Obadia, Julienne Jeanne, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Shared Intimacy: Opening the Door of the American Bedroom,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin
JULIENNE J. OBADIA, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Shared Intimacy: Opening the Door of the American Bedroom,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin. This research explores how American notions of self, relationship, and family relate to the contemporary conceptualization and practice of polyamory, or honest non-monogamy. Findings point to three significant themes. First, frustrated by the monogamous mandate to have all needs and desires met by one person, polyamorous people find that intimacy with multiple people can satisfy a much wider range of needs and desires. Commonly, this entails an emphasis on self-analysis, self-knowledge, and self-compartmentalization based on the principle that relationships work best and are most satisfying when each partner knows him/herself and what he/she wants from each relationship. Second, to organize poly life and minimize surprises, contracts and agreements often designate in advance what kinds of relationships and intimacies are acceptable. Understood as a tool for both self-knowledge and relationship transparency, contracts are always transforming, encouraging while regulating modes of self-elaboration. Last, current polyamorous practice utilizes a concept of 'sexual orientation' associated primarily with homosexuality: a set of desires that one is born with and is unaffected by upbringing, choice, or culture. Consonant with a theory of personhood based on discovering and elaborating a core self, this orientation is described as having always existed as an essential part of oneself.
Hargrove, Melissa D., U. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN - To aid research on 'Reinventing the Plantation on Gullah-Contested Landscape: Gated Communities and Spatial Segregation in the Sea Islands,'supervised by Dr. Faye V. Harrison
MELISSA D. HARGROVE, while a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, received funding in May 2003 to aid research on gated communities as a means of spatial segregation-the new 'plantation'-in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, under the supervision of Faye V. Harrison. Hargrove conducted twelve months of ethnographic research in 2003-4 into the conflicts resulting from the divisive practice of mapping social inequality onto the power-mediated landscapes of gated communities. Her research methods included participant observation, convening focus groups of residents of both gated and Gullah (African American) communities, conducting formal and informal interviews with people on various sides of the dispute, and analyzing associated literature. Preliminary findings were that the gated community phenomenon represented, for Gullah people, the racialized oppression and exploitation associated with plantation slavery and that the term plantation served as a device of knowledge production in reinvented versions of Sea Island history. Hargrove identified dichotomous interpretations of plantation slavery, each equipped with rationalizations dependent on social and historical memory. She also found that the predicament of postcolonial recolonization was being met with grassroots mobilization by Gullahs against threats to the vital resource necessary for maintaining their cultural lifeway: their ancestral land inheritance. Unable to garner political and economic power at the local level, Gullah community leaders chose to respond by crafting a platform for self-determination in the global arena of human and minority rights.
Blanchette, Dr. Alexander, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid engaged activities on 'Porkopolis: A Visual Anatomy,' 2013, Great Plains.
DR. ALEXANDER BLANCHETTE, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant in February 2013 to aid 'Porkopolis: A Visual Anatomy.' This engaged anthropology project developed from dissertation research on the interspecies nature of industrial life in the American 'factory' farm. Beyond basic engagement activities such as contributing to local projects and discussing dissertation findings with key informants, especially those not from English-speaking backgrounds, the grantee worked in collaboration with a photographer and residents to produce a series of open-ended, large-scale images that depict human-animal relationships, the making of the modern pig in the workplace, cultural politics, and experience in a diverse rural region built around agricultural mass-production. Future phases of the ongoing project include presentation of an exhibit and talks in the host community, both to disseminate the research further and to elicit commentaries on the visual matter for inclusion in a series of urban-based public installations.
Randle, Sarah P., Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Building the Ecosystem City: Environmental Imaginaries and Spatial Politics in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
Preliminary abstract: How are residents of Los Angeles negotiating attempts to manage their city as a service-providing ecosystem -- and what do these processes suggest about the politics remaking urban space under conditions of increasing environmental uncertainty? This project investigates emergent efforts to capture, store, and reuse rain and wastewater in new ways within L.A.'s cityscape, in response to widespread concerns about impending climate change-induced water supply scarcity. Proponents frequently present these initiatives as pieces of a broader spatial transformation within the city, restoring historic watershed functions to the urban landscape. Embedded in these framings is a particular vision of L.A.'s urban ecology, one in which properly managed city space provides key ecosystem services (such as water supply augmentation) to its citizens. Through 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork with water agency personnel, environmental activists and non-profit workers, 'green' business owners and employees, and mobilized residents, I trace the social, political, and material lives of such rescripted urban landscapes and resources. Studying interventions at multiple scales -- in private homes, city streets and parks, and wastewater treatment plants -- I examine the effects of these material projects and spatial imaginaries on Angeleños' political subjectivities, alliances, and claimsmaking.
Jackson, Dr. Jason B., Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Native American Musical Performance and the Social Organization of Difference in Eastern Oklahoma'
DR. JASON BAIRD JACKSON, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received an award in June 2001 to aid archival and ethnographic field research on the role that social dance, musical performance, and cultural performances more generally, play in the network connecting the Woodland Indian communities of central and eastern Oklahoma into a regional system of exchange. This network, which is built upon practices of reciprocal inter-community visitation at ritual events, provides a framework within which practices and understandings of cultural similarity and difference are negotiated. The research produced an array of data from all the Woodland communities in Oklahoma. Findings are being used in two books currently being completed. The first is a regional study of communal ritual as a site for articulating and understanding local ideas about the past. The second is a book on social dance music examined in its local contexts, as well as in a comparative region-wide perspective. This research has drawn upon methods and theories from regional analysis, network studies, performance theory, and the disciplines of ethnomusicology, folkloristics, and cultural anthropology. The work offers a productive opportunity to reexamine longstanding issues in American Indian ethnology, social organization, ritual studies, and theories of culture and cultural circulation.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2002. Yuchi, pp. 386-389 in Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement (Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, and Ian Skoggard, eds.), Macmillan Reference: Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2003. The Opposite of Powwow: Ignoring and Incorporating the Intertribal War Dance
in the Oklahoma Stomp Dance Community. Plains Anthropologist 48(187):237-253.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2004. Recontextualizing Revitalization: Cosmology and Cultural Stability in the Adoption of Peyotism among the Yuchi, pp. 183-205, in Reassessing Revitalization Movements: Perspectives from North America and the Pacific Islands (Michael E. Harkin, ed.). University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2004. Introduction, pp. 5-16, to Ethnology of the Yuchi Indians (by Frank G. Speck). University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2004. Yuchi, pp. 415-428, in Handbook of North American Indians, (Raymond D.Fogelson, ed.), Vol. 14, Southeast. Smithsonian Institution: Washington DC.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2005. East Meets West: On Stomp Dance and Powwow Worlds, pp. 172-197 in Oklahomain Powwow (Clyde Ellis, Luke E. Lassiter, and Gary H. Dunham, eds.). University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln.
Jackson, Jason Baird. 2005. Yuchi Ceremonial Life: Performance, Meaning, and Tradition in a Contemporary American Indian Community. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, Nebraska, and London.
Jackson, Jason B., and Mary S. Linn. 2004. Yuchi Trickster Tales: Introduction, pp. 368-373, in Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of Native Literatures of North America (Brian Swann, ed.). University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln.
Jackson, Jason B., and Patricia Galloway. 2004. Natchez and Neighboring Groups, pp. 598-615 in Handbook of North
American Indians, (Raymond D. Fogelson, ed.), Vol. 14, Southeast. Smithsonian Institution: Washington DC.
Jackson, Jason B., and Greg Urban. 2004. Social Organization, pp. 697-706, in Handbook of North American Indians,
(Raymond D. Fogelson, ed.), Vol. 14, Southeast. Smithsonian Institution: Washington DC.
Jackson, Jason B., and Greg Urban. 2004. Mythology and Folklore, pp. 707-719, in Handbook of North American
Indians, (Ed. Raymond D. Fogelson), Vol. 14, Southeast. Smithsonian Institution: Washington DC.
Caple, Zachary Adam, U.of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'The Unmaking and Remaking of Central Florida's Phosphate Fertilizer Landscapes,' supervised by Dr. Anna Tsing
Preliminary abstract: This research studies the waste landscapes generated by the phosphate fertilizer industry in Central Florida. In this region, phosphate rock is mined and converted into fertilizer, and its waste outputs are disposed in the footprint of exhausted mines. Agricultural use of phosphate fertilizers in Florida, through runoff, has polluted aquatic ecosystems throughout the peninsula. In both mining and agricultural zones, scientists and managers are grappling with waste legacies and their impacts on other species through projects of reclamation and restoration. My work examines such projects in the situated contexts of Bone Valley (Florida's extensive phosphate region between Orlando and Tampa) and Lake Apopka (a large hypereutrophic lake undergoing restoration in west Orlando). My research is organized along three lines of inquiry that together might lead to new understandings of waste landscapes in a North American context: 1) cultural and environmental histories of industrial waste; 2) knowledge practices of waste-landscape scientists and managers; and 3) multispecies interactions as they relate to both waste impacts and managerial designs. At the intersection of these three components of study, I argue, landscape emerges as a revitalized object of study.
Saxton, Dr. Dvera, Northeastern University, Boston, MA - To aid engaged activities on 'Game Over: Educational Tools for Community Engagement on Toxics,' 2014, Pajaro Valley, California
Preliminary abstract: In my dissertation research with farmworkers in the Pájaro Valley, CA, I observed that pesticides, in combination with other layered vulnerabilities, contributing to devastating farmworker health problems that layer and evolve over time in farmworker bodies and communities. This project creates educational tools to engage Pájaro Valley residents and others about the health and ecological impacts of strawberry farming, synergizing community lay knowledge with environmental health science and the ethnographic and analytical insights developed in my dissertation. Games as a product of public anthropology and as visual tools and modes of play serve to counter the invisibility of toxic pesticides and farmworkers in food production. Project participants will create two strawberry and pesticide themed bilingual jigsaw puzzles that present these producer-centered experiences. This will facilitate their roles as agents of critique in challenging agribusiness-sponsored representations of pesticides as economically essential and as necessary for farmworker wellbeing. The game format also provides a constructive means of engaging the complex and serious issue of toxic pesticide exposure while aiming to mitigate the community's sense of dread and disempowerment at the multi-scalar challenges they face.
Kingfisher, Dr. Catherine, U. of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada - To aid research on 'Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Welfare Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Southern Alberta and Aotearoa/New Zealand'
DR. CATHERINE KINGFISHER, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada, was awarded funding in June 2003 to aid research on 'Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Welfare Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Southern Alberta and Aotearoa/New Zealand.' This research consisted of two field seasons in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the purpose of which was to gain insight into neoliberalism as a cultural system, processes of globalization, and shifting notions of personhood, gender, and gender roles, using welfare reform as an empirical referent. Participant observation, interviews, and focus groups were conducted with poor Pakeha (European/white), Maori, and Pacific Island single mothers; interviews and focus groups were conducted with staff in six social service agencies; and interviews were conducted with policy makers and analysts in four government ministries. These direct data were supplemented with key documents and texts. Central emergent themes of the research concern the uneven retraction from welfare policies emphasizing self-sufficient individuality to the neglect of mothering as legitimate work. While the importance of family and mothering is explicitly promoted, there remains a simultaneous, unspoken emphasis on individual autonomy as expressed through paid work. Adherence to this unspoken individualism was shared unevenly among the research participants, with specific divisions along ethnic lines. The relative valorization of motherhood among poor women, moreover, was accompanied by a devalorization of dependence on men versus the state. Current cultural formations reflect a confluence of neoliberalsim with other cultural formations, particularly feminist, Maori, and Pacific Island discourses of personhood, dependence, and independence.
Dahlberg, Britt, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Legibility of Suffering and Risk: The Making of Objects of Scientific Investigation and Community Action,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna
Preliminary abstract: In the context of environmental health risks, decisions about how to measure risks and health effects, which actions to take to reduce future risk, and who is responsible for addressing effects of past exposure, involve complex negotiation across differing notions of evidence, knowledge, and ethical responsibility. In this project, I explore the ways that individuals gather evidence, communicate claims, and otherwise attempt to make their forms of suffering palpable to others. I seek to explore how certain forms of social and physical suffering are made recognizable or invisible across lines of social difference. To do so, I trace the ways residents, government officials, and scientists working in a participatory science project about environmental risk, each work to produce and communicate knowledge about the forms of suffering they wish to publicly express. My exploration of how knowledge of risk is built about a particular place, and how competing factions of residents attempt to narrate their own accounts of the primary forms of suffering which need to be addressed, will shed light on the role of environmental risk assessment in place-making and forming communities; the politics of inclusion and exclusion in post-industrial community development mediated through the use and practice of science; and the experience of 'risk' as a kind of diagnosable disease, both for individuals and communities.
Smith, Carolyn, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Weaving pikyav(to-fix-it): Karuk Basket Weaving Practice in-Relation to the Everyday World,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary Joyce
Preliminary abstract: This project requests funding to research archival resources and museum collections pertaining to the Karuk Tribe of California's basket weaving practices, as well as to conduct interviews with Karuk basket weavers, descendants of weavers, and employees of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources. Anthropology has long engaged with Native American craftworks and this project will build on prior work by considering the configurations of social identity produced through practice in everyday life. Data produced will address questions regarding historical and contemporary relations between people and land: how do Karuk basket makers constitute social identity through the making and circulation of baskets? In what ways do these practices support the formation of connection to place? How does recontextualization of museum collections through linking objects with archival resources help us understand how objects can constitute social identities? In order to examine the relations of basket weaving with the broader issues of traditional ecological knowledge and its relation to natural resource management; the circulation of objects within and outside source communities; and the implications of considering objects as agentive; this project explores Karuk epistemology and ontology. The research will significantly contribute to museum anthropology, theories of materiality, and engagements with indigenous methodologies.