Diaz de Rada, Dr. Angel, U. Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'The Construction of Belonging: Expressive Practices 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 May 2002 to aid research on expressive practices and identity appropriations among 'Saami' and 'Norwegians' in Kautokeino, Norway. Diaz de Rada's main contention was that construction of the multiple meanings of belonging in Guovdageaidnu-a small but central place in the Saami-Norwegian world-might be best understood as a fight for continuity. He proposed redefining belonging as continuity transferred to the spatial realm of a territory or to the social realm of a collectivity. Belonging is, in this context, a manageable category for the institutional rhetorics and processing of links and for ethnopolitical representation, because working for a place and working for a people are valued instrumental objectives (in contrast to working for the past or working for time continuities). Nevertheless, Diaz de Rada found a clear contrast between discourses and practices of identification in the sphere of the personal and presentative subjects, on one hand, and those in the sphere of the institutional and representative subjects, on the other. In the first case, identification was clearly stated as a set of time-binding operations; in the second, it was stated as a set of territorial, spatial, and demographic images. Place, territory, and people operated as concrete signifiers of time continuities, as tangible units for institutional mobilization and bureaucratic management. The ethnopolitical process itself arose as a special (and partial) dimension of the tension between fragmentation and continuity in this contemporary piece of society. This tension was not, as in the classic gesellschaft-gemeinschaft dichotomy, a matter of opposite modes of social linkage but a tensional processing of every social link.
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
Muehlebach, Dr. Andrea Karin, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Water, Politics, and the Democratic Imagination in Europe'
Preliminary abstract: This project traces the rise of water as a vehicle through which novel experiments in citizenship, democratic participation, and resource management are coming to life. It does so through an ethnographic investigation of how three European cities have recently begun to re-municipalize their water supply systems after years, sometimes decades, of privatization. As nodes in a wider struggle against the commodification of water, I propose to explore the cities of Naples, Paris, and Berlin in order to track new forms of political imagination that are taking root as municipalities and citizens (re)claim ownership over water. I ask how water, conceptualized as a right and 'commons,' has come to exist in tension with dominant ideologies of the propertied individual. How has water become a vehicle for Europeans to propose designs for a better life? How do the meanings and materialities of water impact not only its management and distribution, but the very horizons of political and environmental possibility? This project weds the study of new forms of political imagination and mobilization to the cultural politics of natural resources, and, more specifically, to the ways in which humans are grappling with the precarity and finitude of water. By asking how some of Europe's citizens are engaging in the building of new horizons of political and environmental possibility, this project aims to contribute as much to an anthropology of resource management and sustainability as it offers insight into the political and economic 'otherwise.' It does so at a moment where the interlocking crises of capitalism, democracy, and the environment have become more apparent than ever before.
Mursic, Rajko, U. of Ljubljana, Slovenia - To aid 10th EASA conference on 'Experiencing Diversity and Mutuality,' 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
'Experiencing Diversity and Mutuality: The 10th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists'
August 26-29, 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Organizer: Rajko Mursic (University of Ljubljana)
The 10th biennial conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) aimed to explore public discourse on diversity and cross-cultural communication and highlight the underestimated aspects of mutuality, such as the borrowing of practices and beliefs. Approximately 1,200 international scientists attended the conference and participated in 121 workshops and presented 1,040 papers. They also participated in plenary sessions, round tables, network meetings, special events, etc. Funding from Wenner-Gren Foundation was used to defray travel and accommodations for 52 participants, as well as provide support for the 'Claude Levi-Strauss Centennial Tribute' as well as the Levi-Strauss Chill-out Room, which presented videos about the scholar and his books. The exhibition was an opportunity for younger scholars and students of anthropology and related sciences to learn more about the famous ethnologist.
Bendix, Dr. Regina, Georg-August U., Gottingen, Germany - To aid conference on 'Among others: conflict and encounter in European and Mediterranean societies,' 2004, Marseille, France, in collaboration with Dr. Denis Chevalier
'Among Others: Conflict and Encounter in Europe and the Mediterranean,' April 26-30, 2004, Marseille, France -- Organizers: Regina Bendix (Georg-August University, Gottingen, Germany) and Denis Chevalier (Musée National des Art et Traditions Populaire, Marseille, France). This conference brought together ethnologists, social anthropologists, and folklorists, predominantly from Europe and the Mediterranean region. Organized jointly by the scholarly organizations Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore (eighth congress) and the Association d'Anthropologie Méditerranéenne (ADAM, third congress), the meeting brought more than 400 scholars to Marseille, France, where they explored subthemes in 35 workshops. The event opened with a plenary lecture by Christian Bromberger (Aix-en-Provence), who crafted a presentation intertwining the eight congress subthemes. Six further plenary sessions (Barbro Klein, Susan Slyomovics, Mohamed Tozi, Daniel Miller, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Jasna Capo-Zmegac) explored the three organizing divisions of the congress, 'Region, Space, Territory,' 'Religion and Ideology,' and 'Material Culture and Systems of Representation.' Bilingual proceedings were to be published in Marseille by the conference host, the Musée des Civilisations d'Europe et de la Méditerranée.
Koch, Insa Lee, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on ''Anti-Social Behaviour': Law and Order in the British Working Class,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner
INSA LEE KOCH, then a student at the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on ''Anti-Social Behavior': Law and Order in the British Working Class,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner. This research investigated the role of the state in the life of white working class people on a post-industrial council estate in England. As geographically demarcated areas of government-built housing, often characterized by a strong involvement of state authorities and high degrees of welfare dependency, council estates can be seen as primary instances of state-building projects. Based upon ethnographic fieldwork conducted on one of Britain's largest council estates, this research investigated how its local people come to imagine and make use of the state in their everyday lives. It found that people often treat the state as a personalized resource to rely upon to upset, modify, and generate intimate social relationships that otherwise exist beyond the domain of official state intervention. In a context characterized by intra-community divisions and enmities, an array of state actors -- such as the police, social services and council officers -- then become potential allies to mobilize in one's pursuit of reputation, recognition and justice. Looking at the state, not as a distinct entity on its own, but as an intimate extension of people's social lives, this research offered insights into the sociality of British working-class communities, as well as into broader anthropological discussions of the state, citizenship, and democratic politics.
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.
Mishtal, Dr. Joanna Zofia, U. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL - To aid research and writing on 'Contradictions of Democratization: Reproductive Rights and the Politics of Morality in Poland' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. JOANNA Z. MISHTAL, University of Central Florida, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2011 to aid research and writing 'Contradictions of Democratization: Reproductive Rights and the Politics of Morality in Poland.' The book is a historical, theoretical, and ethnographic study of the intersections of politics, gender, and religion. Based on 21 months of ethnographic fieldwork during doctoral and postdoctoral research between 2000 and 2007 in Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk, the book explores the postsocialist democratization process and the contentiousness of reproductive politics that emerged since the 1989 fall of state socialism. As reproductive rights became significantly curtailed after the fall of the socialist regime due to the new-found political power of the Catholic Church in Poland, the politics of gender and reproduction shifted to the center of transformative negotiations taking place nationally in Poland and internationally within the European Union. Findings argue for an alternative understanding of Polish democratization refocused around reproductive politics, and make a contribution to the theoretical debates on the significance of regime change and transition politics for feminist consciousness-raising and mobilization. This study demonstrates the centrality of the governance of women's bodies in postsocialist politics-a constitutive feature of the Polish democratization process.
Nakhshina, Maria, Aberdeen U., Aberdeen, UK - To aid research on 'Making Sense of Home: Movement and Metaphor among Villagers and Townspeople in the Kola Peninsula,' supervised by Dr. Tim Ingold
MARIA NAKHSHINA, then a student at Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, Scotland, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Making Sense of Home: Movement and Metaphor among Villagers and Townspeople in the Kola Peninsula,' supervised by Dr. Tim Ingold. In the year 2006-2007 fieldwork was carried out in the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. Half the year was spent in the village of Kuzomen and half in three urban locations: Kandalaksha, Murmansk, and Umba. The idea was to observe people in both rural and urban environments, including permanent residents of the village, those who moved to the town and those who came to the village only in summer, and to trace how their perception of 'home' varied across different contexts. In order to understand the role of the senses and emotions in home attachment, attention was focused on metaphor, metonymy, and automatic movements. The research has shown that metaphor and metonymy both epitomize and elaborate on people's emotional and sensory experience of a home place. Applied in different contexts, the same trope connects people on a meta-level of emotions and sensations. It appears that automatic movements are the most direct register of a person's emotions, since the latter regulate the selection of actual movements. Routine sensual experiences generate correspondingly automatic responses. Sensory experiences accompany quotidian emotions and both play a prominent role in a person's identification with a home place.
Robbins, Jessica, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid engaged activities on 'Beyond 'Active' Aging and Abandonment: Relations of Suffering, Care, and Hope in Postsocialist Poland,' 2013, Wroclaw, Poland
JESSICA ROBBINS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant in August 2012 to aid ' Beyond 'Active' Aging and Abandonment: Relations of Suffering, Care, and Hope in Postsocialist Poland.' In May 2013, the University of Lower Silesia in Wroclaw, Poland, hosted two workshops based on the grantee's doctoral research on aging in Poland. The research found that experiences and ideals of aging in Poland are characterized by discursive and institutional contrasts between modern, progressive, and 'active' older adults, and supposedly 'backwards,' suffering, and abandoned elders in institutional care. Based on ethnographic findings that processes of relatedness provide other possibilities for moral personhood in old age, the workshops tried to avoid common practical and scholarly binary distinctions of in/dependence, East/West, and socialism/capitalism, and instead attempted to forge connections among practitioners and scholars. The first day's workshop brought together over seventy professionals and scholars working in fields related to aging, as well as older Poles themselves, for lively panel and open-forum discussions. The second day's workshop was an intimate conversation among anthropologists about the utility of the categories of socialism and postsocialism in contemporary research in central/eastern Europe based on scholars' ethnographic, anthropological, and historical research. During both days of the workshops, the topics of memory, personhood, and kinship recurred as vital areas to understanding contemporary Polish life.
Witeska, Anna Dominika, U. College London, London, UK - To aid research on 'Making Political Subjects in Post-Socialist Poland: Memory Workings among 'Veterans' and 'Victims of Oppression'', supervised by Dr. Michael Sinclair Stewart
ANNA WITESKA, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Making Political Subjects in Post-Socialist Poland: Memory Workings among 'Veterans' and 'Victims of Opression,'' supervised by Dr. Michael Sinclair Stewart. Research focused on the local performances of national memory politics in the aftermath of the communist regime in Poland. Looking at the processes of objectification of the communist past taking place in the authoritative settings (courtrooms, the Institute of National Remembrance, exhibition halls, official commemorative rituals, unveiling of monuments) she searched for discursive and symbolic patterns of inclusion and exclusion of political subjects into/from the commemorative landscape of the Polish historidzed state. The grantee worked mainly with two broadly defined categories of people who got politically engaged during communism: the ex-officers of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the anti-communist activists. Combining participant observation in various institutional settings with archival work, discourse analysis, and in-depth interviews with individuals, the project tackled the mediating role that the state-institutions, their agents, and representations produced by them, have played in individual processes of remembering, commemorating, and recalling. Research findings deal with ways in which overlapping ideologically loaded