To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at the Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal - Institutional Development Grant
Through a collaboration with Cornell University, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tribhuvan University aims to bring improve the theoretical and methodological training of Ph.D students and upgrade the credentials of current faculty who do not hold a Ph.D. The IDG grant will be used to upgrade the current curriculum, provide modest support for research, intensify international exposure and exchange and build up the library and electronic resources. Currently in Nepal, the research agenda in anthropology is frequently determined by NGOs and development agencies where many of the students and faculty gain their experience. The IDG will allow more freedom for the department itself to determine its academic concerns. A primary aim is to significantly improve the theoretical and methodological capacity of the anthropology department as apposed to applied/development anthropology, thereby allowing the department to be competitive and contribute internationally.
Ember, Dr. Carol R., Human Relations Area Files, Inc., New Haven, CT - To aid workshop on digital preservation of primary anthropological data, co-sponsored with the National Science Foundation, Washington, DC - Historical Archives Program
Zimman, Lal, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Talking like a Man: Identity, Socialization, Biology, and the Gendered Voice among Female-to-Male Transsexuals,' supervised by Dr. Kira Hall
LAL ZIMMAN, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Talking like a Man: Identity, Socialization, Biology, and the Gendered Voice among Female-to-Male Transsexuals,' supervised by Dr. Kira Hall. As a window into the relationship between gender and the voice, this study combines methods from linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics to analyze the changing voices of female-to-male transgender people. Fifteen trans men and others on the female-to-male identity spectrum were recorded in a variety of contexts during their first 1-2 years of hormone therapy. Testosterone, which is one of the most popular medical interventions among trans men, can spur dramatic changes in the larynx along with other so-called 'secondary' sex characteristics. By tracking changes in pitch as well as speaking style, this study underscores the intertwined nature of embodiment, socialization, and identity work, which may or may not be aligned in predictable ways. Trans men, who were raised in a female gender role but do not see themselves as women, clearly represent atypical combinations of physiology, early life socialization, and self-defined gender identity. With the marked biological changes that testosterone brings about, these trans speakers also demonstrate the diversity of speaking styles that can be perceived as male-sounding. Ultimately this study shed lights on the inextricable relationship between the body and social practice while simultaneously problematizing the notion that voices can be unproblematically categorized as 'female' or 'male.'
Green, Elizabeth Mara, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks
ELIZABETH MARA GREEN, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in May 2009, to aid research on 'Everyday Signs: Deaf Sociality and Communicative Practices in Rural Nepal,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks. An estimated 5,000-15,000 deaf people in Nepal are Nepali Sign Language (NSL) users and participants in an urban-centered, national deaf community. In contrast, the majority of deaf Nepalis -- some 190,000 according to one frequently quoted figure -- never learn, or even encounter, NSL. Without access to a shared language, these deaf people, along with their hearing interlocutors, develop localized gestural systems to communicate. The researcher conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Kathmandu, the capital, and Maunabudhuk, a village in the east, with local signers. The findings suggest that local sign is both like and unlike communication that occurs when using a standard language; while both rely on conventions, the former has a much smaller and less stable repertoire, such that it is characterized not only by successes but also by frequent misunderstandings and a very tightly-bound relationship to social and interactional context. The dissertation will explore more fully how deaf local signers and their hearing family members, neighbors, and friends draw on shared personal experiences, tacit social knowledge, and the material landscape to produce meaningful signs and meaningful lives.
Martineau, Katherine Boulden, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Valuing Language in a Free Press: Language Ideologies, Intellectual Properties, and Liberalism in Indian Newspapers,' supervised by Dr. Edward Webb Keane
KATHERINE BOULDEN MARTINEAU, then a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in May 2007, to aid research on 'Valuing Language in a Free Press: Language Ideologies, Intellectual Properties, and Liberalism in Indian Newspapers,' supervised by Dr. Edward Webb Keane. With the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, this research explored relationships between understandings of language and economic value in print news media production in eastern-central India since economic liberalization. Through participant-observation, interviews, and media analysis, the grantee looked at production practices across English and Oriya language media production sites. In thirteen months of research in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar, contrary to what was expected, the grantee found very little variation in ways of producing and talking about producing news texts across Indian-language and English-language news media production sites, despite strong local sentiments of Oriya's distinctive capacities. It was discovered that both English and Oriya news production rely on the reproduction and circulation of generic textual components, which is reflected in the distribution of much writing labor across several individuals. The resulting dissertation explores the economic strategies, professional ideals, legal codes, political scandals, and social worlds that have wrought news production practices in contemporary Bhubaneswar, and how, like the news stories themselves, these linguistic practices have become a means for reckoning Bhubaneswar's relationship with the rest of the world.
Barham, Dr. Lawrence, U. of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK -To aid 10th CHaGS conference on 'Resilience and Vulnerability in Hunter-Gatherer Research,' 2013, U. of Liverpool, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Widlok
Preliminary abstract: In 2013 it will be 10 years since the last international conference on hunting and gathering societies took place. The proposed 10th Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, CHaGS 10, provides a forum for the research results that have since emerged in a field which continues to be one of the few domains in anthropology where research across all four anthropological subdisciplines takes place. The main theme of the conference to be held in Liverpool, UK, is 'Resilience and Vulnerability' which is highly relevant to hunter-gatherer research but also more generally in a world struggling with economic, cultural and ecological turmoil. In its 20 panels CHaGS 10 will seek to show what the world in general and hunter-gatherer research in particular might learn from some of the most resilient but also most vulnerable of societies past and present. The conference will include fresh empirical input on the current state of hunter-gatherer research in the context of resilience and vulnerability, and it will also provide room for discussions concerning methodological innovations for current and future research in this domain that has decreasing opportunities for conventional field research. There is no anthropological association, nor any other conference that would be in the position to fulfil this role and ChaGS 10 will provide the opportunity to create the institutional tools, in terms of an academic organization and in terms of a regular publication outlet, that ensure the continuity of hunter-gatherer research into the future
U. of California, Irvine, CA, Mireshghi, Elham, PI - To aid research on 'Regulating the Kidney Market: An Ethnographic Investigation of the 'Iranian Model' for Paid Unrelated Kidney Donation,' supervised by Dr. Michael Montoya
ELHAM MIRESHGHI, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Regulating the Kidney Market: An Ethnographic Investigation of the 'Iranian Model' for Paid Unrelated Kidney Donation,' supervised by Dr. Michael Montoya. This research investigates the 'Iranian Model for Paid Non-related Kidney Donation,' the world's only religiously sanctioned and bureaucratically routinized policy for kidney sales. This project is about how despite broad moral uncertainty the policy has been developed and made to endure for over fifteen years. The results build on ethnographic research in hospitals and the Kidney Patient Foundation (KPF) that developed and implements the policy, as well as a diachronic analysis of the making of the policy, including interviews of kidney donors and patients, policy-makers, patient advocates, bureaucrats, urologists - and Shi'a jurists that have decreed permissive fatwas on organ sales. The first phase of this project consisted of extensive observation and interviewing at the KPF. By following the bureaucratic dynamics, the managerial tactics, and the movement (and stasis) of knowledge within the organization, it reveals the everyday processes that help kidney selling endure, despite the policy's conflict with the moral sensibilities of the many people involved. Furthermore, by ethnographically documenting encounters between kidney sellers, recipients, and staff, it reveals the ways in which each of these actors constructs an evolving fragmented ethics on kidney selling.