Voorhees, Hannah Huber, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Co-Management of Alaskan Marine Mammals: Dilemmas of Indigenous Legitimacy in the Age of Environmental Risk,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna
HANNAH H. VOORHEES, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Co-Management of Alaskan Marine Mammals: Dilemmas of Indigenous Legitimacy in the Age of Environmental Risk,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. This dissertation research focuses on collaborations between Alaska Native subsistence hunters and governmental biologists conducting marine mammal research in the Bering Strait region amidst accelerating loss of arctic sea ice. The mandates of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act have increased scientific demand for information about the changing Arctic environment. Biologists seek the knowledge, skills, and cooperation of Inupiat and Siberian Yupiit hunters, who are uniquely skilled at locating, capturing, and tagging animals traditionally harvested for subsistence. These skills, along with Traditional Ecological Knowledge and community support, have become valuable resources in a new Arctic 'economy of loss.' Environmental monitoring is a valuable asset, and increasingly, a subjective mode of being on the land (and sea) for Alaska Natives. Yet hunters, scientists, and bureaucrats continue to negotiate a 'fair price' for indigenous contributions, in both economic and, political terms.
Morgen, Dr. Sandra L., University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Producing and Contesting Consent: The Cultural Politics of Taxes and the Imagined Neoliberal State'
DR. SANDRA L. MORGEN., University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, received a grant in April 2007, to aid research on 'Producing and Contesting Consent: The Cultural Politics of Taxes and the Imagined Neoliberal State'Examining the cultural politics of taxes sheds light on how U.S. citizens understand and differently value the State -- i.e., the institutions, policies, and people that constitute 'government.' This research focused on tax politics 'on the ground' in Pennsylvania and Oregon, using the tools of participant-observation, qualitative interviews, and analysis of documents developed by 'anti-tax' or 'tax fairness' groups. The researchers studied tax-related ballot initiative campaigns in Oregon (2006-2010), local 'property tax relief' elections in Pennsylvania in 2007, and the activities of the Tea Party movement in Oregon in 2009. Analysis of these campaigns reveals how competing ideologies of the State are represented in and produced by public contestations over tax policy. The research suggests that the process of 'deKeynesianization' -- the neoliberal political project of challenging the Keynesian welfare state and winning the consent of the public for neoliberalization in the forms of scaling back safety-net programs, creating a leaner, 'corporatized' public sector, and expanding privatization -- has been effectively, but incompletely, produced by anti-tax organizations. However, 'tax fairness' ideologies, support for some government programs, and a continuing sense of social responsibility still mobilize voters, reflecting the deep political divisions about government that remain unsettled in U.S. political culture.
Haas, Bridget Marie, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Producing Subjects in the U.S. Political Asylum Process,' supervised by Dr. Janis H. Jenkins
BRIDGET MARIE HAAS, then a student at the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Producing Subjects in the U.S. Political Asylum Process,' supervised by Dr. Janis H. Jenkins. This research investigated the U.S. political asylum process, focusing on the experiences of Cameroonian asylum seekers in the urban Midwest. Recent changes in immigration law and policies have made the asylum process more challenging and asylum claimants often find themselves in protracted situations of uncertainty. The contemporary climate surrounding immigration has provided the grantee an important opportunity to ethnographically examine how discourses of human rights and trauma, on the one hand, and discourses of national security, on the other, come to be enacted on a local level and impact individual lives. Data collection included unstructured, open-ended interviews with asylum claimants; semi-structured interviews with staff members of a human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) that assists asylum seekers; semi-structured interviews with asylum officers and immigration attorneys; participant observation among asylum seekers within their daily lives; and observation in various institutional settings (immigration offices, immigration court). By collecting data in both institutional and social contexts, the grantee documented a) the discourses and practices that institutional bodies (NGO workers, immigration attorneys and officials) draw upon to render the asylum seeker a knowable subject, and b) asylum claimants' responses to institutionally produced identities and the salience of alternate identities and subjectivities.
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.
Ozden-Schilling, Thomas Charles, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Salvage Cartography: Mapping Futures for Devastated Landscapes in British Columbia,' supervised by Dr. Christine Walley
THOMAS C. OZDEN-SCHILLING, then a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on on 'Salvage Cartography: Mapping Futures for Devastated Landscapes in British Columbia,' supervised by Dr. Christine Walley. Throughout the resource peripheries of North America, institutional realignments caused by economic deregulation, land privatization, and the movement of experts out of large government bureaucracies and into private consultancies has altered the ways in which different publics understand their relationships with-and futures within-rural landscapes. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork conducted with these three separate groups engaged in 'resource' mapping and modeling in northwest British Columbia-exploration geologists, forestry scientists, and First Nations cultural heritage cartographers, the dissertation asks: What new professional and epistemic commitments are shaping the politics and subjectivities of these knowledge workers? How are these commitments shaping the idioms of inclusion and the modes of governance through which people understand their relationships with the landscapes they inhabit? These questions are taken up through the lens of a recent, climate-change environmental crisis: the loss of over half of British Columbia's pine trees to an ongoing epidemic of wood-boring mountain pine beetles. The dissertation seeks to use the experiences of individual mapmakers across three domains of practice to show how the Canadian government's uneven response to the epidemic has revealed changes in the way post-deregulation governing bodies use experts to mediate between citizens and the state.
Howes-Mischel, Rebecca Ella, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
REBECCA E. HOWES-MISCHEL, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received an award in May 2007 to aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Outlining the connections between rural Oaxaca and urban, southern California with research on a indigenous community that is simultaneously and intensely local and transnational, this dissertation analyzes the intimate and public domains of knowledge mobilized in the production of reproductive selves. Drawing together these micro and macro-level lenses, it offers a framework for analyzing the biomedical models that circulate within clinical, community, and transnational narratives-illustrating how the social valences of medical practice are integrated into the production of social actors across multiple contexts as they in turn are shaped by national and international discourses. Moving between hospital and community-based ethnography, this dissertation analyzes: 1) how subjects are produced through biomedical encounters (including subsequent talk generated about these encounters); 2) how populations (as ideational categories) are formed in the nexus of national health policies and women's bodily practices; and 3) how research might approach the practices of modern self-making across a transborder indigenous community. It looks at the 'spaces in-between,' where women create syncretic notions of personhood and incorporate 'traditional' practices into neoliberal health models. This project uses reproduction as a lens into larger projects of subjectification via complicated and value-laden frameworks for 'good' mothering at the individual, community and transnational level.
Callahan-Kapoor, Celina Elizabeth, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Reshaping Expert Knowledge and/in Everyday Life: Type-2 Diabetes in McAllen, Texas,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Wolf-Meyer
CELINA E. CALLAHAN-KAPOOR, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Reshaping Expert Knowledge and/in Everyday Life: Type-2 Diabetes in McAllen, Texas,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Wolf-Meyer. This project, based on fifteen months of ethnographic research, examined the social, economic, and political relationships surrounding diabetes in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, a U.S./Mexico borderlands region where diabetes has been diagnosed in 30-50 percent of the population. The grantee conducted interviews and participant observation with patients and their families, healthcare providers, and others, and analyzed the mediatization of diabetes in news, films, and educational pamphlets. Rather than situate diabetes as originally biological, this project historicizes the illness as a key node in the contemporary organization of sociopolitical and economic relationships based in capitalist ideologies of excess, abandonment, and desire. As such, this project argues that diabetes has multiple valences: it is a site for biomedical intervention, a complicated form of regional identification, and enacted in intimate forms of labor. These valences in turn produce and maintain diabetes-based publics embedded in longstanding socioeconomic and political segregation. The grantee argues that these publics are maintained through the ritualized, day-to-day cultivation of certain bodies as diabetic and spatially and temporally chaotic; others as diabetic and 'well-controlled;' and others as educated, different, and elite. Thus, rather than forming one public joined in conversation about diabetes, the research found the formation of multiple diabetes-based publics.
Robertson, Dr. Leslie A., U. of Windsor, ON, Canada - To aid research on 'Standing Up for Ga'axtalas' Communal Memory and Colonial History in Alert Bay'
DR. LESLIE A. ROBERTSON, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, was awarded funding in February 2005 to aid research on 'Standing Up for Ga'axtalas' Communal Memory and Colonial History in Alert Bay.' At the invitation of Namgis First Nation members, the researcher conducted a collaborative, inter-generational life story project on a high status Kwakwaka'wakw woman, Ga'axtalas /Jane Cook (1869 -1951). Her story intersects with critical moments in the administration of colonial affairs in Canada surrounding the suppression of aboriginal institutions, with important junctures in early Indigenous activism on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, and with the establishment of Boasian anthropology. Revisiting Jane Cook's story revealed rich historiographies complicating ideas about indigenous memory. The project documented on-going community dialogues about the Kwakwaka'wakw tradition of potlatching; discussions about problems involved in reconciling hybrid / colonial social identities across generations, and consideration of the social legacies of anthropological (and other scholarly) inscriptions. A culture-specific collaborative model for cross-cultural research and interpretation was generated throughout the research.
Arumugam Karunithy, Jeyanithe, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Violence, Trauma, and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer
JEYANITHE A. KARUNANITHY, then a student at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, received a grant in December 2008 to aid research on 'Violence, Trauma and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer Tamil refugees have spread to all corners of the world as a result of the three decades of civil war and political violence, exacerbated by a 1983 pogrom in Sri Lanka. Tamil refugee claimants have been experiencing tightened immigration control since 9/11, as they hope to find 'refuge' in Canada, their preferred destination. Under the circumstances of refugee and asylum dilemma, this study is designed to explore the paradox of institutional practices of state, refugee law and psychiatric practices (e.g., the discourse and diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), by focusing on its impact upon the process of transformation of personhood. The fieldwork was conducted in the Tamil neighborhoods in Toronto, involving forty in-depth interviews with a group of refugee claimants of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. The data collected on the claimants' experiences of Canadian asylum and strategies of their identity (re)construction will be used to analyze the politics of recollection (memory), interpretation and narrations of the event by using the oral-histories as narrated by asylum-seekers themselves. In other words, the detailed narratives of refugee claimants (which are difficult to narrate and sometimes violate cultural norms), will be analyzed to understand the ways in which the state's practices -- marked by heavy 'bureaucratization' and 'medicalization' -- trigger suffering of refugees who are at the social margins created by the conditions of 'illegality' and 'deportability.'
Cruz-Torres, Dr. Maria Luz, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid engaged activities on 'The Shrimp Traders: Working Women in Southern Sinaloa, Mexico,' 2013, Southern Sinaloa, Mexico
DR. MARIA L. CRUZ-TORRES, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded an Engaged Anthropology Grant in August 2012 to aid 'The Shrimp Traders: Working Women in Southern Sinaloa, Mexico.' This project makes available the results from previous research on women shrimp traders in southern Sinaloa to the general public, and ensures that the women's voices are central in this process. The shrimp traders and grantee agreed that writing and publishing a book in Spanish with their testimonies would provide the venue for people to grasp their realities and lived experiences, and to hear their voices for the first time. Life histories collected during previous research serve as the basis for women's oral testimonies. Following the transcription of the testimonies, women then proceeded to edit them and to select their photographs, as part of the engagement process. The book, entitled Voices in Time: The Life and Work of Women Shrimp Traders in Southern Sinaloa, focuses on the challenges and struggles women shrimp traders face in order to pursue their livelihoods. It contributes to a better interpretation of the manner in which women's roles as workers, mothers, and wives are intertwined, and how they negotiate these on a daily basis. The book also seeks to bridge the gap between academic discourse and community understandings of the role and responsibility of the anthropologist towards the people she works with.