For 2017-2018, two MSU History graduate students were awarded Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) awards. These prestigious fellowships provide opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States. The awards are highly competitive; DDRA funds about 10% of the proposals it receives.

History’s DDRA winners were Jodie Marshall and Akil Cornelius.

Marshall is researching the history of migration between Zanzibar and Oman over the course of the twentieth century. Her dissertation, Living Between Zanzibar and Oman: A Social History of Transnational Families, ca. 1890-2018, examines the ways that familial, social, and economic connections between these locations have shifted and expanded in response to the migrations prompted by colonialism, mid-century coups and revolutions in both nations, and changing economic realities. This project will challenge previously held assumptions about the fragmentation of the Indian Ocean and the uniformity of ethnic groups within the Western Indian Ocean. Speaking to a wider global literature on migration and transnationalism, her project seeks to address the importance of both understanding the effects of immobility within apparently “fluid” transnational communities and dethroning the binary of “sending” and “receiving” states. She is currently finishing a year of research in the Zanzibar archipelago, and preparing to leave for Oman in the beginning of 2018.

Congratulations, Jodie and Akil!