Padwe, Jonathan, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Genocide, Development and Belonging in Cambodia: The Phnong of the Northeast Hills,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove
JOHNATHAN PADWE, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in May 2004 to aid research on 'Genocide, Development and Belonging in Cambodia: The Phnong of the Northeast Hills,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove. The subject of this research is the use of memories of genocide within the political debates surrounding 'development' among highland minorities in northeast Cambodia. Wenner-Gren funding supported the first year of a projected two and a half years of fieldwork. Research for this initial period consisted of five months of research in Phnom Penh among policy makers and staff of NGO and government agencies working on land titling and agricultural development, and seven months in Mondulkiri Province, both in the provincial capital and in Dak Dam village. Initial work in Phnom Penh resulted in the establishment of a network of contacts and the acquisition of reports and documents. Key accomplishments included significant improvement of language ability (in Khmer), the collection of extensive interview data regarding agriculture and land titling, and a refinement of the research questions. As a result of reviewer comments and feedback from this network, the initial focus on hunting has been deemphasized in the research program. Fieldwork in Mondulkiri province included developing contacts within the development community based in the provincial capital, initial visits to Dak Dam village, and eventually an extended period of fieldwork in Dak Dam. Data collected included participant observation and interview data about ongoing development projects, villagers' encounters with development, agricultural practices, such as the establishment of swidden fields, and cultural and religious activities, such as calendric agricultural ceremonies. During this period the Cambodian government granted a large land concession to a Malaysian pine-plantation enterprise, and villagers in affected areas (including Dak Dam) began protests.
Duthie, Laurie M., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'White-Collar China: Professionalism and the Making of the New Middle-Class in Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. Yunxiang Yan
LAURIE M. DUTHIE, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'White Collar China: Professionalism and the Making of the New Middle-Class in Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. Yunxiang Yan. This project sought to understand the meaning of professionalism for white collar executives employed by foreign-invested corporations in Shanghai, China. Research activities included participant-observation with two foreign-invested corporations, extensive interviews with business professionals, and participant-observation at various business association events. The results of this research highlight the multi-scalar process of identity formation under global capitalism. White collar executives understand their social position through comparison to both their compatriots working for state-owned corporations and also their corporate colleagues from other countries. On a national level, the values of professionalism and essentially 'the meaning of work' is understood in contrast to the state-owned business sector. On a global level, Chinese business professionals are marginalized and face glass ceilings within the global corporations. The reasons for this glass ceiling include geopolitical factors, regional economic trends, as well as the positioning of China as a new and emerging market. From a more qualitative perspective, there is not only a glass ceiling, but moreover a glass wall between Chinese business professionals and their foreign colleagues created through a mutual lack of cultural understanding. To date, this research has resulted in two conference papers, two seminar talks, and a published journal article.
Swart, Patricia L., New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Film Practices, Globalization, and the Public Sphere in Kerala, India,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
PATRICIA L. SWART, while a student at New School University in New York, New York, was granted an award in December 2002 to aid research on film practices, globalization, and the public sphere in the state of Kerala, India, under the supervision of Dr. Rayna Rapp. Swart examined the ways in which globalization processes had transformed the portrayal of women in popular and art films and women's spectatorship of films in Kerala. Changes in film texts and spectatorship were found to be linked to shifts in gender identity, concepts of citizenship, and the shaping of the public sphere-all unique reactions to globalization in Kerala. Although the state had a long history of global trade and cultural assimilation, the newest wave of globalization had inspired violent protests and demonstrations. The Malayalam-language cinema of Kerala responded to global changes by making films that reverted from formerly more liberal and enlightened portrayals of women to a kind of traditionalism that glorified patriarchal behaviors and attitudes. Swart conducted fieldwork in several primary areas: spectatorship practices, film institutions, and film texts. Interviews, participant observation, and a study of archival sources indicated that despite Kerala's reputation as a model of development, women in the state were subjected to increasing restrictions on their mobility and participation in public events and to increasing violence and sexual harassment. Research on film and gender showed the links between globalization, inequality, and repression by revealing some of the tensions extant in Kerala, including high unemployment, increasing consumerism, and a high rate of suicide among women.
Jamison, Kelda, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
KELDA JAMISON, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. Research was conducted in Ankara, Turkey, and several cities in the southeast of the country. The research focused on the government ministry charged with coordinating the Southeastern Anatolia Project, a hydrodevelopment project of monumental scale, calling for 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, widespread irrigation networks, and a host of other ambitious social, economic, and engineering initiatives. During the tenure of the Wenner-Gren funded research, the researcher met with a variety of planners and technocrats who work at this ministry, conducted both formal and informal interviews, and analyzed official reports, surveys, and conference volumes, in order to analyze the ways 'society' emerges as a field of technocratic intervention. In addition to working with 'official' development planners, ethnographic research was conducted with other, non-governmental actors who are also deeply involved in 'developing' the sociopolitical landscape of the region, and for whom hydraulic intervention figures in contested ways with political transformation. Distinctions between 'technical' transformations and 'social' transformations form the battleground for debates about the legitimacy of different forms of state presence in this turbulent region. The circuits of intervention that crosscut the region expose the very real struggles and fractures that such 'development integration' process constitutes. The tenuousness of integration formed the unspoken backdrop to discussions of regional development, constituting the standard for judging success or failure. As the research continues, the researcher will further investigate the spaces of silence and erasure that lie at the heart of state intervention in this region, exploring the topics rendered visible and invisible by bureaucratic discourses of technopolitical progress.
Mustafa, Aiman, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'News Making and the Politics of Muslim Minority Publics in Mumbai, India: An Ethnographic Account,' supervised by Dr. David Nugent
Preliminary abstract: This is a study of Muslim minority identities as they emerge from the contested practices of a network of organizations that closely engage with the Urdu language press in Mumbai, India. By examining the everyday processes through which Muslim identity is articulated through contestations within and between these organizations, and by investigating how the press interpolates these identities, I offer fresh perspectives on the ways in which mass mediated forms of communication articulate with ideas of publicness and national communities. Mobilizing around socio-religious, educational, and gender issues pertaining mostly to Muslims, organizations such as the 'Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind', 'Raza Academy', and 'Awaaz-e-Niswaan' are key interlocutors of the Urdu press, with the latter calling itself the 'authentic voice' of Muslims. By capturing contestations around the production of identity, and in the production of news, I delineate how Muslim identity is articulated in the Urdu press. A central question animating this study concerns the roles of interlocutor organisations and the press in articulations of Muslim identity. Focusing on the interface between governmental agencies, minority news media and community organizations, this project shows how minority identities within the context of a nation-state emerge through contestations among different actors articulating their ideas of Muslim minority identities.
Czarnecki, Jill M., Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Using Human Polyomavirus JC as a Novel Molecular Marker of Ancient Migration in Oceania, ' supervised by Dr. Jonathan S. Friedlaender
JILL M. CZARNECKI, while a student at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received funding in February 2002 to aid research on the use of human polyomavirus JC as a molecular marker of ancient migration in Oceania, under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan S. Friedlaender. Oceania has been extensively studied in an attempt to better understand the peopling of the region. The disciplines that have dominated these studies include archaeology, linguistics, and human genetics. Despite the large body of data that has been amassed, two issues are still debated: the relationship between Aboriginal Australians and New Guinea highlanders and the nature of Polynesian colonization. Novel approaches are needed in order to resolve these debates. Human polyomavirus JC (JCV) has proved useful as a virologic marker of human migration, because of its geographically correlated strain variation and apparent stability over many millennia. In an attempt to clarify the events leading to the peopling of Oceania, Czarnecki generated JCV genotype distribution data from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and used JCV sequence data to compare PNG to worldwide strains phylogenetically. She collected samples from coastal and highland provinces representing thirty-three villages and both Austronesian and non-Austronesian speakers. JCV DNA was extracted from more than four hundred urine samples. Of these, 229 were JCV positive and were partially sequenced in order to establish viral genotype. Eleven of these samples were sequenced in their entirety for phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic and genotype distribution data offer insights into the number and nature of human migrations into Oceania and proved JCV to be a useful tool for understanding ancient human migration.
Shimmin, Jessica Ann, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'A Safe Place: Gender, Safety, and Place Making in a Shelter for Battered Women,' supervised by Dr. Bambi B. Schieffelin
JESSICA SHIMMIN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'A Safe Place: Gender, Safety, and Place Making in a Shelter for Battered Women,' supervised by Dr. Bambi Schieffelin. This research investigates the production of culturally legible safe space for battered women and children. Using ethnographic data gathered from Massachusetts' human service systems and shelter network, the grantee analyzes and compares the ideological, material, and systemic architectures domestic-violence professionals construct to create security. Funding supported the second phase of this research including: participant observation at a shelter campus operated at a published location; interviews with domestic-violence experts and building professionals; and participation in workshops and public awareness events, as well as tours and photography in emergency shelters. This line of inquiry uncovered an engagement with space shared by professionals across the spectrum of domestic-violence intervention. Strong beliefs and differences of opinion highlighted a semiotics of women's safety that emphasizes personal interiors, domestic routines, and familial intimacy. By mapping the social resources professionals use to sustain emergency-shelter programs, this study situates emergency shelters in a bureaucratic network that enables and regulates victims' access to services as well as their success or failure. Emphasizing the cultural and institutional framework of emergency shelters, this dissertation will contribute an empirical analysis of the gendered space of personal safety, as well as of the transition domestic-violence professionals make available to abused women and children.
Heintz, Matthew Robert, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Immediate and Delayed Benefits of Play Behavior in Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf
MATTHEW R. HEINTZ, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Immediate and Delayed Benefits of Play Behavior in Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf. Play behavior is widespread among mammals and occurs at high frequency and complexity in primates. However, the benefits of play behavior and the evolution of play in humans remain relatively unknown. Chimpanzees are an ideal species to study play because chimpanzees play at high rates and have an extended period of development. Additionally, long-term behavioral datasets and additional behavioral endocrinology data from Gombe National Park, Tanzania, enables both immediate and long-term benefits of play to be examined. The research objectives of the current study are to determine: 1) how play influences development, stress, and health (immediate benefits); and 2) how levels of play during infancy correlate with stress later in life, and with dominance rank and mating success during adulthood (delayed benefits). The grantee collected behavioral data on immature chimpanzees and also collected fecal samples for stress and health analysis. Preliminary analysis has shown that play was positively correlated with cortisol, a stress hormone. In addition, play was positively correlated with fecal cortisol on the following day. Research results suggest that play may be a form of eustress, or positive stress, in wild immature chimpanzees. Future analysis will examine long-term benefits of play behavior.
McCormick, Jared Sherman, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Mobility of Desire: Men, Movement, and Sexuality in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Steven Caton
JARED S. MCCORMICK, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Mobility of Desire: Men, Movement, and Sexuality in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Steven Caton. Beirut is often thought of as a pilot light of liberalism in the Middle East. As such, it has become the arrival and departure point for many queer men in the region. Men from the Arabian Gulf, diasporic Lebanese, and Syrian migrant workers descend into the context of Beirut, just as Lebanese men grapple with their own sexual subjectivities. This project focuses on these communities who transit through Beirut and how their presence alters the environment in which sexualities are negotiated. Research aims to produce an ethnographic study of how gender is constructed, reassigned, and how these networks of mobile men become constitutive of male sexualities in Lebanon. What unites this inquiry are the ways in which travel, migration, and tourism are as much about imagination as they are about desire -- as much about the negotiations of the 'self' and subjectivities as the crafting of a physical space through which one 'passes.' The relationality of all these men -- touring, migrating, and 'toured' -- speaks not only to how gender/sexuality are in flux, how movements and mobilities are changing in the Middle East, but how imagination becomes instructive in our metaphors of movement.
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.