Digital Editorial Fellows

Our call for 2022 fellows is here. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2022.

2021 Fellows

Kyle Craig is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. His dissertation, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Amman, Jordan, examines the intersections of graffiti/street artists’ visions of the ideal future city, neoliberal logics of urban development, and state governance of public aesthetics. As a PoLAR Digital Editorial Fellow, Kyle is curating the series Aesthetics and Politics in Right-Wing, Authoritarian, and Populist Movements, which focuses on the under-examined topic of how aesthetic expressions and practices give form to right-wing, authoritarian, and populist politics across the globe. If you would like to contribute to this series, reach out to him at:


Nikola Garcia is a cultural anthropology PhD Candidate at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Their research interests focus on whether cross-racial interdependencies provide the conditions through which participants can articulate, debate, and implement their visions of how to rectify historic inequalities and colonial legacies. Their dissertation project, “Emergent Citizenships: Mapuche (Indigenous) and Chilean (non-Indigenous) Politics and Belonging in the Peri-urban (Santiago, Chile)” examines how Mapuche and Chilean neighbors have cooperated since the 1960’s land occupation movements to develop organizations and manage shared resources. They utilize traditional ethnographic methods, archival methods, and visual ethnography and employ ArcGIS and online mapping to spatially represent the transformations in neighborhood projects. In doing so, their research tests the hypothesis that Mapuche and Chileans’ history of neighborhood co-management has led to the emergence of intercultural citizenship practices that enable residents to articulate broader visions of how social and political life should be organized in Chile that contrast to the national discourses of neoliberalism. As a Digital Editorial Fellow, they are curating the virtual edition, “Ethnographic Encounters with Destituent Power.” The Argentine Colectivo Situaciones and Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben define a destituent power as one which “doesn’t create institutions but rather vacates them, dissolves them, empties them of their occupants and their power.” In this virtual edition, anthropologists reflect on the social upheavals that have occurred in their field sites through ethnographic attention to the new theories of social change and societal wellbeing that undergird each disruption.


Neil Nory Kaplan-Kelly is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Kaplan-Kelly’s dissertation explores how elected officials use legislation to build peace and strengthen democracy in Northern Ireland. Prior to coming to UCI, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and received a M.A. with Commendation in Legislative Studies from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. As part of this degree, Kaplan-Kelly worked for the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Finance & Personal and wrote a thesis about changing legal discourse in legislatures around the world around the issue of same-sex marriage. He received B.A.s from the University of Chicago in Anthropology and in the Law, Letters, and Society program. Kaplan-Kelly served as a University of Chicago Public Interest Fellow at the Office of Alderman Leslie Hairston in the City’s 5th Ward. Working for the Alderman and experiencing the politics of Chicago’s city council inspired his career in legislative studies. An advocate for human rights issues since the age of 12, he has also volunteered for many campus LGBTQ organizations and transgender equality groups. A passionate teacher, Kaplan-Kelly was the 2019 recipient of UCI’s School of Social Science’s Kathy Alberti Prize which recognizes outstanding promise as an academic and university professor.


Monika Lemke is a doctoral candidate in Department of Socio-Legal Studies at York University, Canada. She is working towards the completion of her doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘The strip search, sight unseen: A sensori-legal study of the search of persons at the Toronto Police Service’, with the aim of assessing how Canadian constitutional and criminal law impacts the practicalities of police work. Her research interests focus on everyday legal performance, policing, embodiment and the senses, and the theorization of power, but also on emergent approaches to the study of law and bureaucracy. As a PoLAR Digital Editorial Fellow, she is curating a feature on the everyday life of bureaucracies, drawing on themes of embodiment, affect, and the senses. She can be contacted by email at mlemke(at)


Jennifer A. Zelnick is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at University of California Irvine. Her dissertation, “Life and Death After America: Deportee Transnationalism Among Cambodian American Refugees,” examines the sociolegal processes through which deportees, deportable refugees, and their families create and participate in transnational movements and networks. Jennifer’s research and writing has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship, the Center for Khmer Studies, and the Center for Engaged Scholarship. As a PoLAR Digital Editorial Fellow, Jennifer is developing a toolkit for APLA’s website on how academics can become involved in expert witnessing.


2020 Fellows

María Lis Baiocchi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. Based on ethnographic research in Buenos Aires and its Metropolitan Area, her dissertation examines the reconstruction of the juridical status of household workers from “servants” to “workers” in Argentina and its implications for household workers’ everyday lives. As a PoLAR Digital Editorial Fellow, she is curating a feature for the Speaking Justice to Power series, examining gender politics in the current context of resurgent patriarchal authoritarianism worldwide through the prism of migration, gender, and sexuality studies. If you would like to contribute to this Speaking Justice to Power collection, email her at:


Christopher Brown is a Lecturer in Global Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, having recently completed his doctorate in the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University. His dissertation, “The Cultural Logic of Strangerhood”, is a multi-sited ethnography of subjectivity and belonging among Ghana’s transnational Zongo community. The PoLAR feature he is working on aims to bring together a range of perspectives on recent popular uprisings throughout contemporary Africa, asking what possibilities these revolutions hold for emergent forms of democracy and subjectivity.


Todd Ebling is a doctoral candidate in the anthropology department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also teaches courses that focus on cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, and global violence. His dissertation explores the labor, affects, and ethics of care at two nonprofit organizations in an American Midwestern city. To contribute to PoLAR as a Digital Editorial Fellow, Todd is developing a project that examines housing and homelessness in the United States.


Meichun Lee is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at University of California Davis. Her dissertation, “Code for an Open Government: Digital Activism and the Uprising of Civic Hackers in Post-authoritarian Taiwan,” examines a Taiwan-based hacker community and their political experiments translating the idea of openness from technologies to governance. She is now curating a Virtual Edition on “Digital Politics” for PoLAR.


Anna Kirstine Schirrer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology and a certificate fellow with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. She is currently curating a PoLAR Online series on the politics of reparations for slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Her dissertation project focuses on how international claims for redress for transatlantic slavery and native genocide in the Caribbean converge on or diverge from national organizations’ claims for land titling in Guyana. Anna is the recipient of the Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant and the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant from the Cultural Anthropology and Law and Social Science Programs (Award Abstract #1823901). Her broader research interests are international law, reparations, race, human rights, and postcolonial Western Europe.