UCLA associate professor of geography Lieba Faier and assistant professor of anthropology Hannah Appel have been awarded 2017 fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies. Out of nearly 1200 applicants, only 71 fellows were selected. The ACLS Fellowship Program awards support research projects by individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences.
Drawing on 14 months of fieldwork in Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas industry, Appel is working on an ethnographic account of the daily life of capitalism. Her project will offer both an accounting of a specific capitalist project — U.S. oil companies working off the shores of central Africa — and an exploration of more general forms and processes that facilitate diverse capitalist projects around the world.
Faier is working on “The Banality of Good,” which grapples with a paradox of contemporary human rights work: How can we address intimate experiences of unspeakable violence — forced labor, daily beatings, emotional abuse, starvation and enslavement — through standardized, procedural, calculated bureaucratic practice? It considers the social and cultural effects of this new institutionalized approach to human rights, and it examines the globalized moral landscapes and models for ethical personhood emerging through it.