Blim, Dr. Michael L., City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'After Industrial Development: Intergenerational Social Mobility in a Central Italian Town'
DR. MICHAEL L. BLIM, City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, received an award in July 2003 to aid research on 'After Industrial Development: Intergenerational Social Mobility in a Central Italian Town.' The field-based re-study of economic and social mobility in the Marche region of Italy, Monte San Giusto, completed in August 2003, discovered that the adults of twenty-five shoe entrepreneurial and worker households first interviewed in 1981-1982 (also with a Wenner-Gren grant) have solidified their economic successes and achieved substantial social status mobility. The outcomes for their children, now adults ranging in age from 22 to 40, are more mixed. They have had a great deal of difficulty gaining a foothold in labor markets for professions and service employment, despite significantly better educational preparation than their parents, many of whom had no more than fifth-grade educations. Members of the new generation with minimum educational preparation have trouble finding work in the shoe industry, the 'mono-crop' of the area, and many avoid employment in the industry on the belief that it will not last much longer. Finding blocked opportunities in a shoe industry in semi-permanent economic crisis and in professional and service industries governed by rigid and clientalist employment practices, some of the new generation are taking up small-time entrepreneurship in food, drink, and tourism. Of those taking up manual occupations, skilled tradespeople are doing well, perhaps better than the rest. Instead of serving the shoe industry, machine tool and dye workers and prototype producers are forming small firms seeking business outside the area. The prospects for their 'escape' from the declining shoe industry are as of now uncertain.
Timura, Christopher T., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Negotiating Expertise: The Globalizing Cultures of British and American Peace Negotiators,' supervised by Dr. Conrad P. Kottak
CHRISTOPHER T. TIMURA, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding to aid research on the globalizing cultures of British and American peace negotiators, under the supervision of Dr. Conrad P. Kottak. Timura conducted eleven months of fieldwork with a representative sample of university and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the globalizing field of conflict resolution. He obtained more than 140 interviews with students, trainers, and practitioners, collected oral histories from key informants, and acted as a participant observer in seminars and training workshops. In addition, he used information about practitioners' professional networks and their referrals to arrange interviews with key individuals involved in the conflict management activities of the U.S. and British governments. The data showed that conflict management theories could be traced back to a small but diverse group of North American and European founding figures who used their institutional affiliations to promulgate their understanding of how violent conflict could be prevented, managed, and resolved. Despite considerable demographic diversity in the field today, a common set of concepts and value orientations enabled this transnational group to coalesce around a conflict resolution epistemology and practice. Conflict resolution specialists have used their roles in government, NGOs, and academe to advocate for changes in the ways governments manage and resolve violent conflict, while arguing for the existence of their own specific form of expertise. 'Local' cultural, socioeconomic, religious, and political factors have played varying roles in the globalization of this expertise beyond North America and Europe, offering opportunities for considering how anthropology might constructively analyze and otherwise engage with this and similar phenomena having significant effects on international governance.
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
IAN P. LOWRIE, then a graduate student at Rice University, Houston, Texas, was awarded funding in April 2014 to aid research on 'Building an Information Economy: Artificial Intelligence as Infrastructure in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Dominic Boyer. This research focuses on the place of the data sciences within the contemporary Russian science system and knowledge economy. Elites are making a number of concrete interventions into the structure content of postsecondary education in the name of the data sciences. They are attempting to turn what they view as the raw potential of an excellent national program in theoretical mathematics, inherited from the Soviet science system, into the human capital necessary to build such a future. This means both shifting the focus from theoretical to applied tasks, and integrating exposure to the scheduling and production regimes typical of industrial computer science into every stage of university pedagogy. At the same time, programmers and applied mathematicians already working in the private sector are being asked to re-brand and re-skill themselves, as data science becomes an increasingly important tool in the arsenal of modern Russian consumer capitalism. By investigating the practical consequences of these restructurings for workers, educators, and students, this project promises a critical and timely look at the ongoing mutations of the global information economy, and of the unique interactions of state, market, and university in the post-Soviet context.
Dalyan, Can, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
CAN DALYAN, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in October 2012 to aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki. Set against the backdrop of Gezi Park Protests and a year of civil unrest, this project analyses the workings of agricultural biodiversity conservation in Turkey. Through an ethnography of the Turkish Seed Gene Bank, the institution in charge of managing and conserving the precious plant genetic material of Turkey, this project explores how decisions about plant life are taken at a time of great concern about national bio-wealth and of global environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Doing so, it extends the framework of biopolitics and highlights the ways in which regulation of non-human life is constitutive to the governmentality of the state. The project also brings into view political sensibilities and historical anxieties that unfold in the science and practice of conservation, and traces them in the light of archival research back to distinctive historical periods in the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic. Spreading out through ethnographic accounts into the largest urban revolt in Turkish history, as well as to seed exchange festivals, hydroelectric power plant construction sites, and agro-communes around the country, the project presents a detailed picture of environmental governance in Turkey and its cultural and political underpinnings.
Yukleyen, Ahmet, Boston U., Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Sources of Tolerance and Radicalism among Islamic Organizations in Europe,' supervised by Dr. Jenny B. White
AHMET YUKLEYEN, while a student at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, received an award in June 2003 to aid research on Islamic organizations in Europe, under the supervision of Dr. Jenny B. White. Transnational Islamic organizations in western Europe do not simply transplant religious extremism from their countries of origin. Rather, they play an intermediary role, negotiating between the social and religious needs of Muslims and the socioeconomic, legal, and political context of Europe. The diverse forms of religiosity institutionalized by Turkish-Islamic organizations permited a comparative analysis of this intermediary role. Yukleyen looked at the internal dynamics-religious authority, primary field of activism, and boundary maintenance-of three such organizations: Milli Gorus, representing political Islamism; Suleymanli, a branch of the Naqshibandiyya Sufi order; and the Nur movement, a piety-oriented da'wa (missionary) movement. Religious authority involved individuals, positions, and actions that represented collective identity and preserved group cohesion by controlling and disciplining members and dropouts-that is, through boundary making. Each group's field of activism-politics, education, or religious instruction-promoted the type of knowledge embodied by the religious authorities and distributed through boundary making. Redefinitions of religious concepts such as hijrah, jihad, and neighborly relations created a Muslim sense of belonging to the European home. Overall, a comparative analysis of the internal dynamics of transnational Islamic organizations yielded a fuller understanding of their roles in the production and dissemination of Islamic knowledge and practice in western Europe.
Murphy, Dr. Liam D., California State U., Sacramento, CA - To aid research and writing on 'A City of Spirit: Religion and Social Change in Belfast, Northern Ireland' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. LIAM D. MURPHY, California State University Sacramento, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in June 2005 to aid research and writing on 'A City of Spirit: Religion and Social Change in Belfast, Northern Ireland.' Funding assisted writing of a book-length manuscript based on the grantee's doctoral and post-doctoral research among charismatic Christians in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The project examines relations among religiosity, ideas about the self, and socio-political transformations currently underway in Belfast. In particular, the project looks at changes to religiosity stimulated by 1998's Belfast Agreement and 2006's St. Andrew's Agreement - which have seemingly brought the region's low-level civil conflict (the 'Troubles') to an end. Whereas religion has helped to define community boundaries and ideas about self in relation to society since the sixteenth century, the character and purpose of religion in the 'new' Belfast is now subject to a different form of scrutiny and revision. The future status of religion as a marker of identity and selfhood is in doubt. Participants in an ecumenical, evangelically-driven charismatic 'renewal' devise occasions and language of religious devotion that hybridize embodied and ecstatic experience, ideas about civil society in Northern Ireland, Europe, and elsewhere, ritualized practices that embrace elements of Northern Ireland ritual tradition transformed to emphasize social unity, theories of historical change that minimize social difference.
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.
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
MATTHEW D. PETTIT, then a graduate student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2014 to aid research on 'The Free Life: Healing the Alcoholic Self in Paris,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek. Based on ten months of participant observation with the Parisian chapter of mutual-aid group Vie Libre, this project explores the perceptions of self and healing for persons attempting or maintaining abstinence from alcohol. Research included interviews with group members and various stakeholders involved in treatment-both formal and informal-as well as regular participation in group meetings and activities. In particular, issues of identification between (ex-)drinkers were investigated, to understand how an illness primarily experienced individually, as a result of personality and biography, can be made to bridge the social and material distance between those in very different medical and social situations. To that end, the investigator participated in group outreach efforts in hospital detoxification services and observed the integration of new, non-abstinent or relapsed members within the group. Analysis of data is ongoing, and focuses on identification and empathy, guilt and responsibility, volunteering, and the benefits and dangers of engagement with others. These concerns, as well as the medical and group activities that ground them, form part of longer moral and biographical trajectories for group members. In sum, the investigator asks what it is to 'heal' one's dependence, in concert with others, and how this fits with being a good person.