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.
Ballinger, Dr. Pamela, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME - To aid research on 'Selling Croatia: Paradoxes of Post-Socialist Tourism'
DR. PAMELA BALLINGER, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, was awarded funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Selling Croatia: Paradoxes of Post-Socialist Tourism.' This project examined privatization of large-scale tourist enterprises together with the politics of houses and vacation homes in contemporary Croatia. The researcher conducted fieldwork in two primary sites along the Croatian coast: Rovinj (in Istria) and Dubrovnik (in Dalmatia). Contrary to her initial hypothesis, which predicted that the (former) vacation homes of Serbs would be a primary a focus of contention for small-scale property privatizations, the researcher found considerable resentment of Slovenes, both modest investors who purchase second/vacation homes and large-scale investors bidding on privatization contracts. These debates over privatized properties are bound up with larger questions of Croatia's relationship with its neighbor, now a member of the European Union, that include an unresolved maritime boundary dispute and attendant questions of fishing rights. The privatization of tourist properties can best be understood, then, within a larger framework of changing meanings of ownership and sovereignty along Croatia's coast.
Verinis, Dr. James, Roger Williams U., Bristol, RI - To aid engaged activities on 'Rural Greek Rebound in/of Crisis,' 2016, Greece
Preliminary abstract: Rural areas all over the world are now important sites where the predicaments and opportunities of globalization are unfolding. In rural Greece entrepreneurship is reinterpreted in light of global migrations and economic austerity. Notably, many immigrant farmers I worked with are reterritorializing rural Greek villages and landscapes despite their marginal social status and the socio-economic crisis. Yet austerity has stifled entrepreneurship to the point where fewer and fewer ambitions are acted upon, exacerbating economic hardships and harkening the decline of social and environmental sustainability. State, national, and private non-profit programs such as New Farmer Development, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, and New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in the United States go a long way towards capitalizing on the know-how and capabilities of immigrant farmers, satisfying the desires of a diverse array of rural stakeholders there, reestablishing diversified farming practices as well as a place for rurality in the 21st century. Building upon the foundations of the EU's Young Farmer Program, which has virtually no protocols for handling applicants working outside of their home state, I intend to bring farmers, local, and regional representatives together in a series of forums to suggest a design for this pilot program.
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.
Rubin, Jonah S., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Re-membering the Spanish Civil War: Thanatopolitics and the Making of Modern Citizens in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
JONAH S. RUBIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Re-Membering the Spanish Civil War: Thanatopolitics and the Making of Modern Citizens in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff. This research project consisted of a multi-sited ethnographic study of the Spanish historical memory movements, a loose conglomeration of NGOs, academics, and individuals dedicated to locating, exhuming, and honoring Republican and civilian victims of the Spanish Civil War. It sought to answer: What is meant by the term 'historical memory' as it is deployed on the ground? How do the memory movements go about the work of re-membering and honoring the dead? What is the place of the dead in the formation of a liberal-democratic polity? Answering these questions required research at diverse sites where the work of re-membering the dead takes place. These included exhumations and reburials of victims, weekly protests demanding government action on behalf of the disappeared, NGO offices dedicated to investigating the fate of the deceased, formal and inform education programs, state archives, and a wide variety of ceremonies, public lectures, and conferences organized by the movements. Ultimately, this research seeks to empirically demonstrate that, even in the context of regime change, the crimes of past regimes continue to effect the nation in complex, but discernable ways. While remembering the dead is certainly not a straightforward matter of reconstructing the past, it is through this work that ideals of citizenship and democracy are worked out.
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'
Ketchum, Frederick Benjamin, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Redesigning Human Nature: An Anthropology of Enhancement Drugs in Germany,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar
FREDERICK B. KETCHUM, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Redesigning Human Nature: An Anthropology of Enhancement Drugs in Germany,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar. This research ethnographically examined the phenomena of 'enhancement' in Germany, or the use of medical treatments by individuals who are not sick to improve performance or mood. Currently, most technologies that can be used for improvement purposes are prescription pharmaceuticals. Most of the literature on this topic comes from bioethics, which deals with important ethical questions about whether using enhancements is unnatural, if this use threatens individuals' identity, if everyone should have access to these medications, and what the consequences for broader society are. This project added to existing ethical analyses by focusing on qualitative, ethnographic data about the discourses around enhancement in Germany, and experiences of individuals using those medications. Research found that much of the public concern about enhancements is due to anxieties about changes in global market regimes and labor markets, and expectations for productivity and achievement. Those individuals using enhancements reported sharing these concerns, but also using enhancements as a way to meet the expectations they perceived. Given that those drugs used for enhancement are generally used for treatment, research also investigated the relationship of enhancement to medical practice, to situate medicine in its wider social context, in which desires for self-improvement are an everyday fact of life.
Halili, Rigels, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland - To aid research on 'Oral Epic Poetry in Kosovo and Sandzak Nowadays,' supervised by Dr. Andrzej Mencwel
RIGELS HALILI, then a student at Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Oral Epic Poetry in Kosovo and Sandzak Nowadays,' supervised by Dr. Andrzej Mencwel. This research project realized from July 2006 to February 2007, aimed to inquire into the presence, function and role that oral epic poetry plays nowadays in the regions of Sandžak and Kosovo. Several singers have learned their songs from other members of their families or neighbors; in other words through an oral transmission. But others admitted that they have learned songs from different songbooks or tapes of other singers. Textual analysis of recorded songs showed that only among Kosovo singers is there still a strong presence of formulaic character of singing. The traditional way of singing is becoming more and more a professional and commercial activity. In Sanžak, but increasingly in Kosovo as well, epic songs rarely appear in public places that are not in connection with commercial activities. But they are still present in many spheres of private life, especially weddings. Moreover, the number of active singers is decreasing. All singers emphasized that the young generation is not interested in learning old songs, while they prefer newly composed popular songs, especially those broadcasted in the media or distributed on the internet. However, oral forms did not disappear entirely, but were transformed, while functioning in new communicative conditions.
Scaramelli, Caterina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Swamps Into Wetlands: Water, Conservation Science and Nationhood in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich
Preliminary abstract: How have wetlands, previously 'swamps' to be drained and reclaimed, become sites of ecological value in Turkey, starting with its participation to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1994? I argue that Turkish wetlands are becoming 'ecological objects' through which debates unfold about national water conservation practices; arenas in which scientists, birders, and citizens work through the relation of human and non-human phenomena in Turkish 'nature'; and venues through which such actors position regional dynamics within national narratives, international politics, and transnational scientific economies. I will conduct fieldwork in two delta wetlands of 'international importance'-- Gediz on the Aegean Sea, and Kizilirmak on the Mediterranean -- with wetland scientists, ornithologists, residents, visitors, and state officials. I will interview older wetland protection advocates as well, and will conduct archival research to track how wetlands have been operationalized in Turkey's scientific and policy circles. Wetlands are becoming novel sites through which national and transnational differences -- religious, ethnic, gender, economic-- as well as matters of international positioning are now negotiated; whether Turkey looks to Europe, the Middle East, or Asia is very much in the making, I suggest, in the wetlands. My project also complicates the anthropological questions of water's materiality and agency, treating it neither as essential to the material form of water itself nor as obviously the result of the underdetermination of material form. I ask, rather: Who decides what constitutes water in the wetland, and through which forms of knowledge and scientific techniques? Which sociotechnical worlds and infrastructures make it flow and how, and make materiality matter or not?