PSTC Research Affiliate
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Bianca Dahl — a former PSTC and Anthropology postdoc — collaborates with Daniel Smith and co-convenes the annual Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) on Population and Development with Smith.
Dahl’s research looks at the social and individual effects of humanitarian aid interventions during Botswana's HIV epidemic. Her book manuscript (Great Expectations: Humanitarianism and the Invention of AIDS Orphans in Botswana) is an ethnographic study of Western charities aiming to provide “culturally sensitive” support to orphans and their kin. Focusing on the politically charged spaces forged at the interstices between foreign and local childrearing ideologies, Bianca’s work demonstrates how orphans have emerged as symbols of demographic upheaval, as well as skilled political actors in their own right. Her manuscript seeks to rethink notions of "crisis" by tracing the interplay between material and emotional economies engendered by both aid and AIDS.