Firat O'Hearn, Dr. Bilge, Istanbul Technical U., Instanbul, Turkey - To aid engaged activities on 'Techno-Bureaucratic Engagements with Turkish Europeanization in Brussels,' 2013, Brussels, Belgium
DR. BILGE FIRAT O'HEARN, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant in February 2013 to aid 'Techno-Bureaucratic Engagements with Turkish Europeanization in Brussels.' On the day of the fiftieth anniversary of the Turkey-EU Association Agreement, Europeanization alla Turca brought together a select group of Turkish and Eurocratic policy workers and interest representatives at the European Parliament. In a roundtable format, participants discussed the parameters of the present intractable case of Turkey's bid for EU membership by addressing such metaphors and political currencies like 'good faith/bad faith,' 'trust/mistrust,' 'technical/political,' and 'bridge/border' as keywords that reflect the individual and collective psyche or sentiments among bureaucrats and civil society representatives, who have been entrusted with the day-to-day running of EU-Turkey affairs but have been gradually estranged from one another over the course of membership talks since 2005. At a time when negotiations for Turkey's EU membership are being revived under the Positive Agenda, a recent initiative of the European Commission to move along with the process by bypassing political objections of some EU member states to Turkish accession, this communicative event served as a timely reminder of the indispensability of open and transparent, yet strong dialogue between Turkish and EU actors in their everyday negotiations.
Prato, Dr. Giuliana Beatrice, U. of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom - To aid IUAES inter-congress on 'Urban Identity, Power, and Space: The Case of the Trans-European Corridors,' 2007, Tirana, Albania, in collaboration with Dr. Italo Pardo
'Urban Identity, Power, and Space; The Case of Trans-European Corridors'
August 21-27, 2007, University Our Lady of Good Counsel, Tirana, Albania
Organizers: Dr. Giuliana Beatrice Prato and Dr. Italo Pardo (University of Kent)
The IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology's Silver Jubilee conference stimulated well-integrated analyses of key issues in contemporary Europe. It brought together high quality, ethnographically varied papers offered by a strong field of international specialists from anthropology and other disciplines, including sociology, geography, and political science. Junior scholars were actively encouraged to present their work and participate in the discussions. Conference participants discussed the processes that are occurring throughout Europe in relation to the construction of the Trans-European Corridors and their impact at local, national, and international levels. Contributions addressed such issues as urban change and expansion, internal migration, integration and citizens' rights, and the methodological challenges raised by carrying out research in this new geo-political situation. The conference was structured around three major sessions: 'Corridors of Power;' 'Anthropology, Research and Local Spaces;' and 'History and Memories,' as well as a session of poster presentations. The meeting as a whole was an expression of the contribution offered by interdisciplinary debate to a renewed theoretical and methodological approach. It highlighted the value of an in-depth anthropological understanding of the political systems, and culture, of the societies that we study.
Tishkov, Dr. Valery A., Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia - To aid research on 'Anthropology of Complaint: Changing Life Perceptions, Identities and Outside World Images in Transforming Russia'
DR. VALERY TISHKOV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, was awarded a grant in January 2001, to aid research on 'Anthropology of Complaint:Changing Life Perceptions, Identities and Outside World Images in Transforming Russia.' This research is a basic revision of the crisis paradigm in Russia based on a study of complaints, fears, and concerns demonstrated through surveys and participant observations by different strata, regional and cultural groups of the country. Research disclosed disparities between 'real life' improvements for the majority of Russian people and its negative perceptions dominant in public and academic discourses. The reasons for disparities and miscalculations lie in inadequate expert analysis of a rapidly changing society, in political instrumentalism, in mental inertia of producers alld consumers of elitist prescriptions. Several basic conclusions are meaningful for anthropological analysis of social change. The society overloaded with changes can perceive in negative terms even changes to the good. The growing complexity and uncertainties represent a challenge that is difficult to meet for post-Soviet populace accustomed to one-dimtnsional thinking, state protection, and a strictly controlled social life. At the same time, highly educated populace in Russia demonstrated innovative strategies and reached unprecedented level of consumption, often through extra-legal entrepreneurial activities. Complaint became a part of collective and individual strategjes to get more sympathy and material rewards. But the structureof complaints shows that Russia is a normal country where people are more concerned with basic needs in socia! conditions and individual success then in collective aspirations, such as a country status or ethnic group sovereignty. People in Russia are muddling through transformations as people do in other societies. This research helps to overcome a real crisis of understanding on how societies change and how people perceive and use these changes.
Lowrie, Ian Patrick Macleod, Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Building an Information Economy: Artificial Intelligence as Infrastructure in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Dominic Boyer
Preliminary abstract: This project focuses on the ongoing attempts by Russian political and economic elites to enlist Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers in building a new, information-based economy. Despite the historically strong barrier between industry and academy in Russia, elites view AI researchers' academic expertise with data mining, natural language processing, and complex systems management as a unique foundation upon which to build the infrastructure required for this economy. As a consequence, these researchers have found themselves in the limelight of contemporary Russian statecraft, despite considering themselves as apolitical, fundamental researchers. Through participant observation, interviews, and archival research at three critical sites where elites are experimenting with new, hybrid forms of work and training, my research aims to develop an ethnographic understanding of how this large-scale elite project makes itself felt in the quotidian experiences of AI researchers. Engaging recent anthropological conversations about information, infrastructure, and education, my ultimate aim is to produce a theoretical framework adequate to the articulations of science, state, and market emerging in contemporary Russia.
Pavlovich, William Vladan, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
WILLIAM V. PAVLOVICH, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Nearly one million ethnic Serbs from former Yugoslavia (i.e. Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo) have sought refuge in the Republic of Serbia since 1991. Comprising roughly twelve percent of the overall population, displaced persons have significantly altered the republic's demographic, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, and political landscape. This project investigates the development of an apparent causal relationship between displaced persons and the resurgence of nationalism in Serbia, and interrogates the qualities of that relationship. The leading nationalist party, the Serbian Radical Party, was poised to challenge the state's project of European integration until the party splintered in two after their inability to form a majority ruling coalition-despite strong results (nearly 30 percent)-whereby they lost to a pro-EU coalition in the 2008 parliamentary elections. This resulted in a 'sea-change' amongst the Serbian populace - both domicile and displaced - and prompted a series of public debates and reflection regarding the civic, national, and cultural identities of Serbian citizens. The study shows how displacement can be understood to be both process and event for domicile and displaced communities, one which enables interpretation at individual, local, and national levels of Serbian society, and one which informs the movement towards (or against) European integration.
Constantin, Marin, Rainer Anthropological Reseach Center, Bucharest, Romania - To aid oral history interview with Professor Paul Henri Stahl and his field informants among the folk artisans in Romania - Historical Archives Program
Ben-Yehoyada, Dr. Naor, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Figuring the Mafia Out: Evidence, Expertise and Conundrums of Justice in Sicily'
Preliminary abstract: While anti-Mafia investigations are as old as the Mafia itself, the debate about what the Mafia is and how to fight it remains unresolved to this day. This research explores how this debate shapes criminal investigations, and how it positions anti-Mafia forensics at the heart of the struggle over the relationship between the state and society in Sicily. The Mafia's involvement with high-ranking politicians and anti-communist policies since World War II turned these magistrates' work into a key thread of Leftist politics. On the one hand, leading magistrates became 'Antimafia martyrs' when assassinated. On the other, those claiming that 'the Mafia does not exist' or that it is an 'honorable society' have accused Antimafia magistrates of 'communist' conspiracies. To examine how the politics of evidence production shapes this struggle, my research will follow magistrates as they attempt to understand the Mafia, to fabricate incriminating evidence, and to convince their peers and the public that they know best what the Mafia is. By studying how doubt, suspicion, and discovery during investigation shape the performance of certainty that the court and public debates require, I will examine the power dynamics that shape the meaning and the reach of law, politics, and knowledge.
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.
Cole, Dr. Jennifer, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Not Peasants into Frenchmen but Frenchmen into Globals? Malagasy Marriage Migrants in France'
DR. JENNIFER COLE, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Not Peasants into Frenchmen but Frenchmen into Globals? Malagasy Marriage Migrants in France.' This research explored the complex dynamics of bi-national, cross-cultural marriage between women from the African island of Madagascar and men in rural and semi-rural areas of southwestern France. It has long been noted that one category of French citizens who did not benefit from the rapid modernization and accumulation of wealth that took place in mid-twentieth century France were peasants. Instead, these men found themselves comparatively 'left behind' in rural areas as their female peers moved to the cities and larger towns. However, since at least the 1980s, and accelerating in the 1990s, these men and have sometimes married women from Madagascar. The research examined how such marriages, and the complex networks of exchange and kinship created in their wake, contribute to new patterns of exclusion and belonging both in France and Madagascar. In contrast to most research on migration to France, which focuses on the question of Islam and is conducted in the peri-urban areas, this research focused on a distinctive pattern of migration into the countryside. It examined how couples and their family members engage in the translation of social, cultural and material forms of value between Madagascar and France.