Graduate Students

William Mellman

William Mellman

UNI: 
wlm2112
William
Mellman
Department: 
Sociomedical Sciences

Somjen Frazer

Somjen Frazer

UNI: 
msf2143
Somjen
Frazer
Department: 
Sociomedical Sciences

Kristin Murphy

Kristin Murphy

UNI: 
km632
Kristin
Murphy
Department: 
Sociology
Cohort Year: 

Warren McKinney

Warren McKinney

UNI: 
wtm2104
wtm2104@columbia.edu
Warren
McKinney
Department: 
Sociology
Room: 
Knox Hall 612
Office Hours: 
Tuesday 2 pm - 4 pm
Areas of Interest: 
Race/Ethnicity, Decolonization and State Formation in Africa, Economic Development in Africa, African Political Economy, International Migration, Tourism
Areas of Specialty: 
Race & Ethnicity, Cultural Sociology, Political Sociology
Biographical Note: 

Warren McKinney is a PhD candidate and Paul F. Lazarfeld Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University.  His research and teaching center on matters of race and ethnicity with a particular focus on political economy in West Africa and the United States.  His work examines how categories of racial, national, and ethnic identity become both the object of state manipulation and vehicles for social action.  Warren’s dissertation project,  “Incorporating Diaspora: Blurring Distinctions of Race and Nationality through Heritage Tourism in Ghana,” examines an ongoing effort of the Ghanaian state to mobilize the resources and skills of communities of African descent abroad towards its own economic development.  The project demonstrates the creative reconstitution of ethnic, racial, and national identity categories through a tourism industry that politicizes African heritage by commemorating the Atlantic slave trade and allows the state to position itself as the singular homeland of the African diaspora.  The investigation relies on the analysis of tourism guide materials and travel narratives, state tourism administration policies, and ethnographic observations collected at the one-time slave castles that were developed into UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  

Dissertation: 
Incorporating Diaspora: Blurring Distinctions of Race and Nationality through Heritage Tourism in Ghana
Cohort Year: 

Alix Rule

Alix Rule

UNI: 
aer2132
aeb2027@columbia.edu
Alix
Rule
Cohort Year: 

Beatrice Renault

Beatrice Renault

UNI: 
br2261
Beatrice
Renault
Cohort Year: 

Tolga Kobas

Tolga Kobas

UNI: 
tk2420
fa2224@columbia.edu
Tolga
Kobas
Areas of Interest: 
Empires as ‘political systems,’ [S. N. Eisenstadt]; historical forms of Herrschaft (authority/domination), [M. Weber]; sets of socially learnt dispositions, skills and ways of acting (Habitus), [P. Bourdieu]; Ottoman Empire as a historical bureaucratic society; early seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.
Biographical Note: 
Tolga Kobas received his BA and MA degrees from Sabanci University (Istanbul). He is currently a PhD candidate and a Paul F. Lazarsfeld fellow at the department. His work focuses on the changing social and political conditions at the Ottoman center around the seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries. At the imperial center, these changing conditions presented themselves in various ways, which also affected different social groups at varying scales and degrees. The processes of transformation and adaptation of these social groups to changing conditions are crucial temporal points in the larger process of early-modern state formation in the Ottoman Empire, which eventually affected the way in which later events/processes unfolded.
Cohort Year: 

José Atria

José Atria

UNI: 
ja2612
fa2224@columbia.edu
Jose
Atria
Areas of Interest: 
Sociological Theory, Political Sociology, Formal Research Methods, Mathematical Sociology
Biographical Note: 
José Atria received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Universidad de Chile in 2004. His undergraduate thesis, written under the supervision of professor Omar Aguilar, dealt with the theoretical and methodological problems that the recent transformations of the labor market in Chile presented for traditional class analysis, and an exploration of the possibilities presented by analytical marxism for the analysis of concrete social phenomena.

In his current work, he is interested in the development of analytical sociology for the study of political institutions, action and process, as a fruitful strategy for historical and comparative research. He is also generally interested in mathematical sociology, and in the development of formal models of social phenomena that would facilitate the construction of theoretical frameworks. His work falls within the scope of sociological theory, political sociology, historical and comparative sociology, and organizational studies.

In his dissertation, he intends to study the mechanisms associated with the operation of non-cooperative organizations by looking at the coordination strategies deployed by members of a corruption network, using data from the Mani Pulite investigations in Italy in the early 1990's.

Cohort Year: 

Nathan Dern

Nathan Dern

UNI: 
njd2115
fa2224@columbia.edu
Nathan
Dern
Graduate Student Representative
Areas of Interest: 
Social Media, Internet Video, Confession, Celebrity and Fame, Performance, Data mining, Documentary Filmmaking, Ethnography
Education: 


 

Biographical Note: 

Nate Dern obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 2007, where he studied social anthropology and the study of religion and earned a Spanish language certificate. His senior thesis was based on seven weeks of ethnographic field work at a mosque in Buenos Aires. Nate then attended Cambridge University as a recipient of the Harvard-Cambridge Fellowship, where he obtained an MPhil in Screen Media and Cultures and completed a dissertation which analyzed close readings of confessional video speech acts across three media: internet vlogs, reality television, and personal documentary filmmaking. Before beginning his course of study, Nate worked for several years in New York variously as a video editor, a freelance filmmaker and an adjunct professor of film history. He hopes to continue to pursue documentary filmmaking. In addition to his academic interests, Nate is a resident performer on a house improv comedy team at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Manhattan.

Cohort Year: 

Abigail Coplin

Abigail Coplin

UNI: 
aec2168
aeb2027@columbia.edu
Abigail
Coplin
Cohort Year: 
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