Cumberland, Linda A., Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'A Grammar of Assiniboine,' supervised by Dr. Douglas R. Parks
LINDA A. CUMBERLAND, while a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, received funding in January 2001 to aid research on a grammar of Assiniboine, under the supervision of Dr. Douglas R. Parks. Cumberland conducted 12 months of research at several Assiniboine reserves in Saskatchewan, Canada, in order to write a grammar of this severely endangered member of the Siouan language family. Most of the research was conducted at Carry The Kettle reserve, near Regina, Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canada's 50 remaining native speakers of Assiniboine live. To create a temporary speech community where none existed, Cumberland created what she called 'language circles,' bringing together small groups of fluent speakers for a day and recording their conversation. This method of producing spontaneous speech yielded a wealth of forms and information that would have been unattainable in formal elicitation interviews. Portions of the dialogues were transcribed and analyzed, revealing grammatical particles previously unknown and pragmatic use of known forms in novel ways. Cumberland also conducted methodologically standard elicitation sessions in which she recorded a range of stories and songs, including a set of local histories of supernatural events. Data collected during this project were to be compared with data collected in the 1980s and 1990s by Douglas R. Parks (Indiana University) at Fort Belknap, Montana, to write a culturally informed grammar of Assiniboine that reflected regional variations.
Saavedra Espinosa, Mariana, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on '(Re)producing Successful Succession: Colombia's Family Business Project,' supervised by Dr. Annelise Riles
MARIANA SAAVEDRA ESPINOSA, then a graduate student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded funding in April 2014 to aid research on '(Re)producing Successful Succession: Colombia's Family Business Project,' supervised by Dr. Annelise Riles. This project explored recent efforts by Colombian 'entrepreneurial elite families' to rationalize and professionalize their relationship with the businesses they own by means of expert recommended strategies. Through ethnographic methods that approached 'family business' contextually, the research studied its deliberate reconfiguration not only as an expert solution, but as a particular form of constituting relations of kin. Employing participant-observation, in-depth interviews, and archival research, the grantee inquired into the methods, ideas, and technologies involved in the shift in the status of 'family business' from problem to solution in the Colombian entrepreneurial imagination. The grantee worked in spaces where expert knowledge on family businesses is both shared and consumed, and where some of its recommendations are applied, in order to ask: how are different actors reconfiguring 'family business' as a viable and successful economic formation thus constituting and legitimating particular forms of social reproduction? The dissertation resulting from the research will provide an innovative approach to Colombian elites through close-up engagement with the design and implementation of strategies for succession and reproduction of family businesses, bringing into focus the practical and symbolic constitution of the perpetuation of status, as opposed to assuming it on utilitarian premises.
Harris, Shana Lisa, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Out of Harm's Way: HIV, Human Rights, and the Practice of Harm Reduction in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith C. Barker
SHANA HARRIS, then a student at University of California, San Francisco, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Out of Harm's Way: HIV, Human Rights, and the Practice of Harm Reduction in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith C. Barker. Argentina has had one of the highest rates of drug use-related HIV/AIDS prevalence in Latin America since the mid-1990s. After witnessing the failure of the government's drug abstinence-based interventions in curbing the epidemic, local civil society organizations began promoting interventions based on the principles of harm reduction. This dissertation examines how the harm reduction model traveled to and spread within Argentina by ethnographically tracing how it has been taken up and put into practice over the last decade by civil society organizations in the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario. It focuses on how harm reductionists address not only the physical harms associated with drug use, but also those harms created by punitive, prohibitionist policies and widespread discrimination. Specifically, Argentine harm reductionists utilize the notions of 'vulnerability' and 'exclusion' to facilitate drug users' access to health and social services and to promote and protect users' human and civil rights. Drawing on the country's history of human rights abuses and economic instability, harm reductionists work to advance the idea of drug users as 'right bearers' in order to hold the state accountable for users' health and welfare and to shift the subjectivity of users from 'delinquents' to 'citizens.'
Witeska, Anna Dominika, U. College London, London, UK - To aid research on 'Making Political Subjects in Post-Socialist Poland: Memory Workings among 'Veterans' and 'Victims of Oppression'', supervised by Dr. Michael Sinclair Stewart
ANNA WITESKA, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Making Political Subjects in Post-Socialist Poland: Memory Workings among 'Veterans' and 'Victims of Opression,'' supervised by Dr. Michael Sinclair Stewart. Research focused on the local performances of national memory politics in the aftermath of the communist regime in Poland. Looking at the processes of objectification of the communist past taking place in the authoritative settings (courtrooms, the Institute of National Remembrance, exhibition halls, official commemorative rituals, unveiling of monuments) she searched for discursive and symbolic patterns of inclusion and exclusion of political subjects into/from the commemorative landscape of the Polish historidzed state. The grantee worked mainly with two broadly defined categories of people who got politically engaged during communism: the ex-officers of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the anti-communist activists. Combining participant observation in various institutional settings with archival work, discourse analysis, and in-depth interviews with individuals, the project tackled the mediating role that the state-institutions, their agents, and representations produced by them, have played in individual processes of remembering, commemorating, and recalling. Research findings deal with ways in which overlapping ideologically loaded notions of state, nation, sacrifice, duty, authority, democracy, Catholicism and justice become differently reconfigured in individual actions concerning the communist past. This research points towards the ambiguities of the Polish allusive model of retroactive justice and their consequences for the homo politicus of the past political era.
Witeska-Mlynarczyk, Anna. 2007. Proces W Transkrypcji. (Op.Cit.,) 3(36):41-46
Maidhof, Callie Elizabeth, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'A House, a Yard and a Security Fence: Settlements and the Domestic Life of the Israeli State,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
CALLIE E. MAIDHOF, then a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'A House, a Yard, and a Security Fence: Settlements and the Domestic Life of the Israeli State,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind. This research addresses the problems of secularism, the state, and middle-class ideology in Israel by employing an ethnographic methodology centered on the secular suburban settlement of Alfei Menashe. Lying just a few kilometers east of the Green Line, which marks the fading boundary between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Alfei Menashe provides a useful entry point into these problems by highlighting both the labor of the state in producing and legitimizing secular, middle-class normalcy, as well as the popular assumptions regarding the constitution of political controversy and the role of religion in this process. This research takes up the question of how normal, domestic life is produced in politically contested spaces, about the political and affective labor of both state and non-state actors that goes into constructing settlement-suburbia as a part of the singular national space of Israel. This research argues that settlement is not a fringe phenomenon, as it is often portrayed by the press, but a normal and even mainstream part of Israeli life. By mobilizing secular, middle-class desire, the state has effectively managed a project of settlement in which upwards of ten percent of Jewish Israelis actually live east of the Green Line.
Casas-Cortes, Maria Isabel, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Expertise from Below: The Cultural Politics of Knowledge, Globalization and the Activist Research Movement in Spain, supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
MARIA ISABEL CASAS-CORTES, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Expertise from Below: The Cultural Politics of Knowledge, Globalization and the Activist Research Movement in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation deals with the production of systematic knowledge and expertise from below, by exploring the growing phenomenon of 'activist research,' a form of 'in-house' investigation conducted by social movements as a venue for political activism. As fieldwork has indicated, activist research is usually conducted by non-accredited experts, and aims to produce a kind of knowledge that is both rigorous and oriented towards social justice. The focus is on a prolific 'activist research' community based in Madrid, Spain. The group, Precarias a la Deriva, was identified as a promising dissertation topic due to their innovative work and broader influence. This women's collective is conducting an extensive research project on global processes of economic flexibilization, and their effects on women's everyday lives. Through feminist research expeditions in the metropolis of Madrid, this women's activist research community attempts to develop innovative political actions appropriate to current transformations. Through the exploration of such 'dissenting expertise', this ethnographic study brings different scholarly literatures together, such as the growing field of Anthropology of Social Movements, Anthropology of Knowledge, Globalization Studies as well as the long standing tradition of Action Research.
Ranhorn, Kathryn L., George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Late Pleistocene Lithic Technology in Eastern Africa and the Emergence of Modern Humans,' supervised by Dr. Alison S. Brooks
Preliminary abstract: The Middle Stone Age is associated with the first appearance of modern humans in Africa (McDougall et al 2005). The archaeological record of South Africa suggests the appearance of successive suites of behavior that were constrained temporally and spatially (Marean 2010; Wurz 2013). However it is unclear if these lithic trends represent social networking among MSA populations (d'Errico and Banks 2013) or could be the result of other factors like raw material or reduction intensity. Furthermore, the extent to which such patterning is unique to South Africa or is a general feature of Homo sapiens is unclear. To test whether early modern human populations were socially networked in a broader context it is necessary to consider the Late Pleistocene archaeological record from other regions in Africa in a way that directly measures temporal and spatial behavioral trends. This dissertation will test for social networking of MSA populations by quantitatively measuring patterns of lithic technological change in eastern Africa from 150-50 ka at the regional, sub-regional, and sub-basinal scale, developing innovative methods in lithic analysis and a chrono-stratigraphic framework within a single MSA paleolandscape in the Turkana Basin. Three-dimensional photogrammetric modeling and middle range experiments in information transfer afford a quantifiable investigation of lithic trends. By incorporating both open air and rock shelter localities, spanning highland escarpments (Mt. Eburru) and low elevation lake basins (East Turkana), this study will result in a comprehensive understanding of hominin behavior across multiple landscapes in the MSA and a clearer understanding of the role of cultural transmission in early modern human populations.
Goodwin, Marc Andrew, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'A Comparative Ethnographic Inquiry into Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Marc Cohen
MARC A. GOODWIN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'A Comparative Ethnographic Inquiry into Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Cohen. This project provides an ethnographic analysis of the diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the United States. Fieldwork was carried out over a period of 13 months (July 2008 to August 2009) with children with ADHD and their parents as well as doctors, teachers, and school administrators in the San Francisco Bay Area. In particular the project sought to trace the specific pathways of diagnosis and treatment for children with ADHD. In doing so the project gave ethnographic attention to many of the problems raised in the fields of education, public health, and public policy. For example, what explains the racial disparities for the treatment of ADHD, what social and cultural factors (broadly defined) help explain these disparities, and how do children first get introduced into the diagnostic and treatment apparatus of ADHD? The project combines this in-depth multi-sited ethnography -- consisting of interviews and participant observation -- with a close symptomatic reading of the medical and parenting literature on hyperactivity to explore how ADHD as a complex technology links together in its operation the domains of school, home, and clinic in the post-welfare United States.
Vaughan, Charles L., London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch
CHARLES L. VAUGHAN, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in February 2004 to aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch. Since 1994, the Copan Valley in western Honduras, internationally famous for the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan, has borne witness to the growth of an indigenous movement: the National Council of Indigenous Maya Chorti of Honduras (CONIMCHH). Recognized by the Honduran state, CONIMCHH has fought aggressively for land titles for its membership while pursuing projects aimed at the revival of the Chorti Mayan language and Chorti cultural practices. Surrounding the membership of CONIMCHH, however, has been a pervasive complex of criticism, which argues that 'Chorti' only exist in Guatemala and not in Honduras. Over the course of twenty months of fieldwork, this research sought to probe the underlying history and assumptions of this complex and to explore in what ways CONIMCHH may have provided its members with a new language for describing themselves, and their pasts, in terms of 'being Chorti' in Honduras. While the lives of the men and women who form the membership of CONIMCHH are lived in a social landscape where the name 'Chorti' holds contradictory meanings, histories, and referents, this fieldwork showed that service and sacrifice for CONIMCHH are humble daily actions which speak for 'being Chorti' where words may not.
Laven, Nina, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Remaking Ancestry, Redrawing Aboriginality: The Life of Family Trees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Maria Lemon
NINA LAVEN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Remaking Ancestry, Redrawing Aboriginality: The Life of Family Trees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Maria Lemon. The research investigated the impact of folk ideas about 'race' and ancestry on DNA analysis, demonstrating how suppositions about race and North American settler and Native history are being used to generate a priori definitions of the genetic makeup of ancestral populations for genetic research. The grantee found that paternally inherited surnames are being used by geneticists to indicate the family histories of current day French Canadians. However, names are tacitly understood according to different frameworks within different groups. Within scientific contexts names are used as indicators of biological ancestry (French names mean French origins). Within broader French-Canadian circles, names are used as keys to recover personal histories and track French geographical and national origins. Within many Native circles, names are seen as subverting the search for roots and true ancestry: they are viewed as the stamps of a colonial clerical regime that converted natives in order to make them good French Catholic subjects. Research found that a struggle over history and political rights between French-Canadian nationalist and First Nations groups is being carried out through the debate about how to interpret names.