Harris, Shana Lisa, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Out of Harm's Way: HIV, Human Rights, and the Practice of Harm Reduction in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith C. Barker
SHANA HARRIS, then a student at University of California, San Francisco, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Out of Harm's Way: HIV, Human Rights, and the Practice of Harm Reduction in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith C. Barker. Argentina has had one of the highest rates of drug use-related HIV/AIDS prevalence in Latin America since the mid-1990s. After witnessing the failure of the government's drug abstinence-based interventions in curbing the epidemic, local civil society organizations began promoting interventions based on the principles of harm reduction. This dissertation examines how the harm reduction model traveled to and spread within Argentina by ethnographically tracing how it has been taken up and put into practice over the last decade by civil society organizations in the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario. It focuses on how harm reductionists address not only the physical harms associated with drug use, but also those harms created by punitive, prohibitionist policies and widespread discrimination. Specifically, Argentine harm reductionists utilize the notions of 'vulnerability' and 'exclusion' to facilitate drug users' access to health and social services and to promote and protect users' human and civil rights. Drawing on the country's history of human rights abuses and economic instability, harm reductionists work to advance the idea of drug users as 'right bearers' in order to hold the state accountable for users' health and welfare and to shift the subjectivity of users from 'delinquents' to 'citizens.'
Shapero, Joshua Aprile, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Speaking Places: The Grammar of Space and the Sociality of Place among Central Quechua Speakers,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Mannheim
Preliminary abstract: I investigate the role of Quechua speakers' spatial concepts in the contextualization of verbal interaction. I will study the way Central Peruvian Quechua speakers in the town of Huaripampa relate to space at two levels: 1) non-linguistic conceptualization in experimental settings, and 2) the spatial contexts that ground verbal interactions while engaged in agricultural, pastoral and ritual activities. The way Quechua encodes space privileges local landmarks over abstract relations like north and south. I hypothesize that this correlates with a cognitive predisposition to think about space in terms of individual places, and thereby shapes the significance of places in Andean culture. Talk during activities such as farming inevitably refers to nearby and distant places or boundaries, contextualizing their interaction in a spatial frame. When Quechua speakers engage in talk in pastoral or ritual practices, they come to share an orientation to the places around them. By focusing on these verbal interactions, I will show how the significance of places is embedded in the social milieu of interaction. My approach also facilitates an analysis of the role of spatial cognition in the sociality of place, advancing scholarly understanding of the relation between culture and cognition.
Genz, Joseph H., U. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI - To aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney
JOSEPH H. GENZ, then a student at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney. The research aimed to investigate indigenous navigation in the Marshall Islands. The Marshallese developed a system to detect land by sensing through sight and feel the way islands disrupt the patterning of ocean swells. One of the few remaining elders with navigational knowledge recently resolved to revive this dying art. A collaborative project developed among University of Hawaii anthropologists and oceanographers, Waan Ae/on in Maje/ ('Canoes of the Marshall Islands;' a canoe building and sailing revival project) and several elders to document indigenous navigational knowledge, study its physical oceanographic basis, revitalize traditional voyaging. The collaborative research provides a case study to understand how Pacific navigators answer the question, 'Where am I?' Contrary to other Pacific navigation traditions, the Marshallese find their way across the ocean by following distinctive oceanographic phenomena. They sense how the motion of the canoe is affected by wave reflection, refraction and diffraction.
Genz, Jospeh. 2011. Navigating the Revival of Voyaging in the Marshall Islands: Predicaments of Preservation and Possibilities of Collaboration. The Contemporary Pacific 22(1):1-34.
Genz, Joseph H., and Ben R. Finney. 2006. Preservation and Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage: A Perspective from Cultural Anthropological Research on Indigenous Navigation in the Republic of the Marshal Islands. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 5(1&2):306-313.
Margaretten, Emily J., Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'South African Street Youth and their Participation in Urban Street Shelters,' supervised by Dr. Eric W. Worby
EMILY MARGARETTEN, while a student at Yale University, was awarded funding in January 2005 to complete her dissertation research on 'South African Street Youth and their Participation in Informal Shelters,' as supervised by Dr. Eric Worby. Through her investigations of informal street shelters, the grantee examined the ways in which groups of street youth in Durban, South Africa, came together to mitigate the daily hardships of urban poverty. The research supported by Wenner-Gren focused on a group of youth inhabiting a condemned apartment complex in the city center of Durban., South Africa. Up to 130 youth between the ages of 14 and 29 made use of this building for a variety of purposes: to be near income-generating practices; to escape the impoverishment of their homes; to participate in the excitement of urban life; and finally, but not least of all, to create and maintain a set of social relations that have both the material and symbolic makings of kinship (re)production. Using anthropological field methods of participant- observation, informal conversations, and recorded interviews, the grantee's project investigated the ways in which a marginalized group of youth deployed notions of fictive kin to create reciprocal ties of obligation and responsibility. Through mutual claims of kinship, these youth not only created opportunities for their everyday survival but also managed to forge some semblance of collective order and personal belonging. This research contributes to broader anthropological studies that account for urban youth identities as well as subjective imaginings of kinship, household formation, and domestic organization.
Margaretten, Emily. 2009. Street Life under a Roof. Anthropology and Humanism 34(2):163-178.
Goldstone, Brian David, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Prosperity Gospels: Pentecostalism, Value, and the Moral Imagination in Northern Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
BRIAN DAVID GOLDSTONE, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Prosperity Gospels, Pentecostalism, Value, and the Moral Imagination in Northern Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. This project takes as its starting point the recent incursion of charismatic churches into the Northern Region, Ghana -- a predominantly Muslim area -- and explores the modes of affect and subjectivity as well as the ethical-political formations that have been enabled and foreclosed in this encounter. It addresses not only the place of 'the North' in the Ghanaian national imaginary -- the images and histories it draws on and the various projects, including evangelism, it is able to mobilize -- but also the ways in which charismatic concepts and practices (miracles, prophecy, conversion, spiritual warfare, discipleship, soul winning, and so forth) are reconfigured as they attempt to inhabit a terrain considered by many to be the exception to Ghana's self-characterization as a peaceful, prosperous and, indeed, Christian African nation. Moreover, and moving beyond the circumscribed topoi of an anthropology of Christianity, this research seeks to bring the aforementioned thematics to bear on an investigation of Ghanaian secularity and secularism (which might be conceptualized in terms of a tension, made especially visible in the North), between toleration and religious freedom (including the freedom to evangelize and convert the nonbeliever). By exploring how various modalities of evangelism complicate the ethics and politics of toleration, this project inquires into the implications for a more general understanding of secularism, conversion, and the creation of distinctive religious subjects in contemporary Ghana.
Rothschild, Amy Caroline, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Suffering in Post-Conflict East Timor: Memory, Nationalism and Human Rights,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Postero
AMY C. ROTHSCHILD, then a student at University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Suffering in Post-Conflict East Timor: Memory, Nationalism and Human Rights,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Postero. The grantee conducted approximately one and one half years of ethnographic dissertation research in East Timor. The research examined how Timorese -- the State, different non-State groups (including human rights NGOs) and individuals -- are publically 'remembering' the brutal Indonesian occupation of East Timor, which lasted from 1975 to 1999 and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of East Timorese. The research took place both inside the capital, Dili, as well as in more rural areas, particularly around the village of Kraras, where a series of massacres occurred in 1983. Primary methodologies included participant observation as well unstructured and semi-structured interviews with victims, veterans, human rights workers, 'memory activists,' and state officials. A primary analytic focus was on how a nationalist understanding or framework of the past, with its vocabulary of heroes and martyrs and its future-oriented focus on nation-state building, overlapped with or clashed against a more internationalist/human rights understanding or framework of the past, with its vocabulary of victims and perpetrators and its more backwards looking calls for justice.
Fagioli, Monica, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Failure to Resource: The Somali Diaspora and State-making in Somaliland and Puntland,' supervised by Dr. Janet Roitman
Preliminary abstract: Since the 1990s, international development agencies and governments have begun to describe migration and diaspora as resources for national development within their countries of origin. This project studies the convergence between diaspora and development in Somaliland and Puntland (north of Somalia) by exploring the effects of this shift in international development and local national policies, which draws on migration and diaspora networks as resources. I focus on a United Nations Development Program and International Organization of Migration (UNDP-IOM) project, 'Qualified Expatriate Somali Technical Support- Migration for development in Africa,â? or QUESTS-MIDA, to ask questions about the relationship between transnational migration and processes of state-building by looking at the participation of â??qualifiedâ? diasporas in their home country. This project studies the tensions between ideas and practices of transnational governance in contexts like Somalia, which international development agencies call â??post conflict societiesâ? or â??failed states.â? Instead of assuming a failure of the state in Somalia, this study asks if and how the state is actively being reconfigured in ways that involve a larger network of power relations besides and alongside state-building projects.
Lee, Courtney Anne, U. of Colorado, Denver, CO - To aid research on 'The Impact of Medical Tourism on Health Care in Costa Rica,' supervised by Dr. Stephen Koester
COURTNEY ANNE LEE, then a student at the University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'The Impact of Medical Tourism on Health Care in Costa Rica,' supervised by Dr. Stephen Koester. Based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork, this research explores the development of Costa Rica as a medical tourist destination for Americans seeking low cost, high quality medical care. This dissertation project seeks to understand the social, political, economic, and moral implications that the growth of medical tourism -- as a manifestation of larger neoliberal changes in Latin America -- has for the existing socialized health care system in Costa Rica, and the ways in which medical tourism affects how Costa Ricans think about health care delivery and state responsibility for health care. The global medical tourism industry represents a fundamental shift in the way we think about health care provision, and yet its impacts on local health care access remain virtually unexamined. This research addresses the ideological tensions and contradictions that surround medical tourism as the lines between conceptions of health care as local and global, socialist and capitalist, public and private blur to accommodate this emerging industry. This study is one of the first to take seriously local perceptions, understandings, and engagements with medical tourism. Grounded in the experiences of Costa Rican health care providers, educators, policy makers and locals, this paper tells the story of a system in flux.
Yehia, Elena Walid, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Sectarian Difference Beyond Sectarianism: The Mediating Labors of 'Alternative' Media in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
ELENA WALID YEHIA, then a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Sectarian Difference Beyond Sectarianism: The Mediating Labors of 'Alternative' Media in Beirut,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This fieldwork research explored ethnographically the alternative forms through which difference, especially sectarian difference, is being articulated in Lebanon today by the journalists of the daily Al-Akhbar opposition newspaper. The topic is of particular relevance in Lebanon, and today across the region, as sectarian differences are increasingly mobilized in hegemonic, oppressive, and antagonistic ways. Following the historic uprisings that sparked in Tunisia, this research expanded to examine how the Lebanese 'Campaign to Bring Down the Sectarian Regime' was formulating and framing its objectives, in addition to examining the daily practices through which its participants seek to achieve these goals. The research findings to date point that the alternatives investigated are emergent, quite multiple, non-coherent (if not plain contradictory sometimes). and are unfolding in relational and situated ways, whether within the newspaper or in its surrounding fervent social and geo-political context. While they are significantly shaped by the wider constraints within which they operate, this research also noted that their seeming ambiguities is actually also contributing towards making these sites fertile grounds for encounters, transgressions, and new possibilities for cultivating alternative subjectivities and imaginaries that strive to enact other ways of engaging across sectarian, political, and other forms of difference.
Praspaliauskiene, Rima, U. of California Davis, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Thank You, Doctor: Informed Patients, Healthcare, and Ethics in Post-Socialist Lithuania,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit
RIMA PRASPALIAUSKIENE, then a student at the University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Thank You, Doctor: Informed Patients, Healthcare, and Ethics in Post-Socialist Lithuania,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Dumit. This project explored how in informal economy illness is experienced and how health is managed. By examining one of the components of health practice -- informal payments -- this project looks at the configuration of the concept of health itself, as it currently emerges at the historical intersection of socialist state practices and liberal technologies of government. And it asks: How did the socialist state provision of health-its practices and technologies-contribute to a definition of health during its heyday? How is this definition of health being rearticulated by the neo-liberal state and how do informal payments interfere with it? What is it like to be a patient or a healthcare provider at these historical crossroads? This research approaches the narratives coalescing illness and told by patients, their relatives and doctors as 'envelope narratives.' The envelope here is not solely a metaphor for a monetary transaction that comes up in the narratives, but a metaphor and a concept that encapsulates the linkages between notion of health, belief, hope, and political economy in contemporary Lithuania. Findings suggest that the interconnectedness of both therapeutic systems and social networks is rendered in the envelope narratives, where illness, hope and social networks are bundled.