Zontine, Angelina Ione, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe': Cultural and Political Practice n Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla
ANGELINA IONE ZONTINE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe:' Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla. This research project investigates the political activism and creation of culture being carried out at collectively run social centers in Bologna, Italy. Described by participants as 'laboratories' for the creation of alternative modes of exchange, interaction (between native-born Italians and migrants), socializing, and extra-electoral political participation, these centers would seem to provide an example of active citizenship as participants enact political engagement through a range of cultural practices. In a seeming paradox, however, these centers are censured by authorities and targeted for relocation as part of ongoing 'security'-oriented campaigns against 'illegality' and 'urban blight' that cast social centers as fonts of illegal and 'uncivil' activity. Using participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, the research project investigates the character and internal organization of these social center order to discern the opportunities afforded and tensions generated by this form of political engagement. At the same time, it explores the controversy surrounding Bolognese social centers in order to explore how participants struggle to rework or enlarge the restrictive parameters of belonging and participation in the natoinal and political communities of both the city and the nation-state, thus engaging and opposing prevailing models of citizenship.
McDonald, Charles Alan, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Jewish Relations: Conversion, Inheritance, and the 'Return to Sepharad' in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Ann L. Stoler
Preliminary abstract: In 1492, nearly a millennium of Jewish civilization on the Iberian Peninsula was extinguished when Spain decreed that all unconverted Jews would be expelled from the land known in Hebrew as Sepharad. Five centuries later, immigrants, converts, and the state are dramatically reconfiguring the place of Jews and Judaism in Spain. Although Jewish conversion, cultural heritage, and immigration are commonly taken to be multiple manifestations of a single
phenomenon--the 'return to Sepharad'--my research investigates the divergent actors and objectives that animate these projects to understand how the enactment of such 'returns'--whether of contemporary neighborhoods to medieval landscapes, of Spaniards to Judaism, or of Sephardic Jews to Spain--reconfigure debates about the nature of Jewish personhood, history, and the pressing contemporary question of coexistence. My study is guided by questions in three domains where claims to the Jewish past and present are made: (1) Conversion: How and when is an individual's Jewishness recognized as a historical fact or a future possibility? (2) Inheritance: What concepts and materials make it possible to claim people, places, and objects as Jewish inheritance? (3) Coexistence: How do Jews figure in debates about the potential for the celebrated medieval convivencia of Jews, Christians, and Muslims to serve as a template for contemporary multicultural inclusion? Unlike scholarship that focuses on the exclusion of Europe's religious minorities, my project instead examines the inclusion--however uneven and contradictory--of Jewish people and history in Spain in an
effort to shed new light on the vexed conditions of European multiculturalism.
Donkersloot, Rachel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?': Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies
RACHEL DONKERSLOOT, then a student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?' Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies. This research is located in the social and economic landscape of a rural fisheries-dependent community. Here the subject of rural youth emigration is addressed through attention to gender differences in the ways young people perceive, experience, and cope with rural life, which includes decisions to emigrate. Funding made possible eleven months of fieldwork in the coastal community of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Through this support, 67 formal (individual and group) interviews were conducted. Research participants include young people (aged 18 to 30), as well as parents, teachers, community members/leaders, and retired and active fishermen and industry workers. Preliminary findings suggest: 1) discourse surrounding migration that devalues staying and locates stayers as underachievers or 'losers left behind' represents, at best, a 'partial perspective and particular interests;' and 2) gender is a critical dimension of rural youth experience but its import should not eclipse the very powerful ways in which class shapes young people's experience of place. Resituating young people's life narratives at the intersection of class and gender is imperative to understanding rural youth experience. To privilege gender over class, or vice versa, risks overlooking, over-simplifying or mis-recognizing the subject.
Pellegrino, Manuela, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Language Policy and Ideology: The Case of Griko,' supervised by Dr. Charles W. Stewart
MANUELA PELLEGRINO, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in 2008 to aid research on 'Language Policies and Ideologies: The Case of Griko,' supervised by Charles Stewart. This research investigated the politics of language revival in the case of Griko, a language of Greek origins spoken in the southern Italian Province of Lecce (Grecìa Salentina). It explored mediating processes between national and international bodies that provide funding, and local groups that support Griko, with the aim of studying the impact of national and supranational policies on local linguistic ideologies and policies. The study was based on one year of fieldwork conducted in the villages of Grecìa Salentina. Ethnography included participant observation in local cultural manifestations dedicated to Griko (music festival, seminars, poetry competition etc); semi-structured interviews with leaders of local cultural organizations and local cultural brokers engaged in Griko's revival; semi-structured interviews with village mayors and school principals; and weekly observation in Griko classes given in primary schools. In order to capture the language-scape of Griko in the period preceding the current revival, a daichronic approach was adopted covering the last 20 years.
Gokariksel, Saygun, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Of Truths, Secrets, and Loyalties: Politics of Purification of the State in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
SAYGUN GOKARIKSEL, then a student at City University of New York - Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Of Truths, Secrets, and Loyalties: Politics of Purification of the State in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. The recent opening of Communist security service archives in Eastern Europe has ignited contentious questions concerning the secrets of the Second World War and the Cold War, of resistance and collaboration, as well as a radical interrogation of the loyalties, values, and practices acquired under state socialism. This research explores the judicial uses of the security files compiled by the Communist security service in Poland. Through archival and ethnographic research it examines lustration -- a screening process implemented throughout Eastern Europe, which uses these files to ban security service officers and civilian collaborators from holding public office. It investigates how this judicial process reorganizes the state apparatus, redefines the relationship between the new state and the citizen-subject by reinterpreting and disqualifying loyalties and practices acquired under state socialism, and produces a new normative framework through which the socialist past is reevaluated and individual life trajectories retrospectively given form. The research focuses on the contentious questions that lustration raises, which interrogate the limits of liberal notions of public and private (sector) accountability, state secrecy and transparency, national sovereignty and international human rights, collective and individual responsibility, and freedom of speech and individual privacy.
Robbins, Jessica, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid engaged activities on 'Beyond 'Active' Aging and Abandonment: Relations of Suffering, Care, and Hope in Postsocialist Poland,' 2013, Wroclaw, Poland
JESSICA ROBBINS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant in August 2012 to aid ' Beyond 'Active' Aging and Abandonment: Relations of Suffering, Care, and Hope in Postsocialist Poland.' In May 2013, the University of Lower Silesia in Wroclaw, Poland, hosted two workshops based on the grantee's doctoral research on aging in Poland. The research found that experiences and ideals of aging in Poland are characterized by discursive and institutional contrasts between modern, progressive, and 'active' older adults, and supposedly 'backwards,' suffering, and abandoned elders in institutional care. Based on ethnographic findings that processes of relatedness provide other possibilities for moral personhood in old age, the workshops tried to avoid common practical and scholarly binary distinctions of in/dependence, East/West, and socialism/capitalism, and instead attempted to forge connections among practitioners and scholars. The first day's workshop brought together over seventy professionals and scholars working in fields related to aging, as well as older Poles themselves, for lively panel and open-forum discussions. The second day's workshop was an intimate conversation among anthropologists about the utility of the categories of socialism and postsocialism in contemporary research in central/eastern Europe based on scholars' ethnographic, anthropological, and historical research. During both days of the workshops, the topics of memory, personhood, and kinship recurred as vital areas to understanding contemporary Polish life.
Hodges, Dr. Andrew J., U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid conference on 'Anthropology Otherwise: Rethinking Approaches to Fieldwork in Different Anthropological Traditions,' 2011,Valjevo, Serbia, in collaboration with Dr. Marina Simic
Preliminary abstract: The conference aims to: (1) provide a forum in which to try out a consensus-based decision making process in order to find common ground between different research methodologies and foci; (2) generate a dialogue between anthropologists working on projects based in the Balkan region, yet in different ethnographic traditions. This includes those who use 'immersion' (long-term fieldwork) and 'back and forth' (repeated short visits, characteristic for Eastern and South Eastern European ethnologies) models of ethnographic research. The aim is to discuss epistemological possibilities opened and closed by each of these models; (3) provoke anthropologists to take seriously the premise that the material and organisational culture(s) of an event or institution shape (if not determine) in an important way, the kinds of and qualities of knowledge produced. The conference will address: different ways of framing research questions, various possibilities for translating theory into ethnographic practice and back, the re-evaluation of 'older' ethnographies from the Balkan region, problems ethnographers face when working in the region, and the place of visuality in different research methodologies.
Shevchenko, Dr. Olga, Williams College, Williamstown, MA; and Sarkisova, Oksana, Moscow State U., Moscow, Russia - To aid collaborative research on ' Snapshot Histories: Family Photography and Generational Memory of Russia's Socialist Century'
DR. OLGA SHEVCHENKO, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and DR. OKSANA SARKISOVA, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, received an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2006, to aid collaborative research on 'Snapshot Histories: Family Photography and Generational Memory of Russia's Socialist Century.' This project explores how the notions of socialism are conjured up in the medium, which to many Russians represents the most intimate source of information about the past: family photographic collections. Through a combination of in-depth interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and visual analysis, the project examines the role family photography plays for the production and transmission of historical memory between generations, investigating some of the least explored mechanisms that shape the popular perceptions of the Soviet era. The grant has enabled the researchers to complete the field stage of their research. They have conducted ethnographic observation and collected interviews with over 50 families (two to three interviews per family with representatives of different generations) in five different cities and towns in Russia, and amassed a sizeable visual data bank of family photographs from the Soviet era. They are currently developing analysis of their field data and working on coding and creating a searchable database of the images from the Soviet domestic photo archives.
Shevchenko, Olga. 2010. Between Elias and Foucault: Discipline, Photography, and the Soviet Childhood. Social Psychology Quarterly 73(1):1-4.
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.