Dannah Dennis is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Virginia. She studies the ways in which macro-level social, political, and legal processes shape and are shaped by micro-level personal interactions in everyday life in Nepal, with a strong focus on the politics of power, privilege, and inequality. Her dissertation, entitled “Re-imagining the Nation: Citizens in the New Nepal,” examines changing narratives of national identity in the midst of Nepal’s constitutional transition to secularism and federalism. She has published an article on the gendered and regional exclusions that shape Nepali citizenship law, an article on the politics of urban infrastructure in Kathmandu, a book chapter on how competing claims to Buddha's birthplace reflect different ideas about Nepali national identity, and a piece of ethnographic fiction exploring the effects of international migration on Nepali middle-class families.
Kimalee Dickerson is second-year PhD student and an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. Broadly, her research investigates the experiences of youth of color, particularly African American youth, in educational contexts. Her current project uses critical race theory as a framework through which to examine how middle school students from different racial and ethnic groups talk about race.
Brooke Dinsmore is a second year graduate student in the Sociology department. Broadly, her research looks at how youth’s peer cultures and experiences in school are shaped by the intersections of race, class and gender inequalities. Her current project uses qualitative methods to address the question of how interactions between teachers and students influence bullying as a form of power-based violence that reproduces race and gender inequality in schools. This project seeks to further develop a critical sociological understanding of bullying by looking at the processes by which cultural understandings of peer conflict come to reproduce (or challenge) existing race and gender inequalities.
As a sixth-year PhD candidate in Sociology, my general research interests include religion, race and ethnicity, and immigration, with a specific focus on Muslim immigration. My dissertation research aims to identify the frames through which Americans perceive Muslims and Islam, examine how those frames shape sentiments toward this immigrant population, and examine the extent to which certain frames are associated with Americans’ demographic backgrounds, affiliations, and practices.
Schools are sites of struggle — particularly for students whose values, languages, and epistemologies have been minoritized by nationally standardized curricula and pedagogy. In working with teachers and students from a non-dominant ethnic group in Central Asia, however, I was initially surprised to find, given the ubiquity of criticism for the educational system in this area, that informal and locally-organized schools appeared to replicate formal institutions in many ways. I therefore explore not only how state hegemony manifests in school systems and supplemental educational opportunities, but also the ways teachers can, in politically sensitive contexts, covertly infuse their praxis with ideas and methods that challenge and transform structures of inequality. I'm currently a second-year PhD student in the Social Foundations Program in the Curry School of Education.
Annie Galvin is a PhD candidate in the English Department, where she works on contemporary global literature, political violence, new media, and visual culture. Her dissertation, “Violence and Visual Media in the Contemporary Global Novel,” identifies a paradox of hyper-visibility and obscurity that characterizes how political violence is represented across global mediascapes in the 21st century. It explores how writers address sectarian conflict, state-sanctioned violence, and terrorism and counter-terrorism through narrative methods, but also by integrating descriptions of visual texts—including photography, film, television, video games, and the Internet—as a means of both drawing upon and contesting the signifying powers of these increasingly ubiquitous visual mediums. She has taught courses in the English Department, as well as in the Global Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Programs at UVA.
Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Higher Education program in the Curry School of Education, who employs feminist and political theory to highlight and better understand the current problems facing American colleges and universities. Her current research focus centers on Title IX and its uses for campus sexual assault; specifically, how Title IX and recent federal guidance related to sexual assault construct a policy narrative for peer-to-peer sexual violence as a problem facing female and LGBTQ students.
Kelli Shermeyer is a doctoral candidate in English currently working on modern and contemporary Anglophone drama. Her project explores plays containing violence committed by and against non-human and less-than-human entities in order to rethink the major tenets of tragic theory. Kelli's other academic interests include fantastic literature, horror film, and the theories and methods of theater directors.