Hatfield, Dr. Donald John Willard, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Far Ocean Fishing and Ironies of Indigenous Placemaking in Coastal Taiwan'
Preliminary abstract: In the late 1970s and early 1980s groups of Taiwanese indigenous men enlisted in the island country's far ocean fishing fleet. The work, although dangerous, was lucrative; and the three to five year stints brought the men, mostly of the coastal 'Amis group, to ports of call in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. Accidental cosmopolitans whose ventures financed competitive house building in their home villages, these men form a cultural cohort whose experiences contrast with and at times unsettle dominant narratives of indigeneity. For far ocean fishermen, houses brought together personal desires to achieve greater control in relation to their wives' families, notions of development and modernity promoted by the government, consumption of new cultural products, and commitments to their home places. How did these different motivations cohere? And how did the cosmopolitan orientation of these men and their families connect with the emergence, during the same period, of an indigenous rights movement? By looking at houses, music, and other materials in which far ocean fishermen and their communities have commemorated the trade, this project examines relationships between contrasting ways of being indigenous, adding to our understanding of place and personhood.
Sharangpani, Mukta, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid 'Kin-figurations: An Examination of Domestic Violence, Class, and Kinship in Mumbai,' supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta
MUKTA SHARANGPANI, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California was awarded a grant in July 2004 to aid 'Kin-figurations: An Examination of Domestic Violence, Class, and Kinship in Mumbai,' supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta. This project suggests that while domestic violence transcends class, it is perceived, experienced, negotiated and lived in very specific ways by members of different classes. This project focuses on the conditions that create a space that is ripe for acts of violence, rather than simply focusing on explicit enactments of violence. As such, it provides a solid analytical framework for formulating grassroots and policy level solutions that are not simply 'rescue' based, but rather nuanced and oriented towards the complex and contradictory experiences of aggression and violence. Finally, by viewing violence along the axes of kinship and class, this project contests the notion of collective rights and highlights the need to locate family violence (and violence in general) within multiple fields of power and inequity.
McCabe, Carl Wesley, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Informal Institutions and Cooperative Behavior: Motivations for Prosociality by Marketplace Vendors in Beijing, China,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Paul Winterhalder
CARL WESLEY MCCABE, then a student at the University of California, Davis, California, to aid research on 'Informal Institutions and Cooperative Behavior: Motivations for Prosociality by Marketplace Vendors in Beijing, China,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Winterhalder. The grantee conducted nearly a year of ethnographic fieldwork in an open-air marketplace in Beijing, China. During this period, research followed the activities of many of the market's vendors from the time the market opened in the morning until it closed in the evening. Beyond that, the project followed vendors as they conducted many other activities in their daily lives, including leisure and business-related activities. The grantee was able to collect several forms of datasets on individuals in the market, from market-wide surveys, to interviews focused on subsets of the market, to a suite of experimental games. The data collected will contribute to the grantee's investigation of prosocial behavior and models of salient economic, evolutionary biological, and cultural influences.
Ibrahim, Amrita, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on ''Truth on Our Lips, India in Our Hearts' Television News and Affective Publics in Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
AMRITA IBRAHIM, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on ''Truth on Our Lips, India in Our Hearts:' Television News and Affective Publics in Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. Television news in India is characterized by an excess of audio, visual, and narrative tropes that draw from popular film, pulp fiction, and mythology. As a form of storytelling that borrows from and builds on these, news also circulates among its audiences in everyday conversation, rumor, and gossip. These forms of talk often find their way into the news as 'sources' in themselves. During 18 months of fieldwork, the grantee observed the inner workings of three news studios, interviewed channel heads, production teams, and reporters and also followed selected stories into the neighborhoods where they had occurred. This dissertation explores how the line between fiction and fact is negotiated in India's television news through three field encounters: first, the television news crime genre that builds on themes from Hindi film and pulp fiction; second, the force of rumor in shaping the contours of a news story in the studio and also among local residents; and third, the unexpected appeal of reality television as a form of news. The study will attempt to show how the repetitive loop of visuals, music, and narrative enhances the affective intensity of news stories such that they become forces, among others, in the constitution of contemporary public culture.
Ibrahim, Amrita, 2013. Who is a Bigger Terrorist than the Police? Photography as a Politics of Encounter in Delhi's Batla House. South Asian Culture 11(2):133-144.
Ibrahim, Amrita. 2012. Voyeurism and Family on Television. In Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture. Vasudha Dalmia and Rashmi Sadana, eds. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Craig, Sienna R., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Identity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg
SIENNA R. CRAIG, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Ideentity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg. This project has aimed to trace and theorize the processes of professionalization of Tibetan medical practitioners - paths through history, identity, and medical epistemology manifest in the work of amchi, practitioners of Tibetan medicine, in Nepal and in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The grantee conducted research among individual practitioners and members of the Himalayan Amchi Association in Nepal, and among private practitioners as well as doctors at the Mentsikhang (Traditional Tibetan Medicine Hospital) and the Tibetan Medical College, Lhasa. Additional research was conducted at private and state-run factories of Tibetan medicine in the TAR, and among private clinics and factories in Nepal, as well as through contacts made with amchi from India, Bhutan, and Mongolia who participated in a Kathmandu-based international conference on Tibetan medicine. Through the process of fieldwork, as well as preliminary analysis of data, three primary themes emerged: 1) knowledge transmission and changes in Tibetan medical education; 2) access to raw and ready-made medicinals by practitioners, and to medicines and practitioners by patients, as well as production of medicines, including state and international policies that legislate and attempt to standardize production, often according to biomedical models; 3) globalization of Tibetan medicine and its impact on health care options for rural Tibetan communities in Nepal and Tibet. Theoretically, these themes involve explorations into efficacy, professionalization, and globalization.
Zorbas, Konstantinos, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Interactions Between Shamans and Clients in a Siberian City,' supervised by Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky
KONSTANTINOS ZORBAS, while a student at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, was awarded a grant in March 2003 to aid research on interactions between shamans and clients in a Siberian city, under the supervision of Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky. Zorbas studied episodes of illness and performances of shamanic healing in the city Kyzyl, Republic of Tyva, Russia. Focusing principally on healing interactions between shamans and their clients, he found that occurrences of psychosomatic suffering were effectively managed by being explained as results of witchcraft or curses practiced by an enemy. Follow-up evaluations of patients' post-treatment conditions led to the conclusion that shamanic healing entailed therapeutic effects, even for clients who reported prior recourse to professional medical treatment with partial or no positive results. The efficacy of shamanic healing was seen to lie in the use of certain literal and metaphoric elements of ritual language that engaged both shaman and patient in a process of recollecting and restructuring traumatic memories. Similarities in the responses elicited from shamans and patients regarding their experiences of the therapeutic process suggested that the experience of healing was embodied through culturally mediated sensory modes of attention to the performance. Zorbas concluded that the meaning the experience of illness held for the patient derived from a psychologically embedded preoccupation with cursing and its implications. Shamanic healing went beyond the limits of the consultation to evoke an overall transformation in the patient's awareness of self.
Starr, Julie Elisabeth, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd
JULIE STARR, then a graduate student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,'supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd. Drawing on ten months of fieldwork in Shanghai, China, this research compares how Han Chinese and white Western professional women-all living in Shanghai and all between the ages of 25-35-understand, discuss, and moralize the pursuit of better bodies. Through examining daily practices and discussions about eating, working out, and going to beauty salons it illustrates and compares how these women view self, gender, and race as constituted in and through their bodies. In general, the findings of this research suggest that gender, race, and social status were much more bodily for the Chinese women and yet less essentialized: bodies and selves were assumed to be constantly changing and thus daily modifications were not seen to endanger a unique or authentic bodily-self. Furthermore, for the Chinese women, bodies were a legitimate site to work on the self in order to improve one's social standing. Whereas for the Western women, there was tremendous tension between seeing bodies as part of 'who one is' and denying that bodies have any relevance to one's social position. This research argues that the attitudes of these women toward body modification practices reveal important differences in their understandings of power, nature, and social change.