Kartari, Dr. Asker, Kadir Has U., Istanbul, Turkey - To aid InASEA conference on 'Cultures of Crisis: Experiencing and Coping with Upheavals and Disasters in Southeast Europe,' 2014, Istanbul, in collaboration with Dr. Klaus Roth
'Cultures of Crisis: Experiencing and Coping with Upheavals and Disasters in Southeast Europe'
September 18-20, 2014, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey
Organizers: Asker Kartari (Kadir Has U.) and Klaus Roth (Ludwig-Maximian U.)
The seventh conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA) was held on the Cibali Campus of Kadir Has University. The program included two plenary sessions, four keynote speakers, and 35 academic sessions of papers and discussion. Some 120 papers were presented on a wide range of topics. The theme of the conference was chosen by colleagues who felt that the entire region was suffering heavily from various crises, from wars and natural disasters to migration movements and domestic household problems. Papers were directed at the ways people in the region cope with hardships in their everyday lives, and included empirical work from countries such as Slovenia, Turkey, Moldova, Cyprus, and Greece. Conference organizers plan to publish a selection of the papers in two volumes of Ethnologia Balkanica, the association's journal.
Robbins, Jessica Choate, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik
JESSICA C. ROBBINS, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik. This research investigated how experiences and ideals of aging relate to changing formations of nation and state through the study of contemporary practices of memory in Wroc?aw and Pozna?, Poland. This research sought to understand how older persons become transformed through practices of memory in personal, familial, and national contexts (e.g., telling life histories, creating photo albums and other material evidence, or following public debates on pension reform). To understand how current interpretations and ramifications of the last century's large-scale changes matter in the lives of aging Poles, and how the oldest generations matter to the Polish nation and state, this research consisted of an ethnographic study of aging Poles' gendered practices of reminiscence in a variety of social, political, religious, and economic contexts (e.g.,a church-run rehabilitation hospital, a state-run home for the chronically ill, a day care center for people with Alzheimer's disease, and Universities of the Third Age). This research demonstrated that experiences and ideals of aging are deeply gendered, and that older people's practices of memory are intimately bound up with transformations of persons, collective memory, and nationalisms, and tied to national practices of remembering Poland's past and creating the proper future path of state and nation.
Rudan, Dr. Pavao, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia - To aid 13th congress of the European Anthropological Association (EAA): a quarter century of EA A - Reflections and Perspectives, 2002, Zagreb
'13th Congress of the European Anthropological Association (EAA): 'A Quarter Century of the European Anthropological Association - Reflections and Perspectives',' August 30-September 3, 2002, Zagreb, Croatia -- Organizers Dr. Pavao Rudan, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia. It was organized by Croatian Anthropological Society and Institute for Anthropological Research. Funding from Wenner-Gren Foundation made it possible for 48 students to attend the 13th EAA Congress, which consisted of six plenary sessions (30 lectures), thirteen symposia (172 presentations) and a poster session (234 posters) comprising a wide range of anthropological topics. Altogether 419 scientists from 36 European and overseas countries, including many students and young researchers, gathered to re-evaluate EAA past achievements and, more importantly, to specify its future goals. The emphasis was laid on the need to strengthen cooperation and to broaden the range of educational possibilities in anthropology in Europe.
Fomina, Victoria, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Martyrdom as a Moral Model in Modernity: The Neo-Martyrs' Veneration in Present-Day Cyprus and Russia,' supervised by Vlad Naumescu
Preliminary abstract: This research explores the significance of neo-martyrdom in contemporary Christian Orthodox societies through following the emerging cult of new martyr Yevgeny Rodionov -- a Russian soldier killed in Chechen captivity in 1996 for his refusal to convert to Islam. Tragic death at the hands of the enemy turned an ordinary soldier into an object of popular veneration and inspired many Orthodox believers throughout the world to paint icons of him, compose hagiographic narratives of his life, devote him songs and poems and pray to him in hope of intercession. Through a comparative analysis of martyrological representations of Yevgeny in Russia and Cyprus this research will inquire into the meaning of martyrdom as an ethical model for contemporary Orthodox communities, which find themselves in the areas with clearly manifest Christian-Islamic opposition. I will argue that the context of inter-religious conflict provokes Orthodox believers on the one hand to search for their own heroes to match up against Islamic martyrs and assert the value of Orthodox faith and on the other -- produces a lot of anxiety about separating 'proper' martyrdom from the acts of religious fanaticism often ascribed to Islamic 'shahids'. By exploring how the soldier's image is mobilized by different groups to index Orthodox identity on local, national, and transnational scales as well as to construct the image of Islamic 'Other' I will seek to identify the multiplex forms in which neo-martyrologies function in contemporary societies. The proposed research will contribute both to the understanding of the state of Orthodox tradition, the challenges it faces and transformations it undergoes in modernity as well as to the theorization of the ethics of self-sacrifice within Orthodox Christian and secular nationalist contexts.
Scheffel, Dr. David Z., U. College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, B.C., Canada - To aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks'
DR. DAVID Z. SCHEFFEL, University College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks.' The research carried out as part of this grant sought to assess variation in the quality of relations between rural Roma and ethnic Slovaks in the Presov district of eastern Slovakia. Five ethnically mixed villages were visited between January and June 2004, and informants representing both groups were interviewed in order to obtain insight into emic methods employed in the determination of the quality of local relations. The methods themselves were found to be highly asymmetrical since they favor the (Slovak) majority community. Although Romani commentators are well aware and often critical of this asymmetry, they nevertheless accept the standards imposed on them and use them to evaluate their own standing as well as that of neighboring groups. The most important standards are those of cultural refinement and deviance. Roma who score well on these, that is, those who are 'cultured' and law-abiding, become known as 'good gypsies', and their communities may become quite well integrated into the local majority society. On the other hand, Roma who exhibit a marked deficit in both realms are branded as 'bad gypsies' and barred from other than fleeting intercourse with ethnic Slovaks. Since the examined settings differ little in terms of socioeconomic variables, it appears that the roots of the observed distinctions go back to the era of early socialism when higher-order integrationist efforts in the realms of housing and education were received and implemented with varying degrees of enthusiasm and cooperation by municipal authorities.
Scheffel, David Z.. 2005. Svinia in Black and White: Slovak Roma and their Neighbours. Broadview Ethnographies & Case Studies. Broadview Press: Toronto
Scheffel, David. 2008. Ethnic Micropolotics in Eastern Europe: A Case Study from Slovakia’s Gypsy Archipelago. Anthropology Today 24(4):23-25.
Carlson, Jennifer Douglass, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JENNIFER D. CARLSON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. This project employed participant observation, interviews, and archival research to explore practices of speculation that have arisen with the advent of renewable energy in rural northern Germany. The spread of wind turbines, solar panels, and bio-gas plants across Ostfriesland, Lower Saxony, as well as an influx of jobs in the environmental sector, have led villagers to see themselves as speculators with an unforeclosed future, in contrast to the rigid caste system that once held sway over their communities. In an atmosphere of development driven by environmental concerns, the possibility of capital gain is twinned with the threat of catastrophe in the public consciousness. Data collected over a year of fieldwork suggest that everyday talk in Ostfriesland is a social poetics where even the most mundane conversations may hold consequences for capital gain and wider economic and environmental stability. Here speculation is the ground of belonging in a world where fortunes, daily routines, social distinctions, and the built environment are in a state of constant flux. This case sheds light on the cultural generativity of renewable energy, with an eye to the social repercussions of eco-capitalist development in formerly preindustrial societies.
Al-Dewachi, Omar, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Professionalization of Iraqi Doctors in Britain: Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Empire,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton
OMAR ALDEWACHI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'The Professionalization of Iraqi Doctors in Britain: Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Empire,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton. This thesis was an historical and ethnographic investigation of the professionalization of Iraqi doctors in Britain. Through this multi-disciplinary approach, it explored the journey and mobility of the Iraqi medical doctor through the historical, political and institutional terrains of the medical profession. The historical component of the thesis explored the role of British doctors and British medicine under the British mandate (1919-1932) in the formation of the medical profession and education in Iraq. It revealed how British medicine became an extension of the Iraqi medical institutions and continued to shape the Iraqi medical profession during post-colonial nation building in Iraq. The ethnographic component examined the diasporic population of Iraqi doctors who currently reside and work in Britain in the face of on-going war in Iraq as well as the re-shaping of the British National Health Services (NHS). In examining the historical and ethnographic facets of the relationship between Iraqi doctors and Britain, the thesis aimed at demonstrating the larger transnational landscape of the medical profession and its embeddedness in empire building and the imagination of the modern Iraqi nation-state.
Dvorakova, Tereza, Charles U., Prague, Czech Republic - To aid research on 'Between Practice and Purpose: The Money of Unemployed Roma and the Czech Welfare System,' supervised by Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh
TEREZA DVORAKOVA, then a student at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Between Practice and Purpose: The Money of Unemployed Roma and the Czech Welfare System,' supervised by Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh. This project examined the ways welfare providers established relations of inequality among the poor and ways Romani women defended these relations in context of Czech welfare politics. Its focus was an ethnographic research based on participant observation of the morally loaded field of welfare policy. The grantee examined the politics of welfare from different settings and conducted a long-term observation of welfare providers' decision-making on 'deserving poor' in the context of welfare changes toward moral individualism. Research documented the current experience and economic practices of Romani women and the ways by which they challenged the individualist understanding of poverty. The project explored the intricate positions of women and their kinship networks -- as well as welfare providers -- take with the aim of understanding their positions and 'earmarking' (Zelizer) for benefit money. The findings indicate how welfare providers frame a category of 'deserving' poor by using social relations of claimants, visibility of material hardship consumption strategies, homelessness, and nationality in order not to 'spend money on the undeserving' and 'save states' money.' The findings show how Roma women symbolically perform their moral position as 'deserving' and distinguish themselves from white (homeless) people devalued as 'undeserving' but for all that still get benefits.
Howard, Maureen Penelope, U. of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - To aid research on 'Seascapes: Voyaging Through the Movements of Experience, Histories, and Ecology,' supervised by Dr. Arnar Arnason
MAUREEN MCCALL, then a student at University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Seascapes: Voyaging through the Movements of Experience, Histories, and Ecology,' supervised by Dr. Arnar Amason. The research project set out to address the question of whether existing theories of landscape could be applied to the sea, and what contributions an understanding of seascape could bring to anthropological landscape research. Fieldwork took place while living on a boat located in the northwest of Scotland between 2006 and 2008, and involved long-term participant observation on several boats as well as in five coastal communities. The research found that the seascape is a place of human habitation, filled with significant places and histories created through processes of work and social interactions at sea. The dissertation will emphasize how working processes bring people, places, and machines into intimate relation with one another -- relations that are always tensioned, have histories, and are constantly unfolding as new places and new techniques. The primary contribution of this research to existing landscape research will be to bring to the fore processes that may be active in all landscapes, specifically, the role of working interactions in forming significant places and experiences of place, the role of technologies in mediating interactions with sea/landscape, and the significant tensions that people must contend with in this process.