Le Febvre, Emilie Kathleen, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Visual Knowledge Production in the Negev: Bedouin Engagement with Visual Materials and Representational Antagonism in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Marcus Banks
EMILIE K. LE FEBVRE, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Visual Knowledge Production in the Negev: Bedouin Engagement with Visual Materials and Representational Antagonism in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Marcus Banks. Anthropologists of the Middle East have documented the significance of oral recitation and text-making in arab badu culture; however, little is known about the growing presence of visual materials in their societies. This research documents the practices by which photographs and videos are increasingly awarded value by the Arab Badu al-Naqab of southern Israel. It questions: How are visual mediums transformed into commodities in the Naqab? How do members use visual materials to support their genealogies and identities? Why are some visual materials restricted to private spheres while others are allowed to freely circulate? To answer these questions, ethnographic and archival research was conducted for sixteen months amongst families of the Al-ane and Al-Athamin. During this time, the grantee recorded the biographies of fifteen sets of 3-4 photographs and videos, created from 1890 to 2013, currently circulating within and between visual political economies in the Naqab. It was found that Arab Badu are increasingly consuming visual materials as a result of steady access to digital technologies and subsequently experiencing a democratization of their customary representational systems. Members engage visual materials in similar ways; however, their reading or re-reading of image content and circulation of the visual objects is contingent on the visual political economies in which the photograph or video is displayed and the pre-existing socio-political relationships established within these particular schemes of interaction and identification.
Nashif, Dr. Esmail, Birzeit U., Birzeit, Palestine - To aid research and writing on 'Identity, Community, and Text: The Production of Meaning among Palestinian Political Prisoners' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ESMAIL NASHIF, Birzeit U., Birzeit, Palestine, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in June 2005 to aid research and writing on 'Identity, Community, and Text: The Production of Meaning among Palestinian Political Prisoners.' From the time of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, until 1993, almost a quarter of the Palestinian society in these regions was imprisoned by the Israeli authorities on political grounds. Israel's use of political imprisonment on a massive scale ignited constitutive processes which led to the building of the community of Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli colonial prison system. This ethnographic research traces the processes of community building in the context of almost total annexation of its material conditions by the colonial power structures. The main characteristic of this community is its resorting to meaning production as a spatiotemporal counter-domination practice. This practice reproduced certain shapes and forms of national Palestinian identities and ideologies. The research addresses these identities and ideologies by exploring four major representational domains that reflect the ways in which the community builds and sustains itself in its dire colonial conditions. These domains are the captured body, the organizational aspects of the community, the intellectual activities, and the aesthetic forms of expressing the national identities and ideologies. While focusing on this specific Palestinian community, the book aims to develop more general insights regarding the colonial conflict in Palestine /Israel, and to address the broader theoretical debates in the anthropological literature that focus on the interrelations of representation and power structures in colonial conditions.
Aciksoz, Salih Can, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Broken Sons of The Nation: Masculinity, Disability, and Nationalism in Turkey' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali
SALIH CAN ACIKSOZ, while a student at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Broken Sons of the Nation: Masculinity, Disability, and Nationalism in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali. Aciksoz examined subjectivity and political agency formation among the disabled veterans of the Turkish Army, who fought against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as conscripted soldiers. The research explored the nationalist signification, embodied experiences, and political practices of disabled veterans through the analytical lens of gender to account for the recent emergence of a politics of revenge, which targeted particularly dissident and minority intellectuals. Research findings indicate that the political agency of disabled veterans, which mimetically reproduces state violence, can only be understood in relation to the tension between the nationalist investment in disabled veteran body and the everyday experience of being a disabled man in Turkey. This tension is strongly articulated and violently exploited by a novel ultra-nationalist political culture, which provides disabled veterans both an intelligible account of their everyday suffering and sites of revenge. Fieldwork was conducted in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, where the grantee carried out archival research, collected life histories, and did participant observation in disabled veterans' associations.
Açiksöz, Salih Can. 2012. Sacrificial Limbs of Sovereignty: Disabled Veterans, Masculinity, and Nationalist Politics in Turkey. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(1):4-25.
Rabie, Kareem Mohamed, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'An Occupied Economy: Development, the Private Sector, Statelessness, and State Formation in the West Bank,' supervised by Dr. Neil Smith
KAREEM MOHAMED RABIE, then a student at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'An Occupied Economy: Development, the Private Sector, Statelessness, and State Formation in the West Bank,' supervised by Dr. Neil Smith. This project examines the current push for privatization and state-building in the West Bank as articulated within one of the region's marquee mega-developments-the creation of Rawabi, a new city north of Ramallah. Through ethnographic research among developers, representatives of financial capital, PA bureaucrats, ordinary Palestinians, and Israelis opposing Rawabi's development, the project analyzes the material processes and affective qualities of the state-building project for Palestinians. That state-building project explicitly imagines a Palestine tied to global markets as a way to minimize the structural effects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Palestinian class aspiration and desire for normalcy and stability contributes to success and consensus around the state-building project.
Can, Sule, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'The State and the City: Ethno-Religious Conflict and Political Change at the Turkish-Syrian Border,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: The Syrian Civil War has displaced millions of Syrian citizens since March 2011 and has drastically changed the lives of those in the Turkish-Syrian borderlands. Hatay, which was annexed by the Republic of Turkey from Syria under the French Mandate in 1939, is a border province that hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees today. Although the province has long been renowned for its ethnic, religious diversity, the influx of the Syrian refugees and Turkey's Syria policy have created new ethno-religious conflicts and have shifted the dynamics of everyday life in Hatay. Drawing on micro-historical approaches to boundary-making and state formation, this ethnographic study focuses on first, the emergence of ethno-religious conflict in the city in response to Turkish state practices in Turkish-Syrian borderlands between local residents of Hatay and the displaced Syrians. Second, it explores political opposition and their impacts on claiming a 'right to the city' by looking at how the refugees and ethno-religious minorities grapple with the transformation of the city since the Syrian Civil War. This research will be conducted through a historical and ethnographic investigation of the local populations and the Syrian refugees in Hatay and the tense relations between Turkey and Syria. This project suggests that in international conflicts between neighboring states, the spatial, political and social divisions in border cities will increase as ethnic and religious identities become more politicized.
Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Sophia Chloe, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'West Bank Waste: Governance and Garbage in Two Post-Oslo Municipalities,' supervised by Dr. Lila Abu-Lughod
SOPHIA STAMATOPOULOU-ROBBINS, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'West Bank Waste: Governance and Garbage in Two Post-Oslo Municipalities,' supervised by Dr. Lila Abu-Lughod. This project investigates the politics of waste management in the West Bank. By exploring a spectrum of waste sites and circulations -- from land-filling to cross-boundary sewage flows and the growing Palestinian-Israeli trade in used clothes and scrap metal -- it analyzes the effects of geographical separation, 'state-building' efforts, and continued occupation in the absence of a Palestinian state. Waste is inseparable from the question of value. It also plays on the movement between visible and invisible. To historicize and to observe its routes of circulation, the discourses to which it gives rise and the management practices to which it is subject is therefore crucial to understanding shifts in value, visibility, and the emergence of categories through which people live their lives. With the early 1990s began an era of separation between West Bank Palestinians and Israeli citizens that is now an organizing principle of life in the area. Among the effects of this separation were two major, linked developments: 1) The division between an 'Israeli market' and, in the West Bank, a 'Palestinian market;' and 2) The treatment of Israel and the West Bank as two distinct 'environments,' the protection of which the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA), respectively, are held responsible. Through twelve months of participant observation, interviews and archival research this project examines the makeover of sewage from a public health issue to a natural resource, of household waste from fertilizer to source of public debt and the emergence of spaces within the 'Palestinian market' for the trade in what Israelis discard across the Green Line. These transformations of value intersect with the emergence of important categories such as the 'shared environment' and the 'responsible citizen,' while at times rendering invisible processes such as colonization and the growing differentiation between responsibility and authority. This study thus aims to intervene, among other things, in debates about the implications of separation and the post1994 'transfer of authority' to the PA, over parts of the occupied territories, for Palestinians' everyday lives.
Feldman, Dr. Ilana, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research and writing on 'Governing Gaza: Bureaucratic Service and the Work of Rule (1917-1967)' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ILANA FELDMAN, Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in July 2004 to aid research and writing on 'Governing Gaza: Bureaucratic Service and the Work of Rule (1917-1967),' forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2008. Governing Gaza is a study of the civil service in Gaza during the British Mandate (1917-1948) and the Egyptian Administration (1948-1967). Drawing on extensive ethnographic and archival research, this book pursues an anthropology of government in two interrelated senses. First, it explores the life and work of governing institutions, elucidating how regimes with tenuous, always uncertain, relationships to the place of governance were able to persist and also when and how this persistence failed. Secondly, and just as significantly, it examines how working in government shaped the people and place of Gaza. In exploring the details of service work, the book traces the practice of 'tactical government,' a self-consciously restricted mode of rule that made it possible for government to persist without claiming legitimacy, and in fact precisely by holding legitimacy in abeyance. Governing Gaza also explores how bureaucratic authority was produced in a context that lacked a stable authorizing framework. This investigation elucidates mechanisms of 'reiterative authority' that relied on the workings of bureaucracy itself - the networks of filing and the habitual practices of civil servants.
Feldman, Ilana. 2005. Everyday Government in Extraordinary Times: Persistence and Authority in Gaza’s Civil Service, 1917-1967. Comparative Studies in Society and History 47(4):863-891.
Yildiz, Emrah, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA- To aid research on 'Traffic in Value: A Road Ethnography of Pilgrimage, Contraband Commerce, and Border-Crossing Across Eastern Borders of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton
EMRAH YILDIZ, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Traffic in Value: A Road Ethnography of Pilgrimage, Contraband Commerce, and Border-Crossing across Eastern Borders of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton. The phase of research covered by the grant involved conducting crucial ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and archival research on the Hajj-e Fuqara ('pilgrimage of the humble') route between Iran, Turkey, and Syria. The route emerged during the Iran-Iraq war as an alternative for Shi'a Iranians' pilgrimage to prominent sites in Iraq as well as to Mecca. The dissertation research examines the changing nexus of state sovereignty, religious pilgrimage, and informal economies along the Hajj-e Fuqara route. In the following two decades, this bus route shuttled Iranian pilgrims to the Sayyida Zainab shrine near Damascus, as well as contraband goods between Iran, Turkey and Syria. The Syrian civil war brought an end to pilgrimage and restructured the transnational contraband networks that the route had previously facilitated. By chronicling the transformations of this border landscape on the transnational fringes the Middle East, this dissertation aims to recover the arresting of traffic in people and goods as a moment in legal construction and social praxis of cross-border commercial labor, which the growing historical and anthropological scholarship on transnational mobility has often neglected in favor of historical continuity and geographical contiguity.