Cultural Anthropology

Andres M. Gonzalez-Saiz

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   Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
   Graduate Advisor: Ulla Berg 

I am interested in the intersection between the state, violence and the body in the Colombian armed forces as they go through the implementation of a transitional justice process.

Mary Elizabeth Knipper (Bird)
  Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
raduate Advisor: Dorothy Hodgson 

My name is Mary Beth Knipper, and I’m very excited to be joining the Rutgers Department of Anthropology. I have a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.Sc. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford. After completing my Master’s degree in 2011, I joined the U.S. Peace Corps and spent two wonderful years serving as a high school Math and Physics teacher in a rural village in northern Lesotho. In 2015, I returned to Lesotho as a U.S. Fulbright Student Scholar. My research focuses primarily on examining selective utilization of prenatal HIV testing amongst Basotho mothers in the remote community of Motete in the eastern highlands of the country. In the coming years as a PhD student, I am interested in shifting this research to further explore local protective exposure practices for infants in the region. In 2016, I joined the Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers-Princeton M.D/Ph.D. Program. I completed my second year of Medical School in 2018, and now look forward to focusing on my Anthropology PhD degree for the next several years!

Emmanuel Martinez Alcaraz

Emmanuel Martinez Alcaraz
CITE Program
Advisors: Nina Siulc and Peter Guarnaccia

Research interests: migration, U.S. immigration policy, Latin America, medical anthropology, race in medicine and science, children/childhood, life-course, risk and uncertainty. I am a member of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-Princeton University MD/PhD Program.

Donna Auston

Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Fran Mascia-Lees

Research Interests: My research interests include race, ethnicity, Islamophobia, gender, the body, phenomenology and embodiment, religion, language, media representation, and Islam in America.

My dissertation is an ethnographic study of Islam, race, sprituality, and protest through an examination of Black Muslim activism in the northeastern U.S., within the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Christopher Bauer

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Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Daniel Goldstein

My current research project investigates post-conflict imaginings of the state and its legitimacy through an ethnographic analysis of shared feelings of resentment and public appeals for indemnity by internally displaced Peruvians in the Mantaro Valley.

Research interests: state-making, conflict management, political legitimacy, ethnoaesthetics, ritual/performance, social foundations of development, South America.

Elizabeth (Lissa) Crane
Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Louisa Schein

Research Interests: philanthropy; critical humanitarian studies; gender;
feminist anthropology; U.S.; China

I study contemporary philanthropy in two different contexts: women’s/feminist philanthropy based in the U.S. (but often with global reach); and Chinese social philanthropy.  In both cases, my research focuses on conceptualizations of “effective” philanthropy and the development of “best practices,” as well as on the role played by affective and instrumental donor-recipient relationships in the distribution of philanthropic gifts.

Nada El-Kouny

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     Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
     Graduate Advisor: Becky Schulthies

Research interests: Infrastructure, political action, mobility, inter-generational disjunctures, structural violence, memory, Revolution, Rural Egypt.   

My dissertation research, currently being written, is an ethnographic (and partly archival) study of infrastructure, state-making and political action in Rural Egypt. I focus on two villages in the Egypt's Nile Delta region to address how the state produces itself and enacts itself through built infrastructures. I additionally look at how citizens in return, experience, utilize and contest infrastructural projects (or their lack) and what meanings and imaginations revolve around them. On a theoretical level, I conceive of infrastructure both in its material form: roads, bridges, railways; as well as "social infrastructures" of communicative practices, social mobility, and political mobilization. Emerging from my research sites, it is evident how both the physical and social infrastructures together are co-constitutive in producing political subjectivities in Egypt. 

Tristan Jones
Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Daniel Goldstein

My research concerns oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Oil sands mining is a unique form of resource extraction, with a host of special issues relating to migrant labor, First Nations communities, and the North American landscape. I am particularly interested in the discursive and ontological legitimization of extractive industries, especially within the context of a European settler state like Canada.

Research Interests: Actor Network Theory, Biopolitics, Environmental Anthropology, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Extractive Industries, Feminist Theory, Gender, Indigenous Studies, Labor Migration, Landscape, Phenomenology, Politics of Knowledge Production, Social Justice, Queer Theory, Sovereignty, State Formation

Marlaina Martin

Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Advisor: Louisa Schein

Research Interests: race and the politics of representation; cultural production; gender, sexuality, and feminist thought; media anthropology; embodiment; colorblindness, post-race, and post-black theory; black diaspora studies

Based in New York City, my research explores production and distribution strategies among black women filmmakers, especially as they navigate issues of race, gender, and class.


Dunstan Matungwa

Dunstan Matungwa CITE Program
Advisor: Dorothy Hodgson  


Dunstan Matungwa, a Ph.D. Candidate in the CITE program, holds an M.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University as well as an M.A. and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Broadly, his research interest is to understand how people negotiate social, cultural, political and economic relations, structures and processes that mediate their lives to produce precarity, suffering and ill health. While paying attention to liberal and non-liberal forms of agency, he studies how people shape and are shaped by these relations, structures and processes as well as their resulting forms of subjectivities. His dissertation research is an ethnography that explores non-client, female-centered social relations and networks among women who sell sex in Tanzania to examine their economic, political, social, and emotional significance. In this research, he asks: what motivates women to engage in selling sex? With whom, how, and why do women who sell sex develop different forms of social relations and networks? What are the “forms of power” or “infrapolitics” that arise from these social relations and networks and how can they be understood? How do women who sell sex draw on these social relations, networks and the resulting forms of power to negotiate gendered stigma, respectability and gendered economic inequality? Prior to doctoral study, he taught at the University of Dar es Salaam and later worked with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mwanza, Tanzania, where he is tenured as a Research Scientist.


Marian Thorpe

Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Advisor: David Hughes

Research Interests: Indigenous identity, climate change policy, sustainable development, social movements, environmental anthropology, political ecology, Latin America. My research explores indigenous participation in climate change policy implementation in Panama. 

Timothy Weldon

Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Daniel Goldstein

Research interests: Political, Economic, and Historical Anthropology, especially Europe and North America; Democracy and Alternative Democracies; Social Movements/Control; Economic and Social Marginalization/Justice; Neoliberal Capitalism and Non-Capitalist Alternatives; Leftist Autonomist Movements, Squatting; Privatization; Disabilities/Different Abilities.

Dawn Wells-Macapia

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Cultural Anthropology (CITE) program
Graduate Advisor: Ulla D. Berg

Research interests: Migration and citizenship studies; whiteness and settler colonialism; urban anthropology; economic and political anthropology; United States; Australia