Dewey, Dr. Susan Catherine, U. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY - To aid research on 'Feeding Fiji: Ethnicity and the Feminized Labor of Market Trade in the Suva and Labasa Municipal Markets'
Preliminary abstract: Markets, whether centrally organized by a government body or ad hoc in nature, provide a critical source of income generation for women throughout the Pacific Island region. Markets are one of the few places in Fiji where social interaction between individuals from different ethnic groups is both normal and expected, and interethnic alliances among indigenous Fijian, Indo-Fijian and Chinese traders constitute a critical aspect of their work. This is particularly significant in Fiji, where ethnicity is routinely employed in struggles for political power and has played a role in all four of the country's coups. The central question the proposed research will address is: how do capitalist markets create, reinforce, and subvert ethnic differences and accompanying political rhetoric, and what role does the feminized labor of market trade play in these complex processes? Subquestions include:  what are the characteristics of social networks constructed by Fiji's women market traders as part of their individual socioeconomic survival strategies?  how do Indo-Fijian women traders, who are both legally and customarily excluded from owning the vast majority of land in Fiji, create ties with wholesalers, landowners, and other traders, to ensure a regular supply of produce?  in the remote and homogenously indigenous Fijian islands of Koro and Kadavu, how do rural women describe their relationships with the Indo-Fijian and Chinese market traders and wholesalers they supply?  what can the example of Fiji, with its fraught political legacy of four coups in less than twenty years, reveal about the roles played by women market traders in fostering interethnic social networks? The research will comprise two phases carried out primarily in Suva and Labasa, for a total of six months of work, and will involve semi-structured interviews, participant observation, life histories, and social mapping.
Kensinger, Steven A., U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'The Maori City: Disaster Capitalism, Tribal Identity, and Earthquake Reconstruction in Christchurch, New Zealand,' supervised by Dr. David Lipset
Preliminary abstract: This project is an ethnographic study of the post-earthquake reconstruction of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island was struck by a series of devastating earthquakes between September of 2010 and June of 2011. More than 100,000 homes were damaged and 60% of businesses in the central city were displaced as a result of the earthquake. The recovery plan developed by the New Zealand government named Ngai Tahu, the largest Maori tribe in the South Island, as a 'strategic partner' in the reconstruction of the city. This project asks how the recognition of Ngai Tahu by the state as a stakeholder in the reconstruction of the city is transforming the meaning of Ngai Tahu identity in contemporary Christchurch. I will investigate how the earthquake recovery offers a way for Maori to enact their sovereignty through their recognition as a strategic partner, while also having dramatic impacts on the reproduction of Maori social organization and processes of ethnic identity formation.
O'Brien, Aoife Sara, U. of East Anglia, Norfolk, UK - To aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper
AOIFE O'BRIEN, then a student at University of East Anglia, Norfolk, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Colonial Collections, Indigenous Experiences: Exploring Social Transformations in the Solomon Islands through Museum Collections, 1896-1914,' supervised by Dr. Steven J. P. Hooper. This research project examines the museum collections of Charles Morris Woodford (1852-1927), an amateur naturalist and first Resident Commissioner to the Solomons, and Arthur Mahaffy (1869-1919), the first District Officer of the region. It examines how, following the establishment of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) in 1893, transformations occurred in Solomons cultural traditions and society, transformations that are visible in the material culture record. Object analysis (conceived widely to include ethnographic artefacts, texts, and photographs) can elucidate the micro-histories, particularly muted indigenous experiences, embodied in museum collections. Research was undertaken at several institutions in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji to examine archive material and museum collections associated with Woodford, Mahaffy, and the BSIP. This research has assisted in gaining a fuller understanding of both men's positions in the Solomons and the extent of networks of collecting and cross-cultural interactions in which objects were gathered. Information obtained from each institution granted further insights into the nature of encounters and exchanges between Europeans and Solomon Islanders during the formative years of the BSIP, and has complemented and enriched the research already completed in the UK and Ireland.
Van Meijl, Dr. Toon, Radboud U., Nijmegen, The Netherlands - To aid conference of European Society for Oceanists (ESFO) on 'Europe and the Pacific,' 2015, Brussels, Belgium, in collaboration with Dr. Anke Tonnaer
Preliminary abstract: The 10th conference of the European Society for Oceanists will focus on the increasing call from the Pacific for a new kind of relation with Europe. At previous ESfO conferences, many academics from the region have expressed a desire for European scholars to acknowledge the obligations activated by their relations in Oceania, and to exchange the results of their research into knowledge that is useful for the Pacific. European scholars who are doing research in the Pacific received a similar call from some governments and also from representatives of the European Union to make their expert knowledge more available for policy-makers in order to improve connections between Europe and the Pacific. This conference aims at creating an opportunity for new kinds of relations between Europe and the Pacific. Current European engagements in the Pacific are taking place especially through connections in trade relations, sustainable development programmes, tourism, humanitarian aid, legal-political relations, new migration patterns, and concerns about the impacts of global climate change. In some respects, however, European connections to the Oceanic region relate uncomfortably to the aspirations and ambitions of Pacific peoples themselves, who wish to engage with peoples of other regions on their own social and cultural terms, and on the basis of their own economic and political interests. Indeed, Pacific Islanders increasingly demand to define priorities in their connections with Europe from their own perspective. These calls from the Pacific for a new kind of relationship with Europe -- in whatever shape or form Europe may be perceived as a region -- require further reflection. Intense dialogues between the Pacific and European perspectives are envisaged, in which exchanges of knowledge and processes of mediation will spark a necessary rethinking of historical, contemporary and future connections between Europe and the Pacific.
Di Rosa, Dario, Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Remembering the Colonial Past: Histories and Historicities of Kerewo People (Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea),' supervised by Dr. Christopher Hugh Lewis Ballard
Preliminary abstract: Blending archival research and ethnographic fieldwork, the present project explores what role knowledge of the colonial past plays in understanding 'modernity' among Kerewo people of Papua New Guinea. When the missionary James Chalmers was killed in a Kerewo village in 1901, the colonial government intervened with three subsequent punitive expeditions. Shortly after, Kerewo people were incorporated in the colonial state and under the mission influence, leading to the suppression of head-hunting and their incorporation into an unstable labour market. Memories of these experiences, read through the lens of indigenous epistemology, today form a means of understanding present relations with global forces such as Christianity, capitalist development and the nation-state. Through an ethnography of historical consciousness and the micro-politics of remembering, I intend to contribute to contemporary debates about notions of 'historicity' on one side, and 'modernity' on the other, paying attention to the role played by history in everyday life as a source for understanding relations which shape individual agency in the present/future.
O'Reilly, Jessica, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Policy and Practice in Antarctic Specially Managed Areas,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
JESSICA O'REILLY, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in October 2005 to aid research on 'Policy and Practice in Antarctic Specially Managed Areas,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles. What are the practices -- discursive or otherwise -- through which scientists and other Antarctic community members succeed at making Antarctica a model of environmentalism as well as a place of 'peace and science'? Research activities involved twelve months of fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand, working with an Antarctic scientific research expedition, observing conferences, meetings, and workshops, and conducting ethnographic interviews. This project is based upon an analysis of the relationships between scientists and policy makers at the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA). However, the people involved in the Dry Valleys ASMA are also intensely involved in other emerging Antarctic environmental issues. Therefore, this project examines articulations of policy and practice not only in ASMA management plans and implementation, but also in the histories of Antarctic environmental practices, competing strategies about non-native species in the Antarctic, and the ways in which Antarctic experts engage with non-experts over the science and politics of climate change. The resulting dissertation will analyze the ways in which Antarctic science and policy complicate each other and the ways in which scientists, policy makers, Antarctic lifeforms and object, data, and paperwork are arranged to influence environmental management on the continent.
West, Dr. Paige C., Barnard College, New York, NY- To aid research on 'From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: Tracing the Commodity Ecumene for Papua New Guinean Coffee'
DR. PAIGE WEST, Barnard College, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2005 to aid research on 'From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: Tracing the Commodity Ecumene for Papua New Guinean Coffee.' This project examined the meaning and value attributed to coffee along its commodity chain from production in rural Papua New Guinea (PNG), distribution from Urban Papua New Guinea, and marketing and consumption in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Through interviews with producers, distributors, traders, marketers, roasters, coffee shop owners, and consumers the project showed how coffee from PNG goes from meaning 'we are developed,' to 'this bean is the same as a bean from Kenya,' to 'this product was grown by primitive peoples in pristine settings.' These meanings work to create certain ways of valuing the coffee. This project also examines the hierarchies of value that surround the coffee along its commodity trajectory.
Lempert, William David, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Broadcasting Indigeneity: The Social Life of Aboriginal Media,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Shannon
Preliminary abstract: In the opening months of 2013, the first national 24-hour Indigenous Australian television networks were launched, representing two distinct sensibilities of Aboriginal media aesthetics and economics--grassroots community vs. polished professiona