Nicewonger, Todd Evans, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture, & Flemish Fashion Design as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
TODD E. NICEWONGER, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in July 2007 to support research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture & Flemish Fashion as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. The project was conducted at a Fashion Design Academy where the grantee examined the social organization of the institution and the communicative practices used among student designers. Building on contemporary research into the cultural production of aesthetics, embodiment, and apprenticeship, this study investigated how certain virtues associated with an avant-garde movement in fashion converged into what eventually became recognized as the Flemish fashion aesthetic. This effort was characterized by novel modes of production and ideas about what it means to be a 'good and creative' fashion designer. Fundamental to these beliefs were social ideals arguing that fashion mediates the re-orientation of knowledge and stimulates new ways of imagining lived reality. As such, artisans are believed to embody an intellectual responsibility: one that can craft embodied notions of doubt, joy, and-central to this investigation-possibility. By illuminating how notions of the future are imagined, translated into design concepts, and then technically produced, this study conceptualizes the creative practice of design as hope.
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.
Price, Dr. Sally, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA - To aid research on 'Art and the Civilizing Mission: Cultural Politics in Paris and Overseas France'
DR. SALLY PRICE, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'Art and the Civilizing Mission: Cultural Politics in Paris and Overseas France.' The research conducted under this grant involved an in-depth exploration of the role of the French state in defining, acquiring, exhibiting, interpreting, and promoting art created by people from 'traditional' cultures in Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. One part traced recent developments in the status of artists in French Guiana, France's department (and former colony) in South America. A second part followed the decade-and-a-half-long efforts of French President Jacques Chirac to 'valorize' non-Western arts in Paris museums, culminating in their presence in the Louvre (as of 2000) and in a special new museum next to the Eiffel Tower (inaugurated in June 2006). In French Guiana, extensive interviews were conducted with artists, agents, members of cooperatives, and others in order to follow the transformation of an art originally destined for internal consumption into a marketable commodity produced by full-time professional artists. In Paris, anthropologists, art historians, museum curators, journalists, collectors, art dealers, artists, and politicians complemented findings from books, articles, and websites, to produce a history of the complex interactions that culminated in the realization of Chirac's dream. As the research developed, the second part of the project became dominant, due to the complexity of the politics and competing ideologies that fed controversies, rival propositions, and practical considerations in this 300 million dollar undertaking. The findings from French Guiana have been published in two articles. The Paris research is in press at the University of Chicago Press for publication in 2007 as The House that Jacques Built: Art and Difference in France.
Price, Sally. 2005 Art and the Civilizing Mission. Anthropology and Humanism 30(2):133-140.
Price, Sally. 2007. Paris Primitive: Jacques Chirac’s Museum on the Quai Branly. University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London.
Price, Sally. 2007. Into the Mainstream: Shifting Authenticities in Art. American Ethnologist 34(4): 603-620.
Samli, Sherife Ayla, Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Containing the Future: The Hope Chest in Contemporary Urban Turkey,' supervised by Dr. James D. Faubion
AYLA SAMLI, then a student at Rice University, Houston, Texas, received funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Containing the Future: The Hope Chest in Contemporary Urban Turkey,' supervised by Dr. James D. Faubion. This research investigated the hope chest, or çeyiz, as an indicator of changes in women's status in Istanbul, Turkey. A time-honored tradition central to wedding preparations, the hope chest has undergone extreme changes recently, reflecting larger changes in family structure, women's education, and love relationships. This research explored the changing çeyiz as a commodity, a family keepsake, a national symbol, and as a transitional object accompanying the bride into her new home. To understand the çeyiz and its manifold implications, research was undertaken at merchant centers, handiwork courses, wedding-related stores, and in family homes. Intergenerational interviews among families and interviews with brides and grooms explored the hope chest as a negotiated object -- something created and accumulated through bargaining. Implicit to the hope chest was a discussion how young women and their mothers had different expectations regarding women's roles. The data suggests that education, above all other factors, critically shapes women's attitudes toward their hope chests, their expected gender roles in marriage, and their negotiating power in both household purchases and wedding arrangements.
Jent, Karen Ingeborg, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Growing Organs, Extending Lives: Regenerative Medicine and the Localization of Aging in Scotland,' supervised by Dr. Sarah Franklin
Preliminary abstract: This project explores the work of stem cell scientists in Scotland who are attempting to grow replacement organs in vitro as part of a publicly funded regenerative medicine research initiative. Studying the effects of biological aging, stem cell scientists track the elderly's rising sensitivity to influenza and other pathogenic exposures to a specific gland within the immune system. By localizing aging to the thymus gland, the Scottish laboratory hopes to more pointedly interrupt, and reverse engineer biological aging processes by transplanting laboratory-grown versions of the gland. Focused on this research of artificial thymus growth, my project asks how various notions of aging might be enacted in daily research practices of stem cell scientists. The regrowth of organs seems both to impact and be impacted by growing national concern about an aging population and increasing national emphasis on translational medicine. In Scotland, where the socio-economic challenges of an aging society occupy national concern, translational medicine and applicable science are deemed especially fitting ways to deal with demographic pressures. This project addresses the possibility that ethical emphasis on 'good' or applicable science, as well as anxieties about longevity and health, might be built into organs themselves, manifesting the national preoccupation with healthy aging in the emblematic practice of growing artificial organs in vitro. How might the highly technical and time consuming practices involved in growing organs be shaped by the institutional and national contexts which present aging as degeneration, and stem cell science as an extension of gerontology?
Sweetapple, Christopher Michael, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Convergence and Cleavae: Queer Muslims at the Instersectin of Exclusion and Inclusion in Contemporary Europe,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline Urla
CHRISTOPHER SWEETAPPLE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on :Convergence and Cleavage: Queer Muslims at the Intersection of Exclusion and Inclusion in Contemporary Europe,: supervised by Dr. Jacqueline Urla. The project sought to explore the ways in which the ongoing political inclusion of sexual minorities and racialized exclusion of Muslims in Germany were challenged, negotiated, and experienced by queer Muslimidentified people. The fieldwork investigated political, gender, and sexual, as well as
ethnoracial subjectivity of activists, cultural producers, and non-political actors whose identities as both non-heterosexual and non-white-German call for a deeper understanding of social division and solidarity beyond the regnant but superficial cultural logic, which pits homosexual citizens against homophobic immigrants. This project chronicled how people jointly and individually navigate this political terrain by combining participant observation at diverse sites of activism and political organizing, and among relaxed spaces of leisure and everyday life, along with semi-structured and informal interviews with participants enlisted at these sites. The research revealed that anti-racist discourse and forms of selfunderstanding
as non-white appear to be the primary strategies participants utilized in order to confront the exclusionary character of mainstream gay and lesbian politics and to link this effort to other struggles. This research promises to provide a nuanced account of mutating social divisions and proliferating solidarities in Germany and Western Europe.
Krause, Dr. Elizabeth Louise, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and Bressan, Dr. Massimo, U. of Florence, Florence, Italy - To aid collaborative research on 'Tight Knit: Familistic Encounters in a Transnational Fast Fashion District'
Preliminary abstract: The intensely globalized Province of Prato serves as an ethnographic laboratory for investigating the conditions of fast fashion. Here, a historic textile district known for its MADE IN ITALY 'brand' has earned the distinction of having Europe's largest Chinese community. Most of these transnational migrants produce low-cost items for the fast-fashion industry. Historically, the success of the MADE IN ITALY 'brand' was attributed to small family firms lauded for their flexibility for meeting work demands. Less celebrated is the long history of an informal economy characterized by family arrangements tied to unwritten contracts, clandestine work, and old-world sensibilities of reciprocity. Many of these longstanding practices persist, yet the status quo has changed. Workers have intensified their ways of being flexible, and the state has deepened its mechanisms of control. Primary targets are transnational family firms and workers. What family arrangements does this economy require, repel, or generate? How do family members cope with über-flexible lives? Finally, what cultural logics and values emerge from encounters between fast-fashion workers and state institutions? Substantive contributions to anthropology are made in two primary areas: economic anthropology and critical embodiment studies. An innovative encounter ethnography approach locates places where fast-fashion workers and state institutions encounter one another. Collaboration occurs at all levels of the project: research design, data collection, data analysis, training, writing, and policy-making. A training component focuses on developing systematic approaches to qualitative data analysis to enhance the relevance of anthropology for graduate students interested in addressing social challenges in transnational encounter zones.
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.
Wastell, Dr. Sari, U. of London, London, UK; and Starman, Dr. Hannah, Institute of Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia - To aid collaborative research on 'The Codification of Trauma in Humanitarian Law'