Truitt, Allison Jean

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Cornell U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 2, 2001
Project Title: 
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.'

Grant Year: 
2001
Award Amount: 
$16,300

Pandian, Anand Sankar

Grant Type: 
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Johns Hopkins U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
October 24, 2008
Project Title: 
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.

Grant Year: 
2008
Award Amount: 
$16,190

Keimig, Rose Kay

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Yale U.
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
April 10, 2012
Project Title: 
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.

Grant Year: 
2012
Award Amount: 
$20,000

Finnis, Elizabeth

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
McMaster U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
July 7, 2004
Project Title: 
Finnis, Elizabeth, McMaster U., Hamilton, Canada - To aid research on 'The Political Ecology of Water Resource Management and Food Security in the Kolli Hills,' supervised by Dr. Tina Moffat

ELIZABETH FINNIS, then a student at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, received funding in July 2004 to aid research on 'The Political Ecology of Water Resource Management and Food Security in the Kolli Hills,' supervised by Dr. Tina Moffat. The adoption of cash crops by small farmers is shaped by complex economic, environmental, and political factors. This research used a political ecology perspective that highlights local agency to examine how tribal villagers in the Kolli Hills, south India, utilize economic aspirations and perceptions of environmental security in their agricultural decision-making. Decisions to grow the cash crop tapioca are conscious and active, reflecting experiences of environmental insecurity and changing economic goals. At the same time, these decisions are constrained by external factors such as market variability and geographical isolation. Tapioca cultivation has implications for food security and dietary diversity; it is also important to labor issues, political agency on the part of villagers, and community development. Although tapioca is linked to economic problems such as debt cycles, the income earned has been used by villagers to further both household and community aspirations. These include the extension of electricity to the area, the ability to access a wider variety of commodity goods and services, and community-based political struggles to improve transportation infrastructure. However, tapioca cultivation can also be linked to decreased dietary diversity and an increasing dependence on external, market, sources of food.

Publication Credit:

Finnis, Elizabeth. 2006. Why Grow Cash Crops? Subsistence Farming and Crop Commercialization in the Kolli Hills, South India. American Anthropologist 108(2):363-369.

Finnis, Elizbeth. 2008. Economic Wealth, Food Wealth, and Millet Consumption: Shifting Notions of Food, Identity, and Development in South India. Food, Culture and Society 11(4):463-485

Finnis, Elizabeth. 2007. The Political Ecology of Dietary Transitions: Changing Production and Consumption Patterns in the Kolli Hills, India. Agriculture and Human Values 24:343-353

Finnis, Elizabeth. 2006. Why Grow Cash Crops? Subsistence Farming and Crop Commercialization in the Kolli Hills, South India. American Anthropologist 108(2):363-369.

Grant Year: 
2004
Award Amount: 
$3,560

Abelmann, Nancy

Grant Type: 
Int'l Collaborative Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Illinois, Urbana, U. of
Status: 
Lapsed Grant
Approve Date: 
February 16, 2005
Project Title: 
Abelmann, Dr. Nancy, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and Dr. Hae-Joang Cho, Yonsei U., Seoul, South Korea - To aid collaborative research on 'The Anxious South Korean Student: Globalization, Human Capital, and Class'
Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$30,000

Wang, Mingming

Grant Type: 
Conference & Workshop Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Peking U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
March 7, 2007
Project Title: 
Wang, Dr. Mingming, Peking U., Beijing, China - To aid workshop on 'Crossing Borders & Paradigms: Anthropology of Southwest China Reconsidered,' 2007, Dali, China, in collaboration with Dr. Zhengwen Yang

'Crossing Borders and Paradigms: Anthropology of Southwest China Reconsidered'
August 7-14, 2007, Southwestern University for Ethnic Minorities, Dali City, Yunnan, China
Organizers: Dr. Mingming Wang (Peking University) and Dr. Zhenguen Yang (Southwestern University for Ethnic Minorities)

The workshop brought together 39 established scholars, representing various perspectives, to reflect on recent Western and Chinese anthropological discourses of minority nationalities in Southwest China. It successfully met its goals of: 1) cross-fertilizing various approaches; 2) historically deepening critical reflections on issues of power/knowledge; and 3) representing local concerns about issues of minority rights. Apart from the senior researchers participating, an equal number of graduate students from all over China attended the sessions and organized their own workshop, marking a new approach to education in the China. The success of the conference was evident in the fruitful dialogues and interactions, and the organizers plan to compile a collection of conference papers for publication in Chinese.

Grant Year: 
2007
Award Amount: 
$15,000

Ratanapruck, Prista

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Harvard U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 23, 2004
Project Title: 
Ratanapruck, Prista, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Merchants, Women, and States: Nepali Trade Diaspora in Indian - Southeast Asian States and Societies,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho

PRISTA RATANAPRUCK, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in June 2004 to aid research on 'Merchants, Women, and States: Nepali Trade Diaspora in Indian - Southeast Asian States and Societies,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. In the established historiography of transregional trade in Asia, the role of Asian merchants is perceived to have ended since the arrival of European East India Companies. This research project, however, investigates how small Asian peddlers such as Manangis (Nepalis) have continued to operate and remain thriving traders. It explores how today's transnational peddling traders such as Manangis use pre-existing trade relations and social ties to form trade and social networks to negotiate with local states in world capitalist economy. Field research shows that Manangis form strong and enduring social and economic ties both internally within their community and externally between them and local communities abroad. These relationships which range from generation-long friendships and kindship relations through marriages help them reduce protection costs-costs that emerge from conflicting and cooperative relationships with the states, and are often referred to as bribery. Besides relying on these social resources, Manangis also pool together material and financial resources through their religious institution, for redistribution in their society. That is, much of profits from trade are spent on supporting Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and religious events. But before the donations are used for their intended religious purposes, they are temporarily redistributed in the community in the form of loans, often to finance trade and business ventures. In this context, economic activities and the expansion of trade are propelled by the accumulation and redistribution of surplus through religious institutions. The research illustrates how Manangis expand their trade as well as fulfill their social purposes according to what they value. This project shows an alternative way of thinking about the development of capitalistic enterprise, besides the history of Western capitalism and questions assumption about the rise of the West.

Publication Credit:

Ratanapruck, Prista. 2007. Kinship and Religious Practices as Institutionalization of Trade Networks: Manangi Trade Communities in South and Southeast Asia. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50(2):325-346

Grant Year: 
2004
Award Amount: 
$24,890

Kudlu, Chithprabha

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Washington U., St. Louis
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
October 30, 2007
Project Title: 
Kudlu, Chithprabha, Washington U., University City, MO - To aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Davis Stone

CHITHPRABHA KUDLU, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Stone. The study investigates current developments in commodification of Ayurvedic medicine in Kerala, India, and their effects on knowledge and livelihood of actors in the commodity chain for Ayurvedic herbs. Fieldwork has allowed identification of key nodes in the commodity chain and has revealed changes ranging from the routine to the transformative. On one hand, increased commodification has caused predictable shifts in the nature of knowledge contributions and livelihood outcomes for actors at the manufacturing, consuming, and practitioner nodes. On the other, developments associated with globalization, health tourism, and changing demands of domestic consumers have contributed to a dynamic new climate of commodification. The entry of non-traditional stakeholders is causing new paths and diversion for Ayurvedic commodities, sometimes threatening commodity boundaries and causing conflict between the old and new value systems. The industry's interest in globalizing Ayurveda has also brought in pressures of regulation and standardization that sometimes conflict with traditional practices. Although the dynamisms do not extend to the upstream supply, chain which continues to depend on a gathering economy, fledgling developments in farming and industrial cluster projects portend future potentials and constraints. The study examines the responses of various respondents in this context with special attention to changes in the roles and contributions of nodal actors; changes in power relationships between different stakeholders; changes in consumption patterns; and changes in the medicine commodity itself.

Grant Year: 
2007
Award Amount: 
$22,200

Gerkey, Andrew Patrick

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Rutgers U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 1, 2007
Project Title: 
Gerkey, Andrew Patrick, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'From State Collectives to Local Commons: Koryak Salmon Fishers and Reindeer Herders in the Russian Far East,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk

DREW GERKEY, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received a grant in June 2007 to aid research on 'From State Collectives to Local Commons: Koryak Salmon Fishers and Reindeer Herders in the Russian Far East,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk. This project examined cooperation and collective action among Koryak salmon fishers and reindeer herders living on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. The grantee completed eleven months of research (October 2007-August 2008) at several locations, including the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and three villages in the Oliutorsky District (Tilichiki, Khailino, and Vyvenka). The primary goals of this project were to understand how contemporary fishers and herders negotiate cooperative relationships, and how differing cultural norms and values embodied in collective institutions affect these negotiations. The grantee worked with fishers and herders in two kinds of collective institutions: 1) government owned and managed collectives formed during the Soviet era (sovkhoz); and 2) privately owned and managed collectives created during the post-Soviet era (obshchina). A variety of qualitative and quantitative ethnographic methods were used to collect data on cooperation within these collectives, including participant observation, interviews, surveys, and experimental economic games. These ethnographic data can be synthesized to understand the conditions that foster cooperation within sovkhoz and obshchina collectives and the factors that cause cooperation to break down.

Grant Year: 
2007
Award Amount: 
$13,968

Bauer, Kenneth Michael

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Oxford U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
September 8, 2003
Project Title: 
Bauer, Kenneth M., Oxford U., Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival

KENNETH M. BAUER, then a student at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in September 2003 to aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival. This field research investigated land use change and the impacts of government development policies among Tibetan pastoralists during the second half of the twentieth century. This work describes and analyzes the rhetoric and implementation of development policies by the Chinese government in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This history of land use dynamics, socio-economic change, and policy phases, is grounded in a case study of Porong Township (Nyelam County, Shigatse Prefecture, TAR, PRC). The grantee gathered several kinds of evidence, which will be interpreted using a multi-disciplinary approach. Support enabled the grantee to collect and translate historical texts describing land use and to interview pastoralists, government agents, and NGO workers, as well as work with local pastoralists to map historical and contemp