Naqvi, Tahir, H., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Urban Citizenship and Ethno-Modernity in
Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Stefania Pandolfo
TAHIR NAQVI, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Urban Citizenship and Ethno-Modernity in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Stephania Pandolfo. Between July 2003 and May 2003 the researcher conducted fieldwork in Karachi, Pakistan. He proposed to explore a recent urban ethno-nationalist formation called the Muhajir Nationalist Movement (MQM). The leading research objective was to account for the conditions of possibility, form, and antagonistic politics of Muhajir nationality in light of its uniquely provisional articulation of nationalist difference. Muhajir ethno-nationalist discourse does not uphold a fixed or essentialized vision of its political community, or subject. This has significant implications for how postcolonial nationalism, minoritism, and anti-state and collective violence can be represented in the globalized present. Through interviews, participant observation of MQM party life, and archival analysis of official and unofficial materials, the grantee examined how Muhajir political violence can only partially be characterized as 'nationalist.' Research disclosed the significance of the urban democratic transition in ordering violence. By analyzing praetorian political rationality's spatialized production of urban political citizenship, the grantee elaborated key disjunctures in the experience of citizenship during democratization (1989-1999). Through popular and official narratives, the researcher explored the spatialized ambiguity between violence, identity that emerged during this period.
Heckert, Carina Michelle, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX - To aid research on 'Gender Relations, Illness Experiences, and HIV/AIDS Care in Santa Cruz, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Nia Parson
Preliminary abstract: This research seeks to understand how global health discourse and national politics shape subjective lived experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, paying particular attention to the gender dynamics involved in this process. Currently, Santa Cruz is experiencing an emerging AIDS epidemic that is becoming increasingly feminized. This trend coincides with a global health focus on women and HIV/AIDS and recent political transformations in Bolivia that seek to grant women and PLWHA more rights. How these broader discourses on gender equality are shaping the everyday lives of PLWHA, specifically in regards to illness experiences and gender relations, is the primary concern of this research. A significant body of anthropological work examines how global processes, including global health interventions, influence social relations and lived experiences in local contexts. Within this literature, however, there is not a detailed understanding of how global health initiatives influence gender relations. This research will look specifically at if/how gender relations are transformed by HIV/AIDS initiatives and how this subsequently shapes illness experiences for men and women with HIV/AIDS. I will do this through illness narrative and life history interviews with PLWHA, interviews with healthcare workers, and participant observation in local HIV/AIDS-related organizations.
McLachlan, Amy Leia, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Cultivating Futures: Botanical Economies and Knowledge Ecologies in Migrant Colombian Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Joseph P. Masco
Preliminary abstract: The life histories and life projects of contemporary Uitoto communities are intimately tied to the social lives of sacred and increasingly commodified Uitoto plants. The Uitoto, an indigenous group from the central Colombian Amazon, describe and interact with the nourishing, medicinal, and magical plants that populate their 'chagras' (swidden gardens) as divine and powerful persons, social actors who provide the foundations of human life, thought, and agency. At the same time, many of those plant species are being taken up in global narcotic and pharmaceutical economies as sources of profit and healing, and in national scientific and activist practices, according to radically different logics. Sacred Uitoto plants are increasingly at the center of emergent sites of knowledge production and circulation in which indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge traditions are being translated into national, capitalist, and scientific regimes of value. In this context, an ethnography of Uitoto migrant cultivators and the plants that connect them to one another and to multiple intersecting political and economic regimes, offers a particularly useful vantage onto both the structural transformations that have shaped the Colombian political and economic landscape over the past century, and the intimate negotiations of life and loss that characterize the lives of Colombians 'desplazados' (displaced persons) today. This project proposes that in their efforts to nurture sacred plants and ethnobotanical knowledge traditions, Uitoto migrants are not only working to maintain material and cultural connections to their pasts and points of origin, but are actively reworking their relations to one another, the state, and the global economies with which they are increasingly entangled.
Cabrera Cortes, Mercedes O., Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Craft Production in the Periphery of Teotihuacan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. George L. Cowgill
MERCEDES O. CABRERA CORTES, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in August 2004, to aid research on 'Craft Production in the Periphery of Teotihuacan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. George L. Cowgill. Between October 7, 2004, and August 31, 2006, archaeological investigations including surface survey (mapping, and surface materials collection), excavations (100 m²), and subsequent artifact analysis were carried out at Site 520, Teotihuacan, Mexico, to collect data bearing on socio-economic interaction between the inhabitants of semi-rural hinterland settlements and Classic Period Teotihuacan. Site 520 is a Teotihuacan Period ceramic production workshop located in the city's semi-rural periphery, a short distance outside of the ancient prehispanic city of Teotihuacan (150 BC-AD 600). This project investigates the degree to which and in what ways the inhabitants of Site 520 were integrated economically and socially with the urban capital. Field and laboratory work confirmed that peoples from this site were engaged in ceramic production at a scale that would have surpassed local domestic demands-ceramic products made at Site 520 most likely were consumed by inhabitants of the ancient urban center. While the analysis of artifacts has not yet been completed, preliminary evidence suggests that occupants of Site 520 , settlers living outside he margins of the city, used ceramic production as an inroad into the core economic activities of urban Teotihuacan. Funerary patterns and portable artifacts (e.g., figurines, ceramic vessels, and obsidian tools) indicate that the inhabitants of this settlement were to some extent socially and culturally integrated with peoples living within the city, and had access to some of the same imported goods as people living in the urban center. Architectural remains, on the other hand, strongly contrast with the residential forms most typical of urban Teotihuacan.
Scales, David A., Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Contesting Sovereignty with Epidemic Emergencies at the World Health Organization,' supervised by Dr. Julia Potter Adams
DAVID A. SCALES, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Contesting Sovereignty with Epidemic Emergencies at the World Health Organization,' supervised by Dr. Julia P. Adams. This project examined how epidemic emergencies appeared to be transferring sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO) from its member states, as evidenced by new international agreements such as the International Health Regulations (2005 IHR) and the organization's workings in the area of pandemic influenza planning, surveillance, and control. A total of six months at the World Health Organization was spent doing ethnography, archival research, and a series of interviews with key informants. Particular attention was paid to how the organization seeks to implement the IHR and how its member states find ways to avoid the reporting requirements of the regulations. In addition, observing the revision process for the WHO's global influenza pandemic preparedness plan and the proceedings of the Codes Alimentarius Commission gave insight into tacit and explicit agreements that, while differing drastically in levels of enforcement, are all at the border between science and international policy. Moreover, these ongoing processes provided a glimpse into how the WHO attempts to reproduce their authority through meetings and consultations designed to demonstrate their neutrality, objectivity, and expertise. How effectively it is able to reproduce this authority affects how member states perceive and react to the organization and its initiatives.
Green, Elizabeth Mara, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks
ELIZABETH MARA GREEN, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in May 2009, to aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks. An estimated 5,000-15,000 deaf people in Nepal are Nepali Sign Language (NSL) users and participants in an urban-centered, national deaf community. In contrast, the majority of deaf Nepalis -- some 190,000 according to one frequently quoted figure -- never learn, or even encounter, NSL. Without access to a shared language, these deaf people, along with their hearing interlocutors, develop localized gestural systems to communicate. The researcher conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Kathmandu, the capital, and Maunabudhuk, a village in the east, with local signers. The findings suggest that local sign is both like and unlike communication that occurs when using a standard language; while both rely on conventions, the former has a much smaller and less stable repertoire, such that it is characterized not only by successes but also by frequent misunderstandings and a very tightly-bound relationship to social and interactional context. The dissertation will explore more fully how deaf local signers and their hearing family members, neighbors, and friends draw on shared personal experiences, tacit social knowledge, and the material landscape to produce meaningful signs and meaningful lives.