Gilbert, David, E., Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Continuity and Change in Sumatran Tropical Forest Farming' supervised by Dr. William H. Durham
Preliminary abstract: This research is a mixed method evaluation of two small holder forest farming settlements in the central Sumatran provinces of West Sumatra and Jambi. Research is motivated by the renewed interest in the 'agrarian question' that addresses 21st century processes of rural change that continue to transform relationships between farmers, corporate agricultural producers and the state, and asks: How a purposeful sample of Sumatra's forest-farmers have countered exclusionary pressures on their forestlands to create flourishing, inhabited agroforestry systems. This project takes an environmental anthropology approach to describe how forest-farmers' agroforestry practices act to mediate, and benefit from social, economic and ecological shifts associated with trends of market integration and rural industrialization. The region is ideal for the study of the social ecology of modern, globally integrated agrarian environments; across Sumatra volatile market demands for commodities are a primary structural force, situating local factors that shape rural livelihoods within larger scale circuits of economic exchange. Ethnography, structured interviews, land use and land change mapping and secondary documentation is used to answer questions about the the lived experience of these agroforestry settlements and their potential alter the agrarian environment. Attention to individual land use histories, settlement land change trajectories and provincial scale environmental outcomes allows analysis of how the actions of a powerful, expanding and globally connected environmental trend connects to the physical environment.
Bhattacharya, Himika, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Globalization and Medicine: Women's Experiences of Violence in Lahaul-Spiti, India,' supervised by Dr. Paula A. Treichler
HIMIKA BHATTACHARYA, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois was awarded a grant in August 2004 to aid research on 'Globalization and Medicine: Women's Experiences of Violence in Lahaul-Spiti, India,' supervised by Dr. Paula A. Treichler. Drawing upon a hybrid body of work in the social sciences and the humanities, this project seeks to analyze experiences of violence and medical practice in women of Lahaul; a phenomenon, which has to be situated in the context of current and historical global politics in India. The particular form of violence focussed on is, marriage by abduction. Through ethnographic life-history interviews this research examines the unique cultural and historical circumstances of Lahaul, India where 'violence against women' includes the relatively uncommon phenomenon (in other parts of India and the world) of 'marriage by abduction,' and where 'violence' may be understood and defined differently by tribal customs, colonial institutions, traditional and modern health care systems, men of differing ages and economic circumstances, and the women who experience it. A major task of this dissertation is to sort out different interpretations of these meanings and definitions and identify their place in the larger body of scholarly work on violence against women, medical practice and globalization. Put differently, this project seeks to bridge the gap between official and/or traditional discourse and community understandings, in their gendered and globalized contexts. It seeks, further, to include and privilege, in these discourses the understandings and perspectives of women's own experiences.
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.
Lee, Hyeon J., Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Suicide Intervention and Gendered Subjectivity in Rural China,' supervised by Dr. Bradley P. Stoner
HYEON JUNG LEE, while a student at Washington University in St. Louis, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Suicide intervention and gendered subjectivity in rural China,' supervised by Dr. Bradley P. Stoner. The aim of the research was to explore local meanings of suicide as understood by different social actors, such as local officials, doctors and nurses, NGO activists, religious practitioners, and male and female villagers, as well as perceptions of gendered subjectivity related to the different practices and discourses of suicide. Specifically, the researcher focused on how suicide prevention programs construct new concepts of gender as they seek to change local ideas about suicide in rural areas. Fieldwork was carried out from July 2005 through September 2006 in two rural villages in northeastern China, one that has a suicide prevention program and another that does not. Data were gathered through multiple complementary methods, including participant observation, focus groups, in-depth and life story interviews. Additionally, the researcher collected media sources related to suicide and gender in order to develop a more complete understanding of the discourses in Chinese society relating to suicide and gendered subjectivity. Findings reveal that local discourses and practices of suicide are closely related to local conceptions of gender. Suicide prevention programs in rural areas thus focus on changing indigenous ideas about of gender among rural village residents.
Hanna, Bridget Corbett, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Illness in North India: Medicine, Risk, and Experience,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman
BRIDGET C. HANNA, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Illness in North India: Medicine, Risk, and Experience,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman. The grantee conducted research in north India looking at the effect of controversies over toxic chemical exposure on health experience and health care. The project was based in New Delhi and Bhopal, India, and focused on discourses of health and healing that have followed in the wake of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster. The grantee looked at the experiential, legal, and epidemiological history of attempts to concretize and make sense of the long-term effects of the exposure of half the city to methyl-isocyanate. With archival research, and through extended conversations with patients, doctors, researchers, bureaucrats, and activists, the grantee mapped usage of health care by survivors, and tried to understand the dynamics that structured the provision of health care to the affected group. The project asked: How is environmental illness causality survivor, the healer, and the state? What effect do these perceptions have on the lived experience of the individual, the family, and the city? What are the roles of state and non-state actors in articulating medical frameworks in Bhopal? And what are the implications of the culture of medical anxiety and obfuscation that has characterized the aftermath?
Chaturvedi, Ruchi, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Criminal Enmities: State, Party Workers and the Law in South India,' supervised by Dr. E. Valentine Daniel
RUCHI CHATURVEDI, while a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Criminal Enmities: State, Party Workers and the Law in South India,' supervised by Dr. E. Valentine Daniel. Research centered around political party workers of the Marxist left and the Hindu right in Northern Kerala who have used relentless violence against each other for over three decades. Field research for the dissertation project proceeded from the following questions: What are the details of the party workers' social histories and biographies? What roles and performances mark their careers and what is their relevance for the functioning of the democratic state? What are the contexts and modes in which workers oft11ese parties usurp the state's defining feature: its monopoly over the use of physical force? Party workers form communities tied together by bonds of friendship and kinship, and religious and other ideologies. Those not perceived as 'friends' and 'brothers' are classified as enemies. Political practice gets directed towards elimination of this enemy, and violence ensues. This is a logic that also finds place within democracies but poses grave challenges to the ideals of rightful democratic practice. In KeraIa, as in other parts of India and the world, the State paradoxically becomes both the site of the political contest as well as the agent of violence against enemies of one or another group, thereby creating its own enemy. Research was thus directed at examining how the State-judiciary enacts its authority only by transfiguring the State subject into the State enemy through violence. Party workers are caught in this whirl of varied antagonistic claims to authority and violence. The question of necessity of this violence in the practice and preservation of democracy is the central ethical problem that is posed and engaged with in the dissertation.
Seshia Galvin, Shaila, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'State of Nature: Agriculture, Development and the Making of Organic Uttarakhand,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove
SHAILA SESHIA GALVIN, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'State of Nature: Agriculture, Development and the Making of Organic Uttarakhand,' supervised by Dr. Michael Dove. On 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the newest state of the Indian Union. Shortly after its formation, the government of this Himalayan state actively strategized to develop organic agriculture as a key component of rural development. The promotion of organic agriculture in Uttarakhand expresses an agrarian utopianism that initially appears counter-intuitive in relation to the modernist projects of India's Green and 'gene' revolutions. Yet, as architects of the policy claim that agriculture in Uttarakhand is 'organic by default' and emphasize the persistence of indigenous traditions and seed varieties, systems of contract farming, agricultural extension, and organic certification are put in place to integrate the region's mountain farmers into domestic and global supply chains. This project examines changes wrought in the agrarian landscape of Uttarakhand by exploring the bureaucratic, regulatory and agrarian practices called into being in the process of becoming organic. By asking why organic agriculture has become important for Uttarakhand, it aims to unravel the tensions and paradoxes forged at the juncture of locally situated yet globally ambitious processes of place-making and agrarian practice.
Makley, Dr Charlene E., Reed College, Portland, OR - To aid research on 'Dilemmas of Development among Tibetans in the PRC'
DR. CHARLENE E. MAKLEY, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, received funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Dilemmas of Development among Tibetans in the PRC.' This grant covered the second phase of the fieldwork (January to August 2008) in the Tibetan town of Rebgong (pop. 23,900) in eastern Qinghai province, China. The project focused on gathering qualitative data to understand the impacts on Tibetans from the 'Great Develop the West' campaign eight years after its launch by central government officials. The project asked whether new valued agents and actions were emerging from new forms of capital under state pressures, and which groups of Tibetans benefited from or were marginalized by these processes. Under significant political constraints due to a military crackdown on unrest among Tibetans in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, research was conducted in three Tibetan villages reflecting a spectrum of political economic c