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Making an Impact

Foroogh Hero
Foroogh Farhang

Spring 2021


Lebanon and Syria

Foroogh Farhang explores the political, economic and ethical dimensions of Syrians’ quests for a proper burial following the 2011 mass migration of Syrians to Lebanon. She looks at the ways in which the scarcity of burial spaces in Lebanon, in conjunction with increasing restrictions on crossing the Lebanon-Syria border, has mobilized legal and illegal networks of Syrians’ traveling dead within Lebanon and on the route from Lebanon to Syria. After 18 months of fieldwork in Lebanon, she hopes to complete her dissertation by the end of the year.



Roberto Rosado-Ramirez, an archaeologist and doctoral candidate in anthropology, is conducting his dissertation research project at the ancient Maya site of Ake in northern Yucatán, Mexico. Rosado-Ramirez’s work investigates how humans can regenerate settlements amid ruined cities in the aftermath of sociopolitical collapse. The ancient Maya lived in this location from 300 BCE to about 1550 CE. The site was the seat of a plantation starting in the middle of the 17th century, and today Ake is a small rural community.



In fall 2017 Alícia Hernàndez Grande was on the streets of Barcelona as thousands of demonstrators marched in support of the Catalan independence referendum. She studies the development of Catalan cultural identity and independence politics through theater, spectacle and public protest as part Northwestern’s Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama. Her work explores how theater offers a channel for Catalans to voice their frustration with the Spanish government.



Indonesia and Malaysia

Rahardhika Utama, a doctoral candidate in sociology, studies diverging development trajectories in the Asian rubber belt. He conducted extensive archival research at 20 libraries and archive centers across the globe and 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in multiple rubber communities in Southeast Asia. Utama’s research examines the historical factors that transform and sustain traditionally agrarian societies like Indonesia and Malaysia. A draft of this research won an honorable mention from the American Sociological Association.



The product of a year and a half of ethnographic fieldwork in the intensive care units of Buenos Aires, Livia Garofalo’s dissertation examines the relationship between intensive care, trauma and economic crisis in public hospitals in Argentina’s capital. Garofalo is a doctoral candidate in anthropology and is also earning a master’s degree in public health from the Feinberg School of Medicine.

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