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Program Fellows 2015-16

Aharon de Grassi (Geography, UC Berkeley)
Agrarian Studies Program Fellow

Aharon DeGrassi holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, and a BA in Development Studies from Berkeley. His dissertation research explores agricultural investment and accumulation in post-conflict oil-boom Angola. Previously, he did work for applied development research institutions including the World Resources Institute (Washington, DC, and Accra, Ghana), the Overseas Development Institute (London, UK), the International Institute for Environment and Development (London, UK), and ActionAid International (Johannesburg/Berkeley). His Yale Agrarian Studies postdoctoral project, The City in the Countryside: Petro-Booms, Planetary Urbanization, and Post-War Agrarian Transformation among Cassava Farmers in North-Central Angola, will examine how infrastructure development shapes urban-rural relations and agrarian investment and differentiation. 

Jonathan DeVore (Anthropology, Michigan)
Agrarian Studies Program Fellow

Jonathan DeVore holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan. His dissertation, titled Cultivating Hope: Struggles for Land, Equality, and Recognition in the Cacao Lands of Southern Bahia, Brazil, traces the historical trajectory of contemporary land rights movements in Bahia’s cacao lands by situating them in the context of ongoing struggles to realize the promise of freedom in Brazil’s post-emancipation period.  His current project develops a critique of the “labor theory” of property, and proposes an “interactional” theory of property that focuses on relationships of mutuality and exchange between people and the non-human environment. The project will build from these ideas to move toward an account of the ecology of ethical life.  As an Agrarian Studies fellow, he will elaborate on these themes through several writing projects, including multiple articles and a book manuscript. Jonathan holds a BA in Anthropology from Miami University of Ohio.
 

Christopher Gratien (History, Georgetown)
Agrarian Studies Program Fellow

Chris Gratien completed his PhD in History at Georgetown University. His dissertation, titled “The Mountains are Ours”: Settlement and Ecology in late Ottoman and Early Republican Cilicia, 1856-1956, examines the social and environmental history of Southern Anatolia throughout a transition from transhumant pastoralism to settled, commercial agriculture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The study is framed by the issue of malaria, which arose out of this changing ecology, and examines the intersections of disease with the political and socioeconomic transformations of the period. Chris will continue to develop this research as an Agrarian Studies fellow in tandem with a broader project on ecological change in diverse geographical regions of the late Ottoman Empire. In addition to his scholarly projects, Chris is also the co-creator, producer, and host of the Ottoman History Podcast, which boasts nearly 200 episodes since 2011.

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Visiting Postdoctoral Fellows 2015-16

Alba Díaz Geada
Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Alba Diaz Geada received her PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 2013. She studied the changes in rural Galicia since the sixties and until its entry into the EU, trying to shed light on the action of the historical subjects and, at the same time, on the change of these subjects (the change of rural communities and their common culture) by exploring from below reasons and ways of changes in productive and domestic sphere, rural exodus and collective action (DÍAZ-GEADA, A.: Change in common. Economic, social and cultural change in rural Galiza during Francoism and the political Transition (1959-1982), 2013). She did the Master’s in Contemporary History (2009) with a final investigation: DÍAZ-GEADA, A.: The countryside in movement: the role of country unions in the rural Galician area during the last times of the Franco dictatorship and the first period of the political transition, 1964-1986, published in 2011. Her fields of interest are rural history, social movements, social, cultural and political change in the countryside. She currently has a postdoctoral contract to develop a research program about sociocultural change and collective action in rural areas in comparative perspective at the Laboratory of Rural Studies (University Lyon 2, France) and the Program in Agrarian Studies (Yale University).

Daniel Tubb
Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Tubb is a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Fellow at Yale’s Program in Agrarian Studies at the MacMillan Center. Daniel’s research intersects economic anthropology, political economy, political ecology, resource extraction, and social theory. Before joining Yale in 2014, Daniel earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a Specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University. His dissertation “Gold in the Chocó” was a study of gold mining in Colombia’s northwest. Where many researchers focus on social movements that contest resource extraction, Daniel used labour-based ethnography and a political ecology perspective to trace the ways gold mining and the underground economy shape daily life. He conducted eighteen months ethnographic fieldwork laboring as an artisanal and small-scale gold miner. As a fieldworker, Daniel regularly found himself knee-deep in water clearing stones and gravel from sluices working as an artisanal miner. The Afro-descendant people he worked with earned their livelihoods with wooden pans, hand tools, and ancestral techniques. Daniel earned an M.A. from Carleton University for work on citizenship and violence in Medellín, Colombia. He has visited Colombia every year since 2008.

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Affiliate Fellow 2015-16

Kjell Ericson 
Affiliate Fellow (Postdoctoral Fellow in East Asian Studies)

Kjell Ericson holds a PhD in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. His dissertation project, Nature’s Helper: Mikimoto Kōkichi and the Place of Cultivation in the Twentieth Century’s Pearl Empires, explores the roles of technology and law in pearl cultivation between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kjell holds an MA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and a BA in Chemistry from Dartmouth College.  

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Visiting Fellow 2015-16

Carl Death
Visiting Fellow

Dr Carl Death is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Political Economy at the University of Manchester. He joined Manchester in August 2013 after four years in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, and a year in the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. His research has been primarily located at the intersection of three fields: African politics and development (particularly post-apartheid South Africa), environmental politics and sustainable development, and critical theories, particularly Foucauldian governmentality analysis. Recent books include Governing Sustainable Development: Partnerships, Protests and Power at the World Summit (2010) and two edited collections, Critical Environmental Politics (2014), and Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal interventions, state-building and civil society (2014). A new book entitled The Green State in Africa, exploring critical and postcolonial approaches to African environmental politics, will be published by Yale University Press in 2016 in the Agrarian Studies Series. Whilst a visiting fellow in Yale he will be working on new projects on climate justice movements in the Global North and South, and an international political economy of the fossil fuel divestment movement.