Global PhD Research Scholars
The Einaudi Center’s Global PhD Research Awards fund international fieldwork to help Cornell students complete their dissertations. Through a generous gift from Amit Bhatia, this new funding opportunity annually supports several PhD students during their fieldwork. Recipients hold the title of Amit Bhatia ’01 Global PhD Research Scholars.
Ni Tierra, Ni Libertad: Guardias Blancas and Paramilitarism in Mexico (1920-1950)
Angelica Aguirre (History) investigates guardias blancas—privatized armed groups commanded by local bosses, from the 1920s to the 1950s—and how they operated after the Mexican Revolution. Her dissertation seeks to build a social and political history of privatized violence in Veracruz and throughout Mexico.
Rice Plantations and Rural Livelihoods in Southern Paraguay
Michael Cary (Global Development) examines the socioecological dimensions of land-use change in southern Paraguay, where the expansion of irrigated rice plantations is remaking the region’s wetlands. His dissertation draws from and contributes to debates in critical agrarian studies on commodity frontiers and the political ecology of wetlands.
Destinations: Israel and Poland
Stateless Ancestors: Alternative Genealogical Imaginations in Israeli Society
Itamar Haritan (Anthropology) examines two groups of Israeli Jews—member of the Lubliner Association from the Polish town of Lublin and Israeli practitioners of Family Constellations—who seek new forms of genealogical kinship and belonging. His project illuminates the fault lines between nationalism and genealogy in modern nationalized societies, and how genealogical belonging can be a resource for re-imagining civic identity.
Insufficient Chill: Climate Change and Apple Cultivation in the Western Himalayas
Parijat Jha (Anthropology) uses ethnographic and historical methods to examine the divergent ways that temperature is defined, felt, and deployed amidst environmental and economic crises in the Himalayan apple industry. His project develops temperature as a multivalent analytic to study material changes to apple cultivation in the context of climate change and situates these processes in legacies of colonialism and neoliberal capitalist expansion.
Destination: South Korea
Undoing Democracy: Architecture of Foreign Aid in Postwar Korea
Eun-Jeong Kim (Architecture) will conduct archival research and fieldwork to explore cases of architectural production that demonstrate the intersections between architecture, foreign aid, and the emergence pro-capitalist democratic ideology in postwar Korea. Her project grapples with how architecture as a medium could both undo democracy and pave the ground for radical democracy.
Shirley Le Penne
Inheriting the Carceral: On the Incarceration of FLN Members and Their Offspring in French Prisons
Shirley Le Penne (Government) examines the intergenerational incarceration of Algerians in French prisons during the Algerian War of Independence and today, to decipher the extent to which their experience of incarceration is shaped by the political legacy of their grandparents. She plans to conduct archival work in the French National Archives and the Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer (ANOM), as well as visit historical prison sites such as the Baumettes and Fresnes.
Traditional Rice Varieties and the Politics of Agricultural Development in Tamil Nadu, India
Anjana Ramkumar (Global Development) explores the cultivation of traditional rice varieties in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and its implications for the politics of agricultural development in the country. Her research draws on and contributes to the study of political ecology, agrarian studies, and contemporary South Asia.
Destinations: Greece and Italy
Of Earth and Stone: Material Culture and Natural Science in the Ancient Mediterranean
Alice Clinch (History of Art and Visual Studies) will bring microscopic techniques and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy together with ancient Greek and Latin texts to better understand ancient art and architecture in Greece and Italy.
Destinations: India, Malaysia, and United Kingdom
Virtuous Inheritance: Gendering Economic Life and Islam in Global South Asia, 1660-1900
Du Fei (History) works on global Islam at the intersection of legal history and gender studies. His dissertation examines the transregional circulation of an array of legal and ethical texts in Persian, Urdu, Arabic, and English in India, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
Destinations: Malaysia and Nepal
Provisioning Life: The Making of Nepali Migrant Labor in Malaysia
Sampreety Gurung (Anthropology) explores labor migration from Nepal to Malaysia to investigate how people understand work, identity, and kinship in contemporary capitalist societies.
Seeing Competing Futures: The Visual Culture of Cold War Laos
Anna Koshcheeva (Asian Studies) works at the intersections of the cultural history of the Cold War in Asia, visual culture, temporality, and Buddhism. Her fieldwork will analyze multiple and competing visual representations of the Cold War in Laos.
Destinations: Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico
Performing the Alternative(s): Peripheral Cultural Infrastructures Across Latin American Cities
Antonio Moya-Latorre (City and Regional Planning) will conduct an ethnographic study of a self-organized music school near Oaxaca’s biggest landfill. He will examine equivalent organizations in Medellin and São Paulo to investigate the impact of collective artistic movements by youth living on the margins.
The Making of Borders: Architectural Developments of the South Caucasus, 1877-1955
Ecem Sarıçayır (History of Architecture and Urban Development) will conduct archival work at the National Archives of Georgia in Kutaisi, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia in Tbilisi, and Getty Institute Archives in Los Angeles for her dissertation on art, architecture, and urbanism in the South Caucasus.
Destinations: Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and United Kingdom
Documenting Belonging: Citizenship Claims and Bureaucratic Encounters in British Southeast Asia
Darren Wan (History) studies histories of labor migration, decolonization, and citizenship. His dissertation examines how migrant workers claimed citizenship in the newly independent states of Burma and Malaya in the 1950s and 1960s.
Heartlanders: The Making of Racial and Sexual Citizenship in Singapore's State-Constructed Housing Estates
Xinyu Guan (Anthropology) is investigating the dynamics of structural racism, sexuality, and citizenship in Singapore's urban spaces. His project is an ethnographic study of lived experiences of racialization, sexual discipline, and surveillance in the everyday spaces of interaction in Singapore's housing estates.
Destinations: Brazil and Colombia
Party Systems and Democratic Redistribution
Vincent Mauro (Government) studies the politics of inequality. His dissertation examines how party systems shape social reform, redistribution, and economic inequality in Latin America and beyond. He is also working on a project exploring the political behavior of economic elites in relation to crime, insecurity, and democracy. Read his international archives explainer.
Spatial Knowledge Production for Climate Adaptation Planning in Contexts of Urban Informality: Risk Mapping in Dar es Salaam
Ryan Thomas (City and Regional Planning) studies city maps' impact on climate adaptation planning. His fieldwork investigates the mapping techniques used in the World Bank’s Open Cities Africa projects to address underrepresentation of informal settlements in adaptation planning.
Destinations: China, Mongolia, Japan, and Russia
The Model Borderland of Maoist China: Identity Politics and Ideological Contentions in Inner Mongolia, 1945–1966
Anran Wang (History) is researching the interaction between ethnonational identity and communist ideology in the Cold War era, concentrating on China's northeast Asian and inner-Asian borderlands. His dissertation focuses on ethnopolitical developments in Inner Mongolia between World War II and the Cultural Revolution.