Kramer, Elise Ann, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
ELISE A. KRAMER, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. It is a curious feature of contemporary American political debates that they tend to shade into arguments about censorship and freedom of speech. Moreover, these arguments often fit into a well-trod metapragmatic cycle: 'You're censoring me!' 'No, I'm not, and by saying I'm censoring you, you're censoring me.' Freedom of speech is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. The dissertation attempts to make sense of this apparent paradox by arguing that seemingly specific and localized arguments about censorship and silencing are actually one of the central organizing tools for a wide range of folk ideologies about power, language, representation, identity, and the shape of the social landscape. The project is based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork at a state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliate in the Bible Belt, supplemented by interviews with high-level staff at various political nonprofits in Washington, DC. Through the analysis of the language that these activists used in political and apolitical interactions, the dissertation unpacks the extraordinarily complex notion of 'censorship' in the modern multicultural state and demonstrates that its stakes are not only far-reaching but central to American political life.
Minks, Amanda, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Expressive Practices and Identity Formation among Miskitu Children,' supervised by Dr. Aaron A. Fox
AMANDA MINKS, while a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Expressive Practices and Identity Formation among Miskitu Children,' supervised by Dr. Aaron A. Fox. In the past thirty years, Miskitu Indians have migrated in increasing numbers from mainland Nicaragua to Com Island, off the Caribbean coast. This migration has transformed the social and political landscape of the island, which, since the nineteenth century, has been populated primarily by English-speaking Creole people. Also transformed are the expressive and socializing practices of Miskitu islanders. The aim of the research supported by Wenner-Gren was to document the repertoires of Miskitu children's expressive practices across a range of contexts, providing a lens on shifting processes of socialization among peers and across generations. The term expressive practices encompasses a range of interrelated communicative activities (musical, linguistic, and kinetic) approached from the perspectives of style, performance, and poetics. The imagination is key not only in terms of children's play activities, but also in terms of developing social imaginaries that construct ties among people across time and space. Children were observed in formal socializing contexts, such as the school and the church, as well as the informal contexts of home and outdoor play spaces. Audio recordings of children's interaction were transcribed in collaboration with Miskitu consultants, and interviews were conducted with adults dealing with topics such as migration histories, gender roles, socialization practices, religion, and labor. This research attempts to make connections between the large-scale political and economic forces that are radically changing Com Island's social structure, and the small-scale interactions in which children are socialized - and socialize one another - in a multilingual, culturally diverse environment.
Slotta, James, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Dialect, Register, & the Big-Man: Social Organization of Sporadic Linguistic Innovations in Yupno, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein
JAMES SLOTTA, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Dialect, Register, & the Big-Man: Social Organization of Sporadic Linguistic Innovations in Yupno, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein. The research has resulted in the detailed documentation of five dialects of the previously undocumented Yopno language (Papua New Guinea). In addition to documenting the relatively stable features of the phonology and grammar, dozens of hours of recordings of natural speech were transcribed to provide access to the more variable and evanescent qualities of Yopno speech, as well as to provide an indication of the textual and social emplacement of Yopno language material in various Yopno communities. The research highlights the far-reaching ways that social, cultural, and textual factors structure Yopno grammar and phonology, as well as the diversity of Yopno dialects. All Yopno speakers have some familiarity with several of the many dialects of the language and use words from other dialects in interactions to construct and maintain ties of relatedness to relatives outside of their patrilineal clans who live in other dialect areas. The tension between patrilineal relatedness as a basis for clan formation and cognatic relatedness as a basis for village and larger units of social organization and exchange gets played out interactionally through the use of linguistic variants. The organization of such multi-dialectalism is an important factor in constructing an adequate description of Yopno phonology.
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.
Floyd, Dr. Simeon I., Max Planck Inst., Nijmegen, Netherlands - To aid workshop on 'The Grammar of Knowledge Asymmetries: 'Conjunct/Disjunct' Alignment from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective,' 2011, Boulder, CO, in collaboration with Dr. Lila San Roque
Preliminary abstract: Knowledge is negotiated in speech according to specific norms of interaction and grammar. 'Conjunct/Disjunct' (C/D) alignment systems are an under-studied grammatical expression of such negotiations. Verbs are marked as 'conjunct' in first person statements or in second person questions, and as 'disjunct' in other situations, picking out the participant with the highest epistemic authority. C/D systems have been described for languages of the Himalayas, the Caucasus, Andean South America and Highlands New Guinea, but have not yet been well-studied in cross-linguistic perspective. C/D systems are relevant for theories of social cognition: the morphology reflects the exchangeability of viewpoint with others, a topic that is currently being taken up as 'intersubjectivity' in linguistic and evolutionary anthropology, as well as in interaction studies. This workshop will bring together for the first time specialists working in four geographic areas where C/D alignment is attested to form a scholarly community, address conceptual and terminological divides between specific regional traditions and build towards a cross-linguistically viable framework for further work. A focus on C/D forms in interaction will highlight their relevance for social behavior more broadly, allowing this emerging area of linguistic typology to contribute to research on the social organization of intersubjective knowledge.
Hittman, Dr. Michael, Brooklyn, NY - To aid preparation of personal research materials for archival deposit with Special Collections, Univesity of Nevada Libraries, Reno, NV - Historical Archives Program
Kratz, Dr. Corinne A., Tesuque, NM - To aid preparation of the personal research materials and professional papers of Dr. Ivan Karp, for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, MD - Historical Archives Program
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at the National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Institutional Development Grant
The main aim of the project is to radically upgrade the institutional capacity of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, National University of Mongolia, in order to make the department an institution that offers internationally sound anthropological research and training in Mongolia, and thus establish the field of socio-cultural anthropology in Mongolia firmly. The specific objectives of the project are to (1) develop a sound doctoral program that meets international standards, (2) train 4 new doctorates jointly with the Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit (MIASU) and the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, and recruit these doctorates as faculty members in the Department, (3) build an up-to-date resource collection on socio-cultural anthropology and enhance technical capacity of the department.
Mongolian and Cambridge professors will set up a joint committee and design and develop a doctoral program. Four Mongolian and four Cambridge professors will take part in designing and developming of doctoral program and courses. They will mainly work through internet, however, Mongolian professors will visit the Cambridge University. Four Mongolian professors will work at MIASU in total of 7 months while developing ten doctoral courses.
In order to radically enhance the department's research and teaching capacity the Department will select four doctoral candidates for a temporary joint Ph.D. program. The selected doctoral candidates will study and conduct their research under Mongolian and Cambridge professors' joint supervision. Each doctoral candidate will spend a total of two full terms (5 months) of training at Cambridge University. Doctoral candidates are expected to submit their dissertation in English and defend their dissertations in front of the joint committee. Upon their successful completion of their degree, they will be recruited to the department as faculty members.
In addition, to support its research and teaching the department will build an up-to-date resource collection on socio-cultural anthropology and enhance its technical capacity.