• Aarti Sethi

    Chronicles of Deaths Foretold?: Farmer Suicides in Chhattisgarh, India
    More than a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide across India since 1995. Since what one report terms the 'largest wave of recorded suicides in human history' (Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2011) first received attention in the mid-nineties, the 'farmer's' suicide' has emerged as a potent politically charged symbol for intense public debates on the depredations of neoliberal structural adjustment, and the failures of state and society. Scholarly and activist discourses have at…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Columbia University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Abigail L. Fine

    Objects of Veneration: Music, Materiality, and Marketing in the Composer-Cults of Nineteenth-Century Germany and Austria
    My dissertation explores the popular veneration of nineteenth-century German and Austrian composers as figures akin to saints. The project's seven case studies focus on material "relics" as encounters with the composer's body, along with the museums that housed relics as sites for these encounters. While the project takes objects and spaces as its focus, I will also draw upon other "sites" of popular reception, such as panegyric poems, memoirs, obituaries, and biographies. An important aspect of my study…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    University of Chicago
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Adrien P. Zakar

    On a Biplane: Aerial Photography and the Politics of Space in the Middle East (1895-1950)
    My dissertation examines the history of aerial photography in the Middle East through the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of independent states in Syria under French mandate, Iraq under British rule and in the Republic of Turkey (1895-1950.) First, my project explores the social construction of this technology at a time when, upon the fall of the empire, aerial mapping became instrumental to the charting of former Ottoman territories. There, aerial photographs were able to capture the coexiste…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Columbia University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Akshya Saxena

    Vernacular Englishes: Language, Translation, and Democratic Politics in Post-Liberalization India
    My project explores the relationship between language and democracy in post-liberalization India through a study of the expanding presence of English in India. It asks: what is the place of English —as a language and as a symbol– in claims for representation and power by hitherto-marginalized castes, classes and language groups within India today? What, whom and how does the English language claim to represent? Through an analysis of Hindi newspapers, Bollywood film and Hindi and Indian English writin…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Alexa Hagerty

    Blood and Bone: Kinship, Science and the Imagined Body in "Humanitarian Exhumations" of the Dead
    Exhumation of the dead has become a normative human rights intervention and a requisite aspect of transitional justice. In the wake of political violence, exhumation aims to provide judicial evidence of mass atrocity and to return human remains to families. Understood as bringing closure to families, "humanitarian exhumation" may be carried out even in situations in which there is little or no hope of judicial recourse. Yet, the relationship between forensics teams and families has proven to be complex an…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Stanford University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Alexander D. Huezo

    Contested Natures & Insecurities: The Aerial Fumigation of Illicit Crops in Colombia
    Colombia is the only country in the world that currently permits the aerial fumigation of illicit crops. This practice, financed by the US State Department, has exacerbated the already tenuous circumstances of a rural population caught in the crossfire of an ongoing civil conflict. Of central importance to this study are the tensions that exist between the Latin American countries that produce illicit narcotics and the wealthier Northern countries that consume the vast majority of the world's supply. Th…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Florida International University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Alexander P. Brey

    Beyond the Bilad al-Sham: Images of Hunting in the Umayyad Empire
    This dissertation will explore the polycentric nature of artistic production within the Umayyad empire by focusing on three examples of architectural decoration found in present day Jordan, Iran, and Tajikistan. All three contain representations of hunting and slaughter; a popular iconographic feature of aristocratic interior decoration. Although the Jordanian monument of Qusayr Amra has been at the center of the Umayyad canon for almost a century, Chal Tarkhan-Eshqabad in what is now Iran and the frescoe…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Bryn Mawr College
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Ameem Lutfi

    Soldiers Now, Citizens Later: Baloch Mercenaries and Bahraini State Formation
    National Armies, composed of citizen-soldiers, have been an integral feature of modern nation-states. Recruitment of nationals for state institutions like the army is considered essential for tying together the nation and the state. The nation furnishes state armies with its own nationals, who in their capacity as state-functionaries, often police the nation, as much as fight external wars. Recently though, various states around the world have started employing foreign laborers for positions within critic…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Duke University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Andra B. Chastain

    Vehicle of Progress: The Santiago Metro and the Techno-Politics of Military Rule in Chile, 1965–1990
    My dissertation is a history of the Santiago metro system in the context of changing techno-political regimes in Chile. My central question is why public transportation became a shared concern among diverse actors between 1965 and 1990 and how their proposals changed over time. Planning for the metro began in 1965, during a period of democratic state-led development under President Eduardo Frei. Transnational from the start, the metro united Chilean engineering with French technology, funding, and experti…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Yale University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Andrew B. Ehrinpreis

    Coca Nation: The Protean Politics of the Coca Leaf in Bolivian Nationalism (1900 – 1961)
    This dissertation is a cultural history of the development, in the twentieth century, of Bolivian coca politics in relation to U.S.-led international anti-narcotics regimes. It investigates the processes through which Bolivians constructed- or reconstructed- coca as an indigenous drug. Challenging essentialist notions of coca as embodying autochthonous Andean culture, my research examines the roles of a broad array of Bolivia's social groups, including but not limited to Indians, in the formation of the…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Andrew V. Ruoss

    Competitive Collaboration: Forging Global Corporate Political Economy, 1600-1730
    How, in the seventeenth century, did the rival Dutch (VOC) and English (EIC) East India Companies forge a shared corporate political economy that transcended national political and economic frameworks? In pursuit of this question, my dissertation analyzes company, state and personal records, focusing on the interactions between the agents of both companies. This project advances two primary interventions: (1) that, in a time known for the rise of mercantilism, the VOC and EIC acted as corporate bodies ap…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Duke University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Anthony W. Andersson

    Environmentalists with Guns: Conservation and Counterinsurgency in the Petén, Guatemala, 1960-1996
    My dissertation examines the development of environmental conservation in northern Guatemala as a strategy of counterinsurgency during its long civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. The research on which it is based unfolds across three levels of analysis: the institution of the army, which directly governed the region and established conservation policies with enduring legacies; the discourses of conservation and development generated by the army, environmental NGOs, and development agencies; and t…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    New York University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Arianne S. Urus

    Troubled Waters: The International Order and Conceptions of Nature in the North Atlantic Fisheries, 1713-1783
    I explore the relationship between nature and the international order to ask how and why contests over resource access enabled specific ways of knowing the environment to gain authority over others in Newfoundland's eighteenth-century cod fisheries. I introduce nature to the study of the international order to question interpretations of the eighteenth-century transformation of the international order as a shift from empire to nation. Rather, I see it as a shift in how polities interacted to construct res…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    New York University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Benedito L. Machava

    The Morality of Revolution: Urban Cleansings and the Making of Socialist Mozambique, 1974-1988
    In the years between 1974 and 1988, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), the ruling party of independent Mozambique sought to "mentally decolonize", "purify", and "reeducate" urban citizens deemed to be morally impure and an obstacle to the socialist revolution. FRELIMO violently uprooted thousands of people from the cities and sent them to reeducation and labor camps in the countryside. This exercise in social engineering, which resembled the Great Terror in Stalin's USSR and the Cultura…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    University of Michigan
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Brian C. Smithson

    Piety in Progress: Video Filmmaking and Religious Encounter in Bénin
    This research explores collaborative media production in Bénin as religious encounter between Yorùbá-speaking Béninois and Nigerian video filmmakers. Béninois media professionals show ambivalence toward their Nigerian counterparts: they invite these filmmakers to Bénin to serve as experts and mentors, but they express concerns that their Nigerian guests carry with them attitudes toward religion and religious interaction that have been steeped in a national climate of mounting inter-religious tension…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Duke University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Bryan C. Chitwood

    Poetic Investments: Public Finance and the Fiscal Sociology of Anglophone Poetry Since 1945
    During the second half of the twentieth century, poets around the world confronted new challenges to financing their art and livelihood. Public funds became an important source of support for poetry, as well as an important topic in poems of the period. While literary scholars have noticed ways in which poetic texts circulate alongside economic concerns, the most influential work on literary aesthetics assumes that poems achieve a strong degree of aesthetic autonomy from fiscal issues. My dissertation cha…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Emory University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Brynn M. Hatton

    By Way of Vietnam: Racial Critique and Social Collapse in Transnational Protest Art, 1965-75
    During the height of the American led wars in Southeast Asia, roughly 1965-75, a global anti-war movement largely informed by the visual strategies of the countercultures of the United States produced hundreds of posters, short films, illustrated print publications, and other quickly reproducible and widely distributable objects of protest art. While eclectic in format and diverse in national provenance, these works comprised what I assert constitutes a specific art historical genre, formed around a share…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Northwestern University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Caroline Merrifield

    Eating against the Grain in Late Socialist China
    In a climate of deep distrust toward the conventional food system, Chinese urban consumers have begun pursuing direct relationships with rural and periurban producers in an effort to secure trustworthy food 'at the source.' In China's late socialist context, problems of food safety are linked to prevailing discourses of social and moral crisis, as well as to popular distrust of state regulation. Through face-to-face relationships, consumers are attempting to personalize and clarify the relations of produc…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Yale University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Catherine I. Reilly

    Naming Disorder: Psychiatry, Diagnosis and Literary Modernism in Russia and Germany, 1880 - 1929
    My dissertation takes up the multiplicity of German classification systems for mental illness that developed under the aegis of urban university clinics during the second half of the 19th century. I suggest that these systems are the starting point for investigating the presence of diagnostic models, representations of psychiatric diagnosis and psychological disturbance in modernist literature in Germany and Russia between the 1880s and 1920s. By tracing patterns of diagnostic discourse in authors such a…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Princeton University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Chloe L. Ireton

    Ethiopian Royal Vassals: Black Itinerancy in the Iberian Atlantic 1500-1650
    My dissertation explores circulations of knowledge about African Christianity within the Iberian Atlantic during the first century and a half of Iberian expansion from 1509-1640. In the sixteenth century, hundreds (if not thousands) of free Afro-Iberians, some of them first generation Africans (manumitted slaves) acquired royal permits to embark in fleets to cross the ocean as vassals of the crown, that is, as Old Christians. The idea of "Christian Ethiopia" allowed crown bureaucrats, free blacks, and sla…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    University of Texas at Austin
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Courtney Doucette

    Sweet Socialism in the Chocolate Factory: The Last Attempt to Create the New Soviet Person, 1985-1991
    My dissertation investigates Perestroika, a period of intense reform in the Soviet Union that began under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 and ended when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. This study reframes new government policies as a response to what reformers perceived as a moral crisis that they set out to solve by reinvigorating socialism. This dissertation then asks one central question: How did Soviet people respond to reform? I answer this question through a microhistorical case study of the Red Octob…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Rutgers University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Darja Djordjevic

    The Cancer War(d): Onco-Nationhood in Post-Traumatic Rwanda
    In Africa, the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, rapidly expanding industrial and extractive economies, uncontrolled economic growth, environmental and lifestyle changes, and the rising age of populations with better access to medicine have occasioned rising rates of cancer. Rwanda's national cancer program has been hailed as a unique example of how to build clinical oncology into a public healthcare infrastructure. The twelve-month ethnographic study will address three sets of questions: 1. What historic…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Harvard University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Darren Byler

    The Art of Life at the Margins of Ürümchi: Aesthetics, Minoritarian Politics and the City in Chinese Central Asia
    Following a series of riots in 2009, officials of Ürümchi, an ethnically-diverse border city in Northwest China, announced (1) plans to resettle 250,000 indigenous Turkic-Muslim (Uyghur) inhabitants from "slums" to state-subsidized public housing, (2) new incentives for migration to Han settlers from Eastern China, and (3) multi-million yuan investments in art projects across the city which address the official goal of "ethnic harmony." Routing my research through Uyghur and Han art collectives that hav…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    University of Washington
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Delal Aydin

    Crafting the Self in the Shadow of the Turkish State: The Formation of Yurtsever Subjecthood in the 1990s
    My research explores the building of the yurtsever (patriot) youth movement in the 1990s when the Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan - Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) mobilization was at its height in Turkey. I specifically focus on the formation of yurtsever subjecthood in the high school setting when Kurdish youth, whose parents were deemed "backward" and "ignorant", were invited to be part of "civilization" and participate in the project of building the Turkish nation. My research investigates the processes tha…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    State University of New York at Binghamton
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees
  • Dilan Yildirim

    Disobedient Mountains and Rivers of Revolt: Occupation and Insurgency by Other Means in Turkish Kurdistan
    My dissertation research deals with the politicization of the physical landscape in Dersim, a Kurdish-Alevi province in eastern Turkey that has been one of the major centers of Leftist and Kurdish politics in the last century. I focus on the various modes of discursive and material struggles between the inhabitants of Dersim, state, and corporate actors over the region’s landscape. I examine how inhabitants locate politics in the physical landscape, working to forensically examine the land in order to…

    Year
    2014
    University/Institution
    Harvard University
    Fellowship/Grant
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)
    Fellows & Grantees