Fernandez Garcia, Sandra, UNED, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'Meanings and Senses in Process: An Ethnography of Emerging Practices of Artistic-technological Production in Urban Contexts,' supervised by Dr. Angel Diaz de Rada Brun
SANDRA FERNANDEZ GARCIA, then a graduate student at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain, received a grant in October 2013 to aid research on 'Meaning and Senses in Process: An Ethnography of Emerging Practices of Artistic-Technological Production in Urban Contexts,' supervised by Dr. Angel Díaz de Rada Brun. The model of artefactual production of prototypes is developed through situated practices of learning by doing (DIY) as well as trans-situated informational exchanges. Thus, by that it is impossible to separate from production. This way of relating and producing generates a circuit of knowledge exchange, in which knowledge is taken as a non-subtractive good. The core idea supporting this is the 'commons.' It is understood in both an economic and a moral sense: as the common 'good.' Thus, it becomes a circuit of gift, as studied by Marcel Mauss, with its obligations to reciprocate. This is a 'total' system of exchange where social positions, sense making, aspects of subsistence, forms of authority and inter-disciplinary relationships come into play for this community of practices. Prototypes are themselves, then, a way of making the world. They become objects of knowledge as a result of learning through processes of incorporated knowledge that is being applied. Because they are concerned with issues of everyday life, and with their development process being a way of understanding these very issues, prototypes become the material results of research accordingly to the meanings themselves that have been produced throughout the workshops as a result of interdisciplinary arts-sciences backgrounds in co-labor.
Guell, Cornelia, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Chronic Illness at the Margins: Turkish Immigrant Experiences of Type 2 Diabetes in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Mathias Ecks
CORNELIA GUELL, then a student at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in May 2007, to aid research on 'Chronic Illness at the Margins: Turkish Immigrant Experiences of Type 2 Diabetes in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Stefan M. Ecks. This research explored Turkish migrants’ experience with diabetes in Germany. Health statistics frequently identify minority groups as vulnerable to chronic illness, and ethnographic studies, accordingly, explore conflictual lay beliefs and medical encounters, and experiences of suffering and inequality. Interviews with healthcare professionals alluded to a Turkish migrant patient group disadvantaged and immobilized by high illiteracy rates, lacking language and health knowledge. Further ethnographic exploration, however, revealed an active engagement with diabetes within the Turkish migrant population of Berlin. Informal diabetes care, for example a Turkish-language self-help group, was individually and communally negotiated where formal care was inadequate. 'Diabetes among Turkish-origin Berliners' can therefore be understood as a form of political activism and economic enterprise that involves a whole community, not only patients and their healthcare professionals, in order to fill a provision gap. On an individual level, migrant diabetes patients who have access to such care support manage their self-care actively, for example negotiating between clinical German dietary recommendations and their Turkish home cooking. Rather than representing the common image of the inert, disadvantaged migrant patient, these Turkish migrants engage in deliberate 'tactics of diabetes control' in order to make their chronic illness experience habitable.
Guell, Cornelia. 2011. Candie(e)d Actions: Biosocialities of Turkish Berliners Living with Diabetes. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 25(3):377-394.
Guell, Cornelia. 2012. Self-Care at the Margins: Meals and Meters in Migrants' Diabetes Tactics. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(4):518-533.
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.
Howard, Maureen Penelope, U. of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - To aid research on 'Seascapes: Voyaging Through the Movements of Experience, Histories, and Ecology,' supervised by Dr. Arnar Arnason
MAUREEN MCCALL, then a student at University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Seascapes: Voyaging through the Movements of Experience, Histories, and Ecology,' supervised by Dr. Arnar Amason. The research project set out to address the question of whether existing theories of landscape could be applied to the sea, and what contributions an understanding of seascape could bring to anthropological landscape research. Fieldwork took place while living on a boat located in the northwest of Scotland between 2006 and 2008, and involved long-term participant observation on several boats as well as in five coastal communities. The research found that the seascape is a place of human habitation, filled with significant places and histories created through processes of work and social interactions at sea. The dissertation will emphasize how working processes bring people, places, and machines into intimate relation with one another -- relations that are always tensioned, have histories, and are constantly unfolding as new places and new techniques. The primary contribution of this research to existing landscape research will be to bring to the fore processes that may be active in all landscapes, specifically, the role of working interactions in forming significant places and experiences of place, the role of technologies in mediating interactions with sea/landscape, and the significant tensions that people must contend with in this process.
Shevchenko, Dr. Olga, Williams College, Williamstown, MA; and Sarkisova, Oksana, Moscow State U., Moscow, Russia - To aid collaborative research on ' Snapshot Histories: Family Photography and Generational Memory of Russia's Socialist Century'
DR. OLGA SHEVCHENKO, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and DR. OKSANA SARKISOVA, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, received an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2006, to aid collaborative research on 'Snapshot Histories: Family Photography and Generational Memory of Russia's Socialist Century.' This project explores how the notions of socialism are conjured up in the medium, which to many Russians represents the most intimate source of information about the past: family photographic collections. Through a combination of in-depth interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and visual analysis, the project examines the role family photography plays for the production and transmission of historical memory between generations, investigating some of the least explored mechanisms that shape the popular perceptions of the Soviet era. The grant has enabled the researchers to complete the field stage of their research. They have conducted ethnographic observation and collected interviews with over 50 families (two to three interviews per family with representatives of different generations) in five different cities and towns in Russia, and amassed a sizeable visual data bank of family photographs from the Soviet era. They are currently developing analysis of their field data and working on coding and creating a searchable database of the images from the Soviet domestic photo archives.
Shevchenko, Olga. 2010. Between Elias and Foucault: Discipline, Photography, and the Soviet Childhood. Social Psychology Quarterly 73(1):1-4.
Kilshaw, Dr. Susie, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research and writing on 'Friendly Fire: An Anthropological Account of Gulf War Syndrome' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. SUSIE KILSHAW, University College London, London, United Kingdom, received a Hunt Fellowship in October 2007 to aid research and writing about the Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) community in the UK. She prepared a book that conveyed a new complexity to understanding this and other emerging illnesses. Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Masculinity and Vulnerability (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009) examines GWS as an illness of its time, revealing its similarity to other contested illnesses and they way it is shaped by wider cultural anxieties. However, the work also shows the illness to be an expression of distress that is unique to a particular group of people. By looking at the narratives that surround GWS, insight is gained into the social and cultural dimensions of the illness and in what ways this has influenced sufferers' understandings. GWS symptom reporting can be interpreted as a vehicle to draw attention to and a means to communicate concerns of the people it affects; issues such as trust, life within a dramatically changing military, gender roles, and toxicity. Revealing how an anthropological approach is necessary to better understanding the condition, the book challenges biomedicine's interpretation of GWS as a psychiatric and somatizing condition. Biomedicine has a rigid, limited view of illness and suffering that is unhelpful and obscures our understanding of illnesses such as GWS. Modernity and increasing individualism as well as the anxieties of (post)modernity are topics of great interest to anthropology and this book contributes to this ongoing discourse.
Kilshaw, Susie. 2009. Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity.
Berghahn Press: New York, Oxford.
Kilshaw, Susie. 2009. Obligations to Veteran Informants: Contentious Research and Stakeholder Engagement. Anthropology News 50 (5):28-29.
Blagoeva, Dr. Evgenia, New Bulgarian U., Sofia, Bulgaria - To aid InASEA conference on 'Balkan Life Courses: Family, Childhood, Youth and Old Age in Southeast Europe,' 2016, Sofia, Bulgaria, in collaboration with Dr. Klaus Roth
Preliminary abstract: After the life course standardization in the period of industrialization and the institutionalized individualism of the period of reflexive modernity the current situation is marked by a huge variety of life trajectories, life styles, and life choices which are a sign of the new global order. Some social theorists claim that globalization is entering the intimate space of personal lives, affecting family and emotional life, commercializing and commoditizing it. With regard to Southeast Europe we seek to understand how historical events, which produced deep structural changes, have influenced the construction of individual life courses; how age based social identities are experienced along the life course; what new life course identities and representations of life periods are produced; and also how the experience of ageing changes during contemporary life courses, in order to outline the complexities and varieties of life courses in the context of the radical social transformations which this European region has experienced in the eras of socialism and globalization. The primary goal of the conference will thus not be to focus on the demographic, political, or economic causes of these changes in individual life courses and the family but on their socio-cultural consequences for everyday life, i.e., on people's strategies of coping and adaptation, on their concepts and attitudes towards these changes as well as on the concomitant cultural expressions such as changes in family rituals or traditions. Conference papers will be based on empirical ethnographic, folkloric, or anthropological research that analyse the changes in Balkan life courses, in families, childhoods, work-life, and old age resulting from the historical processes of socialism and post-socialism, modernisation and globalization.
Thompson, Dr. Niobe S., U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Nativeness of Settlers: Constructing Belonging and Contesting Indigeneity in Northeast Siberia'
DR. NIOBE S. THOMPSON, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, was awarded funding in July 2005, to aid research on 'The Nativeness of Settlers: Constructing Belonging and Contesting Indigeneity in Northeast Siberia.' Five months of ethnographic fieldwork in Chukotka, Northeast Russia and ten weeks of archival research in St. Petersburg and Moscow was carried out over the course of 18 months in 2005 and 2006. This project examined the process of settling among a transplanted industrial population of labor migrants in the Russian far north. In particular, it tackled the question, 'How do emerging forms of local rootedness in a settler community impact on our practical and theoretical understandings of 'indigeneity'?' The self-perceptions of belonging among erstwhile migrant populations in the Russian north is of both theoretical interest and of applied relevance, as new programs of northern restructuring intended to depopulate these regions are initiated. The results of this research reveal a vibrant and growing sense of northern identity among many Soviet-era migrants to Chukotka, and thereby explain in some ethnographic richness not only popular resistance to state resettlement programs, but also the prospects for sustainable populations of non-aboriginal settlers in Russia's arctic.
Lofink, Hayley Elizabeth, U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents, in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek
HAYLEY ELIZABETH LOFINK, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek. Research on the health behavior of low-income, ethnic minorities has assumed that the poor are uneducated, and that if delivered the necessary knowledge, behavior will change. If poor nutrition and low levels of activity are attributed solely to individual-level decision making, it is unlikely that broader social and structural influences will be acknowledged. This research employed a biocultural framework to examine socio-cultural and political-economic factors influencing dietary and activity patterns and resulting underweight, overweight and obesity among British Bangladeshi adolescents (aged 11-14 years old) from low-income families in East London. Quantitative (anthropometry and survey data) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews and participant observation) methods were integrated to develop a nuanced understanding of adolescent weight, dietary and activity patterns, and the local level and larger scale processes influencing those patterns. Quantitative analysis will include multinomial logistic regression and other techniques to test the relative importance of a range of factors affecting weight status. Narrative analysis will be used to explain statistical results in order to move beyond a mere documentation of a relationship between poverty and obesity, and offer explanations of how local and broader level factors influence health inequalities in this context.