Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program

Grants and Contracts Details


Dissertation Abstract – Leif Johnson: The gleaming skyline that has become the symbol of Shanghai China's financial center and “most-developed” city is built on a contradiction: While the city’s built environment represents a pride full symbol of development, the workers employed in the city's ongoing, frenetic construction and renovation boom are understood in popular and scholarly accounts as embodiments of “low quality” labor– rural, abject, and in most cases excluded from legal and social citizenship in urban China. At the same time, despite ongoing worries around a potential bubble in housing prices, construction and development projects have surpassed industrialization as engines of economic growth, placing migrant workers–the preferred labor force for the Chinese construction industry – once more at the very center of economic change. In order to better understand the ways that Chinese urban citizenship is defined socially, this project will investigate the affective marginalization of migrant construction laborers who are figured in contemporary discourse as paragons of migrant masculinity and as permanently temporary strangers in the cities they build. This project opens up new fields of inquiry by bringing empirical research on migrant labor in the Chinese construction industry together with a theoretical approach focuses on affective conceptions of citizenship as they guide Chinese urban development. Dissertation Abstract – Jessica Linz This study examines how the September 19, 2017 earthquake in Mexico City interrupted processes of gentrification and changed the affective field of politics. Falling on the same calendar date as the 1985 earthquakes, this earthquake reanimated collective trauma and solidarity from exactly thirty-two years’ prior, conjuring an eerie atmosphere and connecting the two events topologically (in a non-Euclidian relationship of space). I am interested in how anti-gentrification movements respond to the new affective atmosphere and negotiate changing possibilities for anti-displacement politics in the after math of the quake. Taking the central neighborhood of Colonia Juárez as my site, I address the following questions:(1) What affective atmospheres define post-earthquake gentrification? (2) How do these affective atmospheres change what is politically possible for competing interests? (3) How does this change in political possibility shape everyday practices and (affective)politics of anti-displacement activists? To answer these questions, I use both traditional and digital qualitative methods: I conduct participant observation, semi-structured interviews with activists, speculators, and delegation officials, traditional archival research of post-1985 social movements and digital archival research of affect in present activism. Using trauma and affect theory to understand non conscious facets of politics, my research will illuminate the role of affect in struggles over urban space. Dissertation Abstract – Miriam “Ruth” Dike Changes in society often stem from changes in individual everyday practices, often within the household. As such, the household constitutes one of the frontlines of changing gender norms. Moroccan women are increasingly participating in the paid labor market, delaying marriage, and having fewer children. However, opinion polls and my own preliminary research indicate that many Moroccans continue to consider men the main economic providers for their family. How do Moroccans experience this seeming contradiction between gender ideologies and economic practice? How does it shape everyday life within their households and how can this help us better understand similar contexts in other developing nations? The proposed research will investigate how women entering the paid workforce influences the distribution of reproductive labor among middle-class Moroccans in Rabat. More specifically, this dissertation project will examine how the distribution of reproductive labor shapes and is shaped by how people think and talk about gender roles when they are co-constructing their marriage roles. Additionally, the proposed research will identify how middle-class Moroccans mitigate tensions that might arise surrounding reproductive labor, such as through changes in the family structure and everyday practices. This project will contribute to Marxist feminist literature by exploring specifically how domestic labor responds and/or produces gender norms writ large form idle-class Moroccans. Dissertation Abstract – Christine Woodward This research uses a queer approach to examine how occupations in São Paulo function as spatial politics for housing justice. Through semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this research shows that occupiers in São Paulo are making claims to urban space in ways that transform normative colonial regimes of property and individual ownership. In doing so, this research contributes to literature on de colonial urbanism, housing justice, and queer urban theory by using queer concepts to examine how occupation works for people who have been historically and legally barred from making traditional political claims. This research will be housed within the University of São Paulo’s Department of Geography and proceed under the guidance of Dr. Ricardo Mendes Antas Jr.
Effective start/end date9/30/183/31/20


  • Department of Education: $73,506.00


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