Shakow, Dr. Miriam N., Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research and writing on 'States of Discontent: Patronage, Liberalism, and Indigenous Democracy in Bolivia' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. MIRIAM N. SHAKOW, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2010 to aid research and writing on 'States of Discontent: Patronage, Liberalism, and Indigenous Democracy in Bolivia.' This monograph narrates the surprising dilemmas of new middle classes in central Bolivia as they participate in and respond to the rise of a left-wing indigenous movement and party. Over the past decade, Bolivians have been at the forefront of movements for indigenous autonomy and against free market economic policies. The recent success of 'new left' parties in Latin American countries marked by longstanding social and economic inequalities, such as Bolivia, raises important questions about political change. How do people re-think their identities as citizens after the election of indigenous leaders? How are political ideals and practices affected by the rapid turnover of state regimes and ideologies? Following the election of Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous President, first-generation professionals in central Bolivia wrestled earnestly with how to distinguish their identity from those of their 'Indian' and 'peasant' parents, cousins and neighbors-and their new President. By tracing everyday dilemmas of class, racial, and political identification from 1995 to present in the central Bolivian municipality of Sacaba, States of Discontent highlights the unexpected hybridity of radicalism and neoliberal political practices. The book also traces Bolivians' attempts to reconcile conflicting social and political ideals of equality, upward mobility, and middle class distinction.
Falls, Dr. Susan Elizabeth, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA - To aid research and writing on 'White Gold: An Ethnographic Account of a Breast Milk Sharing Network' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: White Gold is an ethnographic account of a breast milk sharing (BMS) network in the southern United States. Women have shared milk for eons, but, here, the meanings of capitalism, technology, motherhood, and risk are negotiated through an emerging practice in which donors and recipients connect through social media. My research was partly autobiographical because of my own involvement within the network, but that was only the starting point. The center of my account is based on narratives gathered through formal interviews: donors, doulas, medical professionals, and other donees are equally represented. My analysis is situated within cross-cultural comparisons, and understood within the historically shifting attitude about milk. I show that sharing milk, 'white gold,' seen as a scarce, valuable, and even magical substance, is a mode of enacting parenthood, gender, and political values. I argue that BMS represents a powerful, and empowering, counterpublic: those of like minds about parenting, but not necessarily other issues, commune, adding new textures to the body politic. I show that BMS simultaneously advances and reproduces some of the very capitalist values it seeks to resist. Ultimately, I argue that BMS is a successful decentered network, providing a sustainable mode of community-making between strangers. During the fellowship, I will complete the manuscript that I have partially drafted.
Venkatesan, Dr. Soumhya, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research and writing on 'Crafting Discourse: Mat Weaving in Pattamadai, South India' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. SOUMHYA VENKATESAN, of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in December 2002 to aid research and writing on mat weaving and the discourse surrounding the craft in Pattamadai, India. From January 2003 to January 2004, Venkatesan conducted research in South India among Muslim mat weavers, exploring issues relating to Islam and the craft object. She wrote up the results of the research in a manuscript for publication as a monograph, with the working title Transformative Words: 'Craft,' 'Development,' and the Worlds of Indian Artists. Aspects of the research were also to be published in a paper entitled 'Making Gifts Matter,' in a volume edited by Ssorin-Chaikov and Sosnina.
Venkatesan, Soumhya. 2006. Shifting Balances in a 'Craft Community:' The Mat Weavers of Pattamdai, South India. Contributions to Indian Sociology 40(1):63-89.
Venkatesan, Soumhya. 2009. Craft Matters: Artisans, Development and the Indian Nation. Orient Black Swan: New Delhi.
Halemba, Dr. Agnieszka E., U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research and writing on 'Contemporary Religious Life among the Telengits - Landscape, Movement and Knowledge' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. AGNIESZKA HALEMBA, of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, received a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in August 2002 to aid research and writing on the contemporary religious life of the Telengits, an ethnic group of Altaians living in the Republic of Altai in the Russian Federation. In addition to three articles and several conference papers, she prepared a book titled Knowledge in Motion: The Anthropology of Landscape, Knowledge, and Religion among the Telengits of Altai, which received preliminary approval for publication by Routledge. Based on an in-depth study of one group of Altaians, the book addresses theoretical questions raised by the interaction of different kinds of knowledge, particularly in the context of state intervention in religion. Halemba demonstrates how the idea of national unity as expressed in state ideology influenced the reshaping of spiritual knowledge among the Telengits. Her work is situated amid recent anthropological discussions of religion and identity in socialist and postsocialist contexts. Her analysis of Telengit spiritual life serves as a window onto their contemporary political situation, concepts of power and agency, and processes of institutionalization. She proposes new theoretical paradigms regarding local knowledge practices and provides unique ethnographic material.
Kanaaneh, Dr. Rhoda, American U., Washington, DC - To aid research and writing on 'In the Name of Insecurity: Arabs in the Israeli Military' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. RHODA KANAANEH, American University, Washington, DC, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctural Fellowship in May 2004, to aid research and writing on 'In the Name of Insecurity: Arabs in the Israeli Military.' The Hunt Fellowship allowed the grantee to complete a book manuscript currently titled, 'On the Edge of Security: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military.' The manuscript looks at a small group of mostly men arguing that aIthough the percentage of these soldiers in the population is miniscule, the ways in which they operate at the margins of their communities and the state shed light on the community and state as a whole. The experiences of these controversial soldiers, how they negotiate their positions, and the ways in which they are accepted, integrated, and marginalized, form a powerful vantage point from which to understand citizenship, identity, ethnic conflict, class and gender in Israel. In addition, the grantee completed two new articles based on this research.
Kanaaneh, Rhoda. 2008. Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military. Stanford University Press: Stanford, California.
Kanaaneh, Rhoda. 2005. Boys or Men? Duped or 'Made?': Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military. American Ethnologist 32(2):260-275.
McNeal, Dr. Keith Eugene, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research and writing on 'Ecstasy in Exile: Spirits and Transculturation in the Southern Caribbean' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. KEITH E. McNEAL, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2008 to aid research and writing on 'Ecstasy in Exile: Spirits and Transculturation in the Southern Caribbean.' Ecstasy in Exile is a comparative historical ethnography of the convergent globalization and colonial transculturation of African and Hindu traditions of trance performance and spirit mediumship in the southern Caribbean, as well as their divergent political fates in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago's era of postcolonial multiculturalism. It utilizes a methodology of controlled comparison in order to investigate the history of Atlantic capitalism and related modernization of ritual traditions more usually thought of as 'primitive' and hardly 'modern.' The study is the first to explicitly compare and contrast Afro- and Indo-Caribbean materials in a systematic and multi-dimensional manner. It therefore makes a fresh and innovative contribution to Anthropology, Religious Studies, and the Historiography of Modernity. Ecstasy in Exile not only charts the subaltern cultural histories of originally West African and South Asian ritual traditions in the West Indies, but also shows how they have become modernized - privatized, individualized, psychologized - and progressively more similar to one another as a result of congruent structural experiences in the Caribbean. In turn, the analysis considers the very different politicization of each tradition in relation to the postcolonial crisis of nationalism and competing alter-nationalist politics of diaspora.
Ahmadu, Dr. Fuambai Sia, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD - To aid research and writing on 'Female Initiation and Excision: Cultural and Global Health Contexts of Mandinka Ritual' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. FUAMBAI SIA AHMADU, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2010, to aid research and writing on 'Female Initiation and Excision: Cultural and Global Health Contexts of Mandinka Ritual.' This monograph provides a detailed description and analysis of female initiation/excision among Mandinka women in the Gambia and connects this rich and unique ethnographic data with broader cross-disciplinary discussions on this topic in feminist, human rights, and global health discourses. Part One builds on and advances anthropological theories of female circumcision. In particular, it demonstrates how ritual constructs sex, gender, and gendered ecological and political domains of power as well as heteronormativity. Importantly, Part Two of this book addresses one of the most vexing problems in contemporary debates in anthropology: whether and where anthropologists can draw the line of cultural relativism especially concerning the rights of vulnerable groups, usually women and children. This book has a practical applicability to global health policies that promote the reproductive health and psychosexual well-being of girls and women. It offers constructive criticism and alternative approaches to zero-sum anti-FGM laws and policies as well as advances more evidence-based strategies that would preserve the cultural dignity and autonomy of affected girls and women. This book makes an important and long awaited contribution to multidisciplinary scholarship on female circumcision by providing a thorough insider as well as outsider perspective of the experiences of affected African women.
Porter, Dr. Natalie Hannah, U. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH - To aid research and writing on 'Viral Economies: An Ethnography of Bird Flu in Vietnam' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: Viral Economies narrates the story of avian influenza in Vietnam. At this center of viral threats, pandemic control efforts are attracting multinational investment and expertise while sparking controversies over how to contain viruses in commercial and laboratory spaces. In this book I trace several bird flu interventions from their inception in transnational research and policy arenas through to their implementation in poultry farming communities. Throughout the analysis, I use 'viral economies' as a heuristic for understanding the political economies of pandemic planning. I suggest that viral economies are characterized by contested entitlements to the tools and devices of biosecurity - including pathogen samples, poultry vaccines, gene sequences, and antiviral therapies. In developing an ethnographic perspective on the economies surrounding viruses, I argue that the story of avian flu in Vietnam is not a simple one of dispossession from South to North, local to global. Instead, this manuscript reconsiders the direction of resource flows in pandemic planning, and signals emerging tensions between the resolutely 'public' ethos of global health and the increasingly proprietary devices of biosecurity. The book thus invites a consideration of property as a means to theorize contemporary knowledge and value production in the global life sciences.
Bugarin, Dr. Flordeliz T., George Washington U., Washington, D.C. - To aid research and writing on 'The Archaeology of Trade: Economic and Cultural Changes on the South African Xhosa Frontier' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
Shaw, Dr. Susan Judith, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research and writing on 'Identity, Community and the Governmentality of Primary Health Care in the U.S.' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. SUSAN J. SHAW, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2007 to aid research and writing on 'Identity, Community and the Governmentality of Primary Health Care in the U.S.' As local governments and organizations assume more and more responsibility for ensuring the public health, identity politics play an increasing yet largely unexamined role in public and policy attitudes towards local problems. Governing How We Care: Contesting Community and Defining Difference in U.S. Public Health Programs analyzes local struggles over community health as a window onto the diverse meanings of governance, citizenship, and identity formation. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted between 1998-2004 in urban Thornton, Massachusetts, this book places community health -- a critically understudied area -- at the center of analyses of contemporary transformations in governing. The work opens to analysis those bodies of knowledge and collective decisions