Green, Elizabeth Mara, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks
ELIZABETH MARA GREEN, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in May 2009, to aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks. An estimated 5,000-15,000 deaf people in Nepal are Nepali Sign Language (NSL) users and participants in an urban-centered, national deaf community. In contrast, the majority of deaf Nepalis -- some 190,000 according to one frequently quoted figure -- never learn, or even encounter, NSL. Without access to a shared language, these deaf people, along with their hearing interlocutors, develop localized gestural systems to communicate. The researcher conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Kathmandu, the capital, and Maunabudhuk, a village in the east, with local signers. The findings suggest that local sign is both like and unlike communication that occurs when using a standard language; while both rely on conventions, the former has a much smaller and less stable repertoire, such that it is characterized not only by successes but also by frequent misunderstandings and a very tightly-bound relationship to social and interactional context. The dissertation will explore more fully how deaf local signers and their hearing family members, neighbors, and friends draw on shared personal experiences, tacit social knowledge, and the material landscape to produce meaningful signs and meaningful lives.
Martineau, Katherine Boulden, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Valuing Language in a Free Press: Language Ideologies, Intellectual Properties, and Liberalism in Indian Newspapers,' supervised by Dr. Edward Webb Keane
KATHERINE BOULDEN MARTINEAU, then a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in May 2007, to aid research on 'Valuing Language in a Free Press: Language Ideologies, Intellectual Properties, and Liberalism in Indian Newspapers,' supervised by Dr. Edward Webb Keane. With the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, this research explored relationships between understandings of language and economic value in print news media production in eastern-central India since economic liberalization. Through participant-observation, interviews, and media analysis, the grantee looked at production practices across English and Oriya language media production sites. In thirteen months of research in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar, contrary to what was expected, the grantee found very little variation in ways of producing and talking about producing news texts across Indian-language and English-language news media production sites, despite strong local sentiments of Oriya's distinctive capacities. It was discovered that both English and Oriya news production rely on the reproduction and circulation of generic textual components, which is reflected in the distribution of much writing labor across several individuals. The resulting dissertation explores the economic strategies, professional ideals, legal codes, political scandals, and social worlds that have wrought news production practices in contemporary Bhubaneswar, and how, like the news stories themselves, these linguistic practices have become a means for reckoning Bhubaneswar's relationship with the rest of the world.
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.
Engelbrecht, Dr. Beate, Institute for Scientific Research, Goettingen, Germany - To aid conference on origins of visual anthropology: putting the past together, 2000, IWF- Institute for Scientific Film, in collaboration with Dr. Rolf Husmann
Kattan, Shlomy, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid 'Language Socialization and Language Ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez
SHLOMY KATTAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Language Socialization and Language ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez. This multi-sited ethnography examines language socialization, linguistic ideologies, and identity practices amongst families of Israeli emissaries and their young children, following their transition from Israel, through their residence in New York, and until their return to Israel after two years. During the first funded year of research, observations, interviews, and audio and video recording have been carried out in both countries at home and in school. In-home observations capture the methods used to socialize children to being bilingual, record family conversations about Israel and New York, and document changes in participants' language use. In-school observations document changes ininteractional practices between the focal children, their teachers, and peers. Observations document how focal children enter into and form social groups, how they negotiate their position as language learners and as non-locals, and how they utilize their changing linguistic skills. The data provide empirical support that the transition and socialization of the children are negotiated across sites, and illustrate how such negotiations take place across the sites. Socialization practices are not positivistic or objective, but rather derive rom participants' changing ideologies vis-à-vis children's abilities in English and Hebrew, as well as their perceptions of the children's fluctuating needs in those languages.
McComsey, Melanie, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Bilingual Spaces: Socialization to Spatialized Practice in Spanish and Juchitán Zapotec,' supervised by Dr. John B. Haviland
Preliminary abstract: How do bilingual children conceptualize and verbalize spatial information relative to monolinguals, and how are they socialized to particular spatialized practices? This project will address this central question, exploring spatial language use among a particular group of bilingual children, the effects of language contact on their communication about space, and the implications of these effects for language change. The research will take place Juchitán, a city of 71,000 people located in Oaxaca, Mexico, where residents are mostly bilingual speakers of Spanish and the local indigenous language, Juchitán Zapotec. Some scholars, however, have argued that Juchitán has begun a process of language shift from Zapotec to Spanish. In light of these claims, I hypothesize that the competing language systems of Spanish and Zapotec will be associated with competing gestural-conceptual systems. Furthermore, I hypothesize that young bilingual speakers of Spanish and Zapotec will be socialized to use their gestural-conceptual system in different ways--relating acts of spatial orientation to the physical and interactional context differently--and that this will have implications for the children's communicative competence in each language. This project will employ a combination of participant observation associated with 'microethnography' and elicitation tasks derived from linguistics and cognitive science. This theoretical intersection of spatial language, bodily communication, and bilingual acquisition represents a burgeoning area of research that is wide open for original, creative scholarship, but that nonetheless is rooted in many of the core questions about language, thought, and culture long of fascination to linguistic anthropologists.