Constantin, Marin, Rainer Anthropological Reseach Center, Bucharest, Romania - To aid oral history interview with Professor Paul Henri Stahl and his field informants among the folk artisans in Romania - Historical Archives Program
Osterweil, Michal, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Theoretical Practice and the Remaking of the Political: An Ethnography of Italy's 'movimento dei movimenti',' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
MICHAL OSTERWEIL, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Theoretical Practice and the Remaking of the Political: An Ethnography of Italy's 'Movimento dei Movimenti',' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation research investigates the sites, practices, and technologies whereby new or different imaginaries and understandings of politics (and movements' roles within politics) are created, contested, and modified within Italian activist networks. These networks are comprised of individuals, collectives, and larger organizations directly or discursively affiliated with, and/or inspired by the cultural politics of the Zapatistas, as well as the broader 'global justice movement.' The research included ongoing participant observation in movement spaces -- mostly social and media centers in Bologna and Milan -- as well as several large protests and meetings throughout Italy, as well as in Germany and Mexico, and more informal spaces including cafes, bookfairs and bookstores, piazzas and home-kitchens where theoretico-political discourses and narratives were developed, debated, elaborated, and employed. In addition, the research was based on semi-structured and life-history interviews, as well as textual analysis of hundreds of movement texts ranging from books and journals to Internet discussions. By placing these theoretical and narrative practices at the center of sustained ethnographic attention, this project offers important insights on the political effects of movements; the messy relationship between knowledge-production and social change, as well as the utility of an anthropological approach in apprehending these.
Rakopoulos, Theodoros, U. of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Anti-Mafia Livelihoods: Work and Social Change in Sicilian Agrarian Cooperatives,' supervised by Dr. Victoria Goddard
THEODOROS RAKOPOULOS, then a student at University of London, London, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Anti-Mafia Livelihoods: Work and Social Change in Sicilian Agrarian Cooperatives,' supervised by Dr. Victoria Goddard. The grantee conducted ethnographic fieldwork amongst people working in cooperatives that make use of assets the State confiscated from 'the mafia' in Alto Belice (western Sicily). Research focuses on the livelihoods of people connected to the 'antimafia' microoeconomy based in these cooperatives. Paying attention to local moralities of labor and politics, the grantee conducted participant observation in workers' everyday life to understand the range of accounts regarding 'antimafia' values, how they connect to social relations, and the extent to which they reflect or contradict legalistic discourses promoted within 'civil society.' Attentive to networks supporting this micro-economy, the project analyzes people's entanglements with the authorities (often patronage-based), discussing how State functionaries contribute to consolidating an 'antimafia gift-economy.' Specifically, research participants organize production relations across reciprocity chains connected to the State's 'gift:' the confiscated assets offered to them. The work presents an ethnographic account of responses to social changes triggered by State intervention in redistributing resources on claims to 'legality' basis. Investigating what mafiosi activity implies, the research contributes a dynamic, relational analysis of mafia/antimafia. Tracing people's discourses and experiences, the research locates 'mafia' in everyday activity and explores contradictions that confront individuals and collectives regarding claims to legality and commitments to moralities of kinship and friendship.
Scheffel, Dr. David Z., U. College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, B.C., Canada - To aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks'
DR. DAVID Z. SCHEFFEL, University College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks.' The research carried out as part of this grant sought to assess variation in the quality of relations between rural Roma and ethnic Slovaks in the Presov district of eastern Slovakia. Five ethnically mixed villages were visited between January and June 2004, and informants representing both groups were interviewed in order to obtain insight into emic methods employed in the determination of the quality of local relations. The methods themselves were found to be highly asymmetrical since they favor the (Slovak) majority community. Although Romani commentators are well aware and often critical of this asymmetry, they nevertheless accept the standards imposed on them and use them to evaluate their own standing as well as that of neighboring groups. The most important standards are those of cultural refinement and deviance. Roma who score well on these, that is, those who are 'cultured' and law-abiding, become known as 'good gypsies', and their communities may become quite well integrated into the local majority society. On the other hand, Roma who exhibit a marked deficit in both realms are branded as 'bad gypsies' and barred from other than fleeting intercourse with ethnic Slovaks. Since the examined settings differ little in terms of socioeconomic variables, it appears that the roots of the observed distinctions go back to the era of early socialism when higher-order integrationist efforts in the realms of housing and education were received and implemented with varying degrees of enthusiasm and cooperation by municipal authorities.
Scheffel, David Z.. 2005. Svinia in Black and White: Slovak Roma and their Neighbours. Broadview Ethnographies & Case Studies. Broadview Press: Toronto
Scheffel, David. 2008. Ethnic Micropolotics in Eastern Europe: A Case Study from Slovakia?s Gypsy Archipelago. Anthropology Today 24(4):23-25.
Johnson, Alix Barrie, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'From Financial Hub to Information Haven: Icelandic Information Economies, Technofutures and National Dreams,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Rofel
Preliminary abstract: The financial crisis of 2008 devastated Iceland's economy and destabilized its sense of identity: having quickly become one of the wealthiest nations in the world, it suddenly looked powerless and peripheral again. Projects of economic recovery, then, also require national re-imagining. This project asks how Icelanders are re-making senses of self, place, and future in the wake of the crisis, by following one major project of national and economic revival: an effort to make Iceland an 'information haven'. By building data centers, founding start-ups, and passing 'information-friendly' legislation, Icelanders hope to carve out a new niche and attract global data to Iceland's shores. The project has sparked discussion and debate on what kind of place Iceland is and will be: a connected, cosmopolitan and tech-savvy data center? Or once again an outpost, the digital equivalent of an offshore bank? By following the process of re-inventing Iceland as an 'information haven,' I trace these national imaginaries as they are materially made.
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest
July 22, 2010
Tesar, Catalina Constantina, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania - To aid dissertation write-up in social-cultural anthropology at U. College London, London, England, supervised by Michael Sinclair Stewart
Krause, Dr. Elizabeth L. Krause, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research and writing on 'Fertile Protest: Memory, Demographic Decline and Economic Angst in Italy' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ELIZABETH L. KRAUSE, University of Massachusetts Amherst, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in January 2005 to aid research and writing on 'Fertile Protest: Memory, Demographic Decline and Economic Angst in Italy.' The interdisciplinary project resulted in a series of publications that answer, What do subjugated memories and quotidian practices reveal about Italy's demographic 'decline'? The project traced the cultural politics of family-making in Italy, where women in the 1990s reached record-low fertility rates and where pronatalist urgency exists. The project also explored popular memory, globalization and identity formation. Three publications resulted, with a fourth under review, and a book-length manuscript near completion. The first article theorizes ethnographic method as structured spontaneity and argues that memories of the peasant past work to redefine masculinity and shape fertility practices (American Ethnologist, 2005). A second publication sets forth an ethnographic research agenda for modern Italy (Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 2006). A third essay delineates how demographic alarmism enables racism (The Corner House, 2006). A fourth manuscript (under review) investigates the delicacy of adopting pronatalism as a public position in Italy, revealing concern with social cohesion, modernity and boundaries. Separate from these articles is a book-length manuscript, 'Unraveled: A Weaver's Tale of Life Gone Modern,' which exposes the cultural roots beneath the demographic transition as intricately linked to transformative hidden economies as well as traumatic political processes.
Krause, Elizabeth L. 2005. Encounters with the 'Peasant': Memory Work, Masculinity, and Low Fertility in Italy. American Ethnologist 32(4):593-617.
Krause, Elizabeth L., and Milena Marchesi. 2007. Fertility Politics as 'Social Viagra': Reproducing Boundaries, Social Cohesion, and Modernity in Italy. American Anthropologist 109(2):350-362.