Venkat, Bharat Jayram, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Paradoxes of Giving: The Business of Health in the Indian AIDS Crisis,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence M. Cohen
Preliminary abstract: The last fifteen years have witnessed a renaissance of philanthropic giving reminiscent of the early twentieth century. In India, much of this philanthropic work centers on the funding of AIDS treatment programs. This new generation of philanthropists, however, has combined the ethics of charitable giving with the principles of business, under the popular new banner of 'philanthrocapitalism.' This emergent model of philanthropic giving has become a driving force in reshaping the terrain of HIV/AIDS interventions in India, but has received little scholarly attention in studies of medical governance. Through an ethnography of the decision-making practices of these philanthropies, my research examines how practices of business become central to the workings of philanthropic giving for AIDS-related interventions. Furthermore, this study investigates how categories of health and illness are translated into and reformulated within this business framework. This work challenges the divide in the anthropological literature between gift-giving and economic exchange, arguing instead that 'philanthrocapitalism' offers a synthesis of these seemingly antithetical transactional modes. Fieldwork with philanthropic organizations in Delhi and a government agency and hospital in Chennai will provide a broad picture of the multiple scales at which decisions related to AIDS treatment are formulated within this novel paradigm. Through an ethnographic approach, this work moves beyond formal analyses of policy to provide a broader picture of the actual practices through which decisions are made, policies are crafted and funding is distributed.
Park, Jun Hwan, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK - To aid research on 'Economic Crisis and Ritual Revival: The Case of Urban Popular Religion in Seoul, Korea,' supervised by Dr. Heonik Kwon
JUN HWAN PARK, then a student at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, was awarded funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Economic Crisis and Ritual Revival: The Case of Urban Popular Religion in Seoul, South Korea,' supervised by Dr.Heonik Kwon. Money plays an important role in the relationship between the living and the dead in contemporary South Korea. In shamanistic ritual practices in particular, money notes are one of the principal means of making and reshaping relationship between the living actors and the various supernatural identities invited to the ritual. In this context, money contributes not only to connecting the two ontologically distinct groups of beings but also to changing their relationships. The reception of money may transform ghosts to ancestors; the absence of money may mean, for an ancestor, that its status becomes close to that of a ghost. With the act of offering money, the living may feel that they have paid relevant tribute to ancestors and, thus, feel freed from guilt of not strictly participating in their ritual obligations. The research explores the powerful presence of money in religious norms and practices of modern South Koreans, partly in historical perspective, paying attention to the history of industrial modernisation in the past decades and also drawing upon ideas about money and monetisation of social relations in existing sociological theories.
Khanduri, Dr. Ritu, U. of Texas, Arlington, TX - To aid research and writing on 'Caricaturing Culture: Cartoons, History, and Modernity in India' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. RITU KHANDURI, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2010, to aid research and writing on 'Caricaturing Culture: Cartoons, History and Modernity in India.' During the fellowship tenure, the grantee completed the manuscript, revising chapters and incorporating new research completed in 2009 and 2010. The manuscript is currently under review.
Fly, Jessie Kimmel, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Unnatural Disasters: Coping Strategies and the Legacy of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta,' supervised by Dr. Ted L. Gragson
JESSIE K. FLY, then a student at University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Unnatural Disasters: Coping Strategies and the Legacy of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta,' supervised by Dr. Ted Gragson. Much of the recent literature on strategies for coping with food insecurity emerges from communities with subsistence-based economies and highlights the importance of a diversity of resources, or 'capitals,' from which households can draw to procure food. This research project, conducted over a one-year period from 2007 to 2008, sought to understand how people cope with food insecurity in a rapidly changing natural and economic environment. The research focused on three coastal hamlets in Tra Vinh, Vietnam, that were swept into world shrimp markets in the late 1990s. Now, with aquaculture crops failing, mixed messages from the government about environmental conservation, the rising costs of inputs, and the falling price of shrimp, many households find themselves coping not only with regular seasonal food shortages but also with mounting debt and variable access to the necessary resources to cope with those food shortages. This project used a combination of ethnographic methods, including oral-history interviews, livelihoods surveys, and a weekly food frequency survey that captured data on dietary diversity and household methods of food procurement, in order to document changing coping strategies across space and time.
Anand, Nikhil, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'The Social Life of Water: The Limits of the Commodity and its Neoliberal State,' supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta
NIKHIL ANAND, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Social Life of Water: The Limits of the Commodity and its Neoliberal State,' supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta. The research focuses on the political ecology of urban infrastructures, and the social and material relations that they entail. Through an ethnography of 'The Social Life of Water' in one of Mumbai's many informal settlements, the grantee follows the anxious arrangements that informal residents made to get water, and the tenuous ways in which they established themselves as deserving urban citizens. Through eighteen months of fieldwork, Nikhil situated himself in one of Mumbai's many informal settlements to learn of the diverse social arrangements that residents made to get water. He also worked with city water engineers to understand the ways in which state functionaries responded to the petitions of the poor. Through conversations, interviews, and site visits, he learned of the ways in which they see themselves and the work of water supply. This research urges an attention to the ways in which informal residents petition and request community volunteers to mobilize the city's water department to carry out public works. Mobilizing social relations, the poor have made some measured urban gains over the last two decades. Such political practices are not those of rights-bearing citizens, but instead of a very personal, compromised politics that have been enabled by representational democracy and its leaky state.
Waterson, Dr. Roxana, National U. of Singapore - To aid conference on 'Asia-Pacific Childhoods: New concepts and networks for Asia-Pacific child researchers,' 2006, National U., in collaboration with Dr. Brenda Yeoh Saw Ai
'Asia-Pacific Childhoods: New Concepts and Networks for Asia-Pacific Child Researchers.' July 17-20, 2006, Natuional University of Singapore. Organizer: Dr. Roxana Waterson, National University of Singapore. The Asia-Pacific Childhoods Conference welcomed around 100 participants from 31 different countries across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. It was held on the NUS campus, and was generously funded by: NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Asia Research Institute, and Asian Metacentre for Population and Sustainable Development Research; SEASREP Foundation; Wenner-Gren Foundation; UNICEF; UNAIDS; Oak Foundation; Como Foundation; Lee Foundation. Participants represented a range of disciplines including anthropology, sociology, geography, psychology, education, social work, and medicine, as well as researchers, activists and practitioners with NGOs, policymaking bodies and donor agencies. The aim was to foster new research on concepts of childhood and children's experiences in Asia-Pacific communities, moving away from Eurocentric perspectives. Three plenary sessions on themes of particular regional importance - research methods and ethics; education; and adolescents and risk (especially in the context of HIV/AIDS) - were combined with four specialist symposia: 1.) The everyday lives of children in Asia-Pacific; 2.) Children, citizenship and policy in Asia-Pacific; 3.) Change and continuity in Asia-Pacific childhoods; and 4.) Violence and children in Asia-Pacific. There was also a session on 'Ethics, Children and Film'; a committee meeting of the IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences), several participants being members; and a variety of spontaneous meetings between participants who had discovered shared interests. A very high level of positive energy carried through even to the closing session after an intense four days of interaction. Wenner-Gren Foundation support enabled a significant number of anthropologists to attend this meeting.
Reeves, Dr. Madeleine Frances, U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid workshop on 'Rethinking the Political in Central Asia: Perspectives from the Anthropology of the State,' 2009, Buxton, UK, in collaboration with Dr. Johan Rasanaygam
'Rethinking the Political in Central Asia: Perspectives from the Anthropology of the State'
September 14-16, 2009, Buxton, United Kingdom
Organizers: Madeleine Reeves (University of Manchester) and Johan Rasanaygam (University of Aberdeen)
Designed to bring ethnographic research in Central Asia into long-overdue conversation with recent political anthropological debate on the state, this workshop had two specific aims. First, by attending ethnographically to the various ways in which the 'state' in Central Asia is practically enacted, morally navigated, remembered, invoked, and contested in daily life, the meeting sought to question the categorical distinctions that inform much regional scholarship: between 'state' and 'society,' between 'strong' and 'weak' states, between states that are 'failed' and those that are functioning. Second, the workshop sought to bring Central Asian ethnography into broader comparative debate about everyday state formation in recent theoretical anthropology. This region has been largely absent from the rich stream of edited collections that have reinvigorated the ethnography of the state in the last decade. This is despite the fact that the states of Central Asia, which
emerged from the collapsing Soviet Union with few of the prerequisites for 'independence,' provide a wealth of ethnographic material for comparative anthropological debate. By bringing together scholars of Central Asia with four
discussants whose work has been seminal in reframing theoretical debate on the state, the workshop worked to enrich regional scholarship and to advance the comparative potential of political anthropology.
Kwon, JongHwa, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Green Dreams: Development, Climate Change, and Making Carbon Markets in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Frederic C. Deyo
JONGHWA KWON, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Green Dreams: Development, Climate Change, and Making Carbon Markets in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Frederic C. Deyo. This ethnographic research to situate carbon markets of Korea in terms of a community of experts, calculative devices, and the entangled networks of legislative performance makes the following conclusions. First, when a market is saturated with institutional uncertainties -- caused by such factors as political precariousness, lack of comprehensive legal policies on property rights, or just simply its early stage of development -- the success, or the functionality, of a market heavily depends on the availability of diverse modes of valuation and the flexibility of involved agents to coordinate those heterogeneous valuation processes. Second, the speculative nature of carbon markets -- a preemptive practice that brings 'possible' futures into the present -- is key to its consistent dominance in climate-change discourse nowadays. In South Korea this speculative aspect is also closely related with conjuring up tales of economic development in the past to render historical anticipations. Finally, the dichotomies between market abstraction and cultural/social value quantification and qualification (both virtual and real) are not suitable for understanding the dynamics of contemporary market processes. Since carbon markets constantly reform and produce social and economic meaning to environmental crisis through market transactions, looking at how market objects and actors are simultaneously inserted into and abstracted from the social relation is crucial.
Gilbert, David, E., Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Continuity and Change in Sumatran Tropical Forest Farming,' supervised by Dr. William H. Durham
Preliminary abstract: Tropical rainforests are being restructured around the world: the ways they are conserved, organized for commodity-production and the kinds of livelihoods they provide are all changing. Yet contrary to many scholars' predictions, these social and ecological transformations have not resulted in the disappearance of forest-farmers. In many cases they have instead persisted, accompanied by remarkable, and often overlooked, processes of forest maintenance, regrowth and expansion. Stanford University doctoral candidate, David Gilbert, advised by Dr.