Anthropology PhD Student receives Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship

Hajar Ghorbani has received an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship for her continued exceptional performance in the Anthropology doctoral program

M. Whitecotton-Carroll - 24 October 2023

The Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarships are the most prestigious graduate awards administered by the University of Alberta. They are awarded to outstanding doctoral students who, at the time of application, have completed at least one year of graduate study. Killam Scholarships are awarded for two years and include a stipend of $45,000 per year. Each award is renewable for a second year upon continued exceptional performance in a doctoral program at the University of Alberta.

Hajar Ghorbani is a sociocultural anthropology PhD student at the University of Alberta specializing in death studies. Her research centers on the intersections of death and modernity, as well as death and politics in Iran and the Middle East. She has been studying death and dying since 2011 and has conducted extensive fieldwork in Iran for six years. Hajar’s contributions to the field include published research in several journal articles and book chapters. She has also played a pivotal role in developing death studies in her country, serving as the editor of The Social Studies of Death in Iran (2020). In recognition of her expertise, Hajar Ghorbani was invited as a keynote speaker at the Center for Death and Society (CDAS) at the University of Bath, UK, in 2022. Currently, in her doctoral research project titled “Dead Bodies’ Agency and Western Politics”, she is advancing the conventional perspectives in social sciences that assume the living govern the dead. Her work explores the agency of dead bodies that affect the experience and actions of mourners and evoke memories of the past rather than serve their socio-political ends.