Donkersloot, Rachel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?': Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies
RACHEL DONKERSLOOT, then a student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?' Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies. This research is located in the social and economic landscape of a rural fisheries-dependent community. Here the subject of rural youth emigration is addressed through attention to gender differences in the ways young people perceive, experience, and cope with rural life, which includes decisions to emigrate. Funding made possible eleven months of fieldwork in the coastal community of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Through this support, 67 formal (individual and group) interviews were conducted. Research participants include young people (aged 18 to 30), as well as parents, teachers, community members/leaders, and retired and active fishermen and industry workers. Preliminary findings suggest: 1) discourse surrounding migration that devalues staying and locates stayers as underachievers or 'losers left behind' represents, at best, a 'partial perspective and particular interests;' and 2) gender is a critical dimension of rural youth experience but its import should not eclipse the very powerful ways in which class shapes young people's experience of place. Resituating young people's life narratives at the intersection of class and gender is imperative to understanding rural youth experience. To privilege gender over class, or vice versa, risks overlooking, over-simplifying or mis-recognizing the subject.
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.
Giusto, Salvatore, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Neomelodic Notes: Commodified Aesthetics and Illicit Political Economy in Naples, Italy,' supervised by Dr. Andrea Muehlebach
Preliminary abstract:'The term 'neomelodic singing' defines a pop-music genre dominating the musical scene of Naples, Italy, since the 1990s. Neomelodic songs hinge on narratives seeking to depict the experiences of Neapolitan lower class subjects, with a remarkable preference for those engaging with organized crime. In spite of the structural poverty illustrating the life conditions of the Neapolitan underclass, the neomelodic musical industry brings in millions of euros per year in that city. Most of this money eventually flows into the pockets of local crime. This invests impressive amounts of capital into the neomelodic industry, and thus influences this musical genre's aesthetic forms, economic value, and socio-cultural meaning. In so doing, it transforms the illicit cultural landscapes that neomelodic music iconizes into licit performance,socially shared aesthetics, and collective identity. My research focuses on the coalescence between neomelodic aesthetics,Neapolitan political economy, and the local cultural sphere to offer insight into the articulation of licit and illicit political economies in neoliberal Italy. It does so by exploring the commodified aesthetics leading to the entrenchment of organized crime in Naples.'
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.
Shayduk-Immerman, Olesya, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting it,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak
OLESYA SHAYDUK-IMMERMAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting It,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak. Recently the mass media became agitated by a new bill advanced by the Israeli cabinet of ministers and drafted by a former Soviet Jewish politician, Zeev Elkin. The law legitimizes the Jewish character of the state of Israel and deprives Arabic of its official second language status. The world community considers such political views, typical for the former Soviet Jews, a paradox since Jews in the USSR experienced being a discriminated minority and fought for democratic changes in Soviet society. As a result, people previously regarded as victims and elevated to the ranks of heroes by the activists of the world leftist movements became subverted to the status of evildoers. Yet when observed more closely, this situation contains no paradox-the views have not changed, but the context has. Transition from socialism to western capitalism caused a significant shift in the meanings of the ideas and practices of the Soviet Jewish movement participants. In order to understand the rationalities behind their actions and statements, one has to assign them meanings relevant to Soviet socialism. The following are the most important presumptions: one cannot be neutral about their Jewishness, they have to either be proud or ashamed of it; ethnicity matters-the prevalence of class is a meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet state; anti-Semitism exists-objections against the idea of Israel as a Jewish state are anti-Semitic by their nature; the claim that Israel is an aggressor is meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet Union because in fact the policies of Israel are a defense against the neighboring enemies and, therefore, Judaism is a form of critical thinking.
Kartari, Dr. Asker, Hacettepe U., Ankara, Turkey - To aid 5th InASEA conference on 'Migration, Communication, and Social Change,' 2009, Ankara, in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
'Migration in, from, and to Southeastern Europe: Intercultural Communication, Social Changes, and Transnational Ties'
May 21-24, 2009, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Organizers: Asker Kartari (Hacettepe University) and Ulf Brunnbauer (University of Regensburg)
This was the 5th Conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology -- the first international association of academics and researchers in the social sciences who concentrate on Southeast Europe. Ninety-nine specialists from Balkan and Western countries were brought together to consider the entire migration process in its
relevant social, economic, and political contexts and to facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue, transnational comparison, and attention to both migrant and host society perspectives. Papers presented at the conference will be published in volumes 13 and 14 of the journal Ethnologia Balkanica.
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.
Thompson, Niobe S., Cambridge U., Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Belonging in the North: Migrant Experiences and Identity in Northeast Siberia,' supervised by Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky
NIOBE S. THOMPSON, while a student at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, received funding in August 2002 to aid research on migrant experiences and identity in northeastern Siberia, under the supervision of Dr. Piers G. Vitebsky. In the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug (Chukotka) of northeastern Russia and in regions of central Russia, Thompson conducted fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork on non-native senses of belonging. The research was intended to explore the negotiation of identity in a traditionally migrant, transient population, an issue with implications for the future of communities in the Russian Far North and the success of planned programs of northern depopulation and resettlement. The coincidence between Thompson's project and a major program of modernization initiated in 2001 by a new administration under the leadership of wealthy governor-oligarch Roman Abramovich was intentional, because the challenge of an outsider-led program of change was expected to galvanize local identity in unexpected ways. Research findings revealed that a strongly localist sense of belonging and a rejection of mainstream Soviet and Russian life had characterized the settler community since its emergence, and that authority and entitlement through 'northern experience' were key features of local discourse. The challenges of outsider-led modernization to the established population met discourses of resistance long cultivated in Chukotka and endangered its long-term sustainability.
Leeds, Adam Ephraim, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr, Adriana Petryna
ADAM E. LEEDS, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'On the Subjects of Political Economy: Liberalism, Crisis, and Economic Knowledge in Russian Think Tanks,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. This fieldwork investigated the transformations in economic knowledge production in Moscow. The end of the Soviet Union meant the end of the ideological master code (Marxist-Leninism) governing uneasily co-existing strands of economic knowledge, the social system in which these knowledges formed, and the institutional regime within which they had been the means of social action. The community of economists in Moscow now constitutes a fractured field. Moving within it, this work examined several different moments in economic knowledge development: from 1960s 'market socialist' reformism and the dream of optimal planning, to the birth of the Gaidar team and their microeconomic critique of the Soviet state, to the international assembly of the think-tank world, to the implantation of Western economics, to the constitution of 'transition economics' as a subfield and its subsequent dissolution into a new comparative political economy of development. It tacks back and forth between underlying political imaginaries, ideologies of objectivity, and the everyday practices of economists working in different institutional locales. Finally, it asks: What are the meanings of capitalism, liberalism, and democracy today? How are they related? How do they, don't they, or should they operate in Russia? and, of course, What is to be done?