Department of Anthropology

Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS)

The Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS) is a bi-weekly yearlong seminar that meets on Friday afternoons in Schwartz 103 (except where noted below). The series includes anthropology colloquia presented by invited guests and Brandeis anthropology faculty, alternating with workshops, reading groups and presentations by graduate students. For more information, contact Laurel Carpenter.

woman in brown shirt seated on a couch

Mengqi Wang, PhD '18

Alumni Careers Panel

March 1, 2024

2:20 - 5:10 p.m.
Zoom (link coming soon)

Anthropology PhD alumni Ryan Collins, PhD '21; Olivia Spalletta, PhD '21; and Mengqi Wang, PhD '18 will talk about their current work and career journeys, as well as give you tips on the career preparation and planning you can do while in graduate school.

Graduate Student Research Presentations

March 8, 2024

2:20 - 5:10 p.m.
Schwartz 103

kimcraig, Taha Kaleem, Hui Wen, and Yura Yokoyama will present their research.

Diana Pardo Pedraza
Landscapes of Suspicion: Minefields, Peace Laboratories and (Post)War in Colombia: Diana Pardo Pedraza

March 22, 2024

2:20 - 5:10 p.m.
Schwartz 103

In March 2015, amid peace negotiations, the Colombian government and the FARC-EP rebel group announced the Pilot Project of Humanitarian Demining—later dubbed ‘the peace laboratory.’ This initiative united longstanding adversaries to clear territories contaminated by improvised landmines. Powerful yet invisible agents in the decades-long war, landmines have killed or injured over 12.409 people, fostering suspicion and confining rural communities. Guerrilla soldiers, army deminers, small farmers, government officials, humanitarian workers, and even mine-sniffing dogs collaborated in this effort. This presentation examines their efforts to navigate and clear entrenched landscapes of suspicion, striving to build trust amidst a profoundly unsettled political context. By analyzing their technical operations, everyday interactions, and ethical commitments, I explore the dismantling of war-induced territorial and political relationships and the commitment to crafting new socialities for the possibility of peace. How do these demining efforts reflect enduring war legacies? What insights do they offer for ecological and political reconciliation?

Diana Pardo Pedraza is an anthropologist interested in exploring (de)militarized landscapes, post-conflict environmental politics, and multispecies relations of aid and care. She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University and a Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellow (2023-2024). Currently, she is working on her book manuscript “Landscapes of Suspicion: Minefields, Peace Laboratories, and (Post)War in Colombia.” The book is an ethnography of a ‘peace laboratory’ established around clearing territories occupied by improvised landmines during decades of political violence. Her research has been published in numerous journals, including American Ethnologist, Environmental Humanities, The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Current Anthropology, and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience.

Jay Raj
Jayaseelan Raj, Kings College, London

April 5, 2024

2:20 - 5:10 p.m.
Schwartz 103

Jayaseelan Raj is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Development at King's College London, and a Fellow in the GRNPP at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of Plantation Crisis: Ruptures of Dalit Life in the Indian Tea Belt (UCL Press, 2022), and co-author of Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in Twenty-First Century India (Pluto Press, 2017). Recently, he was awarded New India Foundation fellowship to write a book on Dalits and State in India. His research and writings have focused on plantation system and labour, caste, class, gender and ethnicity, agrarian capitalism and migration, and state and Dalit question in India. Read more.

Raj is this year's Soli Sorabjee Lecturer in South Asian Studies.

Community engaged and public facing dissertation research

April 12, 2024

2:20 - 5:10 p.m.
Schwartz 103

More information coming soon!