Al-Dewachi, Omar, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Professionalization of Iraqi Doctors in Britain: Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Empire,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton
OMAR ALDEWACHI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'The Professionalization of Iraqi Doctors in Britain: Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Empire,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton. This thesis was an historical and ethnographic investigation of the professionalization of Iraqi doctors in Britain. Through this multi-disciplinary approach, it explored the journey and mobility of the Iraqi medical doctor through the historical, political and institutional terrains of the medical profession. The historical component of the thesis explored the role of British doctors and British medicine under the British mandate (1919-1932) in the formation of the medical profession and education in Iraq. It revealed how British medicine became an extension of the Iraqi medical institutions and continued to shape the Iraqi medical profession during post-colonial nation building in Iraq. The ethnographic component examined the diasporic population of Iraqi doctors who currently reside and work in Britain in the face of on-going war in Iraq as well as the re-shaping of the British National Health Services (NHS). In examining the historical and ethnographic facets of the relationship between Iraqi doctors and Britain, the thesis aimed at demonstrating the larger transnational landscape of the medical profession and its embeddedness in empire building and the imagination of the modern Iraqi nation-state.
Verinis, James Peter, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
JAMES PETER VERINIS, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, was granted funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Though Greek agriculture has served as the picture of rural underdevelopment in Europe, rural Greece is undergoing significant transformations. Immigrants play a diversity of socio-economic roles in farming communities experiencing a new global migratory context. They help define what agricultural [dis]incentives, environmental stewardship, social fabric, and territorial occupation mean in the countryside. With locals they co-manage tensions stemming from European rural development programs and global commodity markets. Scholarship largely reifies the conclusion that immigrants are merely transient, exploited laborers. In conjunction with macroeconomic analyses of rural 'stagnation,' such characterizations misrepresent current realities and undermine alternative potential forms of rural development in Greece. Fieldwork in rural villages in Laconia Prefecture of the Peloponnese, primarily in communities of olive growers, has served to undermine such misrepresentations. Participatory farming amongst Greek and non-Greek agriculturalists, in conjunction with related forms of ethnographic data gathered from various stakeholders, sheds light on a context allowing for immigrant integration and rural development as well as for xenophobia and 'resistance' to global capitalism. Contemporary globalized countrysides along the borders of Europe beg such fieldwork in order to evaluate current and potential paths based on new conceptual frameworks set by their new range of residents.
Li, Darryl Chi-Yee, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Another Universalism? Transnational Islamist Movements and Bosnia-Herzegovina,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
DARRYL CHI-YEE LI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Another Universalism? Transnational Islamist Movements and Bosnia-Herzegovina,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. This project analyzes how Arab Islamists -- especially ex-fighters and aid workers -- in Bosnia-Herzegovina reconciled their pan-Islamist commitments with their experiences of cultural, racial, and doctrinal difference vis-a-vis Bosnian Muslims. This research was conducted between September 2009 and July 2011 based in Sarajevo and Zenica, with trips to Brcko, Bugojno, Travnik, Tuzla, and Visoko. Extensive ethnographic life-history interviews were conducted with Arab immigrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a focus on ex-combatants and NGO workers. These interviews took place in a variety of locales, including family homes, cafes, during roadtrips, offices, and an immigration detention center. A similar number of Bosnians who fought alongside, married, or worked with such individuals were also interviewed at length. Archival research supplemented this data, including Bosnian court records and administrative papers; army and state documents gathered by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia; wartime and post-war newspaper and magazine collections; and Islamic booklets and pamphlets produced by and about Arab Islamists in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Carlson, Jennifer Douglass, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JENNIFER D. CARLSON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Generating Landscapes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Installation on Frisian Communities in Coastal Northern Germany,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. This project employed participant observation, interviews, and archival research to explore practices of speculation that have arisen with the advent of renewable energy in rural northern Germany. The spread of wind turbines, solar panels, and bio-gas plants across Ostfriesland, Lower Saxony, as well as an influx of jobs in the environmental sector, have led villagers to see themselves as speculators with an unforeclosed future, in contrast to the rigid caste system that once held sway over their communities. In an atmosphere of development driven by environmental concerns, the possibility of capital gain is twinned with the threat of catastrophe in the public consciousness. Data collected over a year of fieldwork suggest that everyday talk in Ostfriesland is a social poetics where even the most mundane conversations may hold consequences for capital gain and wider economic and environmental stability. Here speculation is the ground of belonging in a world where fortunes, daily routines, social distinctions, and the built environment are in a state of constant flux. This case sheds light on the cultural generativity of renewable energy, with an eye to the social repercussions of eco-capitalist development in formerly preindustrial societies.
Murney, Maureen A., U. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid 'Navigating Motherhood and Medicine: A Case Study of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Ukraine,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
MAUREEN MURNEY, while a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, received funding in September 2004 to aid research on the intersection of addiction, stigma, reproduction and healthcare in western Ukraine, while under the supervision of Dr. Michael Lambek. Specifically, Murney's research explores the relationship between discourses of normative behaviour, health-seeking practices within and outside official healthcare institutions, and the daily lived experiences of Ukrainian women who are addicted to alcohol, especially women of reproductive age. The project is based upon twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in Ukraine with healthcare providers, development staff, social scientists, and women and men who self-identify as alcoholics; fieldwork began just prior to the Orange Revolution in 2004. Most of the research was conducted in large urban settings, though some attention was paid to the particular challenges faced by people living in rural villages. Fieldwork indicates that in western Ukraine, the traditional seat of Ukrainian nationalism and religion, the multiple discourses on values and social change emphasize references to the pagan goddess Berehynia and the Christian Virgin Mary, in order to characterize an explicitly anti-Soviet role for the 'authentic' Ukrainian woman as protector of family and nation. Accordingly, women who become addicted to alcohol are seen to have consciously rejected the essence of Ukrainian womanhood. As such, alcohol dependent women are far more reluctant than men to 'confess' and seek treatment, particularly in official healthcare institutions; alternative healing strategies are often considered to be more effective, modern, democratic, and/or confidential.
Dvorakova, Tereza, Charles U., Prague, Czech Republic - To aid research on 'Between Practice and Purpose: The Money of Unemployed Roma and the Czech Welfare System,' supervised by Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh
TEREZA DVORAKOVA, then a student at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Between Practice and Purpose: The Money of Unemployed Roma and the Czech Welfare System,' supervised by Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh. This project examined the ways welfare providers established relations of inequality among the poor and ways Romani women defended these relations in context of Czech welfare politics. Its focus was an ethnographic research based on participant observation of the morally loaded field of welfare policy. The grantee examined the politics of welfare from different settings and conducted a long-term observation of welfare providers' decision-making on 'deserving poor' in the context of welfare changes toward moral individualism. Research documented the current experience and economic practices of Romani women and the ways by which they challenged the individualist understanding of poverty. The project explored the intricate positions of women and their kinship networks -- as well as welfare providers -- take with the aim of understanding their positions and 'earmarking' (Zelizer) for benefit money. The findings indicate how welfare providers frame a category of 'deserving' poor by using social relations of claimants, visibility of material hardship consumption strategies, homelessness, and nationality in order not to 'spend money on the undeserving' and 'save states' money.' The findings show how Roma women symbolically perform their moral position as 'deserving' and distinguish themselves from white (homeless) people devalued as 'undeserving' but for all that still get benefits.
Pine, Jason A., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'La Sceneggiata: A Neapolitan Popular Song Genre, the Melodramatic Aesthetic and Its Moral/Political Economy,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JASON A. PINE, while a student at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on the moral and political economy of Naples, Italy, as seen through a popular song genre called the sceneggiata, under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. The objective was to understand the role of emotion and aesthetics in a shadow economy dominated by organized crime. This melodramatic genre was found to be linked to organized crime in three ways: its lyrical content treated themes associated with organized crime, the circuit in which it was produced and performed was crosscut with organized criminal activities, and its primary consumers were crime families. The protagonists of the sceneggiata industry participated, to varying degrees, in organized crime, negotiating the moral valence of their choices according to context. Pine's goal was to understand the role emotions and aesthetics played in such negotiations. The guiding research questions were: In what practices did Neapolitans engage on the sceneggiata music scene and in other sectors of the shadow economy? What could individual life stories reveal about peoples' decisions to engage in the sceneggiata music industry and, by extension, in organized crime? How did singers and fans evaluate sceneggiata performances, and what made the melodramatic aesthetic significant for Neapolitans? Preliminary analysis revealed that in Naples, emotions and aesthetics dominated communication, social, musical, and economic practices because they enabled people to simultaneously respect and circumvent prohibitive expectations of secrecy in an environment of limited resources, volatile power balances, and fear of violence.
Grama, Emanuela, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
EMANUELA GRAMA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. In the multiethnic city of Sibiu, located in the center of Transylvania region of Romania, research focused on practices of community work. More specifically, it investigated current phenomena of volunteering and social work performed mostly by different groups of young foreigners, mostly coming from German-speaking lands to help the Saxon community. Members of the community explain the volunteering by setting it within a historical context in which community work was intimately linked to the Saxon ethnic group. Results suggest that such arguments, which stress the moral and social value of community work, help the currently small group of Saxons (1.5 percent of the city's population) present itself as unique and thus maintain its historically grounded social and political prestige within the symbolical geography of the city and the whole region. Such practices of work are employed as key markers of ethnic boundaries and thus help, to a certain extent, to reinforce interethnic symbolic hierarchies even when done outside the boundaries of the group (for instance, in the reconstruction project of the historical center of the city, built by the Saxons in 12th century, but where now few Saxons still live).
Roy, Arpita, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Particle Physics and the Anthropology of Right and Left,' supervised by Dr. Paul Rabinow
ARPITA ROY, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Particle Physics and the Anthropology of Right and Left,' supervised by Dr. Paul Rabinow. In November 2009, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland, is slated to start high-energy proton collisions as a probe into the structure of matter and forces of nature. The research project inquires into modern cosmology through a specific and concrete concept -- chirality or handedness -- with the underlying question, 'What does physics admit of orientation?' If physics presupposes a separation of mind and matter, or subject and object, then how can it base a physical universe with a preferred orientation? If it does not, then what is the relevance of handedness in its discourse? As an object of study in symbolic classification, handedness has a rich genealogy in anthropological thought. The project draws upon and integrates classical anthropological themes with ongoing fieldwork experience at CERN to establish how the concept acquires its present rationality in the framework of relativistic quantum mechanics and symmetries of space-time. Not only are particular concepts (of physics) like momentum, velocity or spin implicated in the study of chirality, but also other abstract ones of space, substance, relation, and form. It is to this discussion that the research makes a contribution. The research is timely both for what it says about the substantive nature of physics and about collaborative practices more generally.