Rozental, Sandra C., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mobilizing the Monolith: Property, Collectivity, and Vernacular Archaeology in Contemporary Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie
SANDRA ROZENTAL, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Mobilizing the Monolith: Property, Collectivity, and Vernacular Archaeology in Contemporary Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie. This research examined how archaeology -- a science that has been key in formulating state ideology and national heritage in Mexico -- is being mobilized by community projects to claim inalienability over land and community property over scarce natural resources in the context of rampant urbanization and social change. Ethnographic research was conducted in Coatlinchan, a town characterized by the extraction of a colossal pre-Hispanic stone monolith that was taken by the state to Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology in 1964. Findings draw on eight months of participant observation among: groups working with cultural heritage in Coatlinchan, the absent monolith and its many replicas; local authorities in charge of managing community property; and other social actors engaged in activities around the town's history and heritage. A second phase of research was conducted during six months of work in the national and state archives locating documents, maps, and photographs illustrating the history of Coatlinchan's buildings and territories, and oral-history interviews with participants in the monolith's extraction and in the study of Coatlinchan as an archaeological site. This study argues that national heritage (as a property category) and State appropriation of the preconquest indigenous past and its material culture (as the nation's past and property) are being re-signified by local communities who are mobilizing this past and the tangible ruins located in their territories to claim indigenous ancestry and collective ownership over land and resources at the same time Mexico's neoliberal policies work to dismantle the inalienability of ejidos (communal property) and communal forms of government and identity that had characterized Mexico's post-revolutionary recent past. This project contributes to studies on property, heritage (as both a system of ancestry and inheritance), and the uses of science and scientific knowledge by social actors in contemporary claims.
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.
Fitting, Dr. Elizabeth M., Dalhousie U., Halifax, Canada - To aid research and writing on 'The Struggle for Mexican Maize: Rural Producers and Neoliberal Globalization' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ELIZABETH M. FITTING, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in November 2005 to aid research and writing on 'The Struggle for Mexican Maize: Rural Producers and Neoliberal Globalization. When genetically modified (GM) corn was found growing among Mexican traditional cornfields, it amplified the debate about the future of Mexican maize and the extent to which corn imports pose a threat to native varieties in the crop's center of origin, domestication and biodiversity. Based on interviews with debate participants and fieldwork among maize producers and migrants in the southern Tehuacan Valley, this project investigates how the claims made in the GM corn debates about rural culture, expertise, and maize agriculture, are employed to frame, reject, or defend neoliberal policies in the countryside; and the ways small-scale maize producers themselves engage and negotiate these policies. In the valley, there has a diversification of livelihoods and the rise of cyclical, transnational migration. This common household labor strategy to adapt to neoliberal policies is remaking corn agriculture in significant ways. While migrant remittances help fund valley households, including maize production (which provides a kind of safety net for older residents), the conditions for sustainable corn agriculture are deteriorating. Residents not only face rising costs and lowered corn prices, but there have been shortages in irrigation water and a loss of interest and knowledge about maize agriculture among the younger generation.
Fitting, Elizabeth. 2006. Importing Corn, Exporting Labor: The Neoliberal Corn Regime, GMOs, and the Erosion of Mexican Biodiversity. Agriculture and Human Values 23:15-26.
Hinegardner, Livia Katherine, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Grassroots Video in Mexico City: Developing Counterpublics, Producing Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Bret D. Gustafson
LIVIA K. HINEGARDNER, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Grassroots Video in Mexico City: Developing Counterpublics, Producing Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Bret D. Gustafson. This research investigates the political practice of social movements in Mexico that produce and distribute documentary films as part of their strategy for social change. The networks and collaborations of filmmakers and social movements are developing new political communities of circulating discourse and practice ('publics') associated with new conceptions and practices of citizenship. These networks challenge anthropological conceptions of 'counterpublics' (social groups often forming the basis of organized social movements) that have been conceived as tied closely to religious and ethnic identities. This research examines emergent counterpublics in Mexico that are detached from these concepts. It asks,'How and with what effects are the practices of creating and distributing political documentaries in Mexico developing and mobilizing counterpublics?' The circulating discourse of these films, and the collaborations that produce and distribute them, also challenge New Social Movement theories in which groups make claims to citizenship rights based on identities. Film counterpublics make political claims based on performances of citizenship rooted in practices of engaging with public deliberation through the production and distribution of media. This research asks, 'What conceptions and practices of citizenship emerge out of the practice of creating and distributing films? How do people make political claims based on these conceptions of citizenship?'
Hinegardner, Livia. 2009. Action, Organization, and Documentary Film: Beyond a Communications Model of Human Rights Videos. Visual Anthropology Review 25:(2) 172-185.
Lyon, Sarah M., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Coffee, Taste, and Transnationalism: An Anthropological Investigation of The U.S.- Guatemalan Sustainable Coffee Market,' supervised by Dr. Peggy F. Barlett
SARAH M. LYON, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, received a grant in July 2001 to aid research on the U.S.-Guatemala sustainable coffee market, under the supervision of Dr. Peggy F. Barlett. Lyon focused on the individual actors who constituted one fair trade and organic coffee commodity chain, including small coffee farmers, brokers, roasters, and activists. During twelve months of research among the 116 members of a coffee cooperative in Guatemala, she detailed the local effects of participation in alternative coffee markets, including heightened contact with outside coffee brokers and roasters, a growing conception of the consumer and a concomitant emphasis on certification standards, rearticulations of local identity, and the increased role of management at all market levels. During five months of research in the United States, she explored the diverse motivations of people who constituted the domestic sustainable coffee market, including specialty coffee importers, roasters, and sustainable coffee advocates, documenting the ways in which the political identities and ideologies of individuals informed their practices as capitalist entrepreneurs. Lyon challenged earlier theoretical conceptions of commodity chains as solely structural orderings by presenting ethnographic insights into the ways in which these chains were constructed, maintained, and modified by participants.
Lyon, Sarah. 2008. We Want to be Equal to Them: Fair-Trade Coffee Certification and Gender Equity within Organizations. Human Organization 67(3):258-268
Nelson, Dr. Diane M., Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid workshop on revisiting Guatemala's harvest of violence: anthropology and the persistence of war in a post-war society, 2004, Duke U., in collaboration with Dr. Carlota McAllister
Salas Landa, Monica Mariella, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Touring their Ruins: The Ethnic Industry in Tajín Totonac, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Magnus M. Fiskesjo
MONICA M. SALAS LANDA, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Touring Their Ruins: The Ethnic Industry in Tajín Totonac, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Magnus M. Fiskesjo. This dissertation examines the afterlife of documents, artifacts, industrial and monumental structures, substances, and smells that resulted from the post-revolutionary process of state formation in the northern highlands of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Combining an archival approach with ethnographic research, the study analyzes the ways in which these remnants -- and the effects, desires, fears, and expectations, they generate -- continue to shape the political experience of those who confront, in the everyday, these residues of violence and revolution. Funding supported twelve months of research in Mexico (ethnographic and archival) and the United States (archival) during 2012-2013. Evidence collected served two purposes: 1) to analyze the ways in which post-revolutionary projects of state formation -- namely indigenismo, land redistribution, and oil expropriation -- worked out in northern Vera Cruz; and 2) to provide an analysis of the everyday encounters that people in this region have with these visible and invisible forms of state debris.
Carse, Ashley David, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'The Social Life of Topography: Conservation, Development, and the Making of the Panama Canal Watershed,' supervised by Dr. Flora E-shen Lu
ASHLEY DAVID CARSE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'The Social Life of Topography: Conservation, Development, and the Making of the Panama Canal Watershed,' supervised by Dr. Flora E-shen Lu. This dissertation project examines changing regimes of environmental management around the Panama Canal through multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork and archival research. The emergence or 'making' of the Panama Canal Watershed as an administrative region is illustrative of a recent global shift toward regional environmental management. Sixteen months of research were conducted in Panama and the United States on the implementation and effects of state plans to manage the watershed: the drainage basin that provides the immense quantity of fresh water that the canal requires to function. Archival research explored the histories of debates about the appropriate roles for rural lands and peoples in a region dominated by the canal's transport economy. Institutional ethnography with environmental professionals traced the circulation and translation of knowledge and practices aimed at managing emergent environmental problems around the canal. Community-based ethnography examined how watershed management has reorganized symbolic and material relationships between rural people and their environments. This research provides a fine-grained, historical understanding of everyday life around the Panama Canal, emphasizing changing relationships among state agents, rural peoples, lands, and waters.
Carse, Ashley, 2014. Beyond the Big Ditch: Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA
Carse, Ashley. 2012. Nature as Infrastructure: Making and Managing the Panama Canal Watershed. Social Studies of Science 42(4):539-563.