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2010 Sander Thoenes Award Recipients Announced

Research Grants Honor the Memory of Journalist Sander Thoenes 87F

Gabe Agree and Matan Cohen are the 2010 recipients of Sander Thoenes Division III Research Awards at Hampshire College. These annual awards honoring the memory of Hampshire alumnus Sander Thoenes 87F go to students working in international relations, peace studies, or journalism. Preference is given to projects conforming to the spirit of Thoenes’ remarkable, if tragically brief, career as a foreign correspondent.

At the time of his death in 1999, killed by Indonesian militia while in East Timor reporting on its attempts to become independent, Thoenes was Jakarta correspondent for the Financial Times of London. His reporting also appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report and other North American and European media. Thoenes’ death drew international attention, and then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan released a statement saying, in part: “It is largely thanks to the courage and determination of men and women like Sander that crimes against humanity are brought to the attention of the world’s conscience.”

The Thoenes Awards support fieldwork and other research costs involved in completion of recipients’ Division III projects, the senior thesis required of all students for graduation from Hampshire College.

Gabe Agree 07F


Agree’s academic work centers on international relations, globalization, and human rights, with a particular interest in the state and development in Africa. His Thoenes grant will support field research in Senegal for a Division III thesis analyzing accountability of nongovernmental organizations. He will conduct both ethnographic research within rural communities in which NGOs work and interviews with NGO administrators based in urban Dakar.

Agree will work with anthropology and Asian studies professor Susan Darlington and African politics professor Susan Thomson.

Matan Cohen 07F


Cohen’s Division III research combines economic analysis and psychoanalysis of war as they intersect within the context of Israel and Palestine. He is exploring conflicting tendencies of openness and closure: global capitalism’s need for ever-expanding markets and transcendence of the nation-state as contrasted with psychological projection by the body-politic, based in the theory of repetition of trauma. His research will include reading original materials in both Hebrew and Arabic at universities in the region, meeting with psychoanalysts specializing in repetition of trauma, and working in an ongoing collective that attempts to model desegregated spaces within the region.

Cohen is from Israel, a peace activist, and the current student trustee on the Hampshire College Board of Trustees. He will work with politics professor Sayres Rudy.

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