Santha, Dr. Istvan, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary; and Ssorin-Chaikov, Dr. Nikolai, Cambridge U., Cambridge, UK - To aid collaborative research on 'Power, 'Authorities', and Emotions in Post-Socialist Russia'
Preliminary abstract: The project aims to study the emotional experiences of people involved in hierarchical relationships, that have to participate in performances of power, such as celebrations of national and regional leaders. The researchers plan to study the phenomena of public celebrations from the new perspective with the focus on emotional experiences of the participants, their emotional involvement and control of expressions. This new approach is a result of critical attention toward premises of western tradition of thought that tends to separate private emotional phenomenon from public performativity. The previous fieldwork experiences of collaborators showed that even the most formal patterns of behavior in Russia (such as official celebrations at the Houses of Culture or highly formalized celebrations of birthdays of national leaders with presenting of gifts) arouse the emotions of quite a wide range, from excitement too cynicism. The project is planned to become comparative. The fieldworks in two field sites (Moscow and Ulan-Ude) at one time will help to compare the patterns that evolve in the center and periphery. This comparison will help to analyze the phenomenon of power performances in different contexts.
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.
Szenassy, Edit, Charles U., Prague, Czech Republic - To aid research on 'Governing Romani Women's Bodies: Between Everyday Reproductive Decisions and Population Politics in Slovakia,' supervised by Dr. Jaroslav Skupnik
EDIT SZENASSY, then a student at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Governing Romani Women's Bodies: Between Everyday Reproductive Decisions and Population Politics in Slovakia,' supervised by Dr. Jaroslav Skupnik. High fetility rates of Romani/Gypsy women are portrayed by some public actors in Slovakia as a burden on society or welfare system. Facing diverse forms of discrimination and violence including impeded access to healthcare, Romani women's wombs have historically been of grave concern to state power, and continue being regarded as a 'time bomb' bound to explode as presently Romani births outnumber those of the Slovak majority. Between 1977 and 1991, special benefits were granted in return for Romani women's voluntary sterilization, however, recent scandals indicate that many of the operations during this period were neither voluntary, nor performed with due consent. The results of this fieldwork research indicate that the coerced sterilization of Romani women continued into the mid-2000s. This project examined Romani women's reproductive decision-making and its tensions with Slovak population politics. Its central focus was an ethnographic research based on participant observation into current reproductive practices among Romani women in a poor segregated Roma slum in East Slovakia. It explored the intricate positions women, their kinship networks, health professionals, and authorities take, with the aim of revealing and understanding their potentially conflicting interests. The ethnographer was situated in a politically and ethically loaded field, as she attempted to analyze the ramifications intertwining the state, nationalism, and the politics and poetics of reproduction.
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.
Berglund, Dr. Eeva, Goldsmiths College, London, UK - To aid research on 'Natural Resources and Expertise in Rural Finland : An Ethnographic Study of Biotechnology'
DR. EEVA BERGLUND, of Goldsmiths College in London, England, was awarded a grant in July 2002 to aid ethnographic research on biotechnology in rural Finland, where modernization has been both relatively recent and successful. Berglund focused on capital-intensive biotechnology as part of regional development under conditions of globalization, asking what local experiences of the 'new economy' and the 'information society' might have been. The research, carried out in Kainuu Province and in Helsinki, was based on documentary sources, ethnography in a small food-biotechnology laboratory, and interviews with regional elites. The results indicated a mismatch between provincial discourses of forced adaptation and hegemonic discourses of inevitable technological dynamism and continuing national progress. Alongside this disjuncture were salient continuities in the ways local landscapes were conceptualized, which may be leading to an underemphasis on the gravity of Kainuu's economic problems. Berglund found a complex and multilayered understanding of nature; both sacredness and the capacity to create artificial environments were highly valued in the Kainuu region. Indeed, it was economic risk and lack of commercial know-how rather than technological fear with which people struggled, a situation characteristic of Finland as an economic unit. Regional, community, and local action was highly valued in Kainuu, and even the most capital-intensive practices were appropriated for local ends. A historical survey of Finnish science and technology policy suggests that this ideology has been built into the modernization of the country from independence, with implications for the way people think about nature, technology, and the state.
Putz, Gudrun A., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb
GUDRUN A. PUTZ, while a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb. The research conducted for this project resulted in quite fruitful, if unexpected, material. Legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands in 1999, international calls for the eradication of trafficking, expansion of the European Union into Eastern Europe, a worsening Dutch economy, and intensification of anti-immigration sentiments all resulted in Dutch government crackdowns on 'Eastern-European' sex workers and their subsequent movement underground. This environment and the disappearance of one of the two main populations of the research -- the Russian-speaking sex workers -- then became project's new focus. Interviews were conducted with Amsterdam government officials, police, and business-owners around the Red Light District. Newspaper articles and scholarly writing about Eastern-European sex workers and Eastern Europeans in general were collected. In addition, interviews and participant observation were conducted with non-governmental organizations working with migrants and sex workers. Consequently, the second research population of former-soviet street sellers featured more significantly within the general study of Russian speakers in Amsterdam, who were all concerned in one way or another with views about them as 'foreigners' and their relationship with Dutch society. Interviews and participant observation were conducted with former-Soviets on the streets, in their homes, and also during a month spent in Latvia and Lithuania with four of them. The researcher approached other Russian speakers for interviews in the main Amsterdam Russian Orthodox church, Russian stores, and on Russian-migrant websites. The result is an examination of the continuing importance of Cold-War ideas and stereotypes, European social and economic consolidation, and the effect this has had (both positive and negative) on former-Soviet migrants.
Deleporte, Sarah F., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler
SARAH F. DELEPORTE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in November 2003 to aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art, and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler. The dissertation research supported by this grant consisted of an ethnographic study of the creation of the Musee du quai Branly, France's newest national museum devoted to extra-European arts and civilizations, opening in Paris in 2006. Designed as both a museum of fine arts and of human sciences, the museum is officially slated to foster admiration, respect, and curiosity for cultural diversity in French society. Since the 18th century, the French state has consistently invested in museums as part of a matrix of citizen-forming tools (including public schools, universities, and ministerial training schools) meant to educate and cohere the nation's diverse populations. In the 21st century, the creation of the Quai Branly Museum has created a domino effect in French cultural policy, most notably spurring mandates to create two additional national museums, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseilles and the National Center for the History of Immigration in Paris. In the midst of extensive administrative reform and structural change, the French national museums are confronting their institutional legacy and providing new possibilities for the practice of anthropology in museums as well as for an anthropological understanding of the role museums play in the nation-building efforts of contemporary, multicultural societies.
Nunez Vega, Jorge Oswaldo, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Financial Nationalism: Imagining Catalonia through the Banking System,' supervised by Dr. Alan Klima
JORGE NUÑEZ, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Financial Nationalism: Imagining Catalonia through the Banking System,' supervised by Dr. Alan Klima. This ethnography is about the ethics and aesthetics of personal savings in Catalonia with a focus on investment and speculation. It documents the allocation of public debt amongst citizens, the purchase of toxic assets by ill-advised bank customers, and the everyday life of non-professional online traders. At the same time, it is a study of money cultures based on notions of citizenship, consumption, and technology. Its hypothesis suggests that after the housing bubble, a sizeable number of low and middle-income savers became a ready-made source of liquidity for both the Catalan government and the Spanish stock exchange system. This happened through the retailing of billions of Euros in patriotic bonds, preferred shares and subordinated debt, and financial derivatives to everyday citizens, triggering a cultural conflict between preexisting local moralities of savings and emerging global notions of investment and speculation. The main argument the study develops emerges out of a dialogue with individual savers about the morality of money. However, it also takes into account the point of view of several other key actors in the word of finance such as bankers, account managers, brokers, traders, public servants, consumer associations, financial journalists, public relation experts, activists, politicians, and online forum users.
Firat, Bilge, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'The Negotiation of Turkish Europeanization in Brussels,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
BILGE FIRAT, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'The Negotiation of Turkish Europeanization in Brussels,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. European enlargement is considered to be the most successful policy of the European Union (E.U.), and the one that perhaps has the greatest direct impact on lives of peoples, societies, and states in the region at large. Lobbying is a central practice in EU politicking and policymaking. Located in Brussels for twelve months, the objective of this study was to understand how lobbying as a politico-cultural communicative practice works in facilitating the enlargement dynamic of the E.U. towards Turkey wih the help of non-participant and participant observation, interviewing political cultural actors, and analysis of textual policy advice. European politics is an area in which students and scholars of anthropology of European integration and anthropology of policy-making are very well equipped to explain emerging realities of today's advanced European integration.