Graduate Students Spotlight

Molly Carney.

Molly Carney

2021 Harriette B. Rigas Award Recipient

WSU Anthropology graduate student Molly Carney received one of six Outstanding Graduate Student Awards from the WSU Association for Faculty Women.

Carney was honored with the Harriette B. Rigas Award in recognition of her academic achievements and professional potential.

AFW solicits nominations from faculty who work directly with students to ensure that top scholars are considered each year for the awards, which come with a $1,000 prize.

“These students represent the highest level of scholarly achievement, leadership, and promise for future contributions to society,” said D.L. Potts, professor and chair of the Department of English and an AFW member.

Daphne Weber lighting incesnse.

Daphne Weber

Fulbright Scholarship Recipient

Daphne Weber, a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology department, received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant for her work on women in Thai Buddhism. She asks why some women pursue ordination as monks despite lack of formal recognition, especially when other, more socially acceptable avenues of female renunciation are available in Theravada Buddhist practice.

Weber postulates that ordination appears to draw people in because of a healing potential of ordination not previously explored or recognized. Based on preliminary ethnographic field research, women appear to share their narratives of suffering with each other to promote affective spaces of empathy and reconceptualize narratives for why they suffered. However, we do not understand how the ordination process transforms these understandings of suffering and experience and introduces new frameworks for thinking about emotion in Buddhism.

Weber’s research will focus methodologically on the motivations of individual actors based on their own lived experience of ordination to expand our understanding of the bhikkhuni movement. Through it, she hopes to identify key salient concepts of how religious reformist movements form new subjectivities, especially as relates to gendered discourses.

Find out more at WSU Insider.

A robed figure walking in the rain with an umbrella.
Thai Bhikkhuni on alms round in the rain. Photo by Alfie Moore.