MEET THE TEAM
Tamar Oderwald (she/her)
After four exciting years, I graduated from the Ba program Cultural Anthropology in the summer of 2021, and I have just completed the Visual Anthropology master’s program at the University of Amsterdam in early 2023. I joined SCAJ at its founding, as I connected deeply with the mission and potential of this platform. This accessible space of knowledge exchange and academic growth is one I continue to grow more enthusiastic for by the day.
As editor-in-chief I oversee the editorial board and keep track of the process towards our publications. I also keep our website up-to-date, so that our readers can receive the latest information on SCAJ.
My research thus far has focused on material culture within migrant populations, including Indian migrants in the Netherlands, and Dutch migrants in Canada. I love working with (audio) visual media such as photography and film during my research, both to gather data and to exhibit the results.
Miriam van den Berg (she/her)
I am in my fourth and final year of the Bachelor Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University. I joined SCAJ because I wanted to be part of an initiative where knowledge is accessible for everyone. It is important to me that students can learn from and with each other, and SCAJ makes this possible, which is why I'm so happy to be part of our core team and this platform.
During my time at SCAJ I have been lucky enough to take on many roles, including being part of the internal communication, design, and Fieldnotes team, and being the treasurer. I now fulfil the position of managing editor, which entails that I keep an overview of all of our work. Besides this, I also assist the rest of the team wherever possible and necessary.
My interests within anthropology are diverse and change often. Even though I am interested in almost everything, my main interests lie in migration, ethics and conflict.
Pablo Bernardo López Basurco (he/him)
I am currently in my second year of the Liberal Arts & Sciences BA at University College Utrecht, majoring in Anthropology and International Relations. I decided to join SCAJ as I felt that anthropology has more to offer than what we can acquire from our university courses, and it feels like an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded students from whom I'll be able to learn a lot!
My role within SCAJ is focused on external communications. I arrange promotional talks to help other students know about what we do, look out for different sponsors and means of financing, and establish direct contact with similar organizations from other universities.
My areas of interest in the field of anthropology have not truly been defined yet, but I am mostly keen on material culture, religious matters, and art!
Sunil Raj (he/him)
I did my Bachelor’s in Sociology, Biology, English Literature, at the University of Toronto. I then moved to South Korea where I taught ESL for 3.5 years. Wanting to further myself academically, I initially joined UU in 2018 for the SCIM master’s, and my fieldwork was centered around community healthcare in southern India. Unfortunately I fell ill before I could finish and had to go home to Canada for treatment. Now I am back and am researching neighborhood sites of citizen empowerment in Rotterdam-West.
I joined SCAJ because of my passion for writing, and because I feel that there is a space in between purely academic and recreational readership, which SCAJ helps to fill, while also giving students a chance for professional growth.
My areas of interest are essentially new forms of citizenship that arise as a result of globalization and weakening civic bonds, in whatever forms they might take. I am also interested in the connection between the social and natural sciences.
My role is to help communicate SCAJ’s ideas to potential contributors and funders.
Stan Zilver (she/her)
Internal communications | Fieldnotes
I am a third year student of the Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology Bachelor at Utrecht University. I joined SCAJ because I wanted to be part of this unique and promising initiative, broaden my skills and meet more anthropology enthusiasts. I think it is extremely valuable for students to be able to share their work and read what others are doing. It expands our knowledge and gives all our hard academic work an extra purpose.
At SCAJ, I have several roles. Firstly, I am SCAJ's secretary, meaning I take notes at our monthly core team meetings. Furthermore, I am part of the internal communications team. We organise the review process, which means going through the submissions and staying in touch with authors as well as reviewers, and checking our inbox regularly. In addition, I am working on Fieldnotes, reading and reviewing everything sent in, and discussing it with the Fieldnotes team.
My interests within anthropology are ever changing and endless, but this year I am mainly focussing on language, literary studies and journalism.
Jonna Spek (she/her)
Hi! I am a fourth year Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology student at Utrecht University. This year I am in my final year and I am going to do the Bachelor Project which is really exciting. I decided to become part of SCAJ because I really like that is creates a platform for students to share their work that otherwise wouldn't be seen. Furthermore, the fact that SCAJ is a student-led journal also attracts me. I look forward to meeting more anthropology students.
At SCAJ I am part of the internal communications team and we mainly focus on the organization of the review process. That entails sending emails to reviewers and authors among other things. We make sure that everything is prepared for the reviewers.
Within anthropology I am interested in a lot of subjects but gender interests me the most which is why I have done the Gender Studies minor. Specifically I am interested in sexuality and sex education after doing a project about it. Besides this I am also interested in migration, integration and religion.
Chandni Shyam (she/her)
Core reviewer | Fieldnotes
I just graduated from the MSc. Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation program at Utrecht University. For my thesis, I did fieldwork in Chennai (South India) on Covid-19 vaccination and the role of bureaucracy in organising for it. My academic interests are often spread out across concepts and disciplines but I am consistently enthralled by the width and girth of topics that are relevant to anthropological study and love to explore the mediums of its expression. SCAJ provides the perfect space for such exploration and an opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and writing without the pressures usually associated with academic spaces.
As a core reviewer, I work with a team to review and select papers for our next publication. I am very excited to be part of a team that works towards enabling peer support and excited about what we can do together!
I am currently interested in anthropology of the state, specifically public health. But otherwise I am just a voracious reader who will read pretty much anything if given time!
Melissa (Lili) Ainseba (she/her)
Core reviewer | Social media promotion
Hi all! I'm Lili, freshly graduated from the Sustainable Citizenship Master's (SCIM). I love anthropology for the possibility it offers to slow down, observe, create connections with other beings, and to always question our own place in the world.
I am a core reviewer for SCAJ and I love being part of this beautiful initiative - it is not only a project that encourages creativity and sheds a deserved light on students' hard work, but also a safe space built on care, kindness and inclusivity. This is echoed all throughout the reviewing and editing process, and I am thankful for all I can learn from SCAJ on practical and personal levels.
I have spent the past few months researching the links between climate fiction, hope, and activism, and learning how to do an ethnography entirely online. What else? I love doing yoga, sprinkling cinnamon on top of everything and volunteering in local farms.
Merel Driessen (she/her)
Hi all! As a second year CASTOR student and 2020 graduate of the UU CA bachelor, anthropology can be said to have become a core feature of my personality. The openness and especially the diversity within the discipline is something I care deeply about. SCAJ is at its core about showcasing that diversity through offering genuine opportunities for young aspiring writers and creators.
I love contributing to this platform as a core reviewer as it allows me to read all the creative and inspiring submissions.
My own anthropological interests lie with topics of state and nationhood, nationalism and separatist movements, as well as with issues of self-expression, friendship and the anthropology of emotions. I'm currently on field work in Scotland, where I'm following the independence movement in their grassroot activism.
Susan Peschier (she/her)
Core reviewer | Design | Fieldnotes
I am a second year BA Cultural Anthropology student at Utrecht University and a fifth year BA Religious Studies student at Leiden University. I joined SCAJ because I believe that students should be able to show other students their academic work without there being an educational pressure. Furthermore, I wanted to expand my skills by doing something that I have never done before!
As a member of the core team, I work with the other members of the design team to create the layout of the journal and social media posts.
I am interested in the Dutch religious landscape that is changing due to the growth of migrants with different religious backgrounds. Moreover, I am interested in the Dutch education on the subjects of racism, cultural diversity, and prejudices.
Marilyn Franken (she/her)
Design | Web manager | Social media promotion
I am currently in my fourth and final year of the BA program Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University with both a minor in Youth Studies and Conflict Studies. After being part of the selection committee twice, I decided to join the core team of SCAJ because I really support the idea of an inclusive platform where we can all learn from each other by making knowledge accessible for everyone. Besides, SCAJ offers multiple opportunities for personal growth and academic skills to develop.
As a member of the core team, I guide the design processes of the journals and I am in charge of the social media promotion. Besides, I am the web manager of SCAJ's website.
My personal interests within anthropology are mainly focused on the topics of (violent) conflict and youth, but also on topics related to gender, power and identity.
Julia Koopmans (she/her)
After a long educational journey at the Utrecht University I graduated from the bachelor Cultural Anthropology with a minor in International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. For now I will be busy finding a job in which I can practice my anthropological knowledge. I’m mostly interested in working for an NGO or similar organization where I hopefully can do my master research. However, besides that I have to hope I get enlisted for the master International Development Studies at the UvA next year.
I’m very excited to help SCAJ grow and give students the opportunity to get to know us and what we can offer you within your academic career. I will mainly be working behind the scenes, making sure our events and workshops etc. go smoothly and will be successful as well as a lot of fun! Hope to see you all there!
I love the way SCAJ provides opportunities for personal growth and academic skills for an audience that intends to find challenges outside the curriculum provided by the University. Besides, I like how it provides a way to exchange our knowledge with each other and make our work more connected with day to day conversations.
Sarah Salhany (she/her)
Advisory board | Trust contact
In the summer of 2020 I graduated from the Cultural Anthropology Bachelor’s program and one year later I also have a Master’s in Youth, Education and Society, both obtained at Utrecht University. I am passionate about connecting the disciplines of anthropology and pedagogy and am especially interested in topics related to education, children, religion, gender and the MENA region and diaspora.
I am proud to be a member of SCAJ as I wholeheartedly believe in the power of knowledge exchange between students from all years and interests. SCAJ provides an accessible, engaging and inspiring way to do so.
After having taken up several roles within SCAJ over the past years, I am now excited to contribute in my new position as advisory board member.
Sanne Leenders (she/her)
Advisory board | Trust contact
I graduated from the Bachelor Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, with a minor in Public Administration and Organizational Science, at Utrecht University in the summer of 2022. During my bachelor's, I was involved in various foundations, studied abroad for a semester at the University of Sydney in Australia and wrote my thesis based on fieldwork in Ontario, Canada.
I joined SCAJ in my second academic year because I truly believe it is a great initiative. As we are still a relatively new foundation, I really enjoy being involved in our development and seeing our platform grow constantly.
During the first edition I took on a role as a reviewer. The next few editions I fulfilled the role of commissioner of communications within the core team of SCAJ, being involved in both internal and external communications. After this, I took on the role of managing editor, keeping an overview of our progress and the eventual publication of the journal. After having taken up these roles over the past few years, I look forward to my new position as an advisory board member.
My personal interests within anthropology are broad but mainly focus on corporate anthropology, identity, (post-)colonialism and gender.