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'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.
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.
Paini, Dr. Anna Maria, U. of Verona, Italy - To aid conference of the European Society for Oceanists on 'Putting People First: Intercultural Dialogue and Imagining the Future in Oceania,' 2008, Verona, in collaboration with Dr. Elisabetta Gnecchi Ruscone
''Putting People First': Intercultural Dialogue and Imagining the Future in Oceania: Seventh ESfO (European Society for Oceanists) Conference'
July 10-12, 2008, Universitá degli Studi di Verona, Verona, Italy
Organizers: Anna Paini (Universitá delgi Studi di Verona) and Elisabetta Gnecchi Ruscone (Universitá Milano Bicocca)
Among the goals of this conference (organized by ESfO and the Università degli Studi di Verona) were: 1) to critically reassess the aspirations expressed in the 1993 'Putting People First' Suva Declaration on Sustainable Development, to examine contemporary Pacific ways of facing controversies and contradictions of our time; 2) to provide a venue for Oceanist scholarship in Europe, bringing together (for the first time in Italy) international scholars to debate contemporary theoretical issues relevant to Oceania and beyond; 3) to create occasions for Pacific scholars to engage a wider audience; 4) to promote scholarly dialogue between 'francophone' and 'anglophone' regions; 5) to foster relations between scholars and institutions with an interest in Oceania. Over 200 speakers participated in the plenary and in the 13 parallel sessions. A new format for ESfO conferences -- the roundtable ''Putting People First': Fifteen Years On' -- was organized as a plenary session to ensure greater visibility to Pacific Island speakers, resulting in a successful and stimulating event. Following ESfO tradition, the book of abstracts was distributed to all participants, and four edited volumes are being considered for publication.
Widmer, Alexandra E., York U., Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Constituting 'Mental Health' in Vanuatu: Subjectivity, Knowledge and Development in a Pacific Post-Colonial Context,' supervised by Dr. Margaret C. Rodman
ALEXANDRA WIDMER, while a student at York University in Toronto, Canada, received funding in March 2003 to aid research on the constitution of health and subjectivity in Vanuatu, under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Rodman. Widmer looked at changing articulations of the nature of Vanuatu people (ni-Vanuatu) in biomedical, Christian, colonial, development, and kastom discourses regarding health, beginning in the 1850s. By making the health knowledge that circulated in Vanuatu and in global arenas a key object of her inquiry, along with accompanying assumptions about personhood, Widmer was able to contextualize as culturally and historically specific the otherwise universalizing aspects of notions of the rational individual and modernity typically associated with biomedicine. In Port Vila, Vanuatu, Widmer spoke with NGO health educators, biomedical doctors, and Christian healers and with people using their services. She attended public events held by health education development organizations and church services held explicitly to heal sick people. Looking at the history of biomedical health care in Vanuatu, she interviewed retired health professionals who had practiced during the colonial period and examined Presbyterian missionary and British colonial material in libraries and archives. She found that beginning in the 1850s, missionaries hoped that the 'rational' knowledge and practices of Western medicine would help bring about conversions from 'heathenism' to Christianity. By the twentieth century, colonial authorities saw medicine as a means to 'bring the uncontrolled bush tribes under control'; providing access to Western medicine was crucial for 'progress' toward 'modern civilization.' Widmer planned next to analyzie how ni-Vanuatu had adapted and resisted these discourses.
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 professional--that have emerged at the local, regional, and now national levels. These Indigenous mass media represent less than 3% of the total population, yet have received desirable slots on the national satellite network that is newly capable of reaching all remote Aboriginal communities. To follow the social lives of Indigenous video projects from initial idea through local reception, I will participate within the production teams at Goolarri and PAKAM, two cohabiting Indigenous media organizations that closely map onto, and disproportionately contribute to, these national networks. Rather than asking what identity is, I seek to complicate and illuminate anthropological understandings of indigeneity by revealing how Indigenous media makers negotiate the manifold often-paradoxical pressures that shape their final products. With unusually high levels of media productivity and success in Aboriginal political activism, the regional hub of Broome and the Aboriginal community of Yungngora in Northwestern Australia will provide an ideal backdrop for articulating the stakes that are at play in the ways in which Indigenous peoples represent different visions of indigeneity.