work.
Shinjung Nam’s research interests concern colonial and post-colonial histories of intellectual culture and formation of popular social movements, as well as today’s knowledge productions carried on by diverse groups of social agents. She has been tracing recent politicization of education from above and below in South Korea, from state officials to untenured scholars of philosophy in connection to the universities’ elimination of their humanities disciplines and the State promotion of a “Humanities Spirit Culture” outside the higher educational system. She situates participation of the Korean state in what the World Bank has called “Global Knowledge Revolution” and transition to a knowledge-based economy in the dynamics of geopolitics where diverse institutions and discursive regimes compete for the authority to evaluate and govern worldwide knowledge production. She pays close attention to the intersection of South Korean working adults’ pursuit of political theory in the after-work hours and the financially precarious academics’ formation of humanities education for the wider public outside of academe. Her current research examines how these two groups organize their studies, how they experiment with pedagogy and power, and how and why, in particular, the alumni of the 1980s Marxist student activism participate in these grassroots humanities today. By engaging with anthropological studies of initiation rituals and transgression, translation and social change, fetish and recognition, and kinship relations that produce time, she inquires following problems. How do non-academic adult-students imagine nation and transnationalism by reading foreign theory? How do they mediate and give flesh to the doubly foreign literature—Korean academic translations of “western” theory—to critique the state and make sense of their changing self? And how might one theorize about their humanities studies taking place in the dark, if not underground, throughout the participants’ “favorite places to hang out” or in Korean agit, taken from the term agitpunkt meaning underground centers of political propaganda in Russian? Not limited to the South Korean context her inquiries extend to other historical and contemporary examples of collective reading and translation, (trans)formation of political identity, and interactions between the ethical (practice of self) to the political (exercises in power).
Lindsay examines conflicts around oil and gas development, particularly in the United States and Ecuador. Over the last nine years she has conducted a number of ethnographic investigations focused on debates about toxicity, liability, and human rights in relation to major oil spills. Her investigative work draws from previous experience as a multi-media correspondent out of Ecuador and from various collaborative relationships with non-profit and community-led organizations concerned with peace and justice. She has published with TeleSUR English, RealitySandwich.com, the United Nations Association, and New York University’s Journal of Global Affairs and has provided documentary post-production translation and editing support for Mangusta Productions. Prior to coming to Princeton, she worked on solar energy policy analysis for the City of Boulder and on a multi-disciplinary initiative to research the effects of hydraulic fracturing on Colorado communities at CU-Boulder’s Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences. She received a MA in anthropology with a certificate in environment, policy & society at CU-Boulder. She is currently a Lassen Fellow in Latin American Studies.
Emma Patten, third year student, is interested in the production and circulation of historical narratives in York, England. She focuses on how historical society members, museum volunteers and employees, and cathedral volunteers and employees inherit collective memories propagated by institutions; she is especially interested in how these people often contest and reimagine “official” institutional historical narratives, drawing from longstanding local wisdom in creating their own understandings of the past. She also hopes to extend the anthropological concept of kinship to relationships between the living and the dead in an attempt to explain strong affinities that her interlocutors have with ancestors and historical figures.
Heath Pearson is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Dept., an affiliate of the Dept. of African American Studies, and a Graduate Fellow in the Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars. He is currently writing his dissertation, Carceral Frontiers: Land Loss and Governance in an American Prison Town, based on ethnographic and archival research in Cliptown, New Jersey, a rural town with five correctional facilities. His most recent academic article, "The Prickly Skin of White Supremacy," explores the co-constitution of race and place in Huntington, Indiana, and the many ways racialized violence lingers in the land, and on the skin, throughout multiple generations. His most recent collaborative project is with VICE Media: Weediquette, Season 2, Episode 7, 'Search & Seizure. His most recent co-organized (with Nyle Fort) conference was the first African American Studies graduate student conference at Princeton University, 'eighteen hundred and more: mourning the needy dead in the chaos of protest.' He also spends a great deal of time listening to music.
Sofia Pinedo-Padoch is a fourth-year student currently completing her dissertation fieldwork. In 2017, she was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation for her dissertation project, “Processes of State Administration in Caring for the Isolated Deceased.” Her research looks at how the state and its network of public and private actors care for individuals who die intestate and without apparent family in New York City.
Kurt Poeschl is a first-year PhD student. He was born in Deutschlandsberg, Austria, and graduated from Karl Franzens Universitaet Graz with a B.A. in European Ethnology and a B.A. in Art History. Kurt focused on the political claims and site-specificity of art in public space, and has worked on Memory Studies at Rutgers University, where he received an M.A. in German Language and Literature in 2015. For the past two years, Kurt was an M.A. student in Visual Anthropology at Georg August Universitaet, Goettingen, with a focus on concepts of solidarity, "identity" and ownership, in relation to governance and population loss in former Eastern Germany. His major fields of interest include social inequality, migration, urban order and ethnographic film.
Sebastian Ramirez is interested in the conflation of urban transformation, state intervention, displacement and citizenship. Specifically, I am interested in the ways in which internally displaced persons in Colombia come to occupy and transform spaces in the country's major cities and how their presence dovetails and/or distorts public discourses of violence and reconciliation. Furthermore, I want to explore the ways in which current displacements bring previous histories of forced movement to the fore and how the articulation of these histories can be wielded to produce new claims to citizenship and belonging.
Joel Rozen, post-fieldwork student, is a former journalist whose research considers entrepreneurship and matters of neoliberalism, hybridity, and development in Tunisia and around the Mediterranean. More peripherally, his interests include parallel markets, visual media, "crisis" contexts, historiography, and French colonialism. He has published on martyrdom and the informal telling of history following the Tunisian revolution, and on new political leadership after the uprising.
Igor’s research engages environmental anthropology, development studies, migration and silviculture. During 15 months of fieldwork in Tajikistan, he explored how pilot efforts to promote climate change adaptation influenced international development and resource governance. This inquiry led him to investigate the relationship between state and non-state actors and the arts of living that residents employed in the face of institutional shortcomings and widespread transnational migration. This research was funded by the NSF, IREX, SSRC, and the Princeton Environmental Institute. Igor has also conducted research in Kyrgyzstan on the social ramifications of remittances for an MA in International Development and Social Change at Clark University.
Jesse Rumsey-Merlan works on the body, gender relations, class and consumption in India. His current research is on expressions of masculinity in urban India, and the growth of the gym and fitness industry. Previously he has conducted research on popular yoga movements in India and the role of television and new media in these movements. He is also interested in comparative theories of the self across anthropology, psychoanalysis, psychology and religious and gender studies.
Elizabeth (EB) Saldaña is a first year student whose research interests include restorative approaches in caregiving, state violence and control, youth citizenship and advocacy, and economic transitions in Kentucky. She studies surveillance and youth recidivism in the Kentucky child welfare system, focusing particularly on psychiatric residential treatment facilities. EB uses ethnography to explore effective responses to institutionalization, displacement, and trauma, and narratives of community and recovery among youth with multiple placements.
Aderayo Sanusi is a first-year PhD student. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and lived there for ten years before immigrating to the United States with her family. She graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 2012 from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Anthropology and English Writing. She subsequently received an LL.M. with Merit in International Economic Law from SOAS, University of London in 2015 and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2016. While conducting research in Lagos for her LL.M. thesis on how Nigeria regulates the domestic activities of multinational corporations, she observed various cultural norms shaping the legal system. During graduate school, Aderayo aspires to develop an ethnographic study of how flawed legal processes and political structures in Nigeria define the rights of marginalized groups.
Fatima Siwaju’s research engages with the intersections of religion, race and identity, particularly as they relate to Afro-descendant Muslim communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has previously conducted ethnographic research in Trinidad, and will undertake her dissertation fieldwork in the Pacific region of Colombia. Her theoretical interests include the anthropology of religion and Islam, African diaspora studies, postcolonial theory and Afro-American intellectual traditions.
Fatima holds a BA(Hons) in French and Spanish and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, in addition to an MA in Religion from Syracuse University.
Jagat Sohail is a PhD student at the department of Anthropology. His current research work is on Syrian Refugees in Germany, and is concerned with the way in which political categories of nation, religion, class and gender are mobilized in the constructions of narratives about displacement and xenophobia in Germany. He completed his masters in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics and his previous research includes work on Stand-Up comedy in Delhi and diasporic cultures of Sikh bodybuilders.
Veronica Sousa is a second-year PhD student in the Anthropology department at Princeton University. She received her MA in the Anthropology department at The New School for Social Research with a Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies; and her BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. Veronica is concerned with how gender, aging, and health are reconfigured in political, legal, and medical realms. Her current work concerns aging, gender, care, family, and the state in both the Azores Islands and mainland Portugal. She is interested in intimate violence, medicine and psychiatry, affect theory, embodiment, sexuality, race, disability, and inequality in this context. She is also interested in histories of colonialism/imperialism and healthcare in Portugal.
Serena's research examines global agriculture investment, land transformation and food systems in the Global South, drawing upon scholarship in economic anthropology, Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) African and postcolonial studies, political ecology, STS and anthropology of the body. Her ethnographic and archival study of speculation in a breadbasket region of northern Mozambique attends to transnational connections of technology and policy transfer in the production of food across the Global South; changing practices and ethics of aid and NGOs in agriculture development; and foreign direct investment in agribusiness, with repercussions for situated understandings of gender, race, capital, and future belonging. Serena received an MA from Princeton University and graduate certificate in Health and Health Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a Masters of Philosophy (M.Phil) in International Development (specializing in Economics and Theory) from the University of Oxford (with distinction) and BA from the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude). Serena has been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to Brazil and Mozambique and her research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Wenner Gren Foundation, and Fulbright-Hays doctoral program. In 2018, she was selected as a National Geographic Explorer working on digital and experimental ethnography to document indigenous ecological knowledge in the context of rapid deforestation for agriculture in Mozambique.
Shreya works at the intersection of visual anthropology, political anthropology and STS. Shreya is pursuing research interested in the relationships between urban infrastructure and the criminal justice system, specifically within the contexts of water management and reentry labor. Her ethnographic research explores how data logics are experienced as modes of urban governance. She focuses on the concepts of risks and resilience that characterize municipal initiatives in the city of New Orleans and traces the emergent dynamics between design practices and surveillance technologies.
William Vega works on handicap accessibility and caretaking in France, where he explores the relationships that develop between the handicapped and their at-home caretakers. A central concern of the work is asking what happens when care and empathy are envisioned as a service and how these feed into larger debates in France and beyond about notions of autonomy, care, and advocacy. France’s commitment to social care has created the possibility for access to at-home care in ways unimaginable in the US, except among the especially wealthy; yet this very commitment leads to fraught and contradictory relationships when liberal individuality is brought into question by the necessity for dependence on another, whether that other is envisioned as a caretaker or the state itself. In light of the post-colonial context in which largely West and North African immigrants migrate in order to care for French nationals, notions of dependence and vulnerability also demand special attention. Other interests include phenomenology, ethics, and fieldwork methods.