Park, Seo Young, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Making Time in the 24-hour City: Gender, Labor, and Experiment in Seoul's Dongdaemun Market,' supervise by Dr. William Michael Maurer
SEO YOUNG PARK, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Making Time in the 24-hour City: Gender, Labor, and Experiment in Seoul's Dongdaemun Market,' supervise by Dr. William Maurer. This project investigates the ways in which time is experienced and produced by differently positioned subjects in the Dongdaemun Market in Seoul. By exploring the place-making and market-making practices that 'speed up' and also 'slow down' the time in the Market, this research aims to understand the contested emergence of 24-hour cities in Korea. A sprawling complex that encompasses assembly plants, wholesale stores, retail shopping malls, and entertainment centers, dongdaemun exemplifies the rapid transformation of Seoul. Once viewed as a place of arduous manual labor, Dongdaemun is now imagined as an attractive 24-hour operating space, where high-speed transnational production and consumption take place simultaneously. The grantee conducted 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Seoul, working with the market-making agents of Dongdaemun: factory laborers, designers, entrepreneurs, and NGO workers. By investigating their practices in and narratives of Dongdaemun, this study analyzes how intimate circuits unfold in their struggles over time, their working spaces, and their own creativity in various registers of garment making. The project suggests that it is not only the workers' intensive labor but also their bodily presence and intimate engagement with the clothes, people, and skills that materialize the 'speed' of production and circulation and yet contest the abstract notion of speed.
Kikon, Dolly, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Blurred Borders: Unsettling the Hill/Valley Divide in Northeast India,' supervised by Dr. James G. Ferguson
DOLLY KIKON, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Blurred Borders: Unsettling the Hill/Valley Divide in Northeast India,' supervised by Dr. James G. Ferguson. Hill and valley occupy a critical place in the development of anthropological theory of societies in the eastern Himalayan region. Constructions of social histories and political identities have followed colonially created categories of hill and valley since the nineteenth century, and differences between the topographic locations have been the basis of organizing territorial borders in the region. This is most pronounced in Northeast India, where federal units often have internal borders that mime practices of international borders and where postcolonial legislation has been grafted onto colonial systems of governance. The research objective is to study how hill/valley spatial categories continue to influence and sustain historically contentious borders, laws, and citizenship regimes in Nagaland and Assam in Northeast India.
Fong, Dr. Vanessa L., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Courtship and Wedding Rituals among Chinese Only Children'
DR. VANESSA L. FONG, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in November 2001 to aid research on 'Courtship and Wedding Rituals among Chinese Only Children.' Through the lens of courtship and wedding rituals, the grantee investigated the extent to which the radical demographic shifts caused by China's one-child policy have created new expectations about relationships between men, women, and their respective parents. Research looked at how singletons (only children) handled the conflicts and compromises involved in courtship and marriage after spending all their lives at the center of family life. It also looked at how parents dealt with marriages that could threaten the loyalties of their precious singletons, and how female singletons dealt with the patriarchal aspects of courtship and marriage traditions after growing up with all the rights and responsibilities traditionally reserved for sons. The grantee collected evidence about the roles, perspectives, and actions of participants at weddings, courtship and engagement rituals, the negotiations that occur during the planning of weddings, and the symbolic and monetary exchanges that take place before, during, and after the wedding. The grantee also spent time with other unmarried friends, learning about their courtship and engagement rituals, and asked people in the newlyweds' social circles about how their own weddings, and other weddings they have attended, were similar or different.
Fong, Venessa L. 2007. Paradise Redefined: Transnational Chinese Students and the Quest for Flexible Citizenship in the Developed World. Stanford University Press: Stanford.
Fong, Vanessa L. 2007. Parent-Child Communication Problems and the Perceived Inadequacies of Chinese
Only Children. Ethos 35(1): 85-127.
Fong, Vanessa L. 2004. Only Hope: Coming of Age under China?s One-Child Policy. Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA
Fong, Vanessa L.. 2004. Filial Nationalism among Chinese Teenagers with Global Identities. American Ethnologist 31(4): 629-646.
Anand, Dr. Nikhil, Haverford College, Haverford, PA - To aid research and writing on 'Infrapolitics: Public Systems and the Social Life of Water in Mumbai' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. NIKHIL ANAD, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2012 to aid research and writing on 'Infrapolitics: Public Systems and the Social Life of Water in Mumbai.' The book manuscript engages with the social and material relations that form around water pipes in Mumbai, India, to theorize processes through which citizens and states are made. Accordingly, the book draws critical attention to the diverse and durable processes of making 'hydraulic citizenship' -- forms of belonging to the city enabled and entailed by connections to the water network. It shows how hydraulic citizenship is borne out of diverse articulations between the technologies of politics (enabled by laws, elections, and policies) and the politics of technology (enabled by plumbing, pipes, and pumps). While much scholarship on neoliberal urban governance shows how settlers are displaced from rapidly expanding cities all over the world, Infrapolitics shows how marginalized residents are able to apply 'pressure' through relations that are at once technological and political, to draw water from pipes, and in so doing, make their lives possible in the city.
Anand, Nikhil. 2011.Pressure: The PoliTechnics of Water Supply in Mumbai. Cultural Anthropology 26(4):542-564.
Anand, Nikhil. 2012. Municipal Disconnect: On Abject Water and its Urban Infrastructures. Ethnography 13(4):487-509.
Anand, Nikhil, and Anne Rademacher. 2011. Housing in the Urban Age: Inequality and Aspiration in Mumbai. Antipide 42(5):1748-1772.
Webb, Martin, U. of Sussex, Brighton, UK - To aid research on 'The Social Life of Anti-Corruption in India,' supervised by Dr. Geert deNeve
MARTIN WEBB, then a student at University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'The Social Life of Anti-Corruption in India,' supervised by Dr. Geert deNeve. This project looks at the social life of anti-corruption activist networks in Delhi, India. These networks contain a wide range of people and groups, from the social elite of lawyers, activists, journalists and ex-military and civil service people working on high level policy issues, to some of the poorest in the city living in slums and doing the daily work of the 'community mobilizer' in activist groups that work in very specific localities. This social world provides a space in which to investigate how power relations based on class, caste, gender and education operate and facilitate the work that groups do, as well as providing an historical perspective through contact with older activists who had been involved in previous movements for ethical change. A focus on the relationships between these actors reveals how everyday life and livelihoods are caught up in a scene that connects urban slum dwellers to elite individuals and then on to national and international sources of funding that enable them all to continue to muddle through the work that they do.
Reisnour, Nicole Joanna, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Sounding the Immaterial: The Sonic Politics of Adat and Agama in Post-Authoritarian Bali,' supervised by Dr. Martin Fellows Hatch
Preliminary abstract: What happens when something invisible is made publicly audible? How do objects and practices that make the unseen perceivable mediate sociality in contemporary Bali? This project is an investigation of the religious and communal attachments that are produced, sustained, and transformed, through specific practices of making and manipulating sound. Through twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork--focusing primarily on the explicitly religious and customary use of bell towers (kulkul) and loudspeakers, but also considering a variety of musical and popular sound practices through which individuals and communities interact with, and intervene in, the immaterial world of spirits and the divine (niskala)--this study will pursue the following research questions: 1) What semiotic ideologies and affective sensibilities mediate engagements with sound in contemporary Bali?; 2) How do the specific material qualities of sounds contribute to their affective and semiotic agency?; and 3) How do sounds participate in negotiating the boundaries of adat (custom), agama (religion), and their various others (e.g. the modern, the secular, the state) in the post-authoritarian context? Ultimately, this study will provide insight into ongoing debates concerning the proper limits of religious and customary authority in Bali, which have been receiving renewed investment since the 1998 collapse of Suharto's New Order regime.
Lai, Lili, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
LILI LAI, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in June 2005 to aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. This dissertation project seeks to provide a better understanding of 'rural' realities in today's mobile Chinese society, through an ethnographic interrogation of daily practice, attitudes (at household, community, and county government levels), policy history, and local memory in Henan, China. It aims to demonstrate that the rural-urban distinction is a mobile, relative dyad and shows how at every point a person's (or place's, or practice's) 'ruralness' or urban sophistication is an intimate, local quality. This research project focuses on everyday social practice in order to gain insight into forms of embodiment and local cultural worlds, bringing together questions concerning everyday life, the body, and peasant status. The phase of the research funded by Wenner-Gren was conducted at two sites: a migrant community in northwestern Beijing from October to November 2006, and the village in Henan Province in December of 2006. The major concern at the Beijing site was how preparation for the 2008 Olympics affected the life of migrant laborers from Henan. The major questions were centered on the rural-urban (dis)interaction and more importantly, discourses about the peasants. And the major task at the village was to complete the village gazetteer project in collaboration with the village committee and concrete historical data on local production, education, consumption, transportation and construction to this gazetter were added through the archival research in the county seat and interviews with senior villagers.
Gill, Dr. Harjant Singh, Towson U., Towson, MD - To aid filmmaking on ''Sent Away Boys' - Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: 'Sent Away Boys' is a 30-minute documentary film that provides an intimate look at the gendered process of transnational migration as captured through the journey of a young Indian man named Pali moving from a village in Punjab to the urban metropolis of Toronto. Pali, like many of peers, does not see a secure economical future in India. His definition of being a successful man include being able to migrate and settle abroad, remit money home, sponsor the migration of other family members, and thereby acquiring the social and cultural capital associated with being a transnational migrant. While obtaining a visa to Canada is a celebratory occasion for Pali and his family, his departure is marked simultaneously by a sense of sorrow and loss as his parents make the incredibly difficult decision to send their son away. We see Pali leave his childhood home, his neighborhood and his German shepherd named Rocky behind, knowing that he will not return for many years. We see Pali's parents, driving him to the airport knowing that they will not see their beloved son for a while. Even though South Asian men enjoy the privileges that accompany being a man, the film reveals the tremendous pressure migrant men experience to live up to certain gendered expectations to be successful. 'Sent Away Boys' reflects on the journeys migrants undertake, the sacrifices families make, and the social and economic conditions that necessitate such decisions. It also shows how a particular geographical and cultural space is transformed when an overwhelming number of young men have left or aspire to leave.
Berthin, Michael Edwin, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'An Ethnographic Examination of Social Robots in Japan,' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti
MICHAEL BERTHIN, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'An Ethnographic Examination of Social Robots in Japan,' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti. This research project examined social robots in Japan. The question for this project was simply to ask, 'Can a robot be social?' This question is intended to be not only about robots themselves but also about the fundamental meaning of 'social.' First, fieldwork at robotics research laboratories showed that the motivations for roboticists usually fit into three broad categories: science for those who want to do basic research about topics such as human cognition or emotions; engineering for those who are interested in directly making practical and useful devices; and the 'cool factor' for those who are simply fascinated by robots or technology in and of themselves. Second, ethnographic research was done with people in wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are not like social robots in that people don't have dialogues with them, but they are also intimate machines in the sense that people rely on them and spend all their time in them. Further, people at the center rely heavily on helpers who assist in most daily tasks. This is a role roboticists envision for high-end social robots. The result of this research shows the relation between abstract reasoning in the lab and day-to-day life for people in wheelchairs.