Youth, Transnationalism, Language and culture, Migration, Urban anthropology; post-Soviet region and European Union
I have a BA in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers University and an MA in International Relations from Yale University. I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in December 2010. In 2011-2012, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute.
My research interests include nationalism and xenophobia, language ideologies, transnational governance, migration, and youth. My dissertation research was based on 16 months of fieldwork with non-profit organizations focused on young people. In my dissertation, Projecting Europe: the Politics of Youth in Contemporary Lithuania, I argue that an important way in which the European Union is experienced and interpreted in local contexts is through "project work," a novel form of social action and transnational governance. I focus on one particular type of project work—initiatives that target "at-risk" youth and aim to make these individuals into European citizens—and show how EU objectives are reinterpreted by non-profit directors, social workers, activists, and young people. Instead of creating liberal European subjects, youth-focused projects contribute to perpetuation of uneven social opportunities, existent language ideologies, and multi-tier citizenship. At the same time, participation in multiple projects creates transnational networks of people who share social resources and learn modes of action and communication from each other. I use these findings to conceptualize emerging modes of governance in the EU and analyze local effects of practices targeting young people.
In 2011-2012, as one of the coordinators of Harriman Institute's core project, "Peoples in Motion," I conducted research on Lithuanian labor migrants to the UK. I conducted interviews with Lithuanian migrants living in London in order to examine the interplay of transnational mobility, socio-economic inequality, and cultural ideas about ethnic difference. My next research project will focus on international sporting events in the Russian Federation in order to examine the intersection of political economy, nationalism, and migration.
My teaching interests include globalization, linguistic anthropology, political anthropology, youth, popular culture, and urban anthropology, as well as anthropology of the EU and post-Soviet politics and societies.