Reddy, Malavika, U of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Legal Practice and the Production of Licit Subjects in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. John Kelly
MALAVIKA REDDY, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Legal Practice and the Production of Licit Subjects in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. John Kelly. The research focuses on a recent trend in Thailand for Burmese workers -- people who otherwise occupy a liminal status in that country -- to make claims in the Thai legal system. Conducted through fifteen months of ethnographic observation of legal aid workers and their clients in Mae Sot, Thailand, the research answers three questions: 1) How do foreign workers with marginal status mobilize the law on their behalves? 2) What do these mobilizations suggest about the possibilities of law in an era in which the presence of people with no meaningful legal status is a structuring principle of the nation-state? And 3) As law defines new people and spaces as its object, how does legal practice re-subjectify not only claimants, but also lawyers, activists, and legal aid workers? The study concludes that legal practitioners, from police to claimants and lawyers, are defining a licit jurisdiction -- an authority with which the breadth of both legal and illegal migrant livelihoods in Mae Sot can be adjudicated. Called up by those acting in the name of law, authority in this jurisdiction is nonetheless exercised not according to legal statutes, but by using law and legal procedure as a foil or context to practice.
Green, David Joel, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Shoulder Functional Anatomy and Development - Implications for Interpreting Early Hominin Locomotion,' supervised by Dr. Brian Garth Richmond
DAVID GREEN, then a student at George Washington University, Washington, DC, was awarded a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Shoulder Functional Anatomy and Development - Implications for Interpreting Early Hominin Locomotion,' supervised by Dr. Brian Garth Richmond. Focusing on hominin shoulder functional morphology, the grantee utilized a mouse model to test how muscle size and locomotor differences influence shoulder form. Next he considered shoulder morphological development among extant anthropoid taxa to examine how shoulder traits related to suspensory locomotion changed during ontogeny and then examined those shoulder traits in early hominin fossils. The mouse study revealed certain aspects of the scapula blade and glenohumeral joint that changed in response to either behavioral or muscular differences. Additionally, the grantee noted certain aspects of chimpanzee and gorilla scapulae that changed in concert with decreased rates of suspensory behavior throughout their development, suggesting a link between the morphology and behavior. Finally, those same features were also found to be primitive in the Australopithecus infant from Dikika, but more derived in the Homo ergaster youth from Nariokotome, indicating that these two hominin groups used their upper limbs differently. Put together, this study identified characters that not only sorted different locomotor groups but also showed that these traits can be modified in response to changing patterns of behavior in life. As such, these traits may be useful for reconstructing the locomotor behavior of extinct hominin taxa.
Green, David J. 2013. Ontogeny of the Hominoid Scapula: The Influence of Locomotion on Morphology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 152(2):239-260.
Vinea, Ana Maria, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Between the Psyche and the Soul: Mental Disorders, Quranic Healing and Psychiatry in Contemporary Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Talal Asad
ANA VINEA, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Between the Psyche and the Soul: Mental Disorders, Quranic Healing and Psychiatry in Contemporary Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Talal Asad. This project explored questions of affliction and well-being, as well of the relation between science and religion as they are configured in the contemporary Egyptian field of 'mental disorders.' It has ethnographically examined two therapeutic practices - biomedical psychiatry and Quranic healing, both employed by suffering Egyptians. It has also analyzed the debates between these two groups of practitioners. Approaching these therapeutic practices as forms of knowledge about the human, the researcher investigated the techniques employed by psychiatrists and Quranic healers to construct their knowledge, as well as the concepts of affliction, causality, and reality articulated and enacted in their practices. She also examined the styles of reasoning and ways of invoking authority used by psychiatrists and Quranic healers. The evidence collected shows that in contemporary Egypt psychiatry gains authority by its state-authorization as the only legitimate way of treating mental disorders and by its 'scientific' status. However, psychiatry's etiology, diagnostic categories and treatment methods are contested by Quranic healers' practices. These practices, while themselves partly reconfigured by the encounter with psychiatry, continue to argumentatively engage with the Islamic tradition, providing different ways of understanding affliction and of being in the world.
Lempert, William David, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Broadcasting Indigeneity: The Social Life of Aboriginal Media,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Shannon
Preliminary abstract: In the opening months of 2013, the first national 24-hour Indigenous Australian television networks were launched, representing two distinct sensibilities of Aboriginal media aesthetics and economics--grassroots community vs. polished professional--that have emerged at the local, regional, and now national levels. These Indigenous mass media represent less than 3% of the total population, yet have received desirable slots on the national satellite network that is newly capable of reaching all remote Aboriginal communities. To follow the social lives of Indigenous video projects from initial idea through local reception, I will participate within the production teams at Goolarri and PAKAM, two cohabiting Indigenous media organizations that closely map onto, and disproportionately contribute to, these national networks. Rather than asking what identity is, I seek to complicate and illuminate anthropological understandings of indigeneity by revealing how Indigenous media makers negotiate the manifold often-paradoxical pressures that shape their final products. With unusually high levels of media productivity and success in Aboriginal political activism, the regional hub of Broome and the Aboriginal community of Yungngora in Northwestern Australia will provide an ideal backdrop for articulating the stakes that are at play in the ways in which Indigenous peoples represent different visions of indigeneity.
Brandisauskas, Donatas, Aberdeen U., Aberdeen, UK - To aid research on 'Beliefs and Practices among Hunters and Gatherers in the Zabaikalja Region, Russia,' supervised by Dr. David G. Anderson
DONATAS BRANDISAUSKAS, then a student at Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, Scotland, received funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Beliefs and Practices among Hunters and Gatherers in the Zabaikalja Region, Russia,' supervised by Dr. David G. Anderson. Ethnographic research was conducted among Orochen-Evenki hunters' and reindeer herders' communities from January to December 2005 in the northern part of Chita district and Buriatiia Republic in Eastern Siberia (Russia). The research explored how Orochen relationship between cosmology and environment has changed because of external stresses such as the establishment of the Soviet! Post-Soviet policies. It focused on the everyday activities and discourses of indigenous Siberians as they hunt, herd reindeer, and fish to explore the concept of 'odiun.' (master, ruler) which is crucial to understanding the way in which the indigenous relate to places. 'Odiun' is a 'root metaphor' for the social power configuration of the world in Orochen realities that is also found widely throughout Siberian natives. 'Odiun' can designate spiritual entities like the masters of mountains, lakes, or rivers and it can be explained as a 'ruler' or a 'host' of a particular place, referring to any sentient being. Research discovered that 'masterhood' can be used as analytical concept to tie together many disparate concepts such as cosmological knowledge, power, perception of landscape and animals, and recent political discourses. It can serve as excellent explanatory concept crucial to many Asian societies.
Peters, Alicia Wood, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Interpretation, Mediation, and Implementation of U.S. Anti-Trafficking Law and Policy: Women, NGOs, and the State,' supervised by Dr. Carole Susan Vance
ALICIA W. PETERS, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in November 2006 to aid research on 'Interpretation, Mediation and Implementation of U.S. Anti-trafficking Law and Policy: Women, NGOs and the State,' supervised by Dr. Carole S. Vance. The project is an ethnographic study of the implementation of U.S. anti-trafficking policy in the New York metropolitan area. This study uses ethnographic methods to analyze the implementation of anti-trafficking law and policy on the ground, utilizing multi-sited methods and recognizing that state policy is enacted by a variety of officials with diverse interpretive systems about sexuality, gender, and national purity. Specifically, this study focuses on the diverse meanings and implications of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 and its reauthorizations by exploring a series of simultaneous narratives and discourses on trafficking: the official and dominant discourse produced via federal law, policy, reports, and speeches; the interpretations of federal and local officials; the experiential narratives of trafficked persons; and the accounts produced by NGOs serving as interpreters, advocates, liaisons, and mediators between trafficked persons and the state. The primary methods employed in the research were participant observation at an NGO providing services to victims of trafficking; in-depth interviews with service providers, law enforcement and government officials, and survivors of trafficking; and archival and policy analysis of legislative action, speeches, and reports related to trafficking.
Funahashi, Daena Aki, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Social Order and its Borders: Exploring Depression in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Dominic C. Boyer
DAENA A. FUNAHASHI, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Social Order and its Borders: Exploring Depression in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Dominic C. Boyer. This study investigates the phenomenon of work-related depression and workplace burnout in Finland by looking at how this phenomenon is talked about, categorized, and institutionalized within three spheres: patients, the workplace, and treatment centers. This research examined the ways in which people from these three spheres interpreted depression and burnout. Depression meant different things to patients, employers, and clinicians. For some patients who worked in competitive offices it was a stigma-ridden category, and a risk to their professional life. For employers, it posed as an economic burden in terms of lost productivity and sick-leave. For those in healthcare, depressed patients were welcome clients for their services. The two categories of depression and burnout were closely related, depending on how the patient or company wanted to negotiate self-image and finances: depression was often diagnosed as burnout (a condition requiring shorter amounts of sick-leave), and burnout as depression. Three main trends in the explanation for the rise in burnout cases emerged: 1) an increasing demand for efficiency in the workplace; 2) anxiety over increasing opacity in the welfare system; and 3) increasing clash between the traditional valuation of hard work for its own sake and the market drive to maximize profit.
Funahashi, Daena Aki. 2013. Wrapped in Plastic: Transformation and Alienation in the New Finnish Economy. Cultural Anthropology 28(1):1-21.
Taddei, Renzo R., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
RENZO R. TADDEI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2003 to aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. This research focused on the socio-semiotic dimensions of new participatory arenas for water allocation in the Jaguaribe Valley, in the semi-arid hinterlands of the State of Ceará, in the Brazilian Northeast. The field research, carried out during 2004, involved over one hundred interviews with farmers, community leaders, politicians, technicians, government agents, individuals knowledgeable in traditional rain forecast techniques (locally called 'rain prophets'), journalists and local researchers in the areas of water management and meteorology. Additionally, rain prophets' meetings were filmed, as were basin-level water committee meetings in the Jaguaribe, Banabuiú and Curú Valleys, meetings of the State Water Resources Council and the international climate outlook fora that take place in Fortaleza. The research was complemented by broad-reaching archival research in local newspapers. A central element being studied, namely the disputes for authority and legitimacy to lead collective action, in committee discussions as well as in daily productive activities (like farming decisions), was addressed through the documentation and analysis of how authoritative discourses were created in the political game. Three institutionalized rituals were picked as case studies: the annual rain prophets' meeting, the climate outlook forum of Fortaleza, and the water allocation meeting that takes place in the Jaguaribe Valley. In each of these cases, the research gathered evidence of how semiotic manipulations - that is, transformation of meanings associated to environmental issues - are used strategically or are 'bricolaged' towards envisioned goals, by different stakeholders involved in the political process.
Kim, Christine Soo-Young, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Prescience Studies: Economic Forecasting and the Making of a Future in Greece,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Povinelli
CHRISTINE SOO-YOUNG KIM, then a graduate student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Prescience Studies: Economic Forecasting and the Making of a Future in Greece,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Povinelli. This project asks how the future is constituted as an object of knowledge in the present, and it attempts to answer this question by examining one of the primary factors bringing this object into being in Greece today-namely, discourses and practices concerning the economy. The research consists of ethnographic and documentary methods focusing on the production, circulation, and use of economic knowledge as well as the routinization of modes of thought and activity regarding the economy in everyday life. Through a study of economic forecasting, social insurance, and investment practices in particular, the project considers how efforts to act upon the future enable ideas about what the economy is and how it works to take shape and become familiar. The research ultimately seeks to give an account of how discourses and practices concerning the economy gain hold as authoritative modes of thinking about and acting upon the future and, moreover, how the future operates as a crucial site for establishing and contesting claims to knowledge, legitimacy, and belonging in contemporary Greece.
Bates, Lynsey Ann, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Spatial Appropriation and Market Participation by Enslaved Laborers on Colonial Jamaican Plantations,' supervised by Dr. Robert L. Schuyler
LYNSEY ANN BATES, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Spatial Appropriation and Market Participation by Enslaved Laborers on Colonial Jamaican Plantations,' supervised by Dr. Robert L. Schuyler. This research project explores the dynamic interplay between space, agency. and power in plantation contexts by focusing on the way enslaved people utilized space and material culture on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jamaican plantations. The provision ground system, which required enslaved laborers to cultivate their own foodstuffs, was an integral part of labor management, profit maximization, and market formation in the British colonial Caribbean. Within this system, enslaved people's independent cultivation, transport, and sale of surplus production facilitated their participation in local markets. Regional variability and diachronic change in these interrelated activities are examined through the identification of the environmental, spatial, and social control conditions that shaped patterns in the market goods acquired by enslaved people. Quantitative analysis of historic cartographic data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques suggests the factors that limited independent food cultivation on large-scale, profit-driven sugar plantations. Archaeological evidence from slave villages within those estates indicates the frequency and types of goods produced and purchased by enslaved laborers. Preliminary findings suggest that differences in the conditions related to internal organization and topography of individual estates influenced enslaved people's consumption of imported and locally made goods. This comparative approach integrates information from planter-imposed spatial order and slave-related artifact discard to understand the role of provisioning in plantation slavery.