Ballestero, Andrea, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Between Human Rights and Commodities: Water, Expertise and Politics in Latin America,' supervised by Dr. George Marcus
ANDREA BALLESTERO, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Between Human Rights and Commodities: Water, Expertise and Politics in Latin America,' supervised by Dr. George Marcus. This research examines the ethics and politics of the constitution of the human right to water by Latin American water experts. It explores how 'transnationalized' experts produce, disseminate and evaluate expert knowledge. Using a multi-sited design, the project focuses on experts from Brazil, Costa Rica, and an international water NGO based in Sweden, to investigate the everyday use of economic, legal, and hydrological knowledge to create boundaries between human rights and commodities as governance tools. During 14 months of fieldwork more than 90 interviews were conducted. Informants included experts from state institutions, NGOs, academia, corporations, and water users. More than 40 technical meetings were attended and a database of articles and technical publications was collected. A series of fieldtrips for public-participation events, hydro-geological data collection, public hearings, and pollution assessments were conducted. The research shows how the articulation of policy knowledge is becoming more dependent on its form than on the types of networks through which it moves. It shows a complex politics of case-study presentation and creation of publics that closely resembles contemporary anthropological knowledge. And finally, it underscores how presumed political opposites, such as human rights and commodities, are difficult to differentiate as techno-political tools.
Roscoe, Dr. Paul, U. of Maine, Orono, ME - To aid workshop on 'Status Pursuits across Human Systems,' 2016, U. of Maine, in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Isenhour
Preliminary abstract: We propose to assemble scholars from social-cultural anthropology and archaeology to address a neglected but critical question: Why is the pursuit of status channeled into different activity sets within and across populations? Why, for instance, do males pursue headhunting in some communities, but success in hunting in others. Why do some systems admire reproductive performance in females, while others place an emphasis on their capacity for labor? Why do both males and females pursue distinction through material distributions in some places but through conspicuous resource consumption in yet others? An answer to this question has potential theoretical payoffs for research in the currently resurgent, comparative study of status competition across time and cultures; the social and political dynamics involved in the emergence and development of political society; and the processes that drove the emergence of Euro-American consumer culture and associated free market exchange. A better understanding of the role of status competition in driving these processes also has practical payoffs. It will help illuminate the growing asymmetries in resource use that already leave a significant percentage of the world's population unable to meet even its most basic needs. And it will also cast light on a powerful driver of the greenhouse gas emissions that could raise global temperatures by as much as four degrees Centigrade by the end of the century. The workshop is scheduled for October 2016 on the campus of the University of Maine, and it will take place over four days. In addition to the two organizers, it will involve six anthropologists and five archaeologists, six based in the US and five from Europe.Ten of the eleven invited participants have already accepted.
Griffiths, Dr. Anne, Edinburgh U., Edinburgh, Scotland - To aid conference on anthropological perspectives on law: governmentality, the state, and transnational processes, 2004, Halle, Germany, in collaboration with Drs. F. and K. von Benda Beckmann
'Developing Anthropology of Law in a Transnational World: Governmentality, the State, Transnational Process of Law,' June 9-11, 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland -- Organizers: Dr. Anne Griffiths (Edinburgh University), Franz von Benda Beckman, and Keeta von Benda Beckmann (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology). This interdisciplinary conference examined anthropological contributions to the debates on globalization and governmentality, exploring the crucial role that law plays in these processes under conditions of accelerating mobility across national frontiers of people, capital technology, communication, and knowledge. It did so from a perspective that engaged with social actors, networks, and multiple legal constellations that not only operate in a global, international and national arena, but also at a local level. The contributions not only addressed theoretical questions about justice and the contours of legality/illegality, but also presented empirically grounded research that addressed differing modes of governance in varying contexts. These included development cooperation and resource management, the treatment of minorities, international human rights (with a special focus on youth, adoption, and gender relations) and religion. In adopting this approach, the conference highlighted the inadequacies of mainstream thinking in law and political science that upholds the ideological notion of the state as the only legitimate and authoritative unit of political organization.
Yehia, Elena Walid, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Sectarian Difference Beyond Sectarianism: The Mediating Labors of 'Alternative' Media in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
ELENA WALID YEHIA, then a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Sectarian Difference Beyond Sectarianism: The Mediating Labors of 'Alternative' Media in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This fieldwork research explored ethnographically the alternative forms through which difference, especially sectarian difference, is being articulated in Lebanon today by the journalists of the daily Al-Akhbar opposition newspaper. The topic is of particular relevance in Lebanon, and today across the region, as sectarian differences are increasingly mobilized in hegemonic, oppressive, and antagonistic ways. Following the historic uprisings that sparked in Tunisia, this research expanded to examine how the Lebanese 'Campaign to Bring Down the Sectarian Regime' was formulating and framing its objectives, in addition to examining the daily practices through which its participants seek to achieve these goals. The research findings to date point that the alternatives investigated are emergent, quite multiple, non-coherent (if not plain contradictory sometimes). and are unfolding in relational and situated ways, whether within the newspaper or in its surrounding fervent social and geo-political context. While they are significantly shaped by the wider constraints within which they operate, this research also noted that their seeming ambiguities is actually also contributing towards making these sites fertile grounds for encounters, transgressions, and new possibilities for cultivating alternative subjectivities and imaginaries that strive to enact other ways of engaging across sectarian, political, and other forms of difference.
Sen, Dr. Atreyee, U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid ASA conference on 'Arts and Aesthetics in a Globalizing World,' 2012, New Delhi, India, in collaboration with Dr. James Fairhead
'Meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA12)'
April 2012, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
Organizers: Dr. Atreyee Sen (U. Manchester) & Dr. James Fairhead (U. Sussex)
About 500 delegates from South Asia and overseas attended the ASA12 conference, 'Arts and Aesthetics in a Globalizing World,' hosted by the Centre for Arts and Aesthetics and the Centre for the Study of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The delegates investigated art and aesthetics in their widest senses and experiences, from a variety of perspectives and in numerous contexts branching from the metaphysical to the political. Moving beyond art as expressions of the inner mind and inventions of the individual self, conference presentations explored changing perceptions of contemporary art and aesthetics, and mapped globalizing currents in a number of areas and regions. Along with the fifty-two panels and three plenary sessions, delegates were encouraged to reassess assumptions about 'arts and aesthetics,' and stimulated to consider clusters of themes including anthropological understandings of contemporary artworlds, artistic practice, and indigenous arts and crafts. Financial support helped twelve overseas students and forty-seven delegates from South Asia to attend the conference. An edited volume consisting of sixteen chapters selected from the plenary and panels is now being compiled for publication by Berg in 2014.
Maranda, Dr. Pierre, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada - To aid preparation of the unpublished research materials of Dr. Elli Kongas Maranda for archival deposit with the Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec, Canada
Harvey, Dr. Penelope, U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK- To aid 5th conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) on anthropology and science, 2003, U. of Manchester, in collaboration with Dr. Peter Wade
'Fifth Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA),' July 14-18, 2003, University of Manchester, England -- Organizers: Penelope Harvey and Peter Wade (University of Manchester). This conference aimed to advance research on how people worldwide confront the effects of scientific knowledge and innovation in its many forms. The authority and expertise of scientific knowledge, including those of the natural sciences, are contested. Claims, often exaggerated, are made for and against scientific knowledge in terms of its enhancing or degrading human and natural worlds. The conferees addressed ways in which anthropologists might contribute to a more measured debate on these issues. Participants assessed the effects of science on social life across the world and offered insights into the culture of scientific communities. They approached science in the broad sense of forms of knowledge driven by scientific rationality, including bureaucratic, accounting, and economic rationalities.