Merlan, Dr. Francesca C., Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Community and Society in Southern Germany'
DR. FRANCESCA C. MERLAN, of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, received a grant in August 2001 to aid research on community and society in southern Germany. As part of a larger, continuing project, Merlan conducted field research and analysis on (1) Einheimischenmodelle, or Gemeinde-level legislative schemes that restrict and direct the development and sale of land to people able to claim 'indigenous' (einheimisch) status; (2) tensions and contestation over the inheritance of farming properties, given changes in land use and the exiting of some families from dairying in the region; and (3) Dorferneuerung, or 'village renewal' programs, as implemented with the intention of preserving village integrity and community life. In her overall project, Merlan was concerned with vernacular and (other) regulatory concepts of land, land use, work, and occupation in this part of southern Germany and with (generally conservative as well as 'illiberal' or communitarian) development practices. Her research was intended to inform a book placing the south German case in a broader, comparative framework, showing it to be one instance of the growth of 'indigenist' claims to land and belonging in a global context, a context in which land occupies a changing place among the productive factors in contemporary political economies of the developed world.
Erickson, Dr. Bradley Robert, Independent Scholar, Oakland, CA - To aid research on 'Convivència and Local Citizenship: A New Path for Islam in Europe?'
Preliminary Abstract: The project explores how Muslim communities grapple with isolation as they experiment with European plural modernity and novel forms of citizenship. This research centers on the region of Catalonia, Spain, where half of Spain's Muslims reside, and specifically, on the city of Vilanova i la Geltrú. The people of Vilanova--both hosts and immigrants--deploy the term convivència (engaged coexistence), as a discourse orienting ideals and practices of virtuous community life. Convivència constitutes a space of tension and negotiation that serves as a secular model for managing difference which has been embraced by the city's Muslim community. Convivència forms a new front of popular autonomy that is unmistakably both modern and sectarian, thereby assimilating religion and civil society. The key question is: how does convivència--a discourse with autochthonous Iberian roots and internationalist Islamic supports--conform to or challenge conventional understandings of citizenship and liberal pluralism? At a time of escalating tensions about Islam in Europe, this research contributes to our understanding of new possibilities of plural coexistence at the crossroads of ethics and politics.
Pellegrino, Manuela, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Language Policy and Ideology: The Case of Griko,' supervised by Dr. Charles W. Stewart
MANUELA PELLEGRINO, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in 2008 to aid research on 'Language Policies and Ideologies: The Case of Griko,' supervised by Charles Stewart. This research investigated the politics of language revival in the case of Griko, a language of Greek origins spoken in the southern Italian Province of Lecce (Grecìa Salentina). It explored mediating processes between national and international bodies that provide funding, and local groups that support Griko, with the aim of studying the impact of national and supranational policies on local linguistic ideologies and policies. The study was based on one year of fieldwork conducted in the villages of Grecìa Salentina. Ethnography included participant observation in local cultural manifestations dedicated to Griko (music festival, seminars, poetry competition etc); semi-structured interviews with leaders of local cultural organizations and local cultural brokers engaged in Griko's revival; semi-structured interviews with village mayors and school principals; and weekly observation in Griko classes given in primary schools. In order to capture the language-scape of Griko in the period preceding the current revival, a daichronic approach was adopted covering the last 20 years.
Gruszko, Mariel Edith, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Architecting Participation: Making Lived Models for and of Democratic Participation in Barcelona,' supervised by Dr. Keith Murphy
Preliminary abstract: This project is an investigation of the ways in which residents of Barcelona, Spain work to reshape political life and the city through participatory building projects. I will conduct 12 months of ethnographic research on the collaborative design and construction of social centers and other shared public or community buildings. My research will be centered in the work of LaCol, an award-winning architecture firm that works with expert and lay stakeholders on participatory design projects, and in activities at Can Batllo, a neighborhood social center that LaCol helped build. I will investigate how everyday understandings of participation, belonging, and democratic self-governance are made, negotiated, and learned through collaborative building. This research will illuminate the ways in which city residents merge deliberative processes with small-scale building projects to create a form of politics that is not only concerned with ideological argumentation, but also with reshaping the spatial and material structures that regiment everyday life. Such an approach will help explain how residents of large cities come to feel included in civic decision-making processes and how they come to understand themselves as wielding substantial power over their daily lives. My research hypothesizes that participatory building changes both the form of the city and the shape of everyday life.
Resnick, Elana, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid aid engaged activities on 'She Writes the Book of How Much We Suffer: Engaging Waste Management Research Participants in Sofia, Bulgaria,' 2016, Bulgaria
Preliminary abstract: With the Engaged Anthropology Grant I plan to revisit my field-site of Sofia, Bulgaria and, using collaborative ethnographic film documentation techniques, public presentations, and visual representations, make clear what I have created since returning back from the field. I plan to share my Wenner-Gren research findings with three segments of the populations with which I conducted dissertation research: 1) Romani waste workers in Sofia Bulgaria, 2) environmental NGOs and policy makers in Bulgaria, 3) Bulgarian anthropologists and academics. By sharing both my initial Wenner-Gren research findings and documentation of local reactions to these findings, I will, for the first time, be able to engage at once the various host communities with which I conducted dissertation research.
Hothi, Randeep S., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Sikhism Will Be Televised: Recognition and Religion-Making amongst British Sikhs,' supervised by Dr. Arvind-Pal Mandair
Preliminary abstract: The Sikh diaspora is currently undergoing rapid cultural transformation, which some scholars have likened to a 'renaissance'. Over the last fifteen years, various unexpected and creative forms of Sikh art and politics have proliferated, particularly in the UK. British Sikh television networks have been at the forefront of this movement. These community-sponsored, non-profit television networks are sites in which Sikh cultural producers come together and produce diverse programming that makes sense of the world while creatively engaging with Sikhism. I examine how British Sikh cultural producers make complicated decisions about how Sikhism should be publicly presented, which representations of Sikhism should be disseminated, and how they will address their audiences--Sikh and non-Sikh. This project uncovers the living debates, interests, and aspirations that shape British Sikh cultural production and the complicated ways that the notion of religion frames discourses about Sikhism. This research provides an opportunity to examine the wider ramifications of minority cultural production in secular societies, and the ways that minority groups articulate their own identities and socially situate themselves by addressing others.
Khlinovskaya Rockhill, Dr. Elena Vladimirovna, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research and writing on 'Lost to the State: Family Discontinuity, Social Orphanhood and Residential Care in the Russian Far East' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ELENA KHLINOVSKAYA ROCKHILL, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in August 2007 to aid writing and research on 'Lost to the State: Family Discontinuity, Social Orphanhood and Residential Care Institutions in the Russian Far East.' The funding supported writing a book based on the grantee's doctoral research of social orphans, or children who have living family members but grow up in residential care institutions in post-Soviet Russia. The book examines the relationship between the family, the state and the child at the moment of a kinship breakdown, either real or imagined by the state. It demonstrates a skewed power balance based on the moral judgment of the parents. The author proposes a new way of understanding kinship through institutions and ideology with the state in a co-parenting and parenting role, which allows to negate the birth family and to provide the child with another family, that of the state and society. Through narratives of care-leavers the author reveals their views on 'social orphanhood.' The book also reflects on similarities between Soviet/post-Soviet child welfare practices, and those of some western democracies, and discusses the possible nature of these similarities.
Berglund, Dr. Eeva, Goldsmiths College, London, UK - To aid research on 'Natural Resources and Expertise in Rural Finland : An Ethnographic Study of Biotechnology'
DR. EEVA BERGLUND, of Goldsmiths College in London, England, was awarded a grant in July 2002 to aid ethnographic research on biotechnology in rural Finland, where modernization has been both relatively recent and successful. Berglund focused on capital-intensive biotechnology as part of regional development under conditions of globalization, asking what local experiences of the 'new economy' and the 'information society' might have been. The research, carried out in Kainuu Province and in Helsinki, was based on documentary sources, ethnography in a small food-biotechnology laboratory, and interviews with regional elites. The results indicated a mismatch between provincial discourses of forced adaptation and hegemonic discourses of inevitable technological dynamism and continuing national progress. Alongside this disjuncture were salient continuities in the ways local landscapes were conceptualized, which may be leading to an underemphasis on the gravity of Kainuu's economic problems. Berglund found a complex and multilayered understanding of nature; both sacredness and the capacity to create artificial environments were highly valued in the Kainuu region. Indeed, it was economic risk and lack of commercial know-how rather than technological fear with which people struggled, a situation characteristic of Finland as an economic unit. Regional, community, and local action was highly valued in Kainuu, and even the most capital-intensive practices were appropriated for local ends. A historical survey of Finnish science and technology policy suggests that this ideology has been built into the modernization of the country from independence, with implications for the way people think about nature, technology, and the state.