Marquez, Jr., Arturo, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Senegalese Odyssey: Migration and Mental Health in Catalonia, Spain,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca A. Seligman
ARTURO MARQUEZ, JR., then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'A Senegalese Odyssey: Migration and Mental Health in Catalonia, Spain,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca A. Seligman. This dissertation research provides an ethnographic study of the production, circulation, and recontextualization of humanitarian discourse in local institutions working with undocumented and tenuously documented West African residents in the province of Barcelona. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork, this study demonstrates the ways in which institutional discourse anchored in psychiatric and humanitarian registers enables forms of recognition according to broader subject formation processes and subsumes West Africans' lived experience within a distinct model of institutional personhood. Fieldwork was conducted in two main institutions and in multiple non-institutional contexts. With unemployment at record high levels, many West Africans have relied on 'occupied' industrial buildings and complexes as strategic spaces for housing, work, and transnational social relations. Local groups have made human rights claims on behalf of migrants, but in mobilizing public support they have relied on language that reifies the figure of the 'humanitarian subject' embedded in state governmentality. The struggles of West Africans, specifically from Senegal, align with an alternative model of personhood and a distinct transnational morality, which are ultimately obfuscated in the odyssey to remain in Spain.
Demetriou, Dr. Olga, Cambridge U., Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Insecure Minorities in Conditions of Ethnic Antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus'
DR. OLGA DEMETRIOU, of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, was awarded a grant in June 2002 to aid research on insecure minorities under conditions of ethnic antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus. Demetriou investigated political expressions of marginalized identities from a comparative social anthropological perspective, bringing together research previously carried out in Balkan Greece and ethnographic research in multiple sites on Cyprus. This latter part of the project was designed to compare the experience of marginalization by different groups of Turkish Cypriots living in southern Cyprus. Demetriou compared groups in urban 'ghettos' such as that of the old Turkish quarter of the town of Limassol with those living in historically mixed villages such as Potamya, a village close to the dividing Green Line, which throughout the period of communal separation remained demographically bi-communal. She examined how 'ethnic' difference became instituted in state and legal structures; how Greek and Turkish Cypriot 'coexistence' was conceptualized and manifested in the southern part of the island; and the impact of state policies on the treatment of Turkish Cypriots in an environment of perpetuated political suspension. Following the relaxation of movement restrictions across the island's dividing line in April 2003, she also turned to the ways in which the accommodation of Turkish Cypriots in Greek Cypriot discourse and governmental policy shifted, as well as how the concept of 'coexistence' was reconfigured in official and unofficial rhetoric on both sides of the island. The results of the project were to be incorporated into ongoing research on marginalization and the experience of citizenship in the southeastern Mediterranean.
Demetriou, Olga. 2007 To Cross or Not to Cross? Subjectivization and the Absent State in Cyprus. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13(4):987-1006.
Orr, Helen Michelle, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - to aid research on 'Atrocity, Commodity, and the Sacred in Bosnia's War Tours,' supervised by Dr. Todd Ramon Ochoa
Preliminary abstract: My ethnographic research will investigate Bosnian war tours as a response to suffering and what broader implications arise as that suffering becomes involved in the production of history while simultaneously being reformulated into an industry. I approach Bosnian war tours as instrumental, political acts that take place on a local and a global scale that are inextricably intertwined. Locally, war tours author Bosnian memories and narratives of violence, ethnic cleansing, and genocide within a post-war Balkans where the atrocities inflicted upon Bosnia are routinely denied. Globally, Bosnian war tours contribute to an ongoing Western geopolitical project which constructs the Balkans as a 'violent' and 'uncivilized' entity through the commodification of Bosnian suffering. At the same time, my project will seek out the ways in which Bosnian war tours might re-appropriate or transgress their very consumption by the West. A vital component of my dissertation research will engage literature in the anthropology of religion that theorizes sites of mass atrocity as 'sacred spaces.' In doing so, I aim to understand how the present labeling of these sites as 'sacred' in contemporary scholarship obscures the commodification of Bosnian suffering, as well as how a label of 'sacred' might be reclaimed to theorize spaces which have been afflicted by mass violence and devastation.
Fomina, Victoria, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Martyrdom as a Moral Model in Modernity: The Neo-Martyrs' Veneration in Present-Day Cyprus and Russia,' supervised by Vlad Naumescu
Preliminary abstract: This research explores the significance of neo-martyrdom in contemporary Christian Orthodox societies through following the emerging cult of new martyr Yevgeny Rodionov -- a Russian soldier killed in Chechen captivity in 1996 for his refusal to convert to Islam. Tragic death at the hands of the enemy turned an ordinary soldier into an object of popular veneration and inspired many Orthodox believers throughout the world to paint icons of him, compose hagiographic narratives of his life, devote him songs and poems and pray to him in hope of intercession. Through a comparative analysis of martyrological representations of Yevgeny in Russia and Cyprus this research will inquire into the meaning of martyrdom as an ethical model for contemporary Orthodox communities, which find themselves in the areas with clearly manifest Christian-Islamic opposition. I will argue that the context of inter-religious conflict provokes Orthodox believers on the one hand to search for their own heroes to match up against Islamic martyrs and assert the value of Orthodox faith and on the other -- produces a lot of anxiety about separating 'proper' martyrdom from the acts of religious fanaticism often ascribed to Islamic 'shahids'. By exploring how the soldier's image is mobilized by different groups to index Orthodox identity on local, national, and transnational scales as well as to construct the image of Islamic 'Other' I will seek to identify the multiplex forms in which neo-martyrologies function in contemporary societies. The proposed research will contribute both to the understanding of the state of Orthodox tradition, the challenges it faces and transformations it undergoes in modernity as well as to the theorization of the ethics of self-sacrifice within Orthodox Christian and secular nationalist contexts.
Radeva, Mariya Ivanova, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Frontiers of Progress, Landscapes of Enchantment: Sustainable Development in Postsocialist Europe,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
MARIYA I. RADEVA, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Frontiers of Progress, Landscapes of Enchantment: Sustainable Development in Postsocialist Europe,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. This dissertation project focused on one territorially exceptional space -- Strandzha Nature Park in Bulgaria -- in order to ask how the creation of 'sustainable' public goods such as nature parks since the 1990s has commodified previously non-commodified objects and how this process is resisted or contested. Data collected through interviews with experts, archival research, and participant observation suggest an uneven temporality of the process, beginning in late socialism and continuing today. Yet a critical transformation of value occurred in the 1990s, when aid from foreign development agencies was made conditional upon nature conservation. Swapping differently valued objects in the then expanding green market altered the macroeconomic terrain. Different mechanisms were used to disburse large amounts of project funding to reform land tenure, build civil society, and preserve the environment. While never a singular force, investing new value in nature has had fascinating effects. A coalition of green NGOs emerged, who vie for legislative power and manifest as a civic social movement. The localities cut out for conservation experienced dramatic change because devalued socialist assets have been revalued as natural and cultural heritage. Such revaluation articulated with the creation of new forms of global intangible commodities in UNESCO's world heritage preservation.
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.
Sarikuzu, Hande, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Bargaining for Helal Justice: Rights, Compensation, and Reconciliation in Dersim, Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the relationship between material value, moral debt, and legal repair within the contradictory and emergent contexts of reconciliatory justice in Turkey, to resolve the decades-long conflict between the Turkish nation-state and its oppressed Kurdish minorities. The focus of my investigation will be the cultural expressions of claiming legal rights, recognition, and repair for three historical grievances in the Kurdish-Alewi province of Dersim, the devastating social and economic legacies of which have forged the contemporary political identity of the region. In order to understand the relationship between money, morality, and memory through a comparative analysis of these three cases in Dersim, I will problematize the trope of helâl justice, which has been foregrounded in the public debates on peace and reconciliation since the first democratic 'opening' sponsored by the current government in 2009. This research will address the inherent contradictions of the neo-liberal and neo-Islamist policies of reconciliation in Turkey by unpacking helâl justice as a historically embedded, cultural expression of claims-making, subjectivity, and reciprocity that merges the religious (faith) and the mundane (finance) in matters of public policy, such as the restitution of rights and the mending of social relations.
Judd, Maya Drell, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'The Power of Gender: Fatherhood and Fertility Decisions in Italy,' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer
MAYA D. JUDD, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Power of Gender: Fatherhood and Fertility Decisions in Italy,' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer. Largely unforeseen by population experts in the 1990s, Italy's birthrates dropped to among the lowest in the world. This demographic shift was especially astonishing given the country's reputation as a family-oriented and heavily Catholic country. This research project investigates the interaction between gender dynamics and demographic changes, and more specifically, the dialectical relationship between changing masculinity, attitudes towards fatherhood, and Italian fertility. With ever more women in the labor force, new family policies, and increasingly marked individualism, men have been obliged to rethink partnerships, fatherhood and even male identity. Furthermore, later average age at first marriage, increasingly widespread participation in higher education for both women and men, and a changing life course intertwined with emerging values have created new expectations for the roles of men and women in Italian society. Investigating the complexity of changing demographic processes provides a window through which to explore gender and masculinity in anthropological theory. Material gathered through ethnographic research in Padua on the male life course, male identity, and men's relationships with women reveals both the impact of changing male identity on fertility rates, as well as the ways the Second Demographic Transition has influenced masculinity and men's relationships with women.
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
April 27, 2007
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid training in social anthropology at U. College London, United Kingdom, Supervised by Michael Sinclair Stewart
Kuppinger, Dr. Petra Yvonne, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL - To aid research on 'Space, Culture, and Islam in Stuttgart, Germany'
DR. PETRA YVONNE KUPPINGER, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Space, Culture, and Islam in Stuttgart, Germany.' This project examined spatial and cultural aspects in Stuttgart, Germany, where Islam has become a constituting and negotiating element. Conducting ethnographic research in three mosques and a multi-cultural neighborhood, this project examined the everyday making and remaking of urban spaces and cultures with the participation of Muslim individuals and communities. Central findings include the recognition of complex articulations of Muslims and mosque communities with the city and society. Depending on localities, ethnic and religious contexts, specific individuals, and aspects of urban politics, Muslims and mosque communities participate and shape, and are shaped, by spatial, social and cultural contexts. Mosque communities integrate into local contexts, in one case as a 'local' mosque which participates, much like a church, in community affairs. Another mosque is a vibrant social and economic center, a third is a platform for dynamic debates about what it means to be a Muslim in Germany, or increasingly a German Muslim. In the multi-cultural neighborhood, contrary to public statements, Islam does not figure as a hindrance to integration. Social, educational but also occupational disadvantages as experienced by many migrant teenagers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, figure much more prominently in this regard.