Grama, Emanuela, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
EMANUELA GRAMA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. In the multiethnic city of Sibiu, located in the center of Transylvania region of Romania, research focused on practices of community work. More specifically, it investigated current phenomena of volunteering and social work performed mostly by different groups of young foreigners, mostly coming from German-speaking lands to help the Saxon community. Members of the community explain the volunteering by setting it within a historical context in which community work was intimately linked to the Saxon ethnic group. Results suggest that such arguments, which stress the moral and social value of community work, help the currently small group of Saxons (1.5 percent of the city's population) present itself as unique and thus maintain its historically grounded social and political prestige within the symbolical geography of the city and the whole region. Such practices of work are employed as key markers of ethnic boundaries and thus help, to a certain extent, to reinforce interethnic symbolic hierarchies even when done outside the boundaries of the group (for instance, in the reconstruction project of the historical center of the city, built by the Saxons in 12th century, but where now few Saxons still live).
Rakopoulos, Dr. Theodoros, U. of Bergen, Bergen, Norway - To aid research on 'The Vicissitudes of Solidarity: Anti-Middleman Food Cooperatives in Greece'
Preliminary abstract: This project is premised on three main research pillars: solidarity economy cooperatives and the crisis in Greece. It examines the ways some (mainly young unemployed) people organize the distribution of agricultural products in their communities directly from producers, without the mediation of market middlemen, and gaining no profit. These actors argue that their organization contests the recession that the debt crisis brought about. They aspire that their cooperatives might contribute to change for their livelihoods and their communities, but also express critiques to austerity politics. Addressing the socially arranged, novel ways people respond to austerity, my project will analyze a key feature of ideological contestation in contemporary Greece: solidarity. The term has taken many vicissitudes and its use is proliferated in the country since the crisis. The project, focusing on the development of informal networks of anti-middleman cooperatives that arrange for the distribution of foodstuff directly from agrarian producers, will show that the springing of such initiatives and the formulation of a 'solidarity economy' is a correlative of the current crisis. The project aims to show the broader ideas and allegiances that anti-middleman cooperatives' participants are entangled with and understand their activity in. It will show that organizing such movements does not simply address the immediate livelihoods hardship for contemporary Greeks, but is in fact enmeshed in a wider project of political radicalization, that tackles austerity policies (rather than 'recession'). In terms of conceptualizing solidarity, the project hypothesizes, a correlation between solidarity economy and cooperatives, in that participants aim for the resilience of their project, striving for the reproduction of themselves and their activities through the officialization of their informal networks in cooperatives.
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.
Holmes, Douglas. 2014. Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London.
Scaramelli, Caterina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Swamps Into Wetlands: Water, Conservation Science and Nationhood in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich
CATERINA SCARAMELLI, then a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding April 2013 to aid research on 'Swamps into Wetlands: Water, Conservation Science and Nationhood in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich. Wetlands are at the forefront of national and international projects addressing water futures, climate change, biodiversity, development, and sustainability. With the global rise of the scientific and legal category of wetland since the 1970s, wetlands have become ecologies of value as well as sites of struggle between state institutions, environmental NGOs, universities, and civil society on the infrastructural, biological, cultural, political, scientific, and economic interventions that produce wetlands as conservation ecologies in Turkey. In contemporary Turkey, wetlands are entangled in the making of new ecological politics as 'livable nature,' concurrent with nationwide grassroots environmental movements and struggles for inclusion of diversity and for an expansion of rights vis-à-vis increasing authoritarianism, sectarianism, and everyday violence. In Turkey, far from unifying expert and lay conversations, wetlands have invited contestations over science, water, and livelihood. Wetland conservation gets mobilized in anti-authoritarian social movements, as well as in ongoing nationalist projects. This project focuses on two Turkish coastal wetlands-the Gediz delta on the Aegean and the K?z?l?rmak delta on the Black Sea-in the wake of this reframing. It is based on ethnographic fieldwork with environmental NGOs, wetland residents, Turkish and international experts, and state officials. It also draws on archival research on wetland science and conservation and on landscape histories.
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.
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.
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
July 30, 2009
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid training in social-cultural anthropology at U. College London, London, England, supervised by Michael Sinclair Stewart
Leinaweaver, Dr. Jessaca Bennett, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'From Peru to Spain: Transnational Adoption and Migration'
DR. JESSACA LEINAWEAVER, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received funding in December 2010, to aid research on 'From Peru to Spain: Transnational Adoption and Migration.' This research, based in Madrid, compared those young Peruvians who were adopted by Spanish parents and are growing up in an increasingly multicultural setting, to those young Peruvians who migrated alongside their Peruvian parents seeking economic opportunities. The grantee conducted extensive interviews and observation among both populations and with professionals and scholars involved in both adoption and migration. The study found that although there are important differences between adoption and migration, there is also great value in comparing them. Migration and adoption overlap in time, often share the same points of origin and arrival, and are driven by some of the same broader forces. Despite the differences in their form of arrival to a Madrid that is suddenly and rapidly becoming racially diverse, young people of Peruvian origin share several experiences in common. The grantee is writing a book based on these findings, tentatively entitled 'Transnational Children: What Adoption and Migration Mean for a Global World,' which unites the objects of study, approaches, and theoretical frames of both kinship and migration literatures.
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2013. Toward an Anthropology of Ingratitude: Notes from Andean Kinship. Comparative Studies in Society and History 55(3):554-578.
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2013. Adoptive Migration: Raising Latinos in Spain. Duke University Press: Durham and London.
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.
Wepfer, Elvira I., U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid research on 'Living 'Free and Real': Eco-Communities' Socio-Economic and Environmental Responses to the Euro Crisis in Greece,' supervised by Dr. Michelle Obeid
Preliminary abstract: The twenty-first century's Great Recession has, in a series of financial turmoil, come to contest the notion of success of politico-economic liberalism from within its western foundations. At the same time, the unravelling of climate change is profoundly reshaping livelihoods across the globe. Detecting common sources in the consequential socio-economic and environmental crises, civil society enacts a multitude of responses, some of them proposing explicit alternatives to the techno-industrial consumption patterns that frame much of our society. My project focuses on one such alternative emerging in the heart of the euro crisis: Greek eco-communities, where citizens experiment with socially just and ecologically sustainable modes of production, exchange and consumption. Such communities are a very recent phenomenon in Greece, where many are grappling with the dire consequences of austerity. Addressing both the changing climate and the collapsing capitalist enterprise, they propose compelling instances of how people locally tackle global issues. I am investigating how communal attempts to live sustainably influence and reshape people's relation to their environments and to each other. A particular focus on relations of production and consumption will shed light on how lifestyle choices are negotiated from within the space of liberal society.