Weinberg, Miranda Jean, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Schooling Languages: Indigeneity and Language Policy in Jhapa District, Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha
Preliminary abstract: Nepal, a country with incredible ethnic and linguistic diversity, is in the midst of writing a new constitution. This constitution may divide the country into federal states along ethnic and linguistic lines. The possibility of special state provisions for certain groups has been met with calls by various groups for indigenous rights, including education in indigenous languages. Simultaneously, migration within Nepal and internationally has led to increased use of Nepali and English, and growing demands for schooling in those languages. Through twelve months of ethnographic research centered on two government primary schools in the southeastern district of Jhapa, this project explores the cultural production of educated ways of speaking and changing social categories, such as citizenship and indigeneity. Through interviews and participant-observation with students, teachers, bureaucrats, and activists, as well as archival research, I seek to understand the role played by education and language policies in creating new concepts of citizenship, and new categories of citizens. What social categories emerge as salient in daily life and everyday talk? What signs and ideologies construct such categories and make them part of lived experience? How are such categories represented at various levels of educational and language policies, including at school?
Kisin, Eugenia Carol, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Indigenous Sovereignties, Non-secular Modernities: The Market for Northwest Coast First Nations Art,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
EUGENIA C. KISIN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Indigenous Sovereignties, Non-Secular Modernities: The Market for Northwest Coast First Nations Art,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers. Indigenous social movements have had long histories in settler states. But in recent decades, a new cultural politics has emerged that hinges on expressive culture -- art, music, and performance -- to assert sovereignty and contemporaneity. Within these movements, indigenous peoples have complex affiliations in relation to the commodity market, including community, pan-indigenous, religious, and professional identities. This project documents how contemporary indigenous cultural politics emerge around art, focusing on how the state, the art market, and religiosities are entangled with projects of indigenous self-determination in Vancouver, Canada. Exploring the ways in which First Nations artists take up the fluid categories of contemporary art while challenging modernist and secularist models of art's efficacies, this research shows how participants in this regional art world imagine new ways for aesthetics and politics to comingle in Indigenous practice, often amidst extractive state regimes. Through participant observation, life histories, social network analyses, and archival work in the many spaces of the art world, this research explores how the politics, discourses, and processes of contemporary First Nations art production have led to a $100 million market for Northwest Coast art, and how, on this market, cultural and monetary values are powerfully interlinked.
Paschetta, Carolina Andrea, U. Nacional de Rio Cuarto, Puerto Madryn, Argentina - To aid research on 'Dietary Shifts During Modem Human Evolution and their Effect on Craniofacial Size and Shape,' supervised by Dr. Rolando Gonzalez-Jose
Preliminary abstract: The craniofacial phenotype can suffer changes promoted by epigenetic or environmental factors. Among them, masticatory mechanical stress is perhaps one of the most important epigenetic stimuli which acted during the recent evolution of our species. In particular, technological transition from hunting-gathering is invoked to be concomitant with a significant reduction of masticatory stress. The main objective is quantify the differences in modern human samples with different economic strategies (hunter/gatherers, farmers, etc.), not only in the overall skull morphology, as well as in localized structures, in order to detect common, recurrent changes in craniofacial size and shape due to environmental stimuli. A geometric morphometrics techniques will be used to track these changes on at least three cases of economic transitions on New World populations. Changes observed in concomitance on all the transitions will be, in consequence, postulated as good candidates of plastic structures which probably promoted rapid evolution of modern humans across different adaptive (dietary, nutritional) shifts.
Dorval, Arianne, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths': The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
ARIANNE DORVAL, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths:' The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. This research was initially aimed at exploring the politics of métissage, or intercultural and interracial mixing in the French border-city of Marseilles. A combination of archival research, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews enabled the researcher to trace: 1) how the postcolonial presence in Marseilles has been represented by both local residents and postcolonial migrants; 2) the entry, circulation, and spatialization of legal or illegal migrants in the city after decolonization; 3) the conflicts surrounding the recent development of a large-scale urban renewal project that is contributing to the gentrification of the downtown area; 4) the prevalence of rich practices of cultural métissage among impoverished youth living in different neighborhoods of the city; and 5) how mixed couples in Marseilles construe their métisse love as a subversive political act. Overall, the research uncovered the remarkable fluidity of migrant circulation in Marseilles, and showed that multiple solidarities have formed across the racial and cultural boundaries partitioning the city. Yet it also indicated that different forms of the cosmopolitan - elite-based vs. vernacular - have come to clash in Marseilles today. Thus, the Marseilles-style métissage being promoted by city elites is at once exoticizing and normalizing, while the métisse practices encountered daily among the 'dangerous classes' constitute a form of ethico-political subjectivation that calls into question the very boundaries of French nationhood. With a view to exploring further how these boundaries are being contested, the research eventually turned to investigating the predicament of the sans papiers (illegal alien) population currently living in Marseilles. The data collected through participant observation and interviews allowed the researcher to begin addressing key questions concerning the contradictions of citizenship, the invisibility/visibility of (laboring) subjects in urban/national space, and the temporality of emancipatory events.
Thomson, Marnie Jane, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Solutions and Dissolution: Humanitarian Governance, Congolese Refugees and Memories of a Neglected War,' supervised by Dr. Carole McGranahan
MARNIE JANE THOMSON, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Solutions and Dissolution: Humanitarian Governance, Congeolese Refugees, and Memories of a Neglected War,' supervised by Dr. Carole McGranahan. How do refugees fare when the conflict they fled is declared beyond the scope of humanitarian intervention? The UN recently claimed its resources are too limited to respond to the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while refugees from eastern Congo continue to seek refuge in Tanzania. Despite the ongoing flow of new arrivals since the mid-1990s, Tanzania and the UN are closing their refugee camps. This dissertation research analyzes the politics of humanitarian solutions, and lack thereof, across national borders through the dissolution of refugee camps in Tanzania and humanitarian assistance in Congo. The grantee conducted fieldwork (September 2011-December 2012) in a number of locations: closing and now-closed refugee camps, aid and government offices within Tanzania, and at United Nations Human Rights Council regional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and its global headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. By conducting research with refugees as well as with government and aid representatives at various organizational levels, this dissertation brings refugee experience and institutional bureaucracy together into the same analytical framework, addressing the gap between these normally disaggregated perspectives. This project relates refugee experiences of dislocation and their memories of violence to reveal the politics of humanitarian intervention and withdrawal in both the DRC and Tanzania.
James, Carwil Robert, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: Urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
CARWIL R. JAMES, then a student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. This dissertation analyzes the role of space-claiming protests by primarily indigenous-identified social movements in Bolivia's current political transformation. Participatory fieldwork, oral history taking, and documentary research undergird a rich historical examination of the politics urban spaces in Sucre and Cochabamba, two politically active, multiracial cities with contrasting histories of indigenous-mestizo relations. Space claiming includes protests that physically control or symbolically claim urban space through occupations of plazas and roads, sit-ins, and blockades; as well as the use, re-appropriation, and redesigning of state spaces, as authorized by the post-2006 government. This dissertation argues that social movements' appropriation of Bolivia's central physical, political, and symbolic spaces both justifies and embodies the political changes they demand. In particular, indigenous movements have sought to claim the right to enter and direct politics from the central urban spaces that once excluded them, provoking literal and figurative battles over ownership of the city and its streets. The research shows that space-claiming practices function as: 1) a tool for achieving political change in Bolivia; 2) a model for the relationship between state and society; and 3) a central element in ongoing political conflicts.
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.
Conner, Ronald Charles, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Sounding into Being: The Musical Ethnogenesis of the Brazilian Tapeba People,' supervised by Dr. Anthony Seeger
Preliminary abstract: Throughout Northeast Brazil, the performance of the Toré--an indigenous music/dance ritual with sacred and ludic forms--helps substantiate the identity claims of reemerging traditional peoples seeking legal reclassification from mixed-race peasants to Amerindians. In the 1990s, amid deadly conflicts with white landholders, the Tapeba Indians became the first in the Northeast state of Ceará to win federal recognition and indigenous lands demarcation. Destabilizing the historical view that Northeast Brazilian Indians fell extinct during colonization (and Ceará's 1863 statutory decree affirming the same), the Tapeba's increased public profile owes much to Toré performances at their villages (just outside the state capital, Fortaleza) and intergroup indigenous events statewide. With other groups adopting the Toré and initiating similar claims, Ceará now has more open indigenous identity investigations than anywhere in Brazil. Through ethnographic research, I ask: How does the musical performance of identity animate indigenous ethnogenesis in Ceará, reflect acoustemological praxis, and inform public sphere discourses on indigeneity? Fieldwork conducted among the Tapeba, plus archival findings and interviews with Cearense public and media officials, will support a theorization of 'musical ethnogenesis,' or, the notion that music-making can sound new identities into being, propelling ethnic mobilization and revising material practices in the process. This work will add to the sparse body of indigenous music ethnography in Northeast Brazil, bridging studies in anthropology, ethnomusicology and indigenous identity. Most importantly, it will re-theorize ethnogenesis as a sociomusical practice, as well as sociopolitical and ethnohistorical process.
Solangaarachchi, Rose A., U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'Ancient Iron Smelting Technology and the Settlement Pattern in the Kiri Oya Basin, in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Peter R. Schmidt
ROSE SOLANGAARACHCHI, a student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to carry out archaeometallurgical research on 'Ancient Iron Smelting Technology and Settlement Pattern on the Kiri Oya Basin in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka,' under the supervision of Prof. Peter R. Schmidt. Solangaarachchi's objective was to examine the metallurgical and socio-political aspects of ancient iron smelting through various methods of archaeology, and to study historical sources, oral traditions, etc. through methods from other subdisciplines of anthropology. Through her field survey along the Kiri Oya Basin in 2004, she identified more than 90 sites. Ancient iron smelting centers/places, village habitations/settlements, and places connected to religious activities are the three major categories among them. She excavated four different sites - an iron-smelting site, a monastery, a settlement site, and a vava (referring to a man-made reservoir for irrigation purposes). Her aim was to examine the ancient settlement patterns in Sri Lanka as described in ancient chronicles, namely the system interwoven into the settlement, such as monasteries and the man-made reservoirs. This concept can also be applied to the ancient iron smelting settlements in the study region. This project is the first archaeometallurgical study in the Sigiriya-Dambulla region that explores the connection of ancient iron-smelting communities with the landscape in conjunction with the religious-political system of the society. It is also the first archaeological evidence for steel production in this region. Solangaarachchi's preliminary results strongly support her hypotheses: First, that the area's urbanization had been connected with the iron-smelting communities; second, that the settlements of these communities date back to the period before the fifth century AD - not well evidenced in historical sources from the region. Additional support for these findings was obtained through radiocarbon dating. The metallurgical evaluation of the smelting process was done through analyzing the samples collected through excavations as well as explorations in the Kiri Oya Basin. Archival research helped to understand ancient iron-smelting technology and its connection with the sociopolitical organization.