Tsuda, Dr. Takeyuki, U. of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid conference on 'Diasporic Homecomings: Ethnic Return Migrants in Comparative Perspective,' UC San Diego, 2005
'Diasporic Homecomings: Ethnic Return Migrants in Comparative Perspective,' May 20-21, 2005, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California -- Organizer: Takeyuki Tsuda. This conference examined various groups of ethnic return migrants - diasporic peoples who return to their ancestral homelands after living outside their countries of ethnic origin for generations. Conference participants compared the ethnopolitical reception and experiences of ethnic return migrants in different European and East Asian countries. Diasporic return migration has often been enabled by extraterritorial citizenship and immigration policies of homeland governments based on imaginings of a broader ethnic nation beyond state borders that encompasses diasporic descendants abroad. Nonetheless, ethnic return migrants frequently receive an ambivalent reception in their homelands and are often marginalized as immigrant minorities because of their cultural differences and low socioeconomic position, forcing them to reconsider their national identities and loyalties and their previously idealized images of the ethnic homeland.
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.
Lau, Chi Chung, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Imitation by Design: The Politics of Shanzhai in Contemporary China,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
Preliminary abstract: 'Shanzhai,' a word drawn from classical Chinese literature that originally describes mountain villages occupied by rebellious bandits, now refers to an unusual form of fakes and counterfeits in China. What people call a 'shanzhai iPhone,' for example, is not exactly a fake. Instead, the unique design features that come with the knockoff product arguably make the shanzhai iPhone an even better product (at least in some respects) than its original counterpart. While these shanzhai products imitate, they show surprising innovation and creativity. The unusual strategy of manufacture and design of shanzhai, together with its surprising (and sometimes illegal) tweaks and local customizations, not only make the shanzhai product extremely popular in China, it has also made the shanzhai into a form of totem. Rather than merely being a copy of established (Western) brands or products, the shanzhai is often regarded in China as 'design for the people,' 'grassroots innovation,' or even as a rebellious response to power and the establishment. This research intends to understand: 1.The emergence of shanzhai electronics manufacturing in China. 2.The relationships between shanzhai manufacturing and the cultural history of modern China. 3.The political space and forms of opposition and accommodation created and expressed by shanzhai design.
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.
Cho, Mun Young, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'When Does Poverty Matter? Managing Differential Impoverishments in the People's Republic of China,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
MUN YOUNG CHO, then a student at Stanford University was awarded funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'When Does Poverty Matter? Managing Differential Impoverishments in the People's Republic of China,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. Dissertation fieldwork, conducted at one-time workers' village in Harbin, northeast China, from August 2006 to July 2007, explored processes of differential impoverishment under China's late socialism and examined how they are managed in the state's projects of governing urban poverty. Research sought, firstly, to examine how both urban laid-off workers and rural migrants of the same area experience and respond to their changing economic fortunes and sociocultural positions by forging new relationships with each other as well as to the state; secondly, to explore how poverty-related state agents have constituted and contested the state's multiple ideological frameworks when they attempt to regulate urban poverty. Ethnographic data suggest that urban laid-off workers and rural migrants formulate common identities through recent processes in which they not only experience spatial segregation and marginalization all together but also reappropriate the state's paternalistic claims for the urban poor to their own needs and understandings. Nevertheless, data also reveal that both groups pursue distinct trajectories rather than forming a unitary bloc owing to state governing techniques that differentiate them as well as to disparate institutional and sociocultural positions that each group has had to the socialist regime. Research demonstrates that 'the poor' in urban China remains not a political class but a governmental and scholarly language for normalizing people who do not consider themselves a collective 'poor.'
Cho, Mun Young Cho. 2012. 'Dividing the Poor': State Governance of Differential Impoverishment in Northeast China. American Ethnologist 39(1):187-200.
Wang, Jing, Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation, Hong Kong, P.R. China - To aid dissertation write-up in social/cultural anthropology at Case Western Reserve U., Cleveland, OH, supervised by Dr. Melvyn Goldstein
Rothschild, Amy Caroline, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Suffering in Post-Conflict East Timor: Memory, Nationalism and Human Rights,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Postero
AMY C. ROTHSCHILD, then a student at University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Suffering in Post-Conflict East Timor: Memory, Nationalism and Human Rights,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Postero. The grantee conducted approximately one and one half years of ethnographic dissertation research in East Timor. The research examined how Timorese -- the State, different non-State groups (including human rights NGOs) and individuals -- are publically 'remembering' the brutal Indonesian occupation of East Timor, which lasted from 1975 to 1999 and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of East Timorese. The research took place both inside the capital, Dili, as well as in more rural areas, particularly around the village of Kraras, where a series of massacres occurred in 1983. Primary methodologies included participant observation as well unstructured and semi-structured interviews with victims, veterans, human rights workers, 'memory activists,' and state officials. A primary analytic focus was on how a nationalist understanding or framework of the past, with its vocabulary of heroes and martyrs and its future-oriented focus on nation-state building, overlapped with or clashed against a more internationalist/human rights understanding or framework of the past, with its vocabulary of victims and perpetrators and its more backwards looking calls for justice.
Lynch, Damon Frederick, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Time Frameworks and Peacebuilding in Tajikistan, ' supervised by Dr. William O. Beeman
Preliminary abstract: My anthropological research is on the time frameworks Tajiks use as they build peace after the 1992-97 civil war in Tajikistan. War typically forcefully penetrates subjective time imaginaries and experiences, affecting what people do long after the physical violence has ended. Who among a postwar population use which time frameworks? Surprisingly little is known about this. Scholars have identified time frameworks prevalent during and after war, but what we do not know are the ways in which these and other time frameworks occur within a postwar population. Can we identify any patterns? For example, are non-combatant widows more likely to use a particular framework compared to ex-combatants? Theoretically I combine cutting-edge research on spatial time concepts from cognitive science with a concept of self found across the social sciences dating back to William James that distinguishes between I and Me. This combination is innovative, and is likely genuinely unique among contemporary approaches to the anthropology of time. My research has implications for our understanding of conflict transformation and peacebuilding, trauma, memory, and the anthropology of violence. It also promises new directions in the study of time in the social sciences.
Huang, Dr. Yu, Chinese U. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong - To aid engaged activities on 'Promoting Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture through Rural Co-operatives,' 2013, China
DR. YU HUANG, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, was awarded a grant in August 2012 to aid research on 'Promoting Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture through Rural Co-operatives.' Shrimp farmers in south China have strived to become 'science-savvy' farmers in their pursuit of high yields. As they use various 'inputs' to boost productivity, they see their profits squeezed away by agro-capital that monopolizes the upstream sector of credits and inputs for shrimp juveniles, compound feed, aeration machines, and shrimp pharmaceuticals, and the downstream sector of processing, marketing, and sales. In summer 2013, the grantee mobilized some farmers to form aquaculture co-operatives to increase their bargaining power with agribusinesses and practice democratic decision-making, as well as conduct a trial experiment for ecological farming. The grantee also took some cooperative members to join a training workshop in a famous cooperative called 'Puhan Rural Community' in Shanxi Province, China. The Community dispatches a large team of community coordinators (fudaoyuan) that maintains a close relation with cooperative members. In the spirit of 'from the masses, to the masses,' the Community seeks to serve the needs of members rather than profiting from them. This Engaged Anthropology project has inspired the grantee to think about how anthropologists can apply their knowledge for social change, whose next ethnographic study will explore issues related to action research, rural co-operatives, and food sovereignty in China.
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.