Li, Darryl Chi-Yee, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Another Universalism? Transnational Islamist Movements and Bosnia-Herzegovina,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
DARRYL CHI-YEE LI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Another Universalism? Transnational Islamist Movements and Bosnia-Herzegovina,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. This project analyzes how Arab Islamists -- especially ex-fighters and aid workers -- in Bosnia-Herzegovina reconciled their pan-Islamist commitments with their experiences of cultural, racial, and doctrinal difference vis-a-vis Bosnian Muslims. This research was conducted between September 2009 and July 2011 based in Sarajevo and Zenica, with trips to Brcko, Bugojno, Travnik, Tuzla, and Visoko. Extensive ethnographic life-history interviews were conducted with Arab immigrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a focus on ex-combatants and NGO workers. These interviews took place in a variety of locales, including family homes, cafes, during roadtrips, offices, and an immigration detention center. A similar number of Bosnians who fought alongside, married, or worked with such individuals were also interviewed at length. Archival research supplemented this data, including Bosnian court records and administrative papers; army and state documents gathered by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia; wartime and post-war newspaper and magazine collections; and Islamic booklets and pamphlets produced by and about Arab Islamists in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Canedo Rodriguez, Dr. Montserrat, National U. of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain - To aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Market and Urban Networks'
DR. MONTSERRAT CANEDO RODRIGUEZ, National University of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Nourishing Madrid: Food Markets and Urban Networks.' The project investigated how the fresh food wholesale market in Madrid works as a node of redistribution for food flows, creating effects of space-time structuring ('local,' 'global,' 'urban,' etc.). By following 'Poma de Girona' (an apple produced in Catalonia that has a Protected Geographic Indication) from its production to its urban consumption, the grantee analyzes the way these process-oriented and multi-localized food flows unfold through a 'chain of value.' Research questions included: What different space-time structuring effects do food flows produce when tracked from different ethnographic loci? How can we think about the enactment of urban social space through food flows? How does the circulation of food blend 'nature,' 'market,' and 'science-technology,' and what can be said about these kinds of embeddedness in a cultural and political reading? The study will advance theory on time-space frames understood as the products (and figures) of a dynamic simultaneous multiplicity, or articulations of heterogeneous practices that are always in progress. From this perspective, the research proposes an ethnographic approach to the question of 'globalization.' As an 'ethnography of apples,' it also contributes to thinking about the problem of the nature-culture co-implication and the politics of contemporary food chains.
Zontine, Angelina Ione, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe': Cultural and Political Practice n Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla
ANGELINA IONE ZONTINE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe:' Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla. This research project investigates the political activism and creation of culture being carried out at collectively run social centers in Bologna, Italy. Described by participants as 'laboratories' for the creation of alternative modes of exchange, interaction (between native-born Italians and migrants), socializing, and extra-electoral political participation, these centers would seem to provide an example of active citizenship as participants enact political engagement through a range of cultural practices. In a seeming paradox, however, these centers are censured by authorities and targeted for relocation as part of ongoing 'security'-oriented campaigns against 'illegality' and 'urban blight' that cast social centers as fonts of illegal and 'uncivil' activity. Using participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, the research project investigates the character and internal organization of these social center order to discern the opportunities afforded and tensions generated by this form of political engagement. At the same time, it explores the controversy surrounding Bolognese social centers in order to explore how participants struggle to rework or enlarge the restrictive parameters of belonging and participation in the natoinal and political communities of both the city and the nation-state, thus engaging and opposing prevailing models of citizenship.
Dorval, Arianne, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths': The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
ARIANNE DORVAL, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on ''Marseilles, Door to the Souths:' The Politics of Métissage at the Border of the Nation,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. This research was initially aimed at exploring the politics of métissage, or intercultural and interracial mixing in the French border-city of Marseilles. A combination of archival research, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews enabled the researcher to trace: 1) how the postcolonial presence in Marseilles has been represented by both local residents and postcolonial migrants; 2) the entry, circulation, and spatialization of legal or illegal migrants in the city after decolonization; 3) the conflicts surrounding the recent development of a large-scale urban renewal project that is contributing to the gentrification of the downtown area; 4) the prevalence of rich practices of cultural métissage among impoverished youth living in different neighborhoods of the city; and 5) how mixed couples in Marseilles construe their métisse love as a subversive political act. Overall, the research uncovered the remarkable fluidity of migrant circulation in Marseilles, and showed that multiple solidarities have formed across the racial and cultural boundaries partitioning the city. Yet it also indicated that different forms of the cosmopolitan - elite-based vs. vernacular - have come to clash in Marseilles today. Thus, the Marseilles-style métissage being promoted by city elites is at once exoticizing and normalizing, while the métisse practices encountered daily among the 'dangerous classes' constitute a form of ethico-political subjectivation that calls into question the very boundaries of French nationhood. With a view to exploring further how these boundaries are being contested, the research eventually turned to investigating the predicament of the sans papiers (illegal alien) population currently living in Marseilles. The data collected through participant observation and interviews allowed the researcher to begin addressing key questions concerning the contradictions of citizenship, the invisibility/visibility of (laboring) subjects in urban/national space, and the temporality of emancipatory events.
Pine, Jason A., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'La Sceneggiata: A Neapolitan Popular Song Genre, the Melodramatic Aesthetic and Its Moral/Political Economy,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JASON A. PINE, while a student at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on the moral and political economy of Naples, Italy, as seen through a popular song genre called the sceneggiata, under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. The objective was to understand the role of emotion and aesthetics in a shadow economy dominated by organized crime. This melodramatic genre was found to be linked to organized crime in three ways: its lyrical content treated themes associated with organized crime, the circuit in which it was produced and performed was crosscut with organized criminal activities, and its primary consumers were crime families. The protagonists of the sceneggiata industry participated, to varying degrees, in organized crime, negotiating the moral valence of their choices according to context. Pine's goal was to understand the role emotions and aesthetics played in such negotiations. The guiding research questions were: In what practices did Neapolitans engage on the sceneggiata music scene and in other sectors of the shadow economy? What could individual life stories reveal about peoples' decisions to engage in the sceneggiata music industry and, by extension, in organized crime? How did singers and fans evaluate sceneggiata performances, and what made the melodramatic aesthetic significant for Neapolitans? Preliminary analysis revealed that in Naples, emotions and aesthetics dominated communication, social, musical, and economic practices because they enabled people to simultaneously respect and circumvent prohibitive expectations of secrecy in an environment of limited resources, volatile power balances, and fear of violence.
Grama, Emanuela, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
EMANUELA GRAMA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. In the multiethnic city of Sibiu, located in the center of Transylvania region of Romania, research focused on practices of community work. More specifically, it investigated current phenomena of volunteering and social work performed mostly by different groups of young foreigners, mostly coming from German-speaking lands to help the Saxon community. Members of the community explain the volunteering by setting it within a historical context in which community work was intimately linked to the Saxon ethnic group. Results suggest that such arguments, which stress the moral and social value of community work, help the currently small group of Saxons (1.5 percent of the city's population) present itself as unique and thus maintain its historically grounded social and political prestige within the symbolical geography of the city and the whole region. Such practices of work are employed as key markers of ethnic boundaries and thus help, to a certain extent, to reinforce interethnic symbolic hierarchies even when done outside the boundaries of the group (for instance, in the reconstruction project of the historical center of the city, built by the Saxons in 12th century, but where now few Saxons still live).
Roy, Arpita, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Particle Physics and the Anthropology of Right and Left,' supervised by Dr. Paul Rabinow
ARPITA ROY, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Particle Physics and the Anthropology of Right and Left,' supervised by Dr. Paul Rabinow. In November 2009, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland, is slated to start high-energy proton collisions as a probe into the structure of matter and forces of nature. The research project inquires into modern cosmology through a specific and concrete concept -- chirality or handedness -- with the underlying question, 'What does physics admit of orientation?' If physics presupposes a separation of mind and matter, or subject and object, then how can it base a physical universe with a preferred orientation? If it does not, then what is the relevance of handedness in its discourse? As an object of study in symbolic classification, handedness has a rich genealogy in anthropological thought. The project draws upon and integrates classical anthropological themes with ongoing fieldwork experience at CERN to establish how the concept acquires its present rationality in the framework of relativistic quantum mechanics and symmetries of space-time. Not only are particular concepts (of physics) like momentum, velocity or spin implicated in the study of chirality, but also other abstract ones of space, substance, relation, and form. It is to this discussion that the research makes a contribution. The research is timely both for what it says about the substantive nature of physics and about collaborative practices more generally.
Horne, Brian Arthur, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on ''Save Our Souls': Russian Bards and the Sound of State Transformation,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
BRIAN A. HORNE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on ''Save Our Souls:' Russian Bards and the Sound of State Transformation,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. This research project examines how Russian bardic song (bardovskaia pesnia), a formerly censored and unofficial cultural phenomenon of the late Soviet period, figures in the expression and contestation of different political histories and anxieties about changing sociopolitical conditions in Moscow. By examining the private commoditization, public memorialization and official valorization of bardic music today in public and private institutional sites of bardic music performance and commemoration, this research illuminates the often subtle ways in which personal and institutional positions about generational, social and political change are negotiated, experienced and reinscribed at the level of music, aesthetics, and affect. As formerly contraband music that circulated through underground exchange networks during the Soviet era, this genre now serves as a touchstone for interpersonal and national political understandings and arguments about the nature of the relationship between the Russian present, past and future, and broader discourses about the state and fate of Russia.
Stankiewicz, Damien Edam, New York U., New York, NY- To aid research on 'The Negotiation of National and Trans-National Identities at the European Television Station 'ARTE',' supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Rogers
DAMIEN EDAM STANKIEWICZ, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'The Negotiation of National and Trans-National Identities at the European Television Station 'ARTE,'' supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Rogers. Fifteen months of fieldwork at the television channel ARTE -- one of the world's first examples of truly transnational media -- allowed for insight into the construction of transnational 'imagined communities,' elucidating the complex imbrications of national, cross-national, and global aesthetic sensibilities and identities that cut across transnational programming and daily production work. Television production work at ARTE is defined by several key tensions: ARTE has a mandate to produce transnational and European programming but is largely funded by French and German national governments; ARTE producers and programmers strive to challenge national sensibilities but find that audiences dislike subtitled programming and tend to think that programs explicitly about Europe are boring; and while ARTE's staff at its headquarters in Strasbourg claim that they alone truly understand French and German cultures well enough to program for both countries' audiences, ARTE's national offices disparage Strasbourg as too removed from national television production hubs. ARTE staff must thus negotiate and construct a programming line-up and editorial lines that draw upon, in often complex and self-conscious combinations, what they understand to be national, transnational, and supra-national or 'European' narratives and themes, employing production strategies that allow audiences to engage with familiar narratives and genres while also challenging or reframing these in subtle ways -- by focusing, for example, on the mutual devastation wrought by World War II. In ARTE's hallways and cafeterias, ARTE staff themselves must also, on a daily basis, negotiate multiple identities and loyalties. German staff complain about French staff's lack of willingness to speak German; French staff complain about Germans' overzealous adherence to meeting agendas and protocol; and each complains about the other as being 'too authoritarian.' Yet the trafficking of stereotype may render complex cultural negotiations more predictable, and many who work at ARTE identify as 'ARTE-siens' -- neither fully French nor German, but an amalgam of both, and as often, too, as European.