Borda Nino, Adriana C., U. of St. Andrews, UK - To aid research on ''When Does Incest Matter': Ethnic, Class & Gender Discourses & Experiences About Incest among Female Patients in a Psychiatric Hospital in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Tristan Platt
ADRIANA BORDA NINO, then a student at University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on ''When Does Incest Matter?' Ethnic, Class, and Gender Discourses and Experiences about Incest among Female Patients in a Psychiatric Hospital in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Tristan Platt. Fourteen months of fieldwork were conducted in Bolivia's National Psychiatric Hospital and rural communities in southern Bolivia, as well as in judicial and historical archives. Three major goals were achieved. The project problematized the category of 'incest' in terms of how kinship is constructed not only as a series of dynamic discourses but also as mobile experiences, however socially sanctioned. Second, it reviewed Goffman's category of 'the moral career of the mental patient:' whilst Goffman places its starting point when a person is hospitalized, in this research previous events and processes (especially those related to incest and sexual violence) were also considered and carefully analysed; and whereas hospitalization as a possibility (and an actual place for treatment) becomes real thanks to a series of relations, processes and events, and the extent to which hospitalisation is articulated as much as means of social control as a community-based healing practice, the perspectives of Basaglia and Foucault were brought to the center of analysis. Last, the sharp binary division human/non-human was brought into question; the categorization used by staff of the intermediate-chronic patients as human beings (in all its diversity) is mobile and problematic, as it determines the success of management strategies to broader power relations that exceed those taking place in the psychiatric hospital.
Ran-Rubin, Michal, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Nature of Citizenship: Cultivating Political Subjects in Israel-Palestine,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff
MICHAL RAN-RUBIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Nature of Citizenship: Cultivating Political Subjects in Israel-Palestine,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff. This research explores the use of visual, material, and spatial practices involved in fashioning alternative geographic imaginaries in Palestine-Israel. Ethnographic fieldwork included eighteen months of multi-sited research with ecologists, urban planners, architects, NGOs, secondary schools, and three youth groups in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Research was conducted in two distinct parts. Phase one investigated the rise of environmental discourses and pedagogies in Palestinian schools. Intensive classroom observation at two, mid-size public schools demonstrated that, although the curriculum did not succeed in its objective of honing a depoliticized ethic of individual conservation, it did provide students with novel visual strategies for conceptualizing the larger political forces that structure their access to nature and public resources. This research elucidates the importance of graphic technologies in enabling individuals to visualize their relationship to water, land, and space, as a means for orienting them within the broader political landscape. Phase two focused on a variety of explicitly political, civil-society organizations pursuing spatial strategies for commemorating the 1948 Nakba and planning for the return of Palestinian refugees. Ethnographic fieldwork at architectural offices, participatory mapping workshops, public planning sessions, commemoration events as well as tours of destroyed Palestinian villages yielded a wealth of data about the significance of spatial and architectural interventions in shaping individual perceptions of politics, the state, and the built environment. Combined, these two phases of research elucidate the role of visual, material, and sensorial politics in generating awareness of state violence and producing alternative geographic imaginaries in Palestine-Israel.
Gandhi, Ajay, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'The Banality of Criminality: The Moral Economy of Illegal Behavior in Delhi, India,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Blom Hansen
AJAY GANDHI, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Banality of Criminality: The Moral Economy of Illegal Behaviour in Delhi, India', supervised by Dr. Thomas Blom Hansen. Fieldwork was conducted over 18 months in India, on the changing urban landscape in Delhi's old city, 'Shahjahanabad.' The project consisted of both archival and ethnographic research, and was divided into three main components. First, the grantee conducted archival research at municipal offices and research libraries, supplemented by interviews with planning officials, politicians and the police. These activities furthered the comprehension of state intervention in this area since Indian independence in 1947, including periods of heavy-handed policing, building demolitions, and displacement of residents, under the rubric of population control and urban beautification. Second, participant observation and interviews were conducted with migrant laborers from the countryside who work in large wholesale bazaars and labour camps. This allowed for an understanding of the informal economic practices and illicit trades prevalent amongst a floating population of the urban poor, as well as forms of popular leisure and consumption that have resulted in the plebianization of urban space. Third, interviews were carried out with lower-middle class and working class Muslims who are long-standing residents of 'slum' enclaves within Delhi's old city. This allowed the grantee to grasp everyday understandings of legitimacy and representation articulated in dealings with municipal authorities and the police, as well as ethical predicaments spawned by urban segregation and community fragmentation.
Walls, Matthew Daniel, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Frozen Landscapes, Fluid Technologies: Inuit Kayak Hunting and the Perception of the Environment in Greenland,' supervised by Dr. Max Friesen
MATTHEW DANIEL WALLS, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2011, to aid research on 'Frozen Landscapes, Fluid Technologies: Inuit Kayak Hunting and the Perception of the Environment in Greenland,' supervised by Dr. Max Friesen. This project explores how technologies can characterize the manner through which people experience and come to perceive their environment. The fieldwork is an ethnoarchaeological project in Greenland where the skills of seal-skin kayak hunting are practiced as a means of engaging Inuit heritage. Kayaks are a technology that involves a high degree of developed ability; hunting involves special types of physical fitness, technical ability, social relationships, and requires extensive environmental knowledge. Modern kayakers assert that the physical process of building kayaks and becoming skilled in their use is educative of intangible cultural heritage, which cannot be acquired through any other means than practice. Through a combination of participant observation and interviews, this project documents how the process of learning kayak hunting is a unique way of encountering a complex environment. It takes many years of training to participate in hunting, and enskilment develops special types of embodied knowledge that can only be refined through a type of learning that is kinaesthetically situated. Hunters must be able to intuitively work as a team, recognize and react instantly to subtle environmental cues, and depend on instinctive physical capabilities that are committed to muscle memory. This project provides an important case-study for archaeological theory directed at the vibrancy of artefacts by demonstrating an important distinction between enskilment in technology and material agency.
Kortright, Christopher Michael, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Experimental Fields and Biotech Futures: The Politics and Histories of Scientific Rice Research,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit
CHRISTOPHER M. KORTRIGHT, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Experimental Fields and Biotech Futures: The Politics and Histories of Scientific Rice Research,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit. Through ethnographic fieldwork at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), this research focuses on how scientific research on rice has been motivated by scientists' assumptions about population growth and consumption, and how these motivations have changed with the advent of genetically modified (GM) rice. This research illustrates the ways in which experimental practices are shaped by scientists' 'visions of the future'-specifically overpopulation and agricultural underproduction. These future visions are historically located within the political economy and agricultural science. This research is a product of the archival collection of oral histories and scientific papers of researchers working on rice research and the production of 'new plant types' at IRRI. Alongside these oral histories, research focused on the study of one specific GM rice project called C4 Rice. The ethnographic research on the C4 Rice Project was conducted both in the laboratory and the experimental fields at IRRI while two large-scale experiments were under way, and the ethnographer accompanied C4 Rice researchers to scientific conferences, funding meetings, and presentations introducing GM science to the general public. Tracing out this specific scientific network of GM rice researchers, this project sheds light on an international science collaboration as it is manifested and articulated at a historically and politically controversial research locality. This research adds to the anthropological literatures on agriculture, science, political economy and futures. Alongside these contributions to the anthropological literature, this research opens up larger discourses on food and food security, specifically in the domain of genetically modified crops.
Kortright, Chris. 2013. On Labor and Creative Transformations in the Experimental Fields of the Philippines. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal 7(4):557-578.
New York U., New York, NY, Narges Bajoghli, PI - To aid research on 'Restaging the Revolution: Military Media and the Contested Legacies of Revolution in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg
NARGES BAJOGHLI, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2013 to aid research on 'Restaging the Revolution: Military Media and the Contested Legacies of Revolution in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg. If successful, every revolutionary movement eventually faces a dilemma: how does the commitment to the revolutionary project get transmitted from one generation to the next as historical circumstances change? In the case of the Iranian revolution, from the 1979 generation to the present, different media forms have been critical indicators of generational sensibilities-from graffiti, posters, faxes and other 'small media' (that characterized the early days) to work in feature film, television, and social media identified with the contemporary moment. This research included intensive participant-observation of pro-regime filmmakers and cultural producers in the Islamic Republic. The grantee conducted ethnographic research in editing rooms, in production meetings, and in distribution trips of pro-regime filmmakers, focusing on how card-holding members of Iran's paramilitary organization, the Basij, create media and train a younger generation of media makers.
Patterson, David Burch, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Ecological Niche Evolution in Homo and Paranthropus at East Turkana, Northern Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Rene Bobe
Preliminary abstract: The fossil record suggests that our genus, Homo, originated in eastern Africa around 2.4 million years ago (Ma), at which time our ancestors would have shared the environment with a closely related species, Paranthropus boisei. However, the record indicates that by 1.3 Ma the Paranthropus lineage went extinct and Homo had expanded outside of Africa. Although we understand they coexisted, we lack a relevant framework for testing hypotheses related to their ecologies during this period. The objective of this project is to use the quantitative methods of community ecology and stable isotope geochemistry to contrast the ecological niches of Homo and Paranthropus within a localized paleoecosystem. This study will use data collected directly from hominin localities and archaeological sites between 2 -- 1.4 Ma at East Turkana in northern Kenya to test a series of hypotheses related to the following research question: What role did ecological conditions play in the different fates of Homo and Paranthropus between 2 Ma and 1.4 Ma? This study will create the first high-resolution reconstruction of the niches of these two taxa and provide key insights into the mechanisms behind the survival of our genus on landscapes that witnessed the extinction of our close fossil relatives.
Erami, Narges, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on ' Crafting Bazaari Identity: Markets, Law, and Society in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Brinkley M. Messick
NARGES ERAMI, while a student at Columbia University in New York, New York, received funding in June 2001 to aid ethnographic research on identity and practices in the bazaari carpet industry in west-central Iran, under the supervision of Dr. Brinkley M. Messick. Erami addressed the ways in which bazaaris in the carpet trade maintained their status as traditionalists while partaking of modern commercial techniques, from transnational capital flows to state-of-the-art technologies and marketing strategies. Bazaaris had reportedly allied themselves with the ulama (religious leaders) who founded the Islamic Republic of Iran, but they also retained a special autonomy from the state and its clerical apparatus. Looking at bazaari social networks in three towns, Erami explored the autonomous commercial spaces staked out by contemporary bazaaris, from the workshops and offices where ancient practices of carpet-making met high-tech design to the labyrinthine urban bazaars and more 'modern' sites of mercantile activity. The subtle interrelations between merchants in the bazaar and other players in the chain of rug production and circulation-designers, cottage-industry laborers, and local and international buyers-were examined. Bazaaris in the post-Revolution carpet industry were found to have formed self-regulating alliances to monitor trade and mediate disputes in a local domain independent of the state's legislative and judicial institutions. In their negotiations with fellow merchants and with producers and consumers of their luxury goods, the bazaaris of the carpet trade strategically counterbalanced conceptions of trust and openness with secrecy and suspicion.
Tambar, Kabir, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford
KABIR TAMBAR, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford. Research examined the role of ritual in shaping the socio-political world of Alevis in Turkey. Over the past fifteen years, the Alevi community has witnessed what some commentators refer to as an 'awakening.' However, this communal awakening has not been consolidated through a single voice. Debate within the community has focused both on defining the fundamentals of Alevi religious structure and on defining the political location of the Alevi community in both state and society. By examining Alevi ritual life, this research project explores the community's diverse forms of institutionalization and its imbrication in the wider politics of secularism in Turkey. Research was conducted with Alevi communities primarily in two sites: Ankara and Çorum, Turkey. Both cities are located in central Anatolia, the former being the country's capital and the latter being a relatively small provincial town. This project focused on three Alevi institutions: 1) the Haci Bektas Anadolu Kültür Vakfi (HBAKV) in Ankara; 2) the HBAKV's branch organization in Çorum; and 3) the Ehli Beyt Vakfi in Çorum.
Johnson, Jessica Ann, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'The Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Washington State,' supervised by Dr. Ann Anagnost
JESSICA ANN JOHNSON, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'The Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Washington State,' supervised by Dr. Ann Anagnost. The research questions central to this dissertation project on same-sex marriage politics in Washington State are: How are moral and family 'values' deployed by both sides of marriage equality debates? How is the 'culture war' constructed by the media and identity-based activism? What do representations of a partisan divide elide concerning relationships between cultural politics and neoliberal transformations in the U.S. political economy? This year-long ethnographic investigation troubles accounts of an incommensurable ideological conflict over the legalization of gay marriage. Fieldwork in Seattle, Washington entailed conversations with leaders and members of gay rights activist groups, conservative evangelical churches, and progressive religious organizations. Through visits to church services and seminars on topics pertaining