Shannon Lee Dawdy Anthropology
Professor Dawdy (PhD, U Michigan 2003) is a Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College. Professor Dawdy is an interdisciplinary scholar who works across methods and time periods. Her current fieldwork can be understood as an archaeology of contemporary life. Her regional focus has been on the U.S., Caribbean, and Mexico. A central thread running through her work concerns how landscapes and material objects mediate human relationships, from the historical ecologies of capitalism to the emotional trajectories of those who lost their intimate object worlds to Hurricane Katrina. Another theoretical interest is temporality -- how pasts, presents, and futures shape social life and political possibilities. Her current research focuses on rapidly changing death practices in the U.S., particularly around disposition and transformation of the body. Collaborating with a filmmaker, one domain of the project experiments with how to make a documentary film with an archaeological eye. Professor Dawdy is a MacArthur Fellow and has received funding for her fieldwork from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For access to publications and information on current work go to: https://chicago.academia.edu/ShannonLeeDawdy and http://www.mystarmydust.com/
Kaushik Sunder Rajan Anthropology
Co-Director - ON LEAVE 2018-2019 Academic YEAR
Professor Sunder Rajan’s work lies at the intersection of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS), with commitments to social theories of capitalism and postcolonial studies. I seek to understand the political economy of the contemporary life sciences and biomedicine, with a primary empirical focus on the United States and India. My focus has been to open up conceptual questions concerning the complex relationships between knowledge, health, value and politics. I have a three-fold set of intellectual commitments: (a) to explore the nature of scientific knowledge, practice and institutionalization; (b) to elucidate political economic structures that operate across multiple scales using ethnography; and (c) to theorize contemporary capitalism.
Lisa Wedeen Political Science
Professor Wedeen is the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and the Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. Her publications include Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (1999); "Conceptualizing 'Culture': Possibilities for Political Science" (2002); "Concepts and Commitments in the Study of Democracy" (2004), Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power and Performance in Yemen (2008), "Ethnography as an Interpretive Enterprise" (2009), "Reflections on Ethnographic Work in Political Science" (2010), and "Ideology and Humor in Dark Times: Notes from Syria" (2013). She is the recipient of the David Collier Mid-Career Achievement Award and an NSF fellowship. She is currently working on a book about ideology, neoliberal autocracy, and generational change in present-day Syria.
"Scientific Knowledge, Liberalism, and Empire: American Political Science in the Modern Middle East,” in Middle East Studies for a New Millenium: Infrastructures of Knowledge (Social Science Research Council’s Internationalization and Interdisciplinary Program on Knowledge Production in the Middle East and North Africa), New York: New York University Press, 2016.
Celeste Cruz-Carandang came to 3CT in August 2017, soon after graduating from the University of Chicago’s MAPH program with a concentration in Art History. As the Assistant Director, Celeste strives to support the academic mission of the Center. By helping the faculty fellows develop their projects, cultivating relationships with campus partners, and by working with the administration, Celeste works to actualize compelling programming and activities. She also oversees the administration and operation of 3CT. Before joining the Center, Celeste worked at the University of Chicago Press and the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to her MA, she holds a BA in Medieval Studies and Art History from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. Her interests include the formation of cultural identities in early-modern Venice, as well as the intersections between theater, music, and painting.
Christine joined 3CT at the end of January 2018. She holds a BS in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As the administrative specialist, Christine aims to support the directors and assistant director by organizing events, helping with daily operations, and maintaining the Center’s online and digital presence. Outside of Wilder House, Christine enjoys spending time with family, exploring new places, and discovering interesting coffee shops.
Omar Safadi joined 3CT in September 2017. He is a first year PhD student in Political Science. His main areas of interest are political theory and comparative politics; colonial legacy and critical theory; and authoritarianism and nationalist politics. Omar holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. At 3CT, Omar assists with programming, event-planning, and social media.
Omie Hsu is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science. As a political theorist, her work is focused on the conceptual conditions of being political – on how articulations of some of the axiomatic categories of political life and political thought (life/death, public/private, affect/rationality) track adjustments to and strategies of power, while they may also be the scenes and objects of political activity. This is also what her dissertation is about. At the moment, it tracks these conceptual circulations in and between Supreme Court cases and literary objects. More broadly, her research interests and inspirations include bodies of work loosely clustered around, and defined through, theories about democracy, liberalism, feminism, queerness, nationalisms, race, science/scientificity, capital, and affect in the historical present.