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August 7, 2008

Wayne Morse Welcomes 2008-09 Dissertation Fellows

The Wayne Morse Center will strengthen its links to social science and humanities disciplines by supporting graduate students who are writing dissertations on topics relevant to the Wayne Morse Center theme. The center’s current theme examines “Democracy and Citizenship in the 21st Century.”

Camille Walsh, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is pursuing a doctorate in history. Her dissertation project, “Class, Race, and Claiming the Right to Equal Education,
1874—1974,” traces the legal history of modern de facto school segregation as the product of both racial and economic inequality. It is a complicated story of how class and race are treated differently under the law, and how citizens can better understand the ongoing challenge of educational equity in the law.

Jen Erickson, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, is exploring a project titled “Citizenship, the State, and Resistance: Refugees and Social Service Organizations in the Midwest United States.” In this dissertation, Erickson asks how social citizenship in the United States is mediated and experienced among immigrant and refugee groups. The locus of the study is Bosnian and Sudanese refugees living in Fargo, North Dakota. She examines how public and private social service agencies categorize refugees and the varied ways in which ideas about citizenship are felt, contested, and perpetuated.

Veta Schlimgen is completing her doctorate in history in the 2008-09 academic year. Her dissertation, “From Insular Subjects to Colonial Aliens: Sovereignty, Citizenship, and Filipino America from 1900 to 1950,” is a history project that is, as she puts it, both “grand and intimate.” Schlimgen analyzes a rarely explored civil status between citizen and alien, the status of “American national” that is used for certain citizens. Schlimgen is the alternate Wayne Morse Dissertation Fellow.

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