Ambikaipaker, Mohan, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Antiracist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. Joao Costa Vargas
MOHAN AMBIKAIPAKER, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Anti-racist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. João Costa Vargas. Funding enabled extensive ethnographic research to be carried out on how Black and South Asian communities in East London struggle against different but interrelated forms of racism. The British state has consolidated a shift from the earlier anti-racist and anti-discriminatory objectives of multiculturalism by reformulating contemporary multicultural policy and practices as tools to ensure national security instead. The official focus has shifted the spotlight towards British Muslims, who are constructed as the likely and potential source of cultural clashes, religious extremism, and domestic terrorism. Anti-terror and national security policies and practices are generated through an emergent common sense that shifts the meaning of official multiculturalism away the struggle to accord recognition and rights for minorities and steers it towards a repressive notion of multiculturalism aimed at regulating ethnic identities in compliance primarily with counter-terrorism's logic. This change in multiculturalism forces the development of new forms of anti-racist social movements that have to negotiate a range of identities produced by defensive racial and ethnic responses to the new multicultural regime. There is a conceptual space for these movements that mediate between abstract universal goals of social justice and the necessarily defensive postures of identities subject to the processes of racialization and social exclusion engendered by repressive multiculturalism. The research findings argue against any form of settled position concerning the debate on the effectiveness of identity politics, preferring instead an ethnographic presentation that examines how an ideologically ambiguous terrain accomplishes much of the everyday work of antiracism in Britain.
Osborn, Michelle Ann, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ghetto Governance: An Urban Ethnography of Chieftaincy in Kenya's Kibera Slum,' supervised by Dr. David Pratten
MICHELLE A. OSBORN, then a student at the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'Ghetto Governance: An Urban Ethnography of Chieftaincy in Kenya's Kibera Slum,' supervised by Dr. David Pratten and Dr. David Anderson. By linking together historical analysis with political ethnography, this study explores the evolution of the Provincial Administration within Kibera and examines the role of chiefly authority within the slum's socio-political landscape. Today Kibera is characterized by a political pluralism, in which local chiefs, who are representatives of the central government, struggle to maintain power and legitimacy alongside competing non-state authorities, such as youth gangs and vigilantes. This ethnographic account is positioned within the space that exists between the bureaucratic office of the chief and the streets of Kibera. Within this space contestations and negotiations over local authority routinely intersect with the everyday practices and politics of chiefs. This study considers how such encounters affect both local governance and the daily lives of the urban poor. Drawing from literature on urban and political anthropology as well as studies of chieftaincy, the anthropology of the state, and global slums, this research contributes to our understanding of how local governance and urban chieftaincy operate and affect the lives of the urban poor within one of the sub-Saharan Africa's largest slums.
Donkersloot, Rachel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?': Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies
RACHEL DONKERSLOOT, then a student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?' Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies. This research is located in the social and economic landscape of a rural fisheries-dependent community. Here the subject of rural youth emigration is addressed through attention to gender differences in the ways young people perceive, experience, and cope with rural life, which includes decisions to emigrate. Funding made possible eleven months of fieldwork in the coastal community of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Through this support, 67 formal (individual and group) interviews were conducted. Research participants include young people (aged 18 to 30), as well as parents, teachers, community members/leaders, and retired and active fishermen and industry workers. Preliminary findings suggest: 1) discourse surrounding migration that devalues staying and locates stayers as underachievers or 'losers left behind' represents, at best, a 'partial perspective and particular interests;' and 2) gender is a critical dimension of rural youth experience but its import should not eclipse the very powerful ways in which class shapes young people's experience of place. Resituating young people's life narratives at the intersection of class and gender is imperative to understanding rural youth experience. To privilege gender over class, or vice versa, risks overlooking, over-simplifying or mis-recognizing the subject.
Strava, Cristiana, U. of London, London, UK - To aid research on 'At Home with Modernity: Exploring Place-Making in a Casablanca Slum,' supervised by Dr. Trevor Marchand
CRISTIANA STRAVA, then a student at University of London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'At Home with Modernity: Exploring Place-Making in a Casablanca Slum,' supervised by Dr. Trevor Marchand. This project explores the everyday lives and struggles of those living in Hay Mohammadi, a marginalized and criminalized neighborhood in Casablanca. Built on the gaping holes of a colonial-era quarry, Hay Mohammadi has become a mythical neighborhood in the history of Morocco. Home to North Africa's oldest and largest slum still in existence today, Hay Mohammadi served as a laboratory for experimentation with new urban planning forms at the height of the modernist movement. Sixty years later these visionary projects stand as monuments to ruin and decay, as the neighborhood became infamous for an underground torture prison, high crime rates and the more banal traumas of poverty and illness. The aim of this project is to explore the ways in which neighborhood spaces serve as powerful sites for the individual and communal negotiation of both past and future social imaginaries. Based on fifteen months of fieldwork that combine participant-observation with a variety of sensorial and multi-media methodologies, this project will present an experiential account of how everyday lives and the built spaces in which they unfold are enmeshed in an intimate web of historical, material, and sensorial aspects, and how these exist in tension with current political and heritage efforts centered on the neighborhood.
Ibrahim, Nur Amali, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan
NUR AMALI IBRAHIM, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan. This project examines the religious socialization of young believers in Indonesia in a context of competing religious ideologies. During the course of research, the grantee uncovered the beliefs of both groups, their intellectual influences, the history of their emergence, and the sociopolitical networks to which they belong. The research found that conservative Islam thrives in secular campuses, while liberalism flourishes in Islamic campuses. This counter-intuitive situation reflects a trend where 'born-again' Muslims from secular backgrounds are more easily persuaded to conservatism, whereas Muslims long exposed to Islamic education are more aware of nuances in religion that they become tolerant and plural. Comparing the socialization practices in both groups, the grantee discovered that conservatives have a systematic process to disseminate their ideology as they organized their members in small and tightly controlled cell groups. Liberals in contrast have a loosely organized structure, relying on debates and discussions rather than religious instruction. Conservatives and liberals compete fiercely to stamp their prominence on campus; this rivalry puts them in a dialectical relationship, such that each makes adjustments in response to the other's actions. Encountering dissatisfactions with their religious orientations, young people may eventually alter their stances, suggesting that conservatives and liberals can be transient identities rather than permanent.
Morrison, Amanda Maria, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan
AMANDA MARIA MORRISON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan. Through ethnography, the grantee examined how hip-hop's expressive forms are being used as the raw materials of everyday life by residents of the San Francisco Bay Area -- home to what many regard as one of the most diverse, politically progressive, and creatively prolific hip-hop 'scenes' in the U.S. This focus on regional specificity provides a greater understanding of the impact hip-hop is having on the ground, as an aspect of localized lived practice. While taking a geographically delimited 'case study' approach would seem to narrow the scope of this project, it actually expanded the discussion into often-overlooked areas, exploring hip-hop's heterogeneity and its regional specificity. The Bay Area offers a rich site for the investigation of hip-hop culture because it is distinct in ways that complicate prevailing scholarship on the subject, most of which either emphasize its continuity within Afro-Diasporic expressive traditions or bemoan its cooptation by the global cultural industries. Three key characteristics about the local scene particularly stand out: its racial diversity, its penchant for producing socially conscious artists, and its commercial independence from the corporate music industry. These three qualities provide the primary foci for this analysis.
Cortesi, Luisa, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Living in Floods: Knowledges and Technologies of Disastrous Waters in North Bihar, India,' supervised by Dr. Michael Dove
Preliminary abstract: How do people in rural north Bihar, India, live and make sense of water in a landscape periodically destroyed by floods? The proposed study draws on environmental anthropology, disaster studies and science and technology studies, to trace how water-related knowledge(s) are deployed in everyday practices, and mediated by technologies, in a frequently flooded environment where people live in, and often die from, water. This query enables an ethnographic perspective on wider debates about human knowledge and adaptation in conditions of rapid environmental change and specifically on the ways in which rural inhabitants react to environmental disasters drawing on cultural resources such as local knowledge and networks, as well as technologies of water management. The proposed ethnography combines an epistemological analysis of life in a disastrous waterscape with the close observation of pragmatic responses to waterborne disasters to reveal complex forms of articulation between dynamic ecologies, water-related practices, environmental knowledges, and technological choices.
Seselj, Maja, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Fossil Homo', supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Anton
MAJA SESELJ, then a student at New York University, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Homo,' supervised by Dr. Susan Antón. Modern humans differ from our closest living relatives, the African apes, in having a particularly long period of growth and development, both dental and skeletal. Although many studies focused either on dental or skeletal development in fossil hominins, a key to a better understanding of the evolution of the modern human pattern of growth and development is evaluating both developmental systems simultaneously. This study aims to elucidate the relationship between dental and skeletal growth and chronological age in modern humans and Pleistocene hominins, and to explore the variability in dental and skeletal ontogeny in a large and diverse recent modern human sample from North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The results suggest that dental and skeletal growth and development are not conditionally independent given age, but the conditional relationship is relatively weak; thus one developmental system may not be a reliable proxy for the other. The ontogenetic patterns in Neanderthals and early H. sapiens appear to be generally comparable to recent modern humans.
Seselj, Maya. 2013. Relationship between Dental Development and Skeletal Growth in Modern Humans and Its Implications for Interpreting Ontogeny in Fossil Hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1):38-47.
Hatch, Mallorie Ann, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Investigating Warfare and Physical Violence during the Mississippian Period (ca. AD 1000-1350) of Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Jane Ellen Buikstra
MALLORIE A. HATCH, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Investigating Warfare and Physical Violence during the Mississippian Period (ca. AD 1000-1350) of Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Jane E. Buikstra. The funded research examined if a positive correlation exists between intergroup violence and intragroup violence during the Mississippian period (ca. AD 1000-1350) in the Central Illinois Valley (CIV). Ethnographic research has identified links between increases in warfare with increases in various forms of intragroup violence, including domestic violence, assaults, homicides, and violent sports. Yet, it remains unclear whether or not this association holds within archaeological cultures uninfluenced by western states. To test these observations, skeletal trauma was analyzed in conjunction with age and sex variables to assess intragroup and intergroup violence frequencies. These results were refined through analysis of discrete and continuous phenotypic traits to estimate the biological kinship of those who exhibit skeletal trauma compared to the other members of the cemetery sample. Burial location and artifacts associations were also examined to test for differences in treatment at death. Initial results support the hypothesis that as intergroup violence increased during the Mississippian period in the CIV, intragroup violence increased concomitantly. While warfare and intragroup violence appeared in low frequencies early in the Mississippian period, after AD 1300, both intragroup and intergroup violence appear endemic. This project adds to the literature examining the cross-cultural consequences of violence socialization for warfare participation.