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
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the future that emerges through economic forecasting in Greece. What happens when a form of technical knowledge about the future becomes a matter of broad concern and a basis for decisive personal and political action in the present? Through ethnographic and archival research across several domains of activity, I study forecasting work, the circulation and use of forecasts, and the role of economic expertise in constructing the contemporary nation. This research analyzes a particular configuration of expert knowledge, political exercise, and everyday action by examining a range of practices concerned with future states of the Greek economy, documenting the objects brought into being by these practices, and considering the consequences of a specific kind of future coming to stand for the future at large in Greece and of Greece. Moreover, in focusing on how a specific future is built, circulated, embraced, or refused, I extend anthropological efforts to take up the future as a key site of contention in the present, while inquiring into the conceptual, analytic, and methodological tools for studying the future anthropologically.
Pardue, Derek P., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Blackness and Periphery: A Retelling of Marginality in Hip-Hop Culture of Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Norman E. Whitten Jr.
DEREK P. PARDUE, while a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded a grant in December 2001 to aid research on 'Blackness and Periphery: A Retelling of Marginality in Hip-Hop Culture of Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Norman E. Whitten, Jr. The grant from Wenner-Gren complemented an already existing dissertation fieldwork grant from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC - Arts). The additional stipend significantly ameliorated general financial difficulties in Brazil caused by shifting currency rates and sudden price hikes in basic resources such as transportation, telephone service, and gasoline. The particular research conducted under the grant focused on graphic design and sound engineering practices of hip-hop producers in Sao Paulo, Brazil from January 2002 to August 2002. Fieldwork data concerning the techniques and technologies utilized in 830 Paulo rap recording studios involved primarily costs in reciprocity for basic tutelage from sound engineers and meeting time. In the case of graphic design. data collection and interpretation involved specific experiments and surveys. Research included the creation and dissemination of surveys to evaluate consumers' tastes and expectations with regard to compact disc covers and insert designs in the Brazilian rap music industry. Part of this process involved the designing of fictitious CD covers with potential names for an advertised compilation sponsored by the website http://www.bocada-forte.com.br. The exemplars integrated typography and images into a coherent composition organized around major themes of Brazilian hip-hop culture. These included: negritude (blackness), do-it-yourself ideology of production and community-building, 'periphery' occupation of public space, social protest, and technology and the Internet. Multiple-choice questionnaires complemented the visual material to elicit consumer analysis on this connection of aesthetics to ethics.
Ditto, Emily Cubbon, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Cosmological Caches: Organization and Power at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (A.D. 850-1150),' supervised by Dr. Vincas P. Steponaitis
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation focuses on Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, where clear indications of social differentiation in the Pueblo world first appeared during the 9th-11th centuries. Though research has been conducted since 1896, many central questions, such as the distinct nature of Chacoan organization and leadership, have been difficult to solve. Recently, many scholars have argued convincingly for strong ritual components. One key question concerns the roles of dual organization (moieties) and ritual sodalities (non-kin groups). Current evidence for dualism is biological and architectural. Artifacts, especially details regarding their contexts, and what they reveal about ritual and power, have been underemphasized in recent Chaco research. In addition, two conspicuously elaborate groups of burials found in Pueblo Bonito (the largest great house, in the canyon center) are often cited as the most unmistakable evidence for Chacoan social differentiation. Despite their widely recognized importance and potential to address difficulties understanding the roles of Chacoan leaders, no systematic study of artifact distributions relative to skeletal remains has been conducted. My research will use artifacts to investigate whether dualism was represented in Chacoan organization by analyzing patterns of variation among ritual caches and comparing the contents and symbolic associations of the two Pueblo Bonito burial assemblages.
Tessier, Laurence Anne, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin
LAURENCE ANNE TESSIER, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin. This research is a comparative study of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in France and the United States. The one who diagnoses this neurodegenerative disease is positioned in a problematic borderline situation: between the organic cause of the disease assumed but not revealed until death and the psychic expression that the patient describes and suffers from during life. Thus the neuroscientists who diagnose AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, need to establish a relation between the mental, the social, and the cerebral. This study describes how this naturalist enterprise is carried on in the everyday clinical practices of neurologists, at two world-class centers for diagnosing dementia. It examines how this diagnosis is arrived at differently in both clinics. When the French neurologists rely on biological proofs to make their decision, the American neurologists trust their clinical intuition. A diagnosis 'by feeling' allows them to practice a 'phenomenology' of the disease. This project looks at the ways in which these different manners of making a diagnosis expose different set of moral judgments on patients in both countries. It then describes how these moral judgments impact the care of patients, inquiring into the mutually constitutive ties between epistemology, medicine and care.
Itzhak, Nofit, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Negotiating the Politics and Ethics of Compassion: Christian Humanitarianism in Rwanda and France,' supervised by Dr. Thomas J. Csordas
Preliminary abstract: How do persons engaged in Christian humanitarianism become invested in this particular form of social action? What kinds of subjectivities and modes of social relatedness are created in the course of this practice? And how are emotions of care, such as love, compassion, empathy and sympathy, implicated in these processes? This project seeks to answer these questions through an ethnographic study of a Catholic charismatic humanitarian NGO in Rwanda and France. Specifically, it investigates the manners in which Christian aid workers negotiate the tensions between the humanitarian position, as one based on hierarchy and a bestowing of benevolence, and their religio-ethical ideals, which compel them to establish a relationship with aid recipients that is based on equality and fellowship. Having to inhabit this paradoxical position, and being acutely aware of it, Christian aid workers constantly reflect on the operation of emotions of care, attempt to cultivate them, and try to negotiate the tensions between what allows or hinders their flourishing in the course of humanitarian practice and interaction. By investigating the two interrelated levels through which emotions of care shape and drive Christian humanitarian action -- that of discourse, as the ethical foundation of humanitarian practice, and that of embodiment, as the interpersonal processes through which emotions of care become experientially real for people in the course of interaction -- this project will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of contemporary intersections between humanitarianism, religion, and ethics, as well as the interaction between culture, sociality, and emotions of care.
Myers, Dusty, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Inclusive Rights or Exclusive Gains?: Negotiating Access to Timber in Ashanti Ghana,' supervised by Dr. William Derman
DUSTY MYERS, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Inclusive Rights or Exclusive Gains? Negotiating Access to Timber in Ashanti Ghana,' supervised by Dr. William Derman. Longstanding conflict between Ghanaian farmers, the state, and loggers has led many farmers to destroy timber trees and saplings that grow in their fields. This situation is one of many that contribute to forest loss in an area of the world recognized for its environmental importance. Though there is a wide-ranging debate on the causes of deforestation, little attention is paid to how timber is accessed and used and the implications this has on forests, fields, and the people managing them. This project examined how men and women in the Ashanti Region of Ghana negotiated access, control and use of timber in the context of reforms that promote the participation of farmers in timber management. Given the attention paid to the 'rural poor' in Africa, the research results will contribute to assessing if and how processes of farmer participation in timber management are leading to more or less rural poverty and disempowerment.
Cohen, Saul, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Contested Natures: Managing Indigenous and Scientific Environmental Knowledge in Botswana's CBNRM Program,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford
SAUL COHEN, while a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on the intersection of development, tourism and environment in a Bugakhwe San community in northern Botswana, while under the supervision of Dr Richard Lee and Dr Sandra Bamford. Cohen was concerned with a nuanced examination of the micro-politics of the cultural-tourism project called Gudigwa Camp, a community-based project of the village of Gudigwa. Specifically, he examined the application of the 'community' concept within the context of the development project, in light of recent critiques that argue it homogenizes highly variable and internally differentiated social groupings. However, in addition he scrutinized conservation and development practitioners in the same manner to examine if they are subject to their own internal contradictions and conflicts. His research was therefore necessarily multi-sited, with time spent conducting research in the village, camp, and at the development agency offices. In addition to extensive interviews, he participated in many aspects of the rebuilding, running, and management of the camp, including board meetings, staff hiring workshops, camp activities, and training sessions. Cohen's work suggests that understanding the constantly shifting associations and alliances between various entities of each group cannot rely solely upon a conventional and fixed 'practitioner' and 'recipient' dichotomy. Rather it is imperative to read across these traditional lines of contact.
Hatmaker, Melissa Sue, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Flooded in Sludge, Fueling the Nation: Generating Power, Waste, and Change in East Tennessee,' supervised by Dr. Hoon Song
MELISSA S. HATMAKER, then a student at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'Flooded in Sludge, Fueling the Nation: Generating Power, Waste, and Change in East Tennessee,' supervised by Dr. Hoon Song. This ethnographic study investigates the ways the changing East Tennessee landscape directly and indirectly shapes, and is shaped by, ideas of progress and technological development. By drawing on science and technology studies, in particular actor-network theory, this project investigates the human and nonhuman forces productive of the 2008 TVA coal ash spill -- a disastrous event that flooded the town of Kingston in accumulated waste from a coal burning power plant. This event serves as an analytical focal point for understanding how processes of landscape transformation, from the early 20th century to the present, coalesce in this environmental disaster. Interviews with residents, participant observation, and archival research all focus on understanding how and in what ways the landscape changed to accommodate this massive waste pond. This includes investigation of cultural assumptions about Appalachia, national development goals in science and energy, conceptions of landscape and nature, and social and cultural values that enable flows of electric power and waste. By examining the coal ash flood, and asking how it emerged through cultural tensions within the nation-state and techno-scientific development, this project contributes to anthropological literatures on place-making, science and technology studies, modernization, and national and global development.
McCabe, Carl Wesley, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Informal Institutions and Cooperative Behavior: Motivations for Prosociality by Marketplace Vendors in Beijing, China,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Paul Winterhalder
CARL WESLEY MCCABE, then a student at the University of California, Davis, California, to aid research on 'Informal Institutions and Cooperative Behavior: Motivations for Prosociality by Marketplace Vendors in Beijing, China,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Winterhalder. The grantee conducted nearly a year of ethnographic fieldwork in an open-air marketplace in Beijing, China. During this period, research followed the activities of many of the market's vendors from the time the market opened in the morning until it closed in the evening. Beyond that, the project followed vendors as they conducted many other activities in their daily lives, including leisure and business-related activities. The grantee was able to collect several forms of datasets on individuals in the market, from market-wide surveys, to interviews focused on subsets of the market, to a suite of experimental games. The data collected will contribute to the grantee's investigation of prosocial behavior and models of salient economic, evolutionary biological, and cultural influences.