Shayduk-Immerman, Olesya, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting it,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak
OLESYA SHAYDUK-IMMERMAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting It,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak. Recently the mass media became agitated by a new bill advanced by the Israeli cabinet of ministers and drafted by a former Soviet Jewish politician, Zeev Elkin. The law legitimizes the Jewish character of the state of Israel and deprives Arabic of its official second language status. The world community considers such political views, typical for the former Soviet Jews, a paradox since Jews in the USSR experienced being a discriminated minority and fought for democratic changes in Soviet society. As a result, people previously regarded as victims and elevated to the ranks of heroes by the activists of the world leftist movements became subverted to the status of evildoers. Yet when observed more closely, this situation contains no paradox-the views have not changed, but the context has. Transition from socialism to western capitalism caused a significant shift in the meanings of the ideas and practices of the Soviet Jewish movement participants. In order to understand the rationalities behind their actions and statements, one has to assign them meanings relevant to Soviet socialism. The following are the most important presumptions: one cannot be neutral about their Jewishness, they have to either be proud or ashamed of it; ethnicity matters-the prevalence of class is a meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet state; anti-Semitism exists-objections against the idea of Israel as a Jewish state are anti-Semitic by their nature; the claim that Israel is an aggressor is meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet Union because in fact the policies of Israel are a defense against the neighboring enemies and, therefore, Judaism is a form of critical thinking.
Kartari, Dr. Asker, Hacettepe U., Ankara, Turkey - To aid 5th InASEA conference on 'Migration, Communication, and Social Change,' 2009, Ankara, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Migration in, from, and to Southeastern Europe: Intercultural Communication, Social Changes, and Transnational Ties'
May 21-24, 2009, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Organizers: Asker Kartari (Hacettepe University) and Ulf Brunnbauer (University of Regensburg)
This was the 5th Conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology -- the first international association of academics and researchers in the social sciences who concentrate on Southeast Europe. Ninety-nine specialists from Balkan and Western countries were brought together to consider the entire migration process in its
relevant social, economic, and political contexts and to facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue, transnational comparison, and attention to both migrant and host society perspectives. Papers presented at the conference will be published in volumes 13 and 14 of the journal Ethnologia Balkanica.
Alexiu, Dr. Teodor Mircea, West U. of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania - To aid 4th InASEA conference on 'Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe,' 2007, Timisoara, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Region, Regional Identity And Regionalism In Southeastern Europe'
May 24-27, 2007, West University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania
Organizers: Dr. Teodor Mercea Alexiu (West University of Timisoara) and Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer (Free University - Berlin)
The conference brought together 137 researchers from 23 countries of southeastern Europe, the European Union, and the United States. It was organized by the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA) and the Department of Sociology-Anthropology from the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, West University of Timisoara. The conference aimed to stimulate a more systematic and problem-oriented research in regionalism matters of southeastern Europe and to enable contacts between specialists in the field, and thus open up an exchange of research results. Focusing on the region of southeastern Europe, participants at the conference discussed issues such as regional cultures and their construction, regional identities, everyday 'functioning' of regions, cross-border regions, social and cultural consequences of regional disparities and regional identities. The conference was made possible with support from Wenner-Gren, West University of Timisoara, Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft (Germany), Timosoara's Mayoralty and the Local Council, and the city's Ethnographic Museum.
Thompson, Niobe S., Cambridge U., Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Belonging in the North: Migrant Experiences and Identity in Northeast Siberia,' supervised by Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky
NIOBE S. THOMPSON, while a student at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, received funding in August 2002 to aid research on migrant experiences and identity in northeastern Siberia, under the supervision of Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky. In the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug (Chukotka) of northeastern Russia and in regions of central Russia, Thompson conducted fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork on non-native senses of belonging. The research was intended to explore the negotiation of identity in a traditionally migrant, transient population, an issue with implications for the future of communities in the Russian Far North and the success of planned programs of northern depopulation and resettlement. The coincidence between Thompson's project and a major program of modernization initiated in 2001 by a new administration under the leadership of wealthy governor-oligarch Roman Abramovich was intentional, because the challenge of an outsider-led program of change was expected to galvanize local identity in unexpected ways. Research findings revealed that a strongly localist sense of belonging and a rejection of mainstream Soviet and Russian life had characterized the settler community since its emergence, and that authority and entitlement through 'northern experience' were key features of local discourse. The challenges of outsider-led modernization to the established population met discourses of resistance long cultivated in Chukotka and endangered its long-term sustainability.
Leeds, Adam Ephraim, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr, Adriana Petryna
ADAM E. LEEDS, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. This fieldwork investigated the transformations in economic knowledge production in Moscow. The end of the Soviet Union meant the end of the ideological master code (Marxist-Leninism) governing uneasily co-existing strands of economic knowledge, the social system in which these knowledges formed, and the institutional regime within which they had been the means of social action. The community of economists in Moscow now constitutes a fractured field. Moving within it, this work examined several different moments in economic knowledge development: from 1960s 'market socialist' reformism and the dream of optimal planning, to the birth of the Gaidar team and their microeconomic critique of the Soviet state, to the international assembly of the think-tank world, to the implantation of Western economics, to the constitution of 'transition economics' as a subfield and its subsequent dissolution into a new comparative political economy of development. It tacks back and forth between underlying political imaginaries, ideologies of objectivity, and the everyday practices of economists working in different institutional locales. Finally, it asks: What are the meanings of capitalism, liberalism, and democracy today? How are they related? How do they, don't they, or should they operate in Russia? and, of course, What is to be done?
Canedo Rodriguez, Dr. Montserrat, National U. of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Market and Urban Networks'
DR. MONTSERRAT CANEDO RODRIGUEZ, National University of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Markets and Urban Networks.' The project investigated how the fresh food wholesale market in Madrid works as a node of redistribution for food flows, creating effects of space-time structuring ('local,' 'global,' 'urban,' etc.). By following 'Poma de Girona' (an apple produced in Catalonia that has a Protected Geographic Indication) from its production to its urban consumption, the grantee analyzes the way these process-oriented and multi-localized food flows unfold through a 'chain of value.' Research questions included: What different space-time structuring effects do food flows produce when tracked from different ethnographic loci? How can we think about the enactment of urban social space through food flows? How does the circulation of food blend 'nature,' 'market,' and 'science-technology,' and what can be said about these kinds of embeddedness in a cultural and political reading? The study will advance theory on time-space frames understood as the products (and figures) of a dynamic simultaneous multiplicity, or articulations of heterogeneous practices that are always in progress. From this perspective, the research proposes an ethnographic approach to the question of 'globalization.' As an 'ethnography of apples,' it also contributes to thinking about the problem of the nature-culture co-implication and the politics of contemporary food chains.
Zontine, Angelina Ione, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe': Cultural and Political Practice n Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla
ANGELINA IONE ZONTINE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe:' Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla. This research project investigates the political activism and creation of culture being carried out at collectively run social centers in Bologna, Italy. Described by participants as 'laboratories' for the creation of alternative modes of exchange, interaction (between native-born Italians and migrants), socializing, and extra-electoral political participation, these centers would seem to provide an example of active citizenship as participants enact political engagement through a range of cultural practices. In a seeming paradox, however, these centers are censured by authorities and targeted for relocation as part of ongoing 'security'-oriented campaigns against 'illegality' and 'urban blight' that cast social centers as fonts of illegal and 'uncivil' activity. Using participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, the research project investigates the character and internal organization of these social center order to discern the opportunities afforded and tensions generated by this form of political engagement. At the same time, it explores the controversy surrounding Bolognese social centers in order to explore how participants struggle to rework or enlarge the restrictive parameters of belonging and participation in the natoinal and political communities of both the city and the nation-state, thus engaging and opposing prevailing models of citizenship.
McDonald, Charles Alan, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Jewish Relations: Conversion, Inheritance, and the 'Return to Sepharad' in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Ann L. Stoler
Preliminary abstract: In 1492, nearly a millennium of Jewish civilization on the Iberian Peninsula was extinguished when Spain decreed that all unconverted Jews would be expelled from the land known in Hebrew as Sepharad. Five centuries later, immigrants, converts, and the state are dramatically reconfiguring the place of Jews and Judaism in Spain. Although Jewish conversion, cultural heritage, and immigration are commonly taken to be multiple manifestations of a single
phenomenon--the 'return to Sepharad'--my research investigates the divergent actors and objectives that animate these projects to understand how the enactment of such 'returns'--whether of contemporary neighborhoods to medieval landscapes, of Spaniards to Judaism, or of Sephardic Jews to Spain--reconfigure debates about the nature of Jewish personhood, history, and the pressing contemporary question of coexistence. My study is guided by questions in three domains where claims to the Jewish past and present are made: (1) Conversion: How and when is an individual's Jewishness recognized as a historical fact or a future possibility? (2) Inheritance: What concepts and materials make it possible to claim people, places, and objects as Jewish inheritance? (3) Coexistence: How do Jews figure in debates about the potential for the celebrated medieval convivencia of Jews, Christians, and Muslims to serve as a template for contemporary multicultural inclusion? Unlike scholarship that focuses on the exclusion of Europe's religious minorities, my project instead examines the inclusion--however uneven and contradictory--of Jewish people and history in Spain in an
effort to shed new light on the vexed conditions of European multiculturalism.
Donkersloot, Rachel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?': Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies
RACHEL DONKERSLOOT, then a student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?' Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies. This research is located in the social and economic landscape of a rural fisheries-dependent community. Here the subject of rural youth emigration is addressed through attention to gender differences in the ways young people perceive, experience, and cope with rural life, which includes decisions to emigrate. Funding made possible eleven months of fieldwork in the coastal community of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Through this support, 67 formal (individual and group) interviews were conducted. Research participants include young people (aged 18 to 30), as well as parents, teachers, community members/leaders, and retired and active fishermen and industry workers. Preliminary findings suggest: 1) discourse surrounding migration that devalues staying and locates stayers as underachievers or 'losers left behind' represents, at best, a 'partial perspective and particular interests;' and 2) gender is a critical dimension of rural youth experience but its import should not eclipse the very powerful ways in which class shapes young people's experience of place. Resituating young people's life narratives at the intersection of class and gender is imperative to understanding rural youth experience. To privilege gender over class, or vice versa, risks overlooking, over-simplifying or mis-recognizing the subject.