To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at Universite d'Etat d' Haiti, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Institutional Development Grant
Through primary partnerships with the University of Kansas (KU) and Teachers College, Columbia University (TC), the State University of Haiti (UEH) will implement an ethos of productivity to establish a fully functioning doctoral program that will facilitate student and faculty training as well as research. This will be accomplished by a) increasing the number of Ph.D.
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.
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.
Berlin, Dr. Overton Brent, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid preparation of the personal research collections of Brent and Elois Ann Berlin for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, MD - Historical Archives Program
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.