Pre-doctoral Fellows

Grzegorz Brzozowski
The Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw, Poland

Grzegorz Brzozowski is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. He participated in a number of Summer Schools on the topic of religion in public life (including Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen 2010, UCSIA 2011, New School TCDS 2011). He was a Visiting researcher at Freie Universität Berlin (April-May 2012) and was a visiting graduate student at Yale University in 2013, where he was affiliated with Center for Cultural Sociology.

He works on the topic of ritual-like festive events in the contemporary Polish public sphere. His academic interests include anthropology of performance, methodologies of visual research, neo-Durkheimian sociology of religion and post-secular theories of public sphere. His recent article is: Spatiality and the Performance of Belief: The Public Square and the Collective Mourning for John Paul II (Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2013). Currently he became a member of the international research group “Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource” organized by University of Oslo.

He also works as a documentary director, graduated from Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing (2010), with a movie Today in Warsaw, Tomorrow Whatever. He participated in a number of documentary workshops (VGIK Summer School 2009), having his projects shown in Israel, Sweden and France (Cannes Short Film Corner). Since 2011, he works as an editor of Kultura Liberalna, a Polish intellectual weekly online journal, where he also published a number of articles on the role of performative religion in Polish public sphere and pop-culture.

Dana Kornberg
University of Michigan

Dana Kornberg is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Michigan. Trained in South Asian and urban studies, her dissertation project considers a particular case of contemporary urban change: an ethnographic examination of the informal economy of garbage and scrap collection in Delhi, India, where authorities have attempted to replace informal workers with corporate services. The project takes a postcolonial and cultural approach to economic sociology by identifying the particular state, ethnic, and accounting practices that allow for the reproduction and persistence of this highly stigmatized market. Her broader research interests include the cultural politics of development and ecologies, urban informal economies, and the reproduction of ethno-racial systems.

Anne Lin
State University of New York at Albany

Anne Lin is a graduate student in the Sociology Ph.D. program at the State University of New York at Albany. She received her undergraduate degree at the National Taiwan University in Taiwan, where she studied international relations and gender theories. Anne’s broad range of research interests include gender and queer theory, body politics, media studies, cultural globalization and transnational interactions, and postcolonial theories. She developed deep interest in gender issues and did many research on topics concerning sex work and body politics. In addition, Anne is also a strong advocate for the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) movement.

However, Anne’s current research focuses on the transnational media and cultural flows in East Asia. She is aiming to utilize research tools in the strong program paradigm to analyze narratives and cultural symbols that travel around the East Asian region. She also hopes to delineate how countries define and redefine, draw and redraw boundaries between national and cultural borders in an age of postcoloniality and globalization, and how these efforts in interpreting culture weave into webs of meaning structures.

Laura Milanes
State University of New York at Albany

Laura Milanes (Laura M. Milanes-Reyes) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York and Instructor at the School of Management, University of the Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). She was awarded a Fulbright grant to complete a M.A. in Sociology from the University at Albany after earning a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from University of the Andes.

Her research addresses meaning making about the economic sphere, using the insights of cultural and economic sociology. Her dissertation examines the media’s construction of The Great Recession (2008) and the 1998 crisis in Colombia. This project compares the civic logics in the U.S., part of the Global North, to those found in Colombia, a country of the Global South. It also examines the prevalence of civic logics versus other institutional logics in the media coverage of these crises.

Laura co-authored with Elizabeth Popp Berman “The Politicization of Knowledge Claims: The ‘Laffer Curve’ in the U.S. Congress” (Qualitative Sociology, 2013) and has also undertaken a project examining CEO personal profiles in two media outlets. A version of this research was presented at the CCS Annual Conference in 2010.

Lacy Mitchell
State University of New York at Albany

Lacy Mitchell is a doctoral candidate and lecturer at the department of sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. She received her B.S. in sociology from the University of Houston-Downtown and traveled, gladly, to the Northeast to study and enjoy proper seasonal change. Her dissertation compares Rwanda and the lesser known and tragically similar Burundi before, during, and after the genocide period in both countries (1994). She finds that the master narrative of cultural trauma relating to colonization changed in Rwanda and not in Burundi explaining the lasting peace in Rwanda. She specializes in mixed methods approaches and theoretical innovation in causal analyses with a focus on; Comparative Historical Sociology, Political Sociology, Cultural Sociology, Sociology of War, International Political Economy, Theory, Criminology, Sociology of Law, Deviance and Social Control, and Violence and Aggression.

Michael Perlt
University of Copenhagen

Michael Perlt is a PhD fellow at the Department of Church History, Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on cultural trauma, collective memory & mourning, and narrative construction of identity.

His dissertation is titled “For God, King, and Country”, and is a historical dissertation with a cultural sociological attention that aims to trace the Danish national narrative, to see how or if Christianity has any role to play in the construction of collective self-understanding in the Danish national identity. The dissertation is built on the assumption that the Danish clergy in periods of historical crises (1848-65) have acted on behalf of the Danish nation as a cultural carrier group and as individuals as social actors performing from the pulpit of the Danish churches. B.A. and M.A. in Theology from the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen.

Ian Sheinheit
State University of New York at Albany

Ian Sheinheit is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY. His research lays at the intersection of culture, media, and politics. Ian is currently working on a number of projects concerned with the transitions of the political news media field. His work analyzes the changes and impacts of digital communication technologies on politics, professionalism, journalism, and news content. Specifically, his research compares and analyzes the ways in which different news media content producers, during different historical or contemporary moments, report political events and wars, claim authority and legitimacy, and impact political campaigns. His dissertation is an exploration of the structural and cultural alterations occurring in the political news media field in the lead up to the 2004 and 2008 presidential election cycles with a topical focus on the Iraq War. Methodologically, Ian combines systematic content analysis, media event reconstruction, and narrative analysis. Ian’s work can be found in the journals Mass Communication and Society and PS: Political Science and Politics.

Abby Stivers
State University of New York at Albany

Abby Stivers is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY. She received her A.B. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke college in 2008. She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores the relationship between identity, meaning and various kinds of monetary debts.

Ping Wang
Fudan University

Ping Wang is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology at Fudan University. He was born in Hangzhou, a city famous for its picturesque scenery and associations with many celebrated poets and painters. He has lived in Shanghai for more than 10 years, where he received BS in social work and MA in sociology. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation on the social transition and urban poverty in mainland China, especially cultural codes and context in the urban life of ordinary residents. His interests are social stratification, cultural sociology, field methods, and NGO studies. He was the co-director for several marketing research programs and program evaluation of government programs. In addition, he is a licensed social worker with experience working with youth and families.