Our PhD alumni Alison Goebel and Kok (Chris) Tan have been praised for authoring dissertations in the top 40 ranking by the Anthroworks web site. Congratulations to Alison and Chris!

Here are their dissertation titles and abstracts —

Small City Neighbors: Race, Space, and Class in Mansfield, Ohio, by Alison Goebel. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Advisors: Alejandro Lugo, Brenda Farnell, Ellen Moodie, David R. Roediger. This dissertation investigates social relations in a small deindustrializing city in the United States to analyze the specificities of class, “race relations,” and small city “cityness.” I conducted ethnographic research in Mansfield, Ohio, a multiracial, class-stratified city of about 50,000 residents. My work contributes to studies of whiteness and U.S. race relations by examining how whiteness hierarchically structures social relationships among neighbors. In analyzing how middle class white dominance responds to pressures that seek to undermine its privileges, my dissertation offers a small city view of U.S. race relations. My findings capture particularities of the field site as well as the consequences of global neoliberal capitalism and white racial privilege common throughout the United States.

Stand up for Singapore? Gay Men and the Cultural Politics of National Belonging in the Lion City, by Kok Tan. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Advisors: Martin Manalansan IV, F. K. Lehman, Janet D. Keller, Alejandro Lugo. This dissertation examines how Chinese-Singaporean gay men articulate their aspirations for national belonging within a recalcitrant state and its nation-building programs. These men expose the artificiality of the nation and its categories of belonging. Even as the state compels them to submit to its call for economic and biological (re)productivity, it also chastises them for their allegedly excessive individualism. In everyday life, they navigate a social landscape structured by the very real practices of an authoritarian state that criminalizes their sexuality. I argue that the illiberal state achieves its political legitimacy by convincing citizens that only it can secure Singapore’s continuous economic growth.