Ibrahim, Nur Amali, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan
NUR AMALI IBRAHIM, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan. This project examines the religious socialization of young believers in Indonesia in a context of competing religious ideologies. During the course of research, the grantee uncovered the beliefs of both groups, their intellectual influences, the history of their emergence, and the sociopolitical networks to which they belong. The research found that conservative Islam thrives in secular campuses, while liberalism flourishes in Islamic campuses. This counter-intuitive situation reflects a trend where 'born-again' Muslims from secular backgrounds are more easily persuaded to conservatism, whereas Muslims long exposed to Islamic education are more aware of nuances in religion that they become tolerant and plural. Comparing the socialization practices in both groups, the grantee discovered that conservatives have a systematic process to disseminate their ideology as they organized their members in small and tightly controlled cell groups. Liberals in contrast have a loosely organized structure, relying on debates and discussions rather than religious instruction. Conservatives and liberals compete fiercely to stamp their prominence on campus; this rivalry puts them in a dialectical relationship, such that each makes adjustments in response to the other's actions. Encountering dissatisfactions with their religious orientations, young people may eventually alter their stances, suggesting that conservatives and liberals can be transient identities rather than permanent.
Dattatreyan, Ethiraj Gabriel, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Central Peripheries: Migrant Youth, Popular Culture, and the Making of 'World Class' Delhi,' supervised by Dr. John L. Jackson Jr.
ETHIRAJ G. DATTATREYAN, then a graduate student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in October 2013 to aid research on 'Central Peripheries: Migrant Youth, Popular Culture, and the Making of 'World Class' Delhi,' supervised by Dr. John L. Jackson, Jr. As access to web 2.0, coupled with the advent of inexpensive photo, video, and audio equipment becomes increasingly available across the globe, young people from communities who have been in the margins emerge as cultural producers in ways that connect them to networks of possibility. This project utilizes ethnographic work in Delhi, India's hip-hop scene to develop what the grantee has termed 'aesthetic citizenship,' the possibilities for enfranchisement through the production and circulation of experiences of social life otherwise below the threshold of visibility. Specifically, research focuses on the ways in which diverse groups of mostly young men living in Delhi's margins are utilizing global hip hop-coupled with digital production and circulation technologies-to create opportunities for social, economic, and political participation as the city they live in continues to be reimagined and remade as 'world class.' The grantee argues that these opportunities for participation within and outside of a global hip-hop practice community hinge on these young men's visual and aural performances of difference, and the kinds of interest that this view from below of Delhi- interjected in global hip hop's aesthetic of global Blackness - generates as it travels in offline and online networks. Yet, the research shows how these possibilities for citizenship are constrained through aesthetic production and directed by what sorts of configurations of difference Delhi and India can represent.
Sherpa, Dr. Pasang Yangjee, Penn State U., State College, PA - To aid engaged activies on 'Engagement in Cultivating Mutually Beneficial Collaborations to Understand Climate Change Impacts Between Academic Scholars & Sherpas of Everest Region, Nepal'
DR. PASANG Y. SHERPA, Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in August 2013 to aid activities on 'Engagement in Cultivating Mutually Beneficial Collaborations to Understand Climate Change Impacts between Academic Scholars and Sherpas of Everest Region, Nepal.' The grantee's doctoral research showed that despite several institutional responses to climate change effects organized in the Everest region since 2004, climate change is still a foreign concept. These institutional responses were found to have narrowly focused on extreme events, which limit our understanding of the wider effects. It was also revealed that Sherpas are aware of and are experiencing environmental changes although differentially based on their socioeconomic and occupational backgrounds. In some cases, institutional responses have also had unintended negative consequences putting lives in danger. As a result, the grantee developed this engagement project (December 2013 to January 2014) to start conversations about institutions and researchers involving communities as equal partners in understanding and responding to climate change effects locally. A seminar was conducted at the Environmental Graduates Himalaya premises with academic scholars, as well as a seminar with the Sherwi Yondhen Tshokpa members, two workshops in Pharak, and informal discussions with community members. Two sets of low-cost weather monitoring stations were also installed in Pharak. Observation of the seminars among academic scholars and the SYT members, presented in the engagement blog (http://www.scoop.it/t/everest-and-sherpas), show that while both groups realize the need for (investigative) action, there are different emphases and different perspectives by which such actions are imagined.
Mohaiemen, Naeem, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on ''Independence, Memory, and Blood,' supervised by Dr. David Scott
The British Indian empire ended in 1947 with the partition of India and Pakistan. In 1971, the 'Muslim nation' ideology of Pakistan was rejected by its Eastern half, which became independent Bangladesh. Between these two postcolonial markers lie a slow process of dissolution and convergence. My project looks at the social processes by which the event in its time is remembered today. The research focuses on the use of memory by social groups. I look at how a population, majority born after the war, wrestles with remembrance of that period. The hyper-pressures to remember and materialize that history, while the actual artifacts, documents, and oral memories were under-preserved and often destroyed, creates a rupture that continually juxtaposes the urge to erase against the desire to remember.
Karchmer, Dr. Eric Ivan, Independent Scholar, Weston, MA - To aid research and writing on 'Orientalizing the Body: Postcolonial Transformations in Chinese Medicine' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ERIC I. KARCHMER, an independent scholar located in Weston, Massachusetts, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2007 to aid research and writing on 'Orientalizing the Body: Postcolonial Transformations in Chinese Medicine.' Orientalizing the Body is an ethnography of the hybrid practices that doctors of Chinese medicine have adopted to suit the institutional demands of modern health care delivery in China. Medicine in contemporary China is shaped by postcolonial power asymmetries: doctors of Chinese medicine practice two types of medicine, Chinese medicine and Western medicine, while their Western medicine counterparts learn only one. Despite the social imperative for doctors of Chinese medicine to use both medical systems, they have not developed an overarching theory of integration. Instead they rely on a small set of 'Orientalist' comparisons that posit the two medical systems as mirror images of each other, especially with regards to efficacy, anatomy, and diagnosis. These seemingly innocuous comparisons operate as purifying claims that both marginalize the clinical scope of Chinese medicine to the chronic, the functional, and the hard-to-diagnose, while also enabling clinical innovation by facilitating its integration with Western medicine. The manuscript traces the historical emergence of these Orientalist formulations and their implications for contemporary practice, demonstrating that the dual processes of purification and hybridization, simultaneously constraining and expanding the horizons of clinical practice, have become the central organizing dynamic in the modern development of Chinese medicine.
Karchmer, Eric. 2010. Chinese Medicine in Action: On the Postcoloniality of Medical Practice in China. Medical Anthropology 29(3): 226-252.
Farquhar, Dr. Judith B., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and Zhang, Dr. Qicheng, Beijing, China - To aid collaboration on practices of cultivating life: yang sheng and everyday life in Beijing
DR. JUDITH B. FARQUHAR, then at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and DR. QICHENG ZHANG, Beijing University, Beijing, China, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in July 2002, to aid collaborative research on 'Practices of Cultivating Life: Yangsheng and Everyday Life in Beijing.' Yangsheng, or nurturing life, is a rubric that in China today incorporates medical selfcare, nutrition, exercise, daily habits, hobbies, and healthful dispositions. Yangsheng offers a vision of a good society rooted in wholesome lives, combining notions of life, the person, and the social world. This project has been an anthropological investigation of this complex indigenous category and social theory. An American anthropologist and a Chinese philosopher have here collaborated to understand how contemporary Beijingers configure lives in ways indebted both to cultural tradition and Maoist mobilization, both idiomatically Chinese and modernistically global. The research looked at unique modern Chinese values and proclivities at work: 1) an emphasis on life nurturance as pure enjoyment; 2) an emphasis on everyday life activism; 3) a depoliticized but quiet politics, visible in the ways large groups occupy public space to nurture their lives; 4) resonances among official health propaganda, informants' common sense, and esoteric Chinese philosophies. Theoretical questions also arose: the nature of the political, the charging of urban space in practice, the 'life' of 'tradition,' the constitution of meaning in the practice of the everyday. Publications have appeared from this project, notably three articles by Judith Farquhar and several mass market books by Qicheng Zhang. A co-authored English-language monograph from the study is in press with Zone Books.
Zharkevich, Ina, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Generation, Gender and Change in the Maoist Base Areas of Nepal during the Conflict and its Aftermath,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner
INA ZHARKEVICH, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Generation, Gender and Change in the Maoist Base Areas of Nepal during the Conflict and its Aftermath,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner. The fieldwork was carried out in the village of Thabang, hailed as the capital of the Maoist base areas during the war. The findings of the fieldwork suggest that the 'people's war' has reconfigured key hierarchies along which Nepali society was organized - that of caste, gender and generation. However, the old hierarchies were subverted not only due to the spread of Maoist ideology, but also due to the processes engendered by the situation of war -- the exodus of able-bodied men who either joined the Maoists or migrated abroad, the concurrent feminization of villages, and inevitable change in the gender and generational structure of society. While the 'people's war' had a clear generational dimension, these were predominantly unmarried youth who joined the rebels -- pointing towards the importance of the moral economy of marriage and kinship for understanding the Maoist mobilization campaign and broader social processes during the war. The fact that such practices as beef-eating and inter-caste commensality, considered as a serious transgression in the once Hindu Kingdom of Nepal, endure in post-conflict environment testifies that the 'people's war' undermined Hindu ideology as the basis of the moral order in Nepal and introduced new ideas about morality grounded in the Maoist discourse of equality and progress.
Askew, Dr. Marc Richard, Victoria U., Melbourne, Australia - To aid research on 'Neighborhood in a Time of Danger: Buddhist and Muslim Villagers amidst Thailand's Southern Insurgency'
DR. MARC R. ASKEW, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Neighborhood in a Time of Danger: Buddhist and Muslim Villagers Amidst Thailand's Southern Insurgency.' Set in the environment of the ongoing violence afflicting the Muslim-majority border areas of southern Thailand, this ethnographic research explored webs of relationships, personal stories, and shared rumor in a group of neighboring Buddhist and Muslim villages in adjoining districts of the provinces of Songkhla and Pattani. Involving ten months' fieldwork, and building upon networks of informants from a previous pilot study, the project investigated local values about neighborhood, social and ethno-religious difference, and sought to determine how village leaders negotiate pressures imposed both by mysterious local insurgents as well as Thai state authorities. The researcher found that in the absence of effective state protection, villagers have draw on a range of networks and traditional social modes to maximize safety and manage relationships, patterns that reveal much about the relative strength of society and weakness of the state in Thailand. The research in the villages of this area highlights that in this strange 'war zone,' though people are dogged with suspicions of mysterious enemies and sometimes prone to vent their frustrations about the dangers surrounding them in terms of ethnic stereotypes, they still remain committed to affirming values and relationships of co-existence in a multi-ethnic space.
Askew, Marc. 2007. Landscapes of Fear, Horizons of Trust: Villagers Dealing with Danger in Thailand’s Insurgent South. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40(1):59-86.