Sarikuzu, Hande, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Bargaining for Helal Justice: Rights, Compensation, and Reconciliation in Dersim, Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the relationship between material value, moral debt, and legal repair within the contradictory and emergent contexts of reconciliatory justice in Turkey, to resolve the decades-long conflict between the Turkish nation-state and its oppressed Kurdish minorities. The focus of my investigation will be the cultural expressions of claiming legal rights, recognition, and repair for three historical grievances in the Kurdish-Alewi province of Dersim, the devastating social and economic legacies of which have forged the contemporary political identity of the region. In order to understand the relationship between money, morality, and memory through a comparative analysis of these three cases in Dersim, I will problematize the trope of helâl justice, which has been foregrounded in the public debates on peace and reconciliation since the first democratic 'opening' sponsored by the current government in 2009. This research will address the inherent contradictions of the neo-liberal and neo-Islamist policies of reconciliation in Turkey by unpacking helâl justice as a historically embedded, cultural expression of claims-making, subjectivity, and reciprocity that merges the religious (faith) and the mundane (finance) in matters of public policy, such as the restitution of rights and the mending of social relations.
Kartari, Dr. Asker, Hacettepe U., Ankara, Turkey - To aid 5th InASEA conference on 'Migration, Communication, and Social Change,' 2009, Ankara, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Migration in, from, and to Southeastern Europe: Intercultural Communication, Social Changes, and Transnational Ties'
May 21-24, 2009, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Organizers: Asker Kartari (Hacettepe University) and Ulf Brunnbauer (University of Regensburg)
This was the 5th Conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology -- the first international association of academics and researchers in the social sciences who concentrate on Southeast Europe. Ninety-nine specialists from Balkan and Western countries were brought together to consider the entire migration process in its
relevant social, economic, and political contexts and to facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue, transnational comparison, and attention to both migrant and host society perspectives. Papers presented at the conference will be published in volumes 13 and 14 of the journal Ethnologia Balkanica.
Beliaev, Alexandre B., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation Among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Mark Cohen
ALEXANDRE BELIAEV, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence M. Cohen. Latvia's 'noncitizens' are mostly ethnic Russians who settled in Latvia during the Soviet period. Following the restoration of Latvian independence, they did not commit to undergoing Latvian naturalization process. This research investigated: 1) how noncitizenship has come to be seen as enabling of certain political practices; and 2) how this set of practices has facilitated a polity that, while being coincident and maintained by the nation-state, has not been subsumed by it. This investigation yielded three conclusions. First, the pursuit of minority rights -- among them, the right to citizenship without undergoing naturalization -- is increasingly seen as non-political. Second, the notion of 'culture' implicit in the discourse on 'national minorities' does not correspond to the notion of 'cultured life,' which is seen as necessary for politics. Third, politics is increasingly understood in the idiom of 'coalition' rather than 'contestation.' The emergence of 'coalition' as a central political idiom is not a consequence of lessening of ethnic tensions, but rather a consequence of a new demarcation of privateIpublic spheres.
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
July 22, 2010
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid dissertation write-up in social-cultural anthropology at U. College London, London, England, supervised by Michael Sinclair Stewart
Leeds, Adam Ephraim, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr, Adriana Petryna
ADAM E. LEEDS, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. This fieldwork investigated the transformations in economic knowledge production in Moscow. The end of the Soviet Union meant the end of the ideological master code (Marxist-Leninism) governing uneasily co-existing strands of economic knowledge, the social system in which these knowledges formed, and the institutional regime within which they had been the means of social action. The community of economists in Moscow now constitutes a fractured field. Moving within it, this work examined several different moments in economic knowledge development: from 1960s 'market socialist' reformism and the dream of optimal planning, to the birth of the Gaidar team and their microeconomic critique of the Soviet state, to the international assembly of the think-tank world, to the implantation of Western economics, to the constitution of 'transition economics' as a subfield and its subsequent dissolution into a new comparative political economy of development. It tacks back and forth between underlying political imaginaries, ideologies of objectivity, and the everyday practices of economists working in different institutional locales. Finally, it asks: What are the meanings of capitalism, liberalism, and democracy today? How are they related? How do they, don't they, or should they operate in Russia? and, of course, What is to be done?
Cherkaev, Xenia Andrej, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli
XENIA A. CHERKAEV, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli. In 2011, Putin warned that the American-funded political opposition would falsify the election results' falsification, and might kill someone off, to blame the government. Attempting to write a history of this present, where universal corruption accusations blend easily into conspiracy theory, this project examines changing regimes of circulation, and the correlating changes in regimes of truth. It begins in late-Soviet Leningrad, asking how people made and obtained everyday things by using their positions in the centralized distribution system, their access to surplus material hoarded by enterprises, and the reified norms of State institutions - and how State Secrecy, permeating everyday life as another monolithic norm, guaranteed a truth, just out of reach: 'It irritated! There were certain things some idiot didn't want me to know!' It then asks how regimes of both truth and circulation changed with the post-Soviet transition, in which the sudden disclosure of previously unavailable materials correlated with widespread political discussion, extrasensory and religious activity, sharp commodity deficit, and new economic policies, which allowed people to make cash on State surplus and informal deals that 'took the country apart by the screws … swiped everything from precious metals to Arab horses... fantastic times!'
Weigler, Elizabeth A., U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'The Lives We Tell: Sikh Identity and Collective Memories of the Great War in Britain,' supervised by Dr. Mary Hancock
Preliminary abstract: 2014 marked the beginning of the four-year World War One Centenary. To commemorate, Great Britain has planned a wide variety of remembrance projects, which have served as catalysts for collective reassertions of British identity. Over 500 of these commemorative projects have been proposed by independent religiously- and ethnically-grounded organizations; the government has solicited and funded their participation with the aim of representing minority perspectives in the master narrative of the Great War in Britain. My research focuses on one such organization--a Sikh heritage group who represents one of Britain's largest ethnoreligious minority communities and has received significant support in soliciting 'new histories' from community members. The investigation will follow the experiences of Sikh volunteers as they are recruited by the organization, create and refine their historical narratives, and subsequently reengage with their familial histories via synthesized materials such as coffee table books and exhibits. In this new space, the assumptions, motivations, and perceptions of participating Sikh individuals come into explicit dialogue with wider public discourses of British colonial history, its legacies, and their current status as British citizens and South Asian ethnoreligious subjects. This research explores the salience of a Sikh-specific historical consciousness--an individual's relationship with and use of the past--in the construction and maintenance of diasporic identities. Findings will address unanswered questions about diasporic identity maintenance and expression; individual agency, generational transmission, and the negotiation of authority in collective memorial processes; and methodologies for collaboration in the field of public history.
Mattioli, Fabio, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Productive Debts: The Financialization of Urban Life and the Magic of Debts in Skopje, Macedonia,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
FABIO MATTIOLI, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Productive Debts: The Financialization of Urban Life and the Magic of Debts in Kopje, Macedonia,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. The research describes the emergence of a new political economy in Macedonia, focusing on the power hierarchies that shape the construction sector of the country's capital, Skopje. While official data show that the country has good levels of liquidity, most of the building companies contacted faced a disconcerting and chronic lack of money. Forced to build without cash, they had to revolutionize their building cycles, as well their internal relations; despite their efforts, the value of their work seemed to always 'magically' dissipate into thin air. But not every enterprise experiences precarity and economic losses; in recent years a conservative right wing party has colonized the state, syphoning Macedonian and international monetary investments towards the central government. Companies that are close to this new political formation get paid in cash. Enterprises that are not, have to rely on forms of in-kind transactions that leave them with unwanted goods that they cannot sell on the market. Getting to money becomes a real struggle that restructures labor and gender relations on the work sites. Through the case study of a small building company (which will be called 'Construx'), the research analyzes the precarity that results from Macedonia's arising political economy.
Dzenovska, Dace, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'From Multi-Ethnic Socialism to Multicultural Europe: Difference and European Integration in Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak
DACE DZENOVSKA, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, Califonia, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'From Multi-Ethnic Socialism to Multicultural Europe: Difference and European Integration in Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak. The research set out to examine how the European present and the Soviet past constitute contemporary forms of liberalism and multiculturalism in Latvia. It suggested that rather than arriving in Latvia fully formed, it is in Latvia that Europe, liberalism, and multiculturalism are made. Ethnographic research focused on discourses and practices of tolerance and immigration control, while the former aim to incite individuals to reflect on the boundaries they draw between themselves and others and to cultivate a particular ethical disposition towards difference, the latter police the borders of the territory and the national body. Research findings suggest that Europe, multiculturalism, and liberalism are highly contested and heterogeneous sets of practices. While exhibiting liberal inclinations, dicourses and practices of tolerance and multiculturalism are also shaped by the influential articulation of state legitimacy with the integrity and sovereignty of the cultural nation and understandings of good life grounded in a particular way of life. Further analysis will consider how liberal practices, both state and non-state, are enabled by and themselves enable particular ways of life. How does one engage with nationalism as a particular way of life without either rendering it as fundamentally problematic or becoming complicit in its troubling renditions of difference?
Dzenovska, Dace, 2010. Making 'The People' Political Imaginaries and the Materiality of Barricades in Mexico and Latvia. Laboratorium (3):5-16.
Dzenovska, Dace. 2010. Public Reason and the Limits of Liberal Anti-Racism in Latvia. Ethnos 75(4):425-454.