Beliaev, Alexandre B., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation Among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Mark Cohen
ALEXANDRE BELIAEV, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Specters of Soviet Affinity: Political Participation among Latvian Noncitizens,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence M. Cohen. Latvia's 'noncitizens' are mostly ethnic Russians who settled in Latvia during the Soviet period. Following the restoration of Latvian independence, they did not commit to undergoing Latvian naturalization process. This research investigated: 1) how noncitizenship has come to be seen as enabling of certain political practices; and 2) how this set of practices has facilitated a polity that, while being coincident and maintained by the nation-state, has not been subsumed by it. This investigation yielded three conclusions. First, the pursuit of minority rights -- among them, the right to citizenship without undergoing naturalization -- is increasingly seen as non-political. Second, the notion of 'culture' implicit in the discourse on 'national minorities' does not correspond to the notion of 'cultured life,' which is seen as necessary for politics. Third, politics is increasingly understood in the idiom of 'coalition' rather than 'contestation.' The emergence of 'coalition' as a central political idiom is not a consequence of lessening of ethnic tensions, but rather a consequence of a new demarcation of privateIpublic spheres.
Vilageliu, Dr. Roger Canals, U. of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid filmmaking on 'Afro-Venezuelan Rituals in Barcelona: A Comparative Study of Religious Nomadism through Film' - Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: 'Gods in motion' is a film about the practice of Afro-Venezuelan religious rituals in Barcelona (Spain). The project focuses on the cult of María Lionza, a highly popular Afro-American ritual in Venezuela in which episodes of spirit possession are common. At the same time, the film will show how the celebration in honor of San Juan Batista is introduced in Barcelona, combining with the Catalan celebration of Sant Joan, and will demonstrate the practice of the cult of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá, patron saint of the region of Maracaibo. All three cults are closely related and mutually complement each other. By following a group of believers and a cult groups made up of both Catalans and Venezuelans, the film will show how these religions are adapted to a new cultural context, being modified and incorporating elements of local culture. The film aims to contribute significantly to current debates about diaspora, religion and transnationalism. 'Gods in Motion' is an innovative film which combines images filmed in Venezuela with others filmed in Barcelona. Through this 'transcultural montage', the film aims to show the continuities and discontinuities which emerge from a religious practice when this takes on a transnational dimension.
Vucinic-Neskovic, Dr. Vesna, U. of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia & MN - To aid 3rd InASEA conference on urban life and culture in southeast Europe, 2005, Belgrade, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Urban Life and Culture in Southeastern Europe,' May 26-29, 2005, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro -- Organizers: Dr. Vesna Vucinic-Nesdovic and Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer. This conference was organized by the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA), School of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade and Sudosteuropa- Gesellschaft, with the goal of opening up an interdisciplinary debate between different disciplines, such as anthropology, ethnology, folkloristics, social history, sociology, architecture and urban planning. Focusing on the region of Southeastern Europe, it revealed and analyzed the similarities and differences between life in cities that vary in size, historic, demographic, economic, social, and cultural features. It bought together 170 researchers from 18 countries of Southeastern Europe and the West, primarily from the European Union and the United States. Additional support for the conference was provided by the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe (Germany), the Republic of Serbia Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection, Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft (Germany), and School of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.
Mahmud, Lilith, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Seeking Sisterhood: Elite Constructions of Gender in the Italian Freemasonry,' supervised by Dr. Michael F. Herzfeld
LILITH MAHMUD, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'Seeking Sisterhood: Elite Constructions of Gender in the Italian Freemasonry,' supervised by Dr. Michael F. Herzfeld. This project examined the making of gender in elite circles through the ethnographic study of Masonic Lodges in Italy. Through participant observation and in-depth interviews, the grantee studied the everyday lives of upper-class men and women members of four different Masonic Orders, providing an ethnographic account of this (in)famous esoteric organization -formerly a secret society for men only- that continues to operate in Italy among widespread conspiracy theories. Paying close attention to performances of intellectualism and 'high' culture, exclusionary politics, and both esoteric and social activities throughout the research, this study examined the role of secrecy in the establishment of relative power within an elite group, and the gendering of particular forms of femininities and masculinities among the upper classes of society. Findings emerging from research undertaken under this grant highlight the complexity and contingency of gender as a category, and the significance of cultural and social capital, in addition to financial resources, for the making of European elites.
Mahmud, Lilith. 2012. 'The World is a Forest of Symbols': Italian Freemasonry and the Practice of Discretion. American Ethnologist 39(2):425-438.
D'Arcy, Michael Joseph, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Uncertain Adherence: Psychosis, Anti-Psychosis, and Medicated Subjectivity in the Republic of Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Stefania Pandolfo
Preliminary abstract: The majority of current anthropological research on psychopharmaceuticals focuses on the political economy of pharmaceutical production, prescription, and distribution. This research is invaluable, but it obscures the entanglement of the lived experience of psychotic mental illness with the social context of adherence. This project explores how the practice of antipsychotic adherence by psychiatric patients in Dublin, Ireland can be understood in relation to psychotic experience. I argue that adherence, or the extent to which a patient complies with a prescribed treatment plan, is troubled by the same ambiguities and ambivalences as psychotic subjectivity itself--characterized by delusions and hallucinations disrupting the relationship between the psychotic individual and their sociocultural milieu--and it is therefore problematic for the discipline of anthropology to engage solely with the 'logic' of psychopharmaceutical adherence, excluding the meaningful relationship that develops between patients and their medications. The place of madness and its relationship to curative substance within Irish myth and colonial history, as well as within the disciplinary history of medical and psychological anthropology, is well known. Privileging the ambiguity of this relationship is particularly important because of recent changes in Irish psychiatric care. The increasing complexity of community mental health in the aftermath of Ireland's psychiatric deinstitutionalization, as well as the massive influx of immigrants in the 1990s and early 2000s, have radically changed the social and institutional context of Irish mental health. Through the analytic lens of antipsychotic adherence, new understandings of psychotic subjectivity and its engagement with collective history take shape.
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.
Sabate, Dr. Irene, U. of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'The Spanish Home Repossessions Crisis as a Case for the Study of Debt and Credit'
Preliminary abstract: The object of this research proposal is the (over-)indebtedness of households derived from mortgage borrowing in Spain, focusing on the strategies used by households and ordinary people in order to cope with their difficulties to repay, and the relationship between the perception of their condition as debtors and their life projects. Credit and debt relations are examined in this context, paying special attention to the articulation of moral economies with hegemonic understandings of financial market dynamics. The current wave of repossessions is interpreted here as a breach of the obligation to repay on a societal scale, which provides it with the potential to contest the usual dynamics of debt and credit relations under 'conventional' capitalist circumstances. A vigourous, grassroots social movement, the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH), that has emerged in the aim of representing debtor's interests, is playing a crucial role in trying to reverse commonly accepted moral judgements about lenders and borrowers, and about the practice of lending and borrowing, while contesting the penetration of household economies by finance capital.