April 12, 2017

Borrowing Across Borders

Assistant Professor of Sociology Maryann Bylander receives an ASEAN Research Program grant from Fulbright.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program has awarded Assistant Professor of Sociology Maryann Bylander an ASEAN Research Program grant. Designed to facilitate collaborative research of priority to ASEAN or to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, this Fulbright award will allow Dr. Bylander to spend her junior sabbatical conducting field research in Thailand and Cambodia. Her project, “Borrowing Across Borders: Migration, Debt, and Development in Southeast Asia” will use multi-sited qualitative research to ask how debt shapes migrant experiences across Southeast Asia. Specifically, Dr. Bylander will conduct interviews and organize participatory photovoice projects with a range of migrant workers in both Cambodia and Thailand. Building upon her earlier work, this research project will ultimately result in a full-length book manuscript that seeks to both interrogate the role of debt in shaping migrant experiences and understand how key differences among migrants may shape experiences of indebtedness.  

The Core Fulbright Scholar Program offers over 500 teaching, research, or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. This prestigious program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between individuals and promote international understanding and cooperation. In addition, this particular Fulbright program invites applicants to propose research in two or three ASEAN countries, including Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  

This is Dr. Bylander’s second external grant this spring, following an ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows grant received in February. Both projects contribute to her broader scholarly agenda, which seeks to bring conversations of debt and indebtedness into migration and development debates, while at the same time bringing questions of mobility and migration into debates on financial inclusion and microfinance. More about Dr. Bylander’s research is available here.