Aparicio, Juan R., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
JUAN RICARDO APARICIO, then a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation project explored the production and circulation of discourses, practices, and objects related to the problem of internal displacement along a network that connects international institutions based in Geneva or Washington, with the local initiatives that have been defined as 'collective ethical projects' in two regions in Colombia. The location of the fieldwork sites included the rural areas of the Urabá region, the rivers in the Pacific coastland and offices of national and international institutions in the capital Bogotá, among others. Regarding the rural locations, fieldwork devoted to analyze the complex strategies deployed by both collectives to defend their own ethical projects, and the manifold challenges they are still facing today. From particular enunciations made by participants using a rights-based language to the proliferation of white shirts and flags carried by international officers and activists, among many others, both of these projects are deeply entangled in networks of the human rights and humanitarian global assemblage. In fact, as this multi-sited ethnography has proven, the emergence of these collective ethical projects could only be explained by an analytic that is aware of the different actors, scales, changing strategies, larger contexts and specificities of each region.
Pfister, Luz-Andrea, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'The Origins of Leprosy: The Primate Connection,' supervised by Dr. Anne Carol Stone
LUZ-ANDREA PFISTER, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'The Origins of Leprosy: The Primate Connection,' supervised by Dr. Anne C. Stone. Leprosy is known as a disease that predominantly affects humans. Within the past 50 years, however, leprosy has been detected in multiple individual wild nonhuman primates from West Africa (mangabey monkeys and chimpanzees) and Southeast Asia (macaques). In addition, wild nine-banded armadillos are infected with leprosy across most of its species range from South to North America. Comparative genomic analyses of the leprosy bacteria of humans and armadillos showed that armadillos carry a human strain typically found in Europe, and therefore most likely became infected after European Exploration. Here researchers test hypotheses about transmission direction of leprosy between humans and nonhuman primates, as well as hypotheses about the continental origin of the disease using molecular biology and comparative genomic methods. First, cheek swab DNA extracts from 600 nonhuman primates from Africa and Asia were tested for the presence of leprosy DNA by means of quantitative polymerase chain reaction, yielding negative results. Second, researchers sequenced and assembled the genome of a leprosy bacteria isolated from a West African mangabey monkey. Phylogenomic analyses support an African origin of human leprosy and a recent spread to armadillos. Further analyses are needed to determine transmission direction between humans and nonhuman primates in Africa.
Ellison, Susan Helen, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Mediating Democracy in El Alto: The Politics of 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Kay B. Warren
SUSAN HELEN ELLISON, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Mediating Democracy in El Alto: The Politics of 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Kay B. Warren. Foreign aid programs have long targeted Bolivia for reforming institutional democratic channels and the formal legal system -- two separate but related projects aiming to bolster Bolivian democracy and foster economic development. In the wake of a 2003 uprising in the city of El Alto, however, donor institutions shifted their attention to fostering deliberative democratic habits and interpersonal conflict resolution. These programs, part of a larger trend promoting mediation and conciliation as alternatives to the formal legal system, have tended to focus on skill-set building aimed at de-escalating social conflicts and transforming individual behavior. Many of these programs have shown a special concern for neighborhoods in the city of El Alto that aid institutions and local non-profit organizations have argued are particularly conflict-oriented. What do these programs reveal about globally circulating aid ideologies regarding governance and the kinds of citizen-person they seek to produce? How do these transnational political and economic agendas intersect with local reform efforts and modes of conflict, conciliation, and political engagement -- and with what consequences? This dissertation project examines the politics and practices of foreign aid programs that have targeted El Alto for political and juridical renewal through the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Valiani, Arafaat A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey
ARAFAAT A. VALIANI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey. This grant funded ethnographic research in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, beginning in July 2003, pertaining to the effects of repeated episodes of violence occurring between Hindu and Muslim residents of the city. Findings, taken from materials produced through unstructured interviews with residents, local leaders, activists, religious figures, journalists, and local academics, confirm that the violence has cultivated various forms of perception that residing in separate and homogeneous neighborhoods could be safer and more 'culturally germane' for members of both communities despite the existence of centuries of relatively mixed residency in the city. A nationalist Hindu narrative of India being beset with aggressive invasions by Muslims over the past several hundred years structured the historical understanding of the city, especially for Hindu residents; Ahmedabad was described as being a Hindu city on top of which the Muslim king, Ahmed Shah, built Ahmedabad. Therefore, such an historical claim was a veiled absolute claim to the city for Hindus.
Valiani, Arafaat A. 2010. Physical Training, Ethical Discipline, and Creative Violence: Zones of Self-Mastery in the Hindu Nationalist Movement. Cultural Anthropology 25(1):73-99.
Jung, Jin-Heon, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Post-Division Citizenship: The Christian Encounters of North Korean Refugees and South Korean Protestant Church,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Abelmann
JIN-HEON JUNG, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Post-Division Citizenship: The Christian Encounters of North Korean Refugees and the South Korean Protestant Church,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Abelmann. Dissertation fieldwork, conducted at a church-sponsored training program, 'Freedom School,' for North Korean migrants in Seoul, Korea, from January to December 2007. This field research is an attempt to understand a historical juncture of the Korean peninsula when its people are simultaneously facing post-division, transnational, and multi-cultural flows of people, products, and capital at a rapid pace. This ethnographic study investigates Freedom School as a contact zone in which North Korean migrants and South Korean Christians are struggling to assimilate with each other in conditions simulating a reunified post-division community, where they encounter unexpected, multilayered cultural differences that problematize the very idea of ethnic homogeneity. Indeed, this analysis focuses on Christianity as the main medium that mediates this co-ethnic relationship. Both North Korean migrants and South Korean Christians invoke the concept of true Christianity in order to mediate their various differences and to promote their desire for national unity in religious terms. The grantee argues that while Christianity works to depoliticize the conflicted relationship between the migrants and South Korean Christians, it also highly politicizes the Church as a social space in which contrasting political ideologies and beliefs compete.
O'Brien, Aoife Sara, U. of East Anglia, Norfolk, UK - To aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper
AOIFE O'BRIEN, then a student at University of East Anglia, Norfolk, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper. This research project examines the museum collections of Charles Morris Woodford (1852-1927), an amateur naturalist and first Resident Commissioner to the Solomons, and Arthur Mahaffy (1869-1919), the first District Officer of the region. It examines how, following the establishment of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) in 1893, transformations occurred in Solomons cultural traditions and society, transformations that are visible in the material culture record. Object analysis (conceived widely to include ethnographic artefacts, texts, and photographs) can elucidate the micro-histories, particularly muted indigenous experiences, embodied in museum collections. Research was undertaken at several institutions in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji to examine archive material and museum collections associated with Woodford, Mahaffy, and the BSIP. This research has assisted in gaining a fuller understanding of both men's positions in the Solomons and the extent of networks of collecting and cross-cultural interactions in which objects were gathered. Information obtained from each institution granted further insights into the nature of encounters and exchanges between Europeans and Solomon Islanders during the formative years of the BSIP, and has complemented and enriched the research already completed in the UK and Ireland.
Dalyan, Can, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
Preliminary abstract: Last three years in Turkey witnessed the rise of an unlikely phenomenon to the forefront of public and governmental attention. With the opening of the Turkish Seed-Gene Bank (TSGB) in 2010, construction of the first national botanic garden with the help of 50 million Dollars of direct government funding, start of a series of seed-exchange festivals along the Aegean Coast and the ensuing media interest in stories of foreigners getting caught by the police while illegally collecting endemic plant species, loss of agro-biodiversity in Turkey became an important article of national political agenda and of popular interest. This project is an ethnographic and historical exploration of this phenomenon and it asks three three fundamental questions: 1) How does the current national policy of conserving and showcasing agro-biodiversity in Turkey take shape and how is it implemented? 2) How do the scientists working at the TSGB relate (politically, economically, intellectually) to this national policy and especially, how do they experience, work with, and think about this policy in its relation to global processes of climate change and biodiversity loss? 3) How is this contemporary interest and anxiety about agro-biodiversity linked to the distinctive periods in Turkish history in which loss of natural resources and regulation of nature appeared as major political and popular concerns?
Strange, Stuart Earle, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Differences to Blame: Narrative, Agency, and Responsibility in War, Sorcery, and Suffering in Suriname,' supervised by Dr. Webb Keane
STUART E. STRANGE, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Differences to Blame: Narrative, Agency, and Responsibility in War, Sorcery, and Suffering in Suriname,' supervised by Dr. Webb Keane. What is a god or spirit? This study attempts an answer by describing how gods and spirits become causally efficacious in contemporary Suriname. Exploring oracular possession as practiced by Ndyuka Maroon and Indo-Surinamese/Guyanese healers, the project explains how spirit presence emerges from the material qualities of bodies, words, and objects. It argues that spirit possession is more insightfully approached as a semiotic technology -- a means of generating evidence and directing implication and interpretation. It contends that possession is fundamentally political, exercising powerful control over how the world and its constitutive moral properties may be described. Central to this is how possession, as a form of performance, enables spirits to define and assign responsibility for social crises. The study illustrates how this is done in interaction in divinatory consultations, showing the ways spirit speech is used to objectify moral discourses and the social forms/concepts -- particularly kinship, but also, ethnicity and gender -- these make possible. It also addresses how this approach to spirit possession can be used to reconceptualize histories of labor and resistance, explaining how possession is used to articulate other descriptions of history and the moral meanings of exploitation and marginality.
Hodgson, Jennifer Ann, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, NY - To aid research on 'A GIS-based Approach to the Study of Hominin Carcass Acquisition at Kanjera South, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Thomas W. Plummer
JENNIFER HODGSON, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'A GIS-Based Approach to the Study of Hominin Carcass Acquisition at Kanjera South, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Thomas W. Plummer. Subsistence behaviors are of central importance in addressing questions about the behavioral ecology of Plio-Pleistocene hominins. The shift to increased meat consumption may be one of the major adaptive changes in hominin dietary evolution. While it is established that Oldowan hominins butchered large mammal carcasses, the method of carcass acquisition (i.e., hunting vs. scavenging) and degree of completeness (fleshed vs. defleshed) is less certain. This study addresses these questions through an analysis of bone modification patterns created by hominins and carnivores in the ca. 2.0 Ma zooarcheological assemblage from Kanjera South, Kenya. A GIS image-analysis method is used to compare bone modification patterns in the Kanjera assemblage with modern experimental bone assemblages created by various large carnivore species. Preliminary results indicates hominins had early access to large carcasses at Kanjera, however, data analysis is still underway.
Miranda, Almita Abigayl, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Living 'Here and There' in Legal Limbo: Migration, Legality, and Mixed-Status Families in the Post-NAFTA Era,' supervised by Dr. Micaela di Leonardo
Preliminary abstract: Over the past two decades, the unauthorized U.S. Mexican population has grown sharply -- rom 3.5 million in 1990 to 7 million in 2007 -- only recently experiencing a small decline. While some policymakers are quick to suggest that we can decrease 'llegal immigration' by 'tightening our borders,' scholars have shown that the increase in border enforcement since the mid-1980s, coupled with recent neoliberal economic shifts, has altered the once prevalent Mexican circular labor migration pattern, encouraging migrants to remain in the U.S for longer periods of time. This longer stay has resulted in more migrants setting down roots and forming 'mixed-status families' -- comprised of at least one undocumented adult and one U.S. citizen spouse and/or child. This research project seeks to examine the varying ways in which working-class Mexican mixed-status families navigate the quotidian challenges and constraints to which their liminal and uncertain legal status expose them in the U.S. and in Mexico. I will conduct a dual-site ethnographic study of undocumented Mexican immigrants, recently returned migrants, and their U.S. citizen family members residing in Chicago, IL and Zacatecas, Mexico over the course of two years. My project will provide key ethnographic information on the everyday lives, interactions, and narratives within this largely understudied group of the unauthorized U.S. immigrant population. In addition, it will help broaden our understanding of the ways in which contemporary U.S. immigration policy not only affects the lives of undocumented immigrants, but may be reconfiguring and circumscribing the rights of U.S. citizens -- producing a form of 'conditional citizenship' that is dependent upon the legal statuses of their family members.