Ghani, Aisha Shahid, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Conflated Identities: 'Muslim'/'Terrorist' and the Difficulty of Producing a Genuine Discourse about Terrorism,' supervised by Dr. Tanya Marie Luhrmann
AISHA S. GHANI, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Conflated Identities: 'Muslim'/'Terrorist' and the Difficulty of Producing a Genuine Discourse about Terrorism,' supervised by Dr. Tanya Luhrmann. Through ethnographic analysis of courtroom proceedings and the advocacy efforts of several civil liberties organizations around terrorism cases, this dissertation demonstrates how the law produces disjunctive narratives about terrorism and terrorism subjects through the purposeful elision and avoidance of certain kinds of questions and issues, particularly pertaining to religion and ethical violence. In revealing the processes through which these erasures and omissions of Islam, ethics, and violence take place, the dissertation contends that a generative incommensurability is produced in relation to, or rather despite, the subjectivities of terrorism subjects; an incommensurability that is generative precisely because it enables courts and civil liberties organizations to carry out legal and advocacy efforts effectively. That is, without having to apprehend the contentious and yet real imperatives of men who, in their own words, seek recognition and legitimacy for their religiously inspired violence. Despite efforts to suppress and displace these issues, the dissertation argues that both Islam and ethical violence do, in fact, 'return' at moments of rupture in courtroom settings, producing a certain 'excess of meaning' that belies the fact of incommensurability itself.
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.
Lagos, Ingrid, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'The Migration of Biopolitics: Citizenship and Health in El Salvador,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena
INGRID LAGOS, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Migration of Biopolitics: Citizenship and Health in El Salvador,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena. Funding supported research to understand the ways remittances and migration form and transform healthcare networks, medical practices, and state policy in El Salvador. The study narrowed its focus on transnational medical phone consultations, and public/private health services targeting Salvadorans abroad. Salvadoran migrants living in cities in the US are calling rural doctors in El Salvador when they are sick. They call because in many instances they do not have access to care, but they also call because they find medical treatments and practices in the US incommensurable with those they are used to or are expecting. These transnational medical calls challenge the homogeneity assumed in biomedical practices, disturb their natural relationship to technology and progress, and de-center North-South assumptions of healthcare distribution. Furthermore, in this diagnosis process, devoid of a physical body and its representation (e.g. X-rays), a medical body emerges through relations, experience, and history, defying common sense notions of the medical encounter. The study shows how remittances and medical needs of Salvadorans in the US are linked to increased presence of private medicine in rural El Salvador, and how private and public interests attempt to 'capture' the economic gains thought to exist in medical remittance networks.
Basarudin, Azzarina, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Recreating Communities of the Faithful?: Negotiating Gender, Religion, and Feminism in Egypt and Malaysia,' supervised by Dr. Sondra Hale
Perez-Rodriguez, Veronica, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Household Intensification in the Mixtec Cacicazgo: Excavation of a House and Terraced Field,' supervised by Dr. Stephen A. Kowalewski
VERONICA PEREZ-RODRIGUEZ, while a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, received a grant in June 2002 to aid research on household agricultural intensification by Postclassic Mixtecs (800-1521 C.E.) in Oaxaca, Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Stephen A. Kowalewski. Through archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic methods, Pérez-Rodríguez investigated the roles of the Mixtec state and the independent household in the operation of intensive agricultural systems, including terracing. She argued that Robert Netting's agrarian smallholder model might characterize the social organization of intensive agriculture in pre-Hispanic Mixtec society and that intensification might have functioned without state direction. The application of the smallholder model in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica suggests that long-lasting and sustainable methods of intensive agriculture might have operated at the household and community levels. To investigate this hypothesis, Pérez-Rodríguez mapped and excavated two houses, twenty contour terraces, and one lama-bordo (agricultural) terrace at a rural agricultural settlement that was part of the kingdom of Teposcolula. Results suggested that commoners played an independent and active role in agricultural intensification. They enjoyed residential stability and had access to some luxury items, suggesting that they had well-established usufruct or tenure rights in their houses and land and were able to benefit from their own production.
Pérez Rodriguez, Verónica. 2006. States and Households: The Social Organization of Terrrace Agriculture in
postclassic Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico. Latin American Antiquity 17(1):3-22.
Feliciano-Santos, Sherina, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Taíno Language and Cultural Revival: An Ethnographic Study of Language Ideologies in Emerging Language Varieties,' supervised by Dr. Barbra Allyn Meek
SHERINA FELICIANO-SANTOS, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Taino Language and Cultural Revival: An Ethnographic Study of Ideologies, Emerging Language Practices, and Relatedness,' supervised by Dr. Barbara A. Meek. This research considers what is at stake in claiming and establishing a contemporary Taíno identity in Puerto Rico. Considering that Taíno peoples conventionally have been presumed to be extinct -- according to widely circulating historical narratives of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean -- this study provides a grounded analysis of the face-to-face interactions involved in actively affirming and organizing around an extant Taíno heritage. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among four Taíno organizations, this research found that group recruitment and maintenance strategies were reflected in the emergence of distinctive Taíno linguistic practices. This study is concerned with how these emerging linguistic practices relate to the building of distinctive authorizing and legitimizing routines, the differentiation of Taíno groups and the production of relatedness among Taíno peoples. This analysis of the everyday social interactions involved in the recruitment and maintenance of Taíno groups in Puerto Rico shows how emergent practices of constructing relatedness may complicate social as well as sociolinguistic landscapes. This project, though focused on Taíno resurgence, applies to any context wherein people are redefining themselves by reconfiguring their relatedness to each other by institutionalizing or de-regimenting different modes of belonging.
Thomson, William Brian, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Harmony under Construction: The Work of Building the Chinese Century,' supervised by Dr. Angela Zito
WILLIAM B. THOMSON, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Harmony under Construction: The Work of Building the Chinese Century,' supervised by Dr. Angela Zito. This research investigated how migrant construction workers in Xian, China, relate to the growing city that is being built through their labor. It explored how these workers negotiate the spatial and social gap between China's countryside and its cities, how their rural identities shape their prospects for work and life. This project documented how social, legal, and economic restrictions make it impossible for them to settle permanently in the cities, while at the same time foreclose the possibility of returning to farm work in the countryside. Some of the principal findings and directions that to be explored in the resulting dissertation include the masculine gender projects that motivate their sojourns in the cities, especially of material and social preparations for marriage, which include building or buying a house. The grantee is especially interested in how these attitudes are changed as younger generations spend more time in city environments and begin to cultivate different urban desires and urban pleasures than their parents' generation, and has focused research around the structure of the relationship between those who design and those who build the cities. The architectural industry relies on these very distinct and separate roles, and this research contends that understanding that relationship is a window into the way that new class divides are being structured in China along multiple axes of education, urban/rural identity and profession.
Kang, Byungchu Dredge, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Reorientations: Asian Regionalism, Class Distinction, and Male Same-Sex Desire in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Peter John Brown
BYUNGCHU DREDGE KANG, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant in November 2008 to aid research on 'Reorientations: Asian Regionalism, Class Distinction, and Male Same-Sex Desire in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Peter John Brown. This project focuses on how gay men and male-to-female transgender persons (kathoey) in Bangkok, Thailand, experience and negotiate romantic partner preferences in a globalizing world. While there is a body of scholarship that addresses Western influences on Thai gender and sexuality, little is known about the impact of East Asian influences. The grantee proposed to investigate how Thailand's geopolitical position -- situated between wealthier and poorer countries in the region -- constrains and enables new partner preferences. The project examines how desires for Asian partners are created and how Thai-Asian partnerships affect local ways of thinking about and experiencing the self amidst regional economic change. There are three major sources of data for this project: public discourse, participant observation, and interviews.
Nonaka, Angela M., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on ''Pasa Bai': Language Socialization of an Indigenous Sign Language in a Northeastern Thai Village,' supervised by Dr. Elinor R. Ochs
ANGELA M. NONAKA, while a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in December 2002 to aid research on '`Pasa Bai:' Language Socialization of an Indigenous Sign Language in a Northeastern Thai Village,' supervised by Dr. Elinor R. Ochs. Ban Khor is a rural Thai village with an unusually large deaf population and an indigenous sign language, pasa bai (language deaf/mute), which spontaneously arose in the community 60 to 80 years ago. Although it once thrived - developing rapidly, spreading widely among both hearing and deaf villagers, and socio-communicatively managing deafness in the community - Ban Khor Sign Language and the delicate sociolinguistic ecology surrounding it are now threatened by demographic shift, socioeconomic change, and language contact with the national sign language. This is unfortunate for many reasons. For example, pasa bai exhibits rare linguistic features that enhance understanding of language typologies and language universals. Moreover, villagers' response to widespread hereditary deafness expands anthropological understanding of subjects ranging from the definition of a ''speech' community' to the social construction of disability. Language endangerment and its extended implications for sociocultural diversity are growing concerns for anthropologists. Despite increasing awareness of the problem, indigenous sign languages and their attendant speech communities remain among the world's least studied and most vulnerable languages and cultures. The project was conducted during calendar year 2003 with three concurrent goals: 1) to document the existence of Ban Khor Sign Language and the Ban Khor speech community; 2) to trace the ethnographic particulars of the emergence, spread, and decline of the local sign language; and 3) to develop a case study examining indigenous sign language endangerment in relation to language socialization practices, language ideologies, and cultural ecology.
Nonaka, Angela. 2004. The Forgotten Endangered Languages: Lessons on the Importance of Remembering from Thailand’s Ban Khor Sign Language. Language in Society 33(5):737-767.
Dennison, Jean, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'Reforming a Nation: Citizenship, Government and the Osage People,' supervised by Dr. Peter R. Schmidt
JEAN DENNISON, then a student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, was awarded funding in November 2005, to aid research on ''Reforming a Nation: Citizenship, Government and the Osage People,' supervised by Dr. Peter R. Schmidt. This research examined the mapping of Osage identity within the context of their 2004-2006 citizenship and government reform process. It investigated three primary areas: first, how the colonial situation created certain limitations on and possibilities for Osage citizenship and governmental formation; second, the ways in which the desires surrounding 'Osageness' were created and changed through the reform process; and third, how the writers of the 2006 Osage Constitution navigated the conflicts arising from these histories and desires in order to create this governing document. In order to investigate these concerns a wide range of evidence was collected, including archival documents, interviews, recorded community and business meetings, and informal conversations. Using this evidence, this dissertation will investigate how colonial policies, local histories, authorized and unauthorized stories about the reform process, biological 'facts,' desires, fears and personal experiences were all hardened into the 2006 Osage constitution.