Guarino, Maria Suzanne, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Musical Performance, Social Order, and Mystical Spirituality in Two North American Benedictine Monasteries,' supervised by Dr. Michelle Kisliuk
MARlA S. GUARINO, then a student at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Musical Performance, Social Order, and Mystical Spirituality in Two North American Benedictine Monasteries,' supervised by Dr. Michelle Kisliuk. During one year of field research with Benedictine monks in Vermont and Quebec, the grantee examined the interface between musical performance, monastic social order, and mystical spiritual experience. Research points to a mutually constitutive relationship between these three processes, and asks how does musical performance structure a monastic community, and how does the structure of the community influence musical performance? Further, how does this relationship foster a specifically Benedictine spiritual experience and religious life? The grantee addressed these questions through a study of two North American monasteries: one embracing Latin Gregorian chant and hierarchical social order; the other embracing vernacular folk music and egalitarian social order. Findings suggest that, while musical and social processes are flexible, this does not point to flexibility in foundational Benedictine spiritual sensibilities. Instead, there are multiple paths that insiders recognize as pointing toward a singular Benedictine way of life. These paths are defined by the rich interaction of musical performance, social order, and mystical spirituality.
An, Linh My, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Mental Illness among Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City,' supervised by Dr. Douglas Wood Hollan
LINH MY AN, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, too aid research on 'Mental Illness among Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City,' supervised by Dr. Douglas Wood Hollan. This study investigated the responses to mental illness in Chinese immigrant families in New York City. More specifically, it examined how cultural notions of self, emotional experience, behavioral rules, mental illness, kinship structure, and morality of caring interact with economic and social processes to influence the way females caregivers deal with relatives who are schizophrenic. The overwhelming majority of previous studies of families and mental illnesses focus only on negative aspects of caregiving or the subjective experience of the patient. This previous work has underemphasized and underexplored how families interact to construct shared perspectives of mental illness, normalcy, and recovery. In contrast, this research utilized ethnographic observations and interviews to understand how meaning is constructed in everyday family interactions. It is hoped that study results will complement and extend current understanding of mental illness among immigrant groups who experienced renegotiation of familial and gender roles in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Plemons, Eric Douglas, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Making the Gendered Face,' supervised by Dr. Cori Hayden
ERIC D. PLEMONS, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Making the Gendered Face,' supervised by Dr. Cori Hayden. Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) -- a set of bone and soft tissue surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of male-to-female transwomen -- is predicated upon the notion that femininity is a measurable quality that can be both reliably assessed and surgically reproduced. Through ethnographic field research in the offices and operating rooms of two prominent FFS surgeons, this research seeks to understand what 'feminization' means as a target of surgical intervention. Constituted by a tension in which 'feminization' sometimes refers to the biologically female and other times to the desirably beautiful, FFS emerges here as both an art and a science. Through its complicated relationship to the contested status of transsexualism and its surgical treatment, FFS offers a distinct way to reconsider well-worn debates about bodily cultivation and the literal creation of the gendered body.
Horton, Dr. Sarah Bronwen, U. of Colorado, Denver, CO - To aid research and writing on 'Medical Entrepreneurs: Middle Class Americans in the Medical Borderlands' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. SARAH HORTON, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2010 to aid research and writing on 'Medical Entrepreneurs: Middle Class Americans in the Medical Borderlands.' Research examines the way that middle class Americans have increasingly adopted medical travel as a response to the neoliberal restructuring of the U.S. health care system. The project explores the way that the restructuring of the U.S. health care system has instilled a neoliberal spirit of medical entrepreneurialism towards health among middle class Americans, and proposes that medical travel is an expression of this spirit. The grantee has examined this through two manuscripts. One, 'Medical Entrepreneurs: Middle Class Americans in the Medical Borderlands,' examines middle class Americans' seeking of pharmaceuticals in Mexico as a response to their under- and un-insurance, and shows that middle class Americans increasingly self-diagnose and self-medicate as they internalize the neoliberal ethic of being an 'informed consumer.' A second manuscript, 'Medical Tourism and the Health Care 'Gray Market' in Baja California,' examines the contradictions of medical tourism as a development strategy through the lens of bariatric surgery. This study shows that even as economists tout medical tourism as a means of gainful economic development-and of diverting black market economic flows to legal channels-it has also led to an expansion of 'gray market,' or illicit, medical treatments.
Brown, Scott, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Prototyping the Social? An Ethnography of 'Social Innovation' Design Practice,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
Preliminary abstract: In recent years, the field of design has been undergoing a significant shift. In addition to its traditional focus on creating specific objects such as buildings, clothes and interfaces, designers are increasingly addressing a wider range of material,social and political problems by designing social systems and processes. Hired by governments, NGOs and corporations alike, designers today are working to solve issues ranging from healthcare service delivery to enhancing relationships between citizens and the state. This project investigates the forms of knowledge and practice that constitute the work of this new generation of 'social innovation' design. It will investigate how these designers are rendering social and political complexity into 'design problems' that have specific solutions, as well as how are they being trained to do so. In seeking answers to these questions, this research will consist of twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in the New York City area at various design firms and schools. Situated within the spaces of everyday design practice - the studios, labs, consultancies and training institutes- this project seeks to understand this emergent community of expertise by attending to the everyday habits, practices, ideas and common sensibilities of which constitute the work of 'social innovation' designers.
Saboo, Kartikeya, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Financial Agency: Economic Action and Experience after the Financial Crisis,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Ahearn
KARTIKEYA SABOO, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Financial Agency: Economic Action and Experience after the Financial Crisis,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Ahearn. This project examined daily life and relationships in a class-divided neighborhood of color in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Across contiguous blocks of two municipalities, it examined indigenous concepts of financial competence, the differential impact on middle- and low-income families in the same neighborhood, and compared the meaning making exercises of older middle-income activists (class war, revolution) with younger lower-income youth (conspiracy, apocalypse). The research found that middle class families experienced decline in wealth and increased personal vulnerability because of the subprime bubble. Lower-income families, already excluded from financial participation, await the worst structural impact as austerity measures begin to have effect. The ghetto becomes more disorganized, public infrastructure declines, and middle class families of color face the prospect of precarity after a lifetime of normative participation in the economy. This turns them further away from their lower class neighbors as they try to hold on to any possible markers of status and distinction. Conducted by a South Asian male, the project examines contending models of masculinity as well as the misunderstandings, confusions and antagonisms produced by encounters across race, class, and nationality.
Karkazis, Dr. Katrina A., Stanford U., Palo Alto, CA - To aid research and writing on 'The Intersex Debates: Clashes in Culture and Science' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. KATRINA A. KARKAZIS, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in January 2005 to aid research and writing on 'The Intersex Debates: Clashes in Cultue and Science.' The fellowship enabled the grantee to write full time from January 2005 to October 2005 towards completion of the manuscript. During this period, the grantee completed substantial revisions to the manuscript, which included a major reorganization of the material and a substantial cut of almost over one-third of the material. The grantee was not able to finalize the manuscript, but the revised manuscript has since been submitted to Duke University Press for final approval.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Dr. Chip, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO - To aid research on 'Repatriation and Reconciliation: The Ethical Effects of NAGPRA'
Preliminary abstract: The proposed project is an ethnographic study that investigates how juridical laws direct and configure the ethical beliefs, values, and behaviors of individuals and institutions. This problem is investigated by exploring the ways in which the repatriation of human remains and sacred objects in the United States has transformed the ethical commitments of Native Americans and museum professionals. Specifically, this project examines the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) as a form of restorative justice; it investigates NAGPRA's manifold ethical effects and the law's application in local settings to illuminate how the law has rearranged the moral relationship between tribes and museums. The project explores three central questions. First, in what ways have the moral imperatives of repatriation shifted individuals' beliefs and behaviors, and institutional policies and strategies? Second, why and when does repatriation constitute a form of restorative justice? And third, how are perceived ethical duties about repatriation negotiated within and between tribes and museums? These questions are investigated using quantitative and qualitative methods--a systematic survey of hundreds of museums and federally-recognized tribes, as well as 'ethnographic biographies' of individuals and institutions in four regions in the United States. This project ultimately seeks to produce knowledge of the interplay between juridical laws and moral duties, creating new theoretical understanding of this problem while shifting the repatriation dialogue beyond polemical viewpoints towards an engaged and ethnographically-grounded anthropology.
Shear, Boone Wingate, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Making the Green Economy: Culture, Politics and Economic Desire in Massachusetts,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Krause
BOONE W. SHEAR, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Making the Green Economy: Culture, Politics, and Economic Desire in Massachusetts,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth L. Krause. The fieldwork explored how groups of activists are imagining, responding to, and enacting the economy in relation to green economy discourse in Massachusetts. In particular, the project investigated economic subjectivity among green economy coalition members, focusing on the conditions under which both capitalist and non-capitalist desires and practices emerge. This engaged research project combined participant observation while working alongside activists and organizers, with semi-structured and informal interviews in order to better understand how different economic dispositions and desires emerge, are closed-off, or are enacted. The research revealed that interest in economic innovation, experimentation, and organizing around alternative economic projects -- what Gibson-Graham and others have described as 'non-capitalism' -- appears to be increasing among green coalition members. Though preliminary research suggests that discursive interventions can lead to new economic identities and desires, the research also shows that a politics of non-capitalist possibility might also be able to utilize capitalist and anti-capitalist desires in the construction of on-the-ground non-capitalist enterprises and relations. More broadly, this research intends to expand understandings around the complex relationship between structure, subjectivity, and agency.
Larratt-Smith, Whitney Jane, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Of Water and Life: An Ethnographic Intervention in the Alberta Oil Sands,' supervised by Dr. Suzana Sawyer
Preliminary abstract: Through ethnographic fieldwork in Northern Alberta, this research examines the emergent forms and meanings of water among a diversity of actors, human and non-human, enrolled in the effects the Canadian oil sands industry. In particular, I investigate the relations informing First Nation's claims that water is more than what the State calls a natural resource, that it is a sacred, living being 'losing its soul' through industrial upgrading processes. As a crucial element for the oil sand upgrading process and an integral entity in ancestral lifeways in Fort Chipewyan, water is currently a medium through which scientific and non-scientific practices create different domains of articulation for enacting the harmful and/or benign impacts of industry. In this context, water is not a singular, pre-existing entity, its being is performed by diverse actors with various capabilities (Latour 1993, Law 2002). This research first asks: What is water across an array of techno-scientific and ancestral practices? What are its capacities, roles, and potentials, and how is it apprehended? Second, how is water related to the making of life in these heterogeneous practices? My points of entry to answer these questions in the Athabasca delta are threefold. By accompanying Fort Chipewyan hunters and fisherman, independent academic scientists, and government water quality monitoring researchers, I engage these actors as they enact the various capacities of water in its multiple emergences- tracing its roles in the making, refusing, and constraining of particular forms of life, illness and death for human and nonhuman beings. In particular, I ask how First Nation's practices to make life- some of whic