Adrian Deoanca, recent Sociocultural graduate, has been awarded The 2020 ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award and the Anthropology Departments Louise Williams Distinguished Dissertation Award.
The 2020 ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award recipients were honored April 13. Awardees received a $1,000 honorarium recognizing exceptional scholarly work and completion of their doctoral degrees in 2020.
Deoanca's summary of his dissertation, End of the Line: State Infrastructure, Material Ruin and Precarious Labor Along Romanian Railroads:
The dissertation, End of the Line: State Infrastructure, Material Ruin and Precarious Labor Along Romanian Railroads, is an ethnography of the degenerative and generative powers of material brokenness and repair, using the Romanian rail industry as case study. It looked at the messy organizational forms and functional disharmonies begotten by the postsocialist restructuring of the rail sector, and at their impact on both users and maintainers. Several antinomies are at play in the sketchily reformed rail industry: state withdrawal alongside state encompassment, institutional separation but lingering interdependence, infrastructural survival amidst chronic disrepair, heightened need of maintenance but the devaluation of manual repair labor. These contradictions, I argued, are materialized in the qualities of public infrastructures: tracks in disrepair making trains slow and late, the decrepit machines and second-rate supplies forcing technicians to improvise fixes, and the sedimented layers of filth that pollute unkempt rail repair shops, making workers feel abject and anxious about their status.