Current News Editors
Paul Robert Gilbert is a doctoral candidate in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. He studied Anthropology at Durham University and Ethnobotany at the University of Kent. While at Kent, Paul contributed to a Leverhulme Trust-funded project investigating seed exchange among British gardeners, and previously carried out a short period of research on mine closure preparation in Papua New Guinea. His PhD research lies at the intersection of economic anthropology and science and technology studies, and has involved an ethnographic exploration of extractive industry financing in London and Bangladesh. Paul contributes to the LSE Review of Books, and is interested in the anthropological and sociological study of elites; the influence that economic thought has on social practice; moral issues in business and development; and the relationship between art, anthropology and activism.
Prya Murad is awaiting admission to the Florida Bar upon which she will practice as an Assistant Public Defender at the Office of the Public Defender, 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida in West Palm Beach, Florida. Prya received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she was a Philip H. Corboy Fellow in Trial Advocacy and Health Law Fellow. Prya earned her B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from Transylvania University, where she was a William T. Young Scholar. Additionally, she received her M.Sc. in Biomedicine, Bioscience, and Society from the London School of Economics. Her Master’s thesis focused on prison health, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and cosmopolitan approaches to health care delivery. As a law student, Prya interned at the Federal Defender Program, the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago. At the Public Defender’s Office, Prya was awarded the Jack Carey Memorial Scholarship and authored the office’s first legal guide for law students interning with the Felony Trial Division. She also co-coached a very talented high school mock trial team at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago, IL. Prya’s research interests center around Sociology and the Law – the notion of “truth” in the practice of law, law and social control, the relationship between crime and institutionalized (legal) othering, women in legal practice, and access to justice.
Keerthi Purushothaman is an MA Development Studies student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Being enrolled in an experimental transdisciplinary programme, she has researched on topics as varied as analyzing the sociological basis for menstrual health practices among Hindu families in South India to a study on the idea of ‘home’ for migrant construction labourers. For her Masters thesis, she is interested in looking at the intersection of religiosity and urban land governance in Chennai city. For this, she is looking at the ambiguity in governance structures and the effect of changing demography on traditions. Her research interests include gender studies, urban sociology, land governance and housing, legal pluralism, climate change and urban sustainability, and qualitative and mixed methodologies.
Lee Thorpe, Jr. is a sociology doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Stony Brook University and a Master of Arts in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Lee’s master’s thesis explored how language and culture affect sexual identity formation for LGBTQ people of color. Lee’s research interests are Sexuality Studies, Social Networks, Culture, Theory, and Knowledge. Currently, Lee’s research looks at the interplay of social networks, sexuality, and dating.
Roger Tyers is a first-year PhD student in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton. He holds a BA(Hons) degree in Politics from Leeds Metropolitan University, and an MA in Democratic Studies from the University of Leeds. His current research interests lie in environmental policy and politics, and theories of behaviour change; accompanied by an ongoing interest in UK parliamentary politics. For his doctoral research, Roger’s now looking into the aviation industry, climate change and carbon offsetting. Roger will be using experimental research methods to see if techniques from behavioural economics (so-called ‘Nudges’, or ‘social marketing’) can be applied to pro-environmental behaviour change in general, and voluntary carbon offsetting in particular.
Former News Editors
Megan Nanney is a second year Master’s student in Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She earned her Bachelor’s in Sociology and the Study of Women and Gender from Smith College in May 2013. Her research interests include gender and sexuality, evaluation and assessment, higher education, and single sex education. Her Master’s thesis centers on hetero- and homonormativity within the higher education institution, specifically looking at LGB student participation in study abroad and the construction of a “good gay student.” Other projects Megan has in the pipeline include examining the definition of womanhood through trans* inclusion at women’s colleges and questioning the gay tourist market through a homonationalist lens. Megan also serves as the Managing Editor for Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and the Sex and Health Section Editor for The Interloper, Virginia Tech’s LGBTQ Journal. In what little spare time she has, Megan keeps a travel blog about cupcake boutiques, is training for a 10K race, and is the proud mother of a Jack Russell Terrier puppy named Penelope.
Joe Marchia is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Stony Brook University (SUNY). His research is on LGBTQ issues and intersectionality, focusing on inclusive dialogue and discourse for the queer community. His recent work deals with LGBTQ people and public safety issues.
Scarlett Brown is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management at King’s College London. She holds a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics. For her MSc her research centred on maternity coaching and how its provision affects women’s position in the workplace. Her current research, Getting on Board, examines men and women’s experience of the board appointment process, by conducting in-depth interviews with and observation of a cohort of potential board candidiates over an 18 month period. This gives it a uniquely prospective and longitudinal perspective, and it is hoped it will contribute to the wider fields of women on boards and the study of elites, drawing upon Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of habitus and capital. Areas of interest also include gender, feminism, work and organisations, qualitative methodology, social theory and gender in media and culture.
George Byrne is a PhD candidate at the University of Sussex in the Department of Global Studies. He currently lives in Ecuador, where he is conducting inter-disciplinary research into the way in which indigenouscommunities interact with and are impacted by ‘environmental’ and ‘development’ projects. He holds a BA in Latin American Development Studies and MA in International Relations and European Studies, both from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, and completed an MSc in Social Research Methods at the University of Sussex prior to commencing his PhD research. Throughout his studies, George has maintained a focus on the relationship between markets, development and the environment, particularly relating to the contemporary situation in Ecuador. During his undergraduate research, conducted over the course of a year in Ecuador, George focused on the history and development of the oil industry and particularly the high profile Aguinda Vs Chevron Texaco lawsuit, but his MA and MSc dissertations have shifted to critiquing the emergent REDD+ readiness project in Ecuador: Socio Bosque.
Huw C. Davies is in his third year as a Web Science PhD student at the University of Southampton. He is using a variety of traditional and novel ethnographic methods including, for example, some data-tracking software on proxy servers, to investigate how young people from different educational and social backgrounds engage with controversial information and discourses circulating online. These discourses include for example conspiracy theories and climate change denials. He is using sociological theory to make sense of his data and he has, therefore, a wider interest in all things digital and sociological. @huwcdavies
Brittney Dennis is a second year doctoral student in Sociology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She studied sociology as an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida where she completed an honors thesis that examined a symbolic interactionist perspective of natural hair as worn by African American women. Her research interests include intersectionality, African American women, residential racial segregation, qualitative and mixed methodologies, stratification, emotion management, and military sociology with special consideration for veterans and their families. She is currently working on her Master’s thesis which examines emotion management of United States Veterans of OEF and OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom), the two most current U.S. wars. The thesis aims to collect narratives of these veterans and members of their family documenting experiences during active duty, deployment, and reintegration. She has a growing interest in the impact academia can have on the masses and views sociology as the mechanism through which this is possible.
Haley Gentile is a second year PhD student in Sociology at Florida State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies also from FSU. Her research interests include qualitative and historical methodologies, social movements, emotions, mass media, and inequality, especially as it pertains to race and sexualities. Her Master’s thesis examines television news media coverage of major American social movements and counter-movements’ protests since 1968. She is focused on how the “protest paradigm” predicts depictions of activists’ emotional expressions. In her free time she plays and writes about Magic: The Gathering. She is also fond of gardening and crafting.
Christina Bermingham is a Ph.D. candidate at Dublin City University in Ireland. She received her BA in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Women’s Studies in 2002 (Emmanuel College, Boston, MA) and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with concentrations in victim advocacy and substance abuse in 2005 (Suffolk University, Boston, MA). She spent a year studying and working as a research assistant at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Regional Economic and Social Development (RESD) program. In 2007 she moved to Galway, Ireland with her partner and in 2008 received a Ph.D. Research Studentship from the School of Nursing, Dublin City University to explore power relations in modern maternity care. Her Ph.D. explores the politics of childbirth and maternity care examining the development of birth activism in the Republic of Ireland. She currently lives in the Boston, MA area with her partner and son where she is finishing her PhD dissertation and teaching sociology and psychology at Massasoit Community College as an adjunct faculty member. Areas of interest include: social movements, social change, participatory action research, feminist theory/research methods, gender & cultural studies, race & ethnicity, restorative justice, and reproductive justice.
Christina Blunt (christinablunt) graduated from the London School of Economics with an MSc in Human Rights. While at the LSE her academic interests centered on international human rights law, transitional justice, complex emergencies, managing humanitarianism, and the relationship between social theory and human rights discourse. Her dissertation entitled, The Role of Class in Shaping Truth and Reconciliation: The Case of Peru, which explored the transitional justice process that followed the Peruvian civil war, was recognized with distinction. While completing her Master’s degree, Christina served as a research intern for POLIS, the LSE’s media think tank where she examined both humanitarian branding as well as the role of new media in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Prior to attending LSE, she studied at both Stonehill College and Oxford University.
Christina currently works at Harvard University in the Program for Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR). Prior to joining HPCR, Ms. Blunt coordinated finance and development for a Boston based non-profit and most recently conducted research for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience concerning the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Additionally, she is a co-chair for the Bay Cove Human Services Human Rights Committee where she advocates for the rights of clients with mental and developmental disabilities.
Christina currently resides in Boston, MA.
Rachel Bobbitt (rbobbitt) is a doctoral student of sociology at George Mason University. She received both her bachelor’s in religious studies and master’s in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her master’s thesis focused on applying movement success models to Marian apparition religious groups and she has conducted research in varying areas of new religious movements. She has been involved in several projects and grants that study the intersections of science and religion. Her current research interests focus around conservative religious movements, stratification, and faith-based organizations. She is currently a teaching assistant at George Mason University.