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Where Are They Now?

As a PhD candidate in anthropology, it can be a real challenge to do fieldwork, teach classes, write your dissertation while keeping food in your stomach and a roof over your head. Anyone who’s in that exciting but occasionally nerve-wracking time probably agrees that a little extra funding can really help the process along. The AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship offers exactly that but it can do even more for you. It’s not just a sum of money doled out: it also conveys prestige and can help launch your career in academia. The achievements of our past recipients demonstrate what the fellowship can do for you.

The Minority Dissertation Fellowship winner from 2002-2003, Audra Simpson, now works in the Anthropology department at Columbia University as an assistant professor. She’s published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and even has a book slated for publication, “Mohawk Interruptus.” Successful in her career, Audra also seeks to, in her own words, bring “the fields of anthropology and Native American Studies into a critical and constructive dialogue with each other.”

Julie Chu, the winner from 2003-2004, now occupies the position of assistant professor within the NYU Anthropology department. She has authored a number of articles in scholarly journals as well as a book, “Cosmologies of Credit: Transnational Mobility and the Politics of Destination in China.” Her book was well-received and garnered a substantial amount of attention, earning the 2011 Sharon Stephens Prize from the American Ethnological Society and the 2012 Clifford Geertz Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. Aside from articles and books, she is also engaged in an ethnographic film project. In fact, she’s even developing an entirely new ethnographic focus in Chinese soundscapes!

A recent winner from 2008, Rocío Magaña, is already making her mark on the academic world! In short order, she became an assistant professor at Rutgers in the School of Arts & Sciences and has already published articles in edited volumes. According to her own description, her dissertation research offered “an ethnographic analysis of contemporary struggles over border control, humanitarian intervention, and unauthorized migration in the desert regions of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary.” Currently, she is in process of continuing that research and crafting a publishable book with it.

The Minority Dissertation Fellowship has already launched the careers of these anthropologists and a number of others, helping them establish a foothold in the tough world of academia. What can it do for you?


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