Enfield, Dr. Nicholas James, Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands - To aid workshop on 'Dynamics of Human Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia,' 2009, Siem Reap, Cambodia, in collaboration with Dr. Joyce Carol White
'Dynamics of Human Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia'
January 7-10, 2009, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Organizers: Nicholas Enfield (Max Planck Instittute, Nijmegen) and Joyce White (University of Pennsylvania Museum)
This four-field meeting brought together an international group of linguists, social/cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and physical/biological anthropologists, to address the following question: What is the nature of human diversity in mainland Southeast Asia, and how did it come to be this way? The focus of discussions was restricted spatially to
mainland Southeast Asia (centrally, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Malay Peninsula) and temporally to the Holocene (the last 11,000 years). Drawing upon exciting new developments in all sub-fields of anthropology in this area, scholars from different disciplines came together to update one another on the states of their respective arts, as well
as to identify new syntheses and new agendas for interdisciplinary research. Issues of homeland of ethnolinguistic groups, and of timing of migrations (especially of the Asian groups of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand, and more generally the Austroasiatic language family), were illuminated by considering different kinds of evidence from the most recent
research in historical linguistics, archaeology, and especially the latest results from bioarchaeology and genetics. None of the biggest questions were definitively solved, but the meeting succeeded in bringing all participants further along in the search for solutions, as well as forging some new scholarly relationships with the potential for future interdisciplinary collaborations.
Enfield, N.J. 2011. Linguistic Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia. In Dynamics of Human Diversity: The Case of Mainland Southeast Asia. Pacific Linguistics. School of Culture, History and Language. College of Asia and the Pacific. The Australian National University: Canberra.
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.
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.
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.'
Jacobs, Sue-Ellen, Ohkay Owingeh, NM - To aid preparation of personal research materials for deposit with Special Collection University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA, and National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, MD - Historical Archives Program
Levi, Dr. Margaret, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid workshop on 'Anthropological Epistemology and Cross-Cultural Metacategories,' 2015, Stanford U., in collaboration with Dr. Howard Morphy
Preliminary abstract: The aim of the workshop is to generate reflective discourse on anthropological epistemology. The workshop has both pragmatic and exploratory objectives, building on the theme of cross-cultural/cross-temporal meta-categories in the context of anthropology as interdisciplinary environment for research into human society. Historically anthropology has implicitly created meta-categories for a discourse that encompass different but synergistic ways of thinking about things and acting in the world -- art, aesthetics, gender, family, household, law, property, mind, and so on. The cross-cultural and/or cross-temporal meta-category is dialogic. It exists between different local categorizations, yet simultaneously strives to encompass difference. Recently a tension has developed anthropology between theoretical perspectives which focus on the problematization of boundaries and the dissolution of categories and those earlier perspectives which attempted to develop cross-cultural meta-categories in order to understand the diversity of human societies and the nature of regional trajectories. This workshop has the potential to influence future directions by reflecting on the terminologies employed and the perspectives that lie behind them and placing them in the context of the history of the discipline and the dialogical nature of the relationships with the subjects of their research.
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