Yang, Xiaoliu, Sun Yat-Sen U., Guangzhou, China - To aid research on 'Making Participatory Poverty Reduction Chinese,' supervised by Dr. Daming Zhou
XIALIU YANG, then a student at Sun Yet-sen University, Guangzhou, China, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Making Participatory Development Chinese,' supervised by Prof. Daming Zhou. The fieldwork was conducted in Meigu county, an impoverished, Nuosu ethnic region in Sichuan Province, Southwest China. The grantee did fieldwork from February to December 2006 to study how the Western 'participation' in China's rural poverty reduction is made Chinese. Research focused on three Western projects in a Nuosu village -- from the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, and Germany's Misereor Foundation -- to observe how 'participation' is made Chinese at different stages of the project cycle. Support enabled a multi-level investigation to collect information identifying key stakeholders involved in the delivery of Western participatory aid, including state and local government, international aid organizations, Chinese scholars, and indigenous people.
Selby, Don F., Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Human Rights and Political Change in Contemporary Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
DON F. SELBY, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded funding in January 2005, to aid research on 'Human Rights and Political Change in Contemporary Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. This research studies the emergence of human rights in Thai politics. It emphasizes, on the one hand the efforts of national institutions like the National Human Rights Commission to domesticate human rights to local social imperatives by identifying them with Buddhist ethics and the protection of national symbols like the village community. On the other hand, it follows human rights advocates at the grass-roots level to study how they draw on human rights as a new political resource with institutional authority (in the Commission), while at the same time drawing on long-standing social conventions like patron-clientage, maintaining face, and avoiding shame, to give human rights their force. Finally, ethnographic work at state institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the Commission suggest that the study of human rights in Thailand throws into question, first, ideas of a unitary state, or a homogeneous human rights movement, free, in either case, of internal contests, fissures, and competing strategies, and second, conceptualizations of human rights that deny the inevitability of cooperative state-advocate projects.
Lock, Dr. Margaret M., McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'The Making of Menopause in Japan'
DR. MARGARET LOCK, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on menopause in Japan. She conducted fieldwork in February and March 2003 in the Kanto and Kansai areas, where she interviewed 50 women for one hour each, using an open-ended questionnaire followed by free conversation. The interviews focused first on the women's experiences as they approached or went through menopause, including symptom experiences and uses of the health-care system, medications, and clinics offering herbal medicines. The second part of the interview dealt with general knowledge about menopause and sources of information on the subject. In addition, Lock conducted extensive interviews with 15 gynecologists and family doctors. The findings indicated that despite intensive efforts to medicalize menopause in Japan, the majority of Japanese women did not consult a gynecologist at that stage of the life cycle. The Japanese concept koonenki continued to convey the idea of a long, gradual transition and meant more than simply the end of menstruation. Reporting of vasomotor symptoms-hot flashes and night sweats-had increased since the time of Lock's previous research 30 years earlier, but it was still much lower than in North America. Specific Japanese symptoms such as shoulder stiffness continued to be reported more than other symptoms. This subject has proved to be extraordinarily fertile for exploring the boundaries between nature and culture and for confronting unexamined assumptions in the medical model of menopause.
Hasinoff, Erin, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall
ERIN L. HASINOFF, a student at Columbia University, New York, received funding in December 2005 to aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall. The grant was used to study the Missionary Exhibit, a fragmentary collection of ethnological artifacts that was accessioned by Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural History following the close of the Ecumenical Conference on Foreign Missions of 1900. The project assessed how the Burmese portion of this unstudied collection inventoried Burma (today, Myanmar), and traced its legacy: the production of Burmese identities in contemporary cultural museums in Myitkyina, Putao, Hkamti and Layshi. By critically engaging the object biography approach, this investigation looked at how the Missionary Exhibit materialized and continues to shape inventories of Burma, now at the periphery of anthropological knowledge. This research considered how artifacts were not just expressions of a new context, but were also technologies that created the context anew. This is premised on the idea that objects came to embody information about Burma, while also acting as agents in the relationships that developed between specific Burmese missionaries and anthropologists. Research followed the contours of the Exhibit's collection history back to Burma by considering how identities are produced in cultural museums. The study contributes to our understanding of the missionary imagination and its material entanglements over time, as well as to the politics and performance of cultural identity in museums today.
Chen, Junjie, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'When the State Claims the Intimate: Population Control and Constructions of Rural Identity in China,' supervised by Dr. Alma Gottlieb
JUNJIE CHEN, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received funding in June 2004 to aid research on 'When the State Claims the Intimate: Population Control and Constructions of Rural Identity in China,' supervised by Dr. Alma Gottlieb. This dissertation fieldwork project explores how a prolonged series of discursive constructions of peasants as 'backward' subjects by the Chinese government has served to legitimize the state's sustained intrusion into the seemingly private event of reproduction in rural China, and in turn how rural residents respond to and interpret this intrusion. The fieldwork was conducted in and around a multi-ethnic Manchu-Han village in northeastern China from July 2004 to August 2005. Data was collected mainly through intensive interviews, participant observation, and household surveys. Reading villagers' subjective experiences of reproduction against the state's hegemonic claims in shaping rural lives, this project aims to chart how rural citizens think about, talk about, and manage their fertility strategies and habits in the face of the state's continuing claims on their most intimate practices. In so doing, this project further explores complex situations and predicaments that both Manchu and Han peasants have faced, and continue to face, due to the state's sustained intrusion into the private event of reproduction at the intersection of gender, class, ethnicity, and urban-rural spaces over the past three decades.
Zykowski, Kathryn Cook, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'New Muslim Identities: Student Migration, Local Negotiations, and Indian Universities,' supervised by Dr. Sareeta Amrute
Preliminary abstract: India is increasingly becoming a hot spot for international education and as of 2012 ranked second only to the United States in terms of the number of foreign students attending universities. These educational migratory paths towards India have received little scholarly attention though migration from India to the West for education, and to the Gulf Countries for labor, has been well documented. Hyderabad, the site of my research, is a cosmopolitan city known for its Information Technology educational and employment opportunities. As a result, in the last decade, international student migration to Hyderabad has increased each year. Since India's Independence, the Muslim minority has been marginalized socially, economically, and culturally. What are the effects of a growing international Muslim student population at Indian universities, and of the attendant transnational flows of ideas, bodies, and objects? This project hypothesizes that, although the notion of Hyderabad as a center of global Muslim community is produced primarily through the city's visibility as a destination of study for diasporic Muslim students, this idea is co-constructed with and taken up by the local Muslim population, who mobilize it to build opportunities for travel, economic ventures, and educational support.
Solomon, Harris Scott, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Diagnosing India: Food, the Body, and the Healthy Economy in Mumbai,' supervised by Dr. Catherine Lutz
HARRIS S. SOLOMON, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Diagnosing India: Food, the Body, and the Healthy Economy in Mumbai,' supervised by Dr. Catherine Lutz. This study examines the rise of obesity in urban India to understand the lived experiences of simultaneous scarcity and excess. In Mumbai, public health officials estimate that one third of the population is overweight. Debates about obesity traffic in concepts like 'globesity' and 'affluenza,' contemporary genetic logics, and critiques of middle-class consumerism. Although obesity symbolizes a national threat, it also creates a tension between consumptive capability and the national promise of urban, middle-class modernity. Fieldwork tracked this tension across multiple sites, and observed food preparation and consumption in a seaside fishing neighborhood, and the medicalization of these practices at a metabolic disorders clinic. The grantee explored the commercialization of eating and dieting at street food stalls, and the regulation of nutrition by government officials. Findings detail two broad developments. First, the home kitchen has become a laboratory for the prevention of weight gain and for the commodification of food rituals. Second, a fluid language of biomedical standards now structures expressions of aesthetics and desire linked to food, effectively blurring moral, medical, and consumer choices. In this context, consumerism works as both the germ and the antidote for urban modernity's ill effects that materialize in aggregate as obesity.
Merli, Dr. Laetitia, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid on 'Shamanism Versus Neo-shamanism: Case Studies in Tuva and in Mongolia'
DR. LAETITIA MERLI, Mongolian and Siberian Studies Center, Paris, France, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to research 'Shamanism versus Neo-shamanism : Case Studies in Tuva and in Mongolia .' The focus of the study was the intercultural processes in the transmission, learning and exportation of shamanic knowledge, practices and representations between local shamans in Mongolia and in Tuva and their new western apprentices. With globalization, development of tourism and a western vogue for shamanism, some people started their quest to the East 'to take shamanism from the roots' as they think. From this confrontation, four main misunderstandings can be noted: 1) about the perception itself of what a shaman is; 2) about the access to the shamanic function and what it means to become a shaman; 3) about the system of representations; and 4) the attitude towards the therapeutic process. The collected data represent a corpus of approximately 35 hours of video rushes (practices, interviews, rituals), 20 hours of audio-recording (mainly interviews), and 8000 digital pictures.
Hui, Dr. Yew-Foong, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore - To aid research & writing on 'Strangers at Home: History, Mobility, and Subjectivity Among the Chinese Communities of West Kalimantan, Indonesia' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. YEW-FOONG HUI, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2009, to aid research and writing on 'Strangers at Home: History, Mobility, and Subjectivity among the Chinese Communities of West Kalimantan, Indonesia.' This is a book project based on an anthropological-historical study of Chinese communities from West Kalimantan, Indonesia. While most studies of the Chinese diaspora take China as the point of origin and departure for Chinese overseas, this study looks at the migratory trajectories of Chinese communities by situating West Kalimantan as the starting point. From this perspective, the book examines events such as the departure of Chinese for Communist China in the 1950s to participate in the socialist construction of the homeland, the mass exodus of Chinese during 1959-1961 as a result of economic nationalism and ethnic discrimination in Indonesia, and the eviction of Chinese from the West Kalimantan hinterland due to ethnic violence in 1967. Whether such trajectories are inspired by desire for a mythical homeland, or actuated through symbolic or real violence, they demonstrate the impact of history and mobility on the Chinese subject. Through such historical events, the notions of 'stranger' and 'home' -- and what they imply for the Chinese subject -- is examined. In turn, this book argues for the centrality of history and mobility in the production of subjectivity among the Chinese overseas, particularly in the context of the emergence of post-colonial nation-states.