Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Mascha Gugganig

Mascha Gugganig

mascha_gugganig (at)

Mascha Gugganig is a Principal Investigator for Citizen Engagement Project at EIT Food. She was a visiting research fellow at the Harvard STS Program in 2014-2015. Her doctoral dissertation deals with intersections between education and activism in regards to land use, food production, and biotechnology on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. While at Harvard, Mascha wrote about ways in which students and educators at a Native Hawaiian charter school as well as a wider public on Kauaʻi negotiate meaning of ʻāina (land) in Hawaiʻi, a place that has become a global research center for genetic engineering.

The overall thesis of her dissertation is to show communities’ and individuals’ expertise of their lives in the intersections of environment-based learning and activism, both at a Hawaiian-focused charter school and among activists concerned about ‘GMOs.’ These civic epistemologies (Jasanoff 2007) develop against the backdrop of a continual Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement that addresses unique circumstances of US settler colonialism. Concurrently, it shares concerns over land use and food production with an emergent food sovereignty movement. Mascha’s dissertation also scrutinizes the state’s neoliberal public policy through the standardization of meaning – both at a Native Hawaiian charter school as part of the public school system and among a wider Kauaʻi public concerned about the ʻāina.

Mascha holds a Magister in Philosophy in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Her research is at the intersection of Anthropology, STS studies, Critical Indigenous Studies, and Arts. As former curator at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC, she is interested in researchers’ articulation in arts, and artists’ involvement in research. Most recently, she conceptualized and curated the traveling exhibit ‘Hawaiʻi Beyond the Wave, Hawaiʻi Beyond the Postcard.’


2011. Hidden practices: Demolished Houses and Anthropologists’ Tools. Theme Issue ‘Renovation and Restoration’ Anthropology News 52(7)

Forthcoming: The Ethics of Patenting and Genetically Engineering the Relative Hāloa. Special Issue ‘Nature and Ethics’ Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.