Serena Stein

Anthropology Graduate Student

Serena’s research draws together environmental anthropology; global and feminist science studies; history of capitalism in Africa; gender and queer theory in Africa, and critical studies of global health and development. Her dissertation, tentatively entitled Kindred Frontiers: South-South Experiments in Aid, Agribusiness, and Conviviality, is an ethnography of social and ecological change along a savanna landscape of northern Mozambique, examining international aid, investment, and technology transfer in agriculture and resource extraction. It explores the rise and fall of Brazilian South-South Cooperation in Mozambique over the past decade, as well as aftermaths of a soy boom, abandoned plantations, ongoing conflict, and failed rural development schemes. The project involved 2 years of fieldwork following farmers and settlers, seeds, spirits, and capital. Complementary work has taken Serena to the mountain forests and farming communities of Mozambique's inselberg 'sky islands’ to study how agriculture commercialization reworks notions of indigeneity, intergenerational environmental ethics, and futurity amid rapid deforestation and extinction of species. At Princeton, Serena has belonged to various communities, including Global Brazil Fellows, PIIRS Dissertation Fellowship, Energy and Climate Scholars, and Center for Digital Humanities Fellows. She has co-organized the Interdisciplinary Ethnography Series and worked as a Graduate Fellow at the Writing Center. In 2019-2020 Serena is a visiting fellow at Yale's Agrarian Studies Program while writing her dissertation on a Mellon-ACLS Completion Fellowship. Previously she has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Wenner Gren Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Program, and National Geographic Society.