Engelke, Christopher Robert, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity
CHRISTOPHER ENGELKE, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative: Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity. Current figures suggest that over 2 million Americans have a disability that compromises their speech intelligibility, requiring them to use a special form of assistive technology called augmentative alternative communications (AAC) devices in order to literally and figuratively have 'a voice.' This study examines the phenomena of embodiment, empathy, and intersubjectivity that manifest around the design and use of these augmentative communications devices by examining the ways in which individuals' embodied and ideological familiarities with the world are revealed in their engagements with these specialized communications technologies. By investigating the ways that able-bodied designers approach the task of developing AAC technologies, this study uncovers relationships between one's physical abilities, normative prescriptions for action, and the forms and limits of understanding others whose bodily abilities may be radically different from one's own. Moreover, by examining the ways that AAC users take up the features of their devices in everyday interactions, this study reveals the unique ways in which this technology is incorporated into bodily understandings of the 'self' and its location in the world.
Hall, Jennifer Lee, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Building Bridges: Language Ideology and Passerelle Literacy Education in Morocco,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
JENNIFER L. HALL, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Building Bridges: Language Ideology and Passerelle Literacy Education in Morocco,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. This dissertation research looks at mother tongue adult literacy education in Morocco through a case study of a new methodology called 'passerelle.' The grantee tested the hypothesis that passerelle -- by promoting Standard Arabic script as an ideologically neutral instrument for representing mother tongue languages -- presents an ideological conflict for learners and educators who may hold differing ideas as to the appropriateness of portraying traditionally oral languages in written form using Arabic script. Twelve months of comparative research was conducted on the ideologies of learners and educators in passerelle classrooms, in both urban and rural settings. The grantee observed that passerelle literacy educators tended to avoid utilizing mother tongue literacy activities in the classroom and instead relied on normative methods of Standard Arabic literacy teaching. They restricted the use of mother tongues languages in the classroom to oral activities and the use of Standard Arabic to writing activities, thus indicating that passerelle methodology did indeed present an ideological conflict. In contrast, most adult literacy learners did not express a similar ideological conflict and embraced opportunities to write in dialectical Arabic. This is partially due to the fact that many did not hold any preconceived notions about distinctions between oral and written Arabic.
McShane, Patrice McCrann, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Ethnic Insult as Conflict Prevention in Burkina Faso,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
Preliminary abstract: In this dissertation project, I will explore cultural beliefs about dakire, the exchange of ethnic insults in Burkina Faso. Dakire is highly theorized by Burkinabè people, who attribute many societal boons to it: the facilitation of candor in a deferential society; the minimization of inter-ethnic power differential; the catharsis of ethnic tension. Many Burkinabè people believe that dakire is key to the smooth functioning of society, and that it serves to prevent violence between ethnic groups. For these reasons, dakire is a point of local pride and salience. I suggest that ethnic jokers ideologically and semiotically reify concepts of 'ethnicity' and 'nation,' through interactional, linguistic practice. I will examine how different political movements have influenced modern beliefs about dakire. Although dakire has existed in Burkina since pre-colonial times, I hypothesize that its heightened salience is a new phenomenon. Dakire, in its modern conception, serves to unite ethnic groups into a network delineated by national boundaries, making it an attractive nation-building tool for the Burkinabè state. I also explore how dakire is motivated by an iconic relationship to kinship-based joking. This metaphorical extension of familial behavioral norms onto inter-ethnic behavioral norms reinforces the 'naturalness' of modern ethnic categories and inter-ethnic affiliation.
Shankland, Dr. David, Royal Anthropological Institute, London, UK - To aid RAI conference on 'Anthropology and Photography,' 2014, British Museum, London
Preliminary abstract: The aim of this conference is to bring together an international field from all the major branches of anthropology to consider the place, role and future of photography. It is motivated by the following underlying practical consideration. There is a flourishing sub-field of visual anthropology within social-cultural anthropology. Yet, in spite of this, photography has never been made the feature of a major associational congress. All anthropologists who undertake fieldwork, whether social-cultural, archaeological, or biological take photographs, yet they still frequently do not problematize this core part of their methodological practice. It is this contradiction that has led the Royal Anthropological Institute to make photography the theme for the second of its large biannual conferences. Methodologically, we would argue that, in sharing the different way that photography is contextualised across anthropology in the widest sense, it will be possible to encourage the study of photography and its manifold implications to become a mainstream topic, one that in itself can serve to start a wider discussion about the changing relationship between text, image and meaning across the respective anthropological disciplines and thereby help to bridge disparate practices through contributing toward a sustained, shared common anthropological discourse.
Bird, Dr. Elizabeth, U. of South Florida, Tampa, FL - To aid conference of SfAA on 'Global Insecurities, Global Solutions, and Applied Anthropology,' 2007, Tampa
'Collaborative Solutions to Global Insecurities: Challenges, Opportunities, and Potential'
March 27 - April 1, 2007, Downtown Hyatt Hotel, Tampa, Florida
Organizer: Dr. Elizabeth Bird (University of South Florida)
The grant supported a special session at the meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology. The panel focused on three ongoing international partnerships between research teams at the University of South Florida and collaborators in three countries - Honduras, Lesotho, and Ecuador. Each collaboration involves work on a pressing global issue - land use and cultural heritage; HIV/AIDS intervention; and the social impact of natural disasters. The session focused not on results but on the process of effectively building such partnerships, with participants sharing ideas and strategies with audience members. As well as the lessons learned from the discussion at the event, all three teams agreed that the session acted as a catalyst to park ideas, and has had a significant role in taking all three to another level of effective collaboration, with several major grant proposals resulting.
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthroplogy at University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia - Institutional Development Grant
The aim of the Institutional Development Project is to support development of a regional doctoral program in social and cultural anthropology in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The project will bring together four universities, three of which have already entered into a collaborative framework for the implementation of tertiary level education through establishment of the Baltic Graduate School in 2008.
Hanna, Dr. Judith L, Bethesda, MD - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC - Historical Archives Program