ICRW is pleased to announce the winning team for the Third Annual Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award: Desiree Barron-Callaci, a doctoral student in Anthropology at New York Universiry, and her advisor Fred Myers, NYU Silver Professor of Anthropology. The Award will support their work over the next year on Barron’s proposed dissertation, “Making Māori Rugby/Keeping Rugby Māori: Mediasport, Masculinity and Indigeneity in Aotearoa/New Zealand,” which will explore how rugby culture shapes gendered perceptions of Māori men and women in New Zealand. The pair exemplify Mariam’s commitment to mentorship in support of women’s high-level scholarly achievement.
Barron-Callaci’s research centers on the role of gendered cultural politics in the development of global media sport, specifically the projects and strategies deployed by Māori rugby players and organizers in Aotearoa New Zealand. She analyzes the intersections of race and gender (and discourses of masculinity and motherhood in particular) in the development of media sport and the relationship of internationally competitive athletes to various media institutions as well as their communities of extraction. A five-minute documentary film based on her fieldwork project, Haka Practice, will screen at the Mead Film and Video Festival this October.
Prof. Myers is the Silver Professor of Anthropology at New York University, where he has taught since 1982. He was the editor of the journal Cultural Anthropology from 1991-1995, and President of the American Ethnological Society from 2001-2003. Myers has been involved in research with, and writing about, Western Desert Aboriginal people since 1973, working in a range of communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. His work over the last fifteen years has been focused principally on studying and explaining the significance of art and material culture as a point of articulation – aesthetic, political, developmental – between the values and expectations of Indigenous people and institutions of the outside world.
In addition to many articles and catalog essays, his books include Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines (1986), which received the 1988 W.E.H. Stanner Prize for best book in Aboriginal Studies, and Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art (2002), which won the 2008 J.I. Staley Prize from the School of Advanced Research. Edited volumes include earlier work on language, Dangerous Words: Language and Politics in the Pacific (coedited with Don Brenneis, 1984), the ground-breaking The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Anthropology and Art (co-edited with George Marcus, 1995), and The Empire of Things (2001) and Experiments in Self-Determination (2016).