Williamson, Kathryn E., Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Instituting Care: Reproductive Health Governance and the Ethics of Humanizing Birth in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Eugenia Georges
Preliminary abstract: This project focuses on the Brazilian state's ongoing attempts to dramatically transform maternity care in the national health system. Spurred by persistently high maternal mortality as well as decades of feminist activism to demedicalize birth, President Dilma Rousseff has launched Rede Cegonha as her flagship women's health program. Rede Cegonha synthesizes the science of best practices and a humanistic ethics of care to effect what is known as the 'humanization' of birth: a shift toward low-intervention, respectful care in pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Fundamentally, humanization exhorts multiple actors not only to change technical practices in birth, but also to cultivate themselves as caring subjects. The program's implementation follows participatory models of governance that have become a hallmark of post-authoritarian Brazil. Salvador, Bahia, the major site of my research, has historically failed to sustain such models and exhibits extreme health inequities associated with poverty and racial discrimination. Nonetheless, the city has now been nationally recognized as an exemplar of the successful implementation of Rede Cegonha. Through participant observation, interviews, surveys, and archival research across five key sites for the program, I will develop an ethnographic understanding of how the large-scale ethical project of humanization is incited, enacted and experienced by government officials, healthcare professionals, and women and their families. Drawing together anthropological conversations around reproduction, state bureaucracies and policy, and ethics and morality, I aim to generate a theoretical framework for the articulations of statecraft and the new ethics and practices of maternity care taking shape in contemporary Brazil.
Oakdale, Dr. Suzanne R., U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid workshop on 'Auto/Biographical Narratives in Lowland South America: Unexpected Relations between Persons, Language, History,' 2010, Edinburgh, in collaboration with Dr. Magnus E. Course
'Autobiographical and Biographical Narratives in Lowland South America: Unexpected Relations between Persons, Language, and History'
September 16-17, 2010, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Organizers: Suzanne Oakdale (University of New Mexico) and Magnus Course (University of Edinburgh)
This workshop brought together socio-cultural anthropologists, linguistic anthropologists, and linguists to focus on autobiographical and biographical narrative practices in lowland Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Brazil. Rather than understanding narratives as simply the expression of a pre-existing 'self' or as the depiction of 'a life,' papers argued for the centrality of these practices in the construction of selves and of the relations between selves and others. Papers worked to historically situate lowland peoples by looking at how the content and form of narratives offered insights into the complexities of different historical moments and into the historically specific social processes by which persons are constructed, as well as by exploring indigenous modes of historical consciousness. Themes that united many of the papers were the extent to which narrators drew upon multiple genres to create hybrid narrative forms and the importance of autobiographical and biographical practices for both describing and forming rapidly shifting and far-reaching social networks. These sorts of narrative practices came into view as switch points, translating the experiences of distinct kinds of people for each other, both in the present and across generations. Papers and discussion also provided historically grounded perspectives on
lowland leadership, inter-ethnic displays, and local ritual practices.
Fattal, Mr. Alexander, Harvard, U. Cambridge, MA - To aid engaged activities on 'Guerrilla Marketing: Information War and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels,' 2014, Bogota, Colombia
ALEXANDER FATTAL, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded an Engaged Anthropology Grant in February 2014 to aid engaged activities on 'Guerilla Marketing: Information War and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels,' Bogota, Colombia. Over the course of late July and August 2014, the grantee traveled to four cities in Colombia to share the findings from dissertation research that was funded in part by the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The grantee presented conclusions in a political context in which peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have reached an advanced stage, with provisional agreements signed for three of the five agenda items. This made the research into the individual demobilization of FARC combatants all the more germane to Colombian scholars, students, and policy-makers. Research results were presented at four different universities: La Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, ICESI Universidad in Cali, la Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, and the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. The audiences were very engaged at the presentations, often asking lively questions about Colombia's much-anticipated 'post-conflict' future. The grantee also extended the engagement project to Colombian audiences, as planned, with a few regional and national media outlets, and by sharing an initial cut of an ethnographic film about the psychological worlds of former guerrilla fighters.
Gessaghi, Maria Victoria, University of Buenos Aires - To aid training in anthropology at L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France, supervised by Dr. Monique de Saint Martin
Saavedra Espinosa, Mariana, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on '(Re)producing Successful Succession: Colombia's Family Business Project,' supervised by Dr. Annelise Riles
Preliminary abstract: In the last ten years Colombia has witnessed a trend among business owners and experts which, contrary to economic and business orthodoxy, considers family businesses to have advantages over other kinds of enterprises. Through generalized attention to the subject by a wide array of actors, and most significantly with the appearance of an industry of specialized family-business consultants, family firms seem to have made the transition from problem to solution in the Colombian entrepreneurial imagination. The solutions offered by this new form of expertise provide a means to rationalize the family that sustain bonds between families and firms while not entering into contradiction with broader dominant values of competition. The purpose of this project is to explore the methods, ideas and technologies involved in this shift in the status of family businesses. I ask: How are different actors reconfiguring 'family business' as a viable and successful economic formation thus constituting and legitimating particular forms of social reproduction? Through ethnographic methods I will engage with members of Colombia's entrepreneurial elite who are currently hiring the services of consultants, to inquire into the manner in which they are striving to reinvent themselves to maintain their status in the context of a liberalizing economy. More specifically, the project attends to these processes as reimaginations of family businesses, elites, and corporations and through considering their articulation to ideas of success and functionality, seeks to offer an account of their interrelated and contextual constitution.
Heckert, Carina Michelle, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX - To aid research on 'Gender Relations, Illness Experiences, and HIV/AIDS Care in Santa Cruz, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Nia Parson
CARINA HECKERT, then a student at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, was awarded funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Gender Relations, Illness Experiences, and HIV/AIDS Care in Santa Cruz, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Nia Parson. This research examines how global health and local policies shape the subjective lived experiences of 'people living with HIV/AIDS' (PLWHA) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, paying particular attention to the gender dynamics involved. At the time of fieldwork, a funding crisis emerged as the national government expelled key NGOs and the Ministry of Health violated terms of Bolivia's agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, thus making the country temporarily ineligible for Global Fund resources. Given that Bolivia is highly dependent on external funding to provide antiretrovirals (ARVs) and other forms of support to PLWHA, these actions put lives at the mercy of political decisions. This research documents the unfolding crisis and the ways civil society places demands upon the state. It also draws on participant observation in the context of care and interviews with healthcare workers and PLWHA to explore how policies shape illness experiences, especially in relation to gender. Global health policies often employ an oversimplified dominant discourse that frames women as victims, and this intersects with local gender ideologies in Santa Cruz in a way that results in a discourse of blaming men. This often comes with unintended consequences for both men and women as policies are developed and implemented at the local level.
Berg, Dr. Ulla Dalum, Rutgers U., Piscataway, NJ - To aid research and writing on 'Mediated Migrations: Technology, Mobility, and Belonging between the Andes and the US' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ULLA D. BERG, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2013 to aid research and writing on 'Mediated Migrations: Technology, Mobility, and Belonging between the Andes and the US.' During the fellowship period, a book manuscript titled 'Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the US' was completed. The book illuminates how transnational communicative practices and forms of exchange produce new forms of kinship and social relations, as well as new forms of self-presentation and belonging for global labor migrants. It shows how migrants create new portrayals of themselves that work both to overcome the class and racial biases that they had faced in their home country, as well as to control the images they share of themselves with others back home. The book is to be published by New York University Press (forthcoming, 2015) as part of the series 'Social Transformations in American Anthropology.' Mobile Selves demonstrates the critical role that ethnography can play in transdisciplinary migration studies and exemplifies what comparative migration studies-still largely dominated by economic, sociological, and demographic approaches-stand to gain from anthropological analysis and ethnographic methodologies.
Shepard, Jr., Dr. Glenn H., Goeldi Museum, Belem, Brazil - To aid research and writing on 'The Forest of Senses: Explorations of Nature, Culture, and Sensation in the Peruvian Amazon' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. GLENN H. SHEPARD, JR., Goeldi Museum, Belem, Brazil, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2009, to aid research and writing on 'The Forest of Senses: Explorations of Nature, Culture, and Sensation in the Peruvian Amazon.' Sorcery of the Senses examines the role of sensory perception in shamanism, traditional medicine and world view among two indigenous groups of the Peruvian Amazon: the Matsigenka and Nahua (Yora). Initial field research focused on the sensory properties of medicinal plants used by these two neighboring but distinctive peoples, mortal enemies until 1985. Explorations of sensory perception in botany, medicine, and shamanism opened doorways of understanding into the two groups' richly patterned and sensuous engagement with the environment and the cosmos, while highlighting differences in culture and ethos. This research distinguishes itself from most work in sensory anthropology by engaging productively with the field of psychophysics (sensory science), approaching sensation as rooted in physiology and environmental experience and yet also constructed through culture and personal history. By comparing sensory vocabulary, traditional medicine, and appropriations of Western medicines by the two groups, the book shows how environment, physiology and culture interact in constructing complex notions about agency. Drawing on the work of sensory and environmental anthropologists as well as on the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the writings of environmentalist David Abram, the book reflects on how sensory perception mediates people's relationships with the social, natural, and supernatural worlds.
Kelly Luciani, Dr. Jose, CNRS, Paris, France - To aid research & writing on 'A Political Anthropology of Indigenous Health in Venezuela: Amazonian Cosmopolitics & State Policy Implementation among the Yanomami of Amazonas' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. JOSE KELLY LUCIANI, French National Center for Scientific Reesarch, Paris, France, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2007 to aid research and writing on 'A Political Anthropology of Indigenous Health in Venezuela: Amazonian Cosmopolitics and State Policy Implementation among the Yanomami of Amazonas.' The grantee used the fellowship period to write a book-length monograph entitled 'Yanomami, Doctors and the State: The Cosmopolitics of Indian-White Relations in Venezuela' and an article entitled 'Equívocos sobre Cultura e Identidad: Un Comentario sobre la Formulación de Políticas para los Pueblos Iindígenas de Venezuela'. The monograph, which is devoted to the analysis of Yanomami-State relations as seen through the operation of the Venezuelan state health system, develops theoretical insights that contribute to Amazonianist and medical anthropological literature. Beyond the basic Yanomami ethnography presented, the theoretical argumentation and insights have implications for the analysis of many contexts of indigenous peoples' relations with their respective nation-states. The manuscript is currently being considered for publication by Arizona University Press. The second piece is a long discussion expanding part of a chapter from the main manuscript. It is centered on the double or mutual misunderstandings that both sustain and limit Indian-white and Indian-state relations, specifically in the context of integration into nation-states via public services. This article is due to be published in an edited volume on indigenous health in Venezuela by the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas (IVIC). The volume is also being considered for publication in English.