Department of Anthropology
Dr. Melissa Brown
Melissa C. Brown is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Brown's current project centers on how Black women exotic dancers based in the urban South use social networking smartphone applications for advertising and networking. Brown uses a mixed methods analysis to examine how Black women exotic dancers perform erotic labor, how the landscape of contemporary strip club industry maps on twentieth century Jim Crow segregation, and how the self-definition and self-valuation of the erotic labor of Black women contrasts with popular culture depictions. This work received funding from the University of Maryland's Behavioral and Social Sciences College Dean's Research Initiative and the University of Maryland Department of Sociology's William H. Form Summer Research Fellowship.
Dr. Karem Said
Karem Said is a recent PhD graduate of Stanford's Department of Anthropology. Her research explores the gendered intersection of digital infrastructure and urban change. In her dissertation, "Gendering Digital Infrastructure and Peripheral Urban Formation," she calls for a methodological approach to digital infrastructure that investigates both the particular hardware and the digital mediation at play in a particular area. Her dissertation research in the low-income area of Hay Ettadhamon in Tunis, Tunisia found that online chat -- particularly on Facebook/Messenger -- dominated local internet use. These findings demonstrate that digitally-mediated relationships serve as a crucial component of digital infrastructure in Hay Ettadhamon, even as these relationships help bolster neighborhood development and growth.
Dr. Meredith Clark