Gouez, Aziliz, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Dwelling in Debt: Mortgage Debt and the Making of the Future in Contemporary Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Preliminary abstract: This research proposes to study the hold of financial debt on domestic time frames in contemporary Ireland by focusing attention on the role of debt in configuring the future, a domain of human life which remains underexplored in anthropology. The objective is to investigate the characteristics of the particular temporal regime fostered by a financial instrument which the Irish version of late capitalism made available to the many -- that of the mortgage loan. Taking my cue from Jane Guyer's notion of 'punctuated time', I shall examine how the domestic future is assembled and rendered intelligible (or perhaps, on the contrary, obscured) through the projection of dates that encapsulate distinct horizons and categories of obligations. This will entail looking at various temporal devices related to household budgeting strategies, such as wall calendars, family account books and mortgage repayment schedules, as a site from which to grasp the nesting of conflicting obligations as well as temporal disjunctures, when the round of monthly mortgage payments disrupts the unfolding of anticipated personal and intergenerational trajectories, or when it intersects with provisions made for a child's communion or one's own funeral. I shall also delve into the moral discussions arising from the weighing up of mortgage debt against other types of debt, including those binding citizens to the state, and those obligating the Irish government towards its international creditors.
Robbins, Jessica Choate, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik
JESSICA C. ROBBINS, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik. This research investigated how experiences and ideals of aging relate to changing formations of nation and state through the study of contemporary practices of memory in Wroc?aw and Pozna?, Poland. This research sought to understand how older persons become transformed through practices of memory in personal, familial, and national contexts (e.g., telling life histories, creating photo albums and other material evidence, or following public debates on pension reform). To understand how current interpretations and ramifications of the last century's large-scale changes matter in the lives of aging Poles, and how the oldest generations matter to the Polish nation and state, this research consisted of an ethnographic study of aging Poles' gendered practices of reminiscence in a variety of social, political, religious, and economic contexts (e.g.,a church-run rehabilitation hospital, a state-run home for the chronically ill, a day care center for people with Alzheimer's disease, and Universities of the Third Age). This research demonstrated that experiences and ideals of aging are deeply gendered, and that older people's practices of memory are intimately bound up with transformations of persons, collective memory, and nationalisms, and tied to national practices of remembering Poland's past and creating the proper future path of state and nation.
Holmes, Dr. Douglas Reginald, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Economy of Words: Knowledge Production Within the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank'
DR. DOUGLAS R. HOLMES, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Economy of Words: Knowledge Production within the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank.' This project was initially designed to examine how key figures within the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Deutsche Bundesbank were experimenting with ideas about the forms and functions of central banks: experimentation that impels what the monetary economist Alan Blinder has termed the 'quiet revolution' in central banking. Each element of this revolution is contingent on new forms of communication: a process by which the economy attains a distinctive communicative dynamic and design. The fundamental issues at stake in this project were unexpectedly amplified by the financial crisis that coalesced initially in August 2007 and intensified in September 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Central bankers recast the technocratic innovations that impelled the quiet revolution as the basis for contextualizing the tumultuous conditions analytically and the formulation of policy to influence the severity, the breadth, and the duration of the destructive storm. The research, thus, demonstrates how central bankers managed public expectations during the crisis by composing communications -- that drew of the full intellectual resources of these institutions, the research acumen, the judgment, and the experience of their personnel -- to underwrite representations of a financial future with faith and credit.
Holmes, Douglas. 2014. Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London.
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
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.
Ambikaipaker, Mohan, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Antiracist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. Joao Costa Vargas
MOHAN AMBIKAIPAKER, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Anti-racist Activism and the Decline of Multiculturalism in East London,' supervised by Dr. João Costa Vargas. Funding enabled extensive ethnographic research to be carried out on how Black and South Asian communities in East London struggle against different but interrelated forms of racism. The British state has consolidated a shift from the earlier anti-racist and anti-discriminatory objectives of multiculturalism by reformulating contemporary multicultural policy and practices as tools to ensure national security instead. The official focus has shifted the spotlight towards British Muslims, who are constructed as the likely and potential source of cultural clashes, religious extremism, and domestic terrorism. Anti-terror and national security policies and practices are generated through an emergent common sense that shifts the meaning of official multiculturalism away the struggle to accord recognition and rights for minorities and steers it towards a repressive notion of multiculturalism aimed at regulating ethnic identities in compliance primarily with counter-terrorism's logic. This change in multiculturalism forces the development of new forms of anti-racist social movements that have to negotiate a range of identities produced by defensive racial and ethnic responses to the new multicultural regime. There is a conceptual space for these movements that mediate between abstract universal goals of social justice and the necessarily defensive postures of identities subject to the processes of racialization and social exclusion engendered by repressive multiculturalism. The research findings argue against any form of settled position concerning the debate on the effectiveness of identity politics, preferring instead an ethnographic presentation that examines how an ideologically ambiguous terrain accomplishes much of the everyday work of antiracism in Britain.
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.
Lem, Dr. Winnie, Trent U., Peterborough, Canada - To aid research on 'Transnationalism and Chinese Migrant Livelihoods'
DR. WINNIE LEM, of Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, was awarded a grant in December 2002 to aid research on the significance of transnational networks in the organization of livelihoods among Chinese migrants in France. Lem conducted fieldwork on small, family-run businesses operated by migrants from Asia in Paris, in order to assess the role played by transnational circuits in the initiation, organization, and operation of such firms over the previous 50 years. Through this case study, Lem explored the different propositions and debates that were emerging in the literature on the nature of migration and transnationalism and their relationships to globalization.
Lem, Winnie. 2007. William Roseberry, Class and Inequality in the Anthropology of Migration. Critique of Anthropology 27(4):377-394.
Carroll, Jennifer Jean, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Choosing Methadone: Managing Addiction and the Body Politic in Post-Soviet Ukraine,' supervised by Dr. Laada Bilaniuk
JENNIFER J. CARROLL, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Choosing Methadone: Managing Addiction and the Body Politic in Post-Soviet Ukraine,' supervised by Dr. Laada Bilaniuk. Recent efforts to control the HIV and intravenous drug use epidemics in Ukraine have been supported by some of the largest international public health grants in the world. This has given leverage to biomedical solutions to addiction in this region, including opiate substitution therapy (OST). This project investigates the social values and processes that inform opiate addicts' treatment-seeking behaviors via ethnographic research and in-depth interviews conducted among active and recovering opiate addicts in Ukraine. Medicalized drug treatment programs may seem like purely technological interventions, but these technologies become soaked in the political, social, and ethical paradigms of each community in which they hit the ground. By tracing how locally relevant social structures and social values shape the experience of addiction and the moral weight of treatment seeking, this project unpacks the locally meaningful reasons why some addicts choose OST, why some do not, and how these new public health infrastructures become incorporated into addicts' strategies for managing their bodies, their identities, and their lives.
Mishtal, Dr. Joanna Zofia, U. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL - To aid research and writing on 'Contradictions of Democratization: Reproductive Rights and the Politics of Morality in Poland' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. JOANNA Z. MISHTAL, University of Central Florida, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2011 to aid research and writing 'Contradictions of Democratization: Reproductive Rights and the Politics of Morality in Poland.' The book is a historical, theoretical, and ethnographic study of the intersections of politics, gender, and religi