Anthropology Ph.D. Candidate Named Newcombe Fellow

Natalie Nesvaderani

Natalie Nesvaderani, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, was recently selected as a recipient of the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Administered through the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Nesvaderani is one of 23 recipients for the 2019-20 academic year.

Nesvaderani is studying the intersection of documentary film, migration, and children’s labor in Iran.

“Through community-based collaborations, participatory filmmaking, and visual anthropology methods, my research works to disrupt mainstream narratives about immigrants and migration,” Nesvaderani said. “We’re living in an era where the ‘single story’ upstages the more complicated, nuanced understandings of people and places. Right now, this is especially true when it comes to Iran. A fuller picture of the social and political diversity of place can foster the deeper understanding needed to bring people together across borders.”

Nesvaderani’s research interests were influenced, in part, by time spent as a Fulbright scholarship recipient, when she worked as a legal adviser for unaccompanied refugee minors in Cairo, Egypt.

“It gave me perspective on how international law and regimes of humanitarian care govern the culpability of children, who should really just be cared for by adults,” she said. “Shifting my research to Iran made sense because I have roots there and Farsi was my first language.”

Founded in 1981, the Newcombe fellowship was established to provide Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences writing ethically-focused dissertations at American institutions with funding to allow for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing.

Katya Hrichak is a communications assistant in the Graduate School.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.