Kip Hutchins

PhD student, Anthropology

Faculty advisor: Jerome Camal

Kip is a PhD student studying cultural anthropology. His dissertation research draws on 20 months of participant-observation and semi-structured and unstructured interviews with musicians, music teachers, composers, heritage administrators, and herders in Ulaanbaatar and Dundgovi, Mongolia. He writes about the practices, transmission, and institutions surrounding urtyn duu (long-song) and a musical instrument called the morin khuur (horsehead fiddle). These intertwined aspects of Mongolian music are two of the first elements to be included on Mongolia’s UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

His dissertation contributes to a body of literature that frames heritage as a way of constructing the past for consumption in the present, asking what we can learn if we take musicians’ use of heritage as a form of future-making rather than past-making. It also contributes to a shift toward the posthuman in anthropology, where scholars engage with the subjectivities and agencies of non-humans, such as animals and mountains, or even post-humans like ghosts and extraterrestrials.

Kip received a two-year University Fellowship from the Graduate School. He also received a Mellon Foundation Area and International Studies Fellowship at UW–Madison, which he said has contributed to his successful application to the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship. He has also received a Mellon-Wisconsin Dissertation Completion Fellowship and anticipates earning his doctorate in spring 2020.