Hagerman, Kiri Louise, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Domestic Ritual and Identity in the Teotihuacan State: Exploring Processes of Social Integration Through Figurines,' supervised by Dr. Guillermo Algaze
Preliminary abstract: Archaeology is uniquely poised to illuminate the nature of the world's earliest civilizations and how they evolved. The ancient state of Teotihuacan (1-600 AD) is an ideal case study for understanding the range of social processes that took place with the emergence of early state-level societies, and especially how such states controlled--and extracted resources from--the various populations they absorbed as they grew. Questions regarding Teotihuacan's use of ideology in securing the cultural assimilation of populations in its rural hinterlands will be studied through an analysis of local ritual practices at a small peripheral site. Using ceramic figurines (which are ritual paraphernalia) as a proxy for ritual behavior, I will contrast and compare figurine use within Teotihuacan itself with figurine use in Teotihuacan's rural dependencies as a proxy for the acceptance or rejection of state-sponsored identities and ideologies in those dependencies. Understanding how early states spurred and managed processes of religious and social assimilation is very relevant to the our understanding of their nature and evolutionary dynamics, and this in turn is central to the discipline of anthropology, broadly construed.
Bonilla, Yarimar, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Labor Struggles and the Search for a Local Politics on the Island of Guadeloupe,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
YARIMAR BONILLA, while a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on the role of labor struggles in the political landscape of Guadeloupe, under the supervision of Jean Comaroff. The research explored labor movements as sites of social struggle wherein the form, content, and meaning of Guadeloupe's postcolonial relationship to France become negotiated and redefined. It sought to look at how French traditions of syndicalism are transformed in the postcolonial space of the outre-mer and how labor movements are emerging as the inheritors of failed anti-colonial and nationalist struggles. Using participant observation, targeted interviews and archival research, Bonilla conducted research among labor activists, local bosses, government officials, and members of the local media in order to interrogate the privileged role of labor unions in the Guadeloupean public sphere. The research focused on how the regulation of labor, and the struggle for the application of French labor laws, becomes an important site where the contradictions and tensions of the French postcolonial project become materially evident. Bonilla investigated the ritualistic and performative aspects of labor strikes and negotiations, as well as the tactical strategies that inform these practices, such as the manipulation of fear, violence, myth, rumor, and memory. The project also explored how the violence of the past informs present-day contestations of the symbols of social order and legal authority, in order to understand how and why in Guadeloupe a labor demonstration can become a civil riot.
De Cesari, Chiara, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian R. Hodder
CHIARA DE CESARI, while a student at Stanford University, California, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage Between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian Hodder. This research focuses on the relationship between patrimonialization processes and the new forms of governmentality that have emerged during the past decade in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - a political (dis)order characterized by the coexistence of novel forms of Israeli colonial rule, a quasi-state, the Palestinian Authority, as well as the significant presence of international and donor agencies. Taking as starting point the activism of Palestinian civil society organizations, and the relevance of material remains of the past as sites of high discursive density, the research explored heritage discourses and practices, the conditions of their emergence, and the effects of heritage projects on affected local communities. During tenure of the Wenner-Gren grant, the researcher carried out ethnographic fieldwork chiefly within UNESCO and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, a Palestinian semi-governmental organization responsible for a major urban rehabilitation project in the old city of Hebron, as well as in the old city itself. Fieldwork indicates the proliferation of different cultures of memory/heritage in the lacerated space of Palestine, rooted in a desire for continuity and roots against dispossession and displacement. While global languages of heritage are appropriated by local actors in the making of a relived Palestinian past, the politics of donors' aid tend to direct flows of monies to restricted, accessible areas, thus reinforcing the current process of bantustanization of the Occupied Territories.
De Cesari, Chiara. 2010. Creative Heritage: Palestinian Heritage NGOs and Defiant Arts of Government. American Anthropologist 112(4):625-637
Shin, Layoung, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on ''Performing Like a Star': Pop Culture and Sexuality among Young Women in Neoliberal South Korea,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Elliston
Preliminary abstract: This dissertation project traces the intertwining of neoliberalism and sexuality through ethnographic study of young women's engagements with fan-cos in Seoul. After South Korea's 1997 economic crisis, the state introduced sweeping neoliberal economic and political reforms affecting most industries. The entertainment industry developed the commercial star system during the post-1997 recovery, producing boy bands that became enormously popular among teenage young women, including some who began styling themselves to look like their favorite male singers. This was the beginning of fan-costume-play (or fan-cos), which was further developed by young women, many of whom identified as iban (lesbian). By 'performing like a star,' consuming and re-representing male pop singers' images, these young women incorporated alternative (masculine) gender stylings as well as non-normative sexual desires (for other young women) into their self-understandings. They were also, however, roundly critiqued in public discourse as being overly influenced by the media and 'inauthentic' in their same-sex sexual desires. This research project examines the emergence of fan-cos, the discourse of 'inauthentic' sexuality, and young women's same-sex sexuality in relation to neoliberal economic reform and attendant discourses of freedom and democracy in South Korea. Engaging with scholarship on media and consumption, queer subjectivity, performance theory, and neoliberalism, this project investigates the material interactions between subjectivity formation and media consumption, the interrelationships between capitalism and 'homosexuality,' and the hierarchies of sexuality and exclusion of queer subjects in South Korea's liberal social reconstruction.
Ozden, Senay, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Other Refugees: A Comparative Ethnography of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon and Syria,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
SENAY OZDEN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in May 2003 to aid research on May 2003 to aid research on 'Other Refugees: A Comparative Ethnography of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon and Syria,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. This research explored how the Palestinian refugee is produced as a subject at the intersection of Arab nationalism, the politics of class, and the territoriality of resistance in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war in Syria. Arguing that Palestinian refugee politics cannot be isolated from the larger configuration of Syrian politics, the research sought to understand how various political powers in Syria - the state as identified with the Ba'th Party, the communist opposition, and various Palestinian political factions - conceptualize 'refugee' as a political and administrative category, and in turn, how the varying definitions of the Palestinian refugee contribute to the discursive construction of nationalism and the state in Syria. The project further explores how, among Palestinian refugees, a shift in discourse from an earlier anti-imperialist rhetoric to one of civil society and human rights has inspired new perceptions of state, resistance and the refugee camp. Archival research was conducted, in Syria and Lebanon, at the National Archives and at the archives of Syrian and Palestinian political organizations. Ethnographic research involved interviews with members of the Palestinian resistance and the Syrian opposition, as well as participation in the activities of Syrian and Palestinian protest movements in Syria and Lebanon.
Baca Marroquin, Ancira Emily, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Provincial Economy in Chinchaysuyo: Imperial and Local Ceramic Distribution and Consumption, Asia Valley, Central-Coast, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Partick Williams
Preliminary abstract: My project investigates the multidirectional core-periphery interplay with focus on theories of expanding empires and provincial economy. More specifically, I will examine the differing economic participation that intermediate elites and commoners of a non-state coastal society engaged with The Inca empire (A.D. 1400-1532), the largest ancient economic system ever recorded in the Americas. To examine economic participation, I focus on imperial and local ceramic distribution and consumption patterns of intermediate elites and commoners at the site of Quellca, Asia Valley, Peru. The questions that guide my research can be summarized as follows: To what extend intermediate elites and commoners in the Asia Valley consume imported imperial, provincial, and regional ceramics, or did they exclusively consume local wares? Are there qualitative/quantitative differences in the ceramic distribution and consumption patterns between these social groups? To what extent and in what ways did intermediate elites and commoners participate to imperial economic policies? Working under the assumption that provincial economies reflect arrangements between empires and provincial societies, my investigation into the differing distribution and consumption patterns of imperial goods between intermediate elites and commoners offers opportunities to expand developing theories of imperial expansion and provincial economy in modern and ancient settings.
Lai, Lili, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
LILI LAI, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in June 2005 to aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. This dissertation project seeks to provide a better understanding of 'rural' realities in today's mobile Chinese society, through an ethnographic interrogation of daily practice, attitudes (at household, community, and county government levels), policy history, and local memory in Henan, China. It aims to demonstrate that the rural-urban distinction is a mobile, relative dyad and shows how at every point a person's (or place's, or practice's) 'ruralness' or urban sophistication is an intimate, local quality. This research project focuses on everyday social practice in order to gain insight into forms of embodiment and local cultural worlds, bringing together questions concerning everyday life, the body, and peasant status. The phase of the research funded by Wenner-Gren was conducted at two sites: a migrant community in northwestern Beijing from October to November 2006, and the village in Henan Province in December of 2006. The major concern at the Beijing site was how preparation for the 2008 Olympics affected the life of migrant laborers from Henan. The major questions were centered on the rural-urban (dis)interaction and more importantly, discourses about the peasants. And the major task at the village was to complete the village gazetteer project in collaboration with the village committee and concrete historical data on local production, education, consumption, transportation and construction to this gazetter were added through the archival research in the county seat and interviews with senior villagers.
Chatterjee, Moyukh, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Legacies of Collective Violence: Survivors, NGOs, and the State in Gujarat, India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Knauft
MOYUKH CHATTERJEE, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Legacies of Collective Violence: Survivors, NGOs, and the State in Gujarat, India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Knauft. This project examines how mass violence unfolds across legal institutions of state redress and its implications for survivors and human-rights NGOs struggling for justice in India. Despite numerous official commissions of inquiry, human-rights activism, and civil society efforts, mass violence against minorities -- supported by state officials and militant rightwing organizations -- goes largely unpunished in India. By examining the production, circulation, and interpretation of police and legal documents within different state institutions, and victim and NGO efforts to challenge state impunity, this project examines state writing practices and its effects on legal accountability. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in lower courts, legal-aid NGOs, and survivors/complainants of the anti-Muslim violence in 2002, this project outlines how law courts obfuscate individual culpability, invalidate victims' testimony, and render sexual and gendered violence against minorities invisible. The study examines the role of legal and police documents in enabling the state apparatus to regulate what can be officially seen and said about public acts of mass violence involving ruling politicians and state officials, and its implications for survivors, human-rights activists, and NGOs fighting for legal justice.
Ruiz, Yesenia, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Poor Campesinos to Tortilla Kings: Mexican Migrant Elites and Transnational Class Formation,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
YESENIA RUIZ, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'From Poor Campesinos to Tortilla Kings: Mexican Migrant Elites and Transnational Class Formation,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. This research project analyzed an emerging transnational Mexican migrant elite as a new social and economic group that has emerged not from established elites or from privileged backgrounds but from poor peasant families. The majority of these (male) entrepreneur-migrants entered the United States without documents and worked in unskilled jobs for extended periods. Eventually, they began to establish their own businesses in the states of New York and New Jersey and within a twenty-year period have accumulated unprecedented amounts of wealth. Successful in both the US and Mexico, these entrepreneurs are distinct from other transnational migrant groups. They have constructed transnational forms of class mobility, and new notions of ethnicity, citizenship, nationality, as well as innovative socio-economic, political, and solidarity networks shaped by neoliberalism. This research was based on ethnographic research carried out in the Mixteca region of the state of Puebla and New York as well as in New Jersey. It examined the ways in which these transnational entrepreneurs became part of such recent emerging elite in both the US and Mexico. Furthermore, these entrepreneur migrants have established political relations with local politicians in both Mexico and the US. In the last twenty years, members of this entrepreneur group have supported former governors (as well as the current one), senators, and politicians throughout their campaigns in Puebla and in New York. These entrepreneur migrants have gone from being an undocumented worker to becoming 'Tortilla Kings' and millionaire importers of Mexican goods.
Motta, Rossio, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Psychiatric Technology Under Neo-Liberal Restructuring: The Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychotropic Drugs in Peruvian Hospitals,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena
ROSSIO MOTTA, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Psychiatric Technology Under Neo-Liberal Restructuring: The Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychotropic Drugs in Peruvian Hospitals,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena. This research examined the use of the most common technologies for the treatment of mental disorders in Peru: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychotropic drugs (PD). ECT has been used during economic crises and consequent shortages of State-provided drugs. Since the 1990s, ECT has become one of the most reliable technologies in public hospitals. Neo-liberal restructuring of the drug market led to an increased supply of copies of name-brand drugs with more accessible prices, but doubtful efficacy. In public hospitals, under constant budget cuts, these are the only available drugs and, for many actors, ECT is a more trustworthy alternative. Nevertheless, ECT is a polemic technology due to growing concern about the ethics of its use and practice. To understand how doctors and patients interact with both treatments, the grantee conducted 16 months of fieldwork in the Hospital Víctor Larco Herrera (HVLH), Peru's main psychiatric public hospital and surrounding institutions. In the HVLH, research was conducted using participant observation and interviews focusing on three wards associated with the use of ECT or PD. The grantee also interviewed representatives of the Peruvian Ministry of Health, performed voluntary work with the patient advocacy group, Alamo, and carried out archival research on both technologies, their regulation, and their interaction with 'softer' treatments such as art therapy.