To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at the Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal - Institutional Development Grant
Through a collaboration with Cornell University, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tribhuvan University aims to bring improve the theoretical and methodological training of Ph.D students and upgrade the credentials of current faculty who do not hold a Ph.D. The IDG grant will be used to upgrade the current curriculum, provide modest support for research, intensify international exposure and exchange and build up the library and electronic resources. Currently in Nepal, the research agenda in anthropology is frequently determined by NGOs and development agencies where many of the students and faculty gain their experience. The IDG will allow more freedom for the department itself to determine its academic concerns. A primary aim is to significantly improve the theoretical and methodological capacity of the anthropology department as apposed to applied/development anthropology, thereby allowing the department to be competitive and contribute internationally.
Zimman, Lal, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Talking like a Man: Identity, Socialization, Biology, and the Gendered Voice among Female-to-Male Transsexuals,' supervised by Dr. Kira Hall
LAL ZIMMAN, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Talking like a Man: Identity, Socialization, Biology, and the Gendered Voice among Female-to-Male Transsexuals,' supervised by Dr. Kira Hall. As a window into the relationship between gender and the voice, this study combines methods from linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics to analyze the changing voices of female-to-male transgender people. Fifteen trans men and others on the female-to-male identity spectrum were recorded in a variety of contexts during their first 1-2 years of hormone therapy. Testosterone, which is one of the most popular medical interventions among trans men, can spur dramatic changes in the larynx along with other so-called 'secondary' sex characteristics. By tracking changes in pitch as well as speaking style, this study underscores the intertwined nature of embodiment, socialization, and identity work, which may or may not be aligned in predictable ways. Trans men, who were raised in a female gender role but do not see themselves as women, clearly represent atypical combinations of physiology, early life socialization, and self-defined gender identity. With the marked biological changes that testosterone brings about, these trans speakers also demonstrate the diversity of speaking styles that can be perceived as male-sounding. Ultimately this study shed lights on the inextricable relationship between the body and social practice while simultaneously problematizing the notion that voices can be unproblematically categorized as 'female' or 'male.'
Hewlett, Dr. Christopher E., Charlottesville, VA - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Dr. Joanna Overing for archival deposit with the University Library at the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom - Historical Archives Program
Kramer, Elise Ann, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
ELISE A. KRAMER, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. It is a curious feature of contemporary American political debates that they tend to shade into arguments about censorship and freedom of speech. Moreover, these arguments often fit into a well-trod metapragmatic cycle: 'You're censoring me!' 'No, I'm not, and by saying I'm censoring you, you're censoring me.' Freedom of speech is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. The dissertation attempts to make sense of this apparent paradox by arguing that seemingly specific and localized arguments about censorship and silencing are actually one of the central organizing tools for a wide range of folk ideologies about power, language, representation, identity, and the shape of the social landscape. The project is based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork at a state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliate in the Bible Belt, supplemented by interviews with high-level staff at various political nonprofits in Washington, DC. Through the analysis of the language that these activists used in political and apolitical interactions, the dissertation unpacks the extraordinarily complex notion of 'censorship' in the modern multicultural state and demonstrates that its stakes are not only far-reaching but central to American political life.
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.
Salazar, Dr. Noel B., U. of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium - To prepare the complete correspondence and papers of the EASA Executive Committee for archival deposit with the Royal Anthropological Institute - Historical Archives Program
Institut Catala de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolucion Social (IPHES)
February 2, 2015
Carandell Baruzzi, Miquel, Barcelona, Spain - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Dr. Josep Gibert i Clos for archival deposit with the Institut Catrala de Paleontologia, Barcelona, Spain
U. of California, Irvine, CA, Mireshghi, Elham, PI - To aid research on 'Regulating the Kidney Market: An Ethnographic Investigation of the 'Iranian Model' for Paid Unrelated Kidney Donation,' supervised by Dr. Michael Montoya
ELHAM MIRESHGHI, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Regulating the Kidney Market: An Ethnographic Investigation of the 'Iranian Model' for Paid Unrelated Kidney Donation,' supervised by Dr. Michael Montoya. This research investigates the 'Iranian Model for Paid Non-related Kidney Donation,' the world's only religiously sanctioned and bureaucratically routinized policy for kidney sales. This project is about how despite broad moral uncertainty the policy has been developed and made to endure for over fifteen years. The results build on ethnographic research in hospitals and the Kidney Patient Foundation (KPF) that developed and implements the policy, as well as a diachronic analysis of the making of the policy, including interviews of kidney donors and patients, policy-makers, patient advocates, bureaucrats, urologists - and Shi'a jurists that have decreed permissive fatwas on organ sales. The first phase of this project consisted of extensive observation and interviewing at the KPF. By following the bureaucratic dynamics, the managerial tactics, and the movement (and stasis) of knowledge within the organization, it reveals the everyday processes that help kidney selling endure, despite the policy's conflict with the moral sensibilities of the many people involved. Furthermore, by ethnographically documenting encounters between kidney sellers, recipients, and staff, it reveals the ways in which each of these actors constructs an evolving fragmented ethics on kidney selling.
Fry, Dr. Douglas P., Abo Akademi U., Vasa, Finland - To aid workshop on 'Aggression and Peacemaking: Archaeology, Primatology, Nomadic Forager Studies and Behavioral Ecology,' 2010, Leiden U., Netherlands, in collaboration with Dr. Johan van der Dennen
Preliminary abstract: This interdisciplinary workshop will include perspectives from archaeology, primatology, nomadic forager studies, and human behavioral ecology. Findings from each of these disciplines pertain to the study of conflict management within an evolutionary framework. There are a number of disagreements and controversies about human aggression and conflict management within and between these disciplines. The approach in this workshop is to invite scholars with different perspectives and from different disciplines to explore areas of agreement and disagreement in a collegial manner. The time is ripe to bring together scholars with different theoretical orientations for constructive discussion and debate. The use of several methods will facilitate fruitful interaction: plenary talks followed by question-answer discussions, open discussions, small group discussion break-out groups, and moderated panel discussions on specific topics. Do the bodies of knowledge from these fields converge or diverge? What major conclusions about human aggression and conflict management can be drawn, at least provisionally, from an assessment of knowledge from these different disciplines? What do we know and what do we still need to know? How do evolutionary and behavior ecological perspectives contribute to understanding human conflict management and aggression? An edited book will be the final outcome.
Fry, Douglas P. (ed.) 2013. War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views. Oxford University Press: Oxford and New York.