Fouratt, Caitlin, California State U., Long Beach, CA - To aid engaged activities on ' Workshops and Seminar on Migration and Family in Costa Rica and Nicaragua,' 2015, Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Preliminary abstract: This project seeks to engage both Costa Rican academics and Nicaraguan transnational families composed of migrants in Costa Rica and non-migrant relatives in Nicaragua and Costa Rican through a series of workshops and seminars in May and June 2015. First, the project entails two community workshops, one with Nicaraguan migrants living in Costa Rica and one with relatives of migrants in Nicaragua. These workshops will both disseminate research results and provide tools for strengthening family relationships and navigating the Costa Rican immigration system. Each workshop will cover issues of family separation, gender, and immigration law and will be conducted with a Costa Rican scholar also working on issues of migration and gender. The second set of activities is a 4-week long, open seminar to be held at the Institute for Social Research (IIS) at the University of Costa Rica. the seminar will not only disseminate the applicant's Wenner-Gren funded research to local academics and a broader public, but will create a space for scholars and practitioners working on migration issues in Costa Rica to engage in dialogue, share results and experiences, and build networks for further collaboration.
Vaughan, Charles L., London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch
CHARLES L. VAUGHAN, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in February 2004 to aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch. Since 1994, the Copan Valley in western Honduras, internationally famous for the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan, has borne witness to the growth of an indigenous movement: the National Council of Indigenous Maya Chorti of Honduras (CONIMCHH). Recognized by the Honduran state, CONIMCHH has fought aggressively for land titles for its membership while pursuing projects aimed at the revival of the Chorti Mayan language and Chorti cultural practices. Surrounding the membership of CONIMCHH, however, has been a pervasive complex of criticism, which argues that 'Chorti' only exist in Guatemala and not in Honduras. Over the course of twenty months of fieldwork, this research sought to probe the underlying history and assumptions of this complex and to explore in what ways CONIMCHH may have provided its members with a new language for describing themselves, and their pasts, in terms of 'being Chorti' in Honduras. While the lives of the men and women who form the membership of CONIMCHH are lived in a social landscape where the name 'Chorti' holds contradictory meanings, histories, and referents, this fieldwork showed that service and sacrifice for CONIMCHH are humble daily actions which speak for 'being Chorti' where words may not.
Cano Secade, Maria Del Carmen, U. Iberoamericana, Mexico D.F., Mexico - To aid 'Political Ecology, Sustainability and Environment: An Ethnography of the Conflict Over Water in Matamoros Region,' supervised by Dr. Casey Walsh Henry
Wentzell, Emily, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on'Sexual Dysfunction and Changing Masculinities in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Inhorn
EMILY WENTZELL, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Sexual Dysfunction and Changing Masculinities in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Inhorn. Understandings of decreased erectile function as the medical pathology 'erectile dysfunction' (ED) have become dominant worldwide. However, 'sufficient' erection is not a biological norm, but a cultural standard co-produced with social ideals of manly sexuality and health. This study examined working class Mexican men's use of the experiences of erectile function change and ED treatment to 'act like men' in new and different ways. Data from over 250 ethnographic interviews with urology patients and staff at a Cuernavaca hospital revealed that men enfolded these experiences into their styles of 'being men' in a variety of ways. Older men resisted ED treatment, viewing diminishing sexual function as a 'natural' change enabling a new, family-oriented style of masculinity as they became unable to perform extramarital sex. Younger men seeking ED treatment viewed their sexual changes as the embodiment of social changes that hurt their sense of manliness, understanding ED drugs as a medical solution to a social problem. Including findings on the roles that chronic illness and men's ideas about 'Mexicanness' play in their experiences of their health, sexuality, and masculinity, this study demonstrates the processes through which men relate physical, social and psychological events into new enactments of masculinity.
Wentzell, Emily. 2013. Change and the Construction of Gendered Selfhood among Mexican Men Experiencing Erectile Difficulty. Ethos 41(1):24-45.
Wentzell, Emily. 2013. Aging Respectably by Rejecting Medicalization: Mexican Men's Reasons for Not Using Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Medical Anthropology Quarterly 27(1):3-22.
Wentzell, Emily. 2006. 'You’ll ‘Get Viagraed:' Mexican Men’s Preference for Alternative Erectile Dysfunction Treatment. Social Science & Medicine (68):1759-1765.
Wentzell, Emily. 2006. Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction and Its Treatment in a Mexican Population: Distinguishing between Erectile Function Change and Dysfunction. Journal of Men’s Health 6 (1): 56-62.
Sampeck, Dr. Kathryn E., Illinois State U., Normal, IL - To aid workshop on 'Indigenous Literacy in Mesoamerica and the Colonial World,' 2012, Brown U., Providence, RI
Preliminary abstract: Diverse realms of Mesoamerica were bound together through shared literary systems. This workshop will explore the distribution of literacy in Mesoamerica at contact and the ways writing systems, content, and genres were mutually appropriated by indigenous and Spanish colonial authors. Europeans and creoles saw indigenous literacy as both a challenge to authority and as a touchstone for their own civility. Indigenous writers used European genres and mythic elements as both a means to power as well as to re-cast crucial elements of indigenous ethos and worldview. Writing enabled authors and their social groups to link with the past, negotiate the present, and set the stage for the future. Furthermore, literacy was a key tool for illiterate Mesoamericans; the inability to read did not daunt Mesoamericans from working within literate realms and they were thus indelible in the documentary record. The repercussions of colonial writing by both the subaltern and those in power are still felt today; participation by indigenous scholars will provide crucial commentary on the negotiation of literacy. Exploration of literacy delves into questions of persistence and metamorphosis and shows that indigenous writing had not only local effects, but also formed strands of connection within the Atlantic World.
Leon, Andres, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Agrarian Conflict and the 2009 Honduras Coup d'état: Global Land Grabbing, Dispossession and Peasant Resistance in the Bajo Aguán,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
ANDRES LEON, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Agrarian Conflict and the 2009 Honduras Coup d'état: Global Land Grabbing, Dispossession and Peasant Resistance in the Bajo Aguán,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. The grantee investigated the relation between the current agrarian conflicts in the Aguan Valley in northern Honduras, and the 2009 coup d'etat that ousted democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya. Research included extensive fieldwork in various peasant communities located in the valley and employing extended participant observation and oral history recuperation to document and reconstruct the history of the valley and the set of peasant cooperatives that were created during the 1970s. Based on fieldwork, interviews, archival and other documentary data, research investigated the process by which organized groups of peasants were brought to the deemed 'empty' Aguan Valley during the 1970s to form a set of cooperatives dedicated mainly to the production of African Palm. Based on this combination of ethnographic and historical research, the study argues that this case complicates the argument presented by most of the current literature on the global land grab that presents the African Palm boom as something relatively new, and as creating a conflict between palm-producing large landowners and subsistence-oriented poor peasants. In the Aguan Valley, the expansion of African Palm began in the 1970s and this expansion has been as much the result of increasing transnational investment through large landowners, as that of peasant cooperatives investing their meager resources into the production of the crop.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Transnationalism and its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez Jr.
MICHELLE MORAN-TAYLOR, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in February 2001 to aid research on 'Transnationalism and Its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez, Jr. This cross-cultural and cross-regional study questions how transnational migration, particularly return migration, affects ethnicity, class, and gender in culturally and regionally distinct sending communities. Research was conducted in a Ladino town in eastern Guatemala and in a predominantly Maya K'iche' community in the western highlands during 2000-2001. Results demonstrate that migration has become a way of life for many Guatemalans and the presence of transnational migration impacts are quite noticeable. Moreover, remittances and return migrants transform some aspects of gender and ethnicity. Initial findings illuminate, for instance, that although international migration has the potential to alter gender relations, any migration-related changes are short-lived (e.g., men return to dominant roles). While transnational migration is paramount in the lives of many Guatemalans it is not the only agent for change. Other factors operating at the local, regional, national, and global levels have also contributed in both altering and affirming gender and ethnicity in this social terrain.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. Guatemala’s Ladino and Maya Migra Landscapes: The Tangible and Intagible Outcomes of Migration. Human Organization 67(2):111-124
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. When Mothers and Fathers Migrate North: Caretakers, children, and Child Rearing in Guatemala. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):79-95
O'Neill, Dr. Kevin, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid engaged activities on 'Secure the Soul: A Public Conversation,' 2015, Guatemala
Preliminary abstract: This proposed Engagement Project, based on Wenner Gren supported fieldwork, opens up spaces for critical reflection on the intersection of Christian piety and gang prevention. I propose three different events to foster this exchange. Each will take place in July 2015. The first will be a public lecture at a local university. The second will be a roundtable discussion among key informants and concerned leadership. The third will be a public conversation among active and ex-gang members.
Hoenes del Pinal, Eric, U. of California, San Diego, CA - To aid research on 'Language Use and Language Ideologies among Catholic Maya in Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Kathryn A. Woolard
ERIC HOENES DEL PINAL, then a student at University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California, received funding in April 2004 to aid research on 'Language Use and Language Ideologies among Catholic Maya in Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Kathryn A. Woolard. This research investigated the emerging differences in language use between Mainstream Catholics and Charismatic Catholics in a single parish with an ethnically Q'eqchi'-Maya congregation in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Whereas Mainstream Q'eqchi'-Maya Catholics have a strong preference for using Q'eqchi' in ritual settings, Charismatic Catholics have begun to use both Spanish and Q'eqchi'. Additionally Charismatic Catholics have introduced other linguistic innovations (including call and response patterns, loud singing, and 'shouts of joy') and a different set of norms for bodily behavior during religious services, that contrast with the generally quiet and reserved style of worship practiced by Mainstream Catholics. These differences in language use and physical comportment have led to intra-community tension, as parishioners contest what it means to be properly Catholic and Q'eqchi'-Maya. The grantee conducted participant-observation research for twenty months (June 2004 to January 2006) with both Mainstream and Charismatic Catholic groups regularly observing religious rituals including masses, Celebrations of the Word, vigils, and prayer meetings. Additionally, he interviewed group leaders. Over 150 hours of audio- recordings and 50 hours of video-recordings of various rituals were collected to enable closer post-field analysis of parishioners' speech, gesture and movement patterns.