Gil Martinez de Escobar, Rocio, City U. of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Bordering States, Bordering Race: Afro-Indigenous Struggles for Recognition in the Texas-Coahuila Borderland,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
Preliminary abstract: With a history of dispossessions and exclusions, Mascogo-Seminoles struggle for material redistribution and legal recognition of dual citizenship in Mexico and the US. As Afro-Indigenous, they also claim recognition as a transborder sovereign tribe. This project looks at the processes that have led Mascogo-Seminoles to frame their demands in the idioms of citizenship and sovereignty: What is their understanding of their belonging to two nation-states? What roles do blackness and indigeneity play in shaping their relations to Mexico, the US, and inside the group? Through the Mascogo-Seminole case in the Texas-Coahuila borderland, this study proposes a dialogue between anthropological approaches to Latin America and the US, specifically by juxtaposing the literatures on recognition, critical race theory, and borders. A view from the borders and boundaries of states, blackness, and indigeneity, offers a lens into how racial classifications converge and contradict, shaping particular forms of domination and contention: This research asks what those forms of power look like in the lives of transborder populations. Do claims of multiple citizenships and alternative practices of sovereignty between states call into question nation-states' control over territory and people? Or, do they reveal new forms of organization of state and multilateral control over subordinated groups?
Torkelson, Erin Marie, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Black Tax: Gender, Generation and Youth Politics in South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Hart
Preliminary abstract: For over a century, an enduring feature of South African life has been the spatial division of labor and householding, through which families have maintained town and country bases, with resources, people and obligations circulating between them. Despite projections that town and country circuits would come to an end with apartheid, spatially extended households have persisted, and have been significantly reconfigured in the post-apartheid period. Deepening unemployment since the 1970s, compounded by recent economic liberalization and industrial collapse, are driving radical changes in gerontocratic systems of kinship and community. My research considers one measure of the enduring, if transfigured, rural-urban relations in the Cape region: the Xhosa categories of amagoduka (those who go 'home' to pay the cultural tax, or 'black tax,' imposed by their elders) and amatshipa (those who do not pay the black tax). Through a multi-sited study of the Cape, my project explores how young people experience gendered and generational regimes of exclusion in South Africa -- from employment, social grants, and political power -- which critically affect their ability to pay the black tax imposed by their rural families. The familial politics around this cultural tax, which is meant to bind young people to wider community networks, intersects with national political debates over the meaning of the liberation struggle and post-apartheid democracy. The cultural categories of the amagoduka and amatshipa, therefore, vividly embody the ways in which gendered and generational struggles between town and country come to be about the material conditions of everyday life and the politics and promises of the post-colonial nation.
Krokoszynski, Lukasz, U. of St. Andrews. St. Andrews, United Kingdom - To aid research on ''Capanahua Used to Live Here': Study of Intergenerational Relations in Western Amazonian Kinship,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow
LUKASZ KROKOSZYNSKI, then a student at University of St. Andrews. St. Andrews, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on ''Capanahua Used to Live Here': Study of Intergenerational Relations in Western Amazonian Kinship,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow. By focusing on understandings of intergenerational relations, the research was designed to explore possible human formulations of consanguinity, to test the anthropological theories on the Amazon by addressing an under-analyzed element of kinship, and to contribute to understanding social change. The fourteen-month fieldwork combined participant observation with qualitative inquiries. The most important research findings preliminarily demonstrate, first, the dynamic of owning/taking is at the heart of Capanahua sociality and has implications for understanding conception, intergenerational relations, and kinship generally. This invites a larger theoretical question of the applicability of the category of the gift for understanding the workings of an Amazonian society. Second, findings illustrate the notion of intransformability of the daily world, which also applies to kinship. At odds with Amazonian anthropology's recent discourse, this feature may provide an important input to thinking about region's kinship. Third, the study shows various factors contributing to the discourse of intergenerational discontinuity and directing a particular process of 'acculturation:' the idea of originality of ancestors; descent understood through the idiom of blood and owning coupled with the encouragement to separate from ascending generations; emotional strain of grieving provoking forgetting the deceased relatives; corresponding and encouraged ideas of the surrounding mestizo society, articulated in the idiom of 'development.'
Bessire, Lucas Britton, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Becoming the Ayoreo: Shortwave Radio, Power, and Emergent Indigenous Identities in the Gran Chaco,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
LUCAS BESSIRE, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Becoming the Ayoreo: Shortwave Radio, Power, and the Emergent Indigenous Identities in the Gran Chaco,' supervised by Dr. Fred Myers. In March 2004, seventeen of the worlds last 'voluntarily isolated' hunter/gatherers walked out of Paraguay's Gran Chaco forest, fleeing ranchers' bulldozers and ecological devastation. Five months after this 'first contact,' they had converted to evangelical Christianity and joined their more settled relatives in using an inter-community, Ayoreo-language radio network to establish a collective ethnic identity across the Bolivia-Paraguay border. Based on extensive fieldwork, this research explores how certain kinds of social futures are relationally produced and circulated as possible for the cross-border Ayoreo Indians to imagine. It describes how electronic media technologies shape indigenous understandings of modernity, belonging, and faith in politically significant ways, as the Ayoreo navigate a neo-colonial maze of often conflicting value systems brought by North American missionaries, state projects, humanitarian NGOs, and transient anthropologists. This research charts the ways that violence and upheaval come to be knowable as sentiments of shame, trauma, and hope. Bearing witness to a little known human drama, this project explores the sentimental mechanisms by which religious conversion and media technologies shape Native cultural and political futures in the Gran Chaco.
Publication CreditsBessire, Lucas. 2011. Apocalyptic Futures: The Violent Transformation of Moral Human Life among Ayoreo-Speaking People of the Paraguayan Gran Chaco. American Ethnologist 38(4):743-757.
Bessire, Lucas. 2010. A Fieldnote on Shame. Anthropology Now 2(2):1-8.
Ozipek, Aydin, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'The Promise of Authenticity: Civilizing Youth and Branding the Nation in Contemporary Islamist Turkey,' supervise by Dr. Jessica R.Winegar
Preliminary abstract: My project explores the processes through which notions of authentic national culture and identity are enacted and negotiated in the encounters between Islamist state officials and urban youth in Istanbul. Through ethnographic fieldwork in youth-oriented culture centers and youth's alternative sites of self-making, it looks at how the Islamist Turkish state blends its nation-branding efforts with a campaign to cultivate a pious and more politically-compliant youth generation following the Gezi uprising. Attempting to rewrite the national past and to offer youth a compelling future horizon, the state aims to contain domestic dissent and counter transnational challenges by turning youth's shifting temporal orientations into a means of government control. My research explores the ways urban youth respond to the state's culture projects as they strive to craft their selves in the face of economic hardships, political uncertainty, and ambiguities surrounding symbolic inclusion. This project aims to answer two interrelated questions: 1) How do state actors and institutions use expressive culture in attempts to cultivate youth into civilized national citizens, and what economic, political, and symbolic promises does the state make and what forms of government control and citizenship does it promote through its youth-oriented culture projects? 2) How do young people perceive, challenge, or manipulate the state's expressive culture in their engagement with or refusal of these projects, and what other forms of expressive culture do youth create that might aspire to other kinds of biographical or national futures? My project will therefore show how uncertainty paves the way for new forms of governance as well as for alternative means of negotiating citizenship.
Fiol, Stefan P., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'The Politics of Performance and Place among Pahari Musicians in Uttaranchal,' supervised by Dr. Charles Capwell
STEFAN P. FIOL, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received funding in October 2004 to aid research on 'The Politics of Performance and Place among Pahari Musicians in Uttaranchal,' supervised by Dr. Charles Capwell. The dissertation research carried out in Uttaranchal, North India, from November 2004 through September 2005 focused on the formation of a regional music industry, and the influence this has on local musical practices. The nature of my subject matter led me to explore different kinds of contexts in which music is produced, distributed, and consumed, thus necessitating a multi-sited research methodology. I traced the paths of musical consumption, distribution, and production through various villages, hill towns, and plains cities, exploring the historical and social processes through which the regional music of Uttaranchal (Garhwal and Kumaon) becomes codified and reinterpreted by various actors. I hope that this dissertation will be of use to scholars, policy-makers, and artists interested in understanding how commercialization transforms the landscape of musical life in the conext of this newly-formed hill state.
Fiol, Stefan. 2010. Dual Framing: Locating Authenticities in the Music Vide3os of Himalayan Possession Rituals. Ethnomusicology 54(1):28-53.
Starkweather, Kathrine Elizabeth, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'Merchant Mothers and Fisherman Fathers: Subsistence Work and Parental Investment among the Boat-dwelling Shodhagor,' supervised by Dr. Mary K. Shenk
KATHRINE E. STARKWEATHER, then a graduate student at University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Merchant Mothers and Fisherman Fathers: Subsistence Work and Parental Investment among the Boat-Dwelling Shodhagor,' supervised by Dr. Mark K. Shenk. The semi-nomadic Shodagor are a subculture within Bangladesh who live on small wooden boats and in make-shift houses, fishing and trading with the surrounding settled agricultural populations. While they have much in common with other small-scale nomadic populations, they are highly unusual in the degree of variability in women's subsistence and parenting practices. In fact, women's strategies appear to vary more than men's, a pattern that has not been documented previously in groups of their size. The goal of this project was to explain how and why variation occurs in Shodagor men's and women's subsistence and parenting practices as well as the outcomes of the variation using a mixed-methods approach. During the research phase supported by Wenner-Gren (March-November 2014), qualitative data was collected using open-ended interviews and quantitative data through two rounds of in-depth surveys, anthropometric measurements, and direct observation via spot sampling and focal follows. The main findings to date are that Shodagor families employ specific strategies to balance work and childcare and that a few factors seem to impact a family's decision about which strategy to employ. Specifically, a family's stage in its domestic cycle, local ecology, and available alloparental help appear to affect family strategy the most.
Judd, Maya Drell, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'The Power of Gender: Fatherhood and Fertility Decisions in Italy,' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer
MAYA D. JUDD, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Power of Gender: Fatherhood and Fertility Decisions in Italy,' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer. Largely unforeseen by population experts in the 1990s, Italy's birthrates dropped to among the lowest in the world. This demographic shift was especially astonishing given the country's reputation as a family-oriented and heavily Catholic country. This research project investigates the interaction between gender dynamics and demographic changes, and more specifically, the dialectical relationship between changing masculinity, attitudes towards fatherhood, and Italian fertility. With ever more women in the labor force, new family policies, and increasingly marked individualism, men have been obliged to rethink partnerships, fatherhood and even male identity. Furthermore, later average age at first marriage, increasingly widespread participation in higher education for both women and men, and a changing life course intertwined with emerging values have created new expectations for the roles of men and women in Italian society. Investigating the complexity of changing demographic processes provides a window through which to explore gender and masculinity in anthropological theory. Material gathered through ethnographic research in Padua on the male life course, male identity, and men's relationships with women reveals both the impact of changing male identity on fertility rates, as well as the ways the Second Demographic Transition has influenced masculinity and men's relationships with women.
Arenas, Ivan, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Oaxaca at the Crossroads: Space, Future, and the Modern Mexican Imagination', supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak
IVAN ARENAS, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Oaxaca at the Crossroads: Space, Future, and the Modern Mexican Imagination,' supervised by Dr. Alexi Yurchak. Oaxaca made headlines in 2006 as repression of a teacher's strike rapidly became a broader social movement. The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) took over radio stations to broadcast their political messages and used barricades to block streets and take over the city's historic center. Protesters drew on local histories of the past that are grounded in the spaces of the city to articulate a vision of a radically different future. As the APPO's self-conscious project for socio-political transformation demonstrates, narratives and imaginations of the past are anchored in the spaces of the present and help to construct national and individual identities and imagined futures. Here, in 18 months of fieldwork, the grantee undertook an analysis of institutions dealing with cultural heritage, engaged political street artists who use the walls of the city as their canvas, and investigated the responses and perceptions to these groups by the heterogeneous individuals that claim this city as their home. The research combined participant observation, interviews, archival research, photographic and audio-visual documentation, as well as an analysis of contemporary Oaxacan media to research the ways in which subjects and futures are formed in and through an encounter with the city's material environment.
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.