Park, Seo Young, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Making Time in the 24-hour City: Gender, Labor, and Experiment in Seoul's Dongdaemun Market,' supervise by Dr. William Michael Maurer
SEO YOUNG PARK, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Making Time in the 24-hour City: Gender, Labor, and Experiment in Seoul's Dongdaemun Market,' supervise by Dr. William Maurer. This project investigates the ways in which time is experienced and produced by differently positioned subjects in the Dongdaemun Market in Seoul. By exploring the place-making and market-making practices that 'speed up' and also 'slow down' the time in the Market, this research aims to understand the contested emergence of 24-hour cities in Korea. A sprawling complex that encompasses assembly plants, wholesale stores, retail shopping malls, and entertainment centers, dongdaemun exemplifies the rapid transformation of Seoul. Once viewed as a place of arduous manual labor, Dongdaemun is now imagined as an attractive 24-hour operating space, where high-speed transnational production and consumption take place simultaneously. The grantee conducted 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Seoul, working with the market-making agents of Dongdaemun: factory laborers, designers, entrepreneurs, and NGO workers. By investigating their practices in and narratives of Dongdaemun, this study analyzes how intimate circuits unfold in their struggles over time, their working spaces, and their own creativity in various registers of garment making. The project suggests that it is not only the workers' intensive labor but also their bodily presence and intimate engagement with the clothes, people, and skills that materialize the 'speed' of production and circulation and yet contest the abstract notion of speed.
Doll, Christian Joseph, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'South Sudan Emerging from 'Ground Zero': State-Making Amidst Precarity in the World's Newest Nation,' supervised by Dr. James H. Smith
Preliminary abstract: Shortly after gaining independence, members of the newly sovereign Government of South Sudan (GOSS), announced plans to move South Sudan's capital from the established economic and political center, Juba, to Ramciel, a remote village in the geographic center of the country. Why, considering the plethora of state-building challenges facing the new nation-state, would GOSS propose to build a new capital city from the ground up? A partial answer is that Ramciel's centrality would allow GOSS to bureaucratically cater to and symbolically unify South Sudan's disconnected and divided populace. A further motivation for the move is the historically thick reality, violent history, and bitter land politics of Juba, which planners hope to escape in the forests of Ramciel. Since independence, Juba has become home to a hetoroglot populace of nationals from throughout the country and entrepreneurs and aid workers from throughout the world--all seeking to gain from and contribute to the formation of the world's newest nation. Meanwhile, Ramciel's Dinka pastoralists see equal possibility of their empowerment or disenfranchisement through the relocation of the capital to a place that will be more hospitable to them than Juba ever was. What are the particular understandings of the state, and what the state should be, that are emerging in Juba and Ramciel? How will they be sustained and materialized in the midst of failure, delay, and overarching precarity? To answer these questions, I will conduct multi-sited fieldwork on the interactions between state actors and civilians, in Juba and Ramciel, as they express and enact their visions of the South Sudanese state, and its potential future, in their divergent state-making discourses and practices.
Dong, Yu, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Eating Identity: Millet Versus Rice Consumers in Neolithic Northern China,' supervised by Dr. Stanley H. Ambrose
YU DONG, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Eating Identity: Millet versus Rice Consumers in Neolithic Northern China,' supervised by Dr. Stanley Ambrose. The Dawenkou Neolithic Culture (4300-2600 BC) in Shandong, northern Jiangsu and Anhui Provinces, China, provides insights into the origin of complex stratified society. The initial spread of rice from southern China to the millet agriculture-based societies of the Yellow River Valley occurred during this era. Analyses of burial style and richness of mortuary offerings, chemical profiles of human remains, and radiocarbon dating were performed to understand these fundamental changes. Radiocarbon dating results indicate that three investigated Dawenkou sites dated to 2800-2500 BC, while the fourth one is a few centuries later. Dietary and burial customs can be compared among three contemporary communities, and over a few centuries. Analysis of human chemical profiles (stable isotope analysis) suggests that the spread of rice agriculture did not occur till the end of period, starting with sites located further south. Females might have played a special role in the course. Rice consumption could have been used to publicly differentiate certain individuals from other social classes, hence facilitated the process of social stratification. Burial analysis is still underway to understand the relationship between diet, status, social organization, gender relations and complexity at Dawenkou sites.
Thomas, Samuel Atsushi, U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research on ''Knowing difference': Healing, History, and the Other in Afro-Indigenous Relations in the Pacific Lowlands, Colombia', supervised by Dr. Laura Marie Rival
SAMUEL A. THOMAS, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, received funding in November 2006 to aid research on ''Knowing Difference:' Healing, History, and the Other in Afro-Indigenous Relations in the Pacific Lowlands, Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Laura Rival. How can we understand the diversity of cultural expression in a world where relations between human populations are, and have always been, a defining feature of their existence? How can difference between social groupings be conceived in a manner that overcomes the limitations of the self-referential frames of race, culture, and ethnicity? The research has addressed this concern through an analysis of the relational context of Black and Indigenous (Epérãrã-Síapidãarã) communities in the headwaters of Río Saijá in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia. In the course of investigation, themes such as the local economy, healing practice, colonial experience implicating Catholic faith, and the marginality of these communities in terms of multicultural politics of the nation and the transnational coca economy have emerged to portray a fertile tension between simultaneous forces of similarity and difference. With a principal focus on healing, the manner in which this knowledge has been articulated through history -- and the way in which this history is drawn upon in the act of healing -- points towards a consideration of orders of knowledge that, in the process of their constitution, are revealing of both the unity of humankind and the particularity of socio-cultural expression.
Jacobsen, Kristina Michelle, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Manly Voices: Navajo Country Music and the Politics of Indigeneity,' supervised by Dr. Orin Raymond Starn
KRISTINA M. JACOBSEN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in April 2009, to aid research on 'Manly Voices: Navajo Country Music and the Politics of Indigeneity,' supervised by Dr. Orin R. Starn. This dissertation research explores Navajo country western bands and the politics of indigeneity in Navajo (Diné) communities. If Boy Scouts, New Agers, and other white Americans have often dressed up to 'play' Indian, many Navajos have gone the other direction to embrace the idea of being cowboys and Western-style clothing, rodeos, and country music have become commonplace. Moreover, Navajos have been performing country music since at least the 1950s and many have come to embrace country music as a genre that poignantly expresses their lifeways and cultural values associated with ranching, storytelling, and a family-centered value system. This two-year ethnographic study examines the hybrid musical practices of Navajo country bands, focusing on this music's role in shaping contemporary modes of Navajo masculinity. Along with interviews, videography, and media reports, participant-observation centered on the researcher singing and playing the lap steel guitar with three Navajo country western bands in order to examine how musical performance is critical to articulations of indigeneity and masculinity within today's Navajo Nation. Findings of this research will contribute to the anthropology of music and the voice and may also have implications for studies of expressive practices and American Indian popular culture more broadly.
Nakamura, Carolyn M., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Matter of Magic: Materiality, Representation and Space in Neo-Assyrian Apotropaic Figurine Rituals,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell
CAROLYN M. NAKAMURA, while a student at Columbia University in New York, New York, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on apotropaic figurine rituals in Mesopotamia during the Neo-Assyrian period (c. 934-610 b.c.e.), under the supervision of Dr. Lynn Meskell. Nakamura's subject was an ancient Mesopotamian practice of prophylactic magic involving the strategic burial of figurines in brick boxes under house and temple floors. The performance of such rituals constituted a technology for creating a protected world. Nakamura investigated this form of magic through its ritual assemblages and texts in terms of the creation, consecration, and installation of the figurines at the level of representation, object, and assemblage. She examined, drew, and documented 157 figurines, which she compared with other, published objects in a database of 323 objects from the ancient sites of Khorsabad, Nimrud, Nineveh, Assur, Kish, Babylon, and Ur. Data on depositional contexts, positions, and associations from original site and field reports were also reviewed and integrated into the database. Groups of variables were submitted to relational and spatial analyses. Preliminary analyses suggested that a rich and complex suite of Neo-Assyrian cultural and religious beliefs was mediated through material practice. Apotropaic figurine magic performed both a discursive and a sensuous production of meaning; hybrid and material forms, acts of burial and concealment, and the construction of space presented an imbrication of social meaning and bodily, material production such that magical practice not only blurred boundaries between the ideal and real but effectively demonstrated the ideal as real.
Columbia U., New York, NY, Schwab, Manuel Stefan, PI - To aid research on 'Humanitarian Encounters: Social and Economic Transformations in Political and Merchant Groups Navigating Crisis in Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Mahmood Mamdani
MANUEL STEFAN SCHWAB, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2009, to aid research on 'Humanitarian Encounters: Social and Economic Transformations in Political and Merchant Groups Navigating Crisis in Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Mahmood Mamdani. Funding supported 21 months of fieldwork in Khartoum, Juba, Bentiu, and the three capitals of Darfur. The research concerns the implications of humanitarian aid provided to people acutely affected by the different crises unfolding in Sudan. Interviews and participant observation in various locations in the country followed important dimensions of humanitarian crisis and the responses of aid professionals. The intention was to think about the ethical relationships people receiving aid developed towards the benefits they received; how their lives were concretely affected by the presence of large-scale aid economies; and how interdependency -- which is always an important phenomenon associated with aid -- is perceived and is restructured by aid. Among other phenomena, research focused on the life people live when they are dependant on precarious or failing networks for food and health. The grantee conducted interviews with people living in El Fasher and El Geneina that depend significantly on the World Food program for food security, as well as interviews and archival research on an early moment of health insecurity -- the loss of significant anti-malarial medications in 1998. Interviews also focused on dynamics of debt in post-conflict generations, on microfinance, and associated aid endeavors.
Sokol, Grzegorz Stanislaw, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler
GRZEGORZ S. SOKOL, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler. This project is situated in the context of the increase in, and greater attention given to, mood disorders following the transformation from real socialism to market democracy in Poland. Broadening diagnostic definitions, raised awareness, as well as psychopharmaceuticals and forms of therapy unevenly available to people diagnosed with afflictions of affect are here situated in relationship to the larger process, in which new models of personhood are brought into social practice. This ethnographic research and archival study charts the different forms of medicalization of affect and follows 'depression' across different settings: from an in-patient psychiatric ward, to an outpatient clinic and psychotherapy center, to the meetings of a twelve-step program. The analytic focus is on how treatments of mood disorders are sites where one acquires a new understanding of one's self, relationships, body, history, and relation to society. Especially the psychotherapeutic and twelve-step conception of emotionality enables redefinitions of personhood and gender models. Further, learning a different way of being a person often centers on questions of agency that appear as problems of possibility vs. necessity, expectations, immaturity, demanding attitude, and helplessness. In the process, the individual is put in relation to the broader narrative of postsocialist transformation.
Hayrapetyan, Armine, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan, Armenia - To aid research on 'Economy of the end of Kura-Araxes culture and the Problem of its Transformation,' supervised by Dr. Ruben S. Badalyan
ARMINE HAYRAPETYAN, while a student at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan, Armenia, received funding in June 2002 to aid archaeological research on the early Bronze Age (EBA) Kura-Araxes culture, under the supervision of Dr. Ruben S. Badalyan. Hayrapetyan conducted excavations at an EBA settlement on the hill of Gegharot in the Tsakahovit Plain of north-central Armenia. The research was focused on revealing aspects of economic life during the final (III) phase of the Kura-Araxes culture in the late third millennium B.C.E. Excavations were conducted over an area of 362 square meters and proved the existence of an EBA settlement occupying the top and western slope of the hill. A cemetery contemporaneous with the settlement was also located on the western foothills-the first time a cemetery had been recorded in such a relationship to a settlement. The multidisciplinary investigations enabled the determination of characteristics of the paleoenvironment, the sources of raw materials (obsidian, clay, metal) used by the settlement's inhabitants, the main forms of the economy (on the basis of paleozoological materials), and the site's chronology (through radiocarbon dating). The completion of laboratory analysis was to enable Hayrapetyan to represent the settlement as a model of economic life in the area from the twenty-sixth through roughly the twenty-second century B.C.E.