Webber, Amanda D., Oxford Brookes U., Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Primate Crop Raiding in Uganda: Predicting, Understanding and Mitigating the Risk,' supervised by Dr. Catherine M. Hill
AMANDA D. WEBBER, then a student at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom, received funding in July 2004 to aid research on 'Primate Crop Raiding in Uganda: Predicting, Understanding, and Mitigating the Risk,' supervised by Dr. Catherine M. Hill. Human-wildlife conflict, in particular crop raiding, is a significant threat to conservation. As wild animals cross between forest and field, they risk injury/death, and subsistence farmers can lose precious crops at times of food insecurity. This issue has implications for the conservation of primates; highly adaptable and frequently protected, species such as chimpanzees can cause considerable damage to crops. This project works with four villages alongside Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, to examine actual and perceived loss to primates. Field monitoring revealed that baboons, in particular, were responsible for a significant amount of crop damage. Chimpanzees were tolerated by the majority of farmers; however, this is a volatile situation as local people are being encouraged to convert their land to sugar cane, a crop which is highly vulnerable close to chimpanzee habitat. Interviews, focus groups, and participant observation revealed that although domestic species were found to raid more frequently than baboons, they were not considered to be a threat to livelihoods. This was the result of an implied morality given to baboon feeding and raiding behavior; unpredictable and coordinated raids defined them as 'rebels' and 'bad characters.' In addition, it also represented a perceived lack of control by local people; domestic species are the farmer's responsibility whereas wildlife represents a legacy of 'preservationist' conservation. This research project highlighted key issues that need to be considered in order to develop conflict mitigation strategies that are not only effective but also acceptable to local people.
Webber, A.D, C.M. Hill, and V. Reynolds. 2007 Assessing the Failure of a Community-Based Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Project in Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Oryx 41(2):177-184.
LaHatte, Kristin Margaret, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on ''Don't Hand Your Stomach Over to Just Anyone:' Development Aid and Personal Social Relations in Haiti,' supervised by Dr. Ira Bashkow
KRISTIN LaHATTE, then a graduate student at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in March 2011 to aid research on ''Don't Hand Your Stomach Over to Just Anyone:' Development Aid and Personal Social Relations in Haiti,' supervised by Dr. Ira Bashkow. Development aid advocates a normative ethos of professionalism that foregrounds equality between providers and recipients while discouraging personal relationships that could lead to accusations of corruption, nepotism, and dependency. These personal relationships are understood to undermine the inculcation of values such as transparency and accountability that are encouraged by development aid providers. And yet, in many of the places that development operates, recipients consider personal relationships-gift exchange, food sharing, and long-term commitments-not only appropriate, but also obligatory. A multi-sited project, this ethnographic research moved between multiple aid sites within the city of Port-au-Prince and the countryside of the Central Plateau to examine the role of personal social relations in the context of aid encounters within Haiti. Continued analysis of the data collected will focus on the articulation of morality and relationality within these contexts to better elucidate the ways in which differential systems of value are negotiated and understood by those who are the recipients of aid.
Basnet, Govinda B., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'The Struggle for Water Rights in Contested Commons: Changing Institutional Landscapes in Upper Mustang, Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Robert E. Rhoades
GOVINDA B BASNET, a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia received funding in July 2005 to aid research on 'The Struggle for Water Rights in Contested Commons: Changing Institutional Landscapes in Upper Mustang, Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Robert E Rhoades. The research aimed at investigating how the struggle for water rights modifies the institutional landscape of agricultural resource management in a water scarce region of upper Mustang in Nepal. By integrating comparative and historical methods the research project investigated the dynamics of struggle for water rights in irrigation systems in six villages of upper Mustang through a fieldwork that lasted from October 2004 through July 2006. The project was designed to investigate the dynamics of struggle both within a village, and between villages sharing and not sharing water sources. The initial result form the field research shows that access to water is linked to impartible inheritance system, labor contribution, and types and growth stages of crop. Ownership claim is validated through exercising political power, narratives of local legends, and resorting to customary or state laws as appropriate. Struggle to be a part of decision making bodies for water management has ushered in changes in social institutions: In this arid region, water served not only as a bone of contention but also as a sticking glue to hold a society together.
Perkins, Alisa Marlene, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Making Muslim Space in Arab Detroit: Religious Identity, Gender and the Emergence of Difference,' supervised by Dr. Kamran A. Ali
ALISA M. PERKINS, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Making Muslim Space in Arab Detroit: Religious Identity, Gender and the Emergence of Difference,' supervised by Dr. Kamran A. Ali. This project is an ethnographic study of how the Muslim populations of Hamtramck, Michigan are impacting public space and political life of the city. Hamtramck is a densely populated city of 23,000 residents packed into 2.1 square miles, with a 40% Muslim population made up of Yemenis, Bangladeshis, Bosnians and African Americans living alongside Polish Catholic and African American Baptist residents. The research centers on how Muslim community members are bringing their religious values into the public sphere by forming mosques and other organizations and by engaging as religious actors in debates over policy-making on the municipal level in two Muslim-led, interfaith activist movements. The first movement (2004) concerns supporting the city's regulation of the call to prayer (adhan); and the second (2008) concerns opposing the city's proposal to offer greater protections for homosexual and transgender residents. The grantee's work focuses on understanding how these movements are shaping Hamtramck public life and perceptions about Muslim minority religious identity. The project also investigates the prominent role that interfaith organizing has played within these campaigns. Finally, the study explores how Muslim women in Hamtramck are participating in various forms of religiously defined social and political activism in Hamtramck.
Fernandez Garcia, Sandra, UNED, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'Meanings and Senses in Process: An Ethnography of Emerging Practices of Artistic-technological Production in Urban Contexts,' supervised by Dr. Angel Diaz de Rada Brun
Preliminary abstract: My research deals with the processes of artistic production in liminal places with diffuse borders between different areas of knowledge such as science, technology, and art, on one hand and, on the other, forms of action and social organization that generate work dynamics based on shared meanings. There is a series of public and private, fixed and itinerant spaces that make up a network that is dynamic, changing, and superimposed on other networks, through which people and objects circulate. Medialab-Prado, Tabakalera or Hangar, are examples of the places in Spain in which groups of people who develop practices of production and learning in very specific ways converge. These practices are generally influenced by the ways free software programming is organized and by the idea of 'commons' or public utility. These network relationships, in which the focus is moved away from the artistic object and onto the process, involve a kind of artistic generation that has a very marked political focus, and this provides the opportunity to investigate the spaces of culture as political spaces. My research focuses on an ethnographic analysis of the practical construction of this concrete form of what we call artistic objects in our contemporary urban society. The objective is to understand the relationship of this kind of object and the practices that produce and distribute it with the model of social relations in which it is inserted, as well as the production of political (urban activism) meaning that this relationship generates.
Thorner, Sabra Gayle, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Indigenizing Photography: Archives, Activism, and New Visual Media in Contemporary Australia,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
SABRA GAYLE THORNER, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Indigenizing Photography: Archives, Activism, and New Visual Media in Contemporary Australia,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers. The research undertaken during this grant explores the technologies and resources through which Indigenous Australians are fashioning a new visual culture. Other peoples' representations have had extraordinary power over Indigenous lives, memories, and futures; this project interrogates how Indigenous people are renegotiating representation and the social practice of photography as: 1) a vehicle for the expression of Indigenous subjectivities and community goals; 2) a form of cultural activism; and 3) a medium for the recuperation of histories, kinship ties, and connections to country. Funding supported fieldwork with three organizations representing distinctive histories and social formations: the Koorie Heritage Trust (an urban Aboriginal cultural center in Melbourne); Boomalli (an Aboriginal artists' cooperative in Sydney); and Ara Irititja (a digital archiving project based in Adelaide and with outposts in the Pitjantjatjara/Yankunyjatjara lands). Using photography as a starting point in this multi-sited project enables consideration of how digital technologies can be made culturally specific and relevant; how art-making remains a largely uncensored domain and an important realm of social intervention; and how traditional knowledge is being looked after in the 21st century. Indigenous organizations are a site of production of contemporary Aboriginality, facilitating change in Australia's visual lexicon and national imaginings.
Kanne, Katherine Stevens, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle
KATHERINE S. KANNE, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle. This research documents early equestrianism in Bronze Age Hungary (2500-1800 BC). During the emergence of complex and stratified societies of this period, people changed the way they thought about and used horses. Horses were no longer considered food. They were treated differently from other animals in life and death as they were transformed into an important strategic resource for the development of political economies. Zooarchaeological, osteological, and stable isotope analyses provide evidence of selective horse breeding, trade, and riding. Chariotry was not important, if it was present at all in the Carpathian Basin. The earliest known bridle bits were found in Hungary and date to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Their form and subsequent distribution delimits a sphere of Carpathian equestrianism that was distinct from contemporaneous Eurasian steppe horse traditions. Status and identities were materialized as riding became linked to wealthy elites, but gender was not similarly defined until the Late Bronze Age. Although riding was common practice, each regional tradition within Hungary had unique patterns of horse production, trade, and amount of use, and approached the remains differently. This variability helps to explain the specific trajectories of polity formation that occurred within Bronze Age Hungary.
Norman, Scotti Michelle, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'Understanding Cultural Transformation Through Revitalization: Taki Onqoy and Early Spanish Rule (Chicha-Soras Valley, Peru),' supervised by Dr. Steven A. Wernke
Preliminary abstract: This project undertakes the first archaeological investigation of Taki Onqoy (Quechua: 'Dancing Sickness'), an Andean revitalization cult in the 1560s that preached the rejection of Spanish practices and the return of the reign of Andean huacas (landscape deities) (Albornoz 1990 ). Specifically, it maps, excavates, and analyzes materials from Iglesiachayoq (Chicha), an Inka- to Early Colonial-era settlement located in the Chicha-Soras Valley (Ayacucho, Peru) whose inhabitants were central figures in this movement. Using a combination of spatial analysis and excavation, the anthropological and historical question addressed by this research asks if Taki Onqoy challenged budding Spanish colonial authority--despite its covert nature--in the 1560s by promoting behaviors which were anti-Catholic during the early years of Spanish colonial rule in Peru (Early Colonial Period AD 1532-1581). Through analysis of the material and spatial practices of Taki Onqoy, this project contributes to longstanding debates in the extensive document-based literature on the topic (Cock and Doyle 1979; Duviols 1971; Estenssoro 1992; Gose 2008; Guibovich 1990; MacCormack 1988; Millones 1990; Mumford 1998; Pease 1973; Ramos 1992; Stern 1982). More broadly, my project considers how cultural revitalization movements articulate autochthonous and foreign practices to address the dislocations and exploitations of the colonial condition.
Deoanca, Adrian, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'De-railed: Infrastructure, Politics, and Postsocialist Imaginaries in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Krisztina Fehervary
Preliminary abstract: This project will investigate the relationship between the technical and socio-political dimensions of railways in postsocialist Romania. During socialism, rails have been chief material and ideological vectors of state-sponsored social modernization. Twenty-five years after the end of socialism, the infrastructure that once signified the state's capacity to deliver progress now stands for desolation and backwardness. The transformation of a system deeply imbued with socialist modernist ideology raises questions about the impact of postsocialist reform policies on the legitimacy of the state, the everyday lives, and the political imaginaries of its subjects. Premised on the dual nature of infrastructures as technological and symbolic objects, I will examine how disruptions in the functioning of the railways produce affective responses among their users, and inspire political narratives. Informed by a synthesis of actor-network theory and Peircean semiotics, I will gather the data I need through participant-observation, interviews, mobile ethnography, time-space diaries, and archival research in and around two industrial towns impacted differently by rail reform. By answering these research questions, I will contribute to theorizing about the materially-mediated relationship between the technical function and the meaning of infrastructure, and produce new insights into the role of materiality in the affective enactment of the state.
Sood, Anubha, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Women's Help-Seeking Pathways: Global Policy, the State and Mental Health Practices in India,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca J. Lester
ANUBHA SOOD, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Women's Help-Seeking Pathways: Global Policy, the State and Mental Health Practices in India,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca J. Lester. This research project investigated the help-seeking pathways of women experiencing mental distress in urban North India. In India's medically plural landscape (which includes myriad treatment options), mystical-spiritual healing practices based on ideas of supernatural affliction are believed to hold special expertise for treating mental disorders, and are especially popular among women. However, the Indian state endorses biomedical psychiatry, a less commonly sought option among women, as the only legitimate mental health system for the country and denounces magico-religious healing as superstitious and inimical to the women seeking such treatment. The study investigated what distinct appeal these two systems of mental health care held for women and what might women's engagements with these systems reveal about how state discourses shape women's health concerns. The research was conducted among women, their families and the psychiatrists/healers in a public health psychiatric facility in Delhi and a popular Hindu healing temple in the neighboring state of Rajasthan. The two field settings were carefully chosen based on an overlapping population of attendees similar in socio-demographic and socioeconomic profile visiting the two sites. The project was carried out over the period of July-December 2009 and involved participant observation and person-centered interviewing, semi-structured and unstructured interviewing as the primary methods of research.