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
Preliminary abstract: How have wetlands, previously 'swamps' to be drained and reclaimed, become sites of ecological value in Turkey, starting with its participation to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1994? I argue that Turkish wetlands are becoming 'ecological objects' through which debates unfold about national water conservation practices; arenas in which scientists, birders, and citizens work through the relation of human and non-human phenomena in Turkish 'nature'; and venues through which such actors position regional dynamics within national narratives, international politics, and transnational scientific economies. I will conduct fieldwork in two delta wetlands of 'international importance'-- Gediz on the Aegean Sea, and Kizilirmak on the Mediterranean -- with wetland scientists, ornithologists, residents, visitors, and state officials. I will interview older wetland protection advocates as well, and will conduct archival research to track how wetlands have been operationalized in Turkey's scientific and policy circles. Wetlands are becoming novel sites through which national and transnational differences -- religious, ethnic, gender, economic-- as well as matters of international positioning are now negotiated; whether Turkey looks to Europe, the Middle East, or Asia is very much in the making, I suggest, in the wetlands. My project also complicates the anthropological questions of water's materiality and agency, treating it neither as essential to the material form of water itself nor as obviously the result of the underdetermination of material form. I ask, rather: Who decides what constitutes water in the wetland, and through which forms of knowledge and scientific techniques? Which sociotechnical worlds and infrastructures make it flow and how, and make materiality matter or not?
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
July 24, 2008
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid training in social-cultural anthropology at U. College London, United Kingdom, supervised by Prof. Michael Sinclair Stewart
Larchanche, Stephanie, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX - To aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant Health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent
STEPHANIE LARCHANCHE, then a student at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent. This research sought to critically evaluate the reciprocal interaction between France's immigration politics and the strategies employed by West African immigrant households in Paris, France, to negotiate state institutions, in particular, the social welfare and public health systems. The researcher studied grassroots social and healthcare services, as well as three 'specialized' mental healthcare centers that cater specifically to West African immigrants. Research findings establish that the incapacity of the French public health system and/or of social services to take care of immigrants -- thereby resulting in referrals to 'specialized' mental healthcare institutions -- generally stems from institutional resistance in accommodating the multilayered needs that immigrants have, and which are often hastily reduced as resulting from mental disorder or cultural misunderstanding. In the mental healthcare context, immigrants themselves question the limits of the public health system and of social services, precisely because their demands are rarely exclusively related to a mental disorder, but intricately linked to negotiations between immigrants and the referring institutions themselves, for additional social benefits such as State welfare and housing. This project thus questions the French institutional reframing of immigrants' socio-economic vulnerability as psychological and cultural in origin.
Buier, Natalia Cornelia, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Past Remembered, Present Opposed: Historical Memory and Labor Contention in the Spanish Railway Sector,' supervised by Dr. Don Kalb
NATALIA C. BUIER, then a student at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, received a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Past Remembered, Present Opposed: Historical Memory and Labor Contention in the Spanish Railway Sector,' supervised by Dr. Don Kalb. The anthropology of memory has made essential contributions to the study of the plural experiences of the past and their cultural articulation. It has, however, encountered a limit in its focus on representation and discursive formations. This project contributes to the emerging field of anthropology of labor and memory through an investigation of the way in which historical representation enables and conditions collective organization in the railway sector and is a structuring force in debates over the public utility model. Using the strategic lens of the post-Francoist history of labor mobilization in the largest public company of Spain, the project argues that alternative development models are shaped by uneven access to instruments of historical representation. The ethnographic investigation follows three main topics: the making of narratives of progress and decline of the national railways; an account of the transformation of the field of organized labor and the role played by plural representations of the past in the process; and, finally, the relationship between historical memory, the moral economy of indebtedness and the unmaking of the labor force as a collective political subject.
Yanagisako, Dr. Sylvia Junko, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Made in Translation: Italian Family Firms in China'
DR. SYLVIA YANAGISAKO, Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Made in Translation: Italian Family Firms in China.' Ethnographic research on Italian family firms pursuing transnational business ventures in textile and clothing production in China shows that their transnational business projects are incited and shaped by kinship sentiments and commitments. Commitments to family firm continuity and intergenerational succession spur projects of transnational investment, expansion, and diversification and shape management strategies. At the same time, family members are reluctant to live in China. Thus, in contrast to the management of the firm in Italy, family members are not engaged in day-to-day decision-making in production and distribution in China. Instead they rely on hired managers who are not family members. This new generation of Italian transnational managers is developing local cultural knowledge that is becoming increasingly important as the portion of the firms' revenues derived from business activities in China and other Asian markets grows. Transnational expansion thus poses some crucial challenges to both the management structure and identity of Italian entrepreneurial families whose sense of distinction has derived from their location in the social landscape of Italy.
Mateescu, Oana M., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Memory, Proof, and Persuasion: Re-Creating Communal Ownership in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
OANA M. MATEESCU, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Memory, Proof, and Persuasion: Re-Creating Communal Ownership in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. Through archival research, interviews, and participant observation, this project studied four key historical events for the repertoire of knowledge practices they provide to current villagers of Vrancea region (Romania) involved in the reconstitution of communal ownership over forests. These are the successful reclaiming of forests in an 1816 lawsuit, the 1910 organization of forests according to the Forestry Code, the emergence of anthropology as a discipline in Romania through the study of Vrancea's communal ownership in the late 1920's and the failed uprising of hundreds of villagers upon the nationalization of forests in 1950. These events shape disputes over the present meaning of communal ownership and they inform the particular forms of claim making (lawsuits, complaints, humble appeals, the accumulation of evidence, and insurgency) villagers have at their disposal. Last, but not least, they serve as unique confirmations of the possibility for critique and effective intervention. Since 1816, proof-oriented actions such as the quest for documents, their secret keeping, forgery, loss, sale or destruction become inseparable from what it means to own the forests in Vrancea. The complex histories of such evidentiary objects as they shape ownership conflicts throughout the 20th century and come to haunt the current desires and strategies of villagers are central to this inquiry into the problematic of ownership, time, evidence and credibility.
Diaz de Rada, Dr. Angel, U. Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'The Construction of Belonging Expressive Practice and Identity Appropriations Among 'Saami' and 'Norwegians' in Kautokeino'
DR. ANGEL DIAZ DE RADA, of the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid, Spain, received funding in November 2003 to aid research on expressive practices and identity appropriations among Saami and Norwegians in Kautokeino, Norway. Ethnopolitical rhetoric-whether state rhetoric or not-is based on the idea of a collective subject and on the notion of belonging. The empirical evidence produced in this investigation shows that the fabrication of such images of belonging does not correspond to the concrete construction of local belonging. This means that a state's territory is not a territory in which real linking takes place; neither is the ethnos that is created using peripheral, minority, or indigenous assumptions. The local continuity of linking is much more intense than that which supralocal institutions reflect, at the level of the Norwegian state as well as the level of the Saami Parliament's ethnopolitics. In both cases, the formulation of categories of social belonging incorporates rhetoric that is too vague in the eyes of the concrete local subjects. Nevertheless, this research revealed the nuances that characterize a state ethnopolitical rhetoric of belonging, as opposed to one produced by institutions that do not aspire to form a state. The basic analytical strategy consisted of pursuing the relationships and successive translations of continuity and belonging as they were formulated and put into practice in local life and in the corresponding political and administrative locations that rose above this local life to represent it.
Díaz de Rada, Ángel. 2004. El Sujeto en la Corriente. Reflexiones Sobre el Sujeto Social en Condiciones de Globalización. In El Nuevo Orden de Caos: Consecuencias Socioculturales de la 75 Globalización. Luis Díaz G. Viana, ed. Consejo Superior de investigaciones Científicas: Madrid.
Diaz de Rada, Angel. 2007. School Bureaucracy, Ethnography and Culture: Conceptual Obstacles to Doing Ethnography in Schools. Social Anthropology 15(2): 205-222
Diaz de Rada, Angel. 2007. Valer y Valor. Una Exhumacion de la Teoría del Valor para Reflexionar sobre la Desigualdad y Diferencia en Relación con la Escuela. Revista de Anthropología Social (16): 117-158
Diaz de Rada, Angel. 2010. Bagatelas de la Moralidad Ordinaria: Los Anclajes Morales de Una Experiencia Etnográfica. In Dilemas Eticos en Anthropología: Las Entretelas del Trabajo de Campo Etnográfico. Margarita del Olmo, ed. Editorial Trotta: Madrid, Spain.
Ozgul, Ceren, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Muslim Citizen to Christian Minority: Legal and Political Implications of 'Double-Conversion' in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Talal Asad
CEREN OZGUL, then a student at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'From Muslim Citizen to Christian Minority: Legal and Political Implications of 'Double-Conversion' in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Talal Asad. In the last fifteen years, hundreds of Muslim citizens, claiming Armenian descent, have sought the arbitration of secular legal authorities and the Armenian Patriarchate in Turkey to convert back to Christianity. Six months of research was conducted to study discourses of tolerance and religious freedom in Turkey in the context of their 'double conversion,' that marks both conversion from Islam to Christianity and conversion from a majority status to that of a religious minority. The research followed the process of these return conversions around the secular courts, the Armenian Patriarchate, several Armenian churches in Istanbul and the bureaucratic institutions of the state. The researcher detailed the courts' activities, combining observations with minute analysis of selected cases and analyzed the records around the questions of how arbitrations are argued and rationalized in the court, and which legal concepts are referred to and how. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain a more comprehensive, contextual, and personal account of decisions to convert back to the religion of their grandparents. The researcher also interviewed the Armenian clergy, whose perspective is vital for the project, since the converts first apply to the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul to start the conversion process.
Özgül, Ceren. 2014. Legally Armenian: Tolerance, Conversion, and Name Change in Turkish Courts. Comparative Studeis in Society and History 56(3):622-649.
Franquesa, Dr. Jaume, U. of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY - To aid research and writing on 'Dignity and Power: Energy, Nature and the State in Rural Spain' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: My book 'Dignity and Power: Energy, Nature, and the State in Rural Spain' aims to contribute to the anthropological comprehension of energy transitions through a historically informed, socially situated study of the development of renewable energy in Spain. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Catalonia, the book analyzes the institutional arrangements, cultural mediations and social relations of production through which the energy from wind is harnessed. My research shows that energy transitions are complex, multilayered processes that open possibilities for new social arrangements, while also highlighting the ways that such new social arrangements rework inherited relationships of power. I analyze the contradictory tensions pervading this process, patent in the fact that wind energy development has created new ecological imbalances between producing and consuming regions, despite marking a clear step forward in environmental terms. The book explores local resistance to wind farm installation, and analyzes the cultural categories that frame these movements, placing special emphasis on the notion of dignity. Deeply rooted in historical peasant struggles, a range of local actors mobilizes the notion of dignity to express criticism against the increasing centralization of the country's energy model, thus providing crucial insights into the relationship between renewables and democratic decision-making.