The AES Editorial Intern Team debuted at the AES spring meeting in 2016. The team works with AES Section Editor Carole McGranahan to introduce new features and conversations to our website and social media. We welcome your ideas, and each year will invite applications for other graduate students to join us.
Our inaugural intern team consists of graduate student team from around the world; in alphabetical order, we are delighted to introduce you to:
Amiel Bize is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Columbia University, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation research focuses on “black spots”—stretches of road where accidents happen frequently—along rural highways in Kenya. The project uses roads and road danger as a lens onto shifting rural landscapes in Kenya, where ideas of kinship, temporality, and morality are being reconfigured to accommodate the risks and opportunities of the post-austerity economy. The project proposes that, as infrastructure construction comes to stand in for development, roads are a key site for understanding the mix of state withdrawal and investment that characterizes contemporary Kenya, as well as the ways in which rural populations are affected by and responding to these shifts. She is also interested in venues for presenting her work beyond academia, and in past has created documentary films and radio essays.
Tara Joly is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her research interests include environmental management, indigenous rights, history of science, and industrial landscapes in subarctic Canada. Based on archival research and fieldwork in Fort McMurray, Canada with the McMurray Métis community and peatland scientists, Tara’s research addresses oil sands wetland reclamation as an emergent form of cultural encounter between divergent epistemologies. Using muskeg as an analytical tool in her doctoral thesis, she traces definitions of landscape utility held by Métis community members, scientists, government agents, and industry representatives. Drawing on environmental anthropology and critical geography literature, she argues that Métis community members are actively and creatively asserting their sovereignty in their homeland that is often conceived as an extractive zone. This research is informed by Tara’s parallel work as an applied anthropologist in the region, in which she assists with a number of Métis Land-Use studies, technical document reviews, and oral history projects in Fort McMurray. Tara is excited to be part of the AES intern team and explore how social media might be a platform through which to foster respectful and accountable research dialogues between academic, community, and public spaces.
Maria Menegaki was born in Crete, Greece in 1991. She holds a BA in Geography and is now a graduate student in Social and Historical Anthropology at the University of the Agean. Religion, Sacred Geography, Tourism and Popular Culture have been among her basic research interests so far. During her studies, she has done several internships; at the Culture Trip and Moldova Place Project as an editor and travel writer, INANTRO – Institute for Anthropological Research and NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology as a research assistant. She has volunteered in festivals like the Nidaros Blues Fest, Jazzfest, Kosmorama Film Festival and written for magazines such as ”Fictional Literature” or ”European Geographer”. She has also been the contact person of EGEA – European Organization for students of geography and young geographers and participated in various European congresses and programs among which ‘AlterNatives: Anthropological Knowledge for the Changing World’ in Slovenia gave her the chance to present her paper titled: ‘When Science Fiction meets Religion: The case of Jediism’. She is currently conducting her fieldwork in terms of her thesis related to Death and Cremation in Greece and is excited to be part of the AES Editorial Intern team.
Eda Pepi is a Ph.D. candidate in Stanford University’s Department of Anthropology, where she also received her MA. Her research interests include statelessness and citizenship, kinship and gender, and sovereignty and the state in the Middle East and North Africa. Having conducted almost three years of fieldwork and archival research between 2011 and 2015, Eda is now writing about marriage and sovereignty. Her dissertation explores the relationship between citizenship and kinship in Jordan. Adopting frameworks from feminist anthropology, she is investigating family life as the site of sovereignty in action. Her ongoing work joins attempts to recover the historical and socio-cultural processes through which women, marriage, and kinship continue to give birth to and reproduce not only identity but also political power. Her scholarship further highlights the ways in which states, quasi-state actors, and social groups police their spatial borders and symbolic boundaries by regulating women’s marital choices and reproductive capacities. She has come to these research interests having earned her BA at Harvard University and after working with the Social Science Research Council’s Migration Program. Eda is thrilled to join the American Ethnological Society editorial internship team!
José A. Romero is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. His research interests include political ecology, securitization, and mobilities across the Americas. His current project explores the eco-poetics of both community-organized, volunteer, armed self-defense groups (autodefensas) in Mexico and the economic diversification of drug cartels into illegal mining and logging. This project primarily works with agricultural laborers in the US, autodefensa and broader community members in Michoacán, Latinx deportees and their transnational families, and will involve facing corporate officials from mining and other relevant industries. The child of immigrant agricultural laborers, José is indebted to critiques of human borders drawing on the Black Radical Tradition, Native Feminisms, and Queer studies. José is elated to join the internship team and the wider American Ethnological Society community.
Sonja Trifuljesko is a third-year Doctoral Candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She obtained her previous degrees in Ethnology and Anthropology, as well as in Art History from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Sonja’s research interests are rather diverse. Initially, she was primarily engaging with anthropological theories of body and anthropology of policy. Her MA thesis investigated the manner in which disability was socially constructed in Serbia and the manner in which it was lived – through the ‘bodies with disability’. Towards the end of her master’s studies, Sonja has started developing a strong interest in migration theories. In 2011, she conducted a brief study on the values of young adults of Serbian origin in Vienna, Austria. Her doctoral project, however, attempts to make a contribution to anthropological discussions on the contemporary university reform. She has just completed her long-term ethnographic fieldwork and expects to defend her thesis in 2018. By capturing different forms that the popular concept of ‘internationalization’ take within the University of Helsinki, Sonja’s study aims to understand and explain present-day transformation of Finnish universities, as well as to interpret its social, cultural and political implications.
Namgyal Tsepak is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University, with a Minor in American Indian Studies. Originally from northeastern Tibet, Namgyal graduated from Duke University (Durham, NC) with a B.A. in Anthropology. He spent a research and service-learning year at Seva Foundation (Berkeley, CA) as a Research Associate through Duke University’s Hart Fellows Program. Namgyal had managed community development grants including from the Canada Fund, the Davis Projects for Peace, and DukeEngage to implement solar energy projects in Tibetan and other ethnic minority areas in Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces in western China. For his dissertation research, Namgyal works with the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation (Bowler, Wisconsin) to investigate the ways in which the Mohican people today reconnect with their ancestral homelands in the Northeast, and explore how lands/places intersect with Native identity, sociocultural (re)production and political belonging within the context of settler colonialism. In addition to his dissertation research, Namgyal periodically translates writings by prominent Tibetan writers and social activists. He shares some of these translations and his own writing excerpts on at his Nomadic Borders blog. He has contributed articles to journals such as Central Asiatic Journal, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and Asian Highlands Perspectives.
Drew Zackary is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research concerns the effects conservation area management has on people living within them. Specifically he is interested in human-wildlife conflict, multispecies interaction, and decentralized governance. Currently his field site is the Kachenjunga Conservation Area in northeast Nepal. Questions concerning land tenure, ethnic identity and perceptions development are of importance at his current field site. Drew has done previous work on biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and livelihood in Uganda and wolf reintroduction in Idaho. He received a M.A. in Anthropology from CU Denver and a Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from Colorado State University.