Jessee, Nathan Aaron, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Inhabiting Disaster Media Worlds: Visual Media, Indigenous Activism, and Adaptation to Coastal Hazards in Louisiana,' supervised by Dr. Damien Stankiewicz
Preliminary abstract: This research examines recent efforts to increase the visibility of Louisiana's coastal hazards and communities who reckon with them. After Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 BP Oil Disaster, journalists and filmmakers inundated southeast Louisiana hoping to capture a landscape ravaged by oil spills, hurricanes, coastal erosion, and among the highest rates of sea level rise on Earth. Despite a historical neglect of local indigenous communities, media-makers looked to bayou Indian tribes, like the Isle de Jean Charles band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, to understand the impacts of these unprecedented catastrophes. My research investigates: 1) the widespread visualization of catastrophe in southeast Louisiana and how it has affected the Isle de Jean Charles and their efforts to adapt to coastal hazards, 2) the material, social, and cultural processes by which tribal experiences of disaster are reproduced and circulated through journalism, film, and community-driven initiatives; and 3) how diverse audiences engage with representations of the tribe, their land, and the environmental processes that affect them. Building on relationships cultivated while a research assistant at the Center of Hazards, Assessment, Response, and Technology in New Orleans, I will work alongside Isle de Jean Charles tribal leaders and their partners and conduct participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and media reception analyses with tribal members, filmmakers, journalists, hazard mitigation professionals, and audiences targeted by the tribe. This research will bring together insights from media anthropology and political ecology to analyze how visual media reflect, reproduce, and transform social relations that coalesce around environmental disasters.
Alonso Lorenzo, Rocio, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid 'A Cross-Institutional Ethnographic Study of Antiracist Practices in São Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Davydd J. Greenwood
ROCIO ALONSO LORENZO, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in August 2003 to aid research on 'A Cross-Institutional Ethnographic Study of Antiracist Practices in São Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Davydd J. Greenwood. Despite the increasing institutionalization of racially oriented policies in Brazilian enterprises alongside the expansion of the Business and Social Responsibility (BSR) movement, focalized policies grounded on racial classification are unpopular among most business professionals. Other motivations, unlike personal recognition of the existence of racism, account for the proliferation of affirmative actions in the private sector since the last decade, The use of a multi-method and multi-site approach to ethnographic research, grounded in a variety of field methodologies, such as organizational engagement, network mapping, and in-depth process evaluation, has underpinned the idea that symbolic analysis of management practices is vital to a better understanding of how global policy is effectively implemented. Based upon one year and a half of field research, from August 2003 to February 2005, within a pioneering network of entrepreneurs and business professionals from companies of different size, nationality, and economic sector located in Sao Paulo city, important findings emerged regarding the future of multiracial policy in Brazil and Latin America. In most cases analyzed, the hybridity and interchangeability of practices between institutions do not develop into social collective consciousness, at least concerning diversity and affirmative action initiatives. The marketing potential and the cross-institutional capacity of replication of global policy strikingly contrasts with the difficulties that workplace experiences of radical social transformation have to extend beyond company boundaries. However, the social responsibility metaphor creates a sense of comfort for Brazilian business professionals, enabling them to discuss affirmative action and to question the ever-present Brazilian belief in the racial democracy, thereby allowing occasionally for a higher degree of tropicalization of diversity management's global procedures.
Most, Corinna Angelica, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Effects of Maternal Responsiveness and Secondary Attachments on the Social development of Infant Olive Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Shirley C. Strum
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the process by which naïve infants become socially sophisticated adults, able to successfully manage a large network of complex relationships. Because human socialization patterns are extremely varied due to their culturally situated nature, this research adopts a cross-species comparative approach to identify the factors influencing the development of basic processes such as attachment, autonomy, and integration into broader social networks. Long-term data will be collected on wild olive baboon infants. A particular focus will be on the role of maternal responsiveness and secondary attachments on the development of social awareness. This data will be contextualized within the broader socio-ecological data available from this site. Olive baboons display great variation and flexibility in social behavior, without the benefits of language and culture to structure their complex and dynamic society. Resetting the baseline of what is possible without cultural props, this investigation provides valuable insight into the social development of humans. It aids in identifying what constitutes an 'optimal' developmental context and expands the current understanding of the effect of alternative attachment figures on social development. By addressing both the phylogeny and the ontogeny of complex social behavior, this research investigates the link between individual behavior and evolutionary outcome.
Dennison, Jean, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'Reforming a Nation: Citizenship, Government and the Osage People,' supervised by Dr. Peter R. Schmidt
JEAN DENNISON, then a student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, was awarded funding in November 2005, to aid research on ''Reforming a Nation: Citizenship, Government and the Osage People,' supervised by Dr. Peter R. Schmidt. This research examined the mapping of Osage identity within the context of their 2004-2006 citizenship and government reform process. It investigated three primary areas: first, how the colonial situation created certain limitations on and possibilities for Osage citizenship and governmental formation; second, the ways in which the desires surrounding 'Osageness' were created and changed through the reform process; and third, how the writers of the 2006 Osage Constitution navigated the conflicts arising from these histories and desires in order to create this governing document. In order to investigate these concerns a wide range of evidence was collected, including archival documents, interviews, recorded community and business meetings, and informal conversations. Using this evidence, this dissertation will investigate how colonial policies, local histories, authorized and unauthorized stories about the reform process, biological 'facts,' desires, fears and personal experiences were all hardened into the 2006 Osage constitution.
Schauer, Matthew Philip, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Warfare on the Inca Frontier: Fortification, Imperialism, and Interaction on the Frontier in Northern Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Harold Keeley
MATTHEW SCHAUER, then a student at University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'Warfare on the Inca Frontier: Fortification, Imperialism, and Interaction on the Frontier in Northern Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Keeley. In the northern Ecuadorian highlands, the Inca constructed fourteen fortifications at Pambamarca to subjugate a local chiefdom called the Cayambe. These sites are clustered together yet vary in the number of walls, structures, defensives, and size. The purpose of this dissertation project was to explain the variability and clustering of these sites and determine the types of activities that took place. This study was carried out in three phases. The first phase was survey using a combination of methods to establish a typology identifying a three-tier hierarchy of fortress sites. The next phase of research involved a systematic test sampling program from the three types. The purpose of this phase was to determine the density and distribution of occupation across a site. The final phase involved larger excavation units to expose what type of activities were happening at these sites, the sequence of occupation and who exactly was occupying these sites. Preliminary results suggest that different types fulfilled different roles. The imperial strategy of the Pambamarca complex of fortifications appears to have functioned as a complex network of imperial garrisons meant to prevent incursions from across the frontier with smaller sites serving as watchtowers for mutual support and defense.
Heuson, Jennifer Lynn, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Sounding Western: Producing National Sensory Heritage through Sound in South Dakota's Black Hills,' supervised by Dr. Marita Sturken
JENNIFER L. HEUSON, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Sounding Western: Producing National Sensory Heritage through Sound in South Dakota's Black Hills,' supervised by Dr. Marita Sturken. This dissertation explores how and why sound is used to produce national heritage in a popular, yet contested, tourist region in South Dakota: the Black Hills. It argues that the Black Hills is an important geopolitical space not only because of its history of 'native elimination' and resource extraction, but because of how this history is taught, preserved, and celebrated through popular culture and tourist events. Specifically, it examines how sonic experiences in the Black Hills produce the region as an experiential artifact of frontier mythologies that include manifest destiny, rugged individualism, and salvage ethnography. It outlines frontier aurality as crucial conceptual frame for understanding how past conquest shapes both present and future through the subtle modes of sensing enacted at heritage venues and offers both a highly contested example of the 'colonized ear' and an instance of the relationship of this ear to something that could be called 'the colonization of experience.' Through ethnographic observations and recordings, historical and cultural analyses, and interviews with heritage producers, this research hopes to expose the role of aurality in heritage production and in the continued subjugation of native peoples and places.
Zhang, Amy Qiubei, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Recycled Cities: Remaking Waste in Post-reform Urban China,' supervised by Dr. Helen F. Siu
AMY ZHANG, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Recycled Cities: Remaking Waste in Post-reform Urban China,' supervised by Dr. Helen F. Siu. This research examines contention around the modernization of waste infrastructure against the backdrop of rapid urbanization in China. After 30 years of economic reform activists warn that, if China fails to develop more efficient ways of managing garbage in cities, its residents will experience a waste crisis. During eighteen months of fieldwork, the researcher collected data through interviews and participant observation, by following incineration experts and activists, tracking informal and formal recycling schemes, and working with communities who are devising new organic waste treatment technologies with an eye to examining how waste-instead of being treated as objects to be discarded-was transformed into things of value. The research focused on how different types of waste (e.g, recyclable or organic) are classified, processed, and transformed through technologies, labor, and environmental practices. Debates around waste intersect with efforts at making 'modern' citizens and cities. At the same time the success and failure of each of these new waste treatment schemes reflects increased citizen advocacy against pollution and their skepticism towards the ability of governments and experts to create the modern cities they have promised.
Mawyer, Alexander D., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly
ALEXANDER D. MAWYER, while a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in December 2001 to aid research on 'Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia,' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly. Between January 2002 and February 2003, the grantee conducted primary dissertation fieldwork in French Polynesia for a project titled 'TV TALK and Other Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier, French Polynesia.' The theoretical focus of this project remained centered, throughout the fieldwork, in the investigation of particular affinities between the use of available sociolinguistic tools, the interactional stances taken by speakers in the various discursive situations of daily life, and the production of groupness-higher orders of social organization such as publics or communities. During the course of fieldwork, the grantee investigated how it is that speakers do inhabit roles and identities, and generally perform the great play of culture in all its modes and moods, in the indexical realization of the universe of their discourse - resulting in observations of speakers shifting between multiple possible stances, identifying with a public or publics within French Polynesia. A significant methodological goal of this project was to show how culturally situated persons in a sense improvisationally perform and generate the very publics that constitute them, a process which is in part realized by various linguistic devices that simultaneously index and entail that performance. From examining such 'realizations' in the discursive negotiation of the meaningfulness of news and other culturally mediating tropes - in this case, Mexican soap operas, a metropolitan French talk show, and ongoing local political debates articulated with pearl legislation and the French Polynesian government's regional objectives-1 gained an analytical purchase on the cultural and social logics of 'significant' information and the role(s) of communication more generally, in village society.
Chumley, Lily Hope, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Creativity and Capitalism in the Central Academy of Fine Art,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
LILY HOPE CHUMLEY, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Creativity and Capitalism in the Central Academy of Fine Art,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. In the last 30 years, Chinese visual culture industries have exploded. Graphic design, fashion and advertising fields now drive China's consumer economy, while Beijing and Shanghai have become global art capitals. Art schools have grown rapidly, and the competition for entrance has also intensified. As a result, even as 'creativity' has become a buzzword for education officials, art-school entrance tests have become ever more standardized and, ironically, the number of young people proficient in socialist realism has increased. This dissertation looks at the discourses and practices of aesthetic personality (xingge) and creativity (chuangzaoli) that have flourished with China's market economy, tracing students' passage from test-oriented technical training to the later years of college and the early years of professional life, when they are called on to cultivate 'selves' and perform 'creative personality' even as they develop visual 'styles'. The research examines the contradictions that arose when state institutions built to serve a socialist visual culture took up central positions in a market economy; the ways that artists' and designers' attempts to fit 'creative personality' into markets in aesthetic commodities are framed by anxieties about commodification and Westernization/ globalization, and how discourses of 'individuality' get articulated through generational tensions resulting from China's rapid economic transformation.