Mendoza Rockwell, Elsa Natalia, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The State of Eloquence: Parliaments and Democratic Discourse in Mali,' supervised by Dr. Claudio Lomnitz
ELSA N. MENDOZA-ROCKWELL, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'The State of Eloquence: Parliaments and Democratic Discourse in Mali,' supervised by Dr. Claudio Lomnitz. In the last twenty years electoral multi-party forms of democracy have gained universal validity relegating all other political systems to illegitimacy. During the 1990s many African countries moved from 'authoritarian' regimes to 'democratic' ones. Mali was renowned as one of the most successful African cases of democratization until the 2012 military coup. This research explores the actual political practices that such democratization processes triggered and attempts to take seriously explicit and implicit reactions to electoral democracy. It is centered on the discursive aspects of politics, more specifically on the status of debate and deliberation in so called 'pluralist' regimes. It is empirically grounded in the observation of a large number of different political meetings -- ranging from the National Assembly to youth political debates -- in Mali in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Those recordings provide the evidence needed to explore the following questions: Has electoral democracy allowed for the expression of a more diverse spectrum of political means and ends? What are the ways in which electoral democracy disciplines and uniforms political movements and demands while promoting pluralism and dissent? How does the limit between democracy and anti-democracy gets discursively established before and after the military coup?
Carlson, Jennifer Douglass, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JENNIFER D. CARLSON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. This project employed participant observation, interviews, and archival research to explore practices of speculation that have arisen with the advent of renewable energy in rural northern Germany. The spread of wind turbines, solar panels, and bio-gas plants across Ostfriesland, Lower Saxony, as well as an influx of jobs in the environmental sector, have led villagers to see themselves as speculators with an unforeclosed future, in contrast to the rigid caste system that once held sway over their communities. In an atmosphere of development driven by environmental concerns, the possibility of capital gain is twinned with the threat of catastrophe in the public consciousness. Data collected over a year of fieldwork suggest that everyday talk in Ostfriesland is a social poetics where even the most mundane conversations may hold consequences for capital gain and wider economic and environmental stability. Here speculation is the ground of belonging in a world where fortunes, daily routines, social distinctions, and the built environment are in a state of constant flux. This case sheds light on the cultural generativity of renewable energy, with an eye to the social repercussions of eco-capitalist development in formerly preindustrial societies.
Schulthies, Becky L., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Media Scripts and Interpretive Processes in Arab Domestic Discourse,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton
BECKY L. SCHULTHIES, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in July 2004 to aid research on 'Media Scripts and Interpretive Processes in Arab Domestic Discourse,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton. The objective of this study is to investigate how media scripts and language ideologies contribute to Moroccan and Lebanese domestic dialogues and interpretations of current transnational events. Media scripts refer to television and radio input or information circulated through entextualization processes (embedded direct and indirect quotations and references framed by a particular discussion). These media scripts include stories, statistics, historical dates, anecdotes and projections that Moroccan and Lebanese families utilize and manage in interpretive discussions. Given the array of multilingual and Arabic dialect programming available in Morocco and Lebanon, language ideologies play a significant role in which media scripts are appropriated and how they are managed in family settings. This research merges the ethnography of media reception with careful linguistic analysis of domestic discourse in order to understand the social life of media scripts within domestic conversations and family collaborative interpretive processes as they relate to viewing practices. Video and audio-recordings of fifteen families in Morocco and eight in Lebanon were made while they watched television several times a week over a period of three months. Informal interviews were conducted with family members to background the media sources and specific social, historical, and economic factors shaping the landscape in which these families assemble interpretive frameworks. Conversation and discourse analysis techniques were applied to selected transcripts to show how participants are orienting to media, assuming linguistic stances in relation to transnational identities, and evaluating truth-value of information through deixis, intonation, gesture and topic control.
Gursel, Zeynep D., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Image Industry: The Work of International News Photographs in the Age of Digital Reproduction,' supervised by Dr. Nelson H.H. Graburn
ZEYNEP D. GURSEL, while a student at University of California in Berkeley, California, received funding in June 2003 to aid research on international news photographs in the age of digital reproduction, under the supervision of Dr. Nelson H. H. Graburn. Gursel conducted seven months of research on the international photojournalism industry, which was in the midst of a major transformation, due partly to a transition from film to digital images and partly to new institutions that had been able to enter the market as distribution mechanisms changed. Digitalization of production and particularly of distribution had radically increased the number of images available. Gursel carried out extensive fieldwork in the news and editorial division of Corbis, a major visual content provider seen by many as a major force in shaping the future of the industry. Research was also conducted at news publications, in order to determine the processes by which key decision makers negotiated which images were used and how those images were sourced. Interviews were conducted with photographers, editors, owners of major photo agencies, and archivists, in order to understand how images were marketed and what determined whose visions got put into circulation. At a time when historical narratives are becoming increasingly communicated through visuals, which types of images get produced, distributed, published, and archived in the present correlate with which versions of history will be narrated in the future.
Gürsel,Zeynep Devrim. 2012. The Politics of Wire Service Photography: Infrastructures of Representation in a Digital Newsroom. American Ethnologist 39(1):71-89.
MacCarthy, Michelle Dawn, U. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand - To aid research on 'Contextualizing Authenticity: Cultural Tourism in the Trobriand Islands,' supervised by Dr. Mark William Busse
MICHELLE MacCARTHY, then a student at University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, was awarded funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Contextualizing Authenticity: Cultural Tourism in the Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Mark W. Busse. This project entailed eighteen months of fieldwork on the island of Kiriwina in the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea. Ethnographic research with both Trobriand Islanders and tourists facilitated an examination of how both parties understand and manipulate notions of tradition and authenticity in the milieu of cultural tourism. This research explored, on the one hand, how Trobrianders enact 'Trobriandness' to tourists, and their own ideas about the importance of tradition for Trobriand life and for presentation to tourists. It also examined the ways in which tourists exoticize persistent notions of 'the primitive' and narrate their experiences in terms of cultural tourism as a lens into a more 'traditional, authentic' way of life. By considering various aspects of life that have been commoditized for tourist consumption, including material culture, dance and performance, and village life, this project analyzes the discourses of both tourists and Trobrianders as a way of understanding the intercultural encounter as it is seen by both parties, with a particular focus on how ideas of authenticity are constructed and are essential to both Trobriand and touristic notions of 'culture.'
MacCarthy, Michelle. 2012. Playing Politics with Yams: Food Security in the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment: The Journal of Culture & Agriculture 34(2):136-147.
MacCarthy, Michelle. 2013. 'More than Grass Skirts and Feathers': Negotiating Culture in the Trobriand Islands. International Journal of Heritage Studies 19(1):62-77.
Blair, James Joseph Allen, City U. of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Extracting Indigeneity: Self-Determination and Energy in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas),' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
PROVIDE A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PROJECT IN PLAIN ENGLISH (UNFORMATTED -- WITHOUT BULLETS OR NUMBERED LISTS -- 200 WORD MAXIMUM).
This ethnographic and historical project examines how the British settlers of the Falkland Islands (In Spanish, Malvinas) are constructing themselves as natives, as they stake their claim to energy resources. Thirty years after the 1982 military conflict that cemented the South Atlantic archipelago's British status, oil has been discovered near the islands, and Argentina has renewed its sovereignty claim. In response, the islands' settlers held a March 2013 referendum on the right to self-determination in which 99.8% voted 'Yes' to remaining British. Unlike colonies where native peoples have claimed self-determination to restore sovereignty, no precolonial population inhabited the islands, nor do descendants today. To understand how the settlers are reinventing themselves as natives with resource rights, this project examines: (1) how they are packaging self-determination as a sign of stability for oil partners; (2) to what extents debates around infrastructure are forming new local power relations; and (3) how the dispute orients experts assessing environmental impact. Research incorporates observations and interviews with multiple stakeholders, including: government officials, oil executives, scientists, migrants, townspeople and shepherds. With analysis of colonial reports, the project considers how the present moment of oil development is an outcome of historical relations of resource governance.
Rivera-Collazo, Isabel C., U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Between Land and Sea in Puerto Rico: Climate, Coastal Landscapes, and Human Occupations in the Mid-Holocene Caribbean,' supervised by Dr. Jose Oliver
ISABEL RIVERA-COLLAZO, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Between Land and Sea in Puerto Rico: Climate, Coastal Landscapes, and Human Occupations in the Mid-Holocene Caribbean,' supervised by Dr. Jose Oliver. The global effect of human-induced climate change is one of the most important issues governments worldwide have to address. This issue is especially serious for coastal communities due to the threat posed by rising sea levels. This project studies the effect that Early to Mid-Holocene climate change had on tropical coastal landscapes and the distribution of habitats within them, in order to understand the range of foraging decisions observed in archaeological contexts, and to study human resilience to changing conditions. Fieldwork was used to gather primary environmental data from Puerto Rico in order to document landscape change and contextualize human behaviour. Five sediment cores were taken from strategic positions along the Manatí River, north of the site of Angostura. The sediment stratigraphy of these cores suggests that the coastal plain in the past was dominated by aquatic environments of active sedimentary deposition then filled in slowly as sea levels rose. People responded to changes in the distribution of ecological niches by adapting their diet, maintaining its sustainability over the long run. A deep-time perspective of human-environment interaction facilitates a better understanding of the scope of human strategies that lead to resilient or fragile socioeconomic systems when facing crises.
Gantt, Julian Monroe, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Islamic Property in Azerbaijan: A Century of Transformations,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
Preliminary abstract: When the Bolsheviks conquered Azerbaijan in April 1920 one of their first official acts was to confiscate the thousands of Islamic pious endowments or waqfs that dotted the countryside. Waqfs in Azerbaijan were frequently parcels of land converted into endowments for the support of mosques, schools, irrigation systems, and roads. Waqfs formed an essential part of a pre-Soviet Islamic property regime. Despite the fact that waqfs were abolished thirty years earlier, Azerbaijanis in the rural northwest were creating them out of their personal plots in collective farms in the 1950s and 60s. Using historical and ethnographic methods, this project asks what has property meant for Azerbaijanis in the context of a century of sweeping religious, political, and economic transformation? In what ways has the privatization of land in 1996 affected Islamic property and personhood? This research will examine how Azerbaijani communities have shaped and have been shaped by state interventions in the realm of Islamic property, providing a greater understanding of Islam, socialism, and capitalism as intertwined material and social processes.
Winchell, Mareike, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
MAREIKE WINCHELL, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind. Research focused on the ways recent legal reforms reshape existing practices of historical consciousness and ethical subjectivity in Bolivia, with emphasis on the frictions between the Bolivian state's vision of revolutionary change, on the one hand, and rural experiences of state reform among Quechua and Spanish-speaking descendents of landowners, and servants in ex-hacienda regions on the other. Through research with land reform officials and rural Quechua-speakers, the study shed light on: 1) how emergent ideals of revolutionary citizenship and temporal change become institutionalized; and 2) the ways institutional efforts coexist uneasily with a set of vertical relational practices that rural residents imbue with ethical significance.
Lacombe, Dr. Sebastien, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Raw Material Mobility and Prehistoric Societies: New Archaeopetrographical Approaches to Paleolithic Flint Assemblages from South-West Europe'