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The AAS Postdoctoral Fellowship consists of an honorarium of AUD$4,000, awarded to a PhD graduate to assist in the development of work for publication. The honorarium is intended to support the writing up of research already conducted. It is not intended to support fieldwork or conference attendance.

AAS Postdoctoral Fellows

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2021 | Justine Chambers
2021 | Justine Chambers

Justine Chambers is a Visiting Fellow in Anthropology in the School of Culture, History and Languages at the Australian National University. With the support of her colleagues at ANU, the AAS Postdoctoral Fellowship will help Justine to finalise her book manuscript, Pursuing Morality: Everyday Ethics among Karen Buddhists in Southeastern Myanmar, with the National University of Singapore Press as part of their Southeast Asia Publication Series (in alliance with the University of Hawaii Press and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS)).

Pursuing Morality is based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2015-2019 in Myanmar’s Karen State, an area which was closed off to international researchers for six decades because of conflict. It adds valuable insights into the lives of Plong (Pwo) Karen Buddhists from Myanmar and shows how the pursuit of morality is varied, performative and embedded in an affective notion of the self as an ethical agent. Readers of her dissertation describe her work as ethnographically rich and offering original and important contributions to studies of the Karen and other Buddhist minorities in Theravada Southeast Asia as well as anthropological theory on ethics and morality. Her forthcoming book will be welcomed by anthropologists and scholars of mainland Southeast Asia, as well as journalists and development studies practitioners who are looking for in-depth insights into an area of the world that remains largely defined by conflict and now military dictatorship.

In December 2021, Justine will be starting a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) working on a new research project exploring the interplay between climate change actions, conflict and peacebuilding in ethnic areas of Myanmar. You can read more about Justine’s work in a special issue she co-edited on 'Moral authorities in Myanmar’ for Sojourn. Justine has also co-edited two volumes for the ANU Myanmar Update series, with the latest Living with Myanmar published in 2020 by the ISEAS-Yusok Ishak Institute in Singapore. Beyond academic publications, Justine is also a regular commentator in the media on Myanmar's affairs and has worked for the British Council's MyJustice programme researching housing land and property rights and plural justice systems Myanmar.


 

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2020 | Muhammad Kavesh
2020 | Muhammad Kavesh

Muhammad Kavesh is a Sessional Lecturer in Anthropology at the Australian National University. The AAS Postdoctoral Fellowship will help Kavesh to finalize his book manuscript and develop a special journal issue with the ongoing support of his teachers, colleagues, and friends at the Australian National University. 

Kavesh's upcoming book, Animal Enthusiasms: Life beyond Cage and Leash in Rural Pakistan, explores the entanglement of care and violence existing in human-animal relationships in Pakistan. It examines the passions and desires of Pakistani men as they engage with non-human actors to produce masculinity, accumulate social capital, and construct pleasure, illustrating how more-than-human relationships inform concepts of the self. The book will be published as part of Rebecca Cassidy and Garry Marvin’s Routledge book series “Multi-Species Anthropology: New Ethnographies”. The AAS judging committee said, "this book manuscript promises to make a unique contribution to multispecies ethnography, even as it breaks free of the state security and religious studies paradigms that have dominated the scholarship of Pakistan".

With Dr Natasha Fijn, Kavesh is also guest editing a special issue for The Australian Journal of Anthropology on sense-making in a more-than-human world. We are delighted to be able to help support these important publishing projects.

In late 2020, Kavesh will be starting a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Anthropology at the University of Toronto and embarking on a new project that examines the ethics of air-surveillance through “spy pigeons” on the Indian-Pakistani border, and the moral, ethical, and political debates this generates in contemporary South Asia. You can read more about Kavesh’s work in an interview with Dr Sophie Chao on morethanhumanworlds.com. For a wider conceptual framing of Kavesh’s work, please see his co-authored paper with Prof Kirin Narayan on the cultural category of “enthusiasm” in South Asia.


 

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2020 | Special Commendations
2020 | Special Commendations

Due to the large number of very impressive applicants, the judging committee for the 2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship found this years’ decision making process particularly agonising. For this reason, the panel has decided to publicly recognise two highly ranked proposals, and to honour the applicants with a Special Commendation, with regrets that we cannot provide fellowships to them both—and, indeed, to all of the applicants.


Dr Aaron J. Jackson (PhD 2019, University of Melbourne) is converting his PhD dissertation about disability into a book manuscript that is already under contract with University of California Press. Readers of his dissertation describe his work as simultaneously deeply scholarly, richly ethnographic, skilfully written and theoretically grounded. His forthcoming book promises to be read widely and shape disability policy discussions. The AAS Executive Committee very much look forward to seeing this book in print, and recognise Dr Jackson’s accomplishments with an AAS Postdoctoral Special Commendation.

Dr Sarah Quillinan (PhD 2019, University of Melbourne) aims to turn her dissertation on sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina into two books, and we were impressed with her articulation of a theoretical approach to the juxtaposition of silence, secrecy, defacement, and voice in survivors of sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Readers of her thesis note that it makes a distinctive contribution to the fields of memories studies, trauma studies, sexual violence studies, as well as to general anthropological theory and methodology. The AAS Executive Committee wish Dr Quillinan all the best with these ongoing and future publishing projects, and we recognise Dr Quillinan’s promise with an AAS Postdoctoral Special Commendation.


 

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2019 | Gil Hizi
2019 | Gil Hizi

Gil completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2018 under the supervision of Terry Woronov, auxiliary supervisors Jadran Mimica and Yasmine Musharbash. His project explores contemporary forms of self-improvement in urban China. Focusing on pedagogic activities in interpersonal ‘soft’ skills, Gil describes self-improvement as an engagement with ideals of personhood. Through affective moments in workshops for self-improvement, participants perceive transient transcendence above local norms and in turn realise their 'non-ordinary' ideals. Gil's perspective prioritises an understanding of self-improvement as a practice that reifies some of the contradictions in Chinese society’s distinct experience of modernity. Gil will use the AAS honorarium to compose a book manuscript while enjoying the continuous moral and intellectual support of the Anthropology department at USYD. 

 

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2016 | Sean Martin-Iverson
2016 | Sean Martin-Iverson

Sean received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Western Australia in 2012 for his thesis ‘The politics of cultural production in the DIY hardcore scene in Bandung, Indonesia’, which was based on ethnographic research into the ‘Do It Yourself’ production practices, social organisation and values of the Bandung hardcore punk scene. He will be using the AAS honorarium to develop this thesis into a book manuscript. The book, tentatively entitled Running in Circles: The Politics of Value in an Indonesian Punk Scene, will focus especially on the ways in which the global punk values of autonomy and community have been expressed and implemented by DIY activists in Bandung. He will receive additional support from the University of Western Australia.

 

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2015 | Lindy McDougall
2015 | Lindy McDougall

Lindy grew up in Western Queensland and moved to Sydney to study pharmacy. After graduating, she left Australia and has since worked around the world as a pharmacist and for various NGOs. Her scientific background and interest in other peoples and their cultures has formed the basis of her anthropological research. Lindy used the honorarium to turn her thesis into a book manuscript, which she has now submitted to a University Press. She received additional support from Macquarie University (office space and library access).