Albanese, Jeffrey Scipione Black, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Social Alterity and Regulation in Legally-Recognized Homeless Tent Cities,' supervised by Dr. Damani Partridge
Preliminary abstract: Over the past decade, politically-organized homeless encampments, often called 'tent cities,' have emerged in cities across the US and have sometimes achieved legal-recognition. This is somewhat surprising as scholars and homeless advocates working in diverse local and national contexts have, over the same period of time, identified widespread patterns of urban administrative and (re)development practices that have, in effect, 'criminalized' homelessness. My project asks how such marginalized groups have managed to appropriate urban space and, at times, achieve formal recognition. Working with a legally-recognized encampment in a Pacific Northwest city, I consider recognition's regulatory effects on the social, economic, and moral alternatives that animate residents and activists involved with homeless tent cities. Anthropologists studying a variety of rights- and identity-based claims have argued that contemporary forms of recognition tend to suppress difference by producing and regulating subjects through forms of social protection that delimit possible actions and ways of being. My project asks whether similar dynamics are at work when incorporation proceeds through such legal technologies as zoning ordinances and building codes. The tent city I am working with was incorporated largely as a component of the built environment, rather than a liberal right protecting specific social practices. My research considers how the exigencies of such a form of recognition affects a tent city's social organization and everyday life and whether urban and municipal laws can facilitate, foster, or limit such alternative social projects.
Ohlson, Olof Kjell Oscar, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK - To aid research on 'Dignity in Life & Death: Families of the Lost in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Casey R. High
Preliminary abstract: Families of the dead and disappeared refuse to forget and sustain political lives of the lost as a response to Mexico´s drug war. This research proposes a study of families and memory-activism in the aftermaths of violent deaths. While the literature have focused on the structure and form of mourning for the regeneration of society (Alexiou 1974, Bloch & Parry 1982, Robben 2004) this research explore the emotional force of mourning when the tragic dead seems to be agents of community transformation rather than guardians of tradition. It identifies sustained political lives of the lost as a new scene for research on death and as an alternative site for social memory-activism and posthumous politics (Lomnitz 2005, Brandes 2003, Robben 2000, Verdery 1999). Observers of regional war have focused on economic arrangements causing violence (Azaloa 2012, Bergman 2012) and the continuum of violence when a torn social fabric leaves marks on the social and human body (Green 1999, Metz, Mariano, García 2010, Quesada 1998, Reguillo 2012, Zur 1998). I will instead explore extrovert body politics in public displays of grief in Mexico City and pain embedded in social relations (Asad 2003). Mobilizations in the aftermaths of violence have been framed in terms of un-governability and cultural resilience in indigenous contexts (Gledhill 1994, Nash 2007, Warren 1998, Offit and Cook 2010, Wilson 1999), but not considered social memories of political violence as a basis for ethical community making between the living and the dead. I will relate mourners' refusal to forget to Mexico´s cultural history of making death visible and explore how this is ritualized in time and space. I ask; what is the social work of the sustained political lives of the lost and the memories of violent deaths?
Djordjevic, Darja, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Cancer War(d): Onco-Nationhood in Post-Traumatic Rwanda,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman
Preliminary abstract: In Africa, the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, rapidly expanding industrial and extractive economies, uncontrolled economic growth, environmental and lifestyle changes, and the rising age of populations with better access to medicine have occasioned rising rates of cancer. Rwanda's national cancer program has been hailed as a unique example of how to build clinical oncology into a public healthcare infrastructure. The twelve-month ethnographic study will address three sets of questions: 1. What historical, economic, social, and political factors have shaped the development of the country's cancer program? 2. How do local clinicians and patients experience cancer as a treatable chronic disease? And how is that experience afffected by the development of a national oncology infrastructure and new biomedical technologies? 3. As an instance of the transnational private-public partnerships characteristic of global health interventions in postcolonial Africa, what successes, limitations, and challenges does this cancer program present for envisioning oncology programs elsewhere in the global south? What are the ethical, political, and epistemological stakes involved in different models of cancer care? This project will contribute to a new chapter in medical anthropology, one focused on rising rates of cancer in contemporary Africa. It argues, too, that Rwanda's national oncology initiative is an exercise in nation-building, whereby a sovereign state is deploying a health crisis for purposes of mending the ruptures of a recently traumatized and divided population.
Stenzel, Kristine S., U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid 'A Reference Grammar of Wanano,' supervised by Dr. Jule Gomez de Garcia
KRISTINE S. STENZEL, while a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received funding in June 2002 to aid 'A Reference Grammar of Wanano,' supervised by Dr. Jule Gomez de Garcia. This dissertation fieldwork research on Wanano was conducted between September 2002 and May 2003. The goals of this research are to produce a descriptive reference grammar of Wanano and to aid Wanano speakers to develop a user's grammar and other resource materials for their language preservation projects. Through this fieldwork, the Wanano language database has grown to over 1000 lexical and phrasal entries, 11 oral texts, 73 written texts, and videotaped conversations. Data reveal significant differences between Wanano and other Tukano languages in important areas of phonology, morphology and syntax. Data collected are being used both for linguistic analysis and as a resource for the Wanano in their language preservation efforts. Two of Stenzel's fieldwork trips - September 2002 and May 2003 - entailed travel to the Wanano community of Caruru Cachoeira. Realized in conjunction with the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) Education Project, they included participation in Wanano language and education workshops. Some 100 Wananos participated, discussing orthography and a unified written form, working on a user's grammar, and writing and illustrating texts to be included in their first book, Kootiria Ya Me'ne Buehina (Stories in the Wanano Language). It contains 73 texts and will be published through ISA/FOIRN in 2004, with 1000 copies distributed to Wanano communities and schools in Brazil and Colombia. Additionally, the Wanano are developing a bilingual educational program for the Wanano Indigenous School. The January 2003 fieldwork entailed intensive work with consultants in Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira in elicitation sessions and on text transcriptions. The grantee is currently analyzing the data collected and writing her dissertation.
Hundley, James Marlow, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Resistance and Accommodation: The Effects of Securitization on Coast Salish Politics, Governance, and Sovereignty,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: National and international relations transformed globally following September 11, 2001. This is most visible at international borders including 'the longest undefended border' between Canada and the United States. New ways of securing the border entail new policies of securitization. This ethnographic research project documents the effects of securitization on the Coast Salish First Nations in the Washington State/British Columbia borderlands. I chronicle their strategies and tactics for resisting, accommodating, and challenging state power in their everyday lives and at larger levels of political organization. Through ethnographic research I trace changes to Coast Salish behaviors and ideologies and how they articulate with continued and differentially experienced security policies at the border. What this entails are changes to Coast Salish political organization, formal and informal governance mechanisms, and tribal sovereignty. There are implications not only for the Coast Salish but for indigenous peoples across the United States, North America, and around the globe.
Moore, Hollis Leigh, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Imprisonment and (Un)relatedness in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Hilary Cunningham
HOLLIS L. MOORE, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Imprisonment and (Un)relatedness in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Hilary Cunningham. During the funded phase -- the third and final phase of fieldwork - participant-observation research and 40 key informant interviews were conducted. Core research sites included: visitor waiting areas as well as cells and common spaces of a men's and a women's prison; the Center -- a shelter/school for children of prisoners; the entrance of a penal compound; and homes of research participants. Key informant interview priorities were developed in ongoing dialogue with participant-observation findings; semi-structured interviews were conducted with women and men (ex-)prisoners and visitors (including religious volunteer visitors) as well as children sheltered at the Center and Center staff. Field notes, interview recordings and photographs contain evidence regarding linkages between prisons and neighborhoods viewed through the optic of intersecting practices of imprisonment and practices of (un)relatedness. Analysis of this data reveals how mass imprisonment shapes and is shaped by the social relations of heavily penalized, low-income neighborhoods. Specifically, research findings improve our understanding of social relations and subjectivities characteristic of Salvador, Bahia's prison-neighborhood nexus, helping to answer the primary research question: How does social reproduction occur in the context of connections and disconnections linked to practices of mass imprisonment?
Conley, Robin Helene, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Discourses of Death: Language, Juries, and 'Future Danger' in Texas Death Penalty Trials,' supervised by Dr. Alessandro Duranti
ROBIN HELENE CONLEY, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Discourses of Death: Language, Juries, and 'Future Danger' in Texas Death Penalty Trials,' supervised by Dr. Alessandro Duranti. This research, conducted from 2009-2010, investigates how Texas death penalty defendants are constructed as 'dangerous' through jurors' and other legal actors' linguistic, cultural, and legal language practices. The fieldwork consisted primarily of observation of and participation in death penalty trials in multiple Texas counties, post-verdict interviews with jurors whose served on these and other death penalty trials, interviews with other state actors involved in the death penalty process, and the collection of a variety of legal documents, such as jury instructions and trial transcripts. The analysis demonstrates how interaction in capital murder trials shapes the construction of defendants and in turn jurors' decision-making trajectories. The dissertation analyzes these encounters against the backdrop of trial participants' ideologies about who capital defendants are and how they should be judged, which are rooted in widely circulating and regionally distinct discourses of justice, crime, and morality. Interactional aspects of the trials, such as emotional encounters between defendants and witnesses and eye-contact between jurors and defendants, often put jurors in intense conflict with these deeply seated ideologies. Comparatively analyzing interactional detail in death penalty trials with post-verdict juror interviews allows an examination of the development of these conflicts and their consequences for death penalty decisions.
Seale-Feldman, Aidan Sara, U. of California, Los Angleles, CA - To aid research on 'Adolescent 'Mass Hysteria' in Rural Nepal: Subjectivity, Experience, and Social Change,' supervised by Dr. C. Jason Throop
Preliminary abstract: In the wake of economic and political instability, high rates of unemployment and outmigration and the decade-long violence of the 'People's War,' increasing cases of 'mass hysteria,' also known as 'chhopne rog,' among adolescents have been reported in government schools throughout Nepal. Investigating the phenomenon of mass 'chhopne rog,' which affects mainly female adolescents in rural Nepal, this study traces connections between new forces of social change which have taken shape in the post-conflict period, and the psychocultural dimensions of people's lives. Why are adolescent girls disproportionally afflicted by 'chhopne rog' and how might this be connected to relations of power? What is the public discourse on 'mass hysteria' in Nepal, and how do families, healers, and psychiatrists understand, explain, and treat this illness? What is the nature of the experience of 'chhopne rog' for people themselves, and how does it relate to the sociocultural and economic conditions in which they live their lives? Through a phenomenological, person-centered approach to ethnographic research, this study contributes towards understanding the ways in which subjectivity, an individual's intimate, affective, emotional life-- thoughts, desires, hopes, fears or dreams-- takes form in particular historical, political, economic, and sociocultural contexts.
Hartikainen, Elina Inkeri, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'From the Public Sphere to Spirit Speech: Negotiating Discourses of Africanness in Brazilian Candomblé,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein
ELINA INKERI HARTIKAINEN, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2008, to aid research on 'From the Public Sphere to Spirit Speech: Negotiating Discourses of Africanness in Brazilian Candomblé,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein. This project examines how Candomblé practitioners in Salvador, Brazil, come together as self-reflexive religious publics around particular discursive configurations of African religiosity, religious intolerance and race. The study traces how the hierarchical social settings of the Candomblé religion and Brazilian society order the construction, uptake, and negotiation of public discourses on race and religion among Afro-Brazilian adherents of Candomblé. Closely examining public conferences and marchpes organized by religious practitioners, the every-day and ritual practices of Candomblé temples, and media portrayals of the religion (main-stream as well as alternative media produced by practitioners), the project explores how Candomblé adherents imagine and perform a religious public in addressing public discourses on their religion, Africanness, and race. Significantly, the grantee demonstrates how the formation of Candomblé publics relies not only on a shared orientation towards specific texts, but also particular religious dispositions towards discourse circulation. Thus, rather than an egalitarian public where discourse flows freely, Candomblé practitioners envision themselves participating in and contributing to Brazilian society and politics according to the 'African' principles of Candomblé; most importantly, a rigid ritual hierarchy that determines who can say what, when, and to whom, and a reliance on personalized oral communications over text and other broadcast media forms.
Marshall, Maureen Elizabeth, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Political Subjects: Movement, Mobility, and Emplacement in Late Bronze Age (1500-1250 BC) Societies in Armenia,' supervised by Dr. Adam Thomas Smith
MAUREEN E. MARSHALL, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Political Subjects: Movement, Mobility, and Emplacement in the Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 BC) Societies in Armenia, ' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. In traditional models of the emergence of early complex polities, centralized political authority is understood to have developed slowly from an agrarian subsistence base predicated upon a stable settled population that provides the necessary intensive labor. Yet, Bronze Age societies in the South Caucasus seem to have experienced a different process. The dissertation research project thus examined the residential movements and geographic origins of subjects within early complex polities in the LBA South Caucasus through a combination of stable isotope analyses including strontium (87Sr/86Sr), trace element concentrations, carbon and oxygen (?13C and ?18O) carbonates, and carbon and nitrogen (?13C and ?15N) collagen. These analyses provide information on three types of movement: namely post-mortem movement, residential mobility, and movement in relation to dietary regimes. Such a combined approach to movement will provide a detailed basis for discussing how subjects experienced the socio-political landscape as extremely local (buried in the same place that they lived), as differentiated in death (moved to certain areas for burial), or as more open (moved residential locations during their lives). The research thus contributes to anthropological theories of early complex polities, political subjects, and mobility, by focusing on individual subject's practices and experiences of movement and emplacement.