High, Casey, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'From Enemies to Affines: History, Identity, and Changing Inter-Ethnic Relations among the Waorani of Amazonian Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow
CASEY HIGH, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'From Enemies to Affines: History, Identity, and Changing Inter-Ethnic Relations among the Waorani of Amazonian Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow. This research began as a study of how the Waorani, an indigenous group of Amazonian Ecuador, construct peaceful relations both between local groups and with their indigenous Quichua neighbors, with whom they have a history of violent conflict. In addition to focusing on changing interethnic relations in the region, the project considered how local people engage representations of the past in establishing ethnic and other identities in relation to non-Waorani groups. Collecting narratives of past violence revealed that detailed imagery of violent death, narrated generally from the perspective of the victim group, is a central idiom by which Waorani people make moral commentary on intergroup and interpersonal relationships. While the research initially considered such local uses of historical representations, a particularly violent event that occurred in the Waorani territorial reserve during fieldwork led the researcher to examine the meanings contemporary intergroup violence has for local people. In May 2003, a group of men from a Waorani village attacked a distant enemy group, referred to locally as 'Taromenani', leaving some 25 people dead. Although nobody in the community where the fieldwork was conducted was harmed or directly involved, local villagers were familiar with and closely related to those who perpetrated the attack and were profoundly concerned with the implications of the event. By recording the frequent descriptions Waorani people made of the attack, the killers and their victims, the researcher was able to examine ethnographically how local people represent violence, interpret its causes, and react to such conflicts.
High, Casey. 2009. Victims and Martyrs: Converging Histories of Violence in Amazonian Anthropology and U.S. Cinema. Anthropology and Humanism 34(1):41-50.108
High, Casey. 2009. Remembering the Auca: Violence and Generational Memory in Amazonian Ecuador. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):719-736.
High, Casey. 2010. Warriors, Hunters, and Bruce Lee: Gendered Agency and the Transformation of Amazonian Masculinity. American Ethnologist 37(4):753-770.
Blair, James Joseph Allen, City U. of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Extracting Indigeneity: Self-Determination and Energy in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas),' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
Preliminary abstract: This ethnographic and historical project examines how the British settlers of the Falkland Islands (In Spanish, Malvinas) are constructing themselves as natives, as they stake their claim to energy resources. Thirty years after the 1982 military conflict that cemented the South Atlantic archipelago's British status, oil has been discovered near the islands, and Argentina has renewed its sovereignty claim. In response, the islands' settlers held a March 2013 referendum on the right to self-determination in which 99.8% voted 'Yes' to remaining British. Unlike colonies where native peoples have claimed self-determination to restore sovereignty, no precolonial population inhabited the islands, nor do descendants today. To understand how the settlers are reinventing themselves as natives with resource rights, this project examines: (1) how they are packaging self-determination as a sign of stability for oil partners; (2) to what extents debates around infrastructure are forming new local power relations; and (3) how the dispute orients experts assessing environmental impact. Research incorporates observations and interviews with multiple stakeholders, including: government officials, oil executives, scientists, migrants, townspeople and shepherds. With analysis of colonial reports, the project considers how the present moment of oil development is an outcome of historical relations of resource governance.
Soler Cruz, Carmin M., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Religious Commitment and Cooperation in Candomble Terreiros, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk
CARMIN M. SOLER CRUZ, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received funding in May 2005 to aid research on 'Religious Commitment and Cooperation in Candomble Terreiros, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk. The objective of the study was to explore religious commitment and cooperation in communities of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion. During one year of fieldwork in the city of Salvador, Brazil, the grantee tested the hypothesis that expressions of religiosity that are costly in terms of effort, time or money are signals that promote cooperation towards the actor by other members of the group. The research consisted of three phases: in the first phase, informal interviews and participant observation in Candomblé temples, called terreiros, were used to construct individual questionnaires, interview protocols and a commitment scale. Secondly, a descriptive database of 61 randomly chosen Candomblé terreiros was constructed to assess the variability present across these communities. Finally, a sub-sample of 14 terreiros from the database was chosen to conduct informal and semi-structured interviews with members and to participate in an economic game, which served as an independent measure of cooperation. Statistical and text analysis of the data collected will reveal the relationship between the religious commitment displayed by adherents of Candomblé and the cooperation they give and receive within the social network that each terreiro represents, as well as shed light on the sociological motivations of religious belief and practice.
Leighton, Mary Theresa Frances, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Making Authoritative Knowledge in the Field: The Epistemic Culture of South American Archaeological Research Projects,' supervised by Dr. Shannon L. Dawdy
MARY THERESA FRANCES LEIGHTON, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Making Authoritative Knowledge in the Field: The Epistemic Culture of South American Archaeological Research Projects,' supervised by Dr. Shannon L. Dawdy. This dissertation project explores the nature of expert knowledge within field sciences, aiming to understand how such knowledge is constructed, circulated, and delineated in field sciences in contrast to laboratory sciences. Specifically, it uses the example of South American archaeology to explore the practice and structure of a disciplinary community that crosses international boundaries, while being intimately situated in national contexts and produced in local landscapes. Funding supported nine months of research studying the practice of archaeology in Chile, which involved interviews and participant observations in key field sites -- excavations, universities, and conferences. Starting from the concept that field sciences rely on the embodied expertise of the scientist to bring-into-being its objects of study, particular attention was paid to the ways in which expert archaeologists are created through formal and informal educational practices, and subsequently how expertise is communicated and recognized by both non-archaeologists (including indigenous stake-holders) and fellow archaeologists. Attention was paid to the differences in epistemic and disciplinary culture among archaeologists from different countries, and attempts made to trace people, practices and concepts as they moved between local, national and international spheres.
Carozzi, Dr. Maria Julia, CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid 14th conference on Religious Alternatives in Latin America: 'Religions/Cultures,' 2007, Buenos Aires, in collaboration with Dr. Alejandro Frigerio
'XIV Meetings on Religious Alternatives in Latin America: Religions/Cultures '
September 25-28, 2007, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Organizers: Dr. Maria Lulia Carozzi (CONICET) and Dr. Alejandro Frigerio (Universidad Nacional de San Martin)
The meetings were held as a joint project of the Association of Social Scientists of Religion in the Mercosur (Asociación de Cientistas Sociales de la Religión en el Mercosur) and the National University of San Martín. The conference fostered debate leading to the critical assessment of the categories of 'culture' and 'religion' -- as developed in anthropology -- amongst social scientists studying religions in Latin America. The meetings also contributed to the circulation of ethnographic data and theoretical interpretations that illustrate the dynamic overlapping and restructuring of social phenomena that social scientists working on Latin American religions have generally classified as separate and distinct. Over 300 scholars from various social disciplines and regional specializations participated. This year's conference was successful in enlarging the geographic scope of the Mercosur network of social scientists studying religion and its articulation with other spheres of inquiry. The event was made possible through support by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology of Argentina.
Van Hoose, Matthew Joseph, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Becoming Tropical: The Improbable Social Life of Cumbia Music In Uruguay,' supervised by Dr. John H. McDowell
MATTHEW J. VAN HOOSE, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Becoming Tropical: The Improbable Social Life of Cumbia Music In Uruguay,' supervised by Dr. John H. McDowell. At first blush, musical genres like cumbia and plena seem nothing if not 'out of place' in Uruguay, where dominant national imaginings have consistently stressed a sense of exceptionalism vis-à-vis the social, economic, and political realities of the rest of Latin America. This project sought to elucidate the local social work performed by these intensely transnational musical genres from the 1950s to the present. Archival research and life history interviews revealed that in the course of its decades-long history in Uruguay, 'tropical music,' while consistently marginalized and derided by the cultural mainstream, ceased to be understood as exclusively a copy of Caribbean expressive practices and came to stand for increasingly local types of alterity. The ethnographic component of this research, which documented a variety of 'scenes' in tropical music's contemporary social life, elucidated the highly fluid ways in which Uruguayans understand and deploy tropical music as a marker of social difference. In particular, this data revealed how understandings and enactments of tropical music's significance in Uruguay are influenced by linguistic choices (e.g. the use of particular second-person address forms or 'misspellings' involving the letter 'k') and by material technologies of circulation (from vinyl records to cellular phones).
Moeller, Dr. Kathryn J., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on ''The Education Business': The Corporatization of Public Education in Brazil'
Preliminary abstract: This research project seeks to understand how Brazilian-based corporations are investing in public education in Brazil through the interrelated discourses of educational equity, investment in human capital, and corporate social responsibility.
Davila, Dr. Arlene, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'El Mall: Debating Class, Shopping Malls and Consumption among Bogota's New Middle Classes'
Preliminary abstract: In the past decade, there has been a revolution in the construction of shopping malls throughout Latin America accompanied by much boosterism about the area's supposedly growing middle class. My project examines what these coinciding developments suggest about the role shopping malls and consumption may be playing in shaping how issues of class and social inequality are increasingly defined in the context of larger neoliberalizing processes and new urban developments. I investigate these questions through ethnographic research on the Latin American shopping mall industry and on consumption cultures in Bogota, one of the Latin American cities that is experiencing the largest boom in shopping mall constructions in the area. I am especially interested in exploring these developments in relation to the growing boosterism in which many South American countries have been enveloped as 'success stories' rising in the midst of the global recession, and to changing definitions of class, specifically to the growth and consolidation of a 'new' Latin American middle class that is defined primarily around new forms of consumption. I am also interested in exploring how shopping malls are contributing to the privatization and transformation of space and affecting everyday life in the city. My research will include interviews with regional representatives of the Latin American chapter of (ICSC), and with Colombian developers, architects and market researchers involved in the shopping malls industry, and ethnographic research with middle class consumers and visitors to shoping malls in Bogota, Colombia. I seek to contribute to the anthropology of 'global middle clases' as well as to the growing literature on consumption, globalization and the politics of space.