Nicholas D'Avella

b.1978

Nicholas is a writer and a potter living in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis.

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My ceramic work — typically related to plant care or to food preparation, storage, and service — provides material tools for sustaining practices of care that are slow, quotidian, and collaborative. As an anthropologist, I have long been interested in practices of exchange, and for me pottery has become a locus through which to think about the quotidian forms of exchange that bind us together, sometimes but never only in market contexts: pottery sold, pottery given, pottery people desire, pottery as a medium through which food and companionship are shared, pottery as a force within intimate and domestic spheres of care. At a time in which some narratives situate the locus of care within the epistemic armatures of western science, biomedicine, and the pharmaceutical industry, such forms of care offer powerful, if humble, acts of wellbeing that are repetitive, malleable, and enduring.

Contact

N i c h o l a s D ’ A v e l l a


ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2016 -

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow / Visiting Scholar

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

New York University

Centro de Estudios Sociales de la Economía

Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires

2014 - 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

2012 - 2014

Postdoctoral Fellow

Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society

University of California, Berkeley


EDUCATION

2012

Ph.D., Anthropology

University of California, Davis

2006

M.A., Anthropology

University of California, Davis

2001

B.A. magna cum laude, The Growth & Structure of Cities and Psychology

Haverford College


RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS

Ethnography of Markets & Economics, Science & Technology Studies, Urban Anthropology, Anthropology of Knowledge & Collaboration, Architecture & Design, Postcolonialism, Feminist & Queer Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin America (Argentina)


PUBLICATIONS

Book Manuscript

Under contract Concrete Dreams: Practice, Value, and the Built Environment in Post-Crisis Buenos Aires. Duke University Press.

Peer Reviewed Articles

2014 Ecologies of Investment: Crisis Histories and Brick Futures in Argentina. Cultural Anthropology 29(1): 173-199. link

2013 Pesos, Dollars, and Bricks: The Spatiality of Savings in Argentina [Pesos, dólares, y ladrillos: La espacialidad del ahorro en la Argentina]. Boletín de Antropología Vol. 27 No. 44: 127-143. link

Chapters in Edited Volumes

In press How to Save a Park with Birds: Birdwatchers’ Ecologies in Buenos Aires. Porter and Gershon (eds.), With Animals: Humans and Other Beings Forging Coexistence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

2016 Manifestations of the Market: Public Audiences and the Cosmopolitics of Voice in Buenos Aires. In Farías and Blok (eds.), Urban Cosmopolitics: Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres. London: Routledge. link

Other Publications

2016 Another Architecture is Possible: Politics, Value, and Architecture in Argentina. Blog post at Platypus: The Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing Blog. link

2013 Caring for Data: Statistics and the Politics of Economic Knowledge in Argentina [Cuidar los datos: Estadísticas y las políticas del conocimiento económico en la Argentina]. Blog post at Estudios de la economía. link

2012 “Every Argentine is an Economist:” Performativity and Popular Knowledges in the Social Study of the Economy [“Cada argentino es un economista:” La Performatividad y los saberes populares en los estudios sociales de la economía]. Blog post at Estudios de la economía. link


FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

Research Fellowships

2016 - 2017 Wenner-Gren Foundation Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

2011 - 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies

Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2009 - 2010 Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2008 - 2009 Fulbright Institute for International Education Fellowship (Argentina)

2006 - 2007 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship

2004 - 2006 Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship

Institutional Grants

2014 UC Berkeley Social Sciences Matrix Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar, “Data/Science/Inquiry: Computational Methods and the Sciences,” with Cori Hayden and Massimo Mazzotti

2013 University of California Humanities Research Institute Multicampus Research Grant for “The Cloud and the Crowd,” PIs: Cori Hayden, Timothy K. Choy, Anne Walsh


HONORS AND PRIZES

2013 Finalist, Princeton Society of Fellows

2012 Honorable Mention, Harold K. Schneider Prize in Economic Anthropology, Society for Economic Anthropology

2011 Social Sciences Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship for Excellence, UC Davis

2001 Phi Beta Kappa, Haverford College


TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Instructor

2016 Gifts, Money, Debt: The Anthropology of Value; The Cooper Union

2016, 15 Urban Ethnography: Writing the City; The Cooper Union

2015 Maps, Charts, and Drawings: Anthropology and the Visualization of Knowledge; The Cooper Union

2015 The Anthropology of Ritual; The Cooper Union

2014 Anthropology and the Other; The Cooper Union

2012, 10 Anthropology of Latin America: “Contentious Economies: Colonialism, Independence, and Neoliberalism in Latin America;” University of California, Davis

2011 Urban Anthropology: “City of Experts: Modern Urban Planning and Its Others;” University of California, Davis

INVITED LECTURES

2016 Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University

2016 Department of Anthropology, St. Olaf College

2016 Department of Anthropology, Haverford College

2016 School of Architecture, Princeton University

2015 Department of Anthropology, The University of Chicago

2015 The Gallatin School, New York University

2015 Institute for Sustainable Design, The Cooper Union

2015 Program in the Growth and Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College

2014 Department of Anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2014 Department of Anthropology, Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia)


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Conference Organization

2013 The Cloud and the Crowd; Berkeley, CA, December 11-13

Panel Organization

2013 The Cloud and The Crowd (Co-organized with Cori Hayden); Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA, October 9-12

2012 Enumerating Environments: Ethnographies of Brokers, Middlemen, and Analysts (Co-organized with Sarah Besky); American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; San Francisco, CA, November 14-18

2011 Making Plans: Expertise, Futures, Histories (Co-organized with Eli Elinoff); American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Montreal, QC, November 16-20

Paper Presentations

2017 “Architecture is for Everyone:” Peronism, Pedagogy, and the Value of Architecture. Society for the Social Study of Science Annual Meeting; Boston, MA

2016 Barrio Ecologies: Real Estate Speculation, Urban Gardens, and Environmental Sensibilities in Buenos Aires. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Minneapolis, MN

2016 Developing Economics: Inflation and Economic Policy in Argentina. Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting; New York, NY

2015 “Architecture is for Everyone:” Design, Popular Politics, and a Market for Housing in Buenos Aires. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Denver, CO

2015 Discussant. Sacralizing the Unknown: The Anthropological Problem of Knowledge and Complexity. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Denver, CO

2015 Developing Economics: Caring for Prices in Argentina. Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting; San Juan, PR

2015 Discussant. Modernization Takes Command?: Latin American Cities During the Cold War; New York, NY

2014 Developing Economics: Caring For Prices in Argentina. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Washington, DC

2013 Developing Economics: Debt, Inflation, and the Promise of Regional Finance in Latin America. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Chicago, IL

2013 Developing Economics: Debt, Inflation, and Heterodox Economists in Latin America. Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA

2013 Provincializing Economics: Measuring Inflation in Argentina. New Development: Annual Symposium of the University of California, Berkeley Science, Technology, and Society Center; Berkeley, CA

2012 Doing Relations with Numbers: Apartment Appraisal and the Price Graph in Argentine Real Estate Analyses. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; San Francisco, CA (Panel Organizer)

2012 The Cosmopolitics of Fractional Objects: Buildings and the Urban Planning Code in Buenos Aires. Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting; Copenhagen, Denmark

2012 Architectural Design Practices and the Matter of Care. Annual Symposium of the University of California, Berkeley Science, Technology, and Society Center: New Materialisms; Berkeley, CA

2011 Crisis Histories, Brick Futures: Economic Storytelling and the Performance of the Economy in Argentina. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; Montreal, QC (Panel Organizer)

2011 Thinking in Square Meters: Quantification, Commensuration, and History in Argentine Real Estate Analyses. Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting; Cleveland, OH

2010 The Plan & The Code: The Media of Urban Planning in Buenos Aires. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting; New Orleans

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

2018 The New Rich of Tech: Silicon Valley, Inequality, and the real estate market [Los nuevos ricos techie: Silicon Valley, desigualdad, y mercado inmobiliario]. Extensive interview for the article by Esteban Magnani for Página/12.

2014 Nicholas D’Avella on Ecologies of Investment in Argentina. Podcast interview. AnthroPod: The SCA Podcast. link

2014 To Save or To Consume? The New Quandary of the Middle Class [Ahorrar o consumir? La nueva disyuntiva de la clase media]. Newspaper interview with Lorena Oliva for La Nación.


LANGUAGES

English: Native

Spanish: Fluent written, spoken, comprehension