First, about this site. Mostly it is just a blog where I will write about things that I think are interesting and at least tangentially relevant to my real life identity as Samantha L. Grace, the anthropologist. I expect it to grow with me through my life, hopefully with moments of blossoming interest but surely with wintry periods where I am overwhelmed with other work.
Second, about me. Let’s begin with my online self. I am @ailiathena on Twitter, SamanthaGrace on Academia.edu, slgrace in my profile at the University of Arizona, and Sam Grace on Goodreads.com (where I post more than anywhere else because I love books). You may also wonder what I look like. In my first year of grad school, on the day of our final presentations on various theorists, I looked like this:
My PhD is in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Arizona, not only one of the highest ranking doctoral programs for anthropologists in the United States (read: I am currently applying for jobs), but also an incredibly collegial and exciting environment to learn in (read: it really was great, and I care about being part of a supportive intellectual community).
In Fall 2017, I defended my dissertation, “The Citizen Life Course: Age Identity in Ecuador’s Educational Revolution,” which is about citizenship as a form of becoming. I minored in linguistic anthropology and medical anthropology, the first of which shows up in my use of ethnographic discourse analysis, the second of which is most obvious in how I use of theories of biocitizenship, life course, and the body. The 2014-15 fieldwork for the dissertation was funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation, and took place in Quito, Ecuador with 10th graders and their families. I did participant observation in two urban high schools and a couple of students’ homes, I conducted focus groups, and developed a “triple interview” of layered one-on-one interviews, parent-child dyad interviews, and multigenerational group interviews with 14 different 10th graders and their families.
My Master’s thesis was called “Living Lessons of Age and Citizenship,” and it also dealt with questions of age, morality, gender, and citizenship based in ethnographic work with white and Latina pregnant and parenting adolescents in Tucson, AZ. Before that I worked in DC as a bilingual educator, case worker, and HIV counselor with Latinx immigrant youth and families, and before that I studied Ancient Greek Language and Literature at Oberlin College.
And, because this isn’t the kind of blog where I pretend that my life ends with that day’s grading, I will also confess that my life is dramatically improved by my family (fictive, affinal and consanguineal) who live far away, that I am married to an excellent human being, have cute human children, and also have a ridiculous dog named Odysseus and a presumptuous cat named Nikos. That said, this will not be a pet blog, do not expect cute photos.