Current Winners

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

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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
History
Maelia DuBois is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at UC Berkeley. Her first field is Late Modern European History, and her secondary fields are Global Colonial & Imperial History and Reproductive Demography. Maelia’s geographic and temporal specialization is in nineteenth and early twentieth century Germany, with a focus on imperialism, colonialism, women’s history, reproduction, and migration. Her dissertation project examines the politics of reproduction in the German Empire, specifically the intersection of German motherhood ideals, pro-natalism, and expansionist...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Anthropology
I will research the daily practices surrounding the production and consumption of bread and their ethico-political significance amongst Syrians displaced by war in Tripoli, Lebanon to understand how communities living with destruction attempt to forge alternative futures. What symbolic forms emerge as salient for Syrians amidst the psychic intensity of war and its aftermath, especially as articulated in an Islamic idiom? For that, I turn to bread and its associations with ‘life’ and ‘justice’ in the region. Can the practices organized around bread facilitate access to resources in the Islamic...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Political Science
In my dissertation, I study outsider candidates’ decisions in terms of their location along the policy dimension and the type of rhetoric employed when appealing to voters. Outsider candidates are changing the way elections are run. The most well-known outsider candidates who have won office share a populist style and have adopted extreme positions on policy issues, both on the right and on the left of the political spectrum (e.g., Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Alberto Fujimori in Peru, among others, including Donald Trump in the U.S.). This empirical observation has, in...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Sociology
My dissertation explores the rise of the transnational transgender movement. As reflected in its usage in UN documents and speeches, in the largest international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) advocating for sexual and gender minorities, and increasing usage among biomedical experts, gender identity has gained political salience in recent years and ‘transgender’ has come to encompass many forms of gender variance. I build on David Valentine’s extraordinary ethnography of the emergence of ‘transgender’ in New York City, examining the geopolitical and organizational processes through...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Geography
In the 1800s, British colonizers in India began to study marine biodiversity from their trading bastion of Cochin. What they found was not only a vibrant natural history but also an extant commercial fishery exporting millions of pounds of fish oil to London to replace dwindling whale blubber. One prodigious but mercurial fish, the Indian oil sardine, enabled this nascent industry. Yet colonial officials would deem such fisheries “primitive, slow, ineffective and undiversified,” crying out to be “modernised and improved by the aid of science, knowledge and capital.” My dissertation examines,...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
History
My dissertation is a comparative and transnational history of Japanese and West German atomic power. Aside from occupying similar geopolitical positions within the West’s Cold War alliance, Japan and West Germany shared the experience of catastrophic defeat during the Second World War, and both states were prohibited from undertaking nuclear research during the subsequent occupations. When the research bans were lifted in the early 1950s, the nascent nuclear industries of both countries found themselves facing a “ten-year lag” with respect to “the advanced countries.” This perceived...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Energy and Resources Group
If political theory, in the broadest sense, seeks to assess and offer answers to the question, “how ought we live together?”, the discipline has largely overlooked entire traditions’ and regions’ answers to this question. In particular, political theorists have largely failed to take seriously the diverse and intricate traditions of indigenous political thought. Simultaneously, the Canadian government and public continues to reckon with the country’s colonial past, undertaking projects of healing, reconciliation, and indigenous recognition. Within this disciplinary and regional context, my...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
History
In 1954, after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the conclusion of the Geneva Conference in July, a great transition took place in cities in North Vietnam: the First Indochina War was over, and Ho Chi Minh’s government took over the cities previously controlled by the French and their Vietnamese allies. My dissertation narrates the political and social transitions that took place in urban areas in North Vietnam, with a focus on Hanoi – the former capital of French Tonkin and since 1954, the heart of communist rule in Vietnam – during the first two years of the Democratic Republic of...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Political Science
How do women candidates navigate informal candidate selection processes in new democracies? While the number of women in elected positions has been slowly increasing over time, there is limited understanding of the unique decisions and challenges they face in countries where democratic institutions remain weak. To understand the strategies women employ when entering politics, this project examines the role of party gatekeepers as barriers to the selection of women in party-controlled candidate nominations. The argument this dissertation project proposes is that barriers are magnified for...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Political Science
When politicians from minority groups are elected to office, how do institutions that are created and led by non-minority individuals react? This question has yet to be explored, particularly in the context of female politicians and male-led bureaucracies. The interaction of politicians and bureaucracies is crucial given the former relies on the latter to implement a host of public policies that eventually impact voter perceptions of the government. The examination of how bureaucrats react to the entry of new groups, particularly those that are perceived as inexperienced and ill-prepared to...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Architecture
Ettore studies rural restructuring, a global architectural practice emerging in the “Urban Age.” In his dissertation project entitled “Building a Third Land Revolution: The Corporate Reinvention of China’s Rural Village,” Ettore explores how China’s large-scale agriculture firms are now appropriating rural land nationwide and rebuilding thousands of rural villages as spaces for intensive food production and ecotourism consumption. Tracing the emergence of these “corporate villages” across rural China, Ettore maps the making of new high-tech farms, soil science laboratories, rural ecotourism...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
Geography
My dissertation project, sited in Mexico City and South Texas, is an ethnography of the emerging transnational infrastructure to facilitate the discovery, identification, and repatriation of deceased migrants discovered in the US-Mexico borderlands. Since 1994, thousands of migrants have perished in the region. From 2004 to 2012, the geography of mortality shifted from southern Arizona to South Texas, where scandal erupted in 2013 when it was discovered that bodies had been interred in mass graves without DNA collection, in violation of state law. In 2013, the South Texas Human Rights Center...Read more
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Term:
AY19-20
Department:
History
By the early 20th century, the corridor of trade between Angola’s Atlantic port of Lobito Bay and Congo’s mineral-rich Katanga region was one of global interest: British concessionary companies, Belgian mining and railway companies, an Anglo-Portuguese railway company, and investors from France, Britain, and Germany had all developed financial stakes in the region. At the same time, pre-existing miners, traders, and authorities were not going to give up their control over commerce. Throughout the 20th century, the trans-national Benguela Railway embroiled these traders, miners, and workers;...Read more