McShane, Patrice McCrann, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Ethnic Insult as Conflict Prevention in Burkina Faso,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
Preliminary abstract: In this dissertation project, I will explore cultural beliefs about dakire, the exchange of ethnic insults in Burkina Faso. Dakire is highly theorized by Burkinabè people, who attribute many societal boons to it: the facilitation of candor in a deferential society; the minimization of inter-ethnic power differential; the catharsis of ethnic tension. Many Burkinabè people believe that dakire is key to the smooth functioning of society, and that it serves to prevent violence between ethnic groups. For these reasons, dakire is a point of local pride and salience. I suggest that ethnic jokers ideologically and semiotically reify concepts of 'ethnicity' and 'nation,' through interactional, linguistic practice. I will examine how different political movements have influenced modern beliefs about dakire. Although dakire has existed in Burkina since pre-colonial times, I hypothesize that its heightened salience is a new phenomenon. Dakire, in its modern conception, serves to unite ethnic groups into a network delineated by national boundaries, making it an attractive nation-building tool for the Burkinabè state. I also explore how dakire is motivated by an iconic relationship to kinship-based joking. This metaphorical extension of familial behavioral norms onto inter-ethnic behavioral norms reinforces the 'naturalness' of modern ethnic categories and inter-ethnic affiliation.
Schieffelin, Dr. Bambi Bernhard, New York U., New York - To aid workshop on 'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models,' 2008, New York U., in collaboration with Dr. Joel Robbins
'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models'
April 9-12, 2008, New York University, New York, New York
Organizers: Bambi Schieffelin (New York University) and Joel Robbins (University of California - San Diego)
This workshop brought together cultural and linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists to develop theoretical positions on the causes, types, and nature of linguistic and cultural change. In these fields, issues having to do with contact and transformation have become central. Yet for all the discussion of globalization, modernity, hybridity, syncretism, and the like, there is still little sustained theoretical work on the topic of change itself. Invited scholars -- all of whom focus in their empirical work on different kinds of change processes and dynamics (religious, political, economic, and linguistic) -- presented a range of theoretical explanations. Cultural anthropologists most often attended to the endurance of tradition or the nature of mixture. Linguistic anthropologists examined the role played by language(s) and their ideologies in social and political change, while sociolinguists focused on languages in contact and the role of variation in change. In synthesizing the strengths of these fields, participants came to appreciate what each could offer as contributions toward the development of integrated theories of cultural and linguistic change.
Berlin, Dr. Overton Brent, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid preparation of the personal research collections of Brent and Elois Ann Berlin for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, MD - Historical Archives Program
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at Universite d'Etat d' Haiti, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - Institutional Development Grant
Through primary partnerships with the University of Kansas (KU) and Teachers College, Columbia University (TC), the State University of Haiti (UEH) will implement an ethos of productivity to establish a fully functioning doctoral program that will facilitate student and faculty training as well as research. This will be accomplished by a) increasing the number of Ph.D.
Engelke, Christopher Robert, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity
CHRISTOPHER ENGELKE, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative: Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity. Current figures suggest that over 2 million Americans have a disability that compromises their speech intelligibility, requiring them to use a special form of assistive technology called augmentative alternative communications (AAC) devices in order to literally and figuratively have 'a voice.' This study examines the phenomena of embodiment, empathy, and intersubjectivity that manifest around the design and use of these augmentative communications devices by examining the ways in which individuals' embodied and ideological familiarities with the world are revealed in their engagements with these specialized communications technologies. By investigating the ways that able-bodied designers approach the task of developing AAC technologies, this study uncovers relationships between one's physical abilities, normative prescriptions for action, and the forms and limits of understanding others whose bodily abilities may be radically different from one's own. Moreover, by examining the ways that AAC users take up the features of their devices in everyday interactions, this study reveals the unique ways in which this technology is incorporated into bodily understandings of the 'self' and its location in the world.
Hanna, Dr. Judith L, Bethesda, MD - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC - Historical Archives Program
Keeling, Simon R., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Poetry and Music of Conflict: Exploring Bamileke Funeral Performance,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
SIMON R. KEELING, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Poetry and Music of Conflict: Exploring Bamileke Funeral Perform-ance,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. This research explored the meanings of music, poetry, and place among Bamiléké members of music and finance associations in Bangangté, Cameroon. The grantee attended the weekly meetings and rehearsals of some such groups, and arranged private music and language lessons. Attending and performing at mourning rites are among the most important func-tions of the groups. Music was recorded at rehearsals, lessons, and performances. Most song texts con-cerned: 1) responsibility to kin; 2) death, ritual, and the afterlife; or 3) the connections between ritual, kin-groups, and villages. The third theme includes traditions of naming which include both 'given' names and predictable names based on these connections. Decisions about which name to use when seem to be a significant poetic resource. Consultants' talk about villages and values demonstrated that the near-sacred spaces of village farms are crucial to how they understand power, beauty, and ethics. Working with micro-financial institutions showed that Bangangté is a place where the emotional intensity of poverty and gen-erosity is entangled with that of ritual and place. Making music together is neither tangential nor superfi-cial to such complexities; it develops, contains, deepens, permits and celebrates intimacy and affective in-tensity. All of this was going on in a context also shaped by a discourse of 'modernity' which cast 'village' practices in a negative light. Therefore, the Bamiléké of Bangangte are engaged in struggles for prestige which run through music and daily life.
Mencher, Dr. Joan, New York, NY - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - Historical Archives Program
Shankland, Dr. David, Royal Anthropological Institute, London, UK - To aid RAI conference on 'Anthropology and Photography,' 2014, British Museum, London
Preliminary abstract: The aim of this conference is to bring together an international field from all the major branches of anthropology to consider the place, role and future of photography. It is motivated by the following underlying practical consideration. There is a flourishing sub-field of visual anthropology within social-cultural anthropology. Yet, in spite of this, photography has never been made the feature of a major associational congress. All anthropologists who undertake fieldwork, whether social-cultural, archaeological, or biological take photographs, yet they still frequently do not problematize this core part of their methodological practice. It is this contradiction that has led the Royal Anthropological Institute to make photography the theme for the second of its large biannual conferences. Methodologically, we would argue that, in sharing the different way that photography is contextualised across anthropology in the widest sense, it will be possible to encourage the study of photography and its manifold implications to become a mainstream topic, one that in itself can serve to start a wider discussion about the changing relationship between text, image and meaning across the respective anthropological disciplines and thereby help to bridge disparate practices through contributing toward a sustained, shared common anthropological discourse.
Bird, Dr. Elizabeth, U. of South Florida, Tampa, FL - To aid conference of SfAA on 'Global Insecurities, Global Solutions, and Applied Anthropology,' 2007, Tampa
'Collaborative Solutions to Global Insecurities: Challenges, Opportunities, and Potential'
March 27 - April 1, 2007, Downtown Hyatt Hotel, Tampa, Florida
Organizer: Dr. Elizabeth Bird (University of South Florida)
The grant supported a special session at the meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology. The panel focused on three ongoing international partnerships between research teams at the University of South Florida and collaborators in three countries - Honduras, Lesotho, and Ecuador. Each collaboration involves work on a pressing global issue - land use and cultural heritage; HIV/AIDS intervention; and the social impact of natural disasters. The session focused not on results but on the process of effectively building such partnerships, with participants sharing ideas and strategies with audience members. As well as the lessons learned from the discussion at the event, all three teams agreed that the session acted as a catalyst to park ideas, and has had a significant role in taking all three to another level of effective collaboration, with several major grant proposals resulting.