Setton, Emily Gayong, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on "Land, Law & Indigenous Media: Building Political Futures in Highland Burma," supervised by Dr. Annelise Riles
Preliminary abstract: Kachin activists in highland Burma find themselves at a conjuncture of two historic processes: top-down land reform aimed at encouraging foreign investment, and the possible cessation of decades of conflict between ethnic armed groups and the Burma army. My dissertation looks at the ways in which Kachin activists, and the armed group leaders they work with, anticipate and bring into being a political future after peace, through a vision of federalism simultaneously rooted in the past and grounded in the tenuous realities of the present.
Franklin, Kathryn Jane, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Poltiical Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Authority in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500- 1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam Thomas Smith
KATHRYN J. FRANKLIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Political Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Economy in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500-1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. This project investigated the intersection of local political life along the mountain highways of Armenia with regional trade during the late medieval period (AD 900-1400). The project aims to discover how people living in the Armenian highlands at this time imagined themselves in relation to both local history and wider cultural and political phenomena, and how they put such imagined relationships into action through architectural projects that engaged with the material objects carried through the landscape by donkey caravans. To achieve these aims, the project investigated a caravanatun ('caravan house') built by a local merchant-prince in the early 13th century at the site of Arai-Bazarjugh. The excavations revealed the caravanatun to be a rectangular hall divided into vaulted galleries by rows of arches. This large and secure space provided accommodation for human travelers as well as their beasts, which were kept in specially built stable-galleries at the sides of the building. A second phase of the project focused on categorizing the material artifacts found within this building, which includes metal objects, animal bones, and pottery. The ceramic assemblage from the Arai-Bazarjugh caravanatun floors includes cookwares and small bowls, as well as glazed dishes that may have been trade goods on their way to the next town.
Tambar, Kabir, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford
KABIR TAMBAR, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford. Research examined the role of ritual in shaping the socio-political world of Alevis in Turkey. Over the past fifteen years, the Alevi community has witnessed what some commentators refer to as an 'awakening.' However, this communal awakening has not been consolidated through a single voice. Debate within the community has focused both on defining the fundamentals of Alevi religious structure and on defining the political location of the Alevi community in both state and society. By examining Alevi ritual life, this research project explores the community's diverse forms of institutionalization and its imbrication in the wider politics of secularism in Turkey. Research was conducted with Alevi communities primarily in two sites: Ankara and Çorum, Turkey. Both cities are located in central Anatolia, the former being the country's capital and the latter being a relatively small provincial town. This project focused on three Alevi institutions: 1) the Haci Bektas Anadolu Kültür Vakfi (HBAKV) in Ankara; 2) the HBAKV's branch organization in Çorum; and 3) the Ehli Beyt Vakfi in Çorum.
Valles, Dario, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Provedoras Unidas: Latina Migrant Family Child Care Providers Negotiating Poverty, Power & Organized Labor in Neoliberal Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Micaela di Leonardo
Preliminary abstract: The growth of a feminized global service sector, intersecting with the move from welfare to 'workfare' in the U.S., has engendered a 'child care crisis' where demand for care has skyrocketed while costs have outpaced rents in most states. In response, family child care (FCC) has become one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., with an estimated 2.3 million workers and many more working informally, providing alternatives to institutionalized daycare hours, cost and access. Like the low-income women they serve, U.S. FCC providers are predominantly Latina and black women; in Los Angeles, they are primarily recent migrants from Mexico and Central America. I propose to study Latina migrant family child care providers in Los Angeles and the ways in which they negotiate the contradictions among market demands for 'flexible' and cheap care, increased regulatory surveillance by government and racialized and gendered ideas of 'good motherhood' and 'proper families'. Joining a growing trend across the U.S., family child care workers in California have attempted to gain legal recognition as a union, yet face opposition from left- and right- leaning legislators alike. I will examine family child care union organizing alongside providers' daily experiences to understand the historical political-economic factors and racialized and gendered structures shaping Latina migrant women's participation in family child care. At the same time, I hope to uncover how Latina family child care providers ï¿½' in their everyday practices and collective action ï¿½' create new spaces of 'conviviality,' where migrant groups and marginalized workers craft new forms of political and social life in urban landscapes reconfigured by transnational flows and neoliberal globalization
Nalbantian, Tsolin, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Native to National?: Collective Identity Production in Beirut's Armenian Neighborhoods 1991-2005,' supervised by Dr. Rashid Khalidi
TSOLIN NALBANTIAN, then a student at Columbia University, was awarded funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Native To National? Collective Identity Production In Beirut's Armenian Neighborhoods,' supervised by Dr. Rashid Khalidi. This research was a historical-anthropological, multi-sited ethnography of the Armenian community of greater Beirut, Lebanon. This research examined manifestations of collective identity and competing representations of the homeland and nation through the medium of media and a variety of cultural records, such as religious and educational documents from a variety social, cultural, and religious organizations. Research was conducted among various Armenian community media outlets located in Armenian-populated neighborhoods of Beirut and in Armenian social, religious, and cultural organizations that often (but not exclusively) sponsored these media outlets. This research was complemented by a series of Arabic, French, and English media sources in Lebanon. The findings also draw on participant observation at community and party-run media organizations, and interviews with media producers and local community officials. The project reveals the different senses of national identity that are communicated within spaces of production and consumption due to varying imaginations (even though membership rosters invariably overlap). The idiosyncrasies of this case -- including the consistent (yet variable) locus of the nation, the presence of state and affiliated institutions (without a corresponding state), and their maintenance within the state of Lebanon -- allowed for the examination of community media and the extent to which it is a form of governmentality from below. In addition, the project explores citizen-subjectivity within the intersection of social movement building, activist use of media, the nation, state institutions, and the state.
Bocast, Brooke, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on ''If Books Fail, Try Beauty': Gender, Consumption, and Higher Education in Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Judith Goode
BROOKE BOCAST, then a student at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on ''If Books Fail, Try Beauty': Gender, Consumption, and Higher Education in Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Judith Goode. Ugandan university students grapple with a paradox common to post-structural adjustment economies in the global south: increased exposure to international media and commodities coupled with the insecurity wrought by the withdrawal of state subsidies and services. Female students occupy the novel life stage of 'young, unmarried, educated woman,' and are thereby structurally positioned to be a particularly revelatory group for examining how the aforementioned phenomena impact issues of social change and reproduction. This research examined how female university students at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, negotiate national economic restructuring through novel consumption and exchange strategies, such as university-based forms of transactional sex. In order to assess how, why, and to what effect female students engage in transactional sex, the grantee conducted twelve months of ethnographic research on female university students' forms of consumption, romantic relationships, and academic careers, as well as on popular discourse and NGO activity targeting female students. By taking recent theoretical reformulations of 'sexual economy' as its starting point, this research revealed key dynamics of economic restructuring and transforming gender, class, and generational norms in East Africa.
Craig, Sienna R., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Identity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg
SIENNA R. CRAIG, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Ideentity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg. This project has aimed to trace and theorize the processes of professionalization of Tibetan medical practitioners - paths through history, identity, and medical epistemology manifest in the work of amchi, practitioners of Tibetan medicine, in Nepal and in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The grantee conducted research among individual practitioners and members of the Himalayan Amchi Association in Nepal, and among private practitioners as well as doctors at the Mentsikhang (Traditional Tibetan Medicine Hospital) and the Tibetan Medical College, Lhasa. Additional research was conducted at private and state-run factories of Tibetan medicine in the TAR, and among private clinics and factories in Nepal, as well as through contacts made with amchi from India, Bhutan, and Mongolia who participated in a Kathmandu-based international conference on Tibetan medicine. Through the process of fieldwork, as well as preliminary analysis of data, three primary themes emerged: 1) knowledge transmission and changes in Tibetan medical education; 2) access to raw and ready-made medicinals by practitioners, and to medicines and practitioners by patients, as well as production of medicines, including state and international policies that legislate and attempt to standardize production, often according to biomedical models; 3) globalization of Tibetan medicine and its impact on health care options for rural Tibetan communities in Nepal and Tibet. Theoretically, these themes involve explorations into efficacy, professionalization, and globalization.
Macias, Marisa Elena, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Functional Integration of the Hominin Forelimb,' supervised by Dr. Steven E. Churchill
Preliminary abstract: Over the last six million years of hominin evolution, humans transitioned from a tree-dwelling arboreal lifestyle to a bipedal, terrestrial one. As such, the forelimb transformed from a climbing and suspensory apparatus to a tool-making and tool-using one. The exact nature and timing of this transition, however, remains unclear. Australopithecus predates the genus Homo by at least two million years; whether suspensory and climbing behavior were also important remains unclear due to conflicting interpretations of the biomechanical and behavioral significance of isolated aspects of forelimb anatomy. My study evaluates the degree to which three species of Australopithecus have a forelimb organized for climbing and suspension. This will allow an evaluation of the role of arboreal locomotion during the transition to bipedalism. The results will enhance our ability to discriminate among various adaptive scenarios. This project includes a novel modeling approach that views the forelimb as a functionally integrated structure and is explicit in viewing isolated aspects of anatomy as contributing to the function of the entire forelimb during locomotion. The aims are 1) to explore relationships among phylogeny, body size across primates, 2) to evaluate muscular leverage, habitual range of motion, and capability for transmission of loads, and 3) test hypotheses of Australopith forelimb functional organization. Geometric morphometrics and biomechanical modeling are used to evaluate the predictions for humans, apes, suspensory monkeys, and quadrupedal monkeys, as well as to analyze Australopithecus afarensis, africanus, sediba, and Homo erectus.
Doughty, Kristin Conner, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA - To aid research on 'The Past and Collective Belonging in Post-Genocide Rwanda,' supervised by Dr. Sandra T. Barnes
KRISTIN C. DOUGHTY, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Past and Collective Belonging in Post-Genocide Rwanda,' supervised by Dr. Sandra T. Barnes. The grantee spent twelve months researching how Rwandans, whose lives are shaped by the conditions imposed by national and international law, use the past to rebuild their social worlds in the wake of political violence. Focusing in fieldsites in the South Province and in the capital of Kigali, she conducted participant observation with four legal forums: community-based trials of genocide suspects called gacaca; community mediation sessions; a Legal Aid Clinic; and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This research data was supplemented with interviews and participant observation in daily life to identify how legal institutions are embedded in social life. Overall, data suggest that law is a powerful social force in contemporary Rwanda, shaping people's ordinary lives and social interactions, and therefore influencing how people rebuild their lives in the wake of decades of political violence. Data further suggest that the violent political past continues to permeate and influence present-day disputes, and that people use legal forums as a space in which to negotiate their understandings of the past as they aim to resolve disputes. These legal processes, in turn, mediate people's social interactions by constraining and enabling certain forms of compromise and resolution.
Doughty, Kristin C., 2014. 'Our Goal Is Not to Punish but to Reconcile:' Mediation in Postgenocide Rwanda. American Anthropologist 14(4):780-794
Nguyen, Gennie Thi, U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Coming to Terms with Our Routes: Displacement, Identity, and Neighborhood Place,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Morgen
Preliminary abstract: Anthropology has a long history of examining large questions, including the production and consequences of inequality, by focusing on the lived experiences of groups of people whose perspectives and complex lives are often reduced to stereotypes by/n the larger culture. This project takes up long-standing questions about poverty and economic insecurity, home and belonging, place-making and uprooting that are timely, but also important anthropologically. I draw on the time honored value of comparison in research design, analyzing the ways sharing neighborhood space may result in both convergent and divergent experiences and meanings for three groups in a neighborhood in Oregon: those gentrified out of one of Portland's Northeast neighborhoods, a historically African American space; immigrants and refugees; and residents whose neighborhood is in flux. I aim to address multiple, competing claims of inequality, home, and belonging in communities that house the displaced and emplaced, as these places are continually being contested, constructed, and shaped not only by their residents but by outside forces of civic and private development. This study will adds to a literature on economic restructuring that has focused more on work and income insecurity than on home and housing insecurity. While some community workers, policy advocates, and elected officials do organize around or try to address some of the challenges faced by the displaced, including housing insecurity, the big picture remains fractured.