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Expeditions is founded upon a vast network of enthusiasts that make our programs work each year. Information on the faculty joining us for the 2019 edition can be found through the links below. In completely random order.




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Gida Homam
Al Hussein Technical University, Jordan

With inter-disciplinary/non-disciplinary ambitions that sometimes get her lost but very enthusiastic, some of her main interests are the relationship between migration and exile, and whatever that may bring in the way of sensory nostalgia, memory and a search for home; the arts in anthropology; and food, in all its facets. She was a part of the field school in 2017 where her research focused on the olfactory memory of Gozitans and whether that could be traced geographically. Having lived in Santiago, Chile for longer than she thought she would be, she is currently living in Jordan, which has been summoning her back for quite some time. Gida is now teaching at Al Hussein Technical University in Amman, and dips her fingers, and toes, into other things that may come her way.

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Jacob Heinricher
University of Illinois, USA

Jacob participated in the field school for the first time as a student in the summer of 2018, on Gozo. His fieldwork then focussed on the formation and growth of sports clubs around the island and how their membership, resources, and growth strategies can give us some insight into the effects of globalization and neoliberal policies on people and communities, especially in the rural, “peripheral”, communities of Gozo. Jacob graduated from the University of Illinois (Urbana -Champaign) with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and minor studies in Political science and International Relations in 2019. He looks forward to returning to Gozo as a staff member this summer, meeting and learning from students and staff, and continuing to pursue his research.

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Hannah Howard
Boston University, USA

Hannah is a graduate of the Sociology and Anthropology program at Washington and Lee University, USA in Virginia and the Southeast European Studies MA program at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. Currently she is working on her PhD in Anthropology at Boston University. Hannah's work primarily centers on various projects of religious identity, group and boundary maintenance, and narratives of belonging. Hannah first came to Gozo as a student in 2015 and has returned as staff each year since. On the island, she specifically studies storytelling motifs and food production as a consumable symbol of collective identity. You can often find her making fried green tomatoes and zucchini fritters or doing yoga on the roof.

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Ray Lacko
Washington State University, USA

During his time in the OtBT program in 2019, he conducted fieldwork examining how tourism impacts various views and perceptions surrounding Maltese Food in public dining spaces. He is an anthropology student at Washington State University and also works as a site director for a youth non-profit in Washington State. Ray's main interest lies in the food system, foodways, and political economy studies. He is preparing a long term ethnographic fieldwork project surrounding Bangkok's street food vendors in conjunction with recent laws and regulations restricting the vendor's location and numbers.

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Zhou Zhou
University of Chicago, USA

Zhou first joined Expeditions on Gozo as a student in 2016 and returned as a staff member in 2018. On Gozo, her research focused on West African migrants and how they navigate various statuses of legality or illegality in their everyday life. Zhou's research interest lies in political irony, social memory, and (post)socialism, and she has done fieldwork in underground Protestant congregations in China and a socialist organization in the US. She recently graduated from the MA program in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Before turning to anthropology, she had her bachelor's degree in architecture conservation at Tongji University.

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Rachael Heller
Humboldt State University, USA

As a former student in the field school in the summer of 2018, she explored the cost and value of tourist activities on Gozo. Rachael has an interest in playing videogames for science. For her thesis during her sociocultural anthropology studies at Humboldt State University, she performed a digital ethnography that studied the interpersonal contexts of play in the videogame World of Warcraft. She hopes to enroll at the University of Kent in their Social Anthropology and Conflict program to study divisions and forced displacement among the Roma in Transylvania this fall. Future plans aside, rest assured that you will easily be able to locate Rachael at the nearest ice cream shop. She really loves ice cream.

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Sofia Grady
American University, USA

Before moving to DC, Sofia spent time backpacking through Eastern Europe, going to school in Southern California, and working in Iowa. Although her degree in Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at the American University in Washington DC is interdisciplinary, she focuses her studies on the cultural aspects of human interaction. In 2019 Sofia participated in the summer school, studying heartbreak among the male population on the island of Gozo and the migratory experiences of heartbreak as a whole. She is currently working on her senior thesis that synthesizes this research along with a memoir aspect of the piece, in hopes of creating a larger commentary on the culture of heartbreak. After spending a year traveling, Sofia will return to school to pursue a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis on nonfiction writing.

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Ethan Glaze
University of Oregon, USA

As a former participant in the OtBT program, Ethan began his research on Gozo's fitness industry by studying a 30-year-old gym in the heart of Victoria. In this ongoing project, he is focussing on cultural perceptions of gender, and their influence on gender roles in the gym and general fitness industry. As an anthropology graduate from the University of Oregon, he aims to continue this study upon returning to Gozo.

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Rebecca Scott
University of Bristol, UK

Rebecca is a graduate of the University of Bristol and a former participant of the OtBT program in 2018. She focussed her research on representations of Gozitan identity in the Il-Hagar museum in Victoria. Rebecca is particularly interested in the anthropology of cultural heritage and pursuing a career in this sector. In her free time, she volunteers as a museum guide and social media content writer at the museums in her hometown in Scotland.

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Mirjam Bussels
Expeditions, Research in Applied Anthropology, Belgium

Mirjam is the permanent basecamp resident on Gozo, from where she manages all logistics concerning Expeditions’ research and field schools on the islands. Since 2012 she was bitten by the summer school virus and kept returning ever since. Her love for the island increased on every return, and in 2016 she decided to follow her heart and reside in Gozo. As a University of Leuven (Belgium) Social Work and Social Policy graduate, she has a variety of interests, ranging from social work to religion and identity, and mealtime ethics. For some years, she specialized in the anthropology of aging, based on her previous job in Belgium for the Center for Gastrology, and her volunteering in the Saint Dominic Elderly Home in Victoria. 

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Fei Xi
Wake Forest University, USA

Fei’s research interests include migration, gender, and mixed-methods, and looking at the influence of culture on the individual. She is currently doing her degree in psychology at Wake Forest University. She also studied at Beijing Normal University, where she worked on gender differences in accepting rape myths in China. Currently, she is doing a project on how gender perception influences the adaptation of Chinese international students in the US. She attended the field school as a participant in 2019, collecting stories of why people leave Malta and then return. You are welcome to join her doing Tai Chi in the morning!

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Carianne Ralph
University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK

Carrianne is continuing her studies in environmental anthropology. As a previous participant of the OtBT program, she has researched water-human-plastic relationships due to her ongoing interest in understanding the changing relationships between humans and the environment. In her spare time, Carrianne enjoys belly dance and exploring the local history and mountains of her home, The Brecon Beacons.

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Adrian Gonzalez
University de Magallanes, Chile

Adrian's interests are traditional food, symbols, and heritage interpretation. He studied at the University of Viña del Mar and the University of Magallanes. His attendance in the Off The Beaten Track summer school as a participant in 2017 inspired him to proceed refining his ethnographic methods, especially after working on his research project with a local wine and cheese producer in Gozo. He spends his spare time listening to metal and rock, as well as playing in Fuerzas Ocultas, a raw death/doom metal act based on Punta Arenas (Fuego Patagonia).

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Xin Pan
Sun Yat-sen University, China
University of Leuven, Belgium

Xin has a fond interest in queer migrants and local/transnational queer activism. She studied at Sun Yat-sen University and did fieldwork in a Sino-Burmese village in Yunnan Province of Southwest China, focusing on local ethnic minority, ethnic tourism, and cross-border marriages. After graduation, she focused more on the social and ethical aspects of research on curing HIV. She also engages in LGBTQ+ activism in China. Xin first joined Expeditions in the Graphic Anthropology Field School in 2017. Afterward, she took part in the OtBT summer school to then finally join as a staff member in 2018. On Gozo, her research was on a local LGBT NGO, and she has a great interest in graphic anthropology. Presently Xin is pursuing a Ph.D. in Geographies of Sexualities at KU Leuven, Belgium.

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Marjan Moris
University of Leuven, Belgium

Our Belgian-born research and field work mentor who gets lost between human geography and anthropology now and then. Her research interests include migration and mobilities, the anthropology of food and manifestations of difference and inequality in the organisation of space. She has carried out research on the savoury ‘pastizzi’ as cultural brokers on Gozo, and remains fascinated by stories of change on the island. Marjan stays up late for discussions about methodology, creative ways to share research findings and most other topics (given that they come with a late-night snack).

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Maria Tabacaru
University of Bristol, UK

While she was a student in the OtBT summer school on Gozo, in 2019, Maria looked into people's relationship with chocolate and sweets and how people interacted with it. Next to finishing her Master's degree in Anthropology at University of Bristol, she is looking into embodied knowledge of movement and mobility studies, and she wants to understand how people engage with different environments. During her free time, Maria enjoys taking portrait photography, drawing or painting random landscapes, or going for a swim.

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Sam Janssen
Expeditions, Research in Applied Anthropology, Belgium

The general research manager of Expeditions and program director of the summer school. As a researcher his main focusses are the anthropology of food, whilst also having a great interest in topics related to architecture and urban planning. He obtained a variety of masters degrees at the University of Ghent (philosophy, ethics, academic education and urban planning) and has worked as a researcher for Expeditions since 2003.