Three winners of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (DDRA) will soon depart Harvard for a year of intensive study and travel abroad.
Michael Lambert, a Ph.D candidate in Anthropology, will leave on October 31 for the West African country of Senegal, where he will investigate the effects of seasonal, educational and labor migration between rural villages and urban centers on the Boulouf-Diola people of the Basse-Casamance region.
Termed the "last forest peoples" of Africa, the Diola have until recently adamantly resisted contact with the rest of society, but "now they're reaching out very rapidly," Lambert said.
Lambert said that his would be a "bipolar study" that would involve examining both the effects of migration on the Diola people and the rapidly changing gender and age relations within this culture.
Rachel McDermott, a Ph.D candidate in Religion, will depart on October 1 for Calcutta, India, in the hope of improving Western scholarship on the Bengali goddess, Kali. McDermott said that her investigation will consist of studying the Bengali poetic tradition, especially during the 19th-century, devoted to this deity.
Specifically, McDermott plans to translate these texts to English, observe contemporary uses of this poetry, and analyze the significance of the goddess in modern Indian culture.
"There's a lot of devotional poetry to her that is not published and not known in the West," McDermott said. She said she hoped to observe "how this poetry is used in temples and [in] informal gatherings" of Calcutta followers of Kali.
Borys Gudziak, who is pursuing an Ad Hoc degree in Slavic Cultural and Intellectual History, will soon head to Poland where he will study the ecclesiastical developments in the Ukraine in the final decades of the 16th century.
Under the program, the Secretary of Education awards fellowships, through institutions of higher learning, to Ph.D candidates doing dissertation research abroad. The program seeks to improve the study of modern languages and area studies in the United States.
The year-long fellowship awards an average of $16,000 for travel and research-related expenses and health and accident insurance premiums.
The 1989-90 Fulbright competition has already opened, and will be discussed at a graduate Fulbright orientation meeting tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Cronkite Graduate Center.
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