Sam Dubal

Sam Dubal Memoriam Photo
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The Sam Dubal Fellowship in Critical Cultural and Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley

The Sam Dubal Fellowship in Critical Cultural and Medical Anthropology honors the legacy of Sam Dubal, M.D., Ph.D. ’15, as an anthropologist, activist, medical doctor, professor, and ardent contributor to many vibrant intellectual communities. Dubal’s family generously established a fellowship following his tragic disappearance during a hike on Mt. Rainier in October 2020. The Dubal family’s gift, combined with support from friends, family, and community members, and matched with funds from an anonymous donor, will create a $1M endowment to provide full support for doctoral students in the Anthropology Department in the Social Science Division of UC Berkeley’s College of Letters & Science. To contribute to this endowment, visit this giving link:

Sam Dubal Endowed Fellowship in Medical Anthropology at the University of Washington

The University of Washington has created the Sam Dubal Endowed Fellowship to honor Sam’s legacy; it was generously endowed by the Dubal family and over 400 donors mourning Sam’s loss after he disappeared while on a hike on Mt. Rainier in October 2020. More details are available at the University of Washington Anthropology Department announcement. People who want to honor the memory of Sam Dubal or further his mission are welcome to follow the University of Washington giving link:

The purpose of this fund is to provide support for medical anthropology graduate students in the UW's Department of Anthropology who are pursuing work related to racial justice in medicine, health, or social movements. It is the Donors' hope that this fund will inspire recipients to become activist scholars, directly addressing racism and other forms of inequities fueling health disparities.

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Fellowship Year(s): 2014
Project/Theme TitleAgainst Humanity: Life, Violence, and Rebellion in an African Postcolony
Abstracts: In both ‘local’ and ‘global’ imaginaries, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is the proverbial ‘heart of darkness’, a violent specter against which certain notions of humanity are constructed. Operating in the wild ‘bush’, carrying out ‘brutal’ killings, abducting and forcefully conscripting children -- all without ‘reason’ -- the LRA appear to international activists and local civilians alike as inhuman monsters. But if these notions contradict actually existing rebel cosmologies and experiences (which, I show, they do), how does one begin to see or reconstruct humanity in the shadows of their ‘inhuman’ lives, experiences, and ideas? This dissertation, based on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork in northern Uganda, examines the meaning and richness of the violent lives of ex-rebels that disrupt normative discourses about the concept of ‘humanity’, asking us to deeply question what it means to be human today and challenging existing constructions of the human in both their form and content.

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