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Announcing the winners of the Reppy Institute’s graduate fellowship competition

Blue-tinted Cornell seal
April 30, 2021

The Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies is pleased to announce the recipients of three graduate fellowships for the 2021-22 academic year: Eun A Jo (government), Sarah Meiners (history), and Bruno Seraphin (anthropology). These fellowships are made possible by the generous support of the Marion and Frank Long family, the Jesse F. and Dora H. Bluestone family, and an anonymous donor.

The fellowship selection process was highly competitive, with many worthy applications. We congratulate Jo, Meiners, and Seraphin for outstanding proposals. To learn more about the awardees and their inspiring work, read on.

Eun A Jo

Recipient of the Jesse F. and Dora H. Bluestone Peace Studies Fellowship

Eun A Jo headshot 2021

Eun A Jo is a PhD student in the department of government, specializing in international relations, comparative politics, and peace studies. She is interested in national narratives, memory, and the domestic politics of international relations, with a focus on East Asia. Eun A describes her research initiative below. 

Follow Eun A on twitter @eunajo_.

Research Project

"Making of an Enemy: Narratives, Traumas, and the Politics of Enmity”

I study the narrative origins of enemies. Through a comparative study of national narratives in two postcolonial democracies, South Korea and Taiwan, I examine how enemy narratives rise and fall. In doing so, I hope to provide novel insights about how states’ narrative projects during moments of profound transition—such as decolonization and democratization—can shape politics of international reconciliation. The Jesse F. and Dora H. Bluestone Peace Studies Fellowship will allow me to begin fieldwork and conduct archival research in South Korea and Taiwan in Spring 2021. 

Sarah R. Meiners

Recipient of the Marion and Frank Long Fellowship

Sarah R Meiners headshot

Sarah R. Meiners, originally from Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison before arriving at Cornell where she is currently a PhD student in the department of history. She is predominately a historian of the twentieth century United States, and her research interests include immigration and refugee policy, childhood and youth, and empire, interventionism, and foreign relations. 

Follow Sarah on twitter @srmeiners and learn more about her research below.


Research Project

“Whose Children? The Making of the United States’ Cold War Child Refugee Policy"

My dissertation historically analyzes the United States’ child refugee policy from approximately 1945 to 1995 by examining various child refugee populations from Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. I question how policymakers and advocates defined and constructed policy around the “child refugee,” and I am particularly interested in understanding how foreign policy, notions of racialized, politicized childhood, and humanitarianism determined the recognition of children as refugees. I will use the Marion and Frank Long Fellowship to conduct archival research at a variety of sites--including presidential libraries, the Center for Migration Studies archives, and university collections--and to collect oral histories. I hope this project will broaden our understanding of the historical origins of the U.S.’ current child refugee policy, including parent-child separations and incarceration, and provide knowledge useful for fundamentally altering how we conceive of and treat all migrants. 

Bruno Seraphin 

Recipient of the Marion and Frank Long Fellowship

Bruno Seraphin headshot 2021

Bruno Seraphin is a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology and a graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous studies at Cornell University. His research areas include environmental anthropology, anti-colonial American studies, and film studies. A settler scholar originally from Wampanoag land in eastern Massachusetts, Bruno is an award-winning filmmaker with a BFA in film and television from NYU and an MA in folklore from University of Oregon. He was a Reppy Fellow from 2018-20. 

Follow Bruno on twitter @BrunoMarzipan.


Research Project

“Indigenous Karuk and Settler Colonial Fire Politics and Practices in Northern California”

My dissertation research partners with the Indigenous Karuk Tribe to examine fire exclusion policies in the US West as a form of colonial governance animated by military logics and highlights the perspectives of Indigenous fire practitioners. Living on Karuk territory in northwestern California full time since August 2020, I am learning how the ongoing resurgence of Karuk cultural burning can be an alternative to the ascendant and self-defeating paradigm of fire exclusion, a tool for stewarding regional ecosystems, and a way to enhance Karuk community wellbeing. Through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and collaborative video projects, I work with Karuk cultural fire experts, US Forest Service staff, local NGOs, and others to learn about the obstacles and opportunities that arise as diverse community members come together to strategize more just and regenerative fire futures for the region. The Marion and Frank Long Fellowship will allow me to carry the project through the complete 2021 fire season, during which I will be on the ground with prescribed fire crews and Indigenous communities working to dismantle colonial systems and advance climate justice.

To learn more about the Reppy Institute’s graduate fellowship program, click here.

Additional Information