Thufail, Fadjar I., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Confusion, Conversion, and Riot: Religious Anxiety and Mass Violence in Urban Indonesia, 1998,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth M. George
FADJAR I. THUFAIL, while a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded funding in July 2001 to aid research on religious anxiety and mass violence in urban Indonesia in 1998, under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth M. George. Three central questions guided the field research: What conditions and forces prompted people to get involved in-or avoid-the Indonesian riots of May 1998 that led to President Suharto's resignation? How did perpetrators, victims, and witnesses differently understand these riots in light of contemporary political crises, talk about conversion to Christianity, and past events of anti-Chinese violence? And in what ways did the verbal and visual signs evoked during the rioting and in subsequent public discourse reflect the certainties and uncertainties of religious, ethnic, racial, and national identity? Thufail also devoted attention to representations of the riot and its political contestation. Some preliminary findings: Most respondents denied that the riots were religiously motivated. The absence of religious issues suggested that among certain groups of narrators, changes had taken place in the narrative appropriation of violence. Moreover, different state agents produced their own narratives. The official Fact Finding Team's narrative served as the higher-order narrative that shaped other narratives. Besides state agents, media institutions also shaped the ways in which people told their stories of the riots. As a consequence, the strong institutional agenda found in the riot narratives had overwhelmed most attempts to represent the narratives as stories of experience.
Jamison, Kelda, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
KELDA JAMISON, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. Research was conducted in Ankara, Turkey, and several cities in the southeast of the country. The research focused on the government ministry charged with coordinating the Southeastern Anatolia Project, a hydrodevelopment project of monumental scale, calling for 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, widespread irrigation networks, and a host of other ambitious social, economic, and engineering initiatives. During the tenure of the Wenner-Gren funded research, the researcher met with a variety of planners and technocrats who work at this ministry, conducted both formal and informal interviews, and analyzed official reports, surveys, and conference volumes, in order to analyze the ways 'society' emerges as a field of technocratic intervention. In addition to working with 'official' development planners, ethnographic research was conducted with other, non-governmental actors who are also deeply involved in 'developing' the sociopolitical landscape of the region, and for whom hydraulic intervention figures in contested ways with political transformation. Distinctions between 'technical' transformations and 'social' transformations form the battleground for debates about the legitimacy of different forms of state presence in this turbulent region. The circuits of intervention that crosscut the region expose the very real struggles and fractures that such 'development integration' process constitutes. The tenuousness of integration formed the unspoken backdrop to discussions of regional development, constituting the standard for judging success or failure. As the research continues, the researcher will further investigate the spaces of silence and erasure that lie at the heart of state intervention in this region, exploring the topics rendered visible and invisible by bureaucratic discourses of technopolitical progress.
Natarajan, Venkatesan, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Power of Memory: Transitional Justice and the Aftermath of Argentina's Dirty War,' supervised by Dr. Sally Engle Merry
RAM NATARAJAN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Power of Memory: Transitional Justice and the Aftermath of Argentina's Dirty War,' supervised by Dr. Sally Merry. This project is a study of human rights movements, law, and military soldiers in the context of contemporary Argentine dictatorship trials, one of the most lionized, discussed, and circulated forms of judicial responses to Latin American authoritarian regimes. It is about how efforts to prosecute violence committed during the 1976-1983 Argentine military rule become implicated with and generate new forms of violence, and about how the legal construction of categories of perpetrators is so shaped by social forces that such construction is never simply about identifying who is responsible for a crime. It draws from twenty months of fieldwork with retired and convicted military men; women and men affiliated with human rights' victim groups; and employees of the Argentine state judiciary system to ask what happens to these individuals' senses of self, social relationships, and national belonging, once the Argentine executive, legislative, and judicial branches began enforcing and instituting a new understanding of the past. This research helps shed light on why closure in the aftermath of political violence becomes, in the context of Argentina, a national impossibility.
Cook, Ian Michael, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'The City as a River: A Rhythmanalysis of Mangalore,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Monterescu
IAN M. COOK, then a student at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'The City as a River: A Rhythmanalysis of Mangalore,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Monterescu. This project proposes a novel approach to the anthropology of time and space through a relational inquiry into the practical rhythms of urban life -- rhythms that mediate and constitute realities in urban India. The research folds class and power into urban spaces and times by embedding the inquiry in everyday life. India's ongoing rapid urbanization, in part linked to the economic liberalization begun in the mid-1980s, is producing a multitude of overlapping rhythms that open up both possibilities and constraints for urban dwellers across the country. The proposed research examines how the river-like rhythms 'dress' a city's inhabitants and, in doing so, increase and diminish opportunities to exercise 'urban agency.' The research argues that the (in)ability to harness the city's rhythms, which leads to greater and lesser degrees of urban-agency, rests upon certain combinations of repetition and difference. Research was conducted amongst moving vendors, auto rickshaw drivers, and housing agents. These groups are a means through which to understand the city more generally -- though necessarily partially -- from the bottom up; to explore how their many different rhythms combine and contrast with the wider rhythms of the city.
Solomon, Daniel Allen, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Coexistence and Conflict: Associative Techniques of Humans and Rhesus Macaques in Northern India,' supervised by Dr. Susan Friend Harding
DANIEL A. SOLOMON, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Coexistence and Conflict: Associative Techniques of Humans and Rhesus Macaques in Northern India,' supervised by Dr. Susan Harding. This research focused on the often problematic relationships between humans and rhesus macaques in and around 'monkey temples' in Delhi and Shimla, India. The project had two focuses: first, the ways in which humans and rhesus monkeys associated with one another in everyday contexts; and second, how monkeys were talked about in media and political narratives about problems like monkey attacks and crop destruction. Urban macaques make their livings on handouts from devotees of the monkey-like god Hanuman and on the edible refuse left behind by dense urban crowds and patchy waste-handling infrastructure. So as monkey management programs have begun to take off in earnest, questions around waste management and the distribution of public resources have been highlighted. Debates about what to do with problematic monkeys have often taken the form of a critique of Indian modernization and government competence in general, but these debates have also provided spaces for re-evaluating governmental and religious protections afforded to animals vis-à-vis the travails of underserved classes of people. These particular issues offer urban Indians spaces for experimenting with different techniques for mitigating the most adverse effects of coexistence between social species, and for re-imagining the ethics of social protections and resource distribution.
Hefner, Claire-Marie, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gates Peletz
CLAIRE-MARIE HEFNER, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael G. Peletz. How do young Indonesian Muslim school girls learn and engage with what it means to be a proper, pious, and educated woman? How do differences in understandings of proper Muslim femininity reflect broader variations in Indonesian associations, educational traditions, and social values? These are the broad questions that frame this comparative study of two Islamic boarding schools for girls in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The focus of the investigation is two prominent Islamic boarding schools (pesantren): Pesantren Krapyak Ali Maksum and Madrasah Mu'allimaat Muhammadiyah. Each school is run, respectively, by one of the two largest Muslim social welfare organizations in the world: the 'traditionalist' Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the 'modernist' Muhammadiyah. These two schools were selected because of their national reputations and because of the critical role they play in molding future NU and Muhammadiyah female kaders (cadres). At a time when many scholars suggest that the distinctions between NU and Muhammadiyah are no longer relevant, this study questions that assertion through the optics of developments in Indonesian Islamic education, evaluating what it means for these young women to be members of these organizations. As private institutions with strong academic reputations, Mu'allimaat and Krapyak also cater to the needs and desires of the new Indonesian Muslim middle-class. Through ethnographic observations, a multivariate student survey, over 100 interviews, and media analysis, this study examines girls' engagement with 'gendered' aspects of curricula, extracurricular practices, and informal socialization within and outside of school.
McLay, Eric Boyd, U. of Victoria, Victoria, Canada - To aid research on 'Ancestral Landscapes on the Northwest Coast: Inland Shell Middens, Memory Work and Coast Salish Narratives,' supervised by Dr. Quentin Mackie
Preliminary abstract: This PhD dissertation proposes to explore social memory and the depositional practices associated with 'inland shell middens' in the Gulf of Georgia region, British Columbia, Canada. Discovered atop mountain hilltops and valleys distant from modern shorelines, inland shell middens defy ethnographic expectations and normative ecological models of hunter-gatherer foraging behaviors based on efficiency and least-cost economic principles. These investigations will examine whether the depositional practices associated with inland shell middens may represent evidence for new strategies of ritual practice beginning in the Marpole Phase (2550 to 1000 calBP), where past Coast Salish peoples gathered, feasted and ritually-deposited foods and other offerings to commemorate and commune with ancestors and non-human beings on the landscape. Survey, remote sensing and small-scale excavations will explore site chronologies, stratigraphic contexts, features and genealogies of practices associated with the deposition of foods and materials. To move beyond the deeply-plumbed Northwest Coast ethnographic literature to interpret the archaeological past, this research will draw upon dialogues with descendant Coast Salish communities today about how their cultural beliefs, values, experiences and daily practices associated with the ancestral dead and non-human beings powerfully shape Coast Salish understandings of their own settlement history.
Caine, Allison Enfield, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Shifting Grasslands: Herders and Socio-environmental Transformations in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Mannheim
Preliminary abstract: This research examines how high-altitude camelid pastoralists observe, evaluate, and respond to socioenvironmental transformations in the Cordillera Vilcanota of south-central Peru. Recent changes to the Andean puna environment are unprecedented in both their rapidity and severity due to global climate change, and Andean pastoralists and their flocks traverse a progressively shifting terrain marked by vacillations in agricultural calendars and ecological zones, increases in human and livestock disease, and the loss of sacred landscape features. This research examines how changes to the landscape and shifting seasons are interpreted and addressed through the socio-environmental and spatial practices of animal husbandry, and articulated through idioms of relatedness and social obligation between humans and non-humans alike. In doing so, it takes seriously notions of socionatural relatedness in the Andes, and seeks to identify the processes of identification and objectification through which individuals locate themselves in relational ecologies that confound a dichotomy of nature and culture. It aims to demonstrate how environmental transformations are not a-priori natural events but socially constituted states, that are recognized, evaluated, and addressed in diverse and subtle ways, involving reflective interaction between humans and a multitude of other life forms with which they share their daily lives.
Scaramelli, Caterina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Swamps Into Wetlands: Water, Conservation Science and Nationhood in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich
Preliminary abstract: How have wetlands, previously 'swamps' to be drained and reclaimed, become sites of ecological value in Turkey, starting with its participation to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1994? I argue that Turkish wetlands are becoming 'ecological objects' through which debates unfold about national water conservation practices; arenas in which scientists, birders, and citizens work through the relation of human and non-human phenomena in Turkish 'nature'; and venues through which such actors position regional dynamics within national narratives, international politics, and transnational scientific economies. I will conduct fieldwork in two delta wetlands of 'international importance'-- Gediz on the Aegean Sea, and Kizilirmak on the Mediterranean -- with wetland scientists, ornithologists, residents, visitors, and state officials. I will interview older wetland protection advocates as well, and will conduct archival research to track how wetlands have been operationalized in Turkey's scientific and policy circles. Wetlands are becoming novel sites through which national and transnational differences -- religious, ethnic, gender, economic-- as well as matters of international positioning are now negotiated; whether Turkey looks to Europe, the Middle East, or Asia is very much in the making, I suggest, in the wetlands. My project also complicates the anthropological questions of water's materiality and agency, treating it neither as essential to the material form of water itself nor as obviously the result of the underdetermination of material form. I ask, rather: Who decides what constitutes water in the wetland, and through which forms of knowledge and scientific techniques? Which sociotechnical worlds and infrastructures make it flow and how, and make materiality matter or not?
Greene, Lance K., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis
LANCE GREENE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in March 2006 to aid research on 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis. Research included two activities: archival research and archaeological excavations. Archival research was performed at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the special collections at Duke University, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University, and the courthouse, register of deeds, and historical museum in Murphy, North Carolina. Archaeological excavations were performed at three house sites in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The inhabitants of these sites -- the Welches, Hawkins, and Owls -- were members of the post-Removal Cherokee enclave of Welch's Town. The most extensive excavations were at the house site of John and Betty Welch, the patrons of Welch's Town. Archival, archaeological, and landscape data have provided considerable detail to the Welch's Town narrative and revealed a variety of adaptations pertaining to how these Cherokees survived the intense racism of the post-Removal era in North Carolina. The families of Welch's Town made pragmatic and conscious choices in material culture, reflecting a complex and changing identity bound to issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.