Student Projects

Faisal Bin Islam uses political ecology and decolonization as a research methodology to study power relations and livelihood displacement in the face of climate change.  His current project is situated in Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest located in Bangladesh where local indigenous people are facing the worst impacts of climate change in terms of flooding, salinity, cyclones, and sea level rise. In his research Faisal looks at how uneven development and policy processes in climate-vulnerable areas like Sundarbans are reproducing livelihood displacement relationally and historically. I situate myself in my research as a storyteller who seeks to decenter the climate-reductionist view of human migration and put lived experiences and indigenous knowledge at the center of climate change adaptation.

Nari Kim’s dissertation, The Geography of Aging with Dignity: Isolation, Health, and Housing, examines older adults’ body-mind and how we can better make places and environments  for the elderly population in the Gray Tsunami era. Through the current project, she explore the daily emotions of Parkinson’s Disease patients and their care workers. The purpose of this projects is to visualize how their emotions are created and expressed through their daily mobility within the medical diagnosis, decline of mobility, and structural powers. By considering both the elderly and care workers, this project can be differentiated from earlier works covering only either of them.

Nusrat Tabassum Mohanna’s research focuses on the contemporary issues of refugees and forced migration, especially  in the Global South, involving incidents of social inequality, political power, exploitation of  human rights, manipulation, and large-scale environmental and demographic change. To  examine the human-environmental relations and evolving resilient policies and practices from  a historical and political perspective, the study will address the Refuge community’s historical  paradox and shed light on various arguments.  Keywords: Refugee, Forced Migration, Land Degradation, Displacement

Nathan Thayer’s dissertation project looks at how care circulates and operates within (and against) antiracist struggle. In a three pronged approach, Nathan’s research interrogates care’s role in instituting antiracist practices, politics, and policies through newspaper and social media coverage of the events surrounding the 2020-2021 racial justice protests; Through conversations with DEI workers about their practices and experiences; and, within an antiracist classroom. In this project Nathan seeks to complicate our current approach to care, which often takes care as a normative good, by focusing on the promises and pitfalls, potential and limits to care.

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