Fleming, Mark Daniel, U. of California, San Franciso and Berkeley, San Franciso/Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman
MARK D. FLEMING, then a student at University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-Being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman. This project, based on thirteen months of ethnographic research, examines the production and contestation of scientific claims about 'work stress' in a post-industrial economy. The ethnographic research focuses both on scientists carrying out a long-term research study about work stress and on the political practices of unionized worker-subjects. The study tracks how concrete articulations of emotional well-being are produced within biomedical research on work stress, and analyzes how these articulations are mobilizing, through the political efforts of workers, new interventions and regulations of work settings. The aim is to disentangle how the expansion of neoliberal work regimes intersects with forms of biopolitical governance. This provides a way of investigating both the changing strategies of collective labor in a post-industrial economy, and the concrete procedures through which well-being is established and contested as ground for political debates. More broadly, this study charts the ways in which a politics of stress and well-being has emerged in America, destabilizing and refiguring claims about injury and responsibilities in a biopolitical age.
Tuttle, Brendan Rand, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Intergenerational Transformation in South Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar
BRENDAN RAND TUTTLE, then a student at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Interfenerational Transformation in South Sudan, supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar. Setting out from the experiences of young returnees from North America, Europe, and Australia, to places they called 'home' in Southern Sudan, this research explored endeavors to create networks of accountability among people living in multi-local (transnational and urban-rural) settings. This project began by exploring the particular dilemmas of returnees who, after long absences, struggled to create and activate localized ties to the places they considered home. It became a study of the particular ethical questions faced by a range of people considered partial outsiders -- particularly, migrants, soldiers, the educated, young people -- who were grappling with questions about their relations to their places of origin, what they owed to them, and what moral stakes were at play. During a period of relative calm in the region, the grantee conducted twelve months of ethnographic research in South Sudan, in Bor and the surrounding countryside, in order to understand the interrelations between contemporary ethical debates about authority and coercive power, migration, and the past.
Kennedy, Jack Lyle Cedric, U. of Western Ontario, London, Canada - To aid research on 'In the Shadows of Frieda: Place-Making, Mining, Marginality, and Identity in Rural Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Dan William Jorgensen
Preliminary abstract: Papua New Guinea's economy depends on resource extraction projects such as the Frieda River Project (FRP) in Sandaun Province. These projects dot the landscape with mining enclaves, providing opportunities for income and services and the possibility of overcoming the marginality of rural communities. This research project explores how processes of place-making at a site of global-local interaction shape social relations at different scales. The research will address how the mining enclave affects local conceptualizations of place and social relations; how local people imagine themselves in the world; and how local people manage their marginality. Research will take place in villages which are in close proximity to the FRP. Methods include participant observation, semi-structured interviews, collecting genealogies and life histories, and the production of maps and other representations in order to understand experiential dimensions of place and how people imagine the wider world and their location within it. This project will contribute to the literature on place and identity and the study of the cultural effects of globalization, as well as making a practical contribution to the anthropology of development and transnational capitalism by providing insight regarding the social significance of global connections in rural areas.
Allen, Lori A., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Uncertain State of Palestine: 'Pain and Suffering' in Nationalism and State-Building,' supervised by Dr. Nadia L. Abu El-Haj
LORI A. ALLEN, while a graduate student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, received an award in December 2001 to aid field research in the West Bank on human rights and the role of suffering in Palestinian politics, under the supervision of Dr. Nadia L. Abu El-Haj. Allen focused on the institutional settings and organized practices of Palestinian human-rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in order to determine to what extent the transnational discourse of human rights, the global institutions that help define its parameters and goals, and the local brokers who parlay that discourse in Palestine have helped construct Palestinian nationalism, routinize violence, and link 'suffering' to politics. She explored the political and cultural processes through which Palestinians in the West Bank have experienced and adapted to increasing levels of violence committed by the Israeli occupation forces and the effects these processes have had on how the intifada (uprising) has been played out. Research methods included participant observation in human rights NGOs, interviews with families of 'martyrs' and former political prisoners, collection of media coverage of intifada and human rights issues, and observation of public demonstrations. Palestinian efforts to represent the conflict through the tropes of human rights and victimization are one manifestation of a larger project of redefinition-both within the Palestinian community and globally-of what counts as justifiable violence and a rescaling of the value of pain suffered for a political cause.
Allen, Lori A. 2009.Martyr Bodies in the Media: Human Rights, Aesthetics, and the Politics of
Immediation in the Palestinian Intifada. American Ethnologist 36(1):161-180.
Onsuwan, Chureekamol, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Metal Age Complexity in Thailand: Socio-Political Development and Landscape Use in the Upper Chaophraya Basin,' supervised by Dr. Joyce C. White
CHUREEKAMOL ONSUWAN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in December 2001 to aid research on Metal Age sociopolitical development and landscape use in the upper Chao Phraya basin, Thailand, under the supervision of Dr. Joyce C. White. Onsuwan's overall goal was to test a heterarchy framework, as opposed to a hierarchical model, to account for variability in complex societies in Thailand during its Metal Age (ca. 2000 B.C.E.-500 C.E.). An intensive survey was conducted of about fifty-five square kilometers on the eastern side of the upper Chao Phraya River, a region important for understanding the long-term habitation of central Thailand. The region extends from the river's alluvial plain across its middle terrace to its high terrace. Data were collected on the distribution of settlements, the attributes of each site, and environmental variation. Preliminary evaluation showed variation in site sizes across the three environmental zones during the Metal Age, with a large density of Bronze Age communities situated on the high terrace and smaller Iron Age communities in the lowlands. Ceramic analysis showed that the Metal Age communities shared some ceramic patterns along with using their own local designs. Additional analysis was planned in order to determine the relationship between environmental and ceramic variation.
Doherty, Jacob Matthew, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on ''Keep Kampala Clean': Disposability, Environmentalism, and Garbage in Urban Uganda,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
JACOB DOHERTY, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Keep Kampala Clean: Disposability, Environmentalism, and Garbage in Urban Uganda,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. This project is an ethnographic study of urban-environmental politics in Kampala, Uganda. Because ongoing processes of state-directed urban transformation are being carried out in the name of 'cleaning up' the city, research focused on the ways in which cleanliness is produced, and in turn, waste and dirt are imagined and discarded. Research examined 'disposability'-a condition of material injury and social displacement-as well as the emergent responses through which precariously positioned urban residents craft claims to citizenship and urban belonging. Ethnographic work was conducted using a variety of interview techniques, participant observation, and photo elicitation in a range of sites that intersect with the waste stream in different ways. Sites included municipal offices and garbage trucks, high profile public cleaning exercises lead by a private foundation, NGO 'sensitization' events, small-scale projects converting organic waste into alternative energy sources, and informal plastic collection and trading centers. One critical research finding is that, rather than operating purely as a source of abjection and enhanced urban marginality, working with waste was an important way for variously positioned actors to enact urban citizenship and claim a rightful place in the city. The project explores how and when citizenship and disposability are differentially distributed.
Stewart, Fiona Anne, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Evolution of Shelter: Modelling Human Origins through Field Study of Chimpanzee Nest-Building,' supervised by Dr. William C. McGrew
FIONA STEWART, then a student at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Evolution of Shelter: Modeling Human Origins through Field Study of Chimpanzee Nest-Building,' supervised by Dr. William McGrew. This study addresses the evolution of shelter -- one of the defining characteristics of humans -- through investigation of its variability and function at its likely origin in the great apes. Throughout a lifetime each great ape builds a nest or bed at least once a day, which is a notable investment of time and effort. This study investigates how nests are made and compares techniques across individuals, lineages, and two populations of chimpanzees, to disentangle environmental and social influences on a ubiquitous material skill. Multivariate analysis will determine structural variation accounted for by environmental or social variables. Many functions of nests have previously been proposed, but no hypothesis-driven, in-depth study of function of these shelters has been conducted. Thus this study compares ecological influences on nest shape, architecture and nest-site selection in relation to micro-habitat variation across these two sites. Through observation of variation in temperature, humidity, and wind speed -- in differentially preferred vegetation types and topographic levels -- and corresponding variation in nest shape and architecture, in addition to a novel experimental approach of sleeping in nests, this study aims to elucidate the hypothesized functions of nest-building (thermoregulation, anti-predator, anti-pathogen) that may have led to the evolution of shelter in the ape lineage.
Hyman, Marita E., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Mathematics and the Aboriginal Imagination: Correspondences and Conflicts in Northeast Arnhem Land,' supervised by Dr. Viranjini Munasinghe
MARITA E. HYMAN, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Mathematics and the Aboriginal Imagination: Correspondences and Conflicts in Northeast Arnhem Land,' supervised by Dr. Viranjini Munasinghe. Mathematical imagination extends beyond the use of numbers to define and create external reality. During research with Yolngu people, the grantee examined the production of Yolngu artwork, observing ceremonial practices, learning kinship roles, and analyzing the relations between people's identity and their land to establish the daily connections between lifeworlds and mathematical mindsets. The project has explored the principle of rrambangi (equality) and balance through embedded Yolngu social settings to describe interactions that appear chaotic, but only at the surface. The expression of unity through division begins at the central core of Yolngu culture represented by two moieties and becomes embedded in the quotidian activities of family life, language use, ceremonial activities, bark paintings and woven pandanas reed products. From describing spirits of invisible width to representing the infinite expanse of space, Yolngu worlds also capture a similar characteristic of nonYolngu mathematical imagination in their attempt to access the inaccessible. The research has uncovered a correspondence between efforts by both Western mathematics and Yolngu practices to project a reality beyond the easily describable but from their respective culturally-specific mathematical perspectives.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Transnationalism and its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez Jr.
MICHELLE MORAN-TAYLOR, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in February 2001 to aid research on 'Transnationalism and Its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez, Jr. This cross-cultural and cross-regional study questions how transnational migration, particularly return migration, affects ethnicity, class, and gender in culturally and regionally distinct sending communities. Research was conducted in a Ladino town in eastern Guatemala and in a predominantly Maya K'iche' community in the western highlands during 2000-2001. Results demonstrate that migration has become a way of life for many Guatemalans and the presence of transnational migration impacts are quite noticeable. Moreover, remittances and return migrants transform some aspects of gender and ethnicity. Initial findings illuminate, for instance, that although international migration has the potential to alter gender relations, any migration-related changes are short-lived (e.g., men return to dominant roles). While transnational migration is paramount in the lives of many Guatemalans it is not the only agent for change. Other factors operating at the local, regional, national, and global levels have also contributed in both altering and affirming gender and ethnicity in this social terrain.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. Guatemala’s Ladino and Maya Migra Landscapes: The Tangible and Intagible Outcomes of Migration. Human Organization 67(2):111-124
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. When Mothers and Fathers Migrate North: Caretakers, children, and Child Rearing in Guatemala. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):79-95
Conway, Meagan Kathleen, U. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC - To aid research on 'A Choice to Engage: Selective Marginality and Dynamic Households on the 18th -19th Century Irish Coast,' supervised by Dr. Charles Cobb
Preliminary abstract: This research explores the nature of marginality on the peripheries of empires. These shifting borders are historically fluid spaces which have revelatory potential regarding individual decision-making, sources of cultural change, and altered social dynamics under foreign rule. This project focuses on the local processes through individual households in rural communities off the coast of western Ireland in order to understand selective engagement in transnational systems and reaction to prescribed narratives from the imperial epicenter. This research interprets the expressions of selective engagement in transnational processes which demonstrate the presence, connection, and engagement to broader global networks of economic trade and access. This research proposes investigation a counter narrative which complicates the pre-existing account of isolation on the fringes, a story which often ascribes passive acceptance of powerlessness and subjugation over the complexity and agency of everyday life in the past. Anthropologists can then access how imperialism truly affected the daily lives of people on the margins. Purposeful adaptation and social change due to these external ascriptions and beliefs are examined through the lens of material activity and architectural change on two Irish islands in the 18th and 19th centuries.