2015-16 Program on Ethnic Politics and Identities
Sandra Brunnegger, lecturer in human, social and political sciences at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, UK. Brunnegger’s research interests include human rights, indigenous legal systems, environmental conflict, social movements, violence and transitional justice. Ethnographically, her research focuses on Latin America, with particular emphasis on Colombia. At Princeton, she studies how legal discourses are underpinning the formation of political identity in Colombia . Ph.D. in social anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria.
Elena Gadjanova, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany and lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland. Gadjanova’s research explores ethnic politics and the process of identity formation from a comparative perspective. Her publications have examined the political claims advanced by ethnic groups across a wide range of cases. She is currently working on a book project exploring how political contenders in Sub-Saharan Africa reach across ethnic lines in places where ethnicity is salient, but there are electoral incentives to seek broader support. Ph.D. in political science, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
Laavanya Kathiravelu, assistant professor in the Division of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research sits at the intersection of international migration and contemporary cities. Her earlier work explored connections between the rapid urban development of the Gulf emirate of Dubai, and the role of migrants within those reconfigurations, focusing in particular on understanding the low wage migrant experience beyond the dominant discourses of victimhood. Kathiravelu's current research focuses on quotidian experiences of metropolitan diversity within the highly migrant-centric city—state of Singapore. She is broadly interested in issues of diaspora, migration, everyday interactions and informal networks within diverse urban contexts. Ph.D. in sociology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
Amy Niang, assistant professor in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her research is informed by a broad interest in the history of state formation and related processes. She also investigates substantive questions around theory-formation, representation and knowledge-making in/on non-Western societies, particularly in reference to “Africa” as a moral, material and political field of inquiry. During her time at Princeton, Niang is interested in engaging with a variety of ways of rethinking “identity politics.” By looking historically at the political, economic, cultural and ideological arguments of ethnicity-based claims, she seeks to better understand the social field, that is, the dynamics that result from the intersection of humanitarian, capitalist and securitarian politics as they inflect different articulations and expressions of identity. She specifically focuses on the Tuareg in the broad geopolitical, geoeconomic and geocultural configurations in the Sahel. Ph.D. in politics and international relations from the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Tamara Pavasovic Trost, junior lecturer of research methodology at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Trost’s research focuses on constructions of ethnic identity through textbooks, media, religious institutions, sports and similar, with a geographic focus on Southeastern Europe. At Princeton, she will examine the relationship between class, nationalism and ethnic exclusivism in the Western Balkans. Ph.D. in sociology, Harvard University
Matthias vom Hau, assistant professor in comparative politics at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Spain. His work is centrally concerned with the relationship between identity politics, institutions and development, with a regional focus on Latin America. He has published widely on how states construct a sense of national belonging, how civil society actors negotiate and contest official nationalisms, and to which extent ordinary citizens subscribe to official and counter-state identity projects. His most recent line of work critically re-examines the influential scholarship that establishes a negative relationship between ethnic diversity and public goods provision. Based on an analysis of the consequences of indigenous movements in Argentina, Chile and South Africa, he develops an alternative approach that draws on solidly political conceptualizations of ethnicity and state provision of public goods, and shifts the analytical attention from demographics to historical patterns of nation-state formation. Ph.D. in sociology, Brown University.