Fattal, Alexander L., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Guerrilla Marketing: Information Warfare and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels,' supervised by Dr. Kimberly Susan Theidon
ALEXANDER L. FATTAL, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Guerrilla Marketing: Information Warfare and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels,' supervised by Dr. Kimberly Theidon. This research, which builds on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Colombia and five months in Sweden, explores the counterinsurgency in Colombia through a detailed study of the Program for Humanitarian Attention to the Demobilized (PAHD) within the Colombian Ministry of Defense, the everyday lives of former insurgents, and the way the PAHD partners with an advertising firm to sell its program to current rebels and update the image of the Colombian armed forces. This dissertation argues that the assemblage of the individual demobilization policy in Colombia and its media dimensions seeks to radically rebrand the Colombian counterinsurgency as humanitarian, and elide its abysmal human rights record. At stake in the Colombian government's efforts is the very definition and future of demobilization as a peace-building policy, as well as a greater understanding of how war and capitalism intertwine in contemporary civil wars.
Vento, Melanie, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Evolutionary Perspectives on the Emergence of Chronic Metabolic Diseases in an Amazonian Bolivian Population,' supervised by Dr. William R. Leonard
MELANIE VENTO, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Evolutionary Perspectives on the Emergence of Chronic Metabolic Diseases in an Amazonian Bolivian Population,' supervised by Dr. William R. Leonard. This research among the Tsimane' builds on recent findings to shed light on why transitional populations may experience greater risk of obesity and chronic disease under conditions of rapid social change. The recent finding that inflammation -- an immune process stimulated by both infection and obesity -- is integral to cardiovascular disease (CVD) suggests that individuals in transitional populations (experiencing both pathogenic physical environments and weight gain) will face a double burden of harmful inflammatory stimuli, placing them at greater risk for CVD. Furthermore, for developing populations, the joint effects of under-nutrition and high infectious disease load in childhood may contribute to both small body size and depressed metabolic rates leaving adults particularly at risk for the development of obesity and associated chronic disorders when exposed to a more urbanized diet and lifestyle. This study integrates these perspectives to test a novel model for the role of population adaptation in the rise of chronic disease under conditions of social change. Adopting the developmental origins of health and disease framework, which recognizes the importance of early life adaptive physiological changes to a predicted future environment, the research investigates the roles that diet, activity, metabolism, and inflammation play in chronic disease risk when increased market exposure leads to shifts in nutritional status across the life course. More specifically, the study examines: 1) how greater market integration is associated with adult weight gain and chronic disease risk; 2) the role of adiposity, infection, and pathogenicity on inflammation (C-reactive protein levels); and 3) whether the combined influence of poor early nutritional environments (indicated by leg length), low metabolism and small size place Tsimane' at greater risk for obesity and CVD in adulthood.
Karis, Timothy Daniel, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Home and Hanoi: Migration, Native-place, and Urban Citizenship in the Red River Delta,' supervised by Dr. Suzanne A. Brenner
TIMOTHY KARIS, then a student at the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, received funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Home and Hanoi: Migration, Native-Place, and Urban Citizenship in the Red River Delta,' supervised by Dr. Suzanne A. Brenner. This research aimed to explore the economic, social, and symbolic connections maintained by Hanoians to native-places (que huong) in the Red River Delta, targeting: 1) the roles of native-place networks in supporting urban migration among citizens lacking legal rights in the city; 2) the operations of 'hometown associations' (hoi dong huong) currently proliferating in Hanoi; and 3) practices of 'returning home' to native villages for events, holidays, and ceremonies. Based on formal and informal interviews and travels between city and countryside, findings demonstrate the substantial and ongoing importance of native-places among both 'unofficial' urban migrants trying to access the necessities of urban life (work, housing, education) absent state support, as well as long-term residents of Hanoi interested in maintaining ancestral identities. Findings also show how native-place relationships change over time: recent migrants reported more material interdependence with rural villages and networks of kin and friends in Hanoi, while established urbanites reported more symbolic relationships based on ritual obligations and organized forms of benefaction.
Osborn, Michelle Ann, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ghetto Governance: An Urban Ethnography of Chieftaincy in Kenya's Kibera Slum,' supervised by Dr. David Pratten
MICHELLE A. OSBORN, then a student at the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'Ghetto Governance: An Urban Ethnography of Chieftaincy in Kenya's Kibera Slum,' supervised by Dr. David Pratten and Dr. David Anderson. By linking together historical analysis with political ethnography, this study explores the evolution of the Provincial Administration within Kibera and examines the role of chiefly authority within the slum's socio-political landscape. Today Kibera is characterized by a political pluralism, in which local chiefs, who are representatives of the central government, struggle to maintain power and legitimacy alongside competing non-state authorities, such as youth gangs and vigilantes. This ethnographic account is positioned within the space that exists between the bureaucratic office of the chief and the streets of Kibera. Within this space contestations and negotiations over local authority routinely intersect with the everyday practices and politics of chiefs. This study considers how such encounters affect both local governance and the daily lives of the urban poor. Drawing from literature on urban and political anthropology as well as studies of chieftaincy, the anthropology of the state, and global slums, this research contributes to our understanding of how local governance and urban chieftaincy operate and affect the lives of the urban poor within one of the sub-Saharan Africa's largest slums.
De Lucia, Kristin, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel
KRISTIN DE LUCIA, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel. This project investigated domestic units in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico, to understand how households articulated with local and regional economies. This research takes a microscale approach using microartifact and soil chemistry analysis of floors to examine the everyday practice of individual households during the growth of Xaltocan from a small settlement into a regional capital. Horizontal excavations were conducted to document change in the organization of activity areas, household production, and social organization as Xaltocan grew into a regional center. In addition, consumption choices were examined to better understand household participation in market exchange. Preliminary findings suggest that rather than working cooperatively, households specialized in different aspects of production, selling their products for profit on the market. By employing diversified production strategies, households were able to obtain both ordinary and luxury goods through the marketplace, contributing to Xaltocan's economic growth. At the same time, a strong emphasis on social continuity and household ritual through time highlights the importance of household reproduction and social memory. In sum, by analyzing patterns of daily interaction, including the organization of household space, production activities and ritual, a better understanding of broader patterns of change and development in ancient societies can be gained.
De Lucia, Kristin. 2010. A Child's House: Social Memory, Identity, and the Construction of Childhood in Early Postclassic Mexican Households. American Anthropologist 112(4):607-624.
Swank, Heidi F., Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Textbooks and Grocery Lists: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in the Everyday of Dharamsala, India,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay
HEIDI F. SWANK, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in January 2001 to aid research on 'Textbooks and Grocery Lists: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in the Everyday of Dharamsala, India,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay. Through an analysis of seemingly inconsequential writings, such as text messages and grocery lists, this study examined how Tibetan refugee youth in Dharamsala, India utilize written language to negotiate boundaries and inclusion across and within three communities of practice that are based primarily on nativity. This study contributes to work that challenges theories of social reproduction through education and the primacy of spoken language, respectively, by demonstrating that 1) despite a change to Tibetan-medium education youth chose to write primarily in English in everyday situations and 2) although results of a sociolinguistic survey of 214 Dharamsala resident demonstrate uniform use of spoken Tibetan at home, the majority of Tibetan youth use English in everyday writing. Not only does this study support work that questions the influence of the educational system on language, but it extends this work by examining specifically written language, in particular, multilingual writing practices that diverge significantly from spoken language practices across this community.
Howes-Mischel, Rebecca Ella, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
REBECCA E. HOWES-MISCHEL, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received an award in May 2007 to aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Outlining the connections between rural Oaxaca and urban, southern California with research on a indigenous community that is simultaneously and intensely local and transnational, this dissertation analyzes the intimate and public domains of knowledge mobilized in the production of reproductive selves. Drawing together these micro and macro-level lenses, it offers a framework for analyzing the biomedical models that circulate within clinical, community, and transnational narratives-illustrating how the social valences of medical practice are integrated into the production of social actors across multiple contexts as they in turn are shaped by national and international discourses. Moving between hospital and community-based ethnography, this dissertation analyzes: 1) how subjects are produced through biomedical encounters (including subsequent talk generated about these encounters); 2) how populations (as ideational categories) are formed in the nexus of national health policies and women's bodily practices; and 3) how research might approach the practices of modern self-making across a transborder indigenous community. It looks at the 'spaces in-between,' where women create syncretic notions of personhood and incorporate 'traditional' practices into neoliberal health models. This project uses reproduction as a lens into larger projects of subjectification via complicated and value-laden frameworks for 'good' mothering at the individual, community and transnational level.
Mora, Mariana, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Contentious Governance: Zapatista Indigenous Juntas de Buen Gobierno and State Multiculturalism in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale
MARIANA MORA, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Contentious Governance: Zapatista Indigenous Juntas de Buen Gobierno and State Multiculturalism in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale. Dissertation fieldwork, conducted from January 2005 to August 2006, examined the cultural politics of the Zapatista indigenous autonomy movement after a decade of social struggle for indigenous rights claims and for resource redistribution in Chiapas, Mexico. Research sought, firstly, to identify the extent to which Zapatista practices of autonomy effect material practices and indigenous identity formation in ways that differ from those practices of a neoliberal multicultural Mexican state; and secondly, to map how Zapatista cultural politics shape the production of subaltern indigenous political subjectivities. Contrary to the majority of largely text-based research on Zapatista politics, ethnographic data collected suggests that the practices and meaning of Zapatista indigenous autonomy are an effect of current state governing techniques, but also pose a challenge to state forces by generating decolonizing self-making practices. Both state policies targeting Mexican indigenous populations and practices of Zapatista autonomy encourage social actors to take responsibility for insuring their well-being. Similarly, expressions of Zapatista resistance and hegemonic forces struggle over the (re)production of social life, where the political is inseparable from socio-economic and cultural elements. However, research demonstrates that Zapatista political practices destabilize: the current ethnic-racial ordering of the Mexican nation-state; relationships between current capitalist logics and definitions of democracy; and how gendered constructs reproduce dichotomous understandings of indigenous and non-indigenous 'traditions.'
Mora, Mariana. 2007. Zapatista Anticapitalist Politcs and the 'Other Campaign': Learning from the Struggle for Indigenous Rights and Autonomy. Latin American Perspectives 34(2):64-77.
Chavez Arguelles, Claudia, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Legal Truths and Otras Justicias:Indigenous Peoples' Search for Justice in a Culture of Impunity,' supervised by Dr. Shannon Speed
Preliminary abstract: In the present context of state violence in Mexico, how is the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) constructing the legal Truth when judging crimes against indigenous peoples in which the state is involved? What is the significance of the politics of testimony for how indigenous peoples are re-conceiving their struggles in relation to the indigenous rights' discourse? Focusing on how the 1997 Massacre of Acteal, Chiapas, has been processed through the SCJ and the recent outcomes of this case, my research proposes to conduct an ethnographic analysis on how the Mexican state is constructing its political and legal project for indigenous peoples through the decisions of the SCJ; its effects in the ways indigenous communities organize around autonomous projects of justice outside the realms of state power; and the relation between the intervention of scholars, lawyers, grassroots organizations and human rights activists in the case of Acteal with the advance of U.S. legal imperialism. This study will illuminate how the mechanisms of the production of Truth around cases of state violence and counterinsurgency are capable of generating new indigenous political identities, and will reveal the competing interests and epistemologies that constitute the politics of testimony within cultures of impunity.