Tavel, Aviva Mintz, Indianapolis, Indiana - To aid preparation of the personal research materials and film collection of Jerome Mintz for archival deposit with the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Suitland, Maryland
Floyd, Dr. Simeon I., Max Planck Inst., Nijmegen, Netherlands - To aid workshop on 'The Grammar of Knowledge Asymmetries: 'Conjunct/Disjunct' Alignment from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective,' 2011, Boulder, CO, in collaboration with Dr. Lila San Roque
Preliminary abstract: Knowledge is negotiated in speech according to specific norms of interaction and grammar. 'Conjunct/Disjunct' (C/D) alignment systems are an under-studied grammatical expression of such negotiations. Verbs are marked as 'conjunct' in first person statements or in second person questions, and as 'disjunct' in other situations, picking out the participant with the highest epistemic authority. C/D systems have been described for languages of the Himalayas, the Caucasus, Andean South America and Highlands New Guinea, but have not yet been well-studied in cross-linguistic perspective. C/D systems are relevant for theories of social cognition: the morphology reflects the exchangeability of viewpoint with others, a topic that is currently being taken up as 'intersubjectivity' in linguistic and evolutionary anthropology, as well as in interaction studies. This workshop will bring together for the first time specialists working in four geographic areas where C/D alignment is attested to form a scholarly community, address conceptual and terminological divides between specific regional traditions and build towards a cross-linguistically viable framework for further work. A focus on C/D forms in interaction will highlight their relevance for social behavior more broadly, allowing this emerging area of linguistic typology to contribute to research on the social organization of intersubjective knowledge.
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.
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.