Saraf, Aditi, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Invoking Azaadi: Islam, Freedom and the Moral Economy in the Kashmiri Marketplace,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
Preliminary abstract: The movement for freedom from Indian rule, articulated as 'azaadi'-the Urdu word for freedom-was launched in India administered Kashmir in 1989, resulting in more than a decade of armed militancy and a brutal reprisal by the Indian state. At present, Hurriyat (G), the Islamist faction of the political front of Kashmiri separatists based in Srinagar, heads the freedom movement. The demand for freedom from India is made transnationally intelligible as the political right to self-determination, and in local publics and media it is staked to the formation of a specifically Muslim political community towards which individual members acquire ethical obligations. As the locus of ordinary social and economic activity, the marketplace becomes an important site for implementing separatist civil disobedience and protest activities, but the resultant loses suffered by the Kashmiri Muslim mercantile community amounts to billions of dollars. My research consists of an ethnographic focus on the Kashmiri Muslim merchants to study the tensions they experience between the demands made on them in the struggle for political self-determination and the freedom to pursue their individual moral responsibilities as Muslims towards their families, livelihood and ritual obligations. Specifically, I hope to 1)explore how the disruptive violence of militarization, curfews and separatist sponsored strikes and protests transform the livelihood practices of small and medium retailers and storeowners 2) track the interweaving of religion with social and economic modes of relatedness in the city 3) examine how religious ethics inflect modern notions of citizenship, rights and economic transaction in the urban space 4)study the principles and the social conditions of 'freedom' ethnographically.
Livni, Eran, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Democracy Without Civil Society? Chalga Music and the Ambivalent Accession of Bulgaria to the European Union,' supervised by Dr. Richard Bauman
ERAN LIVNI, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Democracy without Civil Society? Chalga Music and the Ambivalent Accession of Bulgaria to the European Union,' supervised by Dr. Richard Bauman. This fieldwork investigated chalga music as a site of ambivalence toward Bulgaria's integration in the political framework of the European Union: democracy that is sustained by pluralist civil society. Chalga is a commercial form that fuses global and Balkan pop musics. The publics constituting chalga's social life are extraordinarily diverse, including people from the margins. However, the emphasis of this music on social and musical heterogeneity does not lead Bulgarians to embrace chalga as a grassroots democratic culture. On the contrary, Bulgarians from all groups discuss chalga's openness as an indication that, in Bulgaria, pluralism leads to balkanization rather than to civil society. The question this research addressed was 'If chalga is construed as crude and antithetic to civil society, why does the genre not only enjoy wide popularity but also offer Bulgarians ways to contest EU democracy?' The fieldwork findings indicate that it is through a Western gaze that Bulgarians apprehend the image of their home landscape -- the Balkans -- as the foil of Europe. That is, the people of the southeastern margins of 'modern civility' are 'backward' and, hence, cannot generate civil society. Thus Bulgarians would disclaim chalga in order to show that they are possessed of the thought and behavior of 'civilized Europe.' In the same breath, however, they would embrace chalga because nothing else could affirm like it did that, as a nation, Bulgarians were not passive subjects of Europe's standards of integration, but rather self-consciously 'backward Balkanites:' inferior but not submissive.
Friederic, Karin Ulla, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women?s Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Buckley Green
KARIN FRIEDERIC, then a student at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in December 2007 to aid research on 'Violent Frontiers: Women's Rights, Intimate Partner Violence, and the State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Linda Green. This dissertation utilizes the lens of historical anthropology to investigate the articulation of political, economic, and social processes that underpin gender norms and produce a normalized 'culture of gendered violence' in a rural frontier region of northwestern Ecuador called El Páramo. In Phase I, ethnographic fieldwork explored how increasing awareness of women's rights affected local women's perceptions and experiences of (as well as their responses to) intimate partner violence. Phase II incorporated institution-based interviews, oral history, and archival research to enable an historically specific examination of the political and economic context from which El Páramo colonists originated. In this case, historical perspective and methodologies help make sense of regnant gender norms and their role in the normalization of violence. This dissertation demonstrates how domestic violence is produced both interpersonally, nationally, and internationally, thus challenging static conceptions of culture that underlie most analyses of violence. The analysis employs a longitudinal perspective not only to understand how experiences and manifestations of family violence change over time (in response to newly circulating discourses of 'rights'), but also to undercover the relationship between family violence and historically particular social, economic and political conditions.
Rayner, Jeremy Christopher, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on ''The ICE is not for Sale': Property, Value and Telecommunications Privatization in Costa Rica,' supervised by Dr. David W. Harvey
JEREMY RAYNER, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'The ICE is not for Sale': Property, Value and Telecommunications Privatization in Costa Rica,' supervised by Dr. David W. Harvey. The grantee investigated the recent upsurge in contention over liberalization in Costa Rica, and the central role played by telecommunications privatization in that process. He conducted extensive fieldwork with the network of Comités Patrióticos that arose to advocate against approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), employing extended participant observation to document the evolution of this movement's organization and priorities. Based on fieldwork, interview, archival, and other documentary data, the study investigated the changing political role of the state electricity and telecommunications monopoly, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), during longer periods of expansion and retrenchment of the welfare state, as well as over the course of the most recent protest cycle from 2000 to today. Based on this combination of ethnographic and historical research, findings argue that the recent centrality of the ICE and telecommunications privatization to Costa Rican politics is based not only on its material importance, but also on the ICE's status as 'emblematic' of contending visions of the meaning of national community. By explicating how this emblematic status has been created, employed, and transformed over time, this research contributes to understanding of the cultural processes involved in changing formations of property and the state.
Koh, Kyung-Nan, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid 'Corporate Discourses about 'Giving': An Ethnographic and Discourse Based Study,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban
KYUNG-NAN KOH, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received an award in November 2004 to aid research on the rhetoric and practices of corporate social responsibility in the U.S., under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Urban. Research was conducted at two different companies in Pennsylvania and in an island of Hawai`i, and was concerned with how corporate social responsibility help companies relate to the community and develop corporate personhood. The research focused on areas of corporate giving, community engagement, and marketing, and data was gathered in the form of internal documents and audio or digital photographic recordings of everyday work activities, meetings, and social gatherings. The data sets show that corporate outgoing 'texts' and 'things' undergo a meticulous entextualization process and that during the dynamic processes of their production, are mobilized as collective representations that appeal to imagined rather than contacted communities: as tools for recruiting interests from, and relating the corporation to, various socio-cultural groups that have potentials to enter into exchange relations. In a sense, contemporary displays and performances of social responsibility are corporate communicational attempts to locate audiences and form entrusting relationships, for employees that cope with uncertainties about maintaining organizational continuity.
Duke, Guy Stephen, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Consuming Identities: Culinary Practice in the Late Moche Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Edward Rueben Swenson
Preliminary abstract: More than just a means of subsistence, food and its accoutrements are integral to both the practices of everyday life and the spectacles of public ritual events. The archaeological study of culinary practices, including the preparation, serving, consumption, and disposal of food, provides an excellent point of entry to investigate everything from status and ethnicity to group and individual identity. Archaeologists are in a unique position to interpret the material remains of food production and consumption (e.g. cooking/storage vessels, plant/animal remains, and food processing/preparation implements) in everyday domestic life and larger political-economic dependencies in order to investigate processes of identity formation and maintenance. This project will explore whether, and what, interconnections exist between identity and culinary practice through the examination of food production and consumption at two sites in the politically unstable Jequetepeque Valley of Peru during the Late Moche Period (AD 600-850). The sites targeted for investigation include the large ceremonial centre of Huaca Colorada and a smaller rural site with ceremonial components (JE-335). My research design is geared to shed light on the cultural politics of food preparation and consumption in order to explore how, and if, the preparation and consumption of food created and maintained social distinctions within the specific context of sociopolitical and environmental transformations distinguishing the Late Moche Period.
Welton, Megan Lynn, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison
MEGAN LYNN WELTON, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was granted funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison. This research utilizes strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of human remains from a large Early Bronze Age cemetery at Ikiztepe in northern Turkey in combination with spatial and biodistance analysis and various dating techniques to identify potential immigrants to the site and to examine larger issues of residential mobility and social organization. Chronological issues were addressed through fluoride and AMS radiocarbon dating of the skeletal remains, creating an absolute and relative chronology for the burials. The results indicate that the cemetery dates a millennium earlier than previously supposed. Strontium and oxygen isotope analyses allowed the identification of individuals whose bone chemistry suggests they were possible long distance immigrants to the site, as well as suggesting the existence of a group of mobile individuals who may represent a transhumant segment of the Ikiztepe population. Immigrant individuals and nomadic or semi-nomadic segments of the population do not appear to have been distinguished in any observable way from their sedentary local counterparts, displaying similar burial types, grave goods and spatial locations. The results suggest that assumptions about funerary practices as important indicators of cultural identity and lineage affiliation may represent an over-simplification of complex patterns of interaction and integration among and within populations.
Peeples, Mathew Allen, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Social Transformation and Regional Scales of Social Identity in the Cibola World (A.D. 1100-1325),' supervised by Dr. Keith William Kintigh
MATHEW ALLEN PEEPLES, then a student at Arizona State University, received funding in April 2009, to aid research on 'Social Transformation and Regional Scales of Social Identity in the Cibola World (A.D. 1100-1325),' supervised by Dr. Keith W. Kintigh. This research is focused on the relationships between social transformations and collective social identification at broad geographic and demographic scales. Using archaeological data from the Cibola region of the North American Southwest across the Pueblo III to Pueblo IV transition (ca. A.D. 1100-1325), the grantee explores changes in the process of social identification across a major period of demographic and social upheaval. This period was marked by a massive shift in population as the inhabitants of thousands of small hamlets aggregated into a small number of clustered villages and, eventually, into a few dozen nucleated towns. The research assesses the role of interaction and social identification in this transformation using insights from theoretical models developed by sociologists and political scientists focused on the development of social movements, and focuses on three kinds of evidence: data relating to 1) settlement and community organization; 2) direct social interaction; and 3) the active expression of social identities through material culture. Initial results suggest that the Pueblo III to Pueblo IV transition represented a major expansion of the scale at which social identification was expressed. Newly developed social groups cross-cut patterns of frequent interaction among the inhabitants of the region established prior to the transformation.
Jimenez, Odilio, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Rethinking Community Studies in Postwar Guatemala: Contesting or Reproducing Localism?' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale
ODILIO JIMENEZ, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Rethinking Community Studies in Postwar Guatemala: Contesting or Reproducing Localism?' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale. This research was carried out in the municipality of Ixtahuacán, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Through careful ethnographic analysis (the combination of life history interviews, formal and informal interviews, and written sources) and intensive participant observation, the proposed research investigated the complex formation of Mam identity and the redefinition of their localized spaces. The objective of this research was to understand 'locality'-the actual space and place of people's lives-and how it is reproduced, appropriated, and negotiated by the ladino population and the state as well as by Mam people in Ixtahuacán. This included an analysis of the role 'locality' plays in the production of indigenous people's culture and, by extension, in Maya grassroots political movements. Research indicates that the complexities that take place in the community of Ixtahuacán also involve many struggles over power and meaning among indigenous and ladino people. Indigenous peoples' struggles in Ixtahuacán are not homogeneous and represent various voices and processes that weave the complexity of Mam identity. In other words, Mam struggles take different forms not only as an effort to maintain and reproduce their identities but also as a response to the projects and practices that the state and the ladino population undertake and reproduce.