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.
Pardue, Derek P., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Blackness and Periphery: A Retelling of Marginality in Hip-Hop Culture of Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Norman E. Whitten Jr.
DEREK P. PARDUE, while a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded a grant in December 2001 to aid research on 'Blackness and Periphery: A Retelling of Marginality in Hip-Hop Culture of Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Norman E. Whitten, Jr. The grant from Wenner-Gren complemented an already existing dissertation fieldwork grant from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC - Arts). The additional stipend significantly ameliorated general financial difficulties in Brazil caused by shifting currency rates and sudden price hikes in basic resources such as transportation, telephone service, and gasoline. The particular research conducted under the grant focused on graphic design and sound engineering practices of hip-hop producers in Sao Paulo, Brazil from January 2002 to August 2002. Fieldwork data concerning the techniques and technologies utilized in 830 Paulo rap recording studios involved primarily costs in reciprocity for basic tutelage from sound engineers and meeting time. In the case of graphic design. data collection and interpretation involved specific experiments and surveys. Research included the creation and dissemination of surveys to evaluate consumers' tastes and expectations with regard to compact disc covers and insert designs in the Brazilian rap music industry. Part of this process involved the designing of fictitious CD covers with potential names for an advertised compilation sponsored by the website http://www.bocada-forte.com.br. The exemplars integrated typography and images into a coherent composition organized around major themes of Brazilian hip-hop culture. These included: negritude (blackness), do-it-yourself ideology of production and community-building, 'periphery' occupation of public space, social protest, and technology and the Internet. Multiple-choice questionnaires complemented the visual material to elicit consumer analysis on this connection of aesthetics to ethics.
Fiske, Amelia Morel, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'The Making of Harm in the Ecuadorian Amazon,' supervised by Dr. Margaret J. Wiener
AMELIA M. FISKE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'The Making of Harm in the Ecuadorian Amazon,' supervised by Dr. Margaret J. Wiener. In 1972, the U.S.-based Texaco Corporation began oil production in the upper Ecuadorian Amazon. For 20 years, the company extracted oil unhindered by regulations designed to protect the health of oil workers or the environment, resulting in widespread environmental destruction and human suffering. The resulting contamination and relationship between oil and health have been widely disputed in the 18-year Aguinda v. Texaco lawsuit, as well as in ongoing conflicts around oil. Since Texaco, oil production has expanded with operations by the state company PetroEcuador, as well as dozens of foreign companies. Harm from oil, in the forms of contaminated water, toxic gas emissions, continual oil spills, health problems, and social division, remains a pressing concern for people in the Amazon today. This project follows contemporary interventions into the question of harm, paying attention to how harm is defined and formed by practices of measurement, documentation, and presentation. This project makes 'harm' the subject of an ethnographic investigation in order to raise questions about the consequences of extractive activity, and how these forms of evaluation may themselves be changing the way life is lived in the Amazon today.
Regehr, Vera Dorothea, U. Catolica 'Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion', Asuncion, Paraguay - To aid training in social-cultural anthropology at U. Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, supervised by Dr. Roger E. Magazine
Grace, Samantha Lois, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Becoming Citizens: Schooling the Life Course in Ecuador and the U.S.,' supervised by Dr. Susan J. Shaw
Preliminary abstract: Over the last few years, Ecuador has undergone an 'educational revolution' explicitly aimed at reducing citizen inequality. Underlying these new laws and practices is an understanding, also found in U.S. educational discourses, that students are still in the process of becoming citizens and that this process will reach completion as they achieve adulthood. Both Andean anthropology and U.S. citizenship studies have highlighted the importance of schools as sites for the production of citizens, and political theorists have called for increased attention to the private sphere in the study of citizenship. By investigating how age shapes Ecuadorian and U.S. citizenship through changing rights and responsibilities of high school students and their families, this cross-cultural comparative study demonstrates how Ecuadorian citizenship and U.S. citizenship are constituted in institutional and familial relationships that change over the life course. Taking the life course as the principal variable in examining citizenship both reorients understandings of citizenship towards dynamic national subjectivities and reveals inequalities of race, class, and gender that have been popularly explained away as problems of age (e.g. child labor, teen pregnancy). This project builds on those literatures and others in conducting participant observation in secondary schools and homes and conducting intergenerational interviews with families both in Ecuador and the U.S. By focusing on daily practices in both the public and private sphere, this project reveals how growing up becomes a site for creating and concealing the differentiation of citizenship.
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.