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van der Jagt Astara

photo of Astara van der Jagt

Astara van der Jagt

PhD Students
Department of Anthropology


Astara van der Jagt aims to lift the ceiling placed on women, children and other vulnerable groups. Her PhD research explores interventions to the intergenerational transmission of trauma and violence in Nepal. Through collaborations with local NGOs, shelters, news organizations, and municipal offices, she traces the ways through which survivors of domestic violence remain stigmatized in society. She seeks interventions that will simultaneously 1) strengthen the relationships between survivors subjected to recurring violence and 2) prevent trauma from being perpetuated by survivors. In documenting the lived-experiences of survivors, she shifts the narrative from pity and stigma toward one that is their own to create and explore.

She has a Bachelor of Journalism (2019) from Carleton University, an M.A. in Globalization (2020) from McMaster University, a Certificate in Child Rights (2020) from HarvardX University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at McMaster University and a Professional Certificate in Blockchain Development from the University of California, Berkeley. Having researched the uses of social media at the United States International University Africa (Nairobi, Kenya); reported on Indigenous ways of healing from intergenerational trauma with residential school survivors in the Yukon Territories (Canada); developed and executed impact assessments and content/fundraising strategies for a micro-finance development bank (Kathmandu, Nepal); and taught English classes to Roman families (Rome, Italy), her professional career spanning five years on four continents is only just the beginning of what she knows will be an extremely challenging, yet rewarding and meaningful, journey. 

Areas of interest: Intergenerational Trauma, Child Rights, Anthropologies of Violence, Activist Anthropology, Feminism, Indigenous Resurgence/Place-Making, Climate/Social Justice, Alternative Knowledge Production/Dissemination, Socio-Cultural Anthropology