Donna Young began her journey in anthropology as a cook for transient railroaders on the CPR, which led to her MA thesis, “The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Railway.” (UNB) She has maintained an interest in the anthropology of work and the politics of gender and class. Her doctoral work focused on the cultural constructions of memory as articulated by impoverished women in Atlantic Canada (UT). She has also co-edited a book on academic practices, in which anthropologists were asked to turn their ethnographic gaze upon the institutions that had shaped them as scholars. Currently she is working in East and West Jerusalem where she is examining the ethical and religious practices of The Sisters of Sion and the Roman Catholic pilgrims who are their guests while in the Holy Land.
At U of T Scarborough he has begun a Canada Research Chair in the Anthropology of Ethical Life. He conducts ethnographic research in Switzerland as well as long-term fieldwork in the Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte and Madagascar. He has carried out research and written on spirit possession, Islam, the anthropology of knowledge, therapeutic practice, memory, and historicity, among other topics. He is currently interested in the intersection of anthropology with philosophy and especially in articulating the moral basis of action. In 2003-2005 Professor Lambek served as President of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. His presidential address, also delivered as inaugural lecture at the LSE, was on "Sacrifice and the Problem of Beginning." He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000.
For more than a decade, Maggie Cummings has done fieldwork on gender, modernity, and social change among youth in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and with ni-Vanuatu agricultural migrant workers who have returned from New Zealand and Australia. Her research interests also include the ethnography of social media and the anthropology of education, in Vanuatu and beyond. She is a dedicated and skilled teacher, and won the UTSC Teaching Award in 2019.
Girish Daswani conducted multi-sited research with members of a Ghanaian Pentecostal church in southern Ghana and London (U.K.). In his work he looks at how Pentecostalism – its religious intermediaries, ideologies, and rituals – subjectively frames and facilitates church members ideas of religious transformation and overseas travel. His book manuscript focuses on the ethical practice of negotiating Pentecostal transformation in the lives of church members in both Ghana and London. He has also started two new research projects. The first is on a traditional shrine in Kumasi, Ghana, its relationship to Pentecostalism, and its transnational networks in Europe and North America. The second aims to delve deeper into the lives of male street traders in Kumasi and their struggles and aspirations for love, economic success, and overseas migration.