Kensinger, Steven A., U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'The Maori City: Disaster Capitalism, Tribal Identity, and Earthquake Reconstruction in Christchurch, New Zealand,' supervised by Dr. David Lipset
Preliminary abstract: This project is an ethnographic study of the post-earthquake reconstruction of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island was struck by a series of devastating earthquakes between September of 2010 and June of 2011. More than 100,000 homes were damaged and 60% of businesses in the central city were displaced as a result of the earthquake. The recovery plan developed by the New Zealand government named Ngai Tahu, the largest Maori tribe in the South Island, as a 'strategic partner' in the reconstruction of the city. This project asks how the recognition of Ngai Tahu by the state as a stakeholder in the reconstruction of the city is transforming the meaning of Ngai Tahu identity in contemporary Christchurch. I will investigate how the earthquake recovery offers a way for Maori to enact their sovereignty through their recognition as a strategic partner, while also having dramatic impacts on the reproduction of Maori social organization and processes of ethnic identity formation.
Barber, Suzanne Marie, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Articulating the Animal: The Animal Welfare Movement and Changing Human and Animal Relations in China,' supervised by Dr. Sara L. Freidman
Preliminary abstract: Recently, the Chinese government has begun to crackdown on NGOs and social activism more broadly, raiding offices and arresting prominent activists. Despite these actions of the Chinese government, the animal welfare movement has continued to operate, and in some cases with the direct support of local government officials. My research will examine social activism and the changing social landscape of twenty-first century urban China. Through a twelve-month ethnographic study of the animal welfare movement in Guangdong Province, this project will examine the growing social consciousness within the post-reform generations under an unpredictable and frequently repressive government. This social consciousness encompasses growing concerns about issues of social justice, such as environmentalism, gender equality, LGBTQ rights and migrant workers' rights, as well as a growing rate of volunteerism in response to these concerns (Engebretsen 2013; Fleischer 2011). Based upon my preliminary research in which my informants made direct connections between human rights and animal welfare, I will ask three primary questions: (Q1) How have animal welfare organizations continued to operate during a time of harsh governmental crackdowns on other social organizations? (Q2) What connections exist between animal welfare organizations and other forms of activism and volunteerism? (Q3) What does the success of the animal welfare movement tell us about broader changes in the social landscape of urban China?
Noveck, Daniel B., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Musical Models of Ethnic Space: Raramuri Indian Fiddling in Chihuahua, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Claudio Lomnitz
DANIEL B. NOVECK, while a student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2001 to aid research on musical models of ethnic space among Rarámuri Indians in Chihuahua, Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Claudio Lomnitz. Noveck examined Rarámuri musical practice in the communities of Munerachi and Coyachique, in the area of Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico. He focused on the ways in which music articulated local and regional constructions of race, place, and ethnicity and found that music played a critical role in framing relations between local and regional idioms of difference. In local contexts, sound was a key medium for representing and experiencing social spaces. Musical forms also served as a kind of deictics, mapping a wider regional space through the opposition of Pascol music, associated with the western part of the Sierra Tarahumara, and matachines music, which was played more exclusively in the eastern high plateau. Gatherings at regional centers used the localizing semiotics of music to project ethnic groupings at a regional level. Identity at the local level was construed largely in racial terms, although the drug business, tourism, and the commodification and dissemination of indigenous culture as promoted by the state had led to a privileging of 'the ethnic' over the local vernacular of race. By attending fiestas in regional centers such as Sisoguichi and Guachochi, which united people from various parts of the sierra, Rarámuris developed a kind of 'collective symbolic value' with which they attempted to mitigate the effects of the racist domination they experienced at home in the sierra.
Eastman, Benjamin H., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'En Tres y Dos (Full Count): Baseball and Moral Authority in Contemporary Cuba,' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly
BENJAMIN EASTMAN, then a student of University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in August 2003 to aid research on 'En Tres y Dos (Full Count): Baseball and Moral Authority in Contemporary Cuba,' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly. This project was concerned with the role of baseball in the constitution and contestation of Cuban-ness (cubanidad) during the current 'special period' in Cuban socialism. With funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation the grantee has completed twelve months of ethnographic and archival research in Havana, Cuba. This research has been guided by two inter-related objectives: a study of how historically and currently the Cuban socialist state has deployed baseball as both a public spectacle and a set of embodied practices that perform an authoritative version of cubanidad; and research into how these state-sponsored efforts are popularly received, interpreted, and, at times, contested. Research activities were centered on the following areas: 1) developing an understanding of the current political, economic, and social contexts of late Cuban socialism, including the resurgence of tourism, the effects of remittances, and the ongoing struggles presented by the United States imposed trade embargo; 2) an overview of the Cuban state sports bureaucracy (INDER), ranging from local neighborhood youth teams to the Cuban Olympic Committee, the 43rd National Series, and the Cuban national baseball team; 3) research among baseball coaches, players, and fans, as well as their respective families, including a season-long chronicling of the Havana Industriales, one of two Havana-based Cuban National Series teams.
Shur, Marc D., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Fecal Hormone Profiles Associated with 'Friendship' in Wild Olive Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Ryne A. Palombit
MARC D. SHUR, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'Fecal Hormone Profiles Associated with 'Friendship' in Wild Olive Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Ryne A. Palombit. The field research phase of this study took place from September, 2004 to mid-August 2005 at Dr. Palombit’s field site in Laikipia Kenya. Quantitative behavioral data and fecal hormone samples were collected from two habituated groups of olive baboons, Papio hamadryas anubis. The laboratory phase, which began December 2005 and was completed May 2006, took place at the reproductive endocrinology laboratory of Dr. Patricia Whitten at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of 1,966 10-minute samples on 50 focal individuals were collected, during which, all relevant behaviors were recorded continuously and spatial relations scored at intervals. Fecal samples were collected and returned to base camp. Later, samples were filtered and hormones extracted onto cartridges and frozen. A total of 1,029 fecal samples, approximately evenly distributed among 48 individuals, were collected. In the laboratory, duplicates of each sample were first assayed by validated fecal corticosterone radio-immunoassay and then by validated fecal testosterone RIA. A preliminary overview of data suggests differences in corticosterone level associated with friendship in baboons. Hormonal data for both corticosterone and testosterone, and behavioral data are currently being analyzed to test the research hypotheses concerning associations between hormone profiles and friendship in both male and female baboons.
Idrus, Rusaslina, Harvard U., Cambridge MA - To aid research on 'Native State, Transnational Indigenes: Strategies in the Era of International Accountability,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
RUSASLINA IDRUS, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2005 to aid research on 'Native State, Transnational Indigenes: Strategies in the Era of International Accountability,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. At the international level, the legal realm is an emerging space of resistance for indigenous movements. There has been a significant increase in the number of court cases involving tribal communities successfully suing state governments for land and resource rights world wide. This project seeks to understand the larger implications of this strategy. How has this changed the relationship and dynamics between marginalized groups and the nation state? How has the state responded? How are transnational discourses such as 'human rights' and 'cultural rights' influencing these cases? How do ideas of international accountability and the global audience play into this? This project will examine the questions above by focusing on the relationship between the Malaysian State and the aboriginal people of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli.
Moinde-Fockler, Nancy Nthenya, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Effects of Land Use Practices on the Socioecology of Olive Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Ryne Arthur Palombit
NANCY N. MOINDE-FOCKLER, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Effects of Land Use Practices on the Socioecology of Olive Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Ryne Palombit. This study examines a group of olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) occupying two different land-use systems (pastoralism and commercial ranching) in Laikipia District, Kenya. The study evaluates the short-term behavioral responses of these baboons to anthropogenically altered landscapes. These changes in social behavior are used to test predictions of socioecological models about how variations in resource availability influence social evolution generally. The study also incorporates the human cultural-ecological dimension into primatological research by evaluating how different human cultural land-use practices influence the relationships that humans have with baboons. The study additionally tests Wildlife Value Orientation models' predictions about patterns in human-baboon interactions due to cultural beliefs and practices associated with different land-use practices. By combining these two theoretical approaches directly, this project contributes to the practicalities of solving issues for the continued coexistence between humans and baboons, as well as other species. First, examining the baboon's response to environmental changes will provide insights on how they adapt to anthropogenic changes in their habitats. Second, understanding how local people view and interact with baboons and other wildlife provides a means of evaluating whether local communities can be encouraged to make land-use decisions that facilitate human-baboon coexistence.
Daniels, Brian I., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Preserving Native American Culture by Bureaucratic Means,' supervised by Dr. Robert Preucel
BRIAN I. DANIELS, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Preserving Native American Culture by Bureaucratic Means,' supervised by Dr. Robert Preucel. This doctoral dissertation research investigated the relationship between bureaucratic practices in neoliberal, multicultural democracy and the use of indigenous culture to assert rights-based claims. Through a fourteen-month ethnographic and archival study of Klamath River Native American tribes in northern California, this project examined how cultural evidence enables novel forms of political debate and strategic organization. By tracing the venues where indigenous people assert legal claims, it has documented the many ways in which cultural evidence becomes valued. With nine Native American communities, all of whom are engaged in heritage work with different government bureaucracies, the Klamath River watershed provided a field site that was diverse in its institutional and indigenous constituencies and significant for its history of legal challenges to cultural heritage policy. This research demonstrated the central importance of estate probate and land tenure to indigenous consciousness, and identified how documentary paperwork reshapes ways of knowing culture and history, and what it means to possess a specific identity. It also uncovered evidence that some Native Americans in the study area hold active rights to a defunct reservation, which, because of this investigation, has become a focus of future community development and revitalization.
Samet, Robert Nathan, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ROBERT N. SAMET, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako. The overarching objective of the dissertation research is to describe the social processes through which violent events are framed as journalistic narratives by focusing on the everyday practices of crime reporters in Caracas. While there is a wealth of social scientific material that refers to news coverage of crime and violence, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand the processes of cultural production from the inside out. This project set out to accomplish four specific goals: 1) examine the culture of crime reporters; 2) describe the key factors shaping the day-to-day practices of journalists who cover the crime beat; 3) explain what influences the selection and composition of images and stories of crime; and 4) show the larger context in which these images and stories circulate. Together, these strands of inquiry will provide a nuanced understanding of how journalist and journalism have helped to shape 'the politics of security' in Venezuela during the Hugo Chavez era.
Hayat, Maira, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Bureaucracies of Care, Infrastructures of Crime: Water Economies in Postcolonial Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Kaushik Sundar Rajan
Preliminary abstract: Through ethnographic examination of water theft, I propose to study state-citizen relations, bureaucratic care, conceptions of property, and of the licit in Pakistan. I approach water theft not only in the usual register of law and crime via case law, but also as practice--ways of navigating water infrastructures and flows--and in everyday discourse: allegations, impressions, and rumors. I hypothesize that it is in these micro-practices and the discourses driving, and deriving from them that state sovereignty; citizenship; perceptions of the (im)propriety of property; and the (il)licit are constituted. Contrary to popular perceptions in Pakistan that a growing informal groundwater economy and proliferating water theft represent yet another instance of state and societal failure, I ask if water theft may be better understood as re-writing the social contract. My primary field-site is a part rural, part urban town in the Punjab province, Pakistan's agricultural hub, and home to its densest irrigation infrastructure; it is known among many irrigation bureaucrats as a town with rampant water theft. I will study water infrastructures and the public canal irrigation network here, and conduct ethnographic research at the provincial Irrigation department.