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2022 AFS Graduate Fieldwork Grants Awarded to Ben Bridges and Zahra Abedinezhad

AFS News, News from the Field

AFS is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural AFS Graduate Fieldwork Grant: Ben Bridges, a fifth-year PhD student at Indiana University, and Zahra Abedinezhad, a second-year PhD student at The Ohio State University.

Bridges won the grant for his dissertation project, “The Art of the Harvest: Environmental Change and Subsistence Regulation in Southeast Alaska Native Cedar Arts,” which aims to document the history of cedar harvesting traditions among indigenous peoples of Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island, and investigate the ways artists are adapting these customs to the challenges of climate change and economic divestment of the local timber industry. With the grant’s funding, Bridges will return to the community for two months of ethnographic research in Spring 2023, during the cedar harvesting season.

Abedinezhad won for her dissertation project, “Women and Ta’ziyeh in Iran,” which will study the way women in Iran participate in Ta’ziyeh, a traditional dramatic reenactment of the martyrdom of the prophet Mohammed’s grandson. With the funding, she will return to the cities of Tehran and Yazd and the rural areas of Damavand and Abadan in the summer of 2023 to conduct participant observation and interviews with the women who perform these traditions. She will also collect existing research on these traditions from local and state archives in Iran.

The AFS Graduate Fieldwork Grant is a five-year program to support ethnographic fieldwork by graduate students, made possible thanks to a generous gift from the Noyes-Krippendorf Fund of the Columbus Foundation. Learn more about the grant here.

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