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2020 Robert J. Donia Graduate Student Fellows
Timnet Gedar, doctoral candidate in history, and Erin McAuliffe, doctoral candidate in sociology, have been selected as the 2020 Robert J. Donia Graduate Student Fellows to permit their summer research projects. This fellowship supports graduate students engaged in research on human rights over the summer.
Timnet Gedar is working on a research project entitled, "For the solution of the problem of Eritrea”: The United Nations and Eritrean Political Subjecthood."
Timnet Gedar is a doctoral candidate in history specializing in modern African history. Her ongoing dissertation is an intellectual and political history of decolonization in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa more broadly. In addition to the historical period of decolonization in Africa, she is interested in contemporary movements to decolonize the academy, museums, curricula, and other education systems. Timnet’s teaching and research interests include intellectual history, political and social movements, African print cultures, Eritrean and Ethiopian Studies, and Museum Studies. She incorporates her previous experience with community-engaged and participatory research practices in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the UK in her work. Her doctoral research has been supported by grants from the Center for European Studies and the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan, a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace, and a Fulbright research award.
Erin McAuliffe is working on a research project entitled, "The reproduction of statelessness among indigenous populations in Eastern Myanmar: Mechanisms of citizenship exclusion outside the law and the implications for women and children."
Erin McAuliffe is a doctoral candidate in sociology specializing in the sociology of race, ethnicity, nationality, and immigration using qualitative and comparative-historical methods. Erin's focus is primarily on international migration and citizenship with a geographic concentration on Southeast Asia. Her current work looks at processes of citizenship verification among rural populations in Myanmar's Shan State (eastern borderlands). Broadly speaking, she is interested in the ways in which the state and individuals themselves negotiate and verify entitlement to citizenship when national membership is contingent on the recognition of ethnic membership or certain kinship relations. Her current project looks at the ways in which interpretations of citizenship laws, family laws, and resident/foreigner registration laws contribute to ongoing statelessness in Myanmar, particularly for orphans and children born to single mothers. Prior to starting at Michigan, Erin completed her MA in International Studies at the University of Washington. Erin has also previously worked on digital data literacy and management in Myanmar, with educational and human rights NGOs in Thailand and Myanmar, and for the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German Parliament in Berlin.