Verinis, James Peter, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
JAMES PETER VERINIS, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, was granted funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Though Greek agriculture has served as the picture of rural underdevelopment in Europe, rural Greece is undergoing significant transformations. Immigrants play a diversity of socio-economic roles in farming communities experiencing a new global migratory context. They help define what agricultural [dis]incentives, environmental stewardship, social fabric, and territorial occupation mean in the countryside. With locals they co-manage tensions stemming from European rural development programs and global commodity markets. Scholarship largely reifies the conclusion that immigrants are merely transient, exploited laborers. In conjunction with macroeconomic analyses of rural 'stagnation,' such characterizations misrepresent current realities and undermine alternative potential forms of rural development in Greece. Fieldwork in rural villages in Laconia Prefecture of the Peloponnese, primarily in communities of olive growers, has served to undermine such misrepresentations. Participatory farming amongst Greek and non-Greek agriculturalists, in conjunction with related forms of ethnographic data gathered from various stakeholders, sheds light on a context allowing for immigrant integration and rural development as well as for xenophobia and 'resistance' to global capitalism. Contemporary globalized countrysides along the borders of Europe beg such fieldwork in order to evaluate current and potential paths based on new conceptual frameworks set by their new range of residents.
Kleyna, Mark A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Spectacles of the Modern: Technology, Development, and the Imagination of the Indian Nation, 1947-1965,' supervised by Dr. Nicholas B. Dirks
Romano Athila, Adriana, Federal U. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To aid research on 'The Enemy Lives Nearby: Violence, Harmony and Sociality among the Rikbaktsa Indians of Southwest Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Marco A. Teixeira Goncalves
ADRIANA ROMANO ATHILA, while a student at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, received an award in July 2003, to aid her ethnographic field research focused on the ritual-cosmological universe and sociopolitical organization of the Rikbaktsa and the ways in which these dimensions relate to actual forms of sociality observed among this people, an indigenous society, inhabiting southwestern Amazonia, Brazil, supervised by Dr. Marco Antônio Gonçalves. Athila's research centers on the detailed ethnographic description of one more cultural possibility for the configuration and interconnection of the universes of 'violence' and 'conflict' with 'peacefulness' and 'harmony' within the broad ethnographic spectrum of lowland South American societies. She demonstrated how Rikbaktsa eschatology advocates proximity and probity in social relations, while, perversely, this search for solidarity also inevitably lies at the origin of future instances of predation. The continual and almost inevitable interaction between metaphysical beings - including the dead - and the living is therefore a basic factor in the 'lability' or 'reversibility' of the categories of identity/alterity, solidarity/enmity and even kinship among groups and people. These intersections are, in this way, responsible for reproducing and altering the Rikbaksta society itself, including the dynamic underlying the formation and fission of groups and villages, as well as their territorial distribution.
Palmer, Seth Thomas, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'In the Image of a Wo(man): Queering Human and Spirit Subjects in Northwestern Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael J. Lambek
Preliminary abstract: While the Malagasy nation-state struggles to recover from a series of political crises, non-governmental intervention in the sexual health of MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) increases. Set against this ethnographic background, this dissertation project aims to understand how same-sex desiring and gender-variant persons, and their possessing spirits, grapple with their gendered and sexualized alterity. By bringing two fields of study into conversation - spirit possession studies and queer studies - this research examines how individuals, both human and spirit, work through and against the idioms provided by tromba spirit possession and the transnational discourses of MSM and LGBTIQ identity-based activism. Although the majority of spirit mediums in northwestern Madagascar are female, many male spirit mediums in this region are same-sex desiring, and often possessed by several particular spirits. Likewise, queer male mediums participate in MSM activist networks, thus implicating spirit possession in MSM activism/public health initiatives and vice versa. The experiences of male and female-bodied interlocutors of various ages in a rural town along the Betsiboka river and the coastal city of Mahajanga will be analyzed to reveal how human and spirit interlocutors, and their accompanying life stories, secret lexicons, and identitarian categories flow between seemingly disparate spaces.
Echenique, Ester, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Style, Ideology, and Empire: Rethinking Materiality in the Southern Inka Expansion,' supervised by Dr. David Killick
Preliminary abstract: While scholars have emphasized administrative architecture and spatial organization in studies of Inka state control of conquered provinces, portable objects have also played a key role in legitimating Inka state ideology. Drawing on theories of ideology and materiality, this research asks how Inka imperialism was materialized in portable objects by examining how the Inka used and manipulated provincial ceramic styles. The decorated and stylistically distinct Yavi-Chicha ceramics from the Chicha region (Río Grande de San Juan Basin in the Bolivia-Argentina border), widely distributed in the Circumpuna region (the tri-border region of S Bolivia, NW Argentina, and N Chile), provides the ideal subject for this inquiry. This proposed project will examine ceramics from the core Chicha region and from two key areas of circulation and interaction, the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Argentina and the Loa/San Pedro de Atacama region in Chile, where the Inka transformed local societies. Technological styles and the life-history of Yavi-Chicha ceramics will be investigated with the purpose of understanding people-object interactions, in this case the role of material objects in producing and legitimating state power and ideologies. Variation and similarities of low and high visibility technological and compositional attributes documented through macroscopic and compositional analyses will be used to infer technological choices at all levels of manufacturing processes and will serve as indicators of production groups, geographic distribution, interaction networks, and the relationship between local knowledge and state power.
Sweetman, Lauren Elizabeth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels
LAUREN E. SWEETMAN, then a graduate student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels. During the tenure of this award, the grantee completed fourteen months of ethnographic, community-engaged field research in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Research focused primarily on the Mason Clinic's Te Papak?inga O T?ne Whakapiripiri unit, a secure forensic psychiatric facility for criminal offenders with mental health issues. Run 'by M?ori for M?ori,' this unit offers an explicitly indigenous paradigm of healing that marries Western clinical frameworks with intensive cultural programming, where music, spirituality, and language are utilized as integral aspects of treatment. Here, the grantee worked intensively alongside the cultural team as they implemented their programming, participating in the programming as well as the daily life of the unit, and monitoring the experiences of the patients as they advanced in their rehabilitation. Overall, approximately 100 interviews were conducted with participants representing the various stakeholders in this project: patients, cultural advisors and elders, psychiatrists, psychologists, consumer advocates, occupational therapists, social workers, and all levels of management; as well as experts with relevant experience in the fields of criminal justice, health, and M?ori culture. All interviews were designed and implemented in collaboration with the Taumata (cultural advisory board) at Mason Clinic, a partnership that will continue in all subsequent stages of this project.
Jarrin, Alvaro Esteban, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''The Right to Beauty': Cosmetic Citizenship and Medical Modernity in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Anne Allison
ALVARA ESTEBAN JARRIN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'The Right to Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Medical Modernity in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Anne Allison. This research project examines the construction of beauty in Brazil as a product of the complex race, class and gender inequalities that the country has faced in the past and still faces today. Beauty is a body marker believed to have the power to both stabilize racial and class differences (by making that difference visible to the naked eye) and to make social mobility possible (by providing economic and social opportunities to those who 'achieve' beauty through various means -- particularly plastic surgery). The grantee contrasts the distinct ways in which the body is understood in different social classes, and compare the motives for seeking out plastic surgery among patients in private clinics and patients in public hospitals. The medical world itself has very different approaches to patients in the private and the public health sectors, since the latter is considered the perfect setting for residents to practice and to develop new surgical techniques. The research argues that risk involved in these surgeries is continuously downplayed by medical discourse and by the media, which instead glorifies the transformations achieved through surgery as narratives of social uplift.
Nado, Kristin Lynn, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Dietary Practices, Socioeconomic Status, and Social Mobility at Teotihuacan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Jane Ellen Buikstra
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates social mobility in archaic states through a contextualized program of isotopic research at the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, Mexico. I will analyze dietary isotope ratios within bone and tooth samples from 130 individuals of relatively well-known socioeconomic status buried throughout the city 1) to define the dietary correlates of wealth at Teotihuacan, 2) to identify individuals displaying lifetime dietary changes consistent with changes in socioeconomic status, and 3) to examine patterns in the social categories represented among socially mobile individuals. Though many traditional archaeological models either ignore social mobility or assume that boundaries between socioeconomic strata within archaic states were impermeable, the frequency of social mobility within ancient states has never been systematically evaluated using archaeological data. By using lifetime dietary indicators to develop a new methodological approach that will allow us to identify socially mobile individuals in the archaeological record, I will provide a road map for comparative studies of social mobility within archaic states. The results of this research will also highlight the applicability of archaeological information to present-day understandings of social mobility by investigating when and under what conditions social characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, or occupation impact individuals' opportunities for upward social mobility.
Dahl, Bianca Jane, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Transforming Children: The Contested Socialization of Orphaned Youth in Contemporary Botswana,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Cole
BIANCA JANE DAHL, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Transforming Children: The Contested Socialization of Orphaned Youth in Contemporary Botswana,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Cole. In the wake of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Botswana, where over a third of adults are HIV positive, an entirely new population group has captured the national imagination: orphaned children. Viewed as innocent and vulnerable, yet dangerous and outside the moderating reach of the 'normal' Tswana family, the upbringing of orphans has taken on incredibly high stakes. This research establishes how and why orphans have become a flashpoint for dramatic changes occurring across Botswana in the last 15 years. In many ways, the very existence of supplemental orphan care programs counteracts the important Tswana belief that childrearing is the exclusive domain of the extended family. By examining micro-level patterns of interaction between orphans and the adults involved in their upbringing, this project traces how many orphan care organizations encourage children toward behaviors that are incompatible with Tswana moral values. This research then connects those socialization patterns to macro-level national discourse about the dissolution of kinship in Botswana. Materially empowered yet socially estranged, orphans are simultaneously the product and cause of the behind-the-scenes social revolution occurring in Botswana today. Instead of being 'left behind' in the wake of HIV/AIDS, this research establishes how orphans are at the vanguard of social change.