Current Winners

John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship in International and Comparative Studies

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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
My research develops a new framework for analyzing peace agreements that exclude a warring party as counterinsurgency strategies. This framework is used to develop a theory explaining which groups are most likely to be included in an agreement, how these agreements affect likely conflict duration and outcomes, as well as how provisions for military power-sharing are designed in multiparty civil conflicts. Because combatting multiple rebel groups strains a state’s counterinsurgency capacity, signing a peace deal that excludes one or more rebel group enables the state to redirect previously...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
In Latin America, the most common traditional institutions are long-standing patterns of communal landholding, which were not created by the state but which are, for the most part, now recognized by it. Leaders of these “communities” are not part of the formal structure of the state and are thus not automatically entitled to state resources. Instead, they act as key intermediaries between their often-remote communities and local governments. These leaders aggregate the demands of community members and communicate those demands to local governments. They also deliver valuable information to...Read more
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Term:
AY 18-19
Department:
Sociology
At Indopanoptic’s training center in Jakarta, peasant daughters undergo military discipline. Banned from leaving the complex until overseas departure, they withstand verbal abuse for disobeying commands. Managers confiscate inmates’ cell phones, subjecting them to a regiment of language immersion, mental training, and housekeeping chores lasting 12 hours a day, for over three months. At Indofree, a firm nestled in Ponorogo’s agrarian heartland, trainees chitchat, take selfies, and browse social media while instructors coax them to pay attention. After seven training hours each day, women slip...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
How does political violence affect the success of local-level democracy promotion? International donors channel large portions of their democracy-promotion aid through local NGOs in the developing world, and yet little research consider how violence affects the supply of and demand for democracy promotion in post-conflict settings. This project examines how violence shapes where NGOs locate their democracy promotion activities and the strategies they employ to enter conflict-affected communities, while also exploring how citizens constrain or enhance NGO democracy promotion efforts after...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Megan Hoetger is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies with Designated Emphases in Film and Critical Theory. Her dissertation, Rude & Playful Shadows : Kurt Kren and the Performances of Cinema, 1964-1989 , is the first historical study to examine the work of Austrian filmmaker Kurt Kren (b. Vienna, 1929; d. Vienna, 1998) who is an elusive yet persistent figure in twentieth-century histories of both film- and performance-based experimentation. Rude & Playful Shadows takes up Kren’s practice as both uniquely devoted to filmically documenting...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Anthropology
This ethnographic dissertation project self-consciously steps away from the tropes of the so-called refugee crisis by engaging Syrian refugees in Jordan waiting to come to Canada; Syrian refugees already in Canada; and religious organizations and government offices catering to these refugees in both Jordan and Canada. These cohorts provide perspective on how settlement workers and refugees alternately depict Canada as an Islamic space of refuge and as a land of exile, casting the refugee as passively subject to the mercy of the international legal regime and as actively seeking the mercy of a...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
History
Craig Johnson is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of California Berkeley, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago (2011). His primary interests lie at the confluence of religion and politics in mid to late twentieth century Latin America, principally Argentina and Chile. Craig’s current research analyzes why and how the right-wing of Latin America engaged with a wider Catholic sphere, and how this should inform our understandings of right-wing politics and the contested place of the Catholic Church in the modern world after...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
The aim of my dissertation is to identify the particular role of finance in resolving a specific kind of political impasse and to track the subsequent reprogramming around the model and imperatives of the market this turn enacts—what is commonly captured under the conceptual heading of “neoliberalism.” My two primary case studies are the recent political and financial histories of the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) and the city of Stockton, CA. I consider these two cases alongside the experience of similar Greek institutions during the ongoing European debt crisis...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
Within every country, there is wide variation in whether and how citizens choose to participate in politics; individuals unaware of the content of policies may live alongside those who actively seek to shape governance through voting, lobbying, or running for office. What accounts for this variation? I test the idea that property ownership is a cause of active citizenship among low-income voters in urban India. Thus far, scholars have described political activity among individuals in India and other developing countries as exchanging votes for cash or in-kind services. In contrast, I predict...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Anthropology
My dissertation examines how the effects of postcolonial violence are rendered intelligible across different fields of inquiry, forms of life, and generations in contemporary South Africa. Taking psychiatric practice in one of the largest townships in South Africa as my primary field, I explore how violence becomes known as an object and a practice between and within psychiatric and ordinary worlds, considering how different forms of knowledge structure the demands, limits, and possibilities violence places on people and collectives. Drawing on a year and half of fieldwork, I explore how the...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Geography
Recent terrorist attacks across the West African Sahel have thrust the region into debates about transnational terrorism. Ongoing violence carried out by Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and AQIM affiliate al-Mourabitoun continues to raise serious concerns about security and political stability. Furthermore, reports from human rights organizations indicate that armed groups operating in the Sahel participate in the illicit trafficking of people, weapons, and narcotics, further entrenching transnational networks of organized crime and exacerbating the global refugee crisis...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
History
Although equality before the law is a fundamental principle of the modern U.S. legal system, this was certainly not the case in the pluralistic melting pot of the medieval Mediterranean. In my research I adopt the perspective of legal anthropology to investigate the religious-legal culture of the Greek Christians of southern Italy, a region that had been under the rule of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire until its conquest by Latin-speaking Norman mercenaries from northern France in the eleventh century. In spite of the fact that the Norman conquest separated them politically from their...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Anthropology
Shakthi Nataraj is completing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research tracks the way texts of “transgender” identity, ranging from novels and poems, speeches, and jokes circulate amongst transgender rights activists in Tamil Nadu, weaving in and out of social life. Drawing on linguistic anthropology, she examines how iterations of “transgender” contain historical fragments that coalesce and dissipate in unexpected ways as they circulate. For her second project she intends to conduct fieldwork with adoption agencies, anti-trafficking police cells, and...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Architecture
Through this research, I seek to diagram the emerging culture of apology through its global manifestation in particular memorials. The diagram begins with the Holocaust, where apology as a trope began. From here, apology merged with the post-colonial condition. My work shows how this network expanded with the “memory work” of visitors, memory activists, and institutions as they negotiated the memorials’ simultaneous status as extraordinary and ordinary parts of everyday urban life. I propose addressing these issues through a close study of four memorials and a secondary analysis of the...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Sociology
My dissertation looks to the Vietnamese bride market phenomenon in Asia to understand the co-constitutive nature between gender and globalization. Broadly, I ask: How does the political economic hierarchy in Asia shape understandings about the hierarchy of different national Asian masculinities? Concretely, this entails studying Vietnamese women’s participation in the bride market to understand the connection between political economic dynamics in globalization and gendered strategies and desires in family formation. Through a multi-sited, ethnographic and interviewing approach, I focus on...Read more

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