In my previous academic home, the natural science-dominated department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) at the University of California, Berkeley, it is customary to describe social scientists and humanists too as having "labs." As I transitioned in academic year 2013-14 to Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, I continued working with Berkeley students (I remain on a 0% appointment at Berkeley) while adding University of Texas students to this learning group. Meet my lab members. They include my primary advisees and in previous years postdoctoral scholars who came to Berkeley for a year or two to enrich our intellectual community. Also included are other graduate students whom I refer to as "affiliate lab members." I work with these graduate students actively, usually as a member of their oral exam and dissertation committees. They read indigenous and feminist science studies with me, but I am not their primary adviser. Read the bios below and you will get a sense of the deep interdisciplinary and diverse work that we do around the topics of technoscience, indigeneity, feminism, the environment, and queer theory. I am fortunate to be able to work with such an intellectually diverse group of scholars, and to learn with them.
**In select cases, I will consider adding students at other institutions to my virtual lab. Our relationship will consist only of advising and collaboration. It involves no funding in most cases. Prospective external students must be enrolled in a graduate program and must research issues at the intersections of indigeneity and technoscience, social media, or indigenous naturecultures, including topics of indigenous sexuality, and they must be students of both the social sciences and humanities. Students who engage the STEM fields in concert with the social sciences and humanities are also most welcome to contact me. There is a great need to expand indigenous studies scholarship in these areas and this is the reason I am reluctant to limit myself to working only with student-colleagues who attend the institutions that employ me.
Hekia Bodwitch (UC Berkeley)
Hekia is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in ESPM. She is interested in the power dynamics between nation-states and indigenous peoples, specifically the way in which hegemonic powers are influenced by indigenous resistance movements today. She employs social theory to explore the impact of capitalist forces on those power relations within a neo-liberal state. New Zealand provides her research focus as she examines the Treaty of Waitangi grievance claims process as a forum for oppositional forces to organize and negotiate power. She aims for her work to provide useful information for academics and indigenous rights advocates regarding the conditions under which indigenous resistance movements are likely to succeed and the effectiveness of a treaty-based resistance movement as a tool for claiming rights. Hekia grew up in Skaneateles, a small town in central New York State. She attended Cornell University where she conducted nano-technology research as an undergraduate. Her dad is from Fulton, New York and her mom is from New Zealand. She feels very fortunate that her research takes her there.
Sibyl Diver (UC Berkeley)
photo: Jun Kamata
_Sibyl is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate in ESPM. Sibyl is a member of both Stephanie Carlson's lab and mine. She studies co-management (collaborative or cooperative management) of natural resources with indigenous peoples in Pacific Northwest salmon watersheds. This study builds off of her previous eight years of NGO experience, working on issues of community participation in natural resource management primarily in the Russian Far East (in Kamchatka). For her graduate research, Sibyl takes a community engaged scholarship approach to working with two Pacific Northwest indigenous communities – the Xaxli'p Indigenous Community in British Columbia, Canada and the Karuk Tribe in Northern California, USA. Both communities are negotiating with forest management agencies to shift natural resource management practices on their aboriginal territory. These case studies follow how communities articulate new models of ecological and cultural restoration, and how community and state agency representatives negotiate power relations through resource management planning and practice. Sibyl grew up in the small community of Lewes, Delaware on the Delaware Bay, and initially moved to the West Coast for college. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Russian and Human Biology.
Theodore (Ted) Grudin (UC Berkeley)
Ted is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in ESPM. His research is at the intersection of environmental ethics, animal studies, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). He looks at human-animal and human-nature dichotomies and how they bear on ethical theory and societal norms. One topic that he hopes to research in greater depth is the rise of factory farming and its relationship to various antiquated scientific ideas about animals that may have justified such treatment of animals. A second area of interest is in exploring the ethical implications of recent studies on animal cognition and intelligence. Ultimately, Ted's research targets new perspectives for understanding humanity and its place in nature. Ted was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. He earned a B.A. in History from Pomona College, where he was a National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Fellow. After college he worked as a New York City Teaching Fellow in Manhattan. Ted also earned a Masters of Science in Teaching at Pace University.
Benedikte Zitouni was a Visiting Post-Doctoral Scholar at ESPM. She’s an urban sociologist based in Brussels, where she’s a member of the GECo - Group of Constructivist Studies. Her interest lies in the shaping and physical makings of the city, the knowledge and power mechanisms that are involved but also the possibilities of shifts, diverted action and empowerment that can be gained from exploring and telling these empirical city-tales in a constructive, experimental, manner. This interest led her to critical geography, political ecology and environmental history. It made her use actor-network-theory, STS, relational and interactionnist sociology in her PhD on Brussels’ urbanization processes. It triggered writings on microphysics of power, urban waste, material wear and tear, concrete and water, the urban subsoil, amongst others. And it now leads her to ESPM, where she wants to develop a environmentalist (trans-species) and perspectivist approach to the city, by learning more about eco-feminism, zoo-feminism, claims of environmental justice and many other political-academic-spiritual endeavors which are yet unknown to her.
Noriko Ishiyama was a Visting Scholar in ESPM (2009-2011). She is Professor in the School of Political Science and Economics at Meiji University, Japan. She spent her two-year sabbatical in ESPM. Noriko's research focuses on the political geography and environmental history of the Colorado River Indian Reservation. Specifically, she studies the experience of the tribe in being forced to provide a site for a WWII concentration camp that incarcerated people of Japanese ancestry. Paradoxically, while the camp reproduced exploitation and racism against Japanese-Americans, by bringing enslaved labor and military largess to the reservation it also resulted in significant agricultural and infrastructural development there. Consequently, the Colorado River Indian Tribe (CRIT) benefited significantly from the experience. Noriko and her collaborators analyze the intricate and often contradictory aspects of the racialized geographies of WWII internment programs and the U.S. colonization of Native American tribes. In 2002, Noriko earned a Ph.D. in Geography at Rutgers University where she was a Fulbright Scholar. While she publishes predominantly in Japanese scholarly journals Noriko published "Environmental Justice and American Indian Sovereignty: Case Study of a Land-Use Conflict in Skull Valley," in Antipode 35(1) (2003). The article was reprinted in Geographic Thought: A Praxis Perspective, eds. George Henderson and Marvin Waterstone (Routledge, 2008).
Rachel Ceasar is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate in the joint medical anthropology program at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California San Francisco. She is interested in the body, science politics, death, secularism and belief systems, archaeology, ethnography, and technology in Spain and Morocco. Rachel's dissertation research explores the recent exhumations of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship as a sensorial-scientific tool to rethink the body, science, history, and politics. Rachel is from Los Angeles and received her undergraduate training in Psychology and Spanish at UCLA. For more information about her research, see http://berkeley.academia.edu/RachelCeasar.
Shannon Cram (affiliate lab member) (UC Berkeley)
_Shannon Cram is a 5th year Ph.D. Candidate in Geography. Her dissertation research explores the complex politics of environmental mediation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. In her work, Shannon investigates the certainty-uncertainty binary as it relates to nuclear injury and environmental stewardship--examining how suffering bodies, contaminated lands, and nuclear materials are understood within the multiple frameworks of ecological science, medicine, environmental activism, and bureaucratic administration. Shannon's dissertation project is based on more than seven years of involvement in cleanup policy discussions at Hanford, where she has come to know many of the people involved in the daily effort of nuclear processing and stewardship--from Hanford workers, to public interest activists, to the scientists and policy makers tasked with creating management procedure. Shannon not only studies Geography, but teaches it as well. She has been a Geography instructor at Foothill College since 2007.
_Sharon Fuller is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate. She investigates the conflation of gendered perspectives into homogenous frameworks in which women’s engagement in natural resource management is obscured. She focuses on Gullah Geechee fisherwomen in South Carolina’s Sea Islands. Sharon critiques fisheries within the broader field of participatory approaches to sustainable resource management. Her primary interest is livelihood strategies to poverty reduction. The Sea Islands offer a unique opportunity to investigate cultural traditions originating from West Africa’s coastal region of Sierra Leone. During slavery Africans from this region were specifically targeted for fisheries and agricultural knowledge that was critical to South Carolina’s exponential economic growth. The ecological similarities of Sierra Leone’s coastal region facilitated the juxtaposition of African fishing traditions upon South Carolina’s established cultural practices. As a result, the indigenous knowledges of Africans of the Diaspora and Native Americans co-produced traditional fishing practices still evident today. Sharon uses an ethnographic gendered analysis of power, race and the production of space in an effort to understand the following: How do different cultures relate to the land and water? How do these relations promote stewardship of water resources for fishing practices? What is the role of Gullah Geechee fisherwomen and South Carolina’s fisheries in the local economy? Sharon is from Richmond, California. She is a PhD candidate and received her undergraduate degree in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC Berkeley.
Christina Gonzalez (affiliate lab member) (UT Austin)
Christina Gonzalez is a second year PhD student in the department of Anthropology and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include indigeneity (urban, diasporic, and non-recognized types of Indigenous subjectivities), mestizaje, intra-group difference and the politics of inclusion/exclusion, and multi-sited, collaborative and interdisciplinary research. Christina seeks to investigate the intersections of indigeneity and mestizaje for Antillean peoples in the Caribbean and in the United States diaspora, particularly among those exploring and/or claiming an indigenous Taino identity. She is interested in how Latino and non-Latino Caribbean peoples receive and use discourses of genomics to awaken an indigenous consciousness, shape an indigenous identity/present and further an indigenous-centered politics. Christina is Boricua/Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, New York. She completed her B.A. in Political Science and Latin American/Latino Studies at Fordham University, and holds a Master of Arts with distinction in Maori Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, in Aotearoa New Zealand, where she also served as a Fulbright fellow in 2008.
Peter Nelson (affiliate lab member) (UC Berkeley)
Peter Nelson is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is interested in Indigenous archaeologies and collaborative research. He is Coast Miwok and working with his tribe, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, to help manage cultural and natural resources from his tribe’s aboriginal territory (Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties of California). Currently, his tribe is engaging in a co-management project with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department to restore, develop, and manage Tolay Lake Regional Park. Within this park is the location of a sacred lakebed where Native people gathered, conducted ceremonies and were treated for illnesses by Native doctors until the late nineteenth century when European farmers drained the lake. Peter’s dissertation research investigates ancient plant remains from the archaeological sites on this and neighboring properties in order to understand better what the pre-colonized landscape of the Tolay watershed looked like and how people living there managed it. Peter received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington in Anthropology and English.
Elizabeth M. Stephens (affiliate lab member) (UC Davis)
_Elizabeth M. Stephens is an artist, student and a professor
who lives and works in San Francisco, CA.She attended the Boston Museum School as an undergraduate and received
her MFA from Rutgers University.She
teaches in the Art Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz,
where she has also served as chair.Additionally, Stephens is an affiliate of the Digital Art and New Media
Program. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in performance studies at UC Davis. In
her artistic practice, she is an intermedia artist who makes films, sculpture,
video installations, photography, and performance art. For the past seven years
her work has been made in collaboration with her partner, Annie Sprinkle, as
the Love Art Laboratory.This collaboration is an artistic response to
the anti-gay marriage movement, the ongoing war(s) on terror, and a culture in
ecological crises.It has evolved to
embrace activism as art and especially environmental activism in the form of
large-scale weddings.Stephens and
Sprinkle have produced a series of film documentations of these environmental
weddings, where they have married various entities (the sky, the sea, the
mountains, the moon, rocks, and coal) of their lover, the Earth.Stephens performs, lectures, and creates
visual art about love nationally and internationally. For more information
about her most recent work, see http://elizabethstephens.org