Deleporte, Sarah F., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler
SARAH F. DELEPORTE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in November 2003 to aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art, and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler. The dissertation research supported by this grant consisted of an ethnographic study of the creation of the Musee du quai Branly, France's newest national museum devoted to extra-European arts and civilizations, opening in Paris in 2006. Designed as both a museum of fine arts and of human sciences, the museum is officially slated to foster admiration, respect, and curiosity for cultural diversity in French society. Since the 18th century, the French state has consistently invested in museums as part of a matrix of citizen-forming tools (including public schools, universities, and ministerial training schools) meant to educate and cohere the nation's diverse populations. In the 21st century, the creation of the Quai Branly Museum has created a domino effect in French cultural policy, most notably spurring mandates to create two additional national museums, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseilles and the National Center for the History of Immigration in Paris. In the midst of extensive administrative reform and structural change, the French national museums are confronting their institutional legacy and providing new possibilities for the practice of anthropology in museums as well as for an anthropological understanding of the role museums play in the nation-building efforts of contemporary, multicultural societies.
Pavlovich, William Vladan, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
WILLIAM V. PAVLOVICH, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Nearly one million ethnic Serbs from former Yugoslavia (i.e. Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo) have sought refuge in the Republic of Serbia since 1991. Comprising roughly twelve percent of the overall population, displaced persons have significantly altered the republic's demographic, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, and political landscape. This project investigates the development of an apparent causal relationship between displaced persons and the resurgence of nationalism in Serbia, and interrogates the qualities of that relationship. The leading nationalist party, the Serbian Radical Party, was poised to challenge the state's project of European integration until the party splintered in two after their inability to form a majority ruling coalition-despite strong results (nearly 30 percent)-whereby they lost to a pro-EU coalition in the 2008 parliamentary elections. This resulted in a 'sea-change' amongst the Serbian populace - both domicile and displaced - and prompted a series of public debates and reflection regarding the civic, national, and cultural identities of Serbian citizens. The study shows how displacement can be understood to be both process and event for domicile and displaced communities, one which enables interpretation at individual, local, and national levels of Serbian society, and one which informs the movement towards (or against) European integration.
Fox, Samantha Maurer, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'EisenhüttenSTADT IM UMBAU: Imagining New Futures in a Post-Socialist City,' supervised by Dr. Brian Larkin
Preliminary abstract: Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany has been a city defined by a series of imagined futures since it was founded in 1950. Originally called Stalinstadt, it was conceived as the East German state's socialist utopia. Today it is a key site in the German government's push to transform post-industrial cities in the former East Germany into icons of green urbanism, most notably via the consolidation of sparsely populated urban areas and a rapid, often disruptive push to rely on renewable energy sources. My dissertation investigates the role that housing and electricity play in the transformation of Eisenhüttenstadt. I examine how residents interact with and talk about the transformations in their cityscape, and how such engagements fulfill or subvert planners' expectations. I also examine the ideologies of state socialism that lay behind the city's planning and investigate how such ideologies were manifested and experienced. Considering that the same built space has come to serve as a model for strikingly different conceptions of society and urbanization, Eisenhüttenstadt is an ideal site in which to investigate fundamental claims in anthropology about how built space produces social subjects and collectivities, as well as how new urban futures are established and enacted.
Resnick, Elana Faye, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Waste, Work, and Racialization in Bulgaria,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Lemon
ELANA F. RESNICK, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Waste, Work, and Racialization in Bulgaria,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Lemon. This research examined disposal, collection, processing, storage, and recycling of waste in Bulgaria, focusing on the capital city, Sofia. Fieldwork addressed relations between informal waste collection (individuals collecting trash objects for re-use or resale) and formal waste management sectors. Relying on ethnographic and archival data, preliminary analyses explore waste collection in Bulgaria as deeply built on, and a result of, time's ability to pass, create, and 'waste,' as well as the physical environment's capacity to change, develop, and decompose. Through participant-observation and interviews with individual trash collectors, privately-owned trash companies, and recycling organizations, as well as visits to diverse landfill sites, this research addressed the potential for continued 'life'-and ultimate 'death'-of waste (often discussed in terms of recycling or energy-from-waste as 'life' and landfilling as 'death'). Investigating waste on a variety of scale, from the elderly who gather plastic bottles each morning, to waste management and recycling companies that collect and sort household garbage, to the practical and legal implementation of E.U. waste and environmental directives, this work looks beyond dichotomies of dirty vs. clean or animate life vs. inanimate objects, to show how personhood, sensory phenomena, and life-death processes are better understood through the study of waste.
Silian, Alina Petronela, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Identity Politics, Knowledge Production, and Governmentality: The Romani Politics of Difference in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Ayse S. Caglar
Karaca, Banu, City U. of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look at Germany and Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano
BANU KARACA, while a student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, received a grant to aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look At Germany and Turkey', supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano. This comparative study is based on fieldwork conducted in the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and Istanbul. Drawing from interviews with artists, curators, critics, gallery directors, corporate sponsors, foundation and government officials, as well as observations at contemporary arts institutions, including each city's Biennial, and the analysis of cultural policy documents this research examines how divergent conceptions of art are mediated within the art world. Furthermore, this study centers on how modernization and nation-building processes in both Germany and Turkey impact the discourses, policies and practices in their present-day art scenes. In so doing, rather than asking questions about a Turkish or German 'kind of modernity' it aims to understand respective experiences and, most importantly, probe paradoxes of modernity through the lens of the arts. Paradoxes that manifest themselves, for instance, in tensions between the civic impact accorded to art and its pliability to market forces, and between understandings of art as a universally human and also particularly national expression.
Timura, Christopher T., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Negotiating Expertise: The Globalizing Cultures of British and American Peace Negotiators,' supervised by Dr. Conrad P. Kottak
CHRISTOPHER T. TIMURA, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding to aid research on the globalizing cultures of British and American peace negotiators, under the supervision of Dr. Conrad P. Kottak. Timura conducted eleven months of fieldwork with a representative sample of university and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the globalizing field of conflict resolution. He obtained more than 140 interviews with students, trainers, and practitioners, collected oral histories from key informants, and acted as a participant observer in seminars and training workshops. In addition, he used information about practitioners' professional networks and their referrals to arrange interviews with key individuals involved in the conflict management activities of the U.S. and British governments. The data showed that conflict management theories could be traced back to a small but diverse group of North American and European founding figures who used their institutional affiliations to promulgate their understanding of how violent conflict could be prevented, managed, and resolved. Despite considerable demographic diversity in the field today, a common set of concepts and value orientations enabled this transnational group to coalesce around a conflict resolution epistemology and practice. Conflict resolution specialists have used their roles in government, NGOs, and academe to advocate for changes in the ways governments manage and resolve violent conflict, while arguing for the existence of their own specific form of expertise. 'Local' cultural, socioeconomic, religious, and political factors have played varying roles in the globalization of this expertise beyond North America and Europe, offering opportunities for considering how anthropology might constructively analyze and otherwise engage with this and similar phenomena having significant effects on international governance.
Latea, Daniel, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Debt and Duty in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
DANIEL LATEA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Debt and Duty in Postsocialist Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. Since the privatization of the Romanian retail commerce in 1989, large numbers of people have started buying consumer goods without paying on the spot; this occurs in the absence of any legal provisions. They refer to this practice using the vocabulary of 'debt' (datorie): 'selling on debt' and 'buying on debt.' In contrast, Romanian notions and practices of 'credit' and 'debit' generally denote formal bank transactions. Debt relations are marked by the absence of interest, security, witnesses, formal agreements, evident means of sanctioning defaulters, as well as an elastic duration of repayment. Drawing on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in rural Oltenia (southern Romania), the grantee studied the unfolding of social relations of debt and duty in commercial and other social settings as a crucial instance of the local production of social orders. The project describes the negotiation of debts in terms of the tempo and sequencing of interactions. Acceptable motives or excuses are more convincing to the extent they constitute shared temporalities and moralities -- past, present or future situations, events and relations. Mastering the arts of delay requires continuous effort, creativity and often recalcitrance to state formalities. Moreover, it emphasizes the immense work that people put into rendering debt and duty relations ordinary.
Bjork, Stephanie R., U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'Clan as Social Capital among Somalis in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Malaby
STEPHANIE R. BJORK, while a student at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on clan affiliation as social capital among Somalis in Finland, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas M. Malaby. Bjork's goal was to understand the changing dynamics of the Somali clan system and the way traditional kinship networks are remade in diaspora. During 16 months of fieldwork among Somalis living in Helsinki and the neighboring cities of Espoo and Vantaa, she collected data through participant observation, sociodemographic surveys of 200 Somali men and women representing the major clan families and two minority groups, and in-depth interviews. Challenging the traditional assumption that clan-based societies are egalitarian, Bjork documented the hierarchical structure of the Somali clan system through clan discourse, including everyday talk, stereotypes, and performance. She also investigated the ways in which Somalis gained access to work in both the Finnish formal economy and the Somali informal economy. She found that clan identity played a stratifying role for Somalis in everyday life and that clan affiliation shaped social networks and affected participation in the Somali informal economy. New networks formed in diaspora among Somalis from different clans (and to a lesser degree including Finns) through work, school, neighborhoods, and friendships helped shaped the informal economy as well as clan affiliation in everyday use and practice.
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Modernity Meets Clan: Cultural Intimacy in the Somali Diaspora. In From Mogadishu to Dixon: The Somali Diaspora in a Global Context. (A. Kusow and S. Bjork, eds.) Red Sea Press:Trenton, NJ
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Clan Identities in Practice: The Somali Diaspora in Finland. In Somalia: Diaspora and State Reconstitution