October 28, 2021

(L-R) Nehal Amer, Charles Colwell, and Chinonye Otuonye

Three Graduate Center students have been awarded grants through the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) program, a highly competitive program that supports research overseas. The students, two from the doctoral program in anthropology and one from music, will study in Egypt, Nigeria, and Costa Rica.

Nehal Amer (Anthropology) plans to use her grant for research on the Egyptian government’s efforts to expand desert urbanization as part of its Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. Her year-long project will examine how the development agenda is shaping emergent urban geographies and planning practices in a global city. Alongside her doctoral studies, Amer is a program analyst with the Carnegie Corporation of New York where she supports the Arab region program in grantmaking.

Charles Colwell (Music) focuses on composition and what he terms the processes of nonhuman vocality and voicing. His award will be used for seven months of ethnographic research at La Selva Biological Station in northeastern Costa Rica where he plans to work with local guides and naturalists to study their ways of understanding the world through sound. “My research prioritizes an understanding of biodiversity as an ongoing natural and cultural negotiation,” Colwell said, “which may help to push back against a narrow view of knowledge of the natural world and its non-human inhabitants as being apart from the realm of culture.” Listen to Charles Colwell’s compositions on Soundcloud.

Chinonye Otuonye (Anthropology) focuses on cultural anthropology, specifically territorial and political struggles and the racial discourses that undergird them. She was awarded a grant to travel to Nigeria for one year to study territorial and sovereignty struggles related to the aftermath of the Biafran War. Otuonye was in the inaugural group of Mellon Humanities Public Fellows at the Graduate Center and is an assistant editor at The Republic magazine, which features political commentary and critical discourse from Nigerian and African perspectives. 

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