Rees, Tobias

Grant Type: 
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
McGill U.
Status: 
Lapsed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 8, 2011
Project Title: 
Rees, Dr. Tobias, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'The Plastic Brain: An Ethnography of the Emergence of Adult Cerebral Plasticity Research and its Impact on Neuroscience as We Knew it'

Preliminary abstract: For much of the twentieth century the human brain was viewed as a neurochemical machine organized in synaptic circuits, governed by synaptic communication. What led neuroscientists to assign the synapse such a privileged role were two nineteenth century observations -- that humans are born with a definite number of neurons and that, once development ended, the neuronal structure becomes essentially fixed. Synapses, specifically synaptic communication, appeared as the only dynamic element of an otherwise immutable brain and were henceforth seen as the key for understanding the nervous system. When, in the late 1990s, first reports on the massive birth of new neurons in the adult human brain were reported, the century old belief in adult cerebral fixity was profoundly shattered -- and the centrality of the synapse doubted.
In this project I ethnographically explore the most sweeping impact the rise of adult neurogenesis research has on neuroscientific understandings of the brain, its diseases, and its humans. I document the shift away from a thoroughly fixed to a profoundly plastic vision of homo cerebralis.

Grant Year: 
2011
Award Amount: 
$20,000

Heatherington, Tracey Lynne

Grant Type: 
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Wisconsin, Milwaukee, U. of
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
October 7, 2014
Project Title: 
Heatherington, Dr. Tracey Lynne, U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'The Lively Commons: Seed Banking and Adaptation to Climate Change'

Preliminary abstract: This ethnographic project tracks global gene banking initiatives across scales and networks of collaboration, connected through the node of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It will follow particular seeds, and the various meanings and values attached to them, through different physical, social, legal and institutional locations and mediations, mapping out the variety of partnerships and perspectives that materialize along the way. This research explores the social implications of initiatives involved with the Global Seed Vault, including efforts to assemble a comprehensive, global network of seed banks. Do they represent appropriate frameworks to manage a global commons of biodiversity? How can we describe the complex institutional context? What insight do these initiatives give us into evolving mechanisms of governance, and prospects for adaptation to global climate change? How should we evaluate their potential significance in terms of environmental justice? The project brings science studies and political ecology into articulation with the anthropology of transnational organizations and corporate forms engaged with human and food security. This case study evaluates alternative conceptual frameworks for understanding the genetic resources being managed through gene banking, paying particular attention to evolving models of environmental governance and changing relationships amid public, private and civil society sectors.

Grant Year: 
2014
Award Amount: 
$20,000

Schrag, David M.

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Johns Hopkins U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 18, 2005
Project Title: 
Schrag, David M., Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Education and Citizenship in East Germany,' supervised by Dr. Gyanendra Pandey
Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$18,170

Karaca, Banu

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 10, 2005
Project Title: 
Karaca, Banu, City U. of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look at Germany and Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano

BANU KARACA, while a student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, received a grant to aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look At Germany and Turkey', supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano. This comparative study is based on fieldwork conducted in the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and Istanbul. Drawing from interviews with artists, curators, critics, gallery directors, corporate sponsors, foundation and government officials, as well as observations at contemporary arts institutions, including each city's Biennial, and the analysis of cultural policy documents this research examines how divergent conceptions of art are mediated within the art world. Furthermore, this study centers on how modernization and nation-building processes in both Germany and Turkey impact the discourses, policies and practices in their present-day art scenes. In so doing, rather than asking questions about a Turkish or German 'kind of modernity' it aims to understand respective experiences and, most importantly, probe paradoxes of modernity through the lens of the arts. Paradoxes that manifest themselves, for instance, in tensions between the civic impact accorded to art and its pliability to market forces, and between understandings of art as a universally human and also particularly national expression.

Publication Credit:

Karaca, Banu. 2006. Inci Eviner: Ikilemin Disinda', Sanatdunyamiz, Vol. 97:202-207.

Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$24,245

Al-Dewachi, Omar

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Harvard U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 10, 2005
Project Title: 
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.

Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$24,998

Tesar, Catalina Constantina

Grant Type: 
Wadsworth Fellowship
Insitutional Affiliation: 
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
Status: 
Completed Fellowship
Approve Date: 
July 30, 2009
Project Title: 
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid training in social-cultural anthropology at U. College London, London, England, supervised by Michael Sinclair Stewart
Grant Year: 
2009
Award Amount: 
$17,500

Latea, Daniel

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
November 3, 2005
Project Title: 
Latea, Daniel, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Debt and Duty in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery

DANIEL LATEA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Debt and Duty in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. Since the privatization of the Romanian retail commerce in 1989, large numbers of people have started buying consumer goods without paying on the spot; this occurs in the absence of any legal provisions. They refer to this practice using the vocabulary of 'debt' (datorie): 'selling on debt' and 'buying on debt.' In contrast, Romanian notions and practices of 'credit' and 'debit' generally denote formal bank transactions. Debt relations are marked by the absence of interest, security, witnesses, formal agreements, evident means of sanctioning defaulters, as well as an elastic duration of repayment. Drawing on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in rural Oltenia (southern Romania), the grantee studied the unfolding of social relations of debt and duty in commercial and other social settings as a crucial instance of the local production of social orders. The project describes the negotiation of debts in terms of the tempo and sequencing of interactions. Acceptable motives or excuses are more convincing to the extent they constitute shared temporalities and moralities -- past, present or future situations, events and relations. Mastering the arts of delay requires continuous effort, creativity and often recalcitrance to state formalities. Moreover, it emphasizes the immense work that people put into rendering debt and duty relations ordinary.

Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$14,700

Cabot, Heath

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
California, Santa Cruz, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 28, 2006
Project Title: 
Cabot, Heath, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid 'Asylum and Advocacy in Athens: An Ethnography of NGO Politics on the Hellenic Frontier,' supervised by Dr. Donald Lawrence Brenneis
Grant Year: 
2006
Award Amount: 
$2,838

Yukleyen, Ahmet

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Boston U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 10, 2003
Project Title: 
Yukleyen, Ahmet, Boston U., Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Sources of Tolerance and Radicalism among Islamic Organizations in Europe,' supervised by Dr. Jenny B. White

AHMET YUKLEYEN, while a student at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, received an award in June 2003 to aid research on Islamic organizations in Europe, under the supervision of Dr. Jenny B. White. Transnational Islamic organizations in western Europe do not simply transplant religious extremism from their countries of origin. Rather, they play an intermediary role, negotiating between the social and religious needs of Muslims and the socioeconomic, legal, and political context of Europe. The diverse forms of religiosity institutionalized by Turkish-Islamic organizations permited a comparative analysis of this intermediary role. Yukleyen looked at the internal dynamics-religious authority, primary field of activism, and boundary maintenance-of three such organizations: Milli Gorus, representing political Islamism; Suleymanli, a branch of the Naqshibandiyya Sufi order; and the Nur movement, a piety-oriented da'wa (missionary) movement. Religious authority involved individuals, positions, and actions that represented collective identity and preserved group cohesion by controlling and disciplining members and dropouts-that is, through boundary making. Each group's field of activism-politics, education, or religious instruction-promoted the type of knowledge embodied by the religious authorities and distributed through boundary making. Redefinitions of religious concepts such as hijrah, jihad, and neighborly relations created a Muslim sense of belonging to the European home. Overall, a comparative analysis of the internal dynamics of transnational Islamic organizations yielded a fuller understanding of their roles in the production and dissemination of Islamic knowledge and practice in western Europe.

Grant Year: 
2003
Award Amount: 
$7,000