Jent, Karen Ingeborg, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Growing Organs, Extending Lives: Regenerative Medicine and the Localization of Aging in Scotland,' supervised by Dr. Sarah Franklin
Preliminary abstract: This project explores the work of stem cell scientists in Scotland who are attempting to grow replacement organs in vitro as part of a publicly funded regenerative medicine research initiative. Studying the effects of biological aging, stem cell scientists track the elderly's rising sensitivity to influenza and other pathogenic exposures to a specific gland within the immune system. By localizing aging to the thymus gland, the Scottish laboratory hopes to more pointedly interrupt, and reverse engineer biological aging processes by transplanting laboratory-grown versions of the gland. Focused on this research of artificial thymus growth, my project asks how various notions of aging might be enacted in daily research practices of stem cell scientists. The regrowth of organs seems both to impact and be impacted by growing national concern about an aging population and increasing national emphasis on translational medicine. In Scotland, where the socio-economic challenges of an aging society occupy national concern, translational medicine and applicable science are deemed especially fitting ways to deal with demographic pressures. This project addresses the possibility that ethical emphasis on 'good' or applicable science, as well as anxieties about longevity and health, might be built into organs themselves, manifesting the national preoccupation with healthy aging in the emblematic practice of growing artificial organs in vitro. How might the highly technical and time consuming practices involved in growing organs be shaped by the institutional and national contexts which present aging as degeneration, and stem cell science as an extension of gerontology?
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.
Sokol, Grzegorz Stanislaw, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler
GRZEGORZ S. SOKOL, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler. This project is situated in the context of the increase in, and greater attention given to, mood disorders following the transformation from real socialism to market democracy in Poland. Broadening diagnostic definitions, raised awareness, as well as psychopharmaceuticals and forms of therapy unevenly available to people diagnosed with afflictions of affect are here situated in relationship to the larger process, in which new models of personhood are brought into social practice. This ethnographic research and archival study charts the different forms of medicalization of affect and follows 'depression' across different settings: from an in-patient psychiatric ward, to an outpatient clinic and psychotherapy center, to the meetings of a twelve-step program. The analytic focus is on how treatments of mood disorders are sites where one acquires a new understanding of one's self, relationships, body, history, and relation to society. Especially the psychotherapeutic and twelve-step conception of emotionality enables redefinitions of personhood and gender models. Further, learning a different way of being a person often centers on questions of agency that appear as problems of possibility vs. necessity, expectations, immaturity, demanding attitude, and helplessness. In the process, the individual is put in relation to the broader narrative of postsocialist transformation.
Krause, Dr. Elizabeth Louise, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and Bressan, Dr. Massimo, U. of Florence, Florence, Italy - To aid collaborative research on 'Tight Knit: Familistic Encounters in a Transnational Fast Fashion District'
Preliminary abstract: The intensely globalized Province of Prato serves as an ethnographic laboratory for investigating the conditions of fast fashion. Here, a historic textile district known for its MADE IN ITALY 'brand' has earned the distinction of having Europe's largest Chinese community. Most of these transnational migrants produce low-cost items for the fast-fashion industry. Historically, the success of the MADE IN ITALY 'brand' was attributed to small family firms lauded for their flexibility for meeting work demands. Less celebrated is the long history of an informal economy characterized by family arrangements tied to unwritten contracts, clandestine work, and old-world sensibilities of reciprocity. Many of these longstanding practices persist, yet the status quo has changed. Workers have intensified their ways of being flexible, and the state has deepened its mechanisms of control. Primary targets are transnational family firms and workers. What family arrangements does this economy require, repel, or generate? How do family members cope with über-flexible lives? Finally, what cultural logics and values emerge from encounters between fast-fashion workers and state institutions? Substantive contributions to anthropology are made in two primary areas: economic anthropology and critical embodiment studies. An innovative encounter ethnography approach locates places where fast-fashion workers and state institutions encounter one another. Collaboration occurs at all levels of the project: research design, data collection, data analysis, training, writing, and policy-making. A training component focuses on developing systematic approaches to qualitative data analysis to enhance the relevance of anthropology for graduate students interested in addressing social challenges in transnational encounter zones.
Canedo Rodriguez, Dr. Montserrat, National U. of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Market and Urban Networks'
DR. MONTSERRAT CANEDO RODRIGUEZ, National University of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Markets and Urban Networks.' The project investigated how the fresh food wholesale market in Madrid works as a node of redistribution for food flows, creating effects of space-time structuring ('local,' 'global,' 'urban,' etc.). By following 'Poma de Girona' (an apple produced in Catalonia that has a Protected Geographic Indication) from its production to its urban consumption, the grantee analyzes the way these process-oriented and multi-localized food flows unfold through a 'chain of value.' Research questions included: What different space-time structuring effects do food flows produce when tracked from different ethnographic loci? How can we think about the enactment of urban social space through food flows? How does the circulation of food blend 'nature,' 'market,' and 'science-technology,' and what can be said about these kinds of embeddedness in a cultural and political reading? The study will advance theory on time-space frames understood as the products (and figures) of a dynamic simultaneous multiplicity, or articulations of heterogeneous practices that are always in progress. From this perspective, the research proposes an ethnographic approach to the question of 'globalization.' As an 'ethnography of apples,' it also contributes to thinking about the problem of the nature-culture co-implication and the politics of contemporary food chains.
Verinis, Dr. James, Roger Williams U., Bristol, RI - To aid engaged activities on 'Rural Greek Rebound in/of Crisis,' 2016, Greece
Preliminary abstract: Rural areas all over the world are now important sites where the predicaments and opportunities of globalization are unfolding. In rural Greece entrepreneurship is reinterpreted in light of global migrations and economic austerity. Notably, many immigrant farmers I worked with are reterritorializing rural Greek villages and landscapes despite their marginal social status and the socio-economic crisis. Yet austerity has stifled entrepreneurship to the point where fewer and fewer ambitions are acted upon, exacerbating economic hardships and harkening the decline of social and environmental sustainability. State, national, and private non-profit programs such as New Farmer Development, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, and New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in the United States go a long way towards capitalizing on the know-how and capabilities of immigrant farmers, satisfying the desires of a diverse array of rural stakeholders there, reestablishing diversified farming practices as well as a place for rurality in the 21st century. Building upon the foundations of the EU's Young Farmer Program, which has virtually no protocols for handling applicants working outside of their home state, I intend to bring farmers, local, and regional representatives together in a series of forums to suggest a design for this pilot program.
Manson, Daniel Leslie, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on 'No Roma Land: Deportation and the Spatial-Affective Politics of Inclusion in France,' supervised by Dr. Gaston Gordillo
Preliminary abstract: The goal of this project is to examine ethnographically how a group of Roma migrants from Eastern Europe living in Strasbourg, France, has been affected by a national deportation campaign. The research seeks to explore the forms of sociality and subjectivity engendered by the process of illegalization that renders certain Roma populations that are citizens of the European Union (EU) vulnerable to eviction and exclusion from the rights of full EU citizenship. This research is situated among Romanian Roma immigrants living in makeshift settlements in the urban periphery of Strasbourg that are designated as 'unauthorized encampments.' Rather than focusing solely on the dramatic violence of the expulsions and evictions themselves, this research traces the effects of illegality and deportability into the everyday lives of Roma people. From this vantage point it is possible to glimpse what deportability means to Roma migrants, and also how these people continue to live out their lives in spite of the enduring effects of their legal statuses. The ultimate aim of this research is to query the ways that Roma migrants in France understand their mobility, notions of belonging, and sense of place in relation to ongoing transformations in the EU, and therefore to contribute a critical anthropological perspective to the ongoing debates about Roma inclusion in Europe and about the contested and flexible nature of European citizenship more generally.
Diaz de Rada, Dr. Angel, U. Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'The Construction of Belonging: Expressive Practices and Identity Appropriations among 'Saami' and 'Norwegians' in Kautokeino'
DR. ANGEL DIAZ DE RADA, of the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid, Spain, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on expressive practices and identity appropriations among 'Saami' and 'Norwegians' in Kautokeino, Norway. Diaz de Rada's main contention was that construction of the multiple meanings of belonging in Guovdageaidnu-a small but central place in the Saami-Norwegian world-might be best understood as a fight for continuity. He proposed redefining belonging as continuity transferred to the spatial realm of a territory or to the social realm of a collectivity. Belonging is, in this context, a manageable category for the institutional rhetorics and processing of links and for ethnopolitical representation, because working for a place and working for a people are valued instrumental objectives (in contrast to working for the past or working for time continuities). Nevertheless, Diaz de Rada found a clear contrast between discourses and practices of identification in the sphere of the personal and presentative subjects, on one hand, and those in the sphere of the institutional and representative subjects, on the other. In the first case, identification was clearly stated as a set of time-binding operations; in the second, it was stated as a set of territorial, spatial, and demographic images. Place, territory, and people operated as concrete signifiers of time continuities, as tangible units for institutional mobilization and bureaucratic management. The ethnopolitical process itself arose as a special (and partial) dimension of the tension between fragmentation and continuity in this contemporary piece of society. This tension was not, as in the classic gesellschaft-gemeinschaft dichotomy, a matter of opposite modes of social linkage but a tensional processing of every social link.
Díaz de Rada, Ángel. 2004. El Sujeto en la Corriente. Reflexiones Sobre el Sujeto Social en Condiciones de Globalización. In El Nuevo Orden de Caos: Consecuencias Socioculturales de la 75 Globalización. Luis Díaz G. Viana, ed. Consejo Superior de investigaciones Científicas: Madrid.
Diaz de Rada, Angel. 2007. School Bureaucracy, Ethnography and Culture: Conceptual Obstacles to Doing Ethnography in Schools. Social Anthropology 15(2): 205-222
Diaz de Rada, Angel. 2007. Valer y Valor. Una Exhumacion de la Teoría del Valor para Reflexionar sobre la Desigualdad y Diferencia en Relación con la Escuela. Revista de Anthropología Social (16): 117-158
Nicewonger, Todd Evans, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture, & Flemish Fashion Design as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
TODD E. NICEWONGER, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in July 2007 to support research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture & Flemish Fashion as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. The project was conducted at a Fashion Design Academy where the grantee examined the social organization of the institution and the communicative practices used among student designers. Building on contemporary research into the cultural production of aesthetics, embodiment, and apprenticeship, this study investigated how certain virtues associated with an avant-garde movement in fashion converged into what eventually became recognized as the Flemish fashion aesthetic. This effort was characterized by novel modes of production and ideas about what it means to be a 'good and creative' fashion designer. Fundamental to these beliefs were social ideals arguing that fashion mediates the re-orientation of knowledge and stimulates new ways of imagining lived reality. As such, artisans are believed to embody an intellectual responsibility: one that can craft embodied notions of doubt, joy, and-central to this investigation-possibility. By illuminating how notions of the future are imagined, translated into design concepts, and then technically produced, this study conceptualizes the creative practice of design as hope.
Franquesa, Dr. Jaume, U. of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY - To aid research and writing on 'Dignity and Power: Energy, Nature and the State in Rural Spain' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. JAUME FRANQUESA, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2013 to aid research and writing on 'Dignity and Power: Energy, Nature and the State in Rural Spain.' Dignity and Power offers a historically informed, socially situated study of the transition to renewable energy in Spain. The book analyzes the institutional arrangements, cultural mediations, power structures and social relations of production through which the energy from wind is harnessed, thus unveiling the contradictory tensions that pervade this process. Situating the analysis in the context of both the current economic crisis in Spain and a broader history of energy production, the book is based on ethnographic research in Southern Catalonia, a region that has historically hosted several large-scale forms of energy production. Dignity and Power challenges the widespread assumption that renewable energy necessarily involves a stark rupture with former modes of energy production. Instead, the book shows that energy transitions are multilayered processes that open possibilities for new social arrangements, while also highlighting the ways that such new social arrangements rework inherited relationships of power.