Joffe, Ben Philip, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'White Robes, Matted Hair: Tibetan Renouncers, Institutional Authority, and the Mediation of Charisma in Exile,' supervised by Dr. Carole Ann McGranahan
Preliminary abstract: What is the relationship between institutional authority and religious power in Tibetan exile? My research focuses on how the charisma and legacy of Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche, the former official weather controller of the Tibetan exile government - are being institutionalized and mediated in exile following his death. Ngagpa (m) and ngagma (f), are non-celibate, professional Buddhist renouncers who specialize in esoteric ritual traditions. Simultaneously existing in and straddling lay and monastic worlds, they reside in a shifting third space of accommodation and resistance to mainstream structures. With the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950, Tibetan refugees in India have struggled to make a sovereign nation legible and legitimate in exile, and to rebuild political and social institutions away from home. The once de-centralized religious traditions of virtuoso ngagpa/mas are now being preserved in durable institutions, fixed in texts, and taught increasingly to foreigners. Researching Yeshe Dorje's institution in India and its resident ngagpa/mas, I examine how the politics of ritual power are playing out in exile communities. Using ngagpa/mas' charisma as a lens through which to explore unfolding politics of reform in diaspora, I show how the forging of cultural coherence in exile involves both creativity and contradiction.
Dattatreyan, Ethiraj Gabriel, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Central Peripheries: Migrant Youth, Popular Culture, and the Making of 'World Class' Delhi,' supervised by Dr. John L. Jackson Jr.
PROVIDE A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PROJECT IN PLAIN ENGLISH (UNFORMATTED -- WITHOUT BULLETS OR NUMBERED LISTS -- 200 WORD MAXIMUM).
India's economic liberalization has spurred a tremendous influx of migrants to India's city centers, from near and far, in search of new livelihoods (Fernandes, 2006; Searle, 2010). Delhi, for instance, has nearly tripled in population since the early 1990s due to in-migration (censusindia.gov, 2011). These migrants, like migrants around the world, strive to adapt to their new surroundings by producing themselves in ways which make them socially, economically, and politically viable (Glick-Schiller et al, 2006; Vertovec, 2011). My project examines how recent international and intranational immigrant youth -- Nepalis, Sikkimese, Assamese, and Nigerians -- who have come to Delhi to partake in its economic possibilities and, in some cases, to escape political uncertainty, are utilizing globally circulating popular cultural forms to make themselves visible in a moment when the city strives to recast its image as a world class destination for roaming capital (Roy, 2011). I focus on one super diverse (Blommaert, 2012; Vertovec, 2007) unauthorized settlement community in South Delhi to explore the citizenship making claims of immigrant youth who, to date, have been virtually invisible in academic and popular narratives of the city. Specifically, I follow 30 ethnically diverse young people from this settlement community as they engage with hip hop, a popular cultural form originating in Black American communities in the 1970s (Chang, 2005; Morgan, 2009). As hip hop's music and its practices gain popularity amongst youth in Delhi from across a wide spectrum of class and ethnic positions, I will trace how these migrant youth utilizing its styles and its globally reaching networks to fashion themselves and, perhaps, their settlement community as part of a world class urbanity in the making.
Truitt, Allison, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Open Doors: The Appearance of Money in Urban Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. John Borneman
ALLISON TRUIT, while a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in April 2001 to aid research on 'Open Doors: The Appearance of Money in Urban Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. John Borneman. Like currencies in other socialist countries, the Vietnamese dong has suffered numerous crises of confidence from inflation in the 1980s and then its devaluation in the 1990s. Although people prefer to hold U.S. dollars or gold in reserve, they insisted that the dong be used in everyday exchanges. How reforms of Vietnam's economy may be engendering new ways of thinking about money and its place in society, especially in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi, was the basis of this project. This project drew upon ethnographic inquiry and semi-structured interviews. It investigated how people construct money's mediums -- Vietnamese dong, gold, and U.S. dollars and even spirit offerings -- as vehicles for meanings and associations other than mere market valuation. It then documented individual and social efforts to master what Simmel called the negative trait of money in different functions such as everyday exchanges, ritual practices, and gift exchanges. Through interviews with government officials, bankers, employees in overseas remittance companies, and petty traders, it then examined transformations in institutional techniques that seek to govern money. Finally, it sought to understand how money mediates the imaginary and symbolic integration of Vietnam into the 'world at large.'
Pandian, Dr. Anand Sankar, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Framing Feelings: Landscape and the Production of Affect in South Indian Cinema'
DR. ANAND SANKAR PANDIAN, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded a grant in October 2008, to aid research on 'Framing Feelings: Landscape and the Production of Affect in South Indian Cinema.' The project was anchored in an ethnography of filmmaking practices, working with diverse film technicians on location in studio sets and outdoor environments, as well as in production offices, post-production studios, and other settings of cinematic production. With the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the grantee was able to lay the groundwork for this ethnographic work, to focus closely on the process of releasing one Tamil popular film in 2010, and to work closely with leading industry figures in the fields of editing, composing, art direction, and visual effects. Investigating the influence of cultural dispositions and commercial pressures, the aesthetic visions and imaginations of individual filmmakers, and the productive techniques by means of which places and other material elements are imbued with feeling, the project has revealed affective expression in this milieu as a matter of unforeseen emergence, concerning not only the subjective intuitions of Indian filmmakers but also the vitality of the worldly environments in which their images arise.
Keimig, Rose Kay, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Growing Old in China's New Nursing Homes,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Inhorn
Preliminary abstract: How do elders, families, and caregivers negotiate new forms of institutionalized eldercare in contemporary China? The one-child policy of the late 1970s has given rise to stark demographic imbalances today, and has stimulated an increase in demand for residential care facilities. The proposed project is one of the first to ethnographically explore how experiences with elderly institutionalization in China are mediated by pluralistic medical systems, changing moral worlds, and shifting demographics. The proposed research will be conducted in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China. Using a combination of participant observation and interviews with staff, residents, and families of institutionalized and non-institutionalized elders, this study aims to show how people are grappling with the everyday challenges of new forms of eldercare. The wide range of research methods and informants will provide a rich account of how the broader themes of biomedicalization, kinship, and urbanization map onto the aging experience in contemporary China. By showing how aging is experienced, caregiving decisions are made, and family responsibilities are reworked in institutional settings, this research seeks to illuminate areas for policy interventions that will make the demographic transition easier for future caregivers, elders, and families in China and around the globe.
Fernando, Wiroshana Nuwanpriya Oshan, U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'The Effects of Evangelical Christianity on State Formation in Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hancock
OSHAN FERNANDO, then a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, was awarded a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Effects of Evangelical Christianity on State Formation in Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hancock. Funding supported twelve months of research in Sri Lanka with the objective of studying the effect of evangelical Christianity on the formation of the developmentalist, post-colonial state. Ethnographic research was carried out in Tissamaharama, a town in southern Sri Lanka central to hegemonic formations of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, the power base of a Marxist political party, and also the location of a burgeoning evangelical Christian church. Data were collected through participant observation, the collection of life-history narratives, and archival research. Initial analysis of the data shows that people's everyday practices are infused with religious meaning in the context of their conversion to evangelical Christianity, a process which also greatly influenced their political decision making. Furthermore, the cultural framework acquired by people as they accommodated an evangelical Christian discourse conflicted with the role they were expected to play as animators of the state's Sinhala-Buddhist agrarian vision of modernity, showing that state-formation and political agency need to be understood in the context of locally-situated cultural processes.
Wang, Jun, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research and writing on 'A Life History of Ren Yinggiu: Historical Problems and Mythology in Chinese Medical Modernity' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
JUN WANG, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in June 2004 to aid research and writing on, 'A Life History of Ren Yinggiu: Historical Problems and Mythology in Chinese Medical Modernity.' This book aims to answer three related questions: What makes Chinese medicine Chinese and/or universal? Why is the life history of senior Chinese medicine doctors significant for understanding an institutional Chinese medicine. Why scholar physicians like Ren Yingqiu, who devoted their lives to the modernization of Chinese medicine, became critics of the modern product they themselves helped to create and at the same time were forgotten quickly by the younger generation of Chinese medicine doctors. Trained in the Confucian literati tradition and through apprenticeship to a village doctor, Ren Yingqiu (1914-1984) nonetheless actively participated in creating a modern Chinese medicine through translating, teaching, and writing about classical texts and theories. While presenting Ren Yingqiu's life from a number of points of view, this book nevertheless emphasizes that Chinese medical modes of writing are especially central. Writing, such as writing calligraphy and herbal prescriptions, which have been widely appreciated and practiced, constitutes an immanent theory of self and group identity for Chinese medicine doctors. However, the ideology of making Chinese medicine less obscure and comparable with Western medicine dominated the foundations of institutional Chinese medicine and has since the 1950s. Two forms of translation, i.e., from classical to modern, and from Chinese to universal, made significant contributions to Chinese medicine's modernization and globalization. Ren Yingqiu's life as a modern scholar doctor reflects these complicated transformation processes in Chinese medical modernity.
Rasidjan, Maryani Palupy, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Reproductive Difference: The Construction of Race in the Indonesian Family Planning Program in Papua,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams
Preliminary abstract: In Papua, Indonesia's most eastern and recently acquired province, women's reproductive health is entangled with histories of political violence, international development efforts and Indonesia's massive family planning program. Much scholarship focuses on one of these aspects, but few focus on the complex relationship between these histories. My research seeks to address this gap by examining the family planning program in Papua against the backdrop of an active and well-known separatist movement, in which accusations of racism and genocide on the part of the Indonesian state by a number of local and international activists persist and form a basis for reproductive decision-making. This research will examine the ways in which notions of difference and identity emerge as problems of race within women's reproductive health. This research questions how race is constructed, contested and mobilized in and through the family planning campaign in Papua and how this in turn affects reproductive health choices and outcomes.
Kuan, Dr. Teresa, Whittier College, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research and writing on 'Adjusting the Bonds of Love: Chinese Governmentalities and Lived Experience in Post-Mao China' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. TERESA KUAN, Whittier College, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2011 to aid research and writing on 'Adjusting the Bonds of Love: Chinese Governmentalities and Lived Experience in Post-Mao China.' China's economic strategy for building a knowledge economy depends on the art of subject-making. The education reform known as 'education for quality' is emblematic of this art in its aim to cultivate high 'quality' individuals who possess a spirit for innovation. This movement is broad, and it includes the dissemination of expert advice to ordinary parents. 'Adjusting the Bonds of Love' is a dissertation-to-book project that examines the intersection between popular advice and the lived experience of raising a child amongst urban, middle-class families. It explores the tension between the regulatory power of expert advice on the one hand, and the challenges posed by uneven economic development on the other. The lived experience of this tension amongst ordinary parents, and the practical strategies they develop in the face of uncertainty, reveal how global transformations articulate with the most intimate of human experiences. 'Adjusting the Bonds of Love' is an exploration into the nature of moral agency, experienced and expressed in the management of life contingencies. In the contemporary Chinese context, moral agency involves something the author calls the 'art of disposition': the art of discerning the nature of situations, and of determining where action is either possible or required. The book project offers this concept as a way of more radically connecting the scale of the political with the scale of the everyday, by demonstrating a mutual correspondence between different modalities of power - between governmentality on the one hand, and the 'native's' concern with worldly efficacy on the other.
George, Dr. Kenneth M., U. Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Art in the Wake of Authoritarian Rule: Indonesian Islamic Art, 1998-2002'
DR. KENNETH M. GEORGE, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in December 2001 to aid research on Indonesian Islamic art in the wake of authoritarian rule, 1998-2002. At a general level, George was concerned the way postcolonial art and art publics may respond to the transition from authoritarian to post-authoritarian rule. In its ethnographic focus, the project involved field collaboration with the Indonesian painter A. D. Pirous to study how contemporary Islamic art had been produced, exhibited, and circulated in Indonesia since 1998, when democratizing and decentralizing forces loosened the grip of authoritarianism. Some key findings were the following: (1) Markets showed a sustained demand for work with Islamic themes when wedded to abstraction, the expressive form so typical of the quiescent and acclamatory arts of the Suharto years (1966-98). (2) Works associated with political critique had flourished in public galleries but had no significant domestic market. (3) State patronage for contemporary art remained significant, but weak relative to private or corporate patronage. (4) Self-censorship among artists associated with contemporary Islamic art remained strong; critique of the state was now possible, but artists remained apprehensive of popular or clerical censure of their work. (5) New possibilities for expression notwithstanding, the nascent 'Islamic art public' so visible in 1994-95 was now moribund. These findings pointed toward a cultural politics in which the nation-state had withdrawn as a dominant factor in determining and legitimating art value; the art world had yet to remobilize state resources to nurturing effect. The 'Islamic art movement' of the late authoritarian period had flagged once state sponsorship was withdrawn, and a grassroots Islamic art public had yet to emerge.
George, Kenneth M. 2009. Ethics, Iconoclasm, and Qur?anic Art in Indonesia. Cultural Anthropology 24(4):589-621.