New Africa House
Honors and Awards

Afro-American Studies Doctoral Candidate Karl Lyn Awarded Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Karl Lyn
Karl Lyn

Karl Lyn, a doctoral candidate in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2024 Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant for his project, “Citizenship in the City: Black Political Culture, Community, and Possibility in South Central Los Angeles.”

The Wenner-Gren Foundation funds doctoral research that advances anthropological knowledge, with the goal of supporting vibrant and significant work that furthers the understanding of what it means to be human. The grant will support Lyn’s ethnographic research in his home city of Los Angeles, where he will explore how Black residents formulate their political identities amid growing inequality and in a democracy that has not always proven accessible or effective for Black communities. His project expands beyond descriptions of what is lacking in urban neighborhoods to capture the ways residents have long created spaces and sources of sustenance that are embedded in their daily political practices.

“I see getting the Wenner-Gren as an opportunity to push the boundaries of academic disciplinarity to engage with and create whatever knowledge is useful to build alternative conditions for a new world,” Lyn says.

Reviewers of Lyn’s project assessed the quality of research, its potential contributions to anthropological knowledge and its capacity to provoke transformative dialogue in the field. 

In addition to the Wenner-Gren Foundation grant, Lyn’s research has garnered support from the Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, American Psychological Association and the National Council for Black Studies.