Abby Gondek

Abby Gondek

Abby Gondeck is a PhD candidate majoring in Anthropology/Sociology. This is her fourth year of the program; she earned her M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies as part of the combined program with GSS in May 2015. She defended her dissertation proposal in April 2016. Her project, "Jewish women's transracial,transdisciplinary and transnational social science networks, 1920-1970" uses social network analysis and grounded theory methodology to consider how the anti-racist and pro-political/economic justice stance taken by Jewish female social scientists was a way to fight anti-Semitism by "remote control," to try to understand their otherness through "the most other." She received a series of Ruth Landes Memorial Fund grants through The Reed Foundation in order to complete archival data collection in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Reading, England and Johannesburg, South Africa with the papers of Jewish social scientists: Vera D. Rubin, Hilda Kuper, Ruth Landes, Viola Klein, and Ellen Hellmann. Previously, Abby received a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship through the Latin American Caribbean Center at FIU, which supported her fieldwork in Brazil regarding the contemporary impact of the 1938-1939 research of Jewish American anthropologist Ruth Landes who argued that Candomble, an Afro-Brazilian, Yoruba-based, spirit-possession religion, was matriarchal. Abby wrote her M.A.exit paper on this topic: "Placing Ruth Landes within Afro-Brazilian Studies: The Debates about 'Black Matriarchy' 1930-1950 and Contemporary Critiques," arguing that Ruth Landes' specific Jewish background influenced her arguments and position within these debates as well as her treatment by men(some Jewish)within the disciplines of anthropology and sociology.