Fall 2017 CG Recipients


China: A Transnational Perspective

Xiaoyuan Liu (History)

Mr. Guoqi Xu is Kerry Group Professor in Globalization History and Professor of History, the University of Hong Kong.  He is coming to Grounds to deliver a lecture, “China as a Transnational Idea,” on February 23, 2018.  Mr. Xu has published  nine books and numerous articles on international history, including the award winning Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008 (Harvard, 2008) and, most recently, Asia and the Great War: A Shared History (Oxford, 2017).  His visit is cosponsored by the CGII, East Asia Center, and the Department of History.

Situating Knowledge Amidst Change:  Political Analysis, Indian Politics, and the Rudolph Legacy

John Echeverri-Gent (Politics)

At a time when big data and sophisticated statistical models of causal inference dominate the social sciences, this project draws on the theories of Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph to explore the contributions and limits of “situated knowledge” in political analysis.  The situated knowledge approach is based on the premise that local knowledge--understandings embedded in time, place, and circumstance--has an important role to play in the study of politics in developing societies such as India and in social science analysis more generally.   On February 3, 2018, we will convene a conference that will gather an international group of scholars to present essays on these issues.

Negotiated Peripheries: Social Complexity, Landscape and Place in Ancient Attica

Anastasia Dakouri-Hild (Art/Archaeology)

The question of core vs periphery has been intensely debated in the social sciences and the humanities since the 1970s, following  the publication of Wallerstein’s (1974) seminal study on World Systems--a cornerstone of contemporary thinking about the global. The project focuses on an ancient settlement distant enough from the larger centers of its time to classify as a liminal frontier or 'periphery,' but suggested by tantalizing initial finds to have constituted a semi-core of its own right. The project aims to elucidate processes by which ancient Aphidna emerged as a significant site in complex society of Middle and Late Bronze Age Greece (2000--1100 BCE); explore its political integration into Archaic and Classical Athens as 'frontier' and its possible links with other liminal sites in the region (from 800 BCE); and understand its transmutations as rural countrysite of Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Athens (from 100 BCE).

The Aggregate Productivity Cost of Weak Competition in Latin America

Sophie Osotimehin (Economics)

By how much could countries raise their income per capita by adopting regulations that enhance competition between firms? To answer this question we build a macroeconomic model that incorporates explicitly supply chains. We use this framework to study how an increase in the degree of competition between firms improves the allocation of resources along the supply chain, and thus raises aggregate production and income. The model is calibrated on data from Latin America and quantifies the potential productivity gains from encouraging competition and reducing markups.

Experiences and Perspectives on Heart Failure in Southwestern Uganda

Samson Okello (Infectious Disease and International Health)

In Uganda, clinicians apply different logics when diagnosing and managing heart failure, despite existence of standard guidelines.  Formative work to address clinicians’ qualitative perspectives on heart failure care, like how they perceive patients who do not adhere to medication, would aid in developing effective pathways for heart failure management.  This study will conduct interviews with clinicians in Uganda to explore their perspectives and practices providing care for heart failure patients. We hope this will contribute to understanding the lived experiences of treating heart failure in this low resource setting, and inform design of interventions suited to this context.

Envisioning 21st Century Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies

Farzaneh Milani (Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures

The MESALC Spring Symposium Envisioning 21st Century Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies (April 6 & 7, 2018) looks to define the contours of possibility for revitalized Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies. Over two days of panels and a keynote presentation, eminent scholars will lay out a foundation for a revised area studies paradigm that engages with these regions as sites of rich cultural production, tied histories and futures, and locations of critical insight with global import. While setting a broad forward-looking goal for the future of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies over the unfolding 21st Century, the symposium also aims to explore the future of scholarly attention to these regions here at the University of Virginia. The assembled works will be collected in an edited volume that will lay out a foundation for future endeavors.


Robert Stolz, Brad Pasanek (English) and Chris Ali (Media Studies)

An invited lecture series in the Spring of 2018, “Expulsion-Extraction-Extinction,” will host speakers who work on intersectional issues of global economic, racial, and environmental justice today.   The series seeks to interrogate the discourse of the  “Anthropocene,” or the idea that humanity’s impact on the planet has become so great it deserves its own eponymous geological epoch. Yet even a cursory review of modern history reveals that the vast majority of humanity bears little responsibility for the environmental and humanitarian crisis of today.  This crisis is the unfolding of the Sixth Extinction Event, a process of erasure not just of species, but peoples, languages, and cultures due to global exploitation of unpaid labor – what Maria Mies has called the triad of “women, nature, colonies.” Historical global capitalist expansion has been based on a three step operation of indigenous dispossession, energy extraction, and subsequent ecological extinction: or the process expulsion, extraction, and extinction.

Responsible Research Innovation in US and China: A UVA-Tsinghua Global Classroom

Sharon Tsai-hsuan Ku (Engineering & Society)

This project aims to develop a global classroom through a teaching collaboration between the Department of Engineering & Society at UVA and the School of Innovation at Tsinghua University in China. A 15-hour course module on Global Responsible Research and Innovation (GRRI) will be introduced to cultivate a global perspective toward engineering practice, ethics and responsibility. The design contains a 6-hour lecture of the GRRI theoretical framework, and three case studies on Climate Change, Mobility/Future transportation and Internet of Things/Smart Cities. Students from UVA and Tsinghua will be paired up for homework assignments, to explore the intertwined relationship of technology innovation, cultural/national identities and international politics.

Establishing Africa's Place in the Global Science and Technology Studies (STS) Conversation

Toluwalogo Odumosu (Engineering and Society)

Workshop: STS Africa is a workshop that will highlight and address the structural challenges faced by STS scholars and their scholarship from, on, and about the continent of Africa. The conference will contribute to increasing knowledge in the field by bringing together the disparate communities of scholarship on African STS, integrating insights from studying Biomedicine, the Environment and Information and Communication Technologies.  By increasing participation of uniquely African perspectives in the creation of STS knowledge about the continent, the workshop will deepen our insights on various processes of science, technology and innovation on the African continent.

Graduate Students

Refugees and Global Innovation through Internship

Aurora Lofton (European Studies)

This January term, I plan to continue my work from the summer with the International Refugee Rights Initiative as an intern. I plan to use my research at the organization to aid my MA thesis. My interests are in completing an applied policy project that evaluates the most sustainable approach to treating refugee displacement as a long-term conundrum rather than a short-term one. I hope to use information from the cases at the NGO as well as testimonies to compete for my research.

The Dissemination and Reception of the Indian Stūpa in China between the Fourth and Seventh Centuries

Jinchao Zhao (Art and Architectural History)

By connecting known Chinese stūpas dated before the seventh century CE to historical records and Buddhist scriptures translated in Chinese, my dissertation examines the dissemination and reception of the Indian stūpas in early medieval China. I argue that the stūpa’s formal feature, symbolic meaning, and religious functions were in many cases transmitted separately or desynchronized in the early stage of its dissemination in China. I will addresse my research questions at three levels: the formal feature, the literary meaning, and the symbolic meaning of stūpas. The current phase of my research studies stūpas and relevant objects housed in the United States, especially the Art Intitute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Cultural Production and the 2008 Financial Crisis: A Comedic Representation of Spanish Emigration

Joanne Britland (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

Border control and migration are some of the most pressing issues facing nations of the world today. My project examines this phenomenon, with a particular focus on emigration from Spain within the context of the recent 2008 financial crisis. Through the analysis of cultural representations of the event, the project sheds light on this specific response to the global financial crash. The generous financial support from the Center for Global Inquiry + Innovation enabled me to present my work and further develop the project through collaboration with experts in the field at the international conference “Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas” in Madrid, Spain.

Spatial Distribution of Entrepreneurs and Skilled Workers: Empirical Evidence from India (Job Market Paper)

Devaki Ghose (Economics)

I estimate the contribution of vertical linkage (the linkage between input suppliers and output producers) in the spatial agglomeration of industries by studying the location patterns of Information Technology (IT) firms and Technical Colleges that supply workers to these firms. I use two novel instruments to causally identify the effect of firm location on college location, and the effect of college location on firm location. I find that a 1% increase in IT employment opportunities in the local labor market leads to a 1.05 % increase in number of colleges locating in a district. In the other direction, I find that a 1% increase in available skilled labor in a local labor market leads to a 4.6 % increase in number of firms locating in that district. My current work explores possible mechanisms that can explain this.

Experiences and Perspectives on Heart Failure in Southwestern Uganda

Anna Eisenstein (Anthropology)

Across sub-Saharan Africa, heart failure has become one of the most prevalent forms of chronic disease. Because heart failure treatment includes not only medication, but also diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications, doctors, patients and informal caregivers must work together to organize successful lives for heart failure patients. The proposed study interviews a set of twenty heart failure patients and twenty informal caregivers to investigate how roles are shared and tasks distributed within multi-actor processes of medical decision-making and treatment adherence.  Through an interpretive approach to global health research, the project aims to advance understanding of the social mechanisms through which health statistics come into being.

Tibetan Supplemental Schools: Reassessing the Global Spread of Schooling

Andrew Frankel (Curry: Education  Leadership, Policy, and Foundations)

This project explores the implications of the Education Revolution – i.e. global spread of mass formal education and the meanings it creates – among an ethnic group whose values and knowledges are minoritized in and by national school systems. I use an ethnographic application of Burawoy’s Extended Case Method to analyze local responses to global and national educational structuration by exploring the growing culture of extracurricular education in Amdo Tibetan areas in Qinghai, China. Situated in the field of Comparative and International Education, my project seeks to critically reconstruct the neoinstitutional thesis of a “surprisingly consensual” adoption of formal schooling’s forms and meanings.

Pre-field Research on Mao Zedong's Monuments in His Birthplace, Shaoshan, China

Zhe Dong (Architecture)

For my project, I will conduct a field survey on the monuments dedicated to Mao Zedong in his birthplace, Shaoshan, China. I will spend two days in Shaoshan doing an observational study of how people use and interpret Mao’s monuments. I will also take two days in Changsha to collect related documents in the Provincial Library and Archive. I will visit the socialist memorial sites in Beijing and Shanghai to obtain a comparative framework for the analysis of Mao’s monuments. This project is an integral part of my doctoral work that focuses on the memorial practices in and beyond Shaoshan. It provides me materials to prepare my dissertation proposal and another, major field research in 2018.

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