June 10, 2019 at 8:16 am

Musaraj Receives Baker Award for Book on Ponzi Schemes in Albania

Dr. Smoki Musaraj smiling with arms crossed and brick building behind her

Dr. Smoki Musaraj

From Compass

Tales from Albarado: Pyramid Firms and Ponzi Logics of Accumulation in Postsocialist Albania

Dr. Smoki Musaraj, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, was awarded $11,271 from the Baker Fund to complete her book, “Tales from Albarado: Ponzi Logics of Accumulation in Postsocialist Albania.”

The book is a historical analysis of the pyramid schemes prevalent in Albania during the 1990s, when 1.5 million individuals invested money in these firms. When the pyramid schemes collapsed in 1997, Albania fell into anarchy and was on the verge of civil war.

In her book, Musaraj takes readers back to that period and explores how people from various socio-economic backgrounds and various demographics came to invest in such high-risk financial entities, putting their personal economies in jeopardy to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

The funding will allow Musaraj to revisit archives for research and to obtain high-resolution copies of images needed for publication, which requires traveling to New York and to Tirana, Albania. The book is under contract with the Cornell University Press.

Musaraj was one of five Ohio University faculty members awarded a total of $57,968 from the John C. Baker Fund during the 2019 spring semester for research and scholarly work that embodies the commitment to excellence embraced by both the fund’s namesake and the alumni who created it.

Each fall and spring, the John C. Baker Fund provides competitive awards of up to $12,000 to support faculty and staff research, scholarship and creative activity, with preference given to projects that are near completion and can be brought to completion with the funding.

Read more in Compass.

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