Mursic, Rajko, U. of Ljubljana, Slovenia - To aid 10th EASA conference on 'Experiencing Diversity and Mutuality,' 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
'Experiencing Diversity and Mutuality: The 10th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists'
August 26-29, 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Organizer: Rajko Mursic (University of Ljubljana)
The 10th biennial conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) aimed to explore public discourse on diversity and cross-cultural communication and highlight the underestimated aspects of mutuality, such as the borrowing of practices and beliefs. Approximately 1,200 international scientists attended the conference and participated in 121 workshops and presented 1,040 papers. They also participated in plenary sessions, round tables, network meetings, special events, etc. Funding from Wenner-Gren Foundation was used to defray travel and accommodations for 52 participants, as well as provide support for the 'Claude Levi-Strauss Centennial Tribute' as well as the Levi-Strauss Chill-out Room, which presented videos about the scholar and his books. The exhibition was an opportunity for younger scholars and students of anthropology and related sciences to learn more about the famous ethnologist.
Praspaliauskiene, Rima, U. of California Davis, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Thank You, Doctor: Informed Patients, Healthcare, and Ethics in Post-Socialist Lithuania,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit
RIMA PRASPALIAUSKIENE, then a student at the University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Thank You, Doctor: Informed Patients, Healthcare, and Ethics in Post-Socialist Lithuania,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit. This project explored how in informal economy illness is experienced and how health is managed. By examining one of the components of health practice -- informal payments -- this project looks at the configuration of the concept of health itself, as it currently emerges at the historical intersection of socialist state practices and liberal technologies of government. And it asks: How did the socialist state provision of health-its practices and technologies-contribute to a definition of health during its heyday? How is this definition of health being rearticulated by the neo-liberal state and how do informal payments interfere with it? What is it like to be a patient or a healthcare provider at these historical crossroads? This research approaches the narratives coalescing illness and told by patients, their relatives and doctors as 'envelope narratives.' The envelope here is not solely a metaphor for a monetary transaction that comes up in the narratives, but a metaphor and a concept that encapsulates the linkages between notion of health, belief, hope, and political economy in contemporary Lithuania. Findings suggest that the interconnectedness of both therapeutic systems and social networks is rendered in the envelope narratives, where illness, hope and social networks are bundled.
Grill, Jan, U. of St. Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'On the Margins of the States: Contesting Roma Identifications and Belonging in the Slovak Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Paloma Gay y Blasco
JAN GRILL, while a student at the University of St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom, received a funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'On the Margins of the States: Contesting Roma Identifications and Belonging in the Slovak Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Paloma Gay y Blasco. This project examined the making of Roma situated subjectivities at the margins of two states through ethnographic study of one village in eastern Slovakian borderlands and Roma labor migrants' networks in the industrial cities of Great Britain. By exploring Roma groups who find themselves largely excluded from the formal labor market and marginalized by the dominant societies, the research shows their migration mobility as a strategy enabling them to circumvent variously constraining social and symbolic orders, and to contest hegemonic racial and social categories historically placing them at the bottom of power hierarchies in the world defined by the dominant others. The research investigated how and to what extent various Roma actors and groupings embrace or resist the dominant public mis-representations of Gypsies and discourses of work ethic and morality interwoven within the imageries of 'proper' citizenship and sociality. The findings indicate how migrants reinvent the self's position through carving out a social space of their own by skilful maneuvering in between the two states' structures. The project ethnographically documents social conditions of migration and highlights the centrality of historically accumulated forms of capitals entrenched within the system of asymmetrical social differentiation both between the Roma and non-Roma, but also among the Roma themselves.
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.
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.
Stoetzer, Bettina Yvonne, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'At the Edges of the City: An Ethnography of Affective Landscapes and Racial Geographies in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Beth Rofel
BETTINA STOETZER, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'At the Edges of the City: An Ethnography of Affective Landscapes and Racial Geographies in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Rofel. The city of Berlin and the surrounding East German countryside together make an intriguing site to explore how boundaries are made and remade in a changing Europe. While debates about urban 'segregation' and 'ghettoization' proliferate in the city, Berlin simultaneously prides itself on being the 'greenest city' in Europe. Yet Berlin's many landscapes -- its urban districts, parks, green spaces, and rural edges -- offer both a trap and a refuge for different populations. Conducting research with immigrant and refugee communities living at the edge of the city -- as well as communities in one of Berlin's officially declared 'districts with special need for development' -- this one-year ethnographic project examines how contemporary urban and rural landscapes in and around Berlin become important in struggles over borders and thus in projects of inclusion and exclusion. Through interviews, informal conversations and participant observation, the project explores the following questions: 1) How do immigrants and refugees, city planners, public policy makers, park rangers, East Germans, and tourists transform urban and rural landscapes in and around Berlin through their planning, regulation, use, and experience of these spaces? 2) How and to what extent does the transformation of Berlin's urban and rural landscapes (and 'nature spaces' in particular) efface old divisions, reinscribe past histories and construct new ethnic, national and racialized forms of belonging? And 3) what are the various folk geographies and discrepant ways in which immigrants and other local actors that are situated at various social margins, experience, imagine and remake the material environments in which they live?
Kim, Christine Soo-Young, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Prescience Studies: Economic Forecasting and the Making of a Future in Greece,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Povinelli
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the future that emerges through economic forecasting in Greece. What happens when a form of technical knowledge about the future becomes a matter of broad concern and a basis for decisive personal and political action in the present? Through ethnographic and archival research across several domains of activity, I study forecasting work, the circulation and use of forecasts, and the role of economic expertise in constructing the contemporary nation. This research analyzes a particular configuration of expert knowledge, political exercise, and everyday action by examining a range of practices concerned with future states of the Greek economy, documenting the objects brought into being by these practices, and considering the consequences of a specific kind of future coming to stand for the future at large in Greece and of Greece. Moreover, in focusing on how a specific future is built, circulated, embraced, or refused, I extend anthropological efforts to take up the future as a key site of contention in the present, while inquiring into the conceptual, analytic, and methodological tools for studying the future anthropologically.
Ambikaipaker, Mohan, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Antiracist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. Joao Costa Vargas
MOHAN AMBIKAIPAKER, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Anti-racist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. João Costa Vargas. Funding enabled extensive ethnographic research to be carried out on how Black and South Asian communities in East London struggle against different but interrelated forms of racism. The British state has consolidated a shift from the earlier anti-racist and anti-discriminatory objectives of multiculturalism by reformulating contemporary multicultural policy and practices as tools to ensure national security instead. The official focus has shifted the spotlight towards British Muslims, who are constructed as the likely and potential source of cultural clashes, religious extremism, and domestic terrorism. Anti-terror and national security policies and practices are generated through an emergent common sense that shifts the meaning of official multiculturalism away the struggle to accord recognition and rights for minorities and steers it towards a repressive notion of multiculturalism aimed at regulating ethnic identities in compliance primarily with counter-terrorism's logic. This change in multiculturalism forces the development of new forms of anti-racist social movements that have to negotiate a range of identities produced by defensive racial and ethnic responses to the new multicultural regime. There is a conceptual space for these movements that mediate between abstract universal goals of social justice and the necessarily defensive postures of identities subject to the processes of racialization and social exclusion engendered by repressive multiculturalism. The research findings argue against any form of settled position concerning the debate on the effectiveness of identity politics, preferring instead an ethnographic presentation that examines how an ideologically ambiguous terrain accomplishes much of the everyday work of antiracism in Britain.
Vucinic-Neskovic, Dr. Vesna, U. of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia & MN - To aid 3rd InASEA conference on urban life and culture in southeast Europe, 2005, Belgrade, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Urban Life and Culture in Southeastern Europe,' May 26-29, 2005, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro -- Organizers: Dr. Vesna Vucinic-Nesdovic and Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer. This conference was organized by the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA), School of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade and Sudosteuropa- Gesellschaft, with the goal of opening up an interdisciplinary debate between different disciplines, such as anthropology, ethnology, folkloristics, social history, sociology, architecture and urban planning. Focusing on the region of Southeastern Europe, it revealed and analyzed the similarities and differences between life in cities that vary in size, historic, demographic, economic, social, and cultural features. It bought together 170 researchers from 18 countries of Southeastern Europe and the West, primarily from the European Union and the United States. Additional support for the conference was provided by the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe (Germany), the Republic of Serbia Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection, Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft (Germany), and School of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.