Montoya, Teresa, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Differential Sovereignties: An Anthropology of Navajo Futures,' supervised by Dr. Fred Myers
Preliminary abstract: This dissertation is an ethnographic exploration of the existential dilemmas of everyday life on the Navajo Nation as they play out across two distinct modes of 'relatedness.' Specifically, my research examines the continuities and tensions between 'political sovereignty' and the Navajo cultural ideal of 'K'e' that inform community building efforts in two Navajo communities: Pine Springs and Nahata Dziil. By investigating how both the central Navajo Nation government and local communities imagine and enact these values in projects of communal development, my work will explore a complex gradient of 'sovereignty'-- from individual desires to collective aspirations and ultimately the Navajo Nation's articulation with national and international projects of Indigeneity. What is at stake in these under-recognized community processes will advance our understanding--of Navajo and anthropologists alike--of theory and policy, politics and persons. More broadly, this work is intended to illuminate new developments in Indian Country around the increasingly polysemic and multifarious expressions of sovereignty in tribal and community politics--what I term, 'differential sovereignties.'
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.
Jordan, Michael Paul, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - To aid research on 'Descendants' Organizations and Cultural Heritage in Kiowa Society,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Charles Swan
MICHAEL P. JORDAN, then a student at University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Descendants' Organizations and Cultural Heritage in Kiowa Society,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Charles Swan. At the core of recent research on heritage and historical consciousness is the premise that interpretations and representations of the past must be understood as rooted in the contemporary moment. This study addressed the ways in which heritage and historical consciousness are implicated in the social dynamics of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma by focusing on formal descendants' organizations, groups organized by lineal descendants to commemorate their nineteenth-century ancestors. Research has focused upon identifying individuals' motivations for participating in descendants' organizations, documenting cultural performance events sponsored by descendants' organizations, and delineating the position of these organizations within the broader social network of indigenous organizations that sponsor cultural performance events in southwestern Oklahoma. In addition, the research has examined the ways in which contemporary Kiowa people employ intellectual property as a means of visibly asserting their ties to prominent nineteenth-century ancestors. Ultimately, research on Kiowa descendants' organizations has contributed to an understanding of the ways in which heritage and historical consciousness are produced, deployed, accessed, and contested in comparatively small, but culturally distinct social settings, providing a much-needed counterbalance to previous studies which have focused on their role in large-scale nationalist and separatist movements.
Galvez, Alyshia F., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'In the Name of Guadalupe: Religion, Politics and Citizenship among Mexicans in New York City,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie
ALYSHIA F. GALVEZ, while a student at New York University in New York, New York, received funding in September 2002 to aid research on religion, politics, and citizenship among Mexicans in New York City, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie. Galvez sought to determine the role of devotional organizations and faith-based association in the production of a Mexican community in New York City and to examine the ways in which faith in the Virgin of Guadalupe was the foundation for an articulation of rights by Mexican migrants. Through fieldwork in parish-based devotional organizations dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe and the city-wide Mexican migrants' organization, Asociación Tepeyac, Galvez studied the ways in which devotion contributed to the formation of an imagined migrant community and the articulation of a discourse of rights and dignity. Religion has commonly been assumed to be an arena of stasis, but Galvez found that, on the contrary, it was a vector of change, not only in modes of social organization but also in notions of personhood. It contributed to the production of an understanding of self and community with certain attendant rights, dignity, and privileges, even while members of the community lacked access to juridical categories of citizenship and, as undocumented persons, were virtually persona non grata in the U.S. nation-state. Her work contributes to understandings of religion in the transnational experience of migration.
Schmid, Mary Elizabeth. Wheeler, U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Global Farming Families of Southern Appalachia and the Mexican Bajio,' supervised by Dr. Ann E. Kingsolver
Preliminary abstract: This transregional project concentrates on a binational kin group and pays particular attention to gender and generation. Members of the extended family group together act as global farming families who own and operate small to midlevel agricultural enterprises in southern Appalachia and the Mexican Bajío, their region of origin. Members of binational extended families regularly negotiate social, economic and political borders within and across regions and in-so-doing reshape industries, cultural meanings and everyday realities. Contributing to our global agro-food system through various positions and locations, family members of this binational group specialize in the production and distribution of tomatoes in the foothills of southern Appalachia and basic grains in the foothills of the Bajío. This project asks: How do women and men of this binational kin group from the Guanajuato Bajío conceptualize and draw on 'family' relations and temporal-spatial strategies to organize agricultural enterprises in southern Appalachia? Research shows that agro-food corporations diversify production sites across state borders. Preliminary research shows that this binational family group also mediates globalized agro-food markets by collectively strategizing across borders and regions. By theorizing this group of workers as collective strategists, this study will counterconstruct stereotypes of Latinos' roles in southeastern US agriculture in focusing on a vertically integrated, kin group of allied migrant farming families. Their stories and strategies provide insights into how members of a kin-based group of agricultural producers navigate two distinct, yet interrelated, regional political economies in North America when owning and operating enterprises in the context of our global agro-food system.
Kim, Jaymelee Jane, U. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN - To aid research on 'Transitional Justice in a Non-Transitioning Society: Perceived Efficacy of Canada's Justice and Reconciliation Efforts,' supervised by Dr. Tricia Redeker-Hepner
JAYMELEE JANE KIM, then a graduate student at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, received a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Transitional Justice in a Non-Transitioning Society: Perceived Efficacy of Canada's Justice and Reconciliation Effort,' supervised by Dr. Tricia Redeker-Hepmer. From the 1840s-1996, Canadian Aboriginals suffered forced assimilation, sexual abuse, and physical abuse in government-sponsored and church-administrated boarding schools. The Canadian government began to actively address these crimes in 2006 with the negotiation of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. The agreement utilizes transitional justice tools (e.g. commemoration, monetary reparations, investigative truth and reconciliation commission, grave excavation) typically employed in countries undergoing a political regime change and a transition into democracy. Using transitional justice theory and based on data gathered primarily in the lower mainland of British Columbia, this research focuses on: 1) the similarities and differences in stakeholders' goals; 2) transitional justice's perceived efficacy; and 3) the relationship between past and current human rights grievances. Contributing to critical anthropological debate, this research investigates the sociopolitical factors that influence transitional justice in a non-transitioning society that operates with a legacy of institutionalized discrimination and colonization. Broadly, these findings can inform the applied work of transitional justice facilitators, including government officials, lawyers, and anthropologists.
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.
Fowler, Dr. Loretta, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - To aid research on 'Indigenous Movements Compared: Regionalism and American Indian Sovereignty'
DR. LORETTA FOWLER, of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, received funding in January 2004 to aid comparative research on American Indian sovereignty. The tribal sovereignty movement has taken hold in all High Plains communities, yet 'sovereignty' does not have the same meaning everywhere. Fowler's objective was to identify and account for the range of variation in the application of sovereignty rights to specific community problems and goals and in the ways tribally administered self-determination programs did or did not reflect cultural rights issues. She collected archival data on tribal income and budgets, legal codes and cases, and sovereignty discourses for 16 tribes. For all of them, 'sovereignty' was based on treaty guarantees that applied to a specific land base. Fowler learned that a general demand existed for the exercise of legal jurisdiction on land within the boundaries of the original reservation and for cultural independence, that is, the right to apply 'traditional' solutions to everyday problems and goals. The specific demands, the emphases, and the level of commitment to these goals varied according to the historical context in which the sovereignty movement developed. Sovereignty demands and level of commitment were found not to be directly related to tribal income but were related to the level of intracommunity conflict and the level of non-Indian on Indian violence. Moreover, the sovereignty movement was found to have generated a grassroots commitment to mitigating power differentials between tribal officials and constituents.
Fowler, Loretta, 2007. Tribal Sovereignty Movements Compared: The Plains Region. In Beyond Red Power: American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900. Cobb and Fowler, eds. School of Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Jung, Dr. Yuson, Wayne State U., Detroit, MI - To aid research on 'Just Food for Detroit: Groceries, Ethics, and Governance in the Resilient City'
Preliminary abstract: For the proposed study, 'Just Food for Detroit: Groceries, Ethics, and Governance in the Resilient City', Yuson Jung and Andrew Newman will investigate emergent forms of urban governance and the role of diverse social actors in articulating new ideals of 'alternative' political practices and ideologies in Detroit. In particular, this study examines competing moral claims and practices related to 'just' and 'ethical' food evoked by the first national chain grocery store to return to Detroit after a period of severe capital flight in the 2000s. The arrival of Whole Foods Market (known for high quality natural and organic foods), has become a lightning rod for divergent visions of urban governance for a city in the grips of fiscal crisis. It has also challenged assumptions about the needs of Detroiters whose landscape is often associated with 'urban food deserts.' Detroit is an ideal ethnographic site because it is host to a globally prominent alternative food movement which has re-appropriated the post-industrial landscape for urban agriculture and played an important role in the resilience of economically distressed neighborhoods. Alternative food movements, alongside corporate actors such as Whole Foods, play an increasingly significant material and moral role in governing the city, and in promoting self-governance among citizens. This proposed study will examine the cultural, political, and personal meanings of food provisioning and alternative food movements as an entry into fundamental tensions shaping inequality and urban governance. In doing so, the project will interrogate competing claims for dominance over the moral economy of contemporary cities. The research team will employ several qualitative research methods: ethnographic participant-observation, semi-structured interviews, life-history interviews, and textual analysis of archived media sources.
Janssen, Brandi Jo, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Producing Local Food and Local Knowledge: The Experience of Iowa Farmer,' supervised by Dr. Michael S. Chibnik
BRANDI JO JANSSEN, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Producing Local Food and Local Knowledge: The Experience of Iowa Farmers,' supervised by Dr. Michael S. Chibnik. The growing demand for local food can be seen in national increases in farmers markets attendance and Community Supported Agriculture memberships. The local food movement, often framed in terms of consumers, has implications for agricultural production in the US, particularly in states like Iowa with strong connections to large-scale, industrialized agriculture. Local food production is significantly different than most conventional, industrialized farming in that it requires producers to grow, market, and distribute a variety of products. Because producers of local food engage in different activities than conventional farmers, they also need different kinds of knowledge to be successful. This project examined how producers of local food in eastern Iowa use and apply the various sources of knowledge available to them. Iowa's long agricultural history contributes to many sources of agricultural knowledge including scientific based extension services, farming organizations, and historic family knowledge. Applying a variety of ethnographic methods, including in-depth interviews and participant observation, this project viewed the local food system in Iowa from the producers' perspective. In particular, this study examined the process of 'scaling-up' to meet larger, institutional markets, the challenges associated with obtaining adequate labor, and the relationships that local food farmers have with their industrial neighbors.