Porter, Natalie Hannah, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Threatening Lives: Controlling Avian Flu in Vietnam's Poultry Economy,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Ann Bowie
NATALIE H. PORTER, then a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Threatening Lives: Controlling Avian Flu in Vietnam's Poultry Economy,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Ann Bowie. This project uses comparative ethnographic research at three sites of avian influenza management in Vietnam to explore how expanding global health efforts against avian influenza alter Vietnamese poultry economies in ways that create new and contested boundaries between humans and animals. Participant-observation of two avian influenza interventions in Hanoi reveals how global health experts, state agents, and non-governmental workers construct bird flu risks according to varying political and economic positions, in which controlling disease emerges as one of several objects of concern. Further, ethnographic research in two socioeconomically distinct communities demonstrates how poultry producers reformulate official risk constructs according to distinct knowledge systems, which are based primarily upon interpersonal networks, kin hierarchies, and phenomenological experience. Central to the diverse understandings of bird flu risks in both global health arenas and in rural farming communities are contestations over the appropriate role of animals in human socioeconomic systems, and conflicts over the value of agricultural livelihoods in a standardizing, market-oriented economy.
Porter, Natalie. 2013. Bird Flu Biopower:Strategies for Multispecies Coexistence in Viet Nam. American Ethnologist 40(1):132-148.
Feldhousen, Kristy J., U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - To aid research on 'Freedmen and Black Indian Identity in Oklahoma: Political, Racial, and Cultural Constructions,' supervised by Dr. Morris W. Foster
KRISTY FELDHOUSEN, while a student at the University of Oklahoma, received an award in May 2005 to aid dissertation research on 'Freedmen and Black Indian Identity in Oklahoma: Political, Racial and Cultural Constructions.' This research involved twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in two rural historic Freedmen/Black Indian communities in eastern Oklahoma. This work, focusing on a Cherokee Freedmen community and a Choctaw Freedmen community, was contrasted with simultaneous fieldwork on identity within Freedmen/Black Indian activist groups based in Oklahoma's urban centers. Amid the current controversy over the disenfranchisement of Freedmen from citizenship in their respective tribes, identity has become a critical issue. Native American and African American racial categorizations and identities have become seemingly at odds with one another within this debate. This research has explored Freedmen identity in political and local historical contexts, and has gained extensive information on the ways in which Freedmen identities have been shaped by racial systems, local culture, and current politics.
Victor, Letha Elaine, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Living with the Living Dead: Building Ethical Relations in Acholi, Northern Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
Preliminary abstract: My project is concerned with memory, trauma, and religiosity in the wake of war and political violence in northern Uganda. Residents of the Acholi sub-region often complain that the ghosts of those persons who died violent and ritually impure deaths haunt the living, non-human spirit beings possess and speak through the bodies of men and women, and the souls of ancestors make their presence known on the landscapes of family homesteads. I study encounters with these spirits (what Acholi people often call the 'living dead,') and what they say about memory, politics, conciliation, religiosity, and gender in the aftermath of violence and in the context of rapid social change. I suggest that the living residents of the region do not approach these spirit encounters solely as pathological distractions from the business of community reconstruction, but as ethical challenges intrinsic to it. The primary objective of my research is to determine how residents of the region manage, respond to, draw upon, cope with, understand, and manipulate their encounters with incorporeal spirits.
Kattan, Shlomy, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid 'Language Socialization and Language Ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez
SHLOMY KATTAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Language Socialization and Language ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez. This multi-sited ethnography examines language socialization, linguistic ideologies, and identity practices amongst families of Israeli emissaries and their young children, following their transition from Israel, through their residence in New York, and until their return to Israel after two years. During the first funded year of research, observations, interviews, and audio and video recording have been carried out in both countries at home and in school. In-home observations capture the methods used to socialize children to being bilingual, record family conversations about Israel and New York, and document changes in participants' language use. In-school observations document changes ininteractional practices between the focal children, their teachers, and peers. Observations document how focal children enter into and form social groups, how they negotiate their position as language learners and as non-locals, and how they utilize their changing linguistic skills. The data provide empirical support that the transition and socialization of the children are negotiated across sites, and illustrate how such negotiations take place across the sites. Socialization practices are not positivistic or objective, but rather derive rom participants' changing ideologies vis-à-vis children's abilities in English and Hebrew, as well as their perceptions of the children's fluctuating needs in those languages.
Osterhoudt, Sarah Rae, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Vanilla for the Ancestors: Landscapes, Trade, and the Cultivation of Place in Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove
SARAH R. OSTERHOUDT, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Vanilla for the Ancestors: Landscapes, Trade, and the Cultivation of Place in Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove. The grantee is an environmental anthropologist working with small-scale vanilla, clove, rice and coffee farmers in the Mananara Nord region of Northeastern Madagascar. The project investigates the dynamic material, cultural, historical and ideological layers of agrarian landscapes, especially as related to commodity production and trade. Research notes how the agroforestry fields of Malagasy farmers emerge as places of overlap where products, meanings, and knowledges are actively circulated. Individuals draw from their everyday interactions with managed fields to imagine and articulate their past histories, present conditions, and future aspirations. Whether it is using a clove tree to recount family lineages, experimenting with a new technique to plant vanilla vines, or harvesting leaves from a hasina plant to use in a traditional ceremony, farmers draw from their fields both material and ideological resources. Focusing on agroforestry fields -- as places where 'natural' forests, managed forests, and agricultural activities intersect -- also complicates the ethnographic divide between agriculture and forest environments and illustrates the mutually constitutive spaces of nature and culture.
DeCaro, Jason A., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'The Social Ecology of Childhood Stress: Reactivity and Family Function in North Central Georgia, U.S.A.' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman
JASON A. DECARO, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant in November 2001 to aid research on the social ecology of childhood stress in north-central Georgia, U.S.A., under the supervision of Dr. Carol M. Worthman. DeCaro's research was designed to evaluate whether children's reactivity (physiological response to stress or arousal) during the transition from preschool to kindergarten was related to their parents' economic security; whether the 'routinization' of family life and stability in the social ecology of the home predicted children's reactivity during this transition; and whether the stability of children's social environment and their reactivity predicted functional outcomes. Ethnographic interviews with parents in forty-five metropolitan Atlanta families focused on work, finances, economic security, time management, and school and neighborhood choices and satisfaction. Prior to and following the transition into kindergarten, DeCaro collected saliva samples from children and parents three times a day for seven days, in order to test for levels of cortisol, a hormone of physiologic arousal. He also monitored children's heart rates during a puppet-based psychobehavioral interview. Parents were asked to track on hand computers their and their children moods, contexts, and experiences for seven days. Questionnaires covered children's behavioral and somatic symptomatology and preschool educational outcomes. Preliminary analysis suggested that cardiovascular response during a mild social challenge predicted the density of parents' schedules but that mothers' and fathers' types of 'busyness' had different effects on household ecology and on children's responses to experience. The study was expected to provide insights into the cultural construction of the 'work' of the family, which profoundly affects both the actual form and the perception of family life by family members and thus what precisely is 'stressful' about it.
DeCaro, Jason A. and Carol M. Worthman. 2006 Cultural Models, Parent Behavior, and Young Child Experience in Working American Families. Parenting: Science and Practice 7(2): 177-203.
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
Preliminary abstract: In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Maori are overrepresented in criminal and mental health contexts, comprising over 50% of institutional populations, yet only 14.6% of the nation. In response to these trends, new models of care are emerging that seek to decolonize health and to address these imbalances in culturally viable ways. The Mason Clinic's Te Papakainga O Tane Whakapiripiri unit is a secure forensic psychiatric facility in Auckland for mentally ill criminal offenders. Run 'by Maori for Maori,' this unit offers an explicitly indigenous paradigm of healing that marries Western biomedical frameworks with intensive cultural education and therapy. Music, spirituality, and language are utilized as integral aspects of treatment. This program continues a post-1970s trajectory of increasing Maori self-determination that has seen the infusion of Maori culture into public institutions. And yet, paradoxically, Maori indigeneity is being constructed through the very state mechanisms that have historically hindered it. In my doctoral research, I question how hybridized medical knowledge is created and maintained through self-determined health programming, and how traditional indigenous culture functions when codified through government systems. It is my hope that this investigation will contribute to a growing critical discussion finding connections between health, governance, the arts, and indigenous rights.
Huang, Mingwei, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'The Political Economy of Friendship After Bandung: Mapping Sino-Afro Contemporaries in South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Karen Ho
Preliminary abstract: My research is an interdisciplinary study of the contemporary spectacular reemergence of Sino-African relations, particularly Sino-African friendship, in South Africa. I am interested in how the geopolitics of diplomatic 'friendship' and transnational capital flows between China and South Africa are localized in the everyday encounters and friendships between Chinese migrants, South Africans, and African migrants in South Africa. I ask, how is Sino-African friendship--an embodied affect-laden social relationship--constituted and experienced? Moreover, what is the relationship between friendship and capital? I examine how friendship and capital are linked through productive sentiments such as amity and trust in addition to everyday social practices of exchange and transactions. In so doing, I conceptualize how friendship and capital are mutually constitutive in a 'political economy of friendship' and a local 'friendship economy' in commercial spaces of transnational capital. Through ethnographic, historical, and cultural and media studies methods, I examine three Sino-African capital and cultural flows vis-à-vis friendship: mass Chinese tourism in Cape Town, China Malls--Chinese-import shopping malls--in Johannesburg, and PRC sponsored cultural diplomacy events in South Africa. My research theoretically contributes to anthropological approaches to friendship, capital, globalization, and 'south-south' relations.
Morino, Luca, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Behavioral and Hormonal Correlates of Male Reproductive Strategies in the Siamang,' supervised by Dr. Ryne A. Palombit
LUCA MORINO, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Behavioral and Hormonal Correlates of Male Reproductive Strategies in the Siamang,' supervised by Dr. Ryne Palombit. The research focuses on the social behavior and endocrinology of a small, arboreal and prevalently monogamous Southeast Asian ape, the siamang. In particular it explores how hormones and behavior interact in the following contexts: dominance relationship between males within a social group; defense of the territory/mate from neighboring groups; impact of female's choice and reproductive status on intra- and inter-group dynamics; male parental care. Behavioral data were gathered on eleven groups over two years, and 1005 hormonal samples were non-invasively collected from 38 individuals. The resulting hormonal profiles are determined for the first time in this primate family. This research will improve existing theoretical models by providing data on an arboreal monogamous/polyandrous species, since most of the previous testing was conducted on terrestrial polygynous ones. Data will also allow the testing of hypotheses regarding mechanisms of non-aggressive sexual competition, specifically the inhibition of sexual function of subordinate individuals, by means of pheromonal cues from dominant ones. Information on the endocrinological mechanisms underlying the pair bonds of an ape species will allow inferences on the evolution and maintenance of human pair bonds, monogamy, mate guarding and paternal care.
Morino, Luca. 2009. Observation of a wild marbled cat in Sumatra. Cat News 50:20.
Cherkaev, Xenia Andrej, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli
XENIA A. CHERKAEV, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli. In 2011, Putin warned that the American-funded political opposition would falsify the election results' falsification, and might kill someone off, to blame the government. Attempting to write a history of this present, where universal corruption accusations blend easily into conspiracy theory, this project examines changing regimes of circulation, and the correlating changes in regimes of truth. It begins in late-Soviet Leningrad, asking how people made and obtained everyday things by using their positions in the centralized distribution system, their access to surplus material hoarded by enterprises, and the reified norms of State institutions - and how State Secrecy, permeating everyday life as another monolithic norm, guaranteed a truth, just out of reach: 'It irritated! There were certain things some idiot didn't want me to know!' It then asks how regimes of both truth and circulation changed with the post-Soviet transition, in which the sudden disclosure of previously unavailable materials correlated with widespread political discussion, extrasensory and religious activity, sharp commodity deficit, and new economic policies, which allowed people to make cash on State surplus and informal deals that 'took the country apart by the screws ? swiped everything from precious metals to Arab horses... fantastic times!'