Omar Andres Alcover Firpi was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. He got his BA in Archaeology and Latin American Studies from Boston University in 2013. His current research focuses on settlement and landscape change during the Late Preclassic and Early Classic transition and the role of the royal court in the Maya Lowlands of Guatemala and Mexico. Although most of his research experience has been in Guatemala, specifically in the sites of Xultun, San Bartolo, El Zotz and most recently Piedras Negras, he has also worked in coastal and CRM projects in Puerto Rico.
Alyce de Carteret is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, she received her B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and an M.St. in Archaeology from the University of Oxford. Her work centers on the ancient Maya, and she has conducted archaeological research as part of Brown University's Proyecto Arqueológico El Zotz, located in the Petén, Guatemala. She is interested in the Maya body, in conception and practice, and plans to investigate this topic through the study of ancient body adornment.
Lauren E. Deal is a graduate student in anthropology. She received her B.A. in anthropology from The George Washington University. Her research looks at uses of sound and music in protest. Specifically, she works with Andean panpipe musicians in Buenos Aires, Argentina to investigate the poetics of protest. She is particularly interested in protests as sonic spaces. She situates her work in the fields of linguistic, semiotic, and sociocultural anthropology, looking in particular at the relationship between language, culture, music and sound.
Magnus Pharao Hansen is a graduate student in anthropology. He has an MA in Mesoamerican languages and cultures from the University of Copenhagen, and an MA in anthropology from Brown University. He studies the relationship between language, politics and lifeworlds in indigenous communities of Mesoamerica, particularly central Mexico. He works in the disciplinary area between descriptive linguistics and ethnography, trying to understand how social categories and processes are reflected in linguistic structure and usage - an area sometimes called ethnosyntax.
Magnus has have done linguistic work with the Nahuatl language as it is spoken in Hueyapan, Morelos and with the variety of Otomí spoken in San Jerónimo Acazulco, Estado de México.His dissertation project will focus on the ways in which the institutionalization of Indigenous Languages in the framework of the the 2003 Law of Linguistic Rights makes itself felt in indigenous communities, where indigenous language practices are increasingly becoming the business of the Mexican state.
Kimberly Lewis is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. She is interested in universities and higher education reform in contemporary Ecuador. Building on research piloted as a Fulbright grantee, her MA project will focus on the role of informal social practices (gossip, cheating, forgery) in the Ecuadorian state’s university accreditation process. Her future work will address how shifts in higher education (departmental reorganization, changes in governance, standardization) intersect with state development projects, the “21st century socialist” political movement, and plurinationalism in Ecuador.
Josh MacLeod is a doctoral candidate in socio-cultural anthropology whose research focuses on Guatemala. His research interests include the political ecology of natural resource use, violence, historical memory, human rights, and social movements. He is currently writing his dissertation which has to do with life in the aftermath of genocidal violence.
Chelsea Cormier McSwiggin is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology, and an NIHCD Trainee with the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. She has a B.A. in Gender Studies from the University of California, San Diego, an MPH from San Diego State University, and an MA in Anthropology from Brown University. Her dissertation research aims to explore the intersection of HIV, transnational kinship networks, and US race relations among the Haitian diaspora in Miami, Florida. Her research has been supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Grant, NIHCD Summer Research Grants, the Steinhaus/Zisson Pembroke Center Research Grant, and the Joukowsky Research Award.
Stephanie Savell is a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology with interests in urban studies, security, everyday violence, citizenship, and civic engagement. From 2012 to 2014, Stephanie conducted her dissertation research on Rio de Janeiro’s controversial “police pacification” program, intended to take back control of the city’s favelas from armed drug trafficking gangs. Her ethnography focuses on how favela residents, police, and armed forces experience public security in their daily lives, and the ways these experiences intersect and collide. This research is supported by the Social Science Research Council and the National Science Foundation. Stephanie’s graduate work has also been supported by a NSF IGERT Fellowship through the Watson Institute’s Graduate Program in Development.
She has a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Anthropology from Brown. Before coming to Brown, she worked for Ashoka, a leading organization in the field of social entrepreneurship. Stephanie is co-author of The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life (2014), a collaborative, interdisciplinary ethnography of political engagement in America.
Yana Stainova is a Ph.D. student in anthropology. She has a BA in International Relations and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in anthropology from Brown University. Her research is positioned at the intersection of ethics, aesthetics, and violence and explores the role of artistic production in moments of political change. For her undergraduate honors thesis The Place of Poetry in the Chilean Transition to Democracy, Yana studied the ways poetry was used as a medium of resistance to the dictatorship. In her MA thesis Social Fragility and the Sonorous Gift the Social Resonance of Classical music in the Youth Orchestras of Venezuela's El Sistema, she explored the meaning and significance of music for participants in El Sistema, a classical music education program that every day brings half a million young people into orchestras across Venezuela. For herdissertation, Yana continues to work on that topic, studying how participants perceive and use the potential of music to nurture ethical sensibilities, build political imaginations, and engage state power and ideology. She is a life-long pianist and flutist. Her research is supported by grants from the Tinker Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Mount Holyoke Bardwell Memorial Fellowship.