2015 Spicer Award Winner
I am a doctoral candidate in social anthropology with a concentration in Participatory Action Research at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. My public scholarship has appeared in Counterpunch.org, anthropoliteia.net, Cultanth.org, and Anthropology News. I am presently working on my dissertation, tentatively entitled Taller Than The Wall: Carceral Activism in the Empire State. It examines the tradition of anti-prison praxis and knowledge production that emerged within the New York State Prison system following the Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971. This tradition, which continues to thrive today, is composed of multiple organizational forms, both inside and outside of the physical prison structure. Some of the questions guiding my research are: How does the dispersed, malleable and yet highly durable character of carceral activism suggest a potential reorientation of anthropological approaches to social movements? How does the praxis of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people rearticulate, disrupt and undermine established criminological concepts such as incapacitation, rehabilitation, deterrence, and prisoner reentry? In what ways has the black radical thought emerging from carceral sites influenced criminal justice discourse and public policy?
2015 Spicer Award Winner
Nicole Hoellerer is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at Brunel University, London, UK. She holds a BSc in Social Anthropology and an M.Res in Social Anthropology, both from Brunel University. Originally from Austria, Nicole also briefly studied for an undergraduate degree in Political Sciences, Philosophy and Pedagogics at the University of Vienna, Austria. Nicole’s postgraduate study was largely concerned with the implementation and testing of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan, during which she published a paper on the use of ethnographic research to measure GNH. For her Ph.D. studies Nicole shifted her focus from GNH to Bhutanese refugees, and conducted her fieldwork with Bhutanese refugees, who resettled in the North of England via the Gateway Protection Program – the UK’s organized refugee resettlement program for refugees in protracted refugee situations. Her research investigates more broadly the success and failure of refugee resettlement programs in the UK, the effects of policy on resettled refugees and the impact of resettlement on individuals arriving in host countries. Nicole’s research further explores the formation of grass-root community organizations amongst Bhutanese refugees, their structures and purposes, as well as the consequences of internal community divisions. She investigates the refugees’ relationships with their own and their host community, the manifestation of new hierarchies within their community, and their changing perceptions of social, economic and educational capital. By highlighting the context in which these refugees arrived in the UK, Nicole illustrates the impact of external forces, such as unemployment, lack of infrastructures and austerity measures on migrants in the UK. Furthermore, she looks at the impact of Bhutanese global diaspora, and how mobile technologies, internet communication technologies and IT-literacy allow refugees to disseminate information and maintain their relationships with other refugees across the globe. Nicole has also initiated the Bhutanese Refugee UK Film Project together with one Bhutanese refugee community organization. The aim of the film is not only to create awareness of Bhutanese refugees in the UK, but also to engage young refugees in initiating, realizing and enjoying community projects. Nicole is also part of a global research collaboration investigating Bhutanese refugee resettlement, which includes researchers from across the seven resettlement nations. The aim of this research group initiated by Dr. Hutt at SOAS London is to explore refugee resettlement on a global scale, and to assess the success and failures of international refugee policies and durable solutions.