Alumni

Profiles

Elyse Singer,'10

Doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

As an anthropology major at Bard College, for my senior thesis I examined pregnancy experience in the era of fetal personhood among women living in upstate New York. After college my academic interests have continued to center on the anthropology of heath and reproduction. After working briefly as a research assistant in a health-related research NGO, I began a doctoral program in cultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. I have recently returned from fifteen months of fieldwork in Mexico City where I am examining the new publicly-funded abortion program created in the wake of historic abortion reform in Mexico's capital. Specifically, I explore how a program that purportedly protects and promotes newly-won reproductive rights, in practice transmits deeply moral values about sexuality, femininity and citizenship. My research builds on emergent discussions in anthropology on the changing contours of "reproductive governance" in Latin America (Morgan and Roberts 2012).

Susan Levine, '87

My studies at Bard prepared me for more than just academic life. It prepared me for life, with all its complexity, sorrow, and grace. At the height of apartheid in 1986, I conducted research for my senior thesis on a South African play, which I used as a lens through which to comment on the uneven relationships between gender, class, and race among women in South Africa. This formative experience paved the way for my post-graduate research on youth activism in Cape Town (MA) and children's particpation as workers in South Africa's wine industry (PhD).

I enjoy a lively academic career at the University of Cape Town where I lecture in medical, visual, and political anthropology. In 2003 I joined a group of documentary filmmakers who produced 35 films about ordinary people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. My job was to travel with our mobile cinema unit through Mozambique, Lesotho, and South Africa to document the impact of the films among rural and urban communities. It was one of the continent's most successful intervention campaigns at a time when governments in the region were slow to address the magnitude of the crisis. I continue to supervise students who work on questions related to HIV/AIDS and TB, and currently hold a grant from the National Research Foundation in South Africa to support post graduate students researching children's health in Africa.

Mandy Tumulty, '94

I work as a civil servant for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) managing projects, building cross-organizational coalitions, leading organizational change, and researching and developing initiatives that impact strategic human capital planning and management.

My experience at Bard, as an Anthropology major and Gender studies minor, shaped the way I think and equipped me with the academic training, tools, and one of many lenses with which I view the world and my own experience. During my academic training at Bard, I had aspirations of becoming an anthropologist, yet as I wrote my Senior Project , "Gender, Fieldwork, and the Construction of Knowledge: An Anthropology of Anthropologists", I felt the need to experience the theory in action. As a result, I applied to serve in the U.S. Peace Corps and was sent to Nicaragua where I had the opportunity to experience Nicaraguan culture first-hand, while simultaneously making a contribution to the common good. During my service in Peace Corps, it became apparent to me that I enjoyed managing projects, impacting change, and making a difference. As a result, I began to see that public service might be a rewarding and fitting outlet for the application of my skills and talents. Since, I've added to my academic training with a Masters in Human Resource Development and Human Organizational Learning (HRD/HOL) from George Washington University. Whether in my work as a Peace Corps volunteer promoting environmental sustainability and education or in my work on organizational development and change initiatives as a public servant for the U.S. Federal Government, the academic training that I was privileged to receive from Bard and the anthropological lens from which I filter my experience, cultures, and organizations is foundational to the way that I perceive and process my experience.

Andrew Newman '01, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Wayne State University

Andrew Newman graduated from Bard in 2001 with a major in Anthropology and is now Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University. His senior project, "Urban Like a Jackalope: Culture, Capital, and the Remaking of Downtown Houston", was written under the supervision of Prof. Mario Bick and sparked his interest in urban ethnography. He pursued his doctoral training at the CUNY Graduate Center under the supervision of Prof. Ida Susser.

His graduate fieldwork, funded by the National Science Foundation and the City of Paris Science Council, focused on environmental and urban politics in Paris' predominately West African and Maghrebi neighborhoods. The resulting dissertation, "Landscaping Discontent: Space, Class, and Social Movements in Immigrant Paris" won the CUNY Graduate Center's Naclerio Dissertation Award in Urban Studies. Upon completing his PhD in 2011, Andrew joined the faculty of Wayne State University's Department of Anthropology where he is helping to develop an Anthropology of the City initiative focusing on Detroit. He is currently at work on a book manuscript that examines the relationship between France's post-colonial cultural politics and the "greening" of Paris' immigrant neighborhoods.         

Nicholas Shapiro, '08

After studying anthropology and global public health at Bard I went on to study medical anthropology at the University of Oxford, where I received my masters ('10) and doctorate ('14). Many of the ideas, authors and texts that I found myself returning to in grad school were ones that I first began to work through at Bard or were later recommended to my by Bard classmates. That my undergraduate studies remained a relevant and leading force in my graduate studies is largely a reflection of the availability, insight and contemporary research interests of the Bard anthropology faculty. My work focuses on common and corrosive chemicals that hold together the build environment but also contribute to our biological unraveling. To begin to understand these paradoxes of modern society I need simultaneously understand multiple strata of phenomena (scientific practice, economic logics and the poetics of making due, for example) and to temper these multiple literacies with the attentiveness of anthropology to both minute, overlooked details and to macro-scale regimes that are almost too big to apprehend. In addition to my academic work I actively work with NGOs to create open source environmental monitoring and remediation devices so that communities that face environmental threats can remake their world even when the state fails to intervene. Such creative endeavors are only possible because of my grounding in arts practice at Bard. As a tour guide at Bard almost a decade ago I used to recite canned lines, with a smirk, about the fierce interdisciplinary encouraged at Bard. Now as I move between laboratories, university lecture halls, hacker spaces and art galleries I remember, with a nostalgic smile, the dynamic power of my anthropologically attuned Bard education.

Tanner Vea '07

After graduation, I went to work at WNET.ORG as an Interactive Producer, where I produced games and other web-based educational content for PBS national programs including Nature and Cyberchase, an animated math adventure show for children. I'm currently an Ed.D. student in Instructional Technology and Media at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research interests include using games and mobile technologies to help address educational challenges facing low-income and urban populations.

At Bard, I followed a multidisciplinary program that included anthropology, computer science, and media studies, and I hope to draw upon that experience in conducting mixed-methods research that examines educational challenges and interventions through the lenses of culture, technology, and cognition.