SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Outstanding MA Student Awards

Our Outstanding Student Awards recognise exceptional work produced by MA students in the Department of Anthropology, and are awarded annually across all of the department's MA programmes. 


2020 Award Winners

Abhishek Mohanty

ABHISHEK MOHANTY
Outstanding Student Award, MA Social Anthropology

Dissertation: 

Mediatised Negotiations Through Time, Scale, and Double Becoming: Studying the Ramayan Television Series Rerun During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Delhi, India

Abhishek says… “The MA Social Anthropology programme has helped me see the world as an anthropologist. By this, I mean being at once critical-analytical and empathetic. It has pushed me to consider the human condition: conceptually, methodologically, and professionally. For this to happen after substantive work experience as a management consultant, as well as a prior MBA and a BA in Economics, quite simply points to how inclusive and wonderful the programme is.”

Where is he now?

Abhishek co-founded and co-directs LagomWorks, an applied anthropology and ethnographic research-led design and innovation firm. They work with corporate organisations, educational institutions, social enterprises, and startups in India, the Middle East, and the EU. Their team also carries out original anthropological research at the intersection of society and technology, focused on the (future of) work, livelihoods, education and skilling, impact entrepreneurship, socially responsible technology, and sustainable consumption.


Flora Hastings

FLORA HASTINGS
Outstanding Student Award, MRes Social Anthropology, 2020

Dissertation:

“We Have Our Space and We Are Different”: Emerging Jewish Occupations and Public Identity in Casa Adret, a Jewish Cultural Centre in Barcelona

Flora says… “Students in the anthropology MA/MRes programmes at SOAS receive intensive methodological training. Our passionate discussions surrounding the ethics and history of ethnographic methods prepared me to enter the field as a doctoral student. The Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods module was great for broadening my understanding of the wider methodological climate of the social sciences, allowing me to better understand anthropology’s uniqueness and strengths. Lastly, the unique political charge which fills SOAS halls and fuels the student body allowed me to connect my research to pertinent issues and causes unfolding around me and my cohort.”

Where is she now?

Flora is an ESRC-funded Social Anthropology PhD candidate at SOAS. Her thesis project explores Jewish politics and culture in Barcelona, with a specific interest in Jewish-Muslim relations, cultural economics, and social memory. She is a co-ordinator of the Jewish-Muslim Research Network, which (amongst other events) organises a monthly reading group and seminars comparatively exploring Jewish and Muslim identity, Judaism and Islam and ‘Jewish-Muslim’ relations.


Rebecca Hirst

REBECCA HIRST
Outstanding Student Award, MA Migration and Diaspora Studies

Dissertation:

Intersectional Understandings of “South Asian” and “Queer” Among U.K.-Based Women and Non-Binary Contributors

Rebecca says… “I hugely benefited from an interdisciplinary degree comprising modules in anthropology, gender studies, policy and Urdu. I particularly valued the commitment to combining theory and practice embedded in the pedagogy of the course including the opportunity to be involved in a work placement at Migrants Organise.”

Where is she now?

Rebecca is a caseworker in the community at Mind in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster and is currently internally coordinating an arts project at Migrants Organise, to be released during Refugee Week 2021.


Anna Crane

ANNA CRANE
Outstanding Student Award, MA Anthropology of Food, 2020

Dissertation:

Eating Well in Old Age: Adapting Food Practices to Ageing Bodies

Anna says… “I was a mature student with a background in food magazines. I knew very little about what anthropology involved before I started my MA – I was lured in by the food bit! – but I loved the challenge of studying completely different ways of thinking, living and eating, and I appreciated the nuances and complexities involved, a world away from the binaries of the publishing world.”

Where is she now?

Having finished her dissertation in the middle of a pandemic, and juggled working freelance with home schooling, Anna is now trying to plan her next steps carefully. She is looking for interesting, fulfilling work while volunteering for a local non-profit organisation that promotes healthy eating for families, and considering extending student life with a PhD next year.


Felice Davids

FELICE DAVIDS
Outstanding Student Award (co-recipient), MA Social Anthropology of Development*

Dissertation:

An Equality of Rights: Senegalese “Feminist” Perspectives on Gender Equality Within the Muslim Family

Felice says… “The MA Social Anthropology of Development allowed me to critically engage with issues of development. It opened my eyes to the complexities of development, as well as the complexities of the world at large. The interesting selection of electives allowed me to pursue my regional interest in sub-Saharan Africa and thematic interest in gender. The excellent staff at SOAS allowed me to greatly increase my knowledge and skills. As a result of the programme, I grew both academically as well as personally.”

Where is she now?

After completing her MA, Felice put her desire to pursue a career in international development on hold to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. She is currently working as a Coach/Quality Assurance Officer for the Source and Contact Tracing Department of the National Institute of Public Health in her home country, the Netherlands.

*As of 2021, the MA Social Anthropology of Development has been replaced with the MA Anthropology of Global Futures & Sustainability


Caitlin M Robinson

CAITLIN M ROBINSON
Outstanding Student Award (co-recipient), MA Social Anthropology of Development*

Dissertation:

Health for All? An Anthropological Critique of Global Health Policy

Where is she now?

Catlin is a Strategy Manager at the International Rescue Committee in the UK, based in London.


Montita Sowapark

MONTITA SOWAPARK
Outstanding Student Award, MA Medical Anthropology

Dissertation:

A Critical Anthropological Approach to Medical Device Design

Montita says… “Studying medical anthropology at SOAS was an incredible experience, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from both amazing professors as well as a cohort of incredibly kind and thoughtful students. One of my favorite experiences was the trip we took together to the Wellcome Collection, where we could see how concepts we were studying in the classroom such as medicalization and biopower were exemplified in the Collection’s exhibits and artworks. Studying at SOAS means the learning does not just take place in the classroom but rather is everywhere, whether that's through a trip to a museum, an interesting lecture series, or an insightful conversation in the JCR.”

Where is she now?

Montita has returned to the US and is working in Brooklyn while applying to medical school.


Previous Outstanding Student Award winners

2019
MA Social Anthropology: Alice Cazanave
MA Anthropological Research Methods: Aida Balafkan
MA Medical Anthropology: Danielle De Vito Halevi
MA Anthropology of Food: Sophie Reid
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies: Jorge Solorzano
MA Social Anthropology of Development: (co-recipients) Meraz Mostafa; Cas Sutherland

2018
MA Anthropological Research Methods: Cornelis Rijneveld
MA Anthropology of Food: Tuval Ipp
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies: (co-recipients) Eleanor Guscott; Alia Schwelling
MA Medical Anthropology: Eva Wasserhess
MA Social Anthropology of Development: Charlotte Stanley

2017
MA Social Anthropology: Gitanjali Patel
MA Anthropology of Food: Giulia Nicolini
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies: Imogen Baylis
MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism: Ithaca Sorensen

2016
MA Social Anthropology: Frederick Sherwood
MA Anthropological Research Methods: Christoph Schimkowsky
MA Anthropology of Food: (co-recipents) Babette-Scarlett Schossau; Emma Smail
MA Anthropology of Media: Andrew Cummings
MA Medical Anthropology: Sophie Anne Elands; Benjamin Hoyland
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies: (co-recipients) Johannes Oertli; Nabeelah Jaffer
MA Social Anthropology of Development: Alexandra Knott
MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism: Benjamin Youdan Mason

2015
MA Social Anthropology: Jonathan Galton
MA Anthropological Research Methods: Emmanuelle Roth
MA Anthropology of Food: Robert Booth
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies: Celeste Harber
MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism: Alys Tomlinson