Scarborough, Dr. Isabel, Parkland College, Champaign, IL - To aid engaged activities on 'Raising Awareness on the Importance of the Informal Market in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' 2013, Cochabamba, Bolivia
DR. ISABEL SCARBOROUGH, Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant in August 2012 to aid 'Raising Awareness on the Importance of the Informal Market in Cochabamba, Bolivia.' This project proposed to raise awareness of the growing importance of the informal market and the indigenous female vendors who practice this trade in Bolivian society, in response to the historical invisibility and marginalization of this social sector. To achieve this goal, the project organized and implemented a two-day workshop in the city of Cochabamba, featuring local academics and professionals, to discuss the importance of the informal market to the regional economy. The workshop took place at the state university in Cochabamba and endeavored to further research on this topic by Bolivian and Bolivianist scholars. The results of the exchange of ideas at this seminar will be published in this university's social sciences academic journal. A second activity sponsored by this project comprised the design and publication of a children's book that provides a fictional and engaging narrative of the workings of the informal market, its vendors, and their critical contributions to Bolivia's economy. The storybook was distributed in the marketplace among the vendors and their families, and in the public school system, where in both instances it was warmly welcomed. The book's distribution and reading to Cochabamba's children will continue through the activities of a local non-profit library organization.
Friederic, Karin Ulla, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women’s Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Buckley Green
KARIN FRIEDERIC, then a student at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in December 2007 to aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women's Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Green. This dissertation utilizes the lens of historical anthropology to investigate the articulation of political, economic, and social processes that underpin gender norms and produce a normalized 'culture of gendered violence' in a rural frontier region of northwestern Ecuador called El Páramo. In Phase I, ethnographic fieldwork explored how increasing awareness of women's rights affected local women's perceptions and experiences of (as well as their responses to) intimate partner violence. Phase II incorporated institution-based interviews, oral history, and archival research to enable an historically specific examination of the political and economic context from which El Páramo colonists originated. In this case, historical perspective and methodologies help make sense of regnant gender norms and their role in the normalization of violence. This dissertation demonstrates how domestic violence is produced both interpersonally, nationally, and internationally, thus challenging static conceptions of culture that underlie most analyses of violence. The analysis employs a longitudinal perspective not only to understand how experiences and manifestations of family violence change over time (in response to newly circulating discourses of 'rights'), but also to undercover the relationship between family violence and historically particular social, economic and political conditions.
Friederic, Karin. 2014. Violence against Women in Rural Ecuador. Latin American Perspectives 41(1):19-38.
Junge, Marvin B., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship: Emergent Masculinities in Porto Alegre, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft
MARVIN B. JUNGE, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, received an award in December 2001 to aid ethnographic research on emergent masculinities in Porto Alegre, Brazil, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce M. Knauft. During eighteen months' residence in one Porto Alegre slum (vila), Junge employed semistructured interviews, participant observation, community organization attendance, and other research methods to examine the relationship between gender and politics in the everyday-life discourse and practice of neighborhood residents. Specifically, he considered how the experience of the social world in gendered terms converged with understandings of the ways in which self and community were related, particularly understandings conveyed in the government and social movement discourses of rights, citizenship, and grassroots participation that distinguished Porto Alegre's sociopolitical landscape. Junge examined the ways in which awareness of one's relationship to a broader collectivity (incited in political discourse) influenced and was influenced by one's understanding of self and others in gendered terms. By considering different kinds of encounters with political discourse, ranging from direct participation in a social movement organization to 'passive' encounters in daily life, he aimed to shed light on the circulation of political discourse and its complex refractions of and by prevailing gender logics in an era characterized by increasingly heterogeneous representations of gender and sexuality and innovative models of participatory democracy.
McLachlan, Amy Leia, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Cultivating Futures: Botanical Economies and Knowledge Ecologies in Migrant Colombian Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Joseph P. Masco
Preliminary abstract: The life histories and life projects of contemporary Uitoto communities are intimately tied to the social lives of sacred and increasingly commodified Uitoto plants. The Uitoto, an indigenous group from the central Colombian Amazon, describe and interact with the nourishing, medicinal, and magical plants that populate their 'chagras' (swidden gardens) as divine and powerful persons, social actors who provide the foundations of human life, thought, and agency. At the same time, many of those plant species are being taken up in global narcotic and pharmaceutical economies as sources of profit and healing, and in national scientific and activist practices, according to radically different logics. Sacred Uitoto plants are increasingly at the center of emergent sites of knowledge production and circulation in which indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge traditions are being translated into national, capitalist, and scientific regimes of value. In this context, an ethnography of Uitoto migrant cultivators and the plants that connect them to one another and to multiple intersecting political and economic regimes, offers a particularly useful vantage onto both the structural transformations that have shaped the Colombian political and economic landscape over the past century, and the intimate negotiations of life and loss that characterize the lives of Colombians 'desplazados' (displaced persons) today. This project proposes that in their efforts to nurture sacred plants and ethnobotanical knowledge traditions, Uitoto migrants are not only working to maintain material and cultural connections to their pasts and points of origin, but are actively reworking their relations to one another, the state, and the global economies with which they are increasingly entangled.
Praet, Dr. Istvan, U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research and writing on 'Metamorphosis Among So-Called Indigenous Peoples: An Investigation into 'Animistic' Notions of Life and Death' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ISTVAN PRAET, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2008 to aid research and writing on 'Metamorphosis Among So-Called Indigenous Peoples: An Investigation into 'Animistic' Notions of Life and Death.' The first draft of a monograph, entitled 'Anthropology and the Question of Life.' was completed during the Fellowship and the resulting book proposal is currently under review with Cambridge University Press. The monograph focuses on a phenomenon that is normally considered to be the exclusive domain of natural science: life. It compares indigenous notions of life and probes how such supposedly archaic, culturally biased notions can affect the certainties of contemporary top-notch science. In other words, it investigates in how far the prerogative of biologists to deal with the question of life is self-evident. By reformulating the great divide between 'us' (enlightened Westerners) and 'them' (so-called indigenous people), the monograph seeks to reconfigure anthropology's relationship with the life sciences. The Hunt Fellowship has also resulted in the publication of two articles' one in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society (UK), the other in the Journal de la Société des Américanistes (France).
Praet, Istvan. 2009. Shamanism and Ritual in South America: An Inquiry into Amerindian Shapeshifting. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):737-754.
Praet, Istvan. 2010. Catastrophes and Weddings. Chaci Ritual as Metamorphosis. Journal de la Societe des Americanistes. Published on online.
Romano Athila, Adriana, Federal U. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To aid research on 'The Enemy Lives Nearby: Violence, Harmony and Sociality among the Rikbaktsa Indians of Southwest Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Marco A. Teixeira Goncalves
ADRIANA ROMANO ATHILA, while a student at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, received an award in July 2003, to aid her ethnographic field research focused on the ritual-cosmological universe and sociopolitical organization of the Rikbaktsa and the ways in which these dimensions relate to actual forms of sociality observed among this people, an indigenous society, inhabiting southwestern Amazonia, Brazil, supervised by Dr. Marco Antônio Gonçalves. Athila's research centers on the detailed ethnographic description of one more cultural possibility for the configuration and interconnection of the universes of 'violence' and 'conflict' with 'peacefulness' and 'harmony' within the broad ethnographic spectrum of lowland South American societies. She demonstrated how Rikbaktsa eschatology advocates proximity and probity in social relations, while, perversely, this search for solidarity also inevitably lies at the origin of future instances of predation. The continual and almost inevitable interaction between metaphysical beings - including the dead - and the living is therefore a basic factor in the 'lability' or 'reversibility' of the categories of identity/alterity, solidarity/enmity and even kinship among groups and people. These intersections are, in this way, responsible for reproducing and altering the Rikbaksta society itself, including the dynamic underlying the formation and fission of groups and villages, as well as their territorial distribution.
Hagerty, Alexa, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Blood and Bone: Kinship, Science and the Imagined Body in 'Humanitarian Exhumation' of the Dead,' supervised by Dr. Tanya Luhrmann
Preliminary abstract: Exhumation of the dead has become a normative human rights intervention and a requisite aspect of transitional justice. In the wake of political violence, exhumation aims to provide judicial evidence of mass atrocity and to return human remains to families. Understood as bringing closure to families, 'humanitarian exhumation' may be carried out even in situations in which there is little or no hope of judicial recourse. Yet, the relationship between forensics teams and families has proven to be complex and often fraught. While some exhumations have received clear support from families, others have been sites of intense controversy. This project asks why there has been persistent tension between families of the missing and forensic teams. Attentive to the polysemy of the dead body, which at different times and places can be understood to be judicial evidence, a medical specimen, a scientific object, a political symbol, a religious relic, a site of the uncanny, a social subject, a dense site of mourning and more, this project explores what humanitarian exhumation means to those most intimately involved: forensic teams and families of the missing. Based in Argentina, location of the earliest and longest continuously excavated humanitarian exhumations, this project takes the complex relationship between families and forensic teams as a generative site to explore how we conceptualize exhumations as 'humanitarian,' how we expect science to serve social ends and how we imagine relationships of care between the living and the dead.
Beitl, Christine Marie, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Mangroves and Movements: Collective Action, Institutions, and Social-Ecological Resilience on the Ecuadorian Coast,' supervised by Dr. Bram Tucker
CHRISTINE M. BEITL, then a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Mangroves and Movements: Collective Action, Institutions, and Social-Ecological Resilience on the Ecuadorian Coast,' supervised by Dr. Bram Tucker. Recent scholarship on social-ecological linkages has drawn attention to the role of collective action in studies of common pool resource management and human adaptation to various forms of environmental change. This research investigates the historical processes that have produced vulnerable conditions on the Ecuadorian coast, how communities have collectively reorganized themselves around new management institutions, and whether these new forms of organizing contribute to social-ecological resilience and sustainability within mangrove-dependent communities. To varying degrees of success, grassroots social movements in defense of livelihoods and the environment have consolidated into new civil society organizations in charge of mangrove reforestation, fishery management and monitoring, sometimes in collaboration with government agencies. Through the unique triangulation of ethnographic and ecological data focusing on the fishery for the mangrove cockle, the study examines the explicit link between social and ecological systems at different levels, determining how collective action is reflected in broader patterns of landscape change and differentially reflected in participation and the fishing effort of individuals. Using an exploratory framework for social-ecological resilience and building on common property and collective action theories, the results will address theoretical and methodological gaps in sustainability science and potentially inform policies for the management and conservation of coastal resources.
Theidon, Dr. Kimberly S., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'States of Concern: Coca, Conflict and Control in the Apurimac and Ene Valley, Peru'
DR. KIMBERLY S. THEIDON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in November 2004 to aid research on 'States of Concern: Coca, Conflict and Control in the Apurimac and Ene Valley, Peru.' This project was ethnographically grounded study of alternative development, the administration of conflict, and forms of governmentality in the foremost coca-growing region of Peru. It takes the Apurimac and Ene River Valley and the cocaleros' movement as an organizing frame for examining how coca eradication efforts and the alternative development programs that accompany them create the conditions for a resurgence of political violence in a region characterized by multiple armed actors and massive discontent. It argues for examining the structures of conflict and historicizing the violence in the VRAE. The grantee emphasizes the importance of regional histories when designing policy recommendations, convinced that 'theoretically informed particularity can lead to alternatives to alternative development. She considers this one of the most pressing social issues in the Andean Region. It can be said that current counter- narcotics and anti-terrorism policies create the conditions for escalating violence; thus this research has an explicitly preventive aim. By conducting research with both the cocaleros as well as the myriad national and transnational entities with which they interact, the grantee aims to build on people's struggle for the defense of life and livelihood by generating policy alternatives to current counternarcotics and antiterrorism interventions.