Congratulations to our 2021 Pozen Center Award Winners!

The Pozen Center is proud to support this inspiring group of students from across the College and Graduate Schools. We’re deeply impressed by your work, excited for your futures, and proud to have you as part of the Pozen Center community!

Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Competition
Recognizes excellence in writing related to human rights

Eden Gebremeskel, AB ’22 (Global Studies)
Essay title: “Spies and Silence: The Eritrean Government’s Use of Informant Networks to Shutdown Diaspora Dissent”

Committee commendation: In this thoughtful analysis, the problem of compromised refugee organizations and their ties to the country the emigrants are trying to leave is raised. One can hardly imagine a more unfavorable situation for emigrants and the relatives they have left behind, but the receiving countries do not seem to have noticed the problem. Eden Gebremeskel’s analysis draws on generally accepted humanitarian standards and ethnographic description to call attention to the refugees’ plight.

Sarah Kwon, AB’22 (Law, Letters, and Society; Romance Languages and Literature)
Essay title: “United Stateless: Race, Gender, and the Fragility of Rights”

Committee commendation: Since independence, the criteria for citizenship have skewed in favor of propertied males and against those female or unfree. Migration, marriage, and the combination of the two have created gaps in the definition of citizenship, gaps through which, up to now, women and nonwhite subjects have regularly been let fall. Sarah Kwon documents notable cases and sets them against a background of zigzagging political change.

Atman Mehta, AB’21 (Political Science)
Essay title: “Beyond the State: Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Environment”

Committee commendation: Assessing and remediating the harms done to the environment by human activity is a job bigger than the powers of any state, but concerns all human communities. The originality of this situation, with which a political system built around independent sovereign states must now contend, shapes the argument of this paper, which seeks to work out the consequences for human rights of damages for which our present language of offense and redress is not adequate.

Pozen Center Prize for Best BA Thesis on Race and Human Rights
Awarded to the best BA essay submitted on any topic at the intersection of race, structural racism, and human rights in the United States or globally

Winner: Cecilia Katzenstein, AB’21 (History; Philosophy; Social Studies of Science and Medicine; Human Rights)
Thesis title: “Removing the Scientific Self: Objectivity, Race, and Yellow Fever Immunity Theories in Nineteenth Century New Orleans”

Committee commendation: Cecilia’s thesis is a remarkable examination of the shifting discourses of yellow fever immunity during the course of the nineteenth century in New Orleans. She traces a transformation from an emphasis on Creole immunity, which suggested the possibility that gradual acclimation to tropical climates produced immunity, to an increasingly racialized account of disease susceptibility that marked out Black residents as uniquely immune to yellow fever. This shift was accompanied paradoxically by an increased emphasis on scientific objectivity that deployed statistics about racial differences and immunity in ways that reinforced and reified these differences, and that turned to anatomy to naturalize race. The essay stands out for its efforts to conceptualize the transformation of race and racial difference, treating these terms not as static variables, but as sites of contestation and resignfication. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is also a timely investigation, sounding a cautionary note about drawing connections between race and disease without adequate social and political contextualization.  

Honorable Mention: Helen Malley, AB’21 (History, Human Rights)
Thesis title: “‘We are only demanding our country’: The Legal History of Lakota Survivance and the Long War for the West”

Committee commendation: In her thoughtful and well-researched thesis, Helen explores the wars between the Lakota and the United States in ways that recapture Lakota perspectives from the late nineteenth to late twentieth centuries on the massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890. Helen draws on deft and sensitive readings of her legal and newspaper primary sources to detail the ways in which Lakota activists connected ongoing acts of war by the United States across centuries to assert their own continued survival and vitality as a sovereign people. Helen’s thesis is a remarkable accomplishment and an important intervention into Indigenous history.

Honorable Mention: Indira Rajkumar, AB’21 (Public Policy Studies)
Thesis title: “The Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act - Successful Decarceration Legislation Navigating an Adversarial Criminal Legal System”

Committee commendation: With admirable analytic clarity, and on the basis of a set of thoughtfully structured interviews, Indira illuminates the conditions under which US decarceration legislation can partly succeed, in spite of a criminal justice system that perversely incentivizes incarceration. Indira’s thesis makes a novel and much needed contribution to our understanding of the criminal legal system and offers helpful policy recommendations for its reform. It also shows how human agency can affirm itself even when constrained by the presence of adversarial structures.

Human Rights Internship Program
Summer-long opportunity to explore human rights in practice around the world

JV Sena Alencar, AM’22 (Clinical Social Work and Social Welfare; Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management)
Wahid Al Mamun, AB’22 (Anthropology)
Brenda Castaneda, AB’22 (Public Policy; Latin American and Caribbean Studies)
Eugen Craciunescu, AB’22 (Public Policy, Environmental and Urban Studies)
Cas Crevecoeur, AB’22 (Creative Writing, Public Policy)
Adelia Davis, AM’22 (Clinical Social Work)
Alie Goldblatt, AB’22 (Economics; East Asian Languages and Civilizations)
Will Jaffe, AB’22 (Political Science)
Amala Karri, AB’23 (Political Science)
Jonah Kaye, AB’22 (Fundamentals: Issues and Texts; Computer Science)
Kristina Kim, AB’22 (Public Policy, Creative Writing, Human Rights)
Chase Leito, AB’22 (Sociology)
Cathy Mafa, AB’22 (Political Science and Visual Arts)
Anneliese Merry, AB’23 (Public Policy, English)
Livia Miller, AB’22 (Anthropology, Visual Art)
Mari Mirasol, AB’22 (Sociology, Public Policy)
Conrad Mojica, AB’22 (Public Policy, Political Science, Religious Studies)
Emma Reilly, AB’22 (Public Policy, Linguistics)
Louisa Silverman, AM’22 (Social Work)
Sabrina Slagowitz, AB’22 (History)
Carlin Smith, AM’22 (Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration) 
Zoe Torrey, AB’23 (Public Policy, Anthropology)
Prisca Tuyishime, AM’22 (Clinical Social Work; Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management)
Miranda Zhang, AB’22 (Public Policy; Fundamentals: Issues and Texts)

Dr. Aizik Wolf Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship in Human Rights
Yearlong fellowship awarded to a graduating College student to support work at an organization dedicated to human rights

Thomas Hagan, AB’21 (Philosophy; Fundamentals: Issues and Texts)
Fellowship year at the Children and Family Justice Center

Graduate Lectureships in Human Rights
Awarded to advanced doctoral students to teach one undergraduate Human Rights course of their own design during the 2021-22 academic year

Jay M. Henderson (Anthropology)
Course title: “Ethnographies of Human Rights”

Sarah McDaniel (English Language and Literature)
Course title: “Encountering AIDS: Queer Representations, Loss, and Memory”

Usama Rafi (History)
Course title: “Race, Decolonization, and Human Rights in the 20th Century”

Pozen PhD Research Grants
Supports pre-dissertation and dissertation research projects that make a significant contribution to the study and field of human rights

Evgenia Olimpieva (Political Science)
“Putin’s Prosecutors: How Law Enforcement Helps Build Authoritarian States”

Xiaogao Zhou (Sociology)
“Mobilizing Medicine: Politics of Health on Gender Affirming Care in China”

Margaret Brower (Political Science)
“How She Reconfigures the State: Intersectional Advocacy & Movement Against Violence”

Hadeel Badarni (Anthropology)
“The Making of ‘High-Tech’ Ecologies: Environmental unfreedom in Israel/Palestine”

Nisarg Mehta (Sociology)
“‘The World’s Largest Democracy’: Hindu Nationalism, Indian Statecraft and the Indian-American Diaspora”

Erin Atwell (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations/Anthropology)
“Preaching Taqwā: Textuality, Intimacy and Humanitarian Reason in Contemporary Cairo”

Matthew Borus (Sociology and Social Work)
“Reasonable Accommodation, Rehabilitation, and Incarceration: Theorizing Disabled Citizenship”

Ashima Mittal (Anthroplogy)
“Making Air Breathable: Human Rights and Experimental Ecologies of ‘Clean’ Technoscientific Capital in India”

Pozen Doctoral Fellows
Yearlong writing and professionalization experience for a cohort of doctoral students whose research focuses on human rights

Heba Alex (Sociology)
Lauren Beard (Sociology)
Angel Boulware (Comparative Human Development)
Alysia Mann Carey (Political Science)
Geneva Cole (Political Science)
Celina Doria (Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice)
Blaize Gervais (Divinity School)
Bellamy Mitchell (Department of English, Committee on Social Thought)
Anjali Mohan (Political Science)
Sila Ulug (Art History; Theater and Performance Studies)