The Origins of the Camp: Violence and Humanity in the British Empire, 1830-1902
Usually associated with the totalitarian regimes of the mid-twentieth century, concentration camps first appeared during the South African War (1899-1902). My project traces the development of the concentration camp in British imperial practice. By exploring the affinities between South African camps and earlier precursors, my project examines the evolving practices of encampment and the cultural mentalities that informed them. Metropolitan and colonial workhouses, military cantonments, arrangements for the control of infectious disease, and relief camps used to manage famine victims in late 19th-century South Asia provided an archive of imperial practice that informed the creation and management of camps in the South African War and beyond. In addition to tracing an evolving set of practices and policies, I argue that as a culturally embedded phenomenon, camps were the outcome of shifting mentalities of warfare, discipline, and the spatial organization of modern masses. Camps are now a ubiquitous feature of our contemporary geopolitical landscape. By locating the origins of the camp in liberal empire, I believe we can account for the continuing afterlife of the camp even after the demise of totalitarianism. My hypothesis is that British imperial agents were able to imprint the camp with a humanitarian pedigree that was mobilized to justify repressive measures throughout the twentieth century.
Technological Wonder: The Theatrical Fashioning of Modern Scientific Knowledge, 1838-1905
What was the impact of social and cultural modes of transmission upon the creation of modern scientific knowledge? My dissertation investigates the influence of nineteenth-century public performance on the communication and utilization of scientific and technological knowledge. The popular performance culture of Victorian Britain was a vital center of communication, disseminating ideas, theories, and critiques while creating a vital sphere of social, cultural, and political discussion (Newey and Richards 2008; Davis 2009). While theatre historians have theorized widely about the relevance and vitality of popular theatre practice upon culture, the relationship between theatrical performance and science and technology remain under-researched. What are the implications of scientific lectures, mechanical magic shows, and spectacular technological pantomimes? Bringing together theatre history and the history of science and technology, I contend that from mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, 1838-1905, public performances of science and technologies, ranging from presentations to theatrical performances, were vital arenas for the fashioning of scientific discourses, the shaping of technological utilization, and the dissemination of scientific credibility and legibility. Analyzing institutional and periodical archives through semiotic, phenomenological, and constructivist lenses, my research addresses how public performances created modern scientific knowledge, fashioning a legacy still resonant through the TED talks and public programming today.
The Science & Phenomenology of the Body in Universal Design: a feminist, disability studies approach
Junctures of Insurgency: Cuban Slaves and the Conspiracy of La Escalera, 1843-1844
The 'Theatre of the Bloody Metaphor': the Aesthetics of Violence in Modern Nigerian Drama and Theatre
‘Land Grab’ Conflicts in Africa: Engaging Landscapes of Resistance and Alternatives
Lifelong Learning and Globalization: A Comparative Study of Europe and Japan
How Does Japan Do It? Quantitative Analysis of the Japanese Health Care System
Collective Memories of World War II in Japan, Germany and the US
Affect Economy: Labor, Commodity, and Consumer Capitalism in Millennial Japan
Civil Society and the Democratisation of Regional Security Governance in West Africa
Japan-US-China Relations since the Late 1970s
Quantitative Analysis of Social Security Policies for Depopulating and Aging Societies
From Brooklyn to Brazil: Race, Place, and Religion in the Mapping of Diasporic Blackness
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 writing, I argue that it is no longer possible to view English as merely a colonial legacy to be opposed or simply a language of global capital to be embraced. Through close textual analysis and archival research, my work establishes that the "foreign" provenance of English in India opens it to interpretation and continually invests it with newer political meaning. Coupled with Hindi in "vernacular hybrids," English interrupts Hindi to reveal dissatisfactions with India's post-independence nationalist agenda. I approach the English-Hindi hybrids used in multiple media contexts as overlooked acts of translation that modify the way a language is written and spoken. English enables class, caste and gender mobilities, facilitates "social and political translation" of their speakers, and ultimately alters the complexion of democratic inclusion in India. My project emphasizes the transformative role of global media in shifting our understanding of language itself and, consequently, of the political. Transnational market imperatives and considerations of diverse audiences have, globally, infused our idiom with more and more global brand names, and multilingual references. My analysis reckons with everyday linguistic inventiveness as decisive political strategy, and inaugurates a novel approach to study instances of global englishes across the world.
Locating Non-Violence: An Ethnographic Research of the Contemporary Palestinian Political Culture
Atlantic Crescent: Afro-Muslim Internationalism, Anti-Colonialism, and Transnational Community Formation, 1955-1990
This dissertation explores the creation of international Afro-Muslim networks as they were created in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the British Caribbean. I posit that beginning in 1955, in the midst of a period of rapid decolonization from European imperialism, there emerged a distinct Afro-Muslim identity that was defined by its refusal to be limited by national boundaries. This identity was formed by mutual conversations among Afro-Muslim communities throughout the Atlantic basin regarding the best strategies for fighting colonialism. As the nature of colonialism changed over this forty-five year period – from its focus on European decolonization; to American imperialism throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East; and then finally to an understanding of the urban inner city as a colonized and occupied space – Afro-Muslim understandings of how to position themselves vis-à-vis these varying forms of colonialism changed in tandem. From 1955 to 1990, international engagement among Atlantic Afro-Muslim communities was critical to the formation of an anti-imperial, Afro-Muslim political identity for both Muslims and, at times, non-Muslims as well. By engaging internationally, these groups were able to discursively and actively assert that they were not powerless minorities, but instead, part of a powerful, global majority. The critical intersection between Islam and race in this period, therefore, presents itself as crucial for challenging global and local power structures.
It Takes More than a Village: Polycentric Governance and Local Health Systems in Central America
This project aims to understand how institutional conditions shape the performance of local health systems in developing countries. The problem motivating the project is the inability of health systems in many countries to prevent disparities and human suffering. Decentralization reforms, premised on local institutions providing public services better than central governments, are a common response to this problem. However, theoretical arguments for health sector decentralization are underdeveloped and empirical results inconsistent on whether reformed systems produce healthier communities. This project's guiding question is: Why do some local health systems perform better than others? I propose to address this question in two steps. First, I build on the idea of polycentric governance to develop a context-sensitive theory linking governance structure to community health through individual and organizational behavior. Specifically, I hypothesize that decentralized governance will improve performance only in health systems with high densities of ties among local actors and strong organizational links across levels of government. Second, I will assess this theory through a comparative subnational research design involving original data collection in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. I focus on decentralization reforms because they change the composition and augment the powers of institutions involved in community health; in short, they change governance structure. Leveraging this external variation and grounding my project in ideas of polycentricity allows me to systematically investigate the effects of governance structure on community health. My research in Honduras is supported by the National Science Foundation, and I am requesting funding from the SSRC to expand my work to Guatemala and Nicaragua; this support will enable a deeper assessment of my theory and help improve our collective understanding of governance and community health in developing countries.
Refugees or Regional Citizens? Shifting Migration Governance in Twenty-First Century Ecuador
In recent decades, Colombian migrants in Ecuador have frequently been categorized as refugees owing to the history of armed conflict in Colombia. In April 2014, Ecuador began to implement the new Mercosur residency visa, allowing Colombian migrants facilitated access to documented status in Ecuador as regional residents rather than as refugees. My project explores this shifting legal and bureaucratic landscape and the ways it calls into being new migrant subjectivities in twenty-first century Ecuador. Through participant observation in bureaucratic spaces and interviews with government functionaries, NGO workers, and Colombian migrants, I aim to conduct an ethnography of changing migration governance in Ecuador. I also aim to examine the political and ideological contexts that frame this new visa regime, including Ecuador's bilateral relations with Colombia, its participation in processes of regional integration, and its invocation of "twenty-first century socialism.".
Japanese Recession of the 1990's and its Lessons for Advanced Industrial Countries
Borderland Sovereignties: Race, Class, and Nation in Patagonia’s Nation-State Building, Argentina and Chile, 1840-1925
Geographies of Armed Protest: Transnational Cold War, Latin American Internationalism and the New Left in the Southern Cone (1966-1976).
The Work of Marine Bioprospecting in Panama
Policemen, Political Actors and Criminals in Argentina: causes and consequences of a risky triangle
An Unresolved Inheritance: Postcolonial State Formation and Indigenous Communities in Chimborazo, Ecuador, 1820-1875