Anthropology Welcomes New Graduate Students

Sept. 22, 2023

The Department of Anthropology is thrilled to welcome our exciting and talented new graduate students, as well as the department’s new Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Elizabeth Davis. Please read below a bit about each student’s interests and goals for their time here at Princeton.

Omar Abdelqader aims to study the possibilities for Palestinians within the territories occupied in 1948 to form a collective consciousness in the shadow of an interplay between discursive and physical domination by focusing on the built and epistemic spheres. Omar is interested in the ways subjectivities, political and otherwise, are negotiated and constituted in both quotidian and strategic exchanges and desires for recognition, particularly with and through settler colonial media and cultural apparatuses.

Daisy Couture is a medical anthropologist interested in how scientific and medical knowledge inflects subjectivity and intersubjectivity, particularly in the context of contemporary collisions, collaborations, and conflicts between neurology and psychiatry. Specifically, she is currently working on how the ascendence of neuroscientific thinking, both culturally and within medicine, is influencing conceptions of suffering and recovery in the clinic. Previously, she worked on patient and clinician relationships with medical uncertainty in the context of suspected psychosomatic illnesses during her master’s at McGill University (Departments of Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine) where she was also an inaugural McCall MacBain Scholar.

Runnie Exuma has worked through the question of how the figure of the black captive maternal emerges in early modern cartography and archives of contemporary migration across the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. She has conducted fieldwork in the hyper-visibilized spaces of the favela and the quilombo in Rio de Janeiro, documenting the infrapolitics of black Brazilian women crafting resistance against state-sanctioned terror and forced displacement. Studying the colonial history of food insecurity in Haiti, Runnie has also mapped Haitian women’s labors in constructing abolitionist food geographies that eschew the oppressive logics of the plantationocene and its impact on global foodways. Runnie plans to conduct fieldwork grounded in the shared thematics between the Caribbean and the Black Mediterranean. 

Lloyd Farley current research focuses on an ongoing cactus blight in Southwestern Morocco, where he cactus (Opuntia Spp.) is deeply enmeshed in the political, economic, and religious life of rural agriculturalists. Imported by saints in the 16th century, this variety of Opuntia is understood to be a gift from God and has become an important part of their food culture. Given the plant’s semiotic, medicinal, and environmental affordances; the blight is threatening the community’s livelihoods, their foodways, and is reshaping how they imagine their future. In other words, Lloyd will be studying how this collapse is challenging the community’s sense of the world.

Nikita Taniparti’s research draws on her experience as an economist in the field of international development. She has worked in India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Australia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, and Azerbaijan. Now, she is broadly interested in understanding how growth and economic development are interacting with current global decarbonization efforts. Her research aims to study the investment in and production of green hydrogen in Namibia and the moral affect towards evolving economic structures amidst worsening climate change. Nikita’s research aims to ask questions about how Namibians are witnessing rapid socioeconomic changes as a result of massive inflows of capital investment in energy and extraction. She asks how these changes might shape Namibians’ conceptions of nationality, belonging, and hope.

Caryn Tin Powe Hoo is interested in understandings of climate change vulnerability and resilience in Mauritania. She is particularly interested in taken-for-granted discourses around island vulnerabilities used by both Mauritians and the aid regime. These development discourses shape practices as well as frame a sense of who or what is responsible. Caryn will follow the “representational rhetorics” of island vulnerability in a number of literary and artistic genres as well as the hegemonic discourses being produced by international experts in order to better understand what is being sustained when it comes to practices of environmental sustainability.