PHOTOS: Graduate students work on dissertation research in 32 countries with Buffett grants in summer 2018

October 9, 2018

The Buffett Institute is committed to supporting graduate student research abroad, especially by helping relieve the higher costs of international travel and field work in remote locations through grants.

With Buffett Institute funding, 46 Northwestern graduate students traveled to 32 countries this summer to pursue research on contemporary political, economic, and social issues. These are some of the photos they took during their travels.

The Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, China by Jun (Philip) Fang.

Jun (Philip) Fang, graduate student in sociology, went to China to learn more about co-produced cultural objects in a globalized economy that are created through the collaboration and competition between China and Hollywood. During his travels to filming locations, he captured this photo of the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye.

Oshun Festival photo by Gervais Marsh

Gervais Marsh, graduate student in performance studies, took this photo at the Oshun festival in Salybia, Trinidad, during his dissertation research on artists and collectives in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica who use performance as a tool of activism, focusing on low-income women and LGBTQ communities.


Bombed out building by Sasha Klaychkina





Sasha Klaychkina, graduate student in political science, was in the North Caucasus to investigate the legacies of violence and state collapse on governance and state building.






Church in Ake, Yucatan by Roberto Rosado Ramirez

Roberto Rosado Ramirez, graduate student in anthropology, took this photo in Ake, Yucatan, the pre-Columbian Maya site where he was conducting his research. He used a drone to capture this image of a 19th-century Catholic church, which was built on top of an ancient Maya temple.

Gwangju Uprising performance by Hayana Kim

Hayana Kim, graduate student in theatre and drama, was in South Korea to examine the relationship between performance and the history of state violence there. Above is a performance against the destruction of a historic site regarding the Gwangju Uprising.

Indonesian men painting by Sindhunata Hargyono

Sindhunata Hargyono, graduate student in anthropology, took this photo in Indonesia while studying the transformation of the contemporary Indonesian borderlands and the relationship between states and subjects in the Southeast Asian borderland.

Two generations in China by Yixue Shao

Yixue Shao, graduate student in political science, took this photo of two generations in rural China while studying China’s e-commerce revolution and its power to drive economic liberalization and governance reform.

Indonesian rubber farmer by Rahardhika Utama

Rahardhika Utama, graduate student in sociology, took this photo during his fieldwork in Indonesia. He says, “Sutopo is a 78-year-old rubber farmer who owns a small plot of old rubber trees. He planted most of his trees forty years ago from low-quality rubber seeds he gleaned from nearby state-owned rubber plantations. In general, the rubber tree is no longer productive for latex taping after twenty years, and trees that are germinated from rubber seeds produce lower yields of latex. Today, rubber farmers in North Sumatra are usually elderly persons as young people prefer working in the cities and leaving their parents struggling with their family land in the villages. The combination of elderly farmers and old rubber trees makes up for low productivity of the overall smallholder rubber sector in this area.”

Americas, Asia, Development, Europe, For Graduate Students, Peace/Conflict