The AES Editorial Intern Team debuted at the AES spring meeting in 2016. The team works with AES Digital Content Editor Carole McGranahan to introduce new features and conversations to our website and social media. We welcome your ideas, and each year will invite applications for other graduate students to join us.
Alize Arican is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her broad research interests are state-led urban development, everyday forms of resident activism and care, temporality, migration, and claims to urban citizenship and futures. She specifically traces the unfolding of what the ruling Justice and Development Party calls an “urban transformation project” in the Tarlabaşı neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. She explores the extended temporality of urban development in Tarlabaşı as a site of possibilities in which residents can negotiate, rearticulate, and shape the future of their neighborhood. Her work has been supported by various departments and research institutes at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as Kadir Has University Istanbul Studies Center, and the Humanities Without Walls Consortium. She has served as a graduate collaborator and project advisor for the Istanbul portion of the interdisciplinary, multi-sited project entitled “Political Ecology as Practice: A Regional Approach to the Anthropocene,” funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Brittany Birberick is a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research, in Johannesburg, South Africa, examines the temporality of urban transformation through close attention to declining industry in Jeppestown, one of the earliest developed areas of the city. The project draws on historical and ethnographic methods to examine how key sites in the area have transformed or failed to transform according to narratives of development, dilapidation, and rejuvenation. At a time when local and global social, economic, and political forces are influencing a re-imaging of the remaining colonial and apartheid structure of the city, she is interested in the way expectations for the future, work, housing, and kinship are being reconfigured. She has also collaborated with a South African art photographer who grew up in one of the informal buildings in Jeppestown to examine ways of seeing urban space, and she is interested more broadly in the way image making and artistic practice intersects with anthropological research.
Gabrielle Cabrera is a first-year PhD student in Anthropology at Rutgers University. Gabrielle completed her BA at University of California, Merced where she was surrounded by a community of activists and scholars who encouraged her to think deeply and critically about teaching for justice, politics of (mis)recognition, and diversity discourse. Her work examines citizenship, the political economy of diversity discourse, questions of solidarity, and the neoliberalization of universities. Specifically, she aims to center the “Dreamer” narrative by interrogating how universities deploy and commodify the undocumented experience. Gabrielle grounds analysis in critical feminist and decolonizing methodologies and hope that such approaches provide alternative ways for researchers interested in migrant “illegality,” specifically, those who fit the “Dreamer” criteria, a guideline to shift away from reinforcing the “good immigrant” or “model minority” narrative.
Grace Carey is originally from Flint, MI and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2014. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in Anthropology and is a PhD candidate at Princeton University. Grace's work focuses on the dynamics of movement, law, and placemaking amongst Charismatic Catholic intentional communities in Southeastern Michigan and a privately owned Catholic town in Southwest Florida. She is interested in how these religious communities both create place that is mobile and how these particular forms of placemaking shape their experience and engagement with larger US legal systems. Ultimately her work speaks to issues of mobility, placemaking, utopia, and democracy in the US context. She will be doing fieldwork in Florida during 2018.
Chelsey Carter is a third-year doctoral student in anthropology and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to the onset of her doctoral studies, Chelsey worked with various non-profit and for profit organizations around the United States. Her background includes a demonstrated interest in healthcare services, human resources, employee benefits, healthcare reform, youth leadership education, high human touch services and applied medical anthropology. She has employed these interests and skills in her various positions with Global Youth Leadership Institute, Muscular Dystrophy Association, CARE USA, HisGrip Home Care, Northwestern Mutual, and Washington University School of Medicine. Her research examines the intersections of race, class, gender, and chronic illness in the U.S. Her forthcoming project will examine how black people with neuromuscular diseases (like ALS) navigate healthcare spaces and experience care by healthcare institutions in St. Louis. Her work also considers how anti-black racism stifles health and further promotes health inequities for black people. She is a chief advocate for the use of ethnographic tools and methodologies to solve many of society’s most vexing concerns. She received her Bachelor’s in Anthropology with high honors and a minor in Spanish from Emory University, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She also earned her Master’s in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. When not pursuing academic interests, she enjoys cooking, reading, working out and traveling internationally.
Bryan Dougan is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His ethnographic work considers the ways in which humanitarian and global health knowledge and standards shape the practices surrounding psychiatric care in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Taking the urban as the site of psychiatric practice, his project seeks to examine how patients, families, doctors, and global health researchers grapple with providing care and conducting research in a rapidly developing African city. Originally from Baltimore, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University.
Calynn Dowler is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at Boston University. Her research is based on an island in the Indian Sundarbans delta. Today, the island faces dwindling groundwater reserves, salinization, and episodes of catastrophic flooding. Against the backdrop of globally circulating discourses about climate change and sustainable development, both the Indian state and NGOs have become increasingly involved in water management schemes in the area. Calynn’s project employs historical and ethnographic methods to understand the changing meanings invested in the local waterscape by Hindus, Muslims, Christians and tribal groups, with particular focus on narrative and ritual practice. More broadly, her work speaks to anthropological literature on placemaking, environment, and development. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Calynn holds a BA in Political Science and German from Gettysburg College and an MA in Migration Studies from Sussex University.
Saudi Garcia is a third year doctoral student in the programs in Anthropology and Culture and Media at New York University. She is interested in the anthropology of telecommunications and digital media, the anthropology of race and the anthropology of capitalism. Her dissertation project frames Dominican women’s engagement with the natural hair movement as a site of emergent logics of racialized embodiment, transnational black feminist politics, informal entrepreneurship and ethnic media production. She is interested in the ways that entrepreneurs, micro-bloggers, marketers and artists construct and disseminate images of the black body in the Dominican Republic. Saudi is a documentary filmmaker and organizer with the La Sala Collective, a group dedicated to dismantling anti-black racism in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean community in New York City.
Alison Hanson is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her interests include gender, social movements, justice, sexual violence, embodiment, and intimacy in South Asia and the United States. Alison’s current research examines how Indian feminist projects against sexual violence enact visions of gender justice both within and beyond the law. Specifically, she has conducted preliminary fieldwork with NGOs, lawyers, scholars, and student activists in New Delhi to explore how feminist politics manifest in different social spheres. She investigates the creative forms of action and solidarity building that undergird Indian women’s politics through a transnational and intersectional feminist lens. She comes to these research interests after working for women’s empowerment with fair trade artisans in India and through her own personal involvement in social justice advocacy. Alison is committed to engaged scholarship and producing knowledge that can be useful for multiple publics both in and outside the academy. She received an MA in Anthropology and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a BA in Business Economics from UCLA.
Ognjen Kojanic is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Anthropology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Ethnology and Anthropology from the University of Belgrade and a master’s degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the Central European University. In his doctoral research (generously supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the University of Pittsburgh European Studies Center) he focuses on the case of ITAS, a worker-owned machine tool company in Croatia. Drawing on economic and political anthropology, he studies the interface of economic ideologies, political mobilization, juridical practices, and state-imposed procedures in this case. The overall goal of this research is to investigate how an idea and practice of ownership is articulated in ITAS as different from the idea and practice of property that has characterized the post-socialist transformation of political and economic relations in Croatia.
Gabriela Manley is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she also completed her undergraduate studies in Social Anthropology. Her research is focused on the new Scottish nationalism, post referenda, and the emergence of a pro-European civic nationalism. The project intends to re-imagine Scottish national identity in a more civic, fluid and global way. Her fieldwork will take part in 2018 and will focus on this identity re-negotiation within the major Scottish political parties. She is committed to social justice and has worked for Amnesty International UK, setting up and overseeing various national campaigns around racial violence and hate crime post-Brexit. Her research interests include identity, time and temporality, masculinity, AI and new technologies, and visual anthropology.
Maria Menegaki is a PhD student in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and is excited to be part of the AES Editorial Intern team. She received a BA in Geography and an MA in Social and Historical Anthropology at the University of the Agean. Religion, Education, Sacred Geography, Tourism and Popular Culture have been among her basic research interests so far. In terms of her MA thesis, she conducted a research related to Death and Cremation in Greece. She highlighted social change and power relations as they are revealed by the study of cremation and discussed how the body as an object of power is transformed into an active subject of cultural resistance. Her current project explores the movement of free, libertarian education in Catalonia and her aim is to better understand such socio-political movements,` contribute to the related literature by inquiring an understanding from below and offer a rich empirical analysis which could later be applied.
Celeste Pang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, with collaborative specializations in Sexual Diversity Studies and Aging and the Life Course. Her research interests include gender, disability, aging, senility, and relations of care. Based on fieldwork among queer and trans older adults residing in long-term care homes and non-institutional residences in Toronto, Canada, her dissertation project brings together critical perspectives from disability studies, queer anthropology, and anthropology of aging to consider, broadly, how a confluence of old age, sexual and gender non-normativity, and disability can matter, and what thinking about these together can do. She is particularly interested in examining gender and aging beyond a stable binary, and is curious as to how age articulates with ideas “cure” that many disability scholars and activists have recognized as a normative imperative. Celeste has also contributed to a range of projects in the realms of health and aging, including research on retirement transitions, palliative care, and end of life care planning.
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz is a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology at New York University, where she also completed the graduate certificate program in Culture and Media. Her dissertation research in the Appalachian Mountains is with a community of Russian Orthodox Christians. Her work primarily looks at the politics of the digital in religious places and spaces, and how religious media play roles in shaping the social imaginaries and transnational ideologies of practitioners, paying close attention to the effect media have on the local political economies and what that might say about the relationship between Russia and the United States. She is committed to scholarship inside and outside of the academy that emphasizes engaged work on the ever-expanding relationships between religion and media, political radicalism, regionalism, and gender and class inequalities. A longtime resident of the Midwest, Sarah received a M.A. and Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Missouri State University.
Victoria (Tori) Sheldon is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. While tourist companies celebrate Kerala as "God's Own Country", citizens are increasingly suspicious of environmental toxins and medical authority in this lush south Indian state, publicly declared as undergoing a “health crisis.” Converging with rapid social-economic development since the 1970s, Kerala's emergent middle-class has witnessed a shocking increase in chronic lifestyle diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and alcoholism. Based upon thirty months of fieldwork and language study, her PhD project analyzes the therapeutic practices and concomitant syncretic religious-scientific worldviews among Gandhian Nature Cure (prakriti jeevanam) healers and patient-cum-activists in the region. Rejecting ‘modern medicine’, practitioners strive to ‘return’ to pre-colonial ecological lifeways through ‘nonviolent’, local health practices. Inspired by volunteer work with the India-based Friends of Tibet organization, Tori’s research is underpinned by a broader commitment to bridging dialogues between academic and public spheres, and looks forward to continuing doing so as part of the AES intern team.
Joseph A. Torres-González is a second year doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Originally from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Joseph graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus with a B.A. in Social Sciences and Anthropology. Joseph also holds a Graduate Certificate in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he also did graduate studies in Anthropology. His research research interests are located in the intersections of History and Anthropology, Economic Anthropology, Globalization, Commodities and consumption, and Cultural Studies. Joseph’s current research project is based in Puerto Rico, and it is around coffee consumption, coffee shops, coffee festivals, baristas, and the history of spaces of coffee and chocolate consumption in the island. Joseph has conducted preliminary fieldwork in Puerto Rico (2015 and 2016), and in New York City during Fall 2018. He has worked as a Research Assistant at Florida International University for the project “Ethnographic Overview and Assessment of the San Juan National Historic Site” (2013); as a Survey Assistant (2015) for the Center for Landscape Conservation in Puerto Rico, and as a Student Fellow for the Tallahassee Ethnographic Methods Field School at the University of Florida (2016). Joseph is currently a MAGNET Fellow with the CUNY Pipeline Program.
Namgyal Tsepak is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University, with a Minor in American Indian Studies. Originally from northeastern Tibet, Namgyal graduated from Duke University (Durham, NC) with a B.A. in Anthropology. He spent a research and service-learning year at Seva Foundation (Berkeley, CA) as a Research Associate through Duke University’s Hart Fellows Program. Namgyal had managed community development grants including from the Canada Fund, the Davis Projects for Peace, and DukeEngage to implement solar energy projects in Tibetan and other ethnic minority areas in Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces in western China. For his dissertation research, Namgyal works with the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation (Bowler, Wisconsin) to investigate the ways in which the Mohican people today reconnect with their ancestral homelands in the Northeast, and explore how lands/places intersect with Native identity, sociocultural (re)production and political belonging within the context of settler colonialism. In addition to his dissertation research, Namgyal periodically translates writings by prominent Tibetan writers and social activists. He shares some of these translations and his own writing excerpts on at his Nomadic Borders blog. He has contributed articles to journals such as Central Asiatic Journal, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and Asian Highlands Perspectives.
Drew Zackary is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research concerns the effects conservation area management has on people living within them. Specifically he is interested in human-wildlife conflict, multispecies interaction, and decentralized governance. Currently his field site is the Kachenjunga Conservation Area in northeast Nepal. Questions concerning land tenure, ethnic identity and perceptions development are of importance at his current field site. Drew has done previous work on biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and livelihood in Uganda and wolf reintroduction in Idaho. He received a M.A. in Anthropology from CU Denver and a Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from Colorado State University.