Dorval, Arianne, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths': The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
ARIANNE DORVAL, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths:' The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. This research was initially aimed at exploring the politics of métissage, or intercultural and interracial mixing in the French border-city of Marseilles. A combination of archival research, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews enabled the researcher to trace: 1) how the postcolonial presence in Marseilles has been represented by both local residents and postcolonial migrants; 2) the entry, circulation, and spatialization of legal or illegal migrants in the city after decolonization; 3) the conflicts surrounding the recent development of a large-scale urban renewal project that is contributing to the gentrification of the downtown area; 4) the prevalence of rich practices of cultural métissage among impoverished youth living in different neighborhoods of the city; and 5) how mixed couples in Marseilles construe their métisse love as a subversive political act. Overall, the research uncovered the remarkable fluidity of migrant circulation in Marseilles, and showed that multiple solidarities have formed across the racial and cultural boundaries partitioning the city. Yet it also indicated that different forms of the cosmopolitan - elite-based vs. vernacular - have come to clash in Marseilles today. Thus, the Marseilles-style métissage being promoted by city elites is at once exoticizing and normalizing, while the métisse practices encountered daily among the 'dangerous classes' constitute a form of ethico-political subjectivation that calls into question the very boundaries of French nationhood. With a view to exploring further how these boundaries are being contested, the research eventually turned to investigating the predicament of the sans papiers (illegal alien) population currently living in Marseilles. The data collected through participant observation and interviews allowed the researcher to begin addressing key questions concerning the contradictions of citizenship, the invisibility/visibility of (laboring) subjects in urban/national space, and the temporality of emancipatory events.
Pettit, Matthew David, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'The Free Life: Healing the Alcoholic Self in Paris,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
Preliminary abstract: A research project investigating Vie Libre, a mutual-aid association for alcoholics in Paris, France. Over 10 months, I will use participant observation to examine how the group's understanding of healing ('guérison') and the healed alcoholic ('buveur guéri') is changing through their increasing subjection to new social and material conditions. These include various forms of precariousness and isolation, the perceived decline of the public ethos of solidarity, as well as new patterns of alcohol consumption (e.g. binge drinking among the young, co-morbid dependencies). My focus is on concrete instances of self-definition and relation, particularly in their weekly 'talking groups,' but including outreach efforts at hospitals and schools and their participation in public events. This perspective will include the ways in which medical and psychological treatments and strategies enter into my informants' lives as core tools in their self-making. The research centres on the two Parisian chapters of the group, and combines person-centred approaches, namely, long-form interviews and participant-observation of the daily lives and organizational initiatives of the group members, with an analysis of broader social phenomena. These include the history and shifting role of 'associations' in French civic society, increasing material precariousness due to short-term contracts and unemployment, and the rhetorics that shape, sustain and limit demands on the state and its citizens.
Gouez, Aziliz, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Dwelling in Debt: Mortgage Debt and the Making of the Future in Contemporary Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Preliminary abstract: This research proposes to study the hold of financial debt on domestic time frames in contemporary Ireland by focusing attention on the role of debt in configuring the future, a domain of human life which remains underexplored in anthropology. The objective is to investigate the characteristics of the particular temporal regime fostered by a financial instrument which the Irish version of late capitalism made available to the many -- that of the mortgage loan. Taking my cue from Jane Guyer's notion of 'punctuated time', I shall examine how the domestic future is assembled and rendered intelligible (or perhaps, on the contrary, obscured) through the projection of dates that encapsulate distinct horizons and categories of obligations. This will entail looking at various temporal devices related to household budgeting strategies, such as wall calendars, family account books and mortgage repayment schedules, as a site from which to grasp the nesting of conflicting obligations as well as temporal disjunctures, when the round of monthly mortgage payments disrupts the unfolding of anticipated personal and intergenerational trajectories, or when it intersects with provisions made for a child's communion or one's own funeral. I shall also delve into the moral discussions arising from the weighing up of mortgage debt against other types of debt, including those binding citizens to the state, and those obligating the Irish government towards its international creditors.
Roudakova, Natalia, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Property, Professionalism, Practice: 'Brownian Motion' in Post-Soviet Journalism,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia J. Yanagisako
NATALIA ROUDAKOVA, while a student at Stanford University in Stanford, California, was awarded funding in July 2001 to aid ethnographic research on media ownership and journalistic practice in post-Soviet Russia, under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia J. Yanagisako. Roudakova studied the transformation of Russian journalism during the country's highly contested shift toward capitalism. In particular, she explored whether and how new configurations of media ownership had created new editorial priorities and practices of news gathering, and whether and how these practices encouraged new professional identities among journalists. Data collected at three news outlets representing the major configurations of media ownership in postsocialist Russia demonstrated that journalists' identities varied significantly, depending on the routines of news gathering encouraged by the media outlet's property structure. Journalists for advertisement-driven publications saw themselves not as mediators in a democratic public forum but as business and consumer analysts servicing the needs of emerging financial, managerial, and other high-income groups. In news outlets sponsored by covert subsidies from political and financial elites, journalists focused on the accurate delivery of political messages to other members of the elite, developing castelike solidarity with their sponsors. Journalists for government-held newspapers viewed themselves as public mediators and educators for whom state subsidies enabled an absence of market pressures on their civic and intellectual expression. Focusing on the link between media ownership and journalists' subjectivities, Roudakova viewed property structures not as external constraints on journalists' intellectual production but as elements constitutive of the practice and understanding of modern journalism.
Holmes, Dr. Douglas Reginald, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Economy of Words: Knowledge Production Within the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank'
DR. DOUGLAS R. HOLMES, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Economy of Words: Knowledge Production within the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank.' This project was initially designed to examine how key figures within the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Deutsche Bundesbank were experimenting with ideas about the forms and functions of central banks: experimentation that impels what the monetary economist Alan Blinder has termed the 'quiet revolution' in central banking. Each element of this revolution is contingent on new forms of communication: a process by which the economy attains a distinctive communicative dynamic and design. The fundamental issues at stake in this project were unexpectedly amplified by the financial crisis that coalesced initially in August 2007 and intensified in September 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Central bankers recast the technocratic innovations that impelled the quiet revolution as the basis for contextualizing the tumultuous conditions analytically and the formulation of policy to influence the severity, the breadth, and the duration of the destructive storm. The research, thus, demonstrates how central bankers managed public expectations during the crisis by composing communications -- that drew of the full intellectual resources of these institutions, the research acumen, the judgment, and the experience of their personnel -- to underwrite representations of a financial future with faith and credit.
Sokol, Grzegorz Stanislaw, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler
GRZEGORZ S. SOKOL, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler. This project is situated in the context of the increase in, and greater attention given to, mood disorders following the transformation from real socialism to market democracy in Poland. Broadening diagnostic definitions, raised awareness, as well as psychopharmaceuticals and forms of therapy unevenly available to people diagnosed with afflictions of affect are here situated in relationship to the larger process, in which new models of personhood are brought into social practice. This ethnographic research and archival study charts the different forms of medicalization of affect and follows 'depression' across different settings: from an in-patient psychiatric ward, to an outpatient clinic and psychotherapy center, to the meetings of a twelve-step program. The analytic focus is on how treatments of mood disorders are sites where one acquires a new understanding of one's self, relationships, body, history, and relation to society. Especially the psychotherapeutic and twelve-step conception of emotionality enables redefinitions of personhood and gender models. Further, learning a different way of being a person often centers on questions of agency that appear as problems of possibility vs. necessity, expectations, immaturity, demanding attitude, and helplessness. In the process, the individual is put in relation to the broader narrative of postsocialist transformation.
Khlinovskaya Rockhill, Dr. Elena Vladimirovna, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research and writing on 'Lost to the State: Family Discontinuity, Social Orphanhood and Residential Care in the Russian Far East' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ELENA KHLINOVSKAYA ROCKHILL, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in August 2007 to aid writing and research on 'Lost to the State: Family Discontinuity, Social Orphanhood and Residential Care Institutions in the Russian Far East.' The funding supported writing a book based on the grantee's doctoral research of social orphans, or children who have living family members but grow up in residential care institutions in post-Soviet Russia. The book examines the relationship between the family, the state and the child at the moment of a kinship breakdown, either real or imagined by the state. It demonstrates a skewed power balance based on the moral judgment of the parents. The author proposes a new way of understanding kinship through institutions and ideology with the state in a co-parenting and parenting role, which allows to negate the birth family and to provide the child with another family, that of the state and society. Through narratives of care-leavers the author reveals their views on 'social orphanhood.' The book also reflects on similarities between Soviet/post-Soviet child welfare practices, and those of some western democracies, and discusses the possible nature of these similarities.
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.