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.
Angelini, Alessandro Massimo, City U. of New York - Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Production of Urban 'Knowledges': The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro as Sites of Intervention,' supervised by Dr. David William Harvey
ALESSANDRO MASSIMO ANGELINI, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'The Production of Urban 'Knowledges:' The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro as Sites of Intervention,' supervised by Dr. David William Harvey. This dissertation project explores how symbolic and moral worlds are bound up in the built environment of a hillside squatter settlement, or favela, in Rio de Janeiro. Based on eighteen months of ethnographic research, the study centers on an elaborate role-playing game created by local youths to investigate how representation, scale, material objects, memory, and affect interrelate. Their ongoing game conjures the collective everyday experience of favela dwellers, particularly encounters with violence, discrimination, and exploitation. It also highlights how objects themselves elicit sentimental and sensual attachments to inflect or counter prevailing moral and economic senses of value. Recently incorporated as a 'social project' the site, a miniature replica of Rio, has acquired new attributes as a vehicle for community development and youth pedagogy, but these projects do not always conform to the image of the city animated by the game. In Brazil, an emergent rights and property regime may attend to the material needs of the underprivileged, but may neglect their capacity to imagine. From a vantage point that delves into the subjective world of young favela dwellers, this research thus poses critical questions to debates over how to envision a more just, democratic city.
Shakow, Dr. Miriam N., Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research and writing on 'States of Discontent: Patronage, Liberalism, and Indigenous Democracy in Bolivia' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. MIRIAM N. SHAKOW, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, received a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2010 to aid research and writing on 'States of Discontent: Patronage, Liberalism, and Indigenous Democracy in Bolivia.' This monograph narrates the surprising dilemmas of new middle classes in central Bolivia as they participate in and respond to the rise of a left-wing indigenous movement and party. Over the past decade, Bolivians have been at the forefront of movements for indigenous autonomy and against free market economic policies. The recent success of 'new left' parties in Latin American countries marked by longstanding social and economic inequalities, such as Bolivia, raises important questions about political change. How do people re-think their identities as citizens after the election of indigenous leaders? How are political ideals and practices affected by the rapid turnover of state regimes and ideologies? Following the election of Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous President, first-generation professionals in central Bolivia wrestled earnestly with how to distinguish their identity from those of their 'Indian' and 'peasant' parents, cousins and neighbors-and their new President. By tracing everyday dilemmas of class, racial, and political identification from 1995 to present in the central Bolivian municipality of Sacaba, States of Discontent highlights the unexpected hybridity of radicalism and neoliberal political practices. The book also traces Bolivians' attempts to reconcile conflicting social and political ideals of equality, upward mobility, and middle class distinction.
Jernigan, Kevin A., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'A Study of Tree Identification among the Aguaruna Jivaro of the Peruvian Amazon,' supervised by Dr. Brent Berlin
KEVIN A. JERNIGAN, then a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'A Study of Tree Identification among the Aguaruna Jivaro of the Peruvian Amazon,' supervised by Dr. Brent Berlin. A year-long ethnobotanical study was carried out in several indigenous communities on the Nieva River, in the Peruvian Amazon, to determine how the Aguaruna Jivaro identify trees of their local environment. After eliciting freelists of tree names from community members, 65 trees were selected from the freelists for measuring identification methods. Interviews with eight key informants helped to determine how the identifications were made and voucher specimens were collected from the selected trees. This study made use of the Aguaruna concept of kumpaji, glossed as companion, which denotes species thought to be perceptually similar but not subsumed under a shared name. Questions designed to elicit identification methods included asking what distinguishes each tree from other trees informants consider to be its companions. Specimens collected in the study in combination with ethnobotanical data collected by Brent Berlin for the Aguaruna (1970) aided in obtaining accurate botanical determinations of the species in question and support the notion that these covert groupings correspond to tree species of the same botanical family. Results also indicate that the Aguaruna rely on both morphological and ecological clues to identify trees. Morphological clues appear to play a greater role than ecological ones.
Bocarejo, Diana, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Reconfiguring the Political Landscape: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Difference in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff
DIANA BOCAREJO, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Reconfiguring the Political Landscape: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Difference in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff. This research addresses a particular issue of legal multiculturalism: the manner in which it is set within a form of 'spatial exceptionalism,' that is how in the particular case of Colombia (although this is not the only one) indigenous peoples acquired a number of special rights that were circumscribed to a legally and physically bounded territory. As such, the exercise of customary law, education, and language was completely enclosed within each indigenous territory. This research is a socio-legal study that tries to address the relationship between multiculturalism and space through four different problematiques: First is an analysis of the manner in which ethnicity and territory were connected within the National Colombian Constitution. The second is a study of the jurisprudence of the National Constitutional Court to understand the instrumentality of reservations for Court verdicts. The third issue addresses how indigenous peoples are mobilizing the law to create a large agrarian reform by buying peasant land. This study includes ethnographic work in seven different villages of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Finally, this research followed a court's case ethnographically to understand what has happened to indigenous Evangelical Christians who lost a suit against the indigenous leaders of their community and were forbidden to practice their religion within the indigenous reservation.
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.
Lyons, Dr. Barry J., Wayne State U., Detroit, MI - To aid research on 'Race and Identity among Nonindigenous Schoolteachers in the Wake of Indigenous Resurgence in Contemporary Ecuador'
DR. BARRY LYONS, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Race and Identity among Nonindigenous Schoolteachers in the Wake of Indigenous Political Resurgence in Contemporary Ecuador.' This project involved ethnographic research on the indigenous movement's impact on notions of race and identity in highland Ecuador in 2007 and 2008. The research focused specifically on nonindigenous schoolteachers and their experiences in the two branches of the education ministry, the hispana directorate and the newer intercultural directorate, in which indigenous organizations have been very influential. The grantee and two research assistants worked alongside teachers in six schools and conducted 75 in-depth interviews with teachers and education officials. Preliminary analysis suggests that the indigenous movement has succeeded in pushing overt racism out of everyday interactions and in redefining racial differences as cultural distinctions. However, intercultural education and the new multicultural discourse have also had unintended effects and limitations. The category of mestizo, as contrasted with indigenous, has crystallized as the 'more or less' white side of an overarching mestizo vs. indigenous dichotomy, largely absorbing other nonindigenous categories. This dichotomy limits the indigenous movement's challenge to the supremacy of whiteness. Overt racism has declined, but the shift from racial discourses to multiculturalism has ironically left 'less white' mestizos without a discursive basis for linking their experiences of discrimination with indigenous experiences and struggles.
Cesarino, Pedro D., U. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To aid research on 'Translation and Study of Marubo Oral Tradition,' supervised by Dr. Eduardo B. Viveiros de Castro
PEDRO D. CESARINO, then a student at University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Translation and Study of Marubo Oral Tradition,' supervised by Dr. Eduardo B. Viveiros de Castro. This project was conducted in the Indigenous Reservation Vale do Javari (Amazonas State, Brazil) to analyze verbal arts related to shamanism, cosmology, and death conceptions of the Marubo, speakers of a Panoan language from the upper Ituí River. The research resulted in a substantial collection of recorded chants, narratives, and interviews, as well as drawings done by three elderly shamans. A selection of translations, drawings, and research data will be used to illustrate the notions of social and cosmological transformation involved in Marubo mythology and shamanism, as well as the characteristics of the synesthetic poetics (inter-relation of distinctive aesthetic domains) developed by this culture. Fieldwork, conjugated with the work of translation of a corpus originated from oral tradition, led to the recognition of an encompassing and live system of cosmological reflection and ritual action regarding death and disease, which was the focus of this research.
Winchell, Mareike, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
MAREIKE WINCHELL, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind. Research focused on the ways recent legal reforms reshape existing practices of historical consciousness and ethical subjectivity in Bolivia, with emphasis on the frictions between the Bolivian state's vision of revolutionary change, on the one hand, and rural experiences of state reform among Quechua and Spanish-speaking descendents of landowners, and servants in ex-hacienda regions on the other. Through research with land reform officials and rural Quechua-speakers, the study shed light on: 1) how emergent ideals of revolutionary citizenship and temporal change become institutionalized; and 2) the ways institutional efforts coexist uneasily with a set of vertical relational practices that rural residents imbue with ethical significance.