This is a multispecies ethnography on non-governmental projects started by Europeans to save animals in the Global South. Based on research in Egypt and Namibia, it complicates unchallenged notions of cruelty, animal rights, humanitarian care, and development. It takes an intersectional approach to explore the place of the animal in colonial history and in contemporary care projects to argue for the embeddedness of animals in our political and social worlds. “Animals” are not the same everywhere: innocent and saveable. It interrogates the impulse to intervene and help animals in the Global South and argues for more attentive, localized ethical codes and care practices that take into account the context of both animals and humans., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2228, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Holowka, Nicholas (Nicholas Holowka) (Author), (Douglas Charles) (Thesis advisor)
This essay explores the evolution of speech in humans by synthesizing the approaches taken from many different disciplines. It begins with a survey of the neural and anatomical structures responsible for speech Homo sapiens. This is followed by comparative studies of the vocal communication and linguistic behavior of a number of nonhuman species, including birds and other primates. The essay then focuses on the evolution of speech in early human ancestors as evident in both the fossil and archaeological records. It also surveys the studies upon the evolution of the FOXP2 gene, which has been implicated in human speech abilities. The essay concludes with a synthesized analysis of these different approaches., 2007, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/15, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Markham-Cantor, Alice Star (Alice Star Markham-Cantor) (Author), (Anu (Aradhana) Sharma) (Thesis advisor)
This thesis is a person-centered historical and reflexive ethnography about Martha Allen Carrier, my great-grandmother to the eleventh generation, who was hanged for the crime of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. I bring an anthropological lens to an oft-rewritten historical moment to investigate what happened to Martha and to Salem, putting the anthropology of religion and witchcraft in conversation with sociological, political-economic, and feminist analyses of that period in U.S. history. Alongside reconstructing Martha?s story in 17th century Salem, I autoethnographically track my own process of excavating and representing Martha?s life in the 21st century in order to bring Salem into the present and investigate the extent to which we are living in similar times. In the juxtaposition of our lives, I explore the relationship between truth and realism in storytelling, examine the difference between seeking justice and seeking scapegoats, and test the nature and weight of what we inherit from our ancestral mothers., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1938, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
In this work I show how an emphasis on the profitability of statistical "diversity" stifled productive discussion and activism about women and feminism at Wesleyan between 1969 and 1989. Feminist and women's organizing became the primary location for student reactions to patriarchal practices and anti-women actions. The Women's Studies Program began as a faculty response to Wesleyan's patriarchal structures, inviting students to join the initiative within a few years. However, the Program lacked adequate resources and was given an insurmountable task. As a result, a school originally constructed to create an elite class of white men managed to make minimal structural and social changes during the 1970s and 1980s., 2009, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/347, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Sounigo, Lola Leila Lisa (Lola Leila Lisa Sounigo) (Author), (Elizabeth Traube) (Thesis advisor)
My thesis explores the ways in which drivers in Los Angeles experience and understand the city within its car-centric landscape. Through interviews, participant observation, and archival research I explore how some Angelenos navigate this city of extremes and constant contradictions.
I also examine the practice of driving through the most public of spaces in the city: the freeway. What does it mean to understand the freeway as public space when access to a car is required to participate in it?
While the discourse on automobile dependency is currently shifting and driving as we know it is on the cusp of a shift (automated cars, development of public transportation, ride-sharing services, and electrical scooters), I focus on conceptions and practices of driving that have been shaping Angelenos' lives since the construction of the first freeway in the 1940s. How do Angelenos experience their city from the privatized mobile space of the car? Is the freeway the public space of the city? I also reflect on the difficulty of doing ethnographic research on mobile subjects and discuss the ways I devised to navigate this unusual field site., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2143, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This essay aims to examine the social notions of waste in juxtaposition to the historical trajectory of waste and waste management in the United States as an attempt to reconcile the functional, factual and social realities and limitations of our current waste systems. While it may seem that waste management is a system guided by environmental science research and various engineering technologies integrated into our systems of municipal solid waste and recycling, it also relies heavily on social notions constructed by ideals and principles deeply embedded in our cultural structure. The way in which we as individuals of this social structure interact with waste management allows us to feel confident in our narrow practical, functional and factual perceptions of trash without having to address the ickiness of waste and the full system of waste management itself. This essay engages with the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas to show how our social consciousness and cultural taboos regarding items of waste have guided and in some ways limited the citizen’s understanding of waste management. By grounding our notions of waste in social and historical contexts from colonial times to the recycling movement this essay constructs a holistic analysis of the United States citizen’s (dis)connection to the reality of their waste today., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1430, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis is a feminist ethnography of abortion doulas, non-medical people who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to people terminating their pregnancy. I write as a volunteer doula and, taking an auto-ethnographic approach, contextualize the practice within the history of abortion politics, affect theory, and feminist activism to explore the potentialities of abortion doulas as revolutionary and creative activists within a reproductive justice movement under fire., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1710, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis uses fieldwork, vignettes, and a historical, racial, and political lens to understand how blackness is a subject of taboo that remains largely unsettled, unresolved, and contested within contemporary Cuban society. The taboo nature of blackness not only makes us pay attention to how black and nonblack Cubans come to interpret and value representations of a situated blackness in Cuba and the Caribbean, but also to rethink the powerful and privileged relationship between belonging and citizenship as ongoing processes that fashion the conditions of a racialized being of a complex diasporic history always to be reckon with, in the present/everyday., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1730, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Steinberg, Eva Rose (Eva Rose Steinberg) (Author), (Gina Athena Ulysse, Douglas Charles) (Thesis advisor)
“There is no culture without agriculture:” In this thesis I explore modes of cultural preservation among Southeastern United States agriculture. Taking into consideration the implications of the social, racial, political, and economic factors of the South, I examine how heritage is maintained for conventional, land-owning farmers as opposed to farmers on the margins. Throughout this project, I draw connections between the generations of farmers and the plant life cycle, culminating with the disruption of both the lives and livelihoods of marginalized farmers through the mechanization of agriculture and of seeds and plants through hybridization and patenting. In this vein, seedsaving, as practiced by the margins, works as to resist the industrialization of agriculture and to form countermemories to a version of the past that prioritizes white, land-owning narratives. I argue that it is vital to acknowledge how the past informs current Southern agrarian society in order to retain communities and practices that nurture farmers, communities, plants, and the land., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1803, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis undertakes a multilayered examination of the forms of implementation, impacts, and excluded meanings that arise when engaging in cross-cultural translation in both trauma-aware therapy and asylum offices. I draw upon both my work as an interpreter at the asylum office, as well as my experiences at two Bay Area NGOs that provide "trauma-informed" and "culturally-aware" psychosocial treatment for Latinx refugee, asylee, and immigrant populations, to explore the complex field of translation of cross-cultural encounter, linear and non-linear narrativized trauma and institutionalized categorization and treatment of suffering. First, I delve into core question of "culture,” in cross-cultural and “culturally-competent” therapy by comparing and contrasting the NGOs philosophies and practices. Second, I reflect on how translation in practice complicates simple ideas of referentiality and cultural competence, and I work toward a reading of translation as an active process of embedded, socially-located mediation. Third, I explore the tension between a curated, tidy, pragmatically approached narrative of the PTSD diagnosis, and the messiness and non-linear nature of trauma itself. Lastly, I locate trauma as a symbol and manifestation of the ineffable, seeking to explore what an alternative approach to narrative might look like were we to focus on the non-discursive quality of trauma., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2096, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)