Behrens, Joanna P., Syracuse U., Syracuse, NY - To aid 'Digging the Great Trek: An Historical Archaeology of a Voortrekker Community, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Christopher R. DeCorse
JOANNA BEHRENS, while a student at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, was awarded a grant in May 2004 to aid archaeological research at Schoemansdal, a mid- 19th century Voortrekker village in the Limpopo Province, northern South Africa, supervised by Dr Christopher R. DeCorse. The project investigated socio-economic diversity within a frontier community that lay along the northern margins of the wider colonial expansion, known historically as 'The Great Trek.' Between October 2004 and December 2005, Behrens undertook survey, excavation, and preliminary cataloguing as well as archival research in Pretoria, South Africa and London, England. Previous excavations at Schoemansdal, which had focused on the main community structures, were expanded, and houselots, located away from the village center, were targeted in order to access a broader understanding of the community. Shovel test pit sampling strategies were successfully employed in yard areas and six middens within the village were excavated, yielding assemblages that can be linked to individual households or properties. This material, analysed in tandem with that recovered from the community areas, is yielding insight into differential consumption practices and expanding historical understandings of trekker economies, specifically by shedding light on local and regional trade and exchange networks. The Schoemansdal material provides a crucial baseline assemblage for mid-19th century southern Africa and represents an important step in the re-interrogation of South Africa's Great Trek mythology .
Ratanapruck, Prista, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Merchants, Women, and States: Nepali Trade Diaspora in Indian - Southeast Asian States and Societies,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
PRISTA RATANAPRUCK, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in June 2004 to aid research on 'Merchants, Women, and States: Nepali Trade Diaspora in Indian - Southeast Asian States and Societies,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. In the established historiography of transregional trade in Asia, the role of Asian merchants is perceived to have ended since the arrival of European East India Companies. This research project, however, investigates how small Asian peddlers such as Manangis (Nepalis) have continued to operate and remain thriving traders. It explores how today's transnational peddling traders such as Manangis use pre-existing trade relations and social ties to form trade and social networks to negotiate with local states in world capitalist economy. Field research shows that Manangis form strong and enduring social and economic ties both internally within their community and externally between them and local communities abroad. These relationships which range from generation-long friendships and kindship relations through marriages help them reduce protection costs-costs that emerge from conflicting and cooperative relationships with the states, and are often referred to as bribery. Besides relying on these social resources, Manangis also pool together material and financial resources through their religious institution, for redistribution in their society. That is, much of profits from trade are spent on supporting Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and religious events. But before the donations are used for their intended religious purposes, they are temporarily redistributed in the community in the form of loans, often to finance trade and business ventures. In this context, economic activities and the expansion of trade are propelled by the accumulation and redistribution of surplus through religious institutions. The research illustrates how Manangis expand their trade as well as fulfill their social purposes according to what they value. This project shows an alternative way of thinking about the development of capitalistic enterprise, besides the history of Western capitalism and questions assumption about the rise of the West.
Ratanapruck, Prista. 2007. Kinship and Religious Practices as Institutionalization of Trade Networks: Manangi Trade Communities in South and Southeast Asia. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50(2):325-346
Fouratt, Caitlin E., U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Presences and Absences: Nicaraguan Migration to Costa Rica and Transnational Families,' supervised by Dr. Leo Chavez
CAITLIN E. FOURATT, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Presences and Absences: Nicaraguan Migration to Costa Rica and Transnational Families,' supervised by Dr. Leo Chavez. This ethnographic study examined how Nicaraguan migrants and their family members confront the contradictions of remaining 'family' despite absence and distance. Over 300,000 Nicaraguans, many of them undocumented, live in Costa Rica where they represent between seven and ten percent of the population and fill low-paying jobs that form the basis of the country's agricultural and service sectors. But even as they build new lives in Costa Rica, many migrants maintain ties to households and families in Nicaragua. Through participant observation and ethnographic interviews with Nicaraguan migrants in Costa Rica and their families in Nicaragua, this project studied how Nicaraguan families express care and intimacy across physical and legal boundaries as they adapt to the context of transnational migration and, in the process, transform what it means to be related. In particular, this project examines the contradictions and tensions in Nicaraguan transnational family-life, including how Costa Rican immigration law conditions the possibilities for such families, the flexibility of Nicaraguan kinship and transnational family formation, and the specificities of transnational forms of care. Migration represents both a response to economic and social crisis, even as it generates new forms of instabilities and uncertainties for Nicaraguan families.
Weiss, Joseph Julian Ziems, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Unsettled Co-Existence: Political Community and Everyday Life on Canada's Northwest Coast,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
JOSEPH WEISS, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Unsettled Co-Existence: Political Community and Everyday Life on Canada's Northwest Coast,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff. This research investigates the consequences of political transformation in the Haida community of Old Massett on the islands of Haida Gwaii. In particular, it asks what the effects are on the day to day lives of Haida people and their non-Aboriginal neighbors of a recent treaty-alternative 'Reconciliation Process' that is being implemented between the Council of the Haida Nation, British Columbia, and Canada. As fieldwork has made clear, the people of Haida Gwaii encounter the consequences of this moment of political transformation in a multiplicity of ways. They encounter them directly, for instance, in their questions over what jobs will be created and benefits brought to their communities by their governments and their concerns over what proper Haida and Canadian leadership should entail. And yet the challenges posed by political change also implicitly imbue a range of concerns that Haida people deal with over the course of their lives, from the ways in which they figure Haida Gwaii as a distinctly Haida 'home' to their protests against potentially dangerous new oil pipelines. This research has explored their responses and the ways in which they, in turn, allow us insight into global questions about the nature of sovereignty, nationhood, and indigeneity.
Kleyna, Mark A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Spectacles of the Modern: Technology, Development, and the Imagination of the Indian Nation, 1947-1965,' supervised by Dr. Nicholas B. Dirks
Adams, Mr. Justin W., Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Taphonomic and Paleoecological Factors Influencing Hominid Incorporation at Gondolin and other South African Sites,' supervised by Dr. Glenn C. Conroy
Herries, Andy I.R., Justin W. Adams, Kevin L. Kuykendall, and John Shaw. 2006. Speleology and Magnetobiostratigraphic Chronology of the GD 2 Locality of the Gondolin Hominin-Bearing Paleocave Deposits, North West Province, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 51(6):617-631.
Pavlovich, William Vladan, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
WILLIAM V. PAVLOVICH, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Nearly one million ethnic Serbs from former Yugoslavia (i.e. Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo) have sought refuge in the Republic of Serbia since 1991. Comprising roughly twelve percent of the overall population, displaced persons have significantly altered the republic's demographic, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, and political landscape. This project investigates the development of an apparent causal relationship between displaced persons and the resurgence of nationalism in Serbia, and interrogates the qualities of that relationship. The leading nationalist party, the Serbian Radical Party, was poised to challenge the state's project of European integration until the party splintered in two after their inability to form a majority ruling coalition-despite strong results (nearly 30 percent)-whereby they lost to a pro-EU coalition in the 2008 parliamentary elections. This resulted in a 'sea-change' amongst the Serbian populace - both domicile and displaced - and prompted a series of public debates and reflection regarding the civic, national, and cultural identities of Serbian citizens. The study shows how displacement can be understood to be both process and event for domicile and displaced communities, one which enables interpretation at individual, local, and national levels of Serbian society, and one which informs the movement towards (or against) European integration.
Douglas, Aimee Catherine, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Craft, Creativity, and Managing the 'Excesses of Modernity' in Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Viranjini Munasinghe
Preliminary abstract: As tourism flourishes and opportunities for export grow following the end of Sri Lanka's thirty-year war in 2009, the country's heritage craft industry, though a small segment of its economy, has enjoyed unprecedented growth. While the Ministry of Industry & Commerce reports on the generation of 'new market links for our artisans,' dealers remark with delight on the (mostly foreign) buyers flooding into their shops. The proposed research will focus on one corner of this industry, the production of decorative handloom textiles, and on how a discourse of 'creativity' serves within it as a strategy through which industry participants evaluate, struggle against, and come to terms with their own and others' positions within a globalized economic field. This discourse is situated among calls by government officials, scholars and others for investment in Sri Lanka's so-called 'creative economy.' I approach the handloom industry in which it figures so prominently to examine how, in a context of post-war, government-led efforts toward economic integration into global capital markets, ordinary Sri Lankans fashion themselves in relation to one another and to variously imagined national, global and other collectivities. In doing so, I join recent efforts in anthropology to challenge conventional notions of creativity often deployed in social science analyses. In order to capture a wide range of voices (weavers, dealers, designers, and government and NGO officials) while attending to relationships between participants, I will carry out ethnographic research in three locations among individuals involved (to varying degrees) in the textile production activities of Thalagune, a Sinhalese village in Sri Lanka's Central Province.
Thurston, Alexander John, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Relations between Arab-Educated Elites and the Political Establishment in Kano, Nigeria,' supervised by Dr. Muhammed Sani Umar
ALEXANDER J. THURSTON, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Relations between Arab-Educated Elites and the Political Establishment in Kano, Nigeria,' supervised by Dr. Muhammed Sani Umar. This research project focuses on Nigerian graduates of Arab universities and their intellectual production at home and abroad. During the research period, the grantee spent five months in Kano, Nigeria (including time at archives in Kaduna, Nigeria), five weeks in London, England, three weeks in Princeton, New Jersey, and five weeks in Washington, DC. In Kano, interviews with more than twenty students and scholars were conducted along with informal interaction with research subjects and scholars on a daily basis, including participant observation in an evening discussion and prayer circle attended by university professors, businessmen, and other community members. Archival research in London and Princeton provided access to rare primary sources in English, Hausa, and Arabic, as well as a wide array of sources (including Arab authors' histories of sub-Saharan Africa and primary documents by Nigerian authors) at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Additional support from an Osmunsen Initiative supplement allowed the grantee to conduct additional research and attend numerous policy-oriented events in Washington during summer 2012.