Douglas-Jones, Dr. Rachel, IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark - To aid workshop on 'Hope and Insufficiency: Capacity Building in Ethnographic Comparison,' 2015, ITU, in collaboration with Dr. Casper Bruun Jensen
Preliminary abstract: Capacity building is a central concept at work in many projects that come under anthropological scrutiny, from institution building and national development to individual and community transformation initiatives. It is a concept of hope: full of potential, a prelude to possible futures. Objects of past capacity building reveal perceptions of insufficiency, an absence. Looking forwards, it announces itself as a pragmatic of change. But what is capacity, who defines it, and how is it built? Despite its near global ubiquity, capacity building's effects, intended or otherwise, have not been systematically examined or theorized within the social sciences. By not taking the promises of capacity building for granted, by investigating the manner in which desired futures are implemented, we aim to advance theoretical understanding of its ubiquity and develop anthropological purchase on its persuasive power. This workshop brings into dialogue scholars whose combined work offers a comparative basis for analyzing the conceptual labor of capacity building. Attending to its promises of hope and politics of insufficiency, we examine capacity building's work in three core contexts: development agendas, infrastructural settings, and inter-personal worlds. We organize discussion along two axes of engagement. First, who or what has the right and ability to define what capacities are desirable? Second, we focus on the building of capacity as an act of reforming social relationships. The workshop thus seeks new anthropological ground from which to advance the first edited volume dedicated to theorizing capacity building in ethnographic comparison.
Scales, David A., Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Contesting Sovereignty with Epidemic Emergencies at the World Health Organization,' supervised by Dr. Julia Potter Adams
DAVID A. SCALES, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Contesting Sovereignty with Epidemic Emergencies at the World Health Organization,' supervised by Dr. Julia P. Adams. This project examined how epidemic emergencies appeared to be transferring sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO) from its member states, as evidenced by new international agreements such as the International Health Regulations (2005 IHR) and the organization's workings in the area of pandemic influenza planning, surveillance, and control. A total of six months at the World Health Organization was spent doing ethnography, archival research, and a series of interviews with key informants. Particular attention was paid to how the organization seeks to implement the IHR and how its member states find ways to avoid the reporting requirements of the regulations. In addition, observing the revision process for the WHO's global influenza pandemic preparedness plan and the proceedings of the Codes Alimentarius Commission gave insight into tacit and explicit agreements that, while differing drastically in levels of enforcement, are all at the border between science and international policy. Moreover, these ongoing processes provided a glimpse into how the WHO attempts to reproduce their authority through meetings and consultations designed to demonstrate their neutrality, objectivity, and expertise. How effectively it is able to reproduce this authority affects how member states perceive and react to the organization and its initiatives.
Field, Dr. Les W., U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid workshop on 'Illicit Excavation, Archaeology, Communities and Museums: Complex Relationships and Future Perspectives,' 2010, Bogota, Colombia, in collaboration with Dr. Cristobal Gnecco
Preliminary abstract: The illicit excavation of and trade in the material culture of antiquity is an issue affecting international relations and national identity, increasingly restricted and repressed by legal proscriptions at all levels, yet still thriving. This proposal seeks support for an international workshop focused upon both innovative analysis of illicit excavation and new ideas about how this practice might be mediated by local communities where such excavations take place and/or which make claims upon the uncovered artifacts, and through institutions such as museums, with the aim of providing frameworks for addressing this issue internationally and in Colombia specifically. The proposed workshop would bring together renowned scholars with relevant work from seven countries to discuss theoretical and practical aspects of these issues, using case studies from their own countries, with participating Colombian scholars providing the local focus. The conference would be directed towards generating both specific insights upon the Colombian case as well as larger analytic and theoretical positionings regarding the future of illicit excavation and the manner in which the transformation of this practice may be part of larger social and cultural changes globally.
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.
Spiegel, Dr. Andrew, U. Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa - To aid joint IUAES intercongress and PAAA/ASnA conference on 'Transcending Postcolonial Conditions: Towards alternative modernities,' 2007, U. Cape Town, in collaboration with Dr. Fiona Ross
'Transcending Postcolonial Conditions: Towards Alternative Modernities'
December 3-7, 2007, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Organizers: Andrew Spiegel and Fiona Ross (University of Cape Town)
An intercongress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) joined together with the Pan African Association of Anthropologists (PAAA) and Anthropology Southern Africa (ASnA) for a conference on 'Transcending Postcolonial Conditions: Towards Alternative Modernities,' held in Cape Town. The goal of the joint meeting was for internationally based anthropologists to engage in ethnographically based discussion of the predicament of contemporarily marginalized people -- whether in formally postcolonial areas or in pockets of metropolitan countries -- and to consider alternative modernist structures that arise under those circumstances. It also hosted the first ever meeting of the IUAES executives and leaders of the World Congress of Anthropological Associations (WCAA).Two hundred twenty-two papers (including two keynotes) were accepted. Presented in 70 parallel sessions (plus three plenaries), they involved over 250 scholars from 49 countries in all five major continents. The conference was probably the largest and most diverse ever of social and cultural anthropologists held at an African continental venue. Particularly interesting was the final synthetic plenary. Presented by southern African graduate students, it revealed a sharp critique of various aspects of the discussions and also an intensity and lively interest among local younger anthropologists, and it offered reassurance of our discipline?s capacity to retain its critical edge. Similar reassurances emanated from a roundtable discussion on perspectives on doing anthropology in a contemporary context, with students and colleagues from peripheral areas whose attendance was made possible by support from Wenner-Gren.
Makaremi, Dr. Chowra, EHESS, Paris, France - To aid conference on 'Truth Telling & Truth Seeking in Contexts of Impunity. New Fields & Perspectives in Legal Anthropology & the Ethnography of Violence,' 2014, London, with Dr. Pardis Shafafi
Preliminary abstract: In studies of large-scale violence, an area remains underexplored: investigations in contexts of impunity, where the unchanged political and social order engendered by conflict or state repression, and the high-ranking position of past perpetrators, offer no transition at sight. While on-site research on such past episodes is perilous such as in Indonesia or in Colombia, or impossible, as in Iran, this does not exclude empirical studies based on oral history and processes of truth telling. The study of violence in contexts of impunity thus invites us to pay closer attention to existing projects of truth telling and truth seeking carried by civil societies. These projects are initiated outside of state-endorsed institutional processes, be they national or international, and challenge hegemonic narratives. They mainly comprise two sets of interrelated practices: documentation projects and databases on human rights violations, and international civil society tribunals. Truth telling in contexts of impunity provides access to data, informants, and empirical material. It is also an enlightening object of study for understanding how silenced but shared experiences of violence are transformed into public knowledge and acknowledgement, outside the frames of sovereignty, legitimacy and legality that organize political life at a national and international level. Anthropologists have both worked along various processes of truth telling, and produced an analysis of such initiatives. At the crossroads of legal anthropology and the ethnography of violence, the workshop aims to (1) examine these case studies in a comparative perspective, and (2) initiate a dialogue with social scientists involved in documentation databases and projects, and legal scholars who have been participating in, or studying the phenomena of civil society tribunals. It will, for the very first time, bring together scholars from all five continents who are involved with these issues. Our goal is to focus on new material and challenging practices, while gathering junior researchers working in these fields together with senior academics and experts in international tribunals.
Gunel, Gokce, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
GOKCE GUNEL, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki. The grantee conducted research with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany. While the dissertation project mainly focused on the production of renewable energy infrastructures in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the grantee understood policy-making through United Nations to be a significant building block of this process, and decided to work more specifically on issues related to carbon capture and storage technology. The making of carbon capture and storage policy now constitutes one of the five chapters of the dissertation, which was filed May 2012.
Ben Hounet, Dr. Yazid, College de France, Paris, France - To aid workshop on 'Truth, Intentionality and Evidence: Anthropological Approaches to Crime and Tort,' 2014, Centre Jacques Berque, Rabat, Morrocco
Preliminary abstract: This workshop aims to discuss the concepts of crime and tort, and how they can be addressed with the theoretical and methodological tools of anthropology and comparative sociology. Communications will deal mainly with the Mediterranean area, but for the sake of comparison, we would like to integrate communications concerning other parts of the world. Crime and tort are classical objects of legal anthropology and comparative sociology of law, but invariably and insufficiently studied (in comparison with other topics such as law, custom, property, family, etc.). In the early anthropological and comparative sociology research on crime and tort, the emphasis was on issues of definition, conceptualization of crime, logical forms and meanings of sanctions. Over the past 40 years, however, anthropological and related research on the topic has been more concerned with the analysis of crimes as manifestations of larger social dynamics and social relations. In this workshop, we would like to understand crimes and torts, not generally, but in their contextual definitions, and especially, in the ways they may be perceived by those most concerned. By doing so, we will follow Isaac Schapera' suggestion to recognize the importance of understanding the perception of crime. Thus, the workshop will not analyze causes and effects of crimes and torts, forms of sanctions, nor their place in the sociopolitical relations. It rather intends to report and analyze different perceptions and definitions of actions as crimes or torts depending on the context and on people involved in various instances or moments of trials, mediations, arbitrations and information (court proceedings, police reports, newspapers, moments of conflict resolution, reconciliation, etc.).