Aparicio, Juan R., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
JUAN RICARDO APARICIO, then a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation project explored the production and circulation of discourses, practices, and objects related to the problem of internal displacement along a network that connects international institutions based in Geneva or Washington, with the local initiatives that have been defined as 'collective ethical projects' in two regions in Colombia. The location of the fieldwork sites included the rural areas of the Urabá region, the rivers in the Pacific coastland and offices of national and international institutions in the capital Bogotá, among others. Regarding the rural locations, fieldwork devoted to analyze the complex strategies deployed by both collectives to defend their own ethical projects, and the manifold challenges they are still facing today. From particular enunciations made by participants using a rights-based language to the proliferation of white shirts and flags carried by international officers and activists, among many others, both of these projects are deeply entangled in networks of the human rights and humanitarian global assemblage. In fact, as this multi-sited ethnography has proven, the emergence of these collective ethical projects could only be explained by an analytic that is aware of the different actors, scales, changing strategies, larger contexts and specificities of each region.
Venkatesan, Dr. Soumhya, U. of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom - To aid workshop on 'Differentiating Development: Beyond an Anthropology of Critique,' 2008, Buxton, UK, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Yarrow
'Differentiating Development: Beyond an Anthropology of Critique'
September 16-18, 2008, Buxton, United Kingdom
Organizers: Soumhya Venkatesan and Thomas Yarrow (University of Manchester)
This workshop aimed to move beyond the negative, critical approach that has characterized anthropological studies of development and reveal development practice in a less disenchanted light, showing how such practices can be used to re-think anthropology’s own concepts and assumptions. The meeting brought together senior academics, early career
anthropologists, and Ph.D. students whose innovative work within different theoretical and geographical research traditions had largely emerged in parallel. By fostering sustained focussed debate between these, the workshop shed new light on the diverse ideas and agendas that compel commitment to the practice of development, and helped to reveal how development discourses are used by diverse actors to articulate complex moral and ethical issues. Throughout the workshop participants examined anthropology’s own entanglements with development, raising wider questions as to how anthropology can become more 'engaged' without being narrowly 'applied.' In addition to revealing new ethnographic insight, these discussions have helped to cohere a more focussed intellectual agenda that will provide stimulus for future publications and research activities. An edited volume based on the proceedings of the workshop is under preparation.
Levi, Dr. Margaret, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid workshop on 'Anthropological Epistemology and Cross-Cultural Metacategories,' 2015, Stanford U., in collaboration with Dr. Howard Morphy
Preliminary abstract: The aim of the workshop is to generate reflective discourse on anthropological epistemology. The workshop has both pragmatic and exploratory objectives, building on the theme of cross-cultural/cross-temporal meta-categories in the context of anthropology as interdisciplinary environment for research into human society. Historically anthropology has implicitly created meta-categories for a discourse that encompass different but synergistic ways of thinking about things and acting in the world -- art, aesthetics, gender, family, household, law, property, mind, and so on. The cross-cultural and/or cross-temporal meta-category is dialogic. It exists between different local categorizations, yet simultaneously strives to encompass difference. Recently a tension has developed anthropology between theoretical perspectives which focus on the problematization of boundaries and the dissolution of categories and those earlier perspectives which attempted to develop cross-cultural meta-categories in order to understand the diversity of human societies and the nature of regional trajectories. This workshop has the potential to influence future directions by reflecting on the terminologies employed and the perspectives that lie behind them and placing them in the context of the history of the discipline and the dialogical nature of the relationships with the subjects of their research.
Gilbert, Dr. Andrew, McMaster U., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - To aid workshop on 'Towards an Anthropology of International Intervention,' 2013, McMaster U.
Preliminary abstract: This workshop proposes to chart new theoretical territory and set a new agenda for an ethnographically-grounded, historically-sensitive anthropology of international intervention in the 21st century. The world has recently witnessed the proliferation of new and ambitious forms of foreign intervention by powerful Western states, guided by rationales and aims that were only nascent during the Cold War. Initiated at moments of political and humanitarian crisis, such interventions seek not only to bring care to the suffering or an end to conflict, but also use such occasions to transform the conditions which lie at the root of conflict and suffering. To this end, and often under conditions of military occupation or foreign supervision, such interventions sought to transform the very nature of the social. Anthropology has played a modest role in the critical scholarship that has responded to this proliferation of foreign interventions. Drawing on a range of theory, anthropologists have offered important critiques designed to show that the modes of power exercised in the name of care or democracy are anything but benign. With a few exceptions, however, anthropological scholarship has focused largely on the interveners and their ambitions, thus excluding attention to those intervened upon, as well as the complex relations between the two that arise out of the intervention encounter. Much of this work is also ethnographically or historically thin when it comes to discussing the effects of such interventions on the people and places that are the objects of intervention. This workshop will put current anthropological accounts and their theoretical underpinnings into conversation with the research of a new generation of younger scholars with extensive ethnographic experience working across diverse sites of intervention. By situating international intervention projects within the wider social and cultural fields in which they take place, this workshop seeks to build upon this important work and act as a corrective to some of its gaps.
Behrouzan, Orkideh, M.I.T, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Prozak Diaries: Alternative Genealogies of Psychiatric Selves, Discourses, and Dealing with Conditions of Impossibility in Post-War Iran,' supervised by Dr. Michael Fischer
Preliminary abstract removed at grantee's request.
White, Dr. Frances J., U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid workshop on 'Human Warfare: An Integrative Anthropological Prospective,' 2008, U. of Oregon, in collaboration with Dr. Douglas Kennett
'Human Warfare: An Integrative Anthropological Perspective'
October 16-18, 2008, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
Organizers: Frances J. White and Douglas Kennett, University of Oregon
This meeting addressed the need for an integrated model of the ancestral conditions that led to the emergence of warfare and/or to adaptations that evolved in response to those pressures. To this end, the conference brought together scholars from diverse anthropological sub-disciplines (e.g. primatology, paleo-anthropology, archaeology, behavioral ecology, ethnography) and related disciplines (e.g. political science, psychology, economics, evolutionary biology) whose work has significantly advanced knowledge on this topic but who would not otherwise have occasion to meet. The conference resulted in a book proposal, which has been enthusiastically received by Oxford University Press and will soon be sent out for review. This volume will constitute the first comprehensive evolutionary treatment of the ecological, social, and psychological processes involved in warfare.