Friederic, Karin Ulla, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women?s Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Buckley Green
KARIN FRIEDERIC, then a student at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in December 2007 to aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women's Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Green. This dissertation utilizes the lens of historical anthropology to investigate the articulation of political, economic, and social processes that underpin gender norms and produce a normalized 'culture of gendered violence' in a rural frontier region of northwestern Ecuador called El Páramo. In Phase I, ethnographic fieldwork explored how increasing awareness of women's rights affected local women's perceptions and experiences of (as well as their responses to) intimate partner violence. Phase II incorporated institution-based interviews, oral history, and archival research to enable an historically specific examination of the political and economic context from which El Páramo colonists originated. In this case, historical perspective and methodologies help make sense of regnant gender norms and their role in the normalization of violence. This dissertation demonstrates how domestic violence is produced both interpersonally, nationally, and internationally, thus challenging static conceptions of culture that underlie most analyses of violence. The analysis employs a longitudinal perspective not only to understand how experiences and manifestations of family violence change over time (in response to newly circulating discourses of 'rights'), but also to undercover the relationship between family violence and historically particular social, economic and political conditions.
Whitt, Clayton Abel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on 'Climate Change and Spatial Transformations in the Bolivian Highlands,' supervised by Dr. Gaston R. Gordillo
Preliminary abstract: This project analyzes the impact of human-induced climate change in an indigenous community in the highlands of Bolivia, focusing on local people's perceptions, reactions, and adaptations in the face of spatial and environmental changes that are mainly induced by global forces beyond their control. This region is particularly vulnerable due to high rates of rural poverty, reliance on subsistence agriculture with little irrigation, and dependence on surface water fed by rapidly melting glaciers. Additionally, scientific studies show that the projected impact of climate change in highland Bolivia will be severe, including large temperature increases and drastic shifts in precipitation and frost patterns. These vulnerabilities suggest that the people of the region face a difficult road ahead as the world warms. Drawing from my previous experience living in the area in 2005-2007, I will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in a village on the Bolivian high-altitude plateau, conducting participant observation of daily practices and interviewing community members in order to understand their responses to changing environmental patterns. Engaging with the literature on space and place, scientific studies of climate change, and different approaches to the environment and nature, I will examine the ways in which these transformations affect people's sense of place, their memories of the landscape, and their daily practices.
Kohrt, Brandon Alan, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Wounded Hearts, Wounded Minds: The Embodiment of Trauma in Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Carol Marie Worthman
BRANDON A. KOHRT, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Wounded Hearts, Wounded Minds: The Embodiment of Trauma in Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Carol Worthman. This research examined psychological trauma associated with the Maoist revolution in Nepal. The research involved three areas. First, Nepali conceptions of mental health and mind-body connections were investigated. Contrary to most literature, which suggests that mind-body are not seen as separate in Asian contexts, this study revealed that there is a tripartite division of body, heart-mind (the center of emotion and memory), and brain-mind (the center of social control and decision-making). Individuals with psychological trauma seen as originating in the brain-mind suffered the greatest stigma. The second area of research investigated the change in mental health as a result of the Maoist revolution. Three hundred individuals were interviewed in 2000 prior to the outbreak of Maoist violence and again in 2007 after the People's War ended. Anxiety increased from 26.2% to 47.7% and was associated with exposure to war-related trauma. However, depression did not increase significantly (30.9% to 40.6%) when accounting for aging, and levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were 14.1%. The third research was an investigation of the stress hormone cortisol. Among men, cortisol levels were associated with severity of mental health problems. However, among women, cortisol levels were associated with trauma exposure.
Kohrt, Brandon. 2008. Navigating Diagnoses: Understanding Mind-Body Relations, Mental Health, and Stigma in Nepal. Cult Med Psychiatry 32:462-491
Allen, Karen Elizabeth, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Sustainable Development in Costa Rica: Understanding Values, Land Use Decisions, and Market-based Mechanisms for Conservation,' supervised by Dr. Ted Gragson
Preliminary abstract: The goal of this study is to understand the diversity of values that influence private land-use decisions, and the implications of these decisions for the immediate social-ecological system. This research will take place in the Bellbird Biological Corridor in Costa Rica, a planning region designed to encourage sustainable development across a mixed-use landscape. This research will focus on how market-based mechanisms for conservation engage with landowner values, and how they operate across a diverse landscape. This research is grounded in work from anthropology that challenges the economic understanding of values that drive much of conservation. The research design integrates ethnographic data from semi-structured interviews, participant observation, unstructured interviews, and focus groups with ecological data to arrive at a holistic understanding of the relationship between landowner values, land-use decisions, and the landscape. Geographically weighted regression will be used to examine the relationship between land use decisions and biophysical and socioeconomic factors, and relate this information to sustainable development goals. Through examining variation in experiences of sustainable development in the wake of recent policy changes in Costa Rica involving market liberalization, this research will provide a case study on the various local responses to national and international policy trends.
Perez, Federico, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Rethinking the City: The Making of Policy and Space in Bogotá, Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Kimberly Theidon
FEDERICO PÉREZ, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Rethinking the City: The Making of Policy and Space in Bogotá, Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Kimberly Theidon. This project explored the making of contemporary urban policy in Bogotá, Colombia, through the ethnographic study of the city's planning department and its related communities of practice. Employing collaborative research, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, the grantee studied the everyday discourses and practices of policy actors -- planners, experts, developers, and citizens, among others -- involved in the implementation of Colombia's progressive planning instruments. Focusing on the production and circulation of knowledge, the socio-political contexts of policymaking, and the heterogeneity of socio-spatial assemblages, this project examined ongoing efforts to bridge the gaps between the rhetoric and practice of socio-spatial justice. Research findings obtained with the support of this grant emphasize the processual, political, and networked dimensions of urban planning and policymaking. Furthermore, they call attention to emergent forms of knowledge, shifting modes of political action, and power-laden policy circuits through which the 'urban' is being produced and reassembled in contemporary Latin America.
Duke, Guy Stephen, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Consuming Identities: Culinary Practice in the Late Moche Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Edward Rueben Swenson
Preliminary abstract: More than just a means of subsistence, food and its accoutrements are integral to both the practices of everyday life and the spectacles of public ritual events. The archaeological study of culinary practices, including the preparation, serving, consumption, and disposal of food, provides an excellent point of entry to investigate everything from status and ethnicity to group and individual identity. Archaeologists are in a unique position to interpret the material remains of food production and consumption (e.g. cooking/storage vessels, plant/animal remains, and food processing/preparation implements) in everyday domestic life and larger political-economic dependencies in order to investigate processes of identity formation and maintenance. This project will explore whether, and what, interconnections exist between identity and culinary practice through the examination of food production and consumption at two sites in the politically unstable Jequetepeque Valley of Peru during the Late Moche Period (AD 600-850). The sites targeted for investigation include the large ceremonial centre of Huaca Colorada and a smaller rural site with ceremonial components (JE-335). My research design is geared to shed light on the cultural politics of food preparation and consumption in order to explore how, and if, the preparation and consumption of food created and maintained social distinctions within the specific context of sociopolitical and environmental transformations distinguishing the Late Moche Period.
Truitt, Allison, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Open Doors: The Appearance of Money in Urban Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. John Borneman
ALLISON TRUIT, while a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in April 2001 to aid research on 'Open Doors: The Appearance of Money in Urban Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. John Borneman. Like currencies in other socialist countries, the Vietnamese dong has suffered numerous crises of confidence from inflation in the 1980s and then its devaluation in the 1990s. Although people prefer to hold U.S. dollars or gold in reserve, they insisted that the dong be used in everyday exchanges. How reforms of Vietnam's economy may be engendering new ways of thinking about money and its place in society, especially in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi, was the basis of this project. This project drew upon ethnographic inquiry and semi-structured interviews. It investigated how people construct money's mediums -- Vietnamese dong, gold, and U.S. dollars and even spirit offerings -- as vehicles for meanings and associations other than mere market valuation. It then documented individual and social efforts to master what Simmel called the negative trait of money in different functions such as everyday exchanges, ritual practices, and gift exchanges. Through interviews with government officials, bankers, employees in overseas remittance companies, and petty traders, it then examined transformations in institutional techniques that seek to govern money. Finally, it sought to understand how money mediates the imaginary and symbolic integration of Vietnam into the 'world at large.'
Johari, Radhika, York U, Toronto, Canada -To aid research on 'Endangered Forests, Enterprising Women: The Politics of Conservation and Livelihoods Development Programs in Himachal, India,' supervised by Dr. Shubhra Gururani
RADHIKA JOHARI, then a student at York University, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Endangered Forests, Enterprising Women: The Politics of Conservation and Livelihoods Development Programs in Himachal, India,' supervised by Dr. Shubhra Gururani. This doctoral research critically examined how environmental perceptions and practices have been shaped at the interface of past and current paradigms of conservation and resource-based livelihoods development within the recently concluded Indo-German Changar Eco-Development Project in Himachal, India. Adopting a multi-sited ethnographic approach, it has contextualized these articulations of environment and enterprise building within a wider framework of historical and current resource rights and property regimes. It has demonstrated how an increasingly influential paradigm of neoliberal market-centered development has structured project interventions, and how in turn these interventions have been refracted by a deeply entrenched and intersecting politics of knowledge, identity and place. The research identified and explored these points of refraction, for example, within project discourses and practices of knowledge production and valuation and in plantation and livelihoods development strategies. In doing so, it revealed how environmental and entrepreneurial knowledges and practices have intersected with existing social, economic, and political relations, as well as property relations, in ways that have significantly shaped perceptions, norms, and practices around environmental resources. In sum, the research provides a grounded critique of prevailing efforts to converge conservation and resource-based livelihoods and the reasons for their disjunctures in practice.
Nicewonger, Todd Evans, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture, & Flemish Fashion Design as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
TODD E. NICEWONGER, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in July 2007 to support research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture & Flemish Fashion as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. The project was conducted at a Fashion Design Academy where the grantee examined the social organization of the institution and the communicative practices used among student designers. Building on contemporary research into the cultural production of aesthetics, embodiment, and apprenticeship, this study investigated how certain virtues associated with an avant-garde movement in fashion converged into what eventually became recognized as the Flemish fashion aesthetic. This effort was characterized by novel modes of production and ideas about what it means to be a 'good and creative' fashion designer. Fundamental to these beliefs were social ideals arguing that fashion mediates the re-orientation of knowledge and stimulates new ways of imagining lived reality. As such, artisans are believed to embody an intellectual responsibility: one that can craft embodied notions of doubt, joy, and-central to this investigation-possibility. By illuminating how notions of the future are imagined, translated into design concepts, and then technically produced, this study conceptualizes the creative practice of design as hope.
Cuellar, Andrea M., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'The Organizations of Agricultural Production in the Emergence of Chiefdoms in Valle de Los Quijos, Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
ANDREA M. CUELLAR, while a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Pi