Graduate Students

Portrait (head shot photo)
Hudson McFann
Advisor: D. Asher Ghertner
Degree: Ph.D.
Office: Lucy Stone Hall, Room B-119B
Research Interests: historical geography, urban geography, the politics of humanitarianism, genocide studies, archives and memory, oral history, everyday life, aesthetics, discard studies, Cambodia



My dissertation project explores the history and legacies of Khao I Dang (1979–93) refugee camp, established by UNHCR in Thailand in the wake of the Cambodian genocide. I am interested broadly in the politics of humanitarian development and, more specifically, in areas such as refugee camp planning and design, emergency shelter, and family tracing and reunification. My dissertation draws from library and archival research in the U.S., Cambodia, Thailand, Switzerland, France, and England, as well as oral history interviews with former UN and government officials, relief workers, and refugees.

Furthermore, as an extension of my written dissertation, I am coordinating a project called "Rebuilding Khao I Dang," which involves the development of an oral history collection, to be donated to a selection of libraries and archives, and a website featuring digital stories—combining interview excerpts, photographs, and archival material—about Khao I Dang. In its initial phase, the oral history collection will comprise an estimated 30–40 interview transcripts, pending the review and approval of narrators.

Previous Degrees:

  • M.A., Political Ecology and Ethnographic Film, New York University
  • B.A., Geography, Ohio State University


  • Ghertner, D.A., H. McFann, and D.M. Goldstein, editors. Forthcoming. Futureproof: Security Aesthetics and the Management of Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • McFann, H., and A.L. Hinton. 2018. "Impassable Visions: The Cambodia to Come, the Detritus in its Wake." In A Companion to the Anthropology of Death, edited by A.C.G.M. Robben, 223–235. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. View online
  • McFann, H. 2014. "Humans-as-Waste." In Discard Studies Compendium, edited by M. Liboiron, M. Acuto, and R. Nagle. Discard Studies blog. View online
  • Huy S., H. McFann, and K. Path. 2014. "Memories of Forced Transfer." In The Forced Transfer: The Second Evacuation of People During the Khmer Rouge Regime, Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), 28–29. Phnom Penh: DC-Cam. View online

In Preparation:

  • "The Aesthetics of Exposure: Atmospheric Vulnerability and Protection." Journal article in preparation with D. Asher Ghertner.
  • "A Critique of Residual Harm." Journal article in preparation.


  • AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group Student Research Fellowship (2018)
  • Senior Fellowship, Center for Khmer Studies (2017–2018)
  • Presidential Fellowship, Rutgers University (2013–2014, 2016–2018)
  • Graduate Fellowship in Arts & Aesthetics, Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University (2016–2017)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2011–2016)
  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education (2015) – Declined
  • Junior Fellowship, Center for Khmer Studies (2014)
  • M.A. Degree Representative, Class of 2013, NYU Gallatin
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellowship, IIE / U.S. Department of State (2010–2011)
  • Best Poster, 15th ENRGHI Conference, Geography Institute of Paris (2010)
  • Provost's Distinguished Senior Award, Ohio State University (2010)
  • Huntington Award for Outstanding Undergraduates, Department of Geography, Ohio State University (2010)
  • Beinecke Scholarship (2009)


  • Organizational Team, Rutgers Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) 2019 Biennial Meeting (2018–present)
  • Discard Studies Research Collaborative, The Humanities Initiative at NYU (2017–present)
  • Steering Committee, International Working Group on Cambodia and Southeast Asia, Rutgers Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (2013–2014)
  • Cultures of War and Post-War Research Collaborative, The Humanities Initiative at NYU (2013–2014)
  • Advisor, Khmer Youth Association – Phnom Penh (2012–2014)
  • Community Council, Season of Cambodia: A Living Arts Festival – New York (2013)
  • Co-Policy Coordinator, SustainUS – UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro (2012)
  • Invited Participant, Stockholm+40: Partnership Forum for Sustainable Development (2012)