Pettit, Matthew David, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'The Free Life: Healing the Alcoholic Self in Paris,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
MATTHEW D. PETTIT, then a graduate student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2014 to aid research on 'The Free Life: Healing the Alcoholic Self in Paris,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek. Based on ten months of participant observation with the Parisian chapter of mutual-aid group Vie Libre, this project explores the perceptions of self and healing for persons attempting or maintaining abstinence from alcohol. Research included interviews with group members and various stakeholders involved in treatment-both formal and informal-as well as regular participation in group meetings and activities. In particular, issues of identification between (ex-)drinkers were investigated, to understand how an illness primarily experienced individually, as a result of personality and biography, can be made to bridge the social and material distance between those in very different medical and social situations. To that end, the investigator participated in group outreach efforts in hospital detoxification services and observed the integration of new, non-abstinent or relapsed members within the group. Analysis of data is ongoing, and focuses on identification and empathy, guilt and responsibility, volunteering, and the benefits and dangers of engagement with others. These concerns, as well as the medical and group activities that ground them, form part of longer moral and biographical trajectories for group members. In sum, the investigator asks what it is to 'heal' one's dependence, in concert with others, and how this fits with being a good person.
Rogers, Juliette R., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'The Politics and Power of Food: Norman Cheese, French Identity, and the Creation of 'Europeans',' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer
JULIETTE R. ROGERS, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received funding in May 2004 to aid research on 'The Politics and Power of Food: Norman Cheese, French Identity, and the Creation of 'Europeans',' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer. Research was conducted between September 2004 and August 2005, based in Normandy, France. The objectives were to understand the functioning of political influence of a nationally recognized regional industry in the evolving European context, and to assess the extent to which European Union policy bore on the regional, national, or European self-identification of actors in that industry. Fieldwork consisted of participant observation and interviews with people active in the cheese industry of the region (which produces name-controlled AOC Livarot, Camembert de Normandie, and Pont-l'Eveque cheeses) including dairy farmers, cheesemakers, agricultural consultants, government inspectors and functionaries, elected officials, agricultural and cheese unions, and personally invested private citizens. Extending the enquiry to ascertain French and European levels of influence, officials and dairy industry employees in Paris and Brussels contributed new perspectives on motives for policy and regulatory change and how they are translated from one level to the next. Unsurprisingly, the concerns, stakes, goals, and restraints changed at each step of policy (and cheese) production, revealing the complexity of agricultural, health, and cultural policy as it passes from the local to regional, national, European, and international scales. Important issues to emerge from fieldwork include the politics and economics of name-controlled foods at all levels, internal French conflicts between widely cited cultural habits and 'mentalities' and their decline in actual practice, access to political and regulatory information and how that relates to the exercise of power, and the tension between cultural ideals and commercial realities.
Jansen, Dr. Stefaan, U. of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom - To aid workshop on 'Towards an Anthropology of Hope? Comparative Post-Yugoslav Ethnographies,' 2007, Manchester, in collaboration with Dr. Elissa L. Helms
'Towards an Anthropology of Hope? Comparative Post-Yugoslav Ethnographies,'
November 9-11, 2007, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Organizers: Dr. Stefaan Jansen (University of Manchester) and Dr. Elissa L. Helms (Central European University - Budapest)
This workshop was the first opportunity for a new wave of anthropologists working on the post-Yugoslav states - both 'insiders' and 'outsiders' -- to engage in a collective agenda-setting exercise on the comparative basis of their own ethnographic work. Its objective was two-fold. First, with the help of senior scholars working in other East European states, participants worked to de-provincialize the anthropology of the post-Yugoslav states by putting it in long-overdue conversation with the anthropology of postsocialism. Second, and more controversially, workshop participants debated the feasibility of placing a notion of 'hope' at the center of the study of social transformation. In addition to these theoretical and analytical explorations aiming to push the boundaries of anthropology, the workshop also functioned as the launch event for a collaborative network of anthropologists interested in bringing a sense of futurity to the study of societies that are often defined as stuck in their (Balkan) past. A second conference on those themes is scheduled to take place in Chicago in 2008.
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.
Kim, Dong Ju, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on ''True Modern Scientific Agriculture': Interactive Knowledge of Soil Nutrients among Farmers and Scientists in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik
DONG JU KIM, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2008, to aid research on ''True Modern Scientific Agriculture:' Interactive Knowledge of Soil Nutrients among Farmers and Scientists in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik. This project examined the impact of EU agricultural policy in Poland and its implications for ecologically sustainable management of state-owned and private farmlands. The grantee expected that the new policy and environmental standards, although designed to sustain small farmers and the environment, would be better observed and more effective in former state farms with state-owned lands. It was discovered that corporate farm managers often criticized the European Union because they believed direct subsidies enabled small farmers to survive, thus keeping Polish agriculture from developing towards modern European standards. Private farmers, on the other hand, contended that taking good care of the soil and practicing environmentally responsible agriculture could only happen with thorough care and knowledge of owned land. The barriers corporate farms faced in practicing sustainability were declining profitability and the fact that employees did not care as much about the soil and environmental consequences. In contrast, small farmers did care for the soil but learned changes slowly, and had to deal with lower profits and more uncertainty with limited crops. However, small farmers and corporate farm managers agreed that continued distribution of information about proper dosages of chemical fertilizer and herbicide is essential for profitable and sustainable cultivation.
Borodina, Svetlana, Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Governing Productive (Dis)Abilities: The Inkluzivnyi Work Regime and Moral Citizenship in Russia,' supervised by Dr. James D. Faubion
Preliminary abstract: The focus of this research is the ongoing attempts by Russian policy makers and corporate managers to institute an inkluzivnyi (inclusive, singular) work regime. In contrast to the previous policies of disability marginalization and isolation (McCagg and Siegelbaum 1989; Phillips 2010), this initiative has been construed as a way of building an integrative, more just and moral society. The inkluzivnyi work regime recruits disabled and nondisabled employees to labor together in shared environments. A growing number of entrepreneurially-minded people with disabilities and disability NGOs have expressed support for this initiative. Yet it remains unclear if this work regime indeed produces better rehabilitated disabled subjects and more moral citizens, in general. Through participant observation and interviews in the regional Ministry of Social Policy and disability inclusive firms, I will investigate what this regime is actually productive of. Particularly, I will examine (1) what kinds of persons inkluzivnyie (inclusive, plural) workplaces invite and exclude, (2) how this initiative changes and challenges work cultures, and finally, (3) what possibilities and shortcomings it offers to the governors. In order to generate an ethnographic understanding of how the crafting and implementation of this initiative affects disabled and nondisabled subjects, I will conduct twelve months of fieldwork in Yekaterinburg, Russia, a regional administration center with a vibrant disability scene. In bringing this context into dialogue with anthropological scholarship on governance, disability, care, ethics, and work, I will ultimately generate insights about how a neoliberalizing state governs the productive (dis)ability as a technique to produce moral citizens.
Van Den Bos, Dr. Matthijs, Birkbeck College, U. of London, London, UK - To aid research on 'European Shi'ism: Peripheral Networks and Religious Renewal'
DR. MATTHIJS VAN DEN BOS, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in May 2007, to aid research on 'European Shi'ism: Peripheral Networks and Religious Renewal.' The research has explored networks and religiosity of Shiites in Europe to answer the question of what comprises European Shiism. It was hypothesised that Shiism in Europe occupies a peripheral position, enhancing autonomous 'European (Shiite) Islam' through context sensitive lay religious exegeses and the adoption of reformist thought that decenters clerical jurisprudence. These issues were investigated through a database of approximately 300 Dutch and British organizations, and key French and German organizations, which listed their board members and ethnic affiliations; approximately thirty interviews with representative Shiites in Britain, the Netherlands and Iran; exploring Shiite publications; and observing Shiite communal life in Britain. Core findings refuted the premises. Many key organizations were related to global Shiite authority; Shiites' formal organizational life in Europe did not cohere cross-ethnically and transnationally, but was nationally and ethnically fragmented. Thus, European Shiism did not constitute a particular, peripheral space. The research identified both indicators of European Shiism, lay readings and decentering jurisprudence, but did not find them to define European Shiism. Ideational lines in major lay organizations derived from clerical statements; a non-jurisprudential focus was experimented with at relatively low levels in an hierarchy of knowledge where provision at Iranian (and Iraqi) seminaries ranked supreme.
van den Bos, Matthijs. 2012. European Shiism? Counterpoints from Shiites' Organization in Britain and the Netherlands. Ethnicities 12(5):556-580.
van den Bos, Matthijs. 2012. 'European Islam' in the Iranian Ettehadiyeh. In Shi'I Islam and Identity: Religion Politics and Change in the Global Muslim Community. L. Ridgeon, ed. Routledge: London.
Luibheid, Dr. Eithne, Bowling Green State U., Bowling Green, OH - To aid research on 'Babies of Convenience? African Asylum Seekers and Childbearing in Ireland'
DR. EITHNE LUIBHEID, of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on African asylum seekers and childbearing in Ireland. In the 1990s, Ireland was transformed from an emigrant nation into a destination eagerly sought by migrants from around the world, both immigrant workers and asylum seekers. Luibheid analyzed the Irish government's and public's responses to the most controversial of all newcomers-childbearing African asylum seekers-in order to theorize the relationship between national and supranational (e.g., European Union) identities, imaginaries, and governance structures as these were negotiated, contested, and transformed. The questions that guided the research included, How can feminist anthropological scholarship be extended in order to understand struggles for control over asylum seekers' childbearing as a mechanism for rearticulating the link between the national and the supranational? In what ways do these struggles draw migrant women's reproductive capacities into new circuits of commodification within a global system while also providing new opportunities for agency? How do these struggles reveal the refashioning of gender and racial relations in national and EU contexts? Luibheid's preliminary findings included the observation that controversies over asylum seekers' childbearing had given the state a means to reconstitute a notion of the sovereign Irish nation, despite globalization. Moreover, the controversies used women's bodies as a terrain for installing new racial distinctions and rearticulating older ones-distinctions that now structure everyday life in Ireland. The controversies have materially affected asylum-seeking women's possibilities for being recognized as full members of the Irish polity, in terms of both accessing rights and engaging in practices of democratic citizenship.
Luibhéid, Eithne. 2004. Childbearing Against the State? Asylum Seeker Women in the Irish Republic. Women’s Studies International Forum 27:335-349.
Luibheid, Eithne. 2006. Sexual Regimes and Migration Controls: Reproducing the Irish Nation-State in Transnational Contexts. Feminist Review 83:60-78.