Luong, Dr. Hy Van, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada - To aid workshop on 'Anthropology in Vietnam,' 2007, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
'Anthropology in Vietnam'
December 15-18, 2007, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Organizer: Hy Van Luong (University of Toronto)
This international workshop was co-organized by the University of Toronto and the National University of Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), with funding from the Ford and Wenner-Gren Foundations. It was the largest international forum for anthropologists working on Vietnam to date, attracting 77 anthropologists from 15 countries, and 66 Vietnamese ethnologists and anthropologists from all institutions of training and research in Vietnam. This conference took place in the context of unparalleled growth in anthropological research on Vietnam since the 1990s. The meeting was organized around three objectives: 1) to provide an important forum for intellectual exchange among scholars working in different traditions of inquiry; 2) to put anthropological research in Vietnam in a broader comparative perspective through the discussion of papers by senior anthropologists working in other geographical areas and by non-anthropologists working on Vietnam; and 3) to stimulate further research and curricular developments in Vietnamese ethnology and anthropology, especially as Vietnamese researchers seek to expand their training to include North American and Western European models
Mitsuhara, Teruko Vida Hodado, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Multilingual Childhoods in Mayapur, West Bengal: Peer Group Socialization of Bengali and Immigrant Children,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs
Preliminary abstract: The proposed project investigates children's multilingual language practices and ideologies in Mayapur, West Bengal, India. In this newly formed transnational religious village, children of diverse national, ethnic, and class backgrounds maintain their heritage languages while learning several others. Mayapur is the home to practitioners of Gaudiya Vaishnavism from Asia, the Americas, and Europe, who have come here to build their spiritual homeland and temple for Krishna together with local Bengali devotees. Their children interact frequently across linguistic and cultural boundaries and develop multilingual competencies in languages such as Bengali, English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, and Sanskrit. Through ethnographic observation of peer group interactions in the neighborhood, temple, school, and home, and interviews with parents, teachers, and community leaders, this project examines how circular migration and language contact mediated by religious and linguistic ideologies affect children's language practices and competencies. It asks what factors contribute to informal language learning of several languages and why the children do not shift towards a common lingua franca. Ultimately, the proposed study addresses a broader question of how multilingualism is encouraged and achieved while developing a sense of community. It aims to broaden anthropological understandings of the relation between a religious community and a speech community, looking at how a religious ideology can forge common ground across diverse racial, ethnic, and class, immigrant and resident populations in the Global South.
Morey, Dr. Stephen, La Trobe U., Melbourne, Australia - To aid '3rd Workshop of International Consortium for Eastern Himalayan Ethnolinguistic Prehistory: Evolution of a Diversity Hotspot at the Heart of Asia,' 2017, in collaboration with Dr. Mark Post
Preliminary abstract: The Eastern Himalayan region (EH) is the epicenter of cultural and linguistic diversity in mainland Asia. Despite its importance, comparatively little is known about its many peoples and languages. This situation is starting to change as more scholars are conducting ethnographic and descriptive-linguistic research in this region. The International Consortium for Eastern Himalayan Ethnolinguistic Prehistory (ICEHEP) was founded to bring together anthropologists and linguists conducting basic empirical research in the EH, to share data and develop approaches to the reconstruction of regional prehistory: how did cultural-linguistic diversity in the EH evolve, and what are its implications for our understanding of the cultural-linguistic history of broader Asia? The proposed workshop will considerably expand our disciplinary focus by bringing in paradigm-shifting anthropologists such as James Scott and Roger Blench, historical linguist and population geneticist George van Driem, the world's leading scholars of comparative Sino-Tibetan linguistics Scott DeLancey and David Bradley, and native speaker ethnolinguists Yankee Modi and Karma Tshering and PhD students currently engaged in primary fieldwork along the Indo-Myanmar borderlands. This workshop will lay the theoretical and empirical foundations of ethnolinguistic research in the EH region, from interdisciplinary, intercultural, and intergenerational perspectives, in the shape of a field-defining volume of papers.
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.
Osborne, Dana Marie, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Negotiating the Hierarchy of Languages in Ilocandia,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton
DANA M. OSBORNE, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Negotiating the Hierarchy of Languages in Ilocandia,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton. Situated in contemporary Philippines, this project explores the social, linguistic, and cognitive impacts that changing language policies have had on speakers of one of the most spoken minority languages in the country, Ilocano. In the massively multilingual milieu of the Philippines, language policies have defined languages appropriate for school (and citizens)-in 1974, the Bilingual Education Policy (BEP) declared Filipino and English to be the national and official languages respectively and all minority languages to be auxiliary or 'transitional.' The Department of Education finally determined the BEP to be a failure and began to selectively reintroduce the mother tongue in schools to bridge growing gaps between speakers of minority languages and those with native command of Filipino. In this way, language is a salient sign of enduring national struggle and it is the foremost stage on which the complexities of social participation, belonging and identity are negotiated. This project examines the ways that young Ilocanos negotiate languages with a special focus on the social semiotic practice of spatial language among speakers to determine the strength and directionality of any language change undergirding contemporary language practices.
Pakendorf, Dr. Brigitte, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany - To aid research on 'Linguistic and Genetic Perspectives on the Prehistory of the Yakuts,' supervised by Dr. Bernard Comrie
Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2007. Contact in the Prehistory of the Sakha (Yakuts) Linguistic and Genetic Perspectives. LOT: Netherlands
Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2007. From Possibility to Prohibition: A Rare Grammaticalization Pathway. Linguistic Typology 11:515-540
Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2007. Mating Patterns Amongst Siberian Reindeer Herders: Inferences From mtDNA and Y-Chromosomal Analyses. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133(3):1013-1027
Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2007. The ‘Non-Possessive’ Use of Possessive Suffixes in Sakha (Yakut). Turkic Languages, 11(2): 226-234
Pakendorf, Brigitte, Innokentij N. Novgorodov, Vladimir L. Osakovskij, and Mark Stoneking. 2007. Mating Patterns amongst Siberian Reindeer Herders: Inferences from mtDNA and Y-Chromosomal Analyses. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133(3):1013-1027.
Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2005 Language Loss vs Retention in result of Prehistoric Migrations in Siberia: A Linguistic-Genetic Synthesis. In Creating Outsiders: Endangered Languages, Migration, and Marginalization, (N. Crawhall and N. Ostler, eds.), Foundation for Endangered Languages: Bath, England.
Pakendorf, Brigitte, I.N. Novgorodov, V.L. Osakovskij, et al. 2006. Investigating the Effects of Prehistoric Migrations in Siberia: Genetic Variation and the Origins of Yakuts. Human Genetics 120:334-353.
Paulson, Jr. David, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Writing in the Margins: Indigenous Literacy, Childhood Socialization, and Rapid Modernization in a Vietnamese Village,' supervised by Dr. Paul Garrett
Preliminary abstract: Since the 1986 economic reforms, language-education policy in Vietnam has undergone unprecedented change in the interest of 'developing the nation' by 2020 (Taylor 2001). Robust financial and institutional investments have been made in support foreign languages, while far less have been devoted to the indigenous languages of ethnic minorities (Djité 2011). As a result, ethnic Cham minorities have been left to contend with maintaining their spoken language and literary traditions as they are routinely devalued in the ideological climate of 'modernity' (Harms 2011). Drawing on ethnographic observations of Cham-, Vietnamese-, and foreign-language literacy classrooms, as well religious temples, homes, and other spaces where these languages are used, the present research examines the socialization experiences and everyday language practices of Cham ethnic-minority children as they transition into mainstream Vietnamese education. Through an investigation of both informal and institutionally organized interactions, this study analyzes how participation in indigenous, national, and international literacy practices index different senses of cultural citizenship (Rosaldo 1997), which, in turn, inform Cham minority children's complex sense of belonging within, and their meaningful intergenerational engagement with, the language and culture of their parents amid Vietnam's post-socialist transformation. This investigation reveals how indigenous children cultivate fluency in the culturally organized use of multiple literacies in this context, and how the Vietnam's rapid development informs experiences of childhood, transforms everyday language practices, and affects the vitality of minority languages in the 21st century.
Prentice, Michael Morgan, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Restructuring Corporations From Below: The Re-emergence of Hierarchy among South Korea's Conglomerates,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Hull
MICHAEL M. PRENTICE, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Restructuring Corporations from Below: The Re-emergence of Hierarchy among South Korea's Conglomerates,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Hull. This project (retitled 'Valuing Employees, Evaluating Performance: Technical and Textual Dimensions of Office Labor in South Korea') investigated how the social identities and organizational values of office workers were defined within a situated office setting. As democratically driven workspaces with flatter structures and open environments proliferate, such ideals contrast with notions of highly technical meritocratic or performance-driven systems. In South Korea, previously military-esque, large-scale organizations are giving into demands for both more democratic and more meritocratic working environments. Wenner-Gren support funded research into how Human Resources (HR) employees in Korea grapple with these twin challenges, as they hone methods and metrics for encouraging greater communication while calculating employee value. This project highlighted the technical and textual dimensions by which these ideals worked into practice. For HR workers, office democracy does not exist in an abstract sense, but comes to be worked out through negotiations over surveys, feedback forms, training sessions, and group meetings. Evaluation, too, became a site for debating the intricacies and paradoxes of measuring abstract office labor. By focusing on a large corporation in South Korea, this research contributes to the anthropology of non-Western capitalist organizations and office labor. It sheds new insights into how technical and textual forms of communication interact and mediate forms of organizational social life, ultimately showing how worker value (through the expression of a voice) and worker performance (through surveys, forms, and records) co-exist in complex assemblages.
Pritzker, Dr. Sonya Elizabeth, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Language of Personal Experience in China: Examining New Forms of Self-Oriented Chinese Medicine'
DR. SONYA E. PRITZKER, University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in April 2014 to aid research on 'The Language of Personal Experience in China: Examining New Forms of Self-Oriented Chinese Medicine.' This project was a multi-sited ethnographic study examining the emergence of a new language of personal experience in China, specifically in the context of innovative forms of 'self-oriented Chinese Medicine' or 'integrative psychologically oriented Chinese medicine' (IPOCM). Data, including observation, interviews, and audio/video recording of doctor-patient interaction, were collected in Beijing at two major clinical field sites where IPOCM is practiced. Findings from this study suggest that the language of personal experience in contemporary China, along with the development of IPOCM, is truly a co-constructed product of interaction. Findings also demonstrate that the translation of western psychological material in IPOCM and China more broadly can be understood as an instance of 'living translation,' in which specific encounters serve as micro-ethnographic instances in which the meaning of specific terms are made and remade in an ongoing stream of embodied interactions that are themselves mediated by various ideologies of language and personhood. Preliminary analysis thus suggests that shifting combinations of familiar and strange semiotic registers, which include both linguistic and non-linguistic features, restructure the theories and practices of CM, as well as the subjective experience of participants, in an ongoing stream of interaction.