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.
Scarborough, Isabel M., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Market Women Mothers and Daughters: Politics and Mobility in the New Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Andrew Orta
ISABEL M. SCARBOROUGH, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Market Women Mothers and Daughters: Politics and Mobility in the New Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Andrew Orta. Market women in Bolivia have a long history of political participation and as brokers of ethnic concerns with broader populist social movements. This research sought to explain how recent processes of social and ethnic mobility across two generations affected identity negotiations and constructions for these women. The study is framed within the context of Bolivia's ongoing transformations where current state policies and ideology are based on a reversal of former neoliberal values and the importance of ethnicity and indigenousness in national belonging. Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out with two generations of market women using in-depth interviews and participant-observation methods. Research results confirmed the extent of this upward mobility through education, and how this journey affects broader economic practices, including how these women imagine, embody, and practice both the formal and informal markets, challenging this dichotomy. Additionally, queries on the current political participation of both market women and their university-graduate daughters show both groups fractured along rapidly escalating hostilities between the opposition and the government, which in turn reflect the conflict raging between the highland regions that support the state's indigenous-based politics and the lowland regions where the opposition decries the government's anti-capitalist stance.
James, Carwil Robert, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: Urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
CARWIL R. JAMES, then a student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. This dissertation analyzes the role of space-claiming protests by primarily indigenous-identified social movements in Bolivia's current political transformation. Participatory fieldwork, oral history taking, and documentary research undergird a rich historical examination of the politics urban spaces in Sucre and Cochabamba, two politically active, multiracial cities with contrasting histories of indigenous-mestizo relations. Space claiming includes protests that physically control or symbolically claim urban space through occupations of plazas and roads, sit-ins, and blockades; as well as the use, re-appropriation, and redesigning of state spaces, as authorized by the post-2006 government. This dissertation argues that social movements' appropriation of Bolivia's central physical, political, and symbolic spaces both justifies and embodies the political changes they demand. In particular, indigenous movements have sought to claim the right to enter and direct politics from the central urban spaces that once excluded them, provoking literal and figurative battles over ownership of the city and its streets. The research shows that space-claiming practices function as: 1) a tool for achieving political change in Bolivia; 2) a model for the relationship between state and society; and 3) a central element in ongoing political conflicts.
Borda Nino, Adriana C., U. of St. Andrews, UK - To aid research on ''When Does Incest Matter': Ethnic, Class & Gender Discourses & Experiences About Incest among Female Patients in a Psychiatric Hospital in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Tristan Platt
ADRIANA BORDA NINO, then a student at University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on ''When Does Incest Matter?' Ethnic, Class, and Gender Discourses and Experiences about Incest among Female Patients in a Psychiatric Hospital in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Tristan Platt. Fourteen months of fieldwork were conducted in Bolivia's National Psychiatric Hospital and rural communities in southern Bolivia, as well as in judicial and historical archives. Three major goals were achieved. The project problematized the category of 'incest' in terms of how kinship is constructed not only as a series of dynamic discourses but also as mobile experiences, however socially sanctioned. Second, it reviewed Goffman's category of 'the moral career of the mental patient:' whilst Goffman places its starting point when a person is hospitalized, in this research previous events and processes (especially those related to incest and sexual violence) were also considered and carefully analysed; and whereas hospitalization as a possibility (and an actual place for treatment) becomes real thanks to a series of relations, processes and events, and the extent to which hospitalisation is articulated as much as means of social control as a community-based healing practice, the perspectives of Basaglia and Foucault were brought to the center of analysis. Last, the sharp binary division human/non-human was brought into question; the categorization used by staff of the intermediate-chronic patients as human beings (in all its diversity) is mobile and problematic, as it determines the success of management strategies to broader power relations that exceed those taking place in the psychiatric hospital.
Taddei, Renzo R., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
RENZO R. TADDEI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2003 to aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. This research focused on the socio-semiotic dimensions of new participatory arenas for water allocation in the Jaguaribe Valley, in the semi-arid hinterlands of the State of Ceará, in the Brazilian Northeast. The field research, carried out during 2004, involved over one hundred interviews with farmers, community leaders, politicians, technicians, government agents, individuals knowledgeable in traditional rain forecast techniques (locally called 'rain prophets'), journalists and local researchers in the areas of water management and meteorology. Additionally, rain prophets' meetings were filmed, as were basin-level water committee meetings in the Jaguaribe, Banabuiú and Curú Valleys, meetings of the State Water Resources Council and the international climate outlook fora that take place in Fortaleza. The research was complemented by broad-reaching archival research in local newspapers. A central element being studied, namely the disputes for authority and legitimacy to lead collective action, in committee discussions as well as in daily productive activities (like farming decisions), was addressed through the documentation and analysis of how authoritative discourses were created in the political game. Three institutionalized rituals were picked as case studies: the annual rain prophets' meeting, the climate outlook forum of Fortaleza, and the water allocation meeting that takes place in the Jaguaribe Valley. In each of these cases, the research gathered evidence of how semiotic manipulations - that is, transformation of meanings associated to environmental issues - are used strategically or are 'bricolaged' towards envisioned goals, by different stakeholders involved in the political process.
London, Dr. Douglas, Adelphi U., Garden City, NY - To aid engaged activities on 'Engagement Grant Follow-Up to: Hunter-Gatherers and Double-Edged Dietary Swords - Food as Medicine Among the Waorani Foragers of Amazonian Ecuador,' 2013, Ecuador
DR. DOUGLAS LONDON, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, was awarded an Engaged Anthropology Grant in February 2013 to aid engaged activities on 'Hunter-Gatherers and Double-Edged Dietary Swords: Food as Medicine among the Waorani Foragers of Amazonian Ecuador.' Starting in 2009, the grantee compared the diet and the health of the Kawymeno Waorani hunter-gatherer population in Amazonian Ecuador with neighboring indigenous subsistence farmers. Evidence demonstrated that particular aspects of the Waorani traditional diet protect against certain chronic and infectious diseases. Waorani that have abandoned their traditional diet experience previously absent dietary related diseases. Maintaining a traditional diet has been discouraged by policies of oil companies, non-profits, government health and education institutions and Westernizing Waorani institutions themselves. Several months' regional visits and meetings took place in 32 remote Waorani communities, attendant schools and health centers, and with influential stakeholders overseeing these regions: oil companies, non-profits, indigenous umbrella groups, and government officials. Activities culminated in a conference to encourage collaborative efforts among the stakeholders that had been visited. Overall goals achieved included disseminating study results to encourage the preservation and recognize the value of the native Waorani diet and planting the seeds of potential future collaborations to prevent dietary-based disease among stakeholders.
Chaparro-Buitrago, Julie, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'The Promise of Empowerment: Memories, Conflict, and the Cases of Forced Sterilization in Peru (1996-2000),' supervised by Dr. Thomas Leatherman
Preliminary abstract: This project explores the relationship between reproductive violence and collective memory in Peru through an ethnographic study of forced sterilizations that occurred between 1996 and 2000. I interrogate how they have become a site of contestation over what is remembered, what is visible, and what is or not legible. Through ethnographic research 'follow[ing] the conflict' (Marcus 1995) I will collect data about this conflict from women's organizations (AMAEF-Cuzco and FECMA-Vilcahuaman), NGOs (DEMUS -Estudio para la defensa de los derechos de la mujer- a feminist NGO in Lima) and state institutions, specifically the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. My project contributes to anthropological scholarship twofold: it will expand our understanding of how reproductive violence is produced as a site where multiple and contradictory projects of visibility and legibility converge. I will look at the social relations that created the conditions of possibility for these different registers to occur. My work illuminates our understanding of how memories of a violent act that curtailed women's biological reproduction are waved into women's efforts of 'social regeneration and transformation' (Cole 2001: 22). How biological and social reproduction are intertwined in women's efforts to make this event visible and reproduce their social relations, communal lives, and familiar relations
Walker, Robert, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'Skill Investment and Subsistence Activities among the Maku-Nadeb of Northwest Amazonas, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Kim Hill
ROBERT WALKER, while a student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in July 2002 to aid research on skill investment and subsistence activities among the Maku-Nadeb people of northwestern Amazonas, Brazil, under the supervision of Dr. Kim Hill. Walker investigated the long length of the human juvenile period, analyzing age- and sex-dependency in time allocation, food production, and physical performance in the Maku-Nadeb's small-scale economy for clues to the processes involved in the evolution of this trait. He gave special attention to play activities, observation of others, and work output by youngsters. Under the premise that the human juvenile period is necessary to obtain adult proficiency in important life skills, Walker evaluated two competing models, that of a complex foraging niche and that of a complex social niche.
Motta, Rossio, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Psychiatric Technology Under Neo-Liberal Restructuring: The Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychotropic Drugs in Peruvian Hospitals,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena
ROSSIO MOTTA, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Psychiatric Technology Under Neo-Liberal Restructuring: The Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychotropic Drugs in Peruvian Hospitals,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena. This research examined the use of the most common technologies for the treatment of mental disorders in Peru: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychotropic drugs (PD). ECT has been used during economic crises and consequent shortages of State-provided drugs. Since the 1990s, ECT has become one of the most reliable technologies in public hospitals. Neo-liberal restructuring of the drug market led to an increased supply of copies of name-brand drugs with more accessible prices, but doubtful efficacy. In public hospitals, under constant budget cuts, these are the only available drugs and, for many actors, ECT is a more trustworthy alternative. Nevertheless, ECT is a polemic technology due to growing concern about the ethics of its use and practice. To understand how doctors and patients interact with both treatments, the grantee conducted 16 months of fieldwork in the Hospital Víctor Larco Herrera (HVLH), Peru's main psychiatric public hospital and surrounding institutions. In the HVLH, research was conducted using participant observation and interviews focusing on three wards associated with the use of ECT or PD. The grantee also interviewed representatives of the Peruvian Ministry of Health, performed voluntary work with the patient advocacy group, Alamo, and carried out archival research on both technologies, their regulation, and their interaction with 'softer' treatments such as art therapy.
Dias, Paula Strickland Sauer, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Petro-Politics at the Grassroots: Big Oil, Environmental Education, and Governance in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Jessaca B. Leinaweaver
PAULA DIAS, then a graduate student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Petro-Politics at the Grassroots: Big Oil, Environmental Education, and Governance in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Jessaca B. Leinaweaver. This was an ethnographic study of a state-mandated environmental education (EE) project implemented by Shell Oil with quilombola communities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This research asked how state regulation of the oil industry through EE affects the political landscapes of two quilombos-Rasa and Maria Joaquina-at the levels of political practice and social dynamics. Through twelve months of fieldwork (including participant observation, in-depth interviews, and archival research), this research had the following findings: EE policy was developed by 'activist bureaucrats' in Brazil's environmental agency (lBAMA) following democratic precepts of critical enviromental education. On the ground, EE projects demand forms of expertise and labor that perpetuate inequality even as they privilege some community leaders. The 'democratic' political values expressed by Shell's EE project come into conflict with quilombola political practices, effectively challenging quilombola leaders' authority. Shell's EE had the positive impact of creating a network of communities and venues for discussion of shared notions of belonging and culture among quilombos. Despite these advancements, community development projects such as EE rely on reified notions of 'community,' 'culture,' and 'democracy' that maintain project-bound hierarchies and inhibit a dialogue with the political realities of beneficiary communities.