Hittman, Dr. Michael, Brooklyn, NY - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with Special Collections, Univesity of Nevada Libraries, Reno, NV - Historical Archives Program
Merlan, Dr. Francesca C., Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Marie Reay for archival deposit with the Archives of the Australian National University - Historical Archives Program
Schieffelin, Dr. Bambi Bernhard, New York U., New York - To aid workshop on 'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models,' 2008, New York U., in collaboration with Dr. Joel Robbins
'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models'
April 9-12, 2008, New York University, New York, New York
Organizers: Bambi Schieffelin (New York University) and Joel Robbins (University of California - San Diego)
This workshop brought together cultural and linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists to develop theoretical positions on the causes, types, and nature of linguistic and cultural change. In these fields, issues having to do with contact and transformation have become central. Yet for all the discussion of globalization, modernity, hybridity, syncretism, and the like, there is still little sustained theoretical work on the topic of change itself. Invited scholars -- all of whom focus in their empirical work on different kinds of change processes and dynamics (religious, political, economic, and linguistic) -- presented a range of theoretical explanations. Cultural anthropologists most often attended to the endurance of tradition or the nature of mixture. Linguistic anthropologists examined the role played by language(s) and their ideologies in social and political change, while sociolinguists focused on languages in contact and the role of variation in change. In synthesizing the strengths of these fields, participants came to appreciate what each could offer as contributions toward the development of integrated theories of cultural and linguistic change.
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina - Institutional Development Grant
The Museum of Anthropology of Córdoba, Argentina, supported by the IDG of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, will develop a doctoral program to prepare professionals for research and academic education in Anthropological Sciences, with specialized training in the three classic sub-areas of research: Social Anthropology, Archaeology and Bioanthropology. The Museum will also benefit from collaborations with the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology of the University of Kansas, the Department of Anthropology of the University of Wyoming and Postgraduate Program in Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil the Museum.
The Doctoral program will focus on intensive theoretical and practical training to produce professionals who will be able to undertake independent research projects, exercise leadership of scientific research teams, communicate their research results, and teach at the university. It is hoped that through this program the students will also acquire various experiences in diverse academic contexts and form external relationship which will open possibilities for exchange and dialogue with other anthropologists, while generating their own future networks. It is hoped that this would impact positively on their education and in their personal and institutional performance.
The existence of a Postgraduate Program in Anthropological Sciences at Córdoba opens up the possibility of continuity in the training of graduate students and their integration into the teaching and research activities. This in turn will provide more opportunities for graduates of other neighboring Argentina provinces, where there is no such possibility of postgraduate training. This also will extend the possibilities of bringing the practice of anthropology to non academic realms, responding to a continuous growing demand in the region.
Kulick, Dr. Don, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Dying Language that Didn't Die: 20 Years Later in Gapun, PNG'
DR. DON KULICK, New York University, New York, New York, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'The Dying Language that Didn't Die: 20 Years Later in Gapun, PNG'. Research followed up original research conducted in the late 1980s studying a small Papua New Guinean village called Gapun and of the isolate vernacular language, Taiap, that is spoken only there. Eight months of fieldwork in 2009 revealed that Taiap is still spoken in Gapun, but it is dying. The total population of fluent and semi-fluent speakers is about 60. Villagers in their early 20s and younger continue to understand the language, and can even produce it when asked to by a visiting anthropologist. But they do not use Taiap in any context. Fieldwork has resulted in enough material to analyze the dynamics of the language death in the village, and to write a dictionary and grammar of Taiap. Research also focused on how the young people who can speak some Taiap produce versions of the vernacular that are regularized, simplified, and etiolated. This material will allow analysis that charts the grammatical disintegration of a Papuan language. A further study of how women who were children in the 1980s socialize their children to use language will be able to address the question of whether or not language socialization patterns endure across generations.
Minks, Amanda, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Expressive Practices and Identity Formation among Miskitu Children,' supervised by Dr. Aaron A. Fox
AMANDA MINKS, while a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Expressive Practices and Identity Formation among Miskitu Children,' supervised by Dr. Aaron A. Fox. In the past thirty years, Miskitu Indians have migrated in increasing numbers from mainland Nicaragua to Com Island, off the Caribbean coast. This migration has transformed the social and political landscape of the island, which, since the nineteenth century, has been populated primarily by English-speaking Creole people. Also transformed are the expressive and socializing practices of Miskitu islanders. The aim of the research supported by Wenner-Gren was to document the repertoires of Miskitu children's expressive practices across a range of contexts, providing a lens on shifting processes of socialization among peers and across generations. The term expressive practices encompasses a range of interrelated communicative activities (musical, linguistic, and kinetic) approached from the perspectives of style, performance, and poetics. The imagination is key not only in terms of children's play activities, but also in terms of developing social imaginaries that construct ties among people across time and space. Children were observed in formal socializing contexts, such as the school and the church, as well as the informal contexts of home and outdoor play spaces. Audio recordings of children's interaction were transcribed in collaboration with Miskitu consultants, and interviews were conducted with adults dealing with topics such as migration histories, gender roles, socialization practices, religion, and labor. This research attempts to make connections between the large-scale political and economic forces that are radically changing Com Island's social structure, and the small-scale interactions in which children are socialized - and socialize one another - in a multilingual, culturally diverse environment.