Huang, Dr. Shu-min, Iowa State U., Ames, IA; and Rakariyatham, Dr. Pong-In, Chiang Mai U., Chiang Mai, Thailand - To aid collaboration on Chinese diasporic communities in highland northern Thailand: ecology, identity, and transnationalism
Coelho, Dr. Karen, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid 'Of Engineers, Rationalities, and Rule: An Ethnography of Neoliberal Reform in an Urban Water Utility' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. KAREN COELHO, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in June 2005, to aid research and writing on 'Of Engineers, Rationalities, and Rule: An Ethnography of Neoliberal Reform in an Urban Water Utility.' During the fellowship year, the grantee produced two articles of very different character and style, and for very different audiences. One article was an analysis of the national trends in water sector reforms based on a case study of Chennai's water utility. A second published article explored collective, contentious and transgressive practices of urban citizenship as articulated in claims to water in the city of Chennai. The grantee was able to complete seven of eight chapters for a book manuscript and prospectus that will be sent to various publishing houses.
Coelho, Karen. 2005. The Political Economy of Public Sector Water Utilities Reform. Infochange Agenda, Issue 3. Center for Communication and Development Studies: Chennai.
Coelho, Karen. 2006. Tapping In: Leaky Sovereignties and Engineered Dis(order) in an Urban Water System. SARAI Reader 06. Center for the Study of Developing Societies: New Delhi.
Tabor, Nathan Lee Marsh, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'The Politics and Patronage of Urdu Poetry in the Contemporary Indian Public Sphere,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali
NATHAN TABOR, then a student at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in May 2008, to aid research on 'The Politics and Patronage of Urdu Poetry in the Contemporary Indian Public Sphere,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali. The project seeks to understand relationships among minority language aesthetics, civil society, and the state by examining the political relevance of poetic texts and the ways in which communities are built around literary circulation and consumption. The grantee examines these themes in the context of Urdu language poetry symposia (mushairah) within North Indian agroindustrial towns. The mushairah is an Indo-Persian recitational space for the circulation and enjoyment of literary and ethical knowledges. In the years following India's partition and the communalization of Urdu as a Muslim language, the mushairah has become a constituent institution of vernacular mass media that target lettered and unlettered Muslim minorities. Based on participant observation, interviews, and literary historiography, Tabor's project analyzes the importance of public Urdu poetry recitational gatherings in the circulation and enjoyment of populist Muslim politics, showing how ethical and aesthetic concerns simultaneously undergird minority publics within India's plural democracy.
Naqvi, Tahir, H., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Urban Citizenship and Ethno-Modernity in
Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Stefania Pandolfo
TAHIR NAQVI, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Urban Citizenship and Ethno-Modernity in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Stephania Pandolfo. Between July 2003 and May 2003 the researcher conducted fieldwork in Karachi, Pakistan. He proposed to explore a recent urban ethno-nationalist formation called the Muhajir Nationalist Movement (MQM). The leading research objective was to account for the conditions of possibility, form, and antagonistic politics of Muhajir nationality in light of its uniquely provisional articulation of nationalist difference. Muhajir ethno-nationalist discourse does not uphold a fixed or essentialized vision of its political community, or subject. This has significant implications for how postcolonial nationalism, minoritism, and anti-state and collective violence can be represented in the globalized present. Through interviews, participant observation of MQM party life, and archival analysis of official and unofficial materials, the grantee examined how Muhajir political violence can only partially be characterized as 'nationalist.' Research disclosed the significance of the urban democratic transition in ordering violence. By analyzing praetorian political rationality's spatialized production of urban political citizenship, the grantee elaborated key disjunctures in the experience of citizenship during democratization (1989-1999). Through popular and official narratives, the researcher explored the spatialized ambiguity between violence, identity that emerged during this period.
Jung, Jin-Heon, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Post-Division Citizenship: The Christian Encounters of North Korean Refugees and South Korean Protestant Church,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Abelmann
JIN-HEON JUNG, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Post-Division Citizenship: The Christian Encounters of North Korean Refugees and the South Korean Protestant Church,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Abelmann. Dissertation fieldwork, conducted at a church-sponsored training program, 'Freedom School,' for North Korean migrants in Seoul, Korea, from January to December 2007. This field research is an attempt to understand a historical juncture of the Korean peninsula when its people are simultaneously facing post-division, transnational, and multi-cultural flows of people, products, and capital at a rapid pace. This ethnographic study investigates Freedom School as a contact zone in which North Korean migrants and South Korean Christians are struggling to assimilate with each other in conditions simulating a reunified post-division community, where they encounter unexpected, multilayered cultural differences that problematize the very idea of ethnic homogeneity. Indeed, this analysis focuses on Christianity as the main medium that mediates this co-ethnic relationship. Both North Korean migrants and South Korean Christians invoke the concept of true Christianity in order to mediate their various differences and to promote their desire for national unity in religious terms. The grantee argues that while Christianity works to depoliticize the conflicted relationship between the migrants and South Korean Christians, it also highly politicizes the Church as a social space in which contrasting political ideologies and beliefs compete.
Deomampo, Daisy Faye, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The New Global 'Division of Labor': Reproductive Tourism in Mumbai, India,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
DAISY FAYE DEOMAMPO, then a student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'The New Global 'Division of Labor': Reproductive Tourism in Mumbai, India,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. This research examines the social, cultural, and policy implications of 'reproductive tourism,' briefly defined as the movement of people across national borders for assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). In recent years, India has emerged as a global 'hub' for this kind of medical travel, in part because of lower costs but also due to minimal regulatory frameworks for the provision of ARTs. This research considers medical travel for reproductive health care as a critical case study for understanding the procreative process in transnational contexts, as human reproduction increasingly involves collaborating actors in the lab, clinic, travel agency, and courtroom. At the same time, grounded in Mumbai, this project provides an important opportunity to examine how policy and legislation relate to the increasing numbers of couples -- from the United States and around the world -- traveling to India for ARTs. By studying 'on-the-ground' the diverse motivations and experiences of key actors involved in reproductive tourism, research findings reveal how the practice of transnational surrogacy both challenges and reinforces notions of kinship, family and parenthood in both Indian and Western contexts. In so doing, it offers an important empirical contribution to our understanding of assisted reproduction law and policy from a social science perspective.
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.