Anthropologist Wins Research Prize from MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

buyandelgerManduhai Buyandelger, an associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been awarded the university’s James A. and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities. The award comes with a $25,000 grant to support her ethnographic study of parliamentary elections in Mongolia with a special emphasis on women candidates.

“The Levitan Prize is going to transform my life,” Dr. Buyandelger says, “because I’ll be able to finish this project — a book highlighting the unconventional and creative strategies women politicians in Mongolia have employed to meet the challenges of the postsocialist era, and the ways in which women’s early electoral failures in Mongolia helped spawn a women’s movement there.” She will use the grant to travel to Mongolia to complete work on the book.

Dr. Buyandelger holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literature and linguistics from Mongolian National University. She holds a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her first book, Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia, was published by the University of Chicago Press in November 2013.

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