U. of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa - To aid Wenner-Gren Fellowship Program at U. of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, to support training of black southern Africans in social anthropology, supervised by Dr. Lesley Fordred
Walsh, Dr. Andrew, U. of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada - To aid workshop on 'The Anthropology of Precious Minerals,' 2015, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, in collaboration with Dr. Annabel Vallard and Dr. Elizabeth Ferry
Preliminary abstract: Gemstones, gold, rare earths, and other coveted but ostensibly 'scarce' minerals are 'precious' to humans in two ways: first as hard-to-access materials that miners, traders, collectors, consumers, salvagers and others imagine, pursue and handle with great precision and/or care in a variety of contextually specific ways, and second as highly valued, high-price, natural resources that circulate as commodities through local and global markets. The international workshop proposed here will enable the anthropologists gathered to present, discuss and comment on ethnographic research concerning the variety of ways in which such doubly 'precious' minerals figure in human lives. By proposing that a collection of ornamental and industrial minerals that are not often grouped alongside one another be considered alike in their 'preciousness', we intend to exercise the anthropological prerogative of disrupting assumed classificatory schemas (of which there is no shortage in both mineralogy and anthropology) to productive ends. Presenters will focus specifically on how the preciousness of minerals is a product of two interconnected, relational processes: the first involving miners', traders', investors', collectors', speculators', consumers', salvagers' and other situated actors' engagements (or lack thereof) with the matter of particular minerals, and the second involving these same situated actors' relations with one another in the uneven social, political, and economic networks through which these minerals and information about them circulate. Considering these two processes together in this workshop will enable new understandings of the role of affect and materiality in the formation of intersubjective relations and exchanges, and will help us to grasp what is at stake in markets for 'precious' and 'scarce' resources. The end result of the workshop will be an edited volume.
Raulin, Dr. Anne, U. of Paris X, Nanterre, France - To aid conference on 'Parallaxes: Anthropologies of the Western World for the 21st Century,' 2007, NYU in Paris, in collaboration with Dr. Susan C. Rogers
'Parallaxes: Anthropologies of the Western World for the 21st Century'
June 7-8, 2007, New York University in Paris, Paris, France
Organizers: Dr. Anne Raulin (University of Paris X - Nanterre) and Dr. Susan C. Rogers (New York University)
This two-day workshop brought together a small group of American anthropologists of France and French anthropologists who have undertaken fieldwork in (non-native) USA. The aim was to begin exploring how these researchers' experience may illuminate the possibilities and challenges of producing anthropological knowledge under circumstances that were relatively unusual in the 20th century but may become more commonplace in the 21st. The observer and the observed come from societies which, though culturally distinct, share roughly equal geopolitical and intellectual standing in the worlds they frequent. Intensive closed-session discussion drew from a set of short pre-circulated papers based on each participant's research experience in France and/or the US. It was organized in a way meant to draw out the anthropologists' reciprocal positions as each other's natives and ethnographers, and to foster collaborative thinking about a framework that would underline the implications for the practice of anthropology more generally. Topics included the site-specific methodological implications of ethnographers' social and national identities; the relationship of anthropology in each country to the state and to academic institutions; the significance of such notions as 'race,' 'community,' 'state,' 'culture' in each national setting, and the variations in their meaning as they move between vernacular and analytical uses, as well as from one cultural context or intellectual tradition to another; and forms of plausible moral authority performed within various kinds of institutional settings in each country.
Kreinath, Dr. Jens Michael, Wichita State U., Wichita, KS - To aid workshop on 'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression,' 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia, in collaboration with Refika Sarionder Kreinath
'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression'
August 28-29, 2008, Lubljana, Slovenia
Organizers: Jens Kreinath (Wichita State University) and Fefika Sariönder (University of Bielefeld)
The workshop was held during the 2008 meetings of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its attempt was to overcome the dichotomy of thought and action ubiquitous to ritual theory. The ambition was to establish an interdisciplinary forum that is able to reconfigure these commonly assumed parameters of ritual theory and to elaborate on how theoretic discourse and ritual practice can be conceptually interrelated with one another. The objective was to establish more refined theoretical and meta-theoretical parameters that would enable one to transgress the prevailing theoretical assumptions and help to account for the transformative dynamics of ritual reflexivity and to conceptualize these dynamics as part of the theoretical discourse and ritual practice. Taking these thematic configurations as a point of departure, two epistemological issues were of importance: 1) whether and how rituals can be conceptualized as reflecting, or reflecting upon, the dynamics of social relations; and 2) whether and how theoretical accounts of ritual can be facilitated to analyze more adequately the processes of ritual reflexivity.
Abu El-Haj, Dr. Nadia L., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Genomic Evidence, Historical Quests, and the Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Millennium'
DR. NADIA ABU EL-HAJ, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in August 2001 to aid research on 'Genomic Evidence, Historical Quests, and the Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Millennium.' This project considers the scientific work and social implications of a growing domain of research in genetic anthropology through a study of explorations of Jewish origins and migrations via molecular genetic evidence. It is a study that analyzes understandings of Jewish history as developed within this domain of genetic research and its implications for articulations of contemporary Jewish identity. More generally, this study engages with the ways in which this contemporary field of scientific inquiry both extends and differs from previous biological sciences harnessed to classify and study Jewish populations: race science and population genetics. It does so both by analyzing the knowledge-making practices of this incipient science and by considering the forms of community and polity, visions of the body, race and diaspora, and understandings of kinship, identity and intimacy that such molecular genetic research at the border of the natural and the human sciences entails and, in turn, that it makes possible in the social world.