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Grace Zhou

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Grace Zhou

In the Field
Research Interests: 
Intimate economies, work and welfare, the politics of distribution, care, and "post-work" imaginaries in Central Asia


My research interests center on intimate economies, the politics of distribution, care, and "post-work" imaginaries in Central Asia. My current project investigates how the blurring of market exchange and intimate transaction allows marginalized groups (and likewise, "peripheral" world regions) to bridge social, geographic, and political boundaries and access new opportunities. Following transnational merchants, sex workers, and female entrepreneurs in southern Kyrgyzstan, I explore how emergent market intimacies carve alternative pathways for the distribution of goods, services, and wealth in society when formal modes of state redistribution have collapsed. I hold a BA in Linguistics and Anthropology from Columbia University, and an MA in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia Regional Studies from Columbia's Harriman Institute. My M.A. research focused on the material ruins of ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, and how substantive citizenship was being negotiated in the contested process of rebuilding.