Linking Green and White Revolutions: Gender Analysis of Dairy Development in Western India
Mastering the Ice to Rule the Waves: British Imperial Mythologies and the Search for the Northwest Passage, 1817-1854
La Intervención de Fuerzas Intermedias en la Lucha Contra el Tráfico Ilegal de Drogas. El Caso de la Gendarmería Nacional en la Argentina
Windows on the World: Japan's Port Communities and the Global Experience, 1547-1634
My project investigates Japan's port communities in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a period marked by the dynamic expansion of commerce abroad and political integration at home. I look at the ports of Shimonoseki, Sakai, Nagasaki, and Ishinomaki during the period 1547-1634, asking how their encounters with a diverse of array of foreigners and resurgent political authority shaped how they conceived of their communal identity and how they perceived their place in the world. Eschewing the elite diplomatic and economic histories which have dominated this field of Japanese history, I focus on the local actors—monks, smugglers, pirates, and provincial traders—who oversaw the development of arms manufacture in Sakai, policed and plundered Inland Sea trade routes, bargained with missionaries and warlords alike in Nagasaki, and dispatched an embassy to the Spanish throne from Ishinomaki in the decades leading up to and after the political consolidation of the country under the Tokugawa shogunate in 1600. I assert that this combination of economic opportunity, political turmoil, and the lived experiences of the archipelago's port communities defined the contours of local, regional, and nascent national identity across the archipelago. By narrating Japan's history during this time not through the lens of isolation, but encounter, I contextualize the Japanese experience within the waterways of East and Southeast Asia, host to the competing agendas of terrestrial states, bustling etrepots, privateers, and the initial outposts of aspiring empire. I address the intersection of local lived experience and global networks of exchange, and weave this convergence together into an exploration of ground-up responses to emergent state power.
Spit, Chains, and Hospital Beds: A History of Insanity in Modern China, 1898-1949
This project will investigate changing conceptions of mental illness in early twentieth century China. Beginning in the 1900s, Western missionaries introduced the first insane asylums to China, and the advent of this new institution was accompanied by evolving notions about the proper care and treatment for the insane, legal rights for mentally ill criminals, and the potential societal causes that had led to the psychological incapacitation of the individual. While previous studies on historical psychology in China have tended to stress the reasons why China’s experience with madness diverged from that of the West, my research will highlight the unique Chinese perspective on insanity as it evolved from the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Through an investigation of police records, medical documents, textbooks, and other related archival materials, this project will seek to understand what “mental illness” meant to the Chinese of the early twentieth century—and how its attempted eradication fit into China’s modernization and national strengthening project.
Using Photovoice to Elicit Young People’s Representations of Peace and Security in their Communities
African youth constructions of safety: A multi-country Photovoice study
African youth constructions of safety: a multi-country Photovoice study
Identifying Palestine: Transnationalism, Citizenship, and the New World Order (1925-1930)
The dissertation research project for which I am seeking Mellon IDRF funding explores how the 1925 Palestinian Citizenship Order promulgated by the British colonial authorities in Palestine, and the ways in which it was implemented, helped create a new kind of legislated Palestinian diaspora. This phenomenon most conspicuously affected Arab communities in Latin America, whose approximately 25,000 Palestinian immigrants would ultimately, despite their best efforts, be denied the right to return to their homeland as citizens. At the same time, the British policies that denied citizenship to most members of the new Palestinian diaspora established the framework within which that diaspora came to play a role in forging a distinctive Palestinian Arab national identity in Palestine and abroad. Drawing on sources in Arabic, Spanish, French, and English, and on archives, libraries, and collections in Israel, Palestine, Latin America, Switzerland, and Britain, my project seeks to go beyond conventional narratives of the emergence of a Palestinian national identity by treating that process, for the first time, as fundamentally transnational – one that involved Palestinian communities in Honduras, Cuba, Costa Rica and Mexico as well as in Palestine itself. But it also examines the ways in which this process was bound up with an emerging international legal order that played an important role in the lives of subjects of the new Middle Eastern mandates, as well as with the specificities of struggles over legally classifying Palestine's inhabitants, actual and potential. A transnational framework can elucidate the emergence of nationalistic sentiment among Palestinians worldwide during this period, and the particular difficulties that Palestinians ultimately experienced as a result of British citizenship legislation promulgated in the context of a new international legal order.
"Savages" in an Indigenous State: Human Rights, Race, and Indigenous Territory in the Bolivian Amazon
My research project investigates how indigenous actors are engaging with human rights. Recent international rights conventions, such as the ILO Convention 169 Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, establish indigeneity, historically a category of social and political exclusion in Latin America and much of the world, as the basis for inclusionary rights. In 2009, Bolivia passed a new constitution that dramatically incorporates indigenous rights and makes inclusion of indigenous peoples the basis of national identity and sovereignty. However, since the passage of the constitution indigenous organizations have been in ongoing conflict with the government over the application of indigenous rights. I investigate the contestations that emerge when citizens act to realize their rights as indigenous subjects under the new constitution. This study focuses on the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Secure (TIPNIS) in the Bolivian Amazon. The TIPNIS has become a major site of political struggle between the government and indigenous organizations, accompanied by the striking use of racial tropes by the government to dismiss indigenous demands. I investigate how histories of race and colonialism continue to shape liberal rights-based practices and politics. My research will invert the usual research question of how universal notions of rights are made meaningful in situated practice. Instead, this study asks how situated attachments to land and territory are made meaningful through the differentiated use of universal notions of rights. I explore this question by investigating the relationship between rights, territory, and race.
Managing Development-Induced Livelihood Vulnerabilities: A Study of Ghana's Bui Dam Affected Peoples' Livelihood Changes
Sacred Narratives, Spiritual Authority, and Communal Identity among the Ismailis of Central Asia, 1500-1895
My dissertation will explore the history of the Ismailis of Central Asia, a minority community of Shia Muslims who live mostly in the Badakhshan province of Tajikistan. The project will investigate the development of religious authority and communal identity within this community from the sixteenth century down to the Russian conquest of the region in the late nineteenth century. I will examine a body of previously-unstudied literature produced among the Ismailis during this period, which consists of legendary and hagiographical accounts of founding figures of the community. Many of these texts have been known for some time now to Soviet scholars of the region but were dismissed as irrelevant due to their fantastical content. In my research I will approach these texts by drawing upon a series of innovative methodological approaches developed in recent years in studies of hagiographical and legendary biographical texts. In particular, recent research has demonstrated the capacity for hagiographical literature to illuminate important questions concerning social history, communal identity, and authority within the community in which such materials are produced. My goal is to determine what these texts may tell us about developing notions of authority and communal identity among the Ismailis during the period of their production and circulation. My research will draw upon a number of manuscript sources located in archives in Central Asia and Europe. Both the history of the Ismaili community of Central Asia in particular and the period of this study in general remained poorly understood. My study will offer a unique contribution towards a better understanding of the history of Islam in the region and the role of local communities in the formation of a pluralistic Islamic society in Central Asia and beyond.
The Creole City in Southeast Asia: Slave-gathering warfare and cultural exchange in pre-colonial Burma, Thailand and Manipur
Assessing the Consequences of Electoral Competition: Legislative Reform, Political Recruitment, and Fiscal Policy in the Mexican States
Alternative Genealogies of Psychiatric Selves
Disenchanted Hacking: Technology, Startups, and Alternative Capitalisms from Mexico
My dissertation research ethnographically investigates emerging and contested forms of hacking and entrepreneurship in Mexico. Studies on hacking culture have mostly focused on European and U.S.-based advocates of free and open-source software who adopt a stance of "political agnosticism"; anti-authoritarian hacker collectives read ties to formal politics as counter-productive to their technical craft. Emergent work in Latin America finds that hackers more directly engage with state practices of governance to actively debate how relations with the state can be redefined. In Mexico, while citizens organize to protest pressing social problems—violence, impunity, and corruption—young entrepreneurs work feverishly within "co-working" spaces to develop tech startup ideas aimed at solving these same systemic issues. There has been no sustained analysis of the complex ways individuals navigate domains that seem contradictory: a hacker-world aimed against capitalism, and an entrepreneur-world that advances capitalist practices. These nuances become particularly important as scholars take seriously alternative capitalisms from the Global South and refocus "the economy" on the small-scale models people use to project their livelihoods into the future. How do people living under precarious conditions create alternative protocols for technology-driven capitalism as they negotiate "a life worth living" by proposing small reinventions to established expert models? To examine more closely how the shifting politics of hacking influence alternative models of capitalism in Mexico, I use mixed methods—participant observation, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and "social network metadata analysis"—to focus on three specific practices of hacker-entrepreneurs: (1) recruitment of members to work on tech startup projects; (2) public interfacing of startups via "pitching"; and (3) decision-making processes used to create and maintain relationships across diverse social networks.
Women’s Activism in Religious Political Movements: A Study of Four Movements in Israel and the West Bank
Housing Development: Housing Policy, Slums, and Squatter Settlements in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, 1948-1973
Creating an Indian Ocean Rim Ecosystem: Forestry, Science, and the British Empire 1864-1963
Gambling Subcultures and Their Influence on Players' Beliefs about Winning
Shadowboxing and the Art of Alliance Maintenance
Bread, Freedom: Protest, Social Policy, and Political Regimes After the Arab Spring
Predominant theories of regime change and redistribution generate an expectation that in democratizing countries, redistributive interest groups — by virtue of electoral competition, enhanced political opportunity, and greater sensitivity of democratic elites to popular pressures — should be able to attain more favorable social and labor policies. Yet the parallel cases of Tunisia — which experienced popular revolution followed by political democratization in 2011 — and Morocco — which experienced mass mobilization during this same "wave" but did not democratize — present a confounding example. Since 2011, social movements concerned with distributive policies in Morocco have garnered more frequent and expansive concessions than have their counterparts in Tunisia. What factors explain this apparent reversal of social outcomes between successful and "failed" democratizing revolutions? More broadly, how do revolutions and regime transitions shape the success of redistributive movements in dependent-developing states? I argue that the distributive implications of democratizing revolutions must be explained in reference 1) to the sequencing of socioeconomic mobilization relative to the "moment" of democratic transition, 2) to political opportunity structures associated with different political regimes, and 3) to the evolving threat perceptions of post-revolutionary elites vis-à-vis protest. I test this argument using national-level protest event data (2006 – 2015) and case studies of three parallel movements in Tunisia and Morocco — the movement of unemployed graduates, the movement against extractive mining industries, and the movement against subsidy reduction. My dissertation intends to show that Tunisia and Morocco represent a conundrum of contemporary revolutionary movements: those forms of mobilization perhaps best suited to removing entrenched regimes are also those least enabled to "deepen" democracy by achieving distributive change.
Teaching amidst micro-trafficking and urban insecurity: A study of teacher perspectives and practice in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Division, Change and Islam in Rural Mali: A Social-Intellectual History of Gimbala, 1862-1930