UB’s Reed-Danahay receives NEH grant

Deborah Reed-Danahay in her office.

A summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities will support Deborah Reed-Danahay's work on French sociologist/ethnologist Pierre Bourdieu.

Release Date: April 16, 2014 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Deborah Reed-Danahay, PhD, of Buffalo, professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo, has received a 2014 summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Research Programs to complete the draft manuscript of her fifth book.

The $6,000 stipend is awarded to support continuous full-time work on an advanced humanities project for a period of two months. Reed-Danahay intends to complete the manuscript of her book “Bourdieu and Social Space,” which offers a new perspective on the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002).

An important and influential figure in late-20th century social theory, Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies — which include cultural, social and symbolic capital; the concepts of habitus, field or location; and symbolic violence — to reveal the dynamics of power relations in social life. His book “La Distinction” is considered one of the 10 most important books of the 20th century in the field of sociology.

Reed-Danahay already has written a book and several articles dealing with the implications of Bourdieu’s work for the field of sociocultural anthropology. Her focus here is his contribution to the spatial turn in the humanities and social sciences, what she calls “his concept of social space, an arena for social positioning and co-existing points of view.”

This is the third major award Reed-Danahay has received in the past year in support of this project. The others were a 2013-14 UB Humanities Institute Fellowship and a 2013 Yip Fellowship at Magdalene College, Cambridge University.

Her primary specializations are political anthropology, immigration and French social theory. She has published on topics ranging from rural French education to the Vietnamese diaspora, and is interested in national and supranational identities in contemporary Europe. Her most recent book is “Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants” (Stanford University Press, 2012) with co-author Caroline B. Brettell.

Reed-Danahay is the director of the UB Center for European Studies, a recent past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (2010-12) and current member of the executive committee of the Council for European Studies, Columbia University.

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