Taneja, Anand Vivek, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Sacred as History: Jinns and Justice in the Ruins of Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Partha Chatterjee
ANAND VIVEK TANEJA, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'The Sacred as History: Jinns and Justice in the Ruins of Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Partha Chatterjee. This research is concerned with contemporary ritual practices around medieval Islamic ruins in Delhi. Many of these sacralized ruins are those of 'secular' buildings, not intended to be places of worship - palaces, dams, hunting lodges. The grantee argues that the sacredness of these ruins can be understood through an alternate ontology and epistemology linked both to the Islamic tradition, and to the massive disruptions and dislocations that have characterized everyday life in Delhi over the past hundred years. Through this research, the grantee argues for understanding the sacred as history, understanding these terms to be co-constitutive rather than antithetical. The emphasis on alternate epistemologies also offers a way of understanding relations between religiously defined communities beyond the usual approaches of secularism and tolerance. This research explored the understanding of Islam among non-Muslims who come to these ruins, and argues for the idea of Islam not as an identity, but as a remembered way of being, linked to pre-modern ideas of justice and ethics, and with powers of healing across confessional divides.
Taneja, Anand Vivek. 2012. Saintly Visions: Other Histories and History's Others in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi. Indian Economic and Social History Review. 49(4):557-590.
Ihmoud, Sarah Emily, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Policing the Intimate in Contemporary Israel,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale
Preliminary abstract: his project investigates the role of sexual racism and gender violence in Israeli settler colonialism, and the extent to which territorial expansion relies on ceding state power to civil society actors. Israeli state securitization and surveillance strategies, which utilize a variety of juridical-spatial strategies of segregation (e.g. dividing walls and checkpoints), are increasingly echoed in informal mechanisms of civil society control of the most intimate relations--what I call 'social forms of policing.' The recent conviction in a Jerusalem court of a Palestinian man for 'rape by deception' of a Jewish woman and the 'lynching' of a young Palestinian man accused of 'making passes at Jewish girls' illustrate this trend. The aims of this project are threefold: First, to examine aspects of Israeli state policies that regulate the Palestinian body and intimate sphere and second, to examine the rise of surveillance strategies that move beyond the formal bounds of the state--social forms of policing the intimate. Finally, given the polarization emanating from both the Israeli state and civil society, to examine the forms of and motivations for transgressing racial boundaries and engaging in interracial intimacy. Despite Israeli state policies discouraging interracial sociability and extensive social forms of policing, youth from both groups regularly and extensively defy these limits. This is especially true for male Palestinian citizens of Israel, and female Jewish Israelis. These defiant youth are the primary subjects of my ethnography. The politics of erotics at play in these subjects' negotiation of social intimacy and interracial sexuality destabilize the Israeli state's imaginary and open possibilities for newly imagined futures of ending military occupation and pathways to Israeli Jewish-Palestinian coexistence.
Murney, Maureen A., U. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid 'Navigating Motherhood and Medicine: A Case Study of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Ukraine,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
MAUREEN MURNEY, while a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, received funding in September 2004 to aid research on the intersection of addiction, stigma, reproduction and healthcare in western Ukraine, while under the supervision of Dr. Michael Lambek. Specifically, Murney's research explores the relationship between discourses of normative behaviour, health-seeking practices within and outside official healthcare institutions, and the daily lived experiences of Ukrainian women who are addicted to alcohol, especially women of reproductive age. The project is based upon twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in Ukraine with healthcare providers, development staff, social scientists, and women and men who self-identify as alcoholics; fieldwork began just prior to the Orange Revolution in 2004. Most of the research was conducted in large urban settings, though some attention was paid to the particular challenges faced by people living in rural villages. Fieldwork indicates that in western Ukraine, the traditional seat of Ukrainian nationalism and religion, the multiple discourses on values and social change emphasize references to the pagan goddess Berehynia and the Christian Virgin Mary, in order to characterize an explicitly anti-Soviet role for the 'authentic' Ukrainian woman as protector of family and nation. Accordingly, women who become addicted to alcohol are seen to have consciously rejected the essence of Ukrainian womanhood. As such, alcohol dependent women are far more reluctant than men to 'confess' and seek treatment, particularly in official healthcare institutions; alternative healing strategies are often considered to be more effective, modern, democratic, and/or confidential.
Cleghorn, Naomi E., State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid a 'Zooarchaeological Analysis of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of Mezmaiskaya Cave, Northwestern Caucasus, Russia,' supervised by Dr. Curtis Marean
NAOMI E. CLEGHORN, while a student at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, received funding in April 2001 to aid an analysis of faunal material from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic strata of Mezmaiskaya Cave in Russia's northwestern Caucasus Mountains, under the supervision of Dr. Curtis Marean. The stratigraphy of Mezmaiskaya Cave preserves a record of frequent hominid occupation over a relatively long span of the Paleolithic-from more than 45,000 years ago to 28,000 years ago-covering the transition from a Neanderthal-dominated to a Homo sapiens-dominated landscape. Faunal skeletal remains are abundant and well preserved throughout the site. Cleghorn collected a broad range of data from specimens from the Middle Paleolithic levels of the site, especially from the 1995 and 1997 assemblages, which came from contexts of relatively fine stratification. She also collected data for the entire sample of Upper Paleolithic faunal material available at the time. Altogether, data from nearly seventeen thousand bone fragments and teeth enabled her to analyze pre- and post-depositional processes of destruction as well as evidence of hominid prey choice, transport, and butchery decisions. Cleghorn's goal was to use a taphonomic approach to test the idea that Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids responded in significantly different ways to subsistence challenges. Preliminary analysis showed some evidence of change in faunal accumulation between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Interestingly, the more dramatic shifts may have occurred within the late Middle Paleolithic. Ultimately, Cleghorn planned to test current models of the subsistence behavior of Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids.
Smith, Abigail Chipps, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall
ABIGAIL C. SMITH, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall. This project investigates the relationship between mobile pastoral groups and urban populations in the past, focusing on the site of Jenné-jeno and its surrounding landscape. The project draws on four months of extensive excavation at two archaeological sites, Tato à Sanouna and Thiel, near the modern town of Djenné in Mali's Inland Niger Delta. Multiple lines of evidence are used to identify past modes of life in these sites and at the well-known ancient city of Jenné-jeno between about 200 to 1500 CE, particularly the interrelationship between sedentary urbanism, subsistence specialization, and mobile pastoralism. As the first large-scale excavation of smaller, outlying sites in the area, this project increases our understanding of the extent and variability of local human settlement. Additionally, the project's focus on subsistence and specialization provides empirical data about the trajectories of West African pastoralism and agriculture. This information enables discussion of the role of pastoral populations in the Jenné-jeno urban system and impacts our understanding of Jenné-jeno's trade relationships and political organization. Given the unique trajectories of African food production when compared to other world areas, this project is an important contribution to our understanding of variability in global pastoral strategies and mobile-sedentary interactions.
Hasinoff, Erin, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall
ERIN L. HASINOFF, a student at Columbia University, New York, received funding in December 2005 to aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall. The grant was used to study the Missionary Exhibit, a fragmentary collection of ethnological artifacts that was accessioned by Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural History following the close of the Ecumenical Conference on Foreign Missions of 1900. The project assessed how the Burmese portion of this unstudied collection inventoried Burma (today, Myanmar), and traced its legacy: the production of Burmese identities in contemporary cultural museums in Myitkyina, Putao, Hkamti and Layshi. By critically engaging the object biography approach, this investigation looked at how the Missionary Exhibit materialized and continues to shape inventories of Burma, now at the periphery of anthropological knowledge. This research considered how artifacts were not just expressions of a new context, but were also technologies that created the context anew. This is premised on the idea that objects came to embody information about Burma, while also acting as agents in the relationships that developed between specific Burmese missionaries and anthropologists. Research followed the contours of the Exhibit's collection history back to Burma by considering how identities are produced in cultural museums. The study contributes to our understanding of the missionary imagination and its material entanglements over time, as well as to the politics and performance of cultural identity in museums today.
Maunaguru, Sidharthan, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Brokering Marriage: War, Displacement, and the Production of Futures among Jaffna Tamils,' supervised by Professor Veena Das
SIDHARTHAN MAUNAGURU, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received a grant in November 2006 to aid research on 'Brokering Marriage: War, Displacement, and the Production of Futures among Jaffna Tamils,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. Three decades of prolonged war in Sri Lanka has devastated the social and economic landscape of Sri Lankan communities, making their lives insecure and disrupting their social relations. Under these conditions of enforced dispersion this research is designed to look at ways in which marriage has emerged as one of the most significant ways by which people are not only moved out of places of insecurity, but also by which people are brought together. Specifically, the project focuses on the role of marriage as a way of building alliances between dispersed members of Tamil communities, and the manner in which these communities secure a future from the fragments of their devastated habitus through marriage. The research has concluded that: 1) in this process, the renewed expertise the marriage broker, in consultation with priests, astrologers and official legal instruments, is a primary character in negotiating these fragments, even as states constantly work to block and prevent the movement of newly married couples across border; and 2) in this process of negotiation traditional categories of kin, family, and marriage are transformed and rearticulated to adjust both to the context of an altered landscape and to the demands of hosting states.
Buchanan, Meghan Elizabeth, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Warfare and the Materialization of Daily Life at the Mississippian Common Field Site,' supervised by Dr. Susan Alt
MEGHAN E. BUCHANAN, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Warfare and the Materialization of Daily Life at the Mississippian Common Field Site,' supervised by Dr. Susan Alt. This project examined the ways in which Mississippian Period warfare impacted the daily practices of people living at the Common Field site in southeastern Missouri. Earlier research on violence in the region has focused on overt manifestations of violence (palisades, burning events, iconography, skeletal trauma), leading many to suggest that Mississippian violence was largely low-level raiding and skirmishing that impacted warriors and those few unfortunate enough to get caught during raids. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in war-torn regions, this project suggests that the Mississippian Midwest is best characterized as a warscape in which the everyday threat of violence created new conditions for the enactment and performance of daily activities. Excavations and artifact analysis conducted as part of this research indicates that the inhabitants of Common Field constructed their palisade soon after settling, created new ceramic vessel construction practices, and engaged in food procurement strategies that minimized potential loss of life. The site was ultimately attacked and burned, people caught in the attack were left unburied and exposed to animals, and much of the region was abandoned. In sum, this project demonstrates that regional violence had both daily and historical impacts in the Mississippian Midwest.
Samet, Robert Nathan, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ROBERT N. SAMET, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako. The overarching objective of the dissertation research is to describe the social processes through which violent events are framed as journalistic narratives by focusing on the everyday practices of crime reporters in Caracas. While there is a wealth of social scientific material that refers to news coverage of crime and violence, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand the processes of cultural production from the inside out. This project set out to accomplish four specific goals: 1) examine the culture of crime reporters; 2) describe the key factors shaping the day-to-day practices of journalists who cover the crime beat; 3) explain what influences the selection and composition of images and stories of crime; and 4) show the larger context in which these images and stories circulate. Together, these strands of inquiry will provide a nuanced understanding of how journalist and journalism have helped to shape 'the politics of security' in Venezuela during the Hugo Chavez era.
Gonzalez Jose, Rolando, U. de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'Time Variation in Mesoamerica: Testing the Effects of the European Contact and Reconstructing Demographic Scenarios,' supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez