Loscalzo Palmquist, Dr. Aunchalee Elaine, Elon U., Elon, NC - To aid research on 'Taking Milk from Strangers: An Anthropological Investigation of Breast Milk Sharing in the U.S. and Beyond'
Preliminary abstract: This project is an anthropological investigation of Internet breast milk sharing in the U.S. 'Milk sharing' is a 21st century permutation of wet nursing -- a longstanding communal infant feeding practice in which a mother nourishes another mother's baby at her own breast. Today, mothers (and others) who desire to feed their babies human breast milk, but are unable to produce it themselves, can turn to online milk sharing groups. Unlike donor milk available through milk banks, breast milk acquired over the Internet does not require a doctor's prescription, medical eligibility, or even money; it flows freely between donors and recipients. At the same time, breast milk procured via the Internet is not screened for disease in any standard way and is not pasteurized. Health authorities have issued formal statements warning against milk sharing due to risk of infectious diseases. Such warnings have done little to slow the growth of Internet milk sharing worldwide. The overarching goal of the proposed inquiry is to (a) investigate the ways biocultural, structural, and technological factors converge to inspire the altruistic movement of breast milk across spatial, social, and corporeal boundaries, and (b) ground the investigation in ethnographic research on the daily experiences, personal accounts, and corporealities of mothers and babies. The research will be accomplished through a multi-sited, mixed methods apprpoach.This study will be the first to investigate this new and controversial form of infant feeding using an in-depth ethnographic approach.
Goldberg, Harmony, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Making of the Service Working Classes: Multi-National Worker Organizing in New York's Low-Wage Service Industries,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
HARMONY GOLDBERG, then a student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Making of the Service Working Classes: Multi-National Worker Organizing in New York's Low-Wage Service Industries,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. The grantee conducted a twelve-month ethnographic study of the work of Domestic Workers United (DWU), a grassroots organization of Caribbean and Latina nannies, housecleaners, and elderly care providers in New York City. In 2010, Domestic Workers United won a historic legislative victory in New York State, which ended the longstanding exclusion of domestic workers from labor rights and employment protections. However, the highly decentralized, informal, and privatized nature of the domestic work industry made it difficult to enforce these new-won rights in a substantive way. This study followed DWU's work in the year after the Bill of Rights victory, tracing the organizing methodologies that the organization developed in order to enforce these new-won rights and to win more substantive gains in the lives of domestic workers in New York City. Challenging the historic assertion that the domestic work industry is 'unorganizable,' this study will suggest that not only is it possible to effectively organize domestic workers but that the political methodologies that they are developing suggest the directions in which the broader workers movement in the United States needs to transform if it is to remain relevant to contemporary workers.
Berg, Ulla D., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mediating Home and Community: Peruvian Migration and Communicative Practices in Paterson, Miami and Huancayo,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie
ULLA DALUM BERG, while a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in November 2003 to aid ethnographic research on the role of communicative practices in the context of contemporary Peruvian migration to the U.S., under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Abercrombie. Research -- conducted in highland Peru and in three U.S. locations from March 2004 through September 2005 -- examined the role of communicative practices in shaping the possibilities for social cohesion across great geographical distances and across legal and national boundaries. By comparing older communicative practices characteristic of Andean life, such as festive performances with newer ones -- including internet communication, phone calls, circulating photographs and videos -- the grantee analyzed how Peruvian migrants in the U.S. and their family members in highland Peru engage in transnational communication allowing for long-distance maintenance and reproduction of social ties. While the proliferation of digital technologies have enabled easy flows of information across the globe and between social contexts -- what globalization scholars have referred to as 'time-space compression' -- the technologies and the forms of communication they enable have differentially impacted and at times further divided the migrants abroad from those who stay behind. Thus the transnational social field produced by such 'time-space compression' is a highly uneven and segmented social space. Navigating this space is crucial for migrants' 'success' in claiming membership across social contexts and for their ability to produce multiple and complex forms of subjectivity, including cosmopolitanism, which has been historically denied to rural and indigenous people in Peru.
Berg, Ulla D.2010. El Quinto Suyo: Contemporary Nation Building and the Polticial Economy of Emigration in Peru. Latin American Perspectives 37(5):121-137.
Statzel, Rebecca Sophie, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Paths to Godliness: The Political Ethics of Intimacy in Contemporary American Evangelicalism,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
REBECCA SOPHIE STATZEL, 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 'Paths to Godliness: The Political Ethics of Intimacy in Contemporary American Evangelicalism,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. Why did the predominantly evangelical conservative movement that formed in the 1970s in the United States focus on the family instead of around other forms of Biblical values such as moral obligations to the poor? This dissertation answers this question through an historical and ethnographic study of the rise of the religious right. Through fourteen months of ethnographic research on evangelical church-based small groups in Colorado Springs and archival research on the emergence of the religious right, this dissertation argues that this rise in a politics of the family is: 1) informed by a gendered ethics of intimacy in evangelical Christianity; 2) this gendered ethics is a product of the suburban and racially segregated context the evangelical sub-culture was formed in; 3) the language of 'faith, family, and freedom' tie evangelical ethical life to a nationalist narrative that frames the possibility of individual freedom as dependent on a morally self-regulating populace.
Mellquist Lehto, Heather Ashley, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Multisite Church Revolution: Church Technology in South Korea and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
Preliminary abstract: A multisite church is a single church that meets at multiple locations by recording the worship service in one sanctuary and broadcasting it to congregations of 'satellite' churches. This typically involves a combination of audio, video, and hologram technologies. My dissertation research explores technology in religious practice through examining transnational multisite churches and the media technologies that both enable and guide their development. With the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, I will conduct fieldwork at the Onnuri and Yoido Full Gospel church sites in Los Angeles, California as a necessary complement to the fieldwork I have conducted at the Seoul, South Korea sites of these churches. This will permit me to conduct research not only across church locations, but national and social boundaries, and providing comparative data that is central to addressing my research hypotheses about the relationship between particular material surroundings and the theological ideals of these communities. This research will not only add to sparse academic literature on Korean Christianity, but also to literature on embodied practice and materiality. It will also contribute to ongoing conversations in anthropology of religion and secularism, science and technology studies, and the anthropology of global phenomena.
Hare, Elizabeth Maree, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Haunting the Future: Tracing the Production of Climate Forecast Models,' supervised by Dr. Andrew S. Mathews
ELIZABETH M. HARE, then a graduate student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, was awarded funds in April 2014 to aid research on 'Haunting the Future: Tracing the Production of Climate Forecast Models,' supervised by Dr. Andrew S. Mathews. This dissertation research was based on over a year of ethnographic fieldwork completed between 2012 and 2015. More than ten months of that time was supported by Wenner-Gren funding. The project investigates how the long-term environmental histories that are at the core of conservation policy and land management decisions are constructed and narrated by paleoecologists and conservationists. Research was conducted among a group of paleoecologists and ecological modelers who were working to develop an ecological forecast model that uses data from the deep past in order to understand how ecosystems will respond to global climate change, as well as conservationists who are working on environmental protection issues in northwest Indiana. This dissertation shows how claims to history are both material and imaginative, and argues that the two groups shared many common beliefs and practices but access the landscape through different scales of temporality. The differing epistemologies for the claims made by these two groups produce different ethical imperatives for conservation and future-oriented land management practices.
Burton, Orisanmi, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Taller Than the Wall: The Politics of Knowledge Production in New York State Prisons,' supervised by Dr. Charles Price
Preliminary abstract: Based in New York State, this research examines how incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people draw on their experiences of imprisonment to create knowledge about prisons, race, and social justice in the United States (U.S.). It will ethnographically explore the proposals and knowledge practices of the Green Haven Think Tank, the Center For NuLeadership, and the Black Consciousness Coalition, three interconnected organizations staffed by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated black men and women. In doing so, this project seeks to identify and analyze the ways in which this form of activist knowledge production has influenced incarceration discourse and policy. Since the 1970s, punitive policing and sentencing policies in the U.S. have led to 'mass incarceration.' Today, the U.S. outpaces all other countries in both its rate of incarceration and the rate at which it incarcerates its racial minorities. Although in recent years, public debate about these troubling facts has increased, the perspectives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people have been 'crowded out' by those of traditional scholars and experts. By examining the proposals and knowledge practices of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people as they attempt to impact prison policy, this research seeks not only to elaborate an alternative tradition of prison-based scholarship, but also to contribute to ongoing public debates about incarceration.
Weiner, Talia Rose, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Home of the Blues: The Political Economy of Mood Disorder Self-management in 21st Century Chicago,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Cole
TALIA WEINER, then a graduate student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in October 2013 to aid research on 'Home of the Blues: The Political Economy of Mood Disorder Self-Management in 21st Century Chicago,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Cole. Through sixteen months of multi-sited clinical ethnographic fieldwork, this project explores the ways in which psychotherapeutic treatments for the 'self-management' of mood disorders are shaped by the socioeconomic context in which the treatments occur. By comparing therapeutic discourses, practices, and experiences in an institute catering to middle-class patients, two community mental health agencies serving working-class clients, and a 'Mental Health Movement' comprising very low-income consumers who lost their public mental health services due to city budget cuts, this research demonstrates that mood disorder self-management is not, as it is generally regarded, a unitary, politically neutral, or universally empowering technology. Rather, socioeconomically marginalized clients often receive self-management treatments that demand an impossibly high degree of autonomous self-control, whereas middle-class patients are offered a model of self-management that incorporates ongoing relational support and allows the diagnosed individual to distribute responsibility across various actors. As such, this project argues that self-management therapies encode and reproduce problematic American ideologies by subtly communicating that certain classes of citizens have the right to depend on external support while others must take full responsibility for themselves. Given that mood disorders in the US are consistently found to have the highest prevalence and persistence among adults of lower socioeconomic status, psychotherapeutic self-management treatments may be causing inadvertent harm to the very individuals who are at greatest risk for these mental illnesses.
Noveck, Daniel B., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Musical Models of Ethnic Space: Raramuri Indian Fiddling in Chihuahua, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Claudio Lomnitz
DANIEL B. NOVECK, while a student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2001 to aid research on musical models of ethnic space among Rarámuri Indians in Chihuahua, Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Claudio Lomnitz. Noveck examined Rarámuri musical practice in the communities of Munerachi and Coyachique, in the area of Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico. He focused on the ways in which music articulated local and regional constructions of race, place, and ethnicity and found that music played a critical role in framing relations between local and regional idioms of difference. In local contexts, sound was a key medium for representing and experiencing social spaces. Musical forms also served as a kind of deictics, mapping a wider regional space through the opposition of Pascol music, associated with the western part of the Sierra Tarahumara, and matachines music, which was played more exclusively in the eastern high plateau. Gatherings at regional centers used the localizing semiotics of music to project ethnic groupings at a regional level. Identity at the local level was construed largely in racial terms, although the drug business, tourism, and the commodification and dissemination of indigenous culture as promoted by the state had led to a privileging of 'the ethnic' over the local vernacular of race. By attending fiestas in regional centers such as Sisoguichi and Guachochi, which united people from various parts of the sierra, Rarámuris developed a kind of 'collective symbolic value' with which they attempted to mitigate the effects of the racist domination they experienced at home in the sierra.
Hundley, James Marlow, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Resistance and Accommodation: The Effects of Securitization on Coast Salish Politics, Governance, and Sovereignty,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: National and international relations transformed globally following September 11, 2001. This is most visible at international borders including 'the longest undefended border' between Canada and the United States. New ways of securing the border entail new policies of securitization. This ethnographic research project documents the effects of securitization on the Coast Salish First Nations in the Washington State/British Columbia borderlands. I chronicle their strategies and tactics for resisting, accommodating, and challenging state power in their everyday lives and at larger levels of political organization. Through ethnographic research I trace changes to Coast Salish behaviors and ideologies and how they articulate with continued and differentially experienced security policies at the border. What this entails are changes to Coast Salish political organization, formal and informal governance mechanisms, and tribal sovereignty. There are implications not only for the Coast Salish but for indigenous peoples across the United States, North America, and around the globe.