Lee, Seung-Cheol, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Financialized Ethics: Governing Individual Bankruptcy in South Korea,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Povinelli
Preliminary abstract: In the wake of the 1997 financial crisis, South Korea quickly moved from being a nation of notoriously high savers to a country with one of the highest ratios of household debt to disposable income. By illuminating this process in the context of financial neoliberalization and the fall of the developmental state, my project will explore South Korea's governance of personal bankruptcy in order to understand the profound transformations in social, subjective, and ethical life that have attended and underwritten this transition. By excavating multi-layered and even contradictory features of neoliberalization, my research will examine the emergence of new forms of governing power that now surround bankrupt individuals, which can be called 'financialized ethics' or 'moral neoliberalism' based on the grafting of ethics onto economy. First, my research will trace how individual bankruptcy is problematized as a 'moral/ethical' issue and thus how the bankrupt are constructed as an object of 'moral' government. Second, I will investigate how the bankrupt are trained and disciplined to embody the ideal of 'ethical entrepreneurship' during the rehabilitation process. Third, this project examines how present-day governing practices produce depoliticized effects by mobilizing morality as the antidote to a crisis that requires political/economic solutions. As it achieves these goals, my research will challenge the conventional understanding of neoliberalism that equates it with the domination of market and calculative rationality and instead illuminate how new forms of ethicality and sociality are intrinsically linked to the intensification of financial neoliberalism.
Gastrow, Claudia, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Grounding Citizenship: The Politics of Property in Post-conflict Luanda,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
CLAUDIA GASTROW, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Grounding Citizenship: The Politics of Property in Post-Conflict Luanda,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff. Since the end of the Angolan civil war (1975-2002), the Angolan state and private concerns have invested significant resources in the redevelopment of the capital, Luanda. The remaking of the city has involved a strategy of relocating thousands of informal settlement residents to new state housing areas on the periphery of the city. The mobilization of formal planning mechanisms after years of the state seemingly leaving residents to occupy and build according to their own wishes has come into conflict with established means of urban expansion, forcing residents to rethink strategies for gaining access to housing and land. This research tracks how housing has acted as a means for the residents to assess their relationship to the state over the last thirty years. More particularly, it looks at how, over the last decade, demolition and rehousing have impacted urban residents' notions of citizenship. Based on interviews and participant observations in Luanda's informal settlements, and with housing rights groups, victims of demolitions, state representatives, and historical research in Luanda's archives, this research connects micro-level discussions about housing, and acts of housing construction, to larger national and state discourses about the meaning of democracy and social inclusion in Angola.
Ruette, Krisna, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Law-Making Processes of Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Movements in Falcon Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Ana Maria Alonso
KRISNA RUETTE, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Law-Making Processes of Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Movements in Falcon, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Ana Maria Alonso. Dissertation fieldwork was conducted between January-December 2007 in Falcon and Yaracuy, Venezuela, in order to examine how law-making processes shape the discourses and practices of social movements competing for state resources. By conducting archival research, participant observation, household surveys, and semi-structured interviews, this comparative study illustrates how members of an Afro-descendant and an indigenous movement: use, articulate, and circulate different definitions of legal multiculturalism and ethnicity; employ distinct political and legal strategies for negotiating resources with state institutions; enact divergent representations of political agency; and transform their ethno-racial identities as they mobilize. Ethnographic data showed that members of the Afro-descendant movement have developed a wider range of verbal and bodily practices for negotiating access to land in spite of their ethno-racial legal marginality. In contrast, members of the indigenous movement have not been successful in accessing land, even when the state has recognized indigenous peoples land rights. Instead, the indigenous movement has focused on developing strategies for obtaining cultural resources and political visibility. In sum, this study shows how neo-socialist multicultural legislations and state definitions of ethnicity-race shape social movements capacity to access both, material and cultural resources.
Kergaravat, Marisa Soledad, U. of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid research on 'Public Spaces in South Andean Communities (900-1450 AD): Scales of Interaction and Social Practices,' supervised by Dr. Felix A. Acuto
MARISA S. KERGARAVAT, then a student at University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Public Spaces in South Andean Communities (900-1450 AD): Scales of Interaction and Social Practices,' supervised by Dr. Felix A. Acuto. This project studies public spaces in the North Calchaquí Valley during the Late Intermediate Period (900-1450 AD) in order to understand the nature of public gatherings, activities, and interactions. Differently from previous ideas of public spaces in the southern Andes, the central hypothesis of this project is that there were different scales of public gathering and interaction where not only feasting but also other activities took place during these encounters. The questions that guided this research project were: 1) Were there different types of public spaces in terms of architecture, form, size, and crowding capacity within Late Intermediate Period (LIP) sites? 2) How were these public spaces distributed? Was there a pattern in their location? How were public spaces connected to other spaces and enclosures? What facilities, spaces, enclosures, structures, and features were public spaces associated with? How did people access public spaces? 3) What types of activities were developed within public spaces? To accomplish these goals, a 75-day field season was conducted in one of the largest sites in the North Calchaquí Valley region: Las Pailas (SSalCac 18).
Yukleyen, Ahmet, Boston U., Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Sources of Tolerance and Radicalism among Islamic Organizations in Europe,' supervised by Dr. Jenny B. White
AHMET YUKLEYEN, while a student at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, received an award in June 2003 to aid research on Islamic organizations in Europe, under the supervision of Dr. Jenny B. White. Transnational Islamic organizations in western Europe do not simply transplant religious extremism from their countries of origin. Rather, they play an intermediary role, negotiating between the social and religious needs of Muslims and the socioeconomic, legal, and political context of Europe. The diverse forms of religiosity institutionalized by Turkish-Islamic organizations permited a comparative analysis of this intermediary role. Yukleyen looked at the internal dynamics-religious authority, primary field of activism, and boundary maintenance-of three such organizations: Milli Gorus, representing political Islamism; Suleymanli, a branch of the Naqshibandiyya Sufi order; and the Nur movement, a piety-oriented da'wa (missionary) movement. Religious authority involved individuals, positions, and actions that represented collective identity and preserved group cohesion by controlling and disciplining members and dropouts-that is, through boundary making. Each group's field of activism-politics, education, or religious instruction-promoted the type of knowledge embodied by the religious authorities and distributed through boundary making. Redefinitions of religious concepts such as hijrah, jihad, and neighborly relations created a Muslim sense of belonging to the European home. Overall, a comparative analysis of the internal dynamics of transnational Islamic organizations yielded a fuller understanding of their roles in the production and dissemination of Islamic knowledge and practice in western Europe.
Euren, Jason Duane, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Technological Citizenship: How Today's Hackerspaces are Interfacing Tomorrow's Future,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin
Preliminary abstract: More and more today, ordinary citizens are becoming involved in the creation and appropriation of complex, technical systems to address issues of everyday concern. Corresponding to the emergence of these increased techno-scientific capabilities, a strong political identity has begun to crystalize around technological domains, creating a subjectivity that might be referred to as 'technological citizenship.' A rapidly growing institutional form known as hackerspaces is currently contributing to the cultivation of this technological citizenship: over the last five years, these hackerspaces have spread to over 150 locations within the United States alone. This research asks the following question: how are we to make sense of the increasing civic appropriation of technological devices and processes as political strategies for intervening in the world? This research seeks to understand the nature, practice, and effect of this growing phenomenon. It hypothesizes that these emerging techno-scientific practices are engendering new contexts for political engagement in the twenty-first century. To evaluate this hypothesis, this research will consist of nine months of ethnographic fieldwork in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily situated within three of such hackerspaces. It will explore who these technological citizens are, how their techno-scientific appropriations seek out novel platforms for democratic participation, and how these undertakings might be engendering a variety of political effects.
Putt, Shelby Stackhouse, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Experimental Investigation of the Co-evolution of Language and Toolmaking in the Brain: A fNIRS Study,' supervised by Dr. Robert G. Franciscus
Preliminary abstract: Early Stone Age tools offer an indirect window into the cognitive behaviors of early Homo. This study will investigate which regions of the brain are most active in novice and expert flintknappers as they progress from making expedient flakes similar to those made by the first hominin toolmakers 2.5 million years ago to producing large core bifacial stone tools and debitage output similar to the earliest handaxes in the archaeological record around 1.6 million years ago. Specifically, a neuroimaging technique known as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) will be used to test whether the presence of spoken language during learning conditions leads to measurable differences in neural activation patterning. This study aims to increase the current understanding of the co-evolutionary relationship between technology and language during the time frame of early Homo and to assist in the interpretation of fossil and archaeological evidence for the evolution of cognition and language in human ancestors.
Ibrahim, Farhana, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Crafting the Nation: Artisanal production in Contemporary India,' supervised by Dr. Viranjini P. Munasinghe
FARHANA IBRAHIM, while a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on artisanal production in contemporary India, under the supervision of Dr. Viranjini P. Munasinghe. Ibrahim focused her research on questions of political and cultural identity in a border zone. Her work with a pastoral-nomadic community in the western Indian state of Gujarat employed ethnographic data from the district of Kachchh along with textual analysis to critically investigate the modern postcolonial state from the margins. The 'ethnographic moment' was a moment of crisis, which provided a unique historical opportunity in which to turn the ethnographic lens toward a subject as diffuse as the state. This moment of crisis was situated between two critical events in the region: an earthquake in January 2001 and sectarian violence (Hindu-Muslim riots) in March 2002, both of which had far-reaching effects on the physical and ideological landscape of the region. Thirteen months of field research and archival work on the 'edges' of the state (both geographically and temporally, in such a moment of crisis) offered Ibrahim an opportunity to look through the cracks of the ideological constructs employed by the state in its quest for legitimacy. She used detailed vignettes of the social production of religious identities, the construction and practice of citizenship, religious nationalism, and the 'nationalization' of a regional identity in order to reflect on her larger questions.
Boltokova, Daria, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on 'Betwixt and Between: Studying Processes of Language Hybridization among Sakha Youth,' supervised by Dr. Patrick Moore
Preliminary abstract: In my research, I am theorizing processes of language hybridization through an ethnographic study of generational differences in the linguistic practices of Sakha people residing in Russia's far northeast. Most accounts of linguistic hybridity in anthropology frame hybrid language use in terms of 'code-switching' and 'code-mixing' on the assumption that speakers remain fluent in the languages they combine. Less considered are the cumulative effects of prolonged switching and mixing on fluency itself, particularly across generations. I ask: When and how do processes of hybridization like mixing and switching lead to the emergence of novel hybrid language practices? To answer this question, first, I explore the social and political factors driving processes of language hybridization among Sakha youth and, second, document the growth of Sakha-Russian hybrid language forms in practice. For scholars studying the Sakha people, this research provides a more accurate picture of contemporary Sakha language practices. For anthropologists more generally, this research offers a more refined conceptual toolkit for theorizing processes of language hybridization in multilingual communities, both elsewhere in Russia and around the world.
Wang, Yiru, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'The Origins of Sheep and Goats Domestication in Western China,' supervised by Dr. Preston T. Miracle
Preliminary abstract: The origin of Chinese domestic sheep and goats has long been an issue needs to be clarified. Since abundant Caprine remains do not appear in China until 4,000 B.P., and the earliest domestic sheep/goat in the world was from West Asia in around 10,000 B.P., it was assumed that sheep and goats were not originally domesticated in China, but came from the west as domestic animals. Considering the modern domestic Tibetan type sheep in western China are those most suitable for the local environment, similar to the local argali sheep, and mtDNA analysis suggest Chinese domestic sheep have a native inherence and likely to have a geographic independent domestication, my hypothesis is that the origins of caprine domestication in China may not be simply a spreading event, but have incorporated the local wild sheep during the process. It may represent a complex continuum of interactions between different populations and animals in the unique ecological and social context of western China. The current zooarchaeological research in China has basic problem in taxa identification and recognizing domestication. Several closely related Caprinae species with overlaping distributions cannot be separated based on the available expertise. I propose to have a detailed and systematic osteomorphology and osteometric study for the Caprinaes species distribute in western China and the different Ovis species distribute in Eurasia based on modern samples. Together with traditional zooarchaeological methods and with a focus of morphmetric study, a research on the first hand archaeological materials from 4 sites ranging 1,0000-3,5000 BP in Qinghai and Gansu province would shed lights on the nature of the caprine domestication in western China.