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News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

Far Away Places presents Sarah D. Phillips


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This week’s speaker in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series is an award winning Anthropologist from Indiana University.  Sarah will talk on Stories From Rights Movements In Ukraine this Thursday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 1680 Campbell Lane.  A book signing will follow.

ukraine_phillipsGrowing up in Western North Carolina, where her family has lived since the mid-1700s, Sarah dreamed of being a doctor or a veterinarian.  She was most influenced by her parents and female mentors including her aunt, her grandmother and her high school English teacher.  She attended Wake Forrest University and studied anthropology after trying out majors in pre-med and political science.  She found that cultural, biological and medical anthropology allowed her to synthesize her interests in culture and health.  After a semester study abroad in Moscow, where she studied Russian intensively and “tried as much as possible to go native” she returned to the US and enrolled in the PhD program in anthropology at the University of Illinois graduating in 2002.

She first became interested in the Ukraine after attending a summer language program in Kiev in 1995.  Ever since she’s been travelling and researching in the Ukraine.  In 1998 she founded the June Phillips Memorial Mission to Ukraine whose purpose is to assist persons and families in the Ukraine facing health crises.

phillipsbookHer early research includes articles on the health impact of the Chernobyl disaster.  More recently she’s focused on the role of women as social activists in the today’s Ukraine and on the rights of the disabled.  Her first book Women’s Social Activism in the New Ukraine: Development and the Politics of Differentiation was published in 2008 by Indiana University Press and was a co-winner of the 2008-2009 AAUS Prize for the Best Book in Ukrainian Studies.

Her newest book Disability and Mobile Citizenship in Postsocialist Ukraine will be published next month by Indiana University Press.