Kocamaner, Hikmet, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Governing the Family through Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Television Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein
HIKMET KOCAMANER, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Governing the Family through Islamic Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein. Turkey has witnessed a proliferation of Islamic television channels since the liberalization of television broadcasting in the 1990s. Initially, these Islamic TV channels produced shows in which divinity professors and men of religion educated viewers in the culture of scriptural Islam. Recently, however, most of these channels have started producing what they call 'morally and socially appropriate' entertainment programs to provide a safe haven for the Turkish family in what they deem to be a degenerate media scene. An overview of the programs aired on these Islamic channels reveals that the family -- more than the ritualistic and scriptural aspects of Islam -- has become their main focus. This project examines the relationship between the increasing prominence placed by Islamic television channels on the family and changing constellations of religion and secularism as well as emerging forms of governance in contemporary Turkey. Through an ethnographic investigation of media professionals involved in Islamic television production, viewers of Islamic television stations, and state institutions and officials taking part in the regulation of broadcasting in Turkey, this dissertation explores how Islamic television channels in Turkey establish the family as the generator of a neoliberal idea of citizenship and of a modern yet Islamically appropriate lifestyle.
Beliaev, Alexandre B., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation Among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Mark Cohen
ALEXANDRE BELIAEV, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence M. Cohen. Latvia's 'noncitizens' are mostly ethnic Russians who settled in Latvia during the Soviet period. Following the restoration of Latvian independence, they did not commit to undergoing Latvian naturalization process. This research investigated: 1) how noncitizenship has come to be seen as enabling of certain political practices; and 2) how this set of practices has facilitated a polity that, while being coincident and maintained by the nation-state, has not been subsumed by it. This investigation yielded three conclusions. First, the pursuit of minority rights -- among them, the right to citizenship without undergoing naturalization -- is increasingly seen as non-political. Second, the notion of 'culture' implicit in the discourse on 'national minorities' does not correspond to the notion of 'cultured life,' which is seen as necessary for politics. Third, politics is increasingly understood in the idiom of 'coalition' rather than 'contestation.' The emergence of 'coalition' as a central political idiom is not a consequence of lessening of ethnic tensions, but rather a consequence of a new demarcation of privateIpublic spheres.
Osburg, John, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Engendering Wealth: China's New Rich and the Creation of an Elite Masculinity, 'supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
JOHN OSBURG, while a student at the University of Chicago, was awarded a grant in June 2004 to aid in research on changing ideologies of masculinity in urban China under the supervision of Dr. Susan Gal. This project investigated the consumption and leisure practices of newly rich male entrepreneurs in China, practices which are embedded in an emerging ideology of elite masculinity. The study was conducted in Chengdu, China among several intersecting networks of wealthy entrepreneurs. In addition to observation of this group's leisure and consumption practices, detailed interviews with a select group of informants were conducted focusing on transformations in their personal lives and relationships. While wealthy, male entrepreneurs were the main focus, research subjects included many who occupied marginal positions in the world of Chinese business, including female entrepreneurs and members of the criminal underworld. The study found that many features of subjects' lifestyles-their social networks, consumption practices, leisure activities, and sexualities-were deeply intertwined with and to some extent a product of their business relationships. Many subjects participated in various elite recreational activities in order to cultivate relationships with clients, potential business partners, and government officials, relationships which were essential to their financial success. Young women were a constant presence during these activities serving as mediators in relationships between men. This project analyzed the relationship between the Chinese state and private business, changing configurations of romance, marriage, and sexuality, and the rise of new forms of consumption and leisure from the perspective of changing ideologies of gender. More generally, it is hoped that this study will help account for the rise of a 'masculinized' sphere of private business in China.
Faudree, Paja, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'The Double-Edged Pen: Indigenous Language Literatures and Ethnic Identity among Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban
PAJA FAUDREE, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in December 2001 to aid research on 'the Double-Edged Pen: Indigenous language Literatures and Ethnic Identity among Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban. In the interest of understanding why some social movements succeed where others fail, this study examined a particular type of cultural revitalization movement from southern Mexico. Centered on the creation and circulation of texts written in indigenous languages, such revitalization projects seek to reverse the effects of colonialism and nationalism on indigenous peoples and their languages. While such projects aimed at creating written indigenous literatures are extremely widespread, the vast majority have not gained grassroots appeal and remain of interest primarily to indigenous elites. By contrast, the project unfolding in the community studied here constitutes a popular success. A broad range of speakers of Mazatec (the local indigenous language) now writes poems, stories, and especially songs in their language. Musicians from across the region compete in the annual Day of the Dead Song Contest and in the cassette tape industry the contest has generated; even more local people use and, ultimately, perform these texts. In considering the case's relatively unusual success, this study explored the culturally specific ways that literacy and writing in Mazatec were introduced, thereby coupling them to quintessentially local, ethnically marked practices and values, especially those expressing homage to the dead through the vehicle of song.
Solomon, Marisa Elizabeth, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Letting Trash Talk: Garbage in the Order of People,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin
Preliminary abstract: New York City produces trash at an astounding rate of 36,200 tons per day. Forty percent of it is diverted to mega-landfills in the southeastern quadrant of Virginia, making this region one of the nation's largest importers of trash, with over 5 million tons of solid waste received annually. While trash permeates all neighborhoods, it seems to signify something endemic about certain places and people. At the same time, trash moves; gathering a set of material, economic, political, and affective relations, the relations that this ethnographic work seeks to explore. This project makes garbage a central informant in an ethnography of inequality, space and a hierarchical ordering of people and things. From the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historically black and immigrant Brooklyn community now in the midst of rapid gentrification, to the distant landfills of southeast Virginia, this project tracks garbage as a symbolic and material agent that moves through states of 'use' and 'disuse', 'problem' and 'profit' and investigates how it exists in both locations as a nuisance to be cleaned and as a generative force shaping spatial transformation and logics of race and class.
Johari, Radhika, York U, Toronto, Canada -To aid research on 'Endangered Forests, Enterprising Women: The Politics of Conservation and Livelihoods Development Programs in Himachal, India,' supervised by Dr. Shubhra Gururani
RADHIKA JOHARI, then a student at York University, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Endangered Forests, Enterprising Women: The Politics of Conservation and Livelihoods Development Programs in Himachal, India,' supervised by Dr. Shubhra Gururani. This doctoral research critically examined how environmental perceptions and practices have been shaped at the interface of past and current paradigms of conservation and resource-based livelihoods development within the recently concluded Indo-German Changar Eco-Development Project in Himachal, India. Adopting a multi-sited ethnographic approach, it has contextualized these articulations of environment and enterprise building within a wider framework of historical and current resource rights and property regimes. It has demonstrated how an increasingly influential paradigm of neoliberal market-centered development has structured project interventions, and how in turn these interventions have been refracted by a deeply entrenched and intersecting politics of knowledge, identity and place. The research identified and explored these points of refraction, for example, within project discourses and practices of knowledge production and valuation and in plantation and livelihoods development strategies. In doing so, it revealed how environmental and entrepreneurial knowledges and practices have intersected with existing social, economic, and political relations, as well as property relations, in ways that have significantly shaped perceptions, norms, and practices around environmental resources. In sum, the research provides a grounded critique of prevailing efforts to converge conservation and resource-based livelihoods and the reasons for their disjunctures in practice.
Amigo, Maria F., U. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia - To aid research on 'The Economic Roles of Children in Household Economies,' supervised by Dr. Paul Alexander
MARIA F. AMIGO, while a student at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on the roles of children in household economies on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Alexander. The primary aim was to add an anthropological perspective to the literature on child labor, which had been dominated by other disciplines. By trying to understand native notions of 'childhood' and 'work,' Amigo challenged what had often been seen as cultural universals. And by analyzing children's work through their own accounts, she was able to show that the ideas, wants, and expectations children have about their lives are critical to understanding their work and their motivations for it. In the rural area studied, children became economically active at a very early age. Regardless of their household's difficulties in meeting everyday needs, children were expected to be committed to the household's economy. Children had long been involved in unpaid tasks (household chores, agricultural work), but the relatively recent introduction of large-scale tobacco plantations dramatically increased their opportunities for paid work. Hierarchical structures of power based on seniority and gender channeled them into the least desirable and lowest-paid work, yet children clearly made economic decisions in relation to their work and the money they earned. Rather than being victims forced to work for the benefit of others-as child workers are commonly described-the evidence suggested that children worked for the well-being of their households and were conscious that this meant their own well-being, too.
Muia, Mulu, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL - To aid research on 'Changes in Lithic Technology and Origin of Modern Human Behavior in Ntuka, Southwest Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Stanley H. Ambrose
MULU MUIA, then a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded funding in February 2005 to aid research on 'Changes in Lithic Technology and Origin of Modern Human Behavior in Ntuka, Southwest Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Stanley H. Ambrose. The grant was used: 1) to expand excavations at two sites (GvJh11 and GvJh12) that had been excavated extensively previously, but whose sample size was small; and 2) to carry out new excavations at three other sites (GvJh21, GvJh78 and GvJh81) that had been test excavated. Artifacts recovered were made mostly of obsidian, lava and cherts. Faunal remains were limited mostly to teeth. Analysis of the artifacts sought to understand the process of technological change from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) to the Later Stone Age (LSA). The first step in the analysis focused on recording the various tool classes (the typology) and the raw materials so that the diversity of both in the MSA and LSA can be quantified. To understand raw material procurement strategies, all pieces were examined for cortex. Metric dimensions (length, width, and thickness) for all finished tools were recorded using electronic calipers. Flakes were examined for platform preparation by recording the presence or absence of facets. Where facets were present, they were counted. Platform width, thickness, and angle were recorded to identify flaking techniques.
Desjardins, Sean Paul Alcide, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'The Only Means of Survival: The Ethnoarchaeology of Inuit Sea-Mammal Hunting, Foxe Basin, Nunavut,' supervised by Dr. James Michael Savelle
SEAN P.A. DESJARDINS, then a student at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'The Only Means of Survival: The Ethnoarchaeology of Inuit Sea-Mammal Hunting, Foxe Basin, Nunavut,' supervised by Dr. James M. Savelle. The goal of this ethnoarchaeological project was to examine the long-term development of seal and walrus hunting practices among Inuit and their ancestors in the resource-rich Foxe Basin region of central Nunavut, Canada. Archaeological fieldwork was conducted at the large precontact winter village, Pingiqqalik, a detailed survey of which revealed 55 Paleoeskimo Late Dorset houses (ca. AD 1000), 120 Neoeskimo Thule and historic Inuit houses (ca. AD 1200 to 1900), and roughly 600 emptied Neoeskimo gravel caches for storing sea mammal meat. Excavation of a Thule Inuit house and more than two dozen midden tests across the site produced an abundance of Thule and historic Inuit artifacts and animal bones, which will shed light on the general subsistence economy of the site. As hunting continues to play a major role in the social and economic lives of local Inuit, ethnographic work in the form of participant observation of a sea-mammal hunting crew was also undertaken. Methods for contemporary hunting, butchery, and sea mammal caching will be considered alongside data on the fauna and hunting technology recovered from Pingiqqalik. Together, these complimentary lines of information will help build a fuller understanding of the long, rich history of Inuit hunting, a politically charged and often misunderstood topic.
Schindler, Alexandra Kath, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Untimeliness of Permanent Transience: The Social Lives of Syrians in Alexandria,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder
Preliminary abstract: The Mediterranean port city of Alexandria has historically been a global transit point for migration and trade. Today it is host to a multi-million dollar human smuggling industry, as thousands of Syrians fleeing civil war attempt to take boats across the water to Europe. Many Syrians however, for various reasons, are unable to leave Alexandria, and are now living in permanent transience throughout the city. The influx of Syrians to Alexandria has taken place against the backdrop of controversial post-Uprising development and revitalization projects, and complaints by the city's Egyptian residents of state neglect and failing public infrastructures. This ethnographic project examines how new and distinct socio-economic relations, urban infrastructures, and informal economies emerge in Alexandria under the contemporary global and local conditions of war and displacement, economic precarity, and the failure of humanitarianism. In doing so, this research asks how the social lives of displaced Syrians in Alexandria invite us to rethink assumptions about mobility, displacement, and refugees.