St. Paul, Minn. – Three Macalester seniors, Jonathan Goh, Antara Nader, and Sara Saltman, received Spradley Summer Fellowships this past summer that helped them travel to South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda.
The Spradley Summer Fellowships are awarded to students majoring in anthropology who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship in anthropological course work and/or research. The research fellowship is open to all declared anthropology majors in good standing who are making progress toward completing their major and who will not have graduated by September 1 following their summer research.
For his Spradley Summer Fellowship, Jonathan Goh ‘15, from Houston, Texas, conducted research on three fronts. First, at Greenmarket Square, the site of an informal market, and a popular destination for tourists in Cape Town, South Africa, he examined the role of mobilities – the movement of people, objects and ideas across geographic space – in shaping the site, and in the broader development of Cape Town as a global city. Goh will continue this research, focusing on the power-laden mobilities inherent in the character of immigrant livelihoods. He also researched South African photographers, trying to understand the perspectives of their representation of immigrant experiences and everyday livelihoods in South Africa. Finally, Goh is currently conducting an ethnographic study of the Social Cohesion Coordinator at the Cape Town Refugee Center – an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees in South Africa. This aspect of his research aims to further understand the structures refugees must navigate as well as the experiences of humanitarian workers who are engaged with refugees and immigrants from day to day. Together, the research forms a concerted and multi-faceted effort to gain greater insights into refugee and immigrant livelihoods within South African urban contexts. What will he do when he graduates? “I would like to pursue a masters degree in journalism,” Goh said. “I hope to be able to apply anthropological techniques in ways that are novel to journalism, particularly as a human rights photojournalist.
Antara Nader ‘15, from Glendale, Mass., researched migrant domestic workers in Dakar, Senegal. According to Nader, domestic labor is almost ubiquitous in Dakar, where most families have maids that manage their homes six to seven days a week. The majority of these women migrate from Senegal’s rural regions, often driven to find work in Dakar at a young age to support their families. The growing number of women that come to Dakar contributes directly to Senegal’s rate of urbanization and to what has been more globally termed a “feminization of migration.” Despite the magnitude of this field, the private nature of the domestic sphere renders it largely unregulated as a workspace, often subjecting domestic workers to exploitative work conditions and maltreatment. “My research looks at the lived experiences of women that have spent their lives working in Senegalese homes,” Nader said “in particular the realities that often play out behind closed doors.” This will ultimately be the content of Nader’s senior anthropology honors thesis. She is thinking about human rights work after graduation and much later, possibly becoming a high school teacher.
Sara Saltman ’15, from Honolulu, Hawaii, was in Karama, Rwanda, conducting research at a women’s cooperative called Ubutwari bwo Kubaho. The cooperative is comprised of women survivors and the wives of perpetrators of the 1994 Tutsi genocide. These women came together at the end of the genocide to form an economic cooperative. It is the first reconciliation initiative in Rwanda. Saltman looked at the families of the women cooperative members and the effect the cooperative was having on the next generation, known as the children of the cooperative. She was excited to go back, having begun her research during the independent study portion of her study abroad program in April, and returning during the summer to build upon that research. “The women I met are incredible and strong people,” Saltman said. “I have a lot to learn from them when it comes to forgiveness and peace.” In the future, Saltman might want to teach English to middle school students.
The Spradley Summer Fellowship was established by colleagues, family and friends of the late anthropology professor James P. Spradley. It’s offered each summer to support student research. Each student receives a stipend for up to $1500 that goes towards living expenses, supplies, travel, etc.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu
September 3 2014Back to top