Leigh Llewellyn Graham is the principal investigator for Running Dialogue, an exploratory digital wellness program and Internet-based ethnographic research project connecting young women in New York and Abu Dhabi as virtual exercise partners in an online training program for a 5k run. The project operates on an interactive platform that hosts a cutting-edge ecosystem of connectivities (e.g., virtual reality software, videologue, wearable, and shareable technologies, GPS, musical modalities, and digital co-storytelling devices). The aim is to enable telepresence and encourage intimate relationships between participants to collect primary data on their individual and relational experiences and shed light on matters related to 1) exercise and brain health, and 2) physical fitness, emotional wellbeing, and academic success. A pilot study is planned for 2019, bringing together researchers from anthropology, computer science, education, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology.
Dr. Graham is also working with UAE-based and international partners (including schools and conservation programs) to conduct ethnographic fieldwork and compile a comprehensive database of educational practices and curricula related to the promotion and preservation of falconry as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity and a beloved national sport of the UAE.