Shubowitz, Devorah, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'The Effects of Liberal Jewish Women's Historically Newfound Sacred Text Study,' supervised by Dr. Sara Friedman
DEVORAH SHUBOWITZ, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Effects of Liberal Jewish Women's Historically Newfound Sacred Text Study,' supervised by Dr. Sara Friedman. Since the 1970s feminist movement and over the past forty years, gender egalitarian religious Jewish communities have flourished in the United States. In these communities, women study sacred texts and perform rituals that were historically male-only practices. Currently, in New York, women fill egalitarian rabbinic schools, adult education programs, and yeshivas to study male-authored religious law and hermeneutical texts. These biblical, talmudic, and Jewish legal writings describe, sexualize, and analogize women within moral-legal-godly frameworks as conceived by generations of males over thousands of years. Egalitarian institutions widely accept the male dominance of the texts as a historical reality while positioning the same texts and rituals as ideal 'gender-neutral' standards, instructing men and women alike to propel this canon into contemporary relevance. My project analyzes egalitarian interpretive practices in different educational contexts and women's interpretive processes in their study and daily lives. Understanding women's interpretive tensions and norms reveals how and why four generations of women who identify with liberal values of free choice, equal opportunity, and personal meaning shape their voices, embodiments, politics, relationships, and selves in dialogue with a canon that assumes and prescribes male dominance in religious, legal, and social life. Placing women's sacred text study in the context of the 1970s Jewish feminists' call for women's equal access to male religious practice reveals the 'gender trouble' that results from welding ideologies of unimpeded interpretive freedom with ideologies that assign a male-authored religious canon the status to speak for all.
Hernandez Corchado, Rodolfo, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mexican Indigenous Migrants in New York City: On the Cross of Inequality and Ethnic Stratification,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lawrence Blim
RODOLFO HERNANDEZ CORCHADO, then a student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Mexican Indigenous Migrants in New York Ctiy: On the Cross of Inequality and Ethnic Stratification,' supervised by Dr. Michael L. Blim. For this research observation, informal and formal interviews, and oral life stories were conducted in New York City with indigenous Mixtecos and Mestizos migrants from the Montana region in Mexico. Evidence was gathered in three different New York City neighborhoods, where a majority of Guerrerenses have settled, and are now being incorporated into the labor process mainly as undocumented workers. In these places they have begun to create their own religious, communitarian, and recreational institutions for collective organization. As part of this research, more than 150 formal interviews were conducted to create life stories and examine the different process of labor and migrant incorporation that exists within a segment of the Mexican migrant stream that is previously differentiated in terms of ethnicity and class.
McKay, Ramah Katherine, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Medical Welfare in Neoliberal Times: Transnational Philanthropy, the Family, the Ethics of Care in Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
RAMAH McKAY, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Medical Welfare in Neoliberal Times: Transnational Philanthropy, the Family, the Ethics of Care in Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. This project examines the process through which welfare is made in contemporary Mozambique. Focusing on 'psycho-social' and 'community' technologies, the study examines how patients, clients, families, humanitarian and philanthropic organizations, and the state interact. The study uses interviews, participant observation, and media and archival analysis to examine how practices of social welfare are configured around 'natural,' 'social,' and 'biological' logics of risk and care. It investigates the political and medical process through which this occurs, investigating how psycho-social and community-oriented technologies work to mediate and administer caring practices making available some practices of care while foreclosing others. At a broad level, the research examines the relationship between public health projects and transnational philanthropy to understand political context in which health workers, families and patients learn and contest both new and old practices of welfare. At a micro level, the study asks about the narratives, practices and techniques through which welfare is constituted in Mozambique today.
McKay, Ramah K. 2012. Documentary Disorders: Managing Medical Multiplicity in Maputo, Mozambique. American Ethnologist 39(3):545-561.
Ceron Valdes, Mario Alejandro, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Epidemiology and the Everyday Life of the Right to Health in Post-war Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Janelle Sue Taylor
ALEJANDRO CERÓN, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Epidemiology and the Everyday Life of the Right to Health in Post-War Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Janelle Taylor. This project is a study of the everyday practice of epidemiology in Guatemala and how it shapes and is shaped by the notion of the right to health. Much of the research on the relationship between public health and human rights adopts either a critical position towards public health as a potential human rights violator, or an uncritical assumption that what is good for public health is good for human rights, without an examination of how that relationship happens. However research findings indicate that the human rights impact of epidemiological practice is not unidirectional but is influenced by the concrete configuration of transnational and local forces (political, economic, bureaucratic, scientific and symbolic) mediated by social relations in which the epidemiologist plays a moderating role. This study introduces the notion of 'fourth-world epidemiology' (alternatively 'post- neo-colonial epidemiology,' and 'magic realism epidemiology') to synthesize the ways in which these forces take shape in the Guatemalan context. To complete this research the grantee spent twelve months doing fieldwork in Guatemala and carried out archival work, accompanied epidemiologists in their work, and interviewed public health officials, human rights activists, international health officers, and people affected by epidemics or the work of epidemiologists.
Saini, Shashank, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Urbanity and its Discontents: Violence, Masculinity and Dispossession in Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Thomas
Preliminary abstract: The recent discourse about sexual violence in Delhi is masking deeper material transformations occurring in the region. Agricultural lands in peri-urban Delhi--which currently constitutes two-thirds of Delhi--are being acquired at a fast pace per the state's mandate to double the urbanized area of Delhi by 2021. As shopping malls and gated communities are being erected on village lands, rural men from urban villages are being considered a threat to urban modernity as the incidents of sexual violence in which rural men are perpetrators are being selectively highlighted in newspaper reports. These discursive developments and material transformations have produced an exceptionally precarious state for young males from urban villages who are being forced to confront a service industry economy, a mode of production for which they possess neither the habitus, nor the education. My dissertation project will explore the emergent processes of subject-making of these male youth from urban villages, and particularly their notions and practices of masculinity, within the context of a fast changing political economy in Delhi characterized by transformations in modes of production and relationships to land, the emergence of new class and status groups, and the influx of new patterns of consumerism.
Guney, Murat Kazim, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'In the Intersection of Neo-Liberal Market and Islamic Government: The Internally Displaced Kurds of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli
MURAT KASIM GUNEY, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'In the Intersection of Neo-Liberal Market and Islamic Government: The Internally Displaced Kurds of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli. This project examines the side effects of the neoliberal development and fast economic growth in Turkey on the everyday life of the Turkish and Kurdish internal migrants and working classes. The ethnographic site of the study is the Tuzla Shipyards Zone of Istanbul, the major ship production site of Turkey that is inhabited by the internal migrants from rural regions of Turkey. In Tuzla, the migrant laborers work for subcontractor firms in temporary jobs without having social security, payment guarantee, and required equipment for work safety. Consequently, since 1992 in Tuzla shipyards 143 workers died because of 'accidents' at work. Tuzla is a salient example about the mode of the economic development in Turkey. Turkey has neither a significant investment in technological research and development nor a company with a high brand-value. Instead, in order to compete with other developing countries Turkey's only offer is the cheap labor force. That is to say, the economic growth in Turkey is sustained through the presence of the cheap labor that requires persistent government oppression over the working classes. Under these severe conditions this research asks: 'What are the mechanisms that reproduce exploitation of the shipyard workers' bodies and labor and endure their sufferings?'
Yosef, Dawit A., Addis Ababu., Addis Ababa, Ethiopa - To aid research on 'Protesting the Past and Negotiating the Future: Ethnicity, Ethnic Relations and Identity Transformation of the Qemant,' supervised by Dr. Fekadu A. Tufa
Preliminary abstract: This research project focuses on the Qemant and Amhara ethnic groups in North West Ethiopia. It will examine the changing nature of ethnic relations between the two groups and identity transformation of the Qemant across two different ethno-political histories of Ethiopia. The Qemant in the past had their own distinct socio-cultural features that provided ethnic members a sense of collective identity. By favoring ethnic endogamy, their indigenous religion had served as ethnic integrative mechanism. However, such objective cultural aspects that marked off the social boundary between the Qemant and their Amhara neighbors get blurred following the mass Christianization of the Qemant. As part of the nation-state building efforts in the pre 1991 period of Ethiopia, the Qemant were made to fuse into their Amhara neighbors through religious conversion and interethnic marriage. However, following the adoption of ethnic federalism and ethnic based territorial self administration in post 1991 period, ethnic revival movement of the Qemant has getting activated, ethnic tension has emerged and the ethnic boundary between the two groups has glared. Therefore, using diachronic perspective and qualitative research methodology, this project will examine how ethno-political perspectives from above coalesce into local socio-economic situation in affecting ethnic relations and identity transformation.
Lopiparo, Jeanne L., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Household Ceramic Production and Small-Scale Economies in the Terminal Classic Ulua Valley, Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce - Lita Osmundsen Fellowship
JEANNE L. LOPIPARO, while a student at the University of California in Berkeley, California, was awarded the Lita Osmundsen Fellowship in January 2001 to aid research on household ceramic production and small-scale economies in the Terminal Classic Ulúa Valley, Honduras, under the supervision of Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce. Through fine-grained excavation and analysis of Terminal Classic household sites in the lower Ulúa Valley, Lopiparo documented the dispersed production of fine-paste ceramic artifacts and examined the implications of small-scale production for processes of social integration. The incorporation of locally produced, mold-made ceramic artifacts into rituals of renewal at multiple scales provided evidence of a ritual mode of production for the integration of independent house societies. Stylistic analysis of these artifacts demonstrated how participation in shared production practices both expressed commonalities and established distinctions among households, communities, and regions. Lopiparo advanced a model for the ritual mode of production that suggested the means of integration through which societies were produced and reproduced at the local level in the absence of the sociopolitical and economic centralization characteristic of Classic-period centers in the Maya lowlands. As nexuses for rituals that were fundamental to social production and reproduction, house societies were instrumental in the crafting of society in the Terminal Classic Ulúa Valley.
Bou Akar, Hiba, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Rebuilding the Center, Expanding the Frontier: Reconstructing Post-War(s) Beirut, Lebanon' supervised by Dr. Teresa P. Caldeira
HIBA BOU AKAR, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in May 2009, to aid research on 'Rebuilding the Center, Expanding the Frontier: Reconstructing Post-War(s) Beirut, Lebanon,' supervised by Dr. Teresa Caldeira. The project investigates the articulation of planning practices with militarization, war, and political difference in shaping the everyday geographies of Beirut, Lebanon. The project positions religious-political actors as central to the restructuring of cities, particularly those in conflict by studying the roles such organizations have had in the production of urban space in three peripheral neighborhoods in Beirut, and the implications of such practices on the everyday spatiality of war and violence. Over a 15-month period, through observations, interviews, and archival research, the project examined the role that religious-political organizations have played in shaping urban planning and zoning schemes, building laws, housing and land markets, and the planning of infrastructure projects, as they intersect with the spatiality of the everyday 'talk of war.' Emerging from this project as well is a study of how geographies of warfare have been intertwined with the history of planning in Lebanon, along with a reflection on the methodological problematic of doing ethnographic research in volatile areas.
Rasidjan, Maryani Palupy, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Reproductive Difference: The Construction of Race in the Indonesian Family Planning Program in Papua,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams
Preliminary abstract: In Papua, Indonesia's most eastern and recently acquired province, women's reproductive health is entangled with histories of political violence, international development efforts and Indonesia's massive family planning program. Much scholarship focuses on one of these aspects, but few focus on the complex relationship between these histories. My research seeks to address this gap by examining the family planning program in Papua against the backdrop of an active and well-known separatist movement, in which accusations of racism and genocide on the part of the Indonesian state by a number of local and international activists persist and form a basis for reproductive decision-making. This research will examine the ways in which notions of difference and identity emerge as problems of race within women's reproductive health. This research questions how race is constructed, contested and mobilized in and through the family planning campaign in Papua and how this in turn affects reproductive health choices and outcomes.