Sweetman, Lauren Elizabeth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels
Preliminary abstract: In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Maori are overrepresented in criminal and mental health contexts, comprising over 50% of institutional populations, yet only 14.6% of the nation. In response to these trends, new models of care are emerging that seek to decolonize health and to address these imbalances in culturally viable ways. The Mason Clinic's Te Papakainga O Tane Whakapiripiri unit is a secure forensic psychiatric facility in Auckland for mentally ill criminal offenders. Run 'by Maori for Maori,' this unit offers an explicitly indigenous paradigm of healing that marries Western biomedical frameworks with intensive cultural education and therapy. Music, spirituality, and language are utilized as integral aspects of treatment. This program continues a post-1970s trajectory of increasing Maori self-determination that has seen the infusion of Maori culture into public institutions. And yet, paradoxically, Maori indigeneity is being constructed through the very state mechanisms that have historically hindered it. In my doctoral research, I question how hybridized medical knowledge is created and maintained through self-determined health programming, and how traditional indigenous culture functions when codified through government systems. It is my hope that this investigation will contribute to a growing critical discussion finding connections between health, governance, the arts, and indigenous rights.
Barron, Desiree Lynette, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Indigenous Maori Cultural Production Through Sport,' supervised by Dr. Fred Myers
Preliminary abstract: In the bicultural settler state of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Maori participation in rugby is especially notable as a site for Maori distinction, yet remains understudied as a significant site for cultural production. While rugby is celebrated as a valorized sphere for Maori public participation and critiques of the nature of representations of Maori in rugby are persistent features of rugby culture, there is much more to understand beyond this binary. My proposed ethnographic study and analysis of rugby as a field of cultural production (one in which New Zealand's indigenous Maori have been uniquely successful) allows for a nuanced understanding of the successes, failures, and controversies specific to the Maori experience of rugby as a 'global media sport': from the use of indigenous cultural property in sports promotion, to racially-inflected and potentially exploitative recruitment targeting of Maori athletes, to its place in communities and social networks, as well as a source of individual career opportunities. Preliminary research reveals that all these rely on the public spaces and activities offered by amateur rugby clubs. In distinction to macro-level critiques of sports' political economy, or cultural studies' critiques of representation in sport, this project seeks to engage Maori in their community-level incarnations, while attending to the broader social field of rugby, in order to understand how Maori indigenize this sport, and how we, as anthropologists, can understand their assertion (as in Mulholland 2009) that these projects constitute a specific way of being Maori.
Halvaksz, Dr. Jamon Alex, U. of Texas, San Antonio, TX - To aid research on 'Large Scale Mining Development and Agricultural Change in Papua New Guinea'
Preliminary abstract: In a context of an industrial gold mine operated with the consent of indigenous landowners in Papua New Guinea, this research examines transformations of work and identity as expressed though subsistence agriculture and cash crops. As community members are trained in the practices of a large-scale resource extraction project, and taught to meet expectations defined by global capital, do they change local gardening practices? This research uses a combination of spatial and ethnographic methods to compare the landowner community of Winima, who receive compensation and priority employment opportunities, with their immediate neighbors in Elauru, who live outside the leased area of the mine. During earlier research periods, both communities shared stories, agricultural practices, remaining interconnected through land and kinship, and still speak the same language. As a 2011 pilot study suggested, this might be changing as Winima residents reorient production toward market sensibilities, and increasingly embody the ideals of individual responsibility celebrated by the mine. To address this dynamic, three research questions are explored: 1) How do the daily routines of mining transform local agricultural practices? 2) How does mining change village social relations, especially practices of land tenure, gender equality, and the social role of food production? 3) In light of their experiences with mining, how do communities view their relationship with local spaces of production? By addressing these core questions this research seeks to understand the emergence of new kinds of subjects who are marked by the global work force, but remain distinctly local.
Martin, Keir J., U. of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Housebuilding in Rabaul: The Reconstruction of Sociality in a Papua New Guinean City,' supervised by Dr. Karen M.Sykes
KEIR J. MARTIN, while a student at University of Manchester, Manchester, England, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on 'Housebuilding in Rabaul: The Reconstruction of Sociality in a Papua New Guinean City,' supervised by Dr. Karen M. Sykes. The research supported fieldwork to research transactions centered around land and house building at Matupit, Papua New Guinea, as a focus for examining the commodification of Melanesian social life. Research began with a survey of house building at Matupit, and at the Matupit-Sikut resettlement camp where many villagers had moved after Matupit was damaged by volcanic activity in 1994. The survey found out how people had mobilized labor, land, and materials as they rebuilt after the eruption, and asked why so many people had returned to Matupit despite the risks. This survey was followed by in-depth case studies of eight persons building houses during the fieldwork period. This involved continuous re-visiting over a two year period. This enabled a much more detailed analysis of the attitudes towards the transactions outlined in the initial survey. In particular it was possible to examine the extent to which compensating others for their assistance was presented as 'payment' for labor in different contexts. This work was complemented by case studies of a number of land disputes at Matupit and Sikut. As with the house building case studies, this enabled an examination of the different moral perspectives taken towards different relationships or transactions depending upon the person's relationship to others involved in the dispute. For example, the extent to which some people attempted to 'commodify' the customary land transaction of kulia in order to secure their rights over a piece of land was made clear in the context of this research.
Syndicus, Ivo Soeren, National U. of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland - To aid research on 'Culture, Development, and Higher Education in Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Strong
Preliminary abstract; Higher education has increasingly moved into the focus of international development cooperation. At the same time, calls for the recognition of culturally distinct ways of knowing and being are voiced in post-colonial contexts. In a sense, a tension is emerging between the promise of development through education, and the idea that standard models of higher education export eurocentric values and ways of knowing and being to other cultures. My research examines this tension through an ethnographic study of higher education in Papua New Guinea. I address the question of how stakeholders in tertiary educational institutions reflexively locate themselves in relation to notions of development and culture. Through participant observation, life histories, interviews, and discourse analysis, I explore how subjectivities and reflexive notions of the self shape and are shaped by the experience of higher education, and how these link to images of global modernity and development that are framed as standing in tension to notions of culture. Through original empirical research, this project seeks to describe and analyze how Papua New Guineans in a modern institutional setting mediate between the putatively universalist values of higher education and development, and their own culturally diverse ways of knowing and being.
Bashkow, Dr. Ira R., U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research and writing on ''Whitemen' in the Moral World of Orokaiva of Papua New Guinea' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. IRA R. BASHKOW, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in June 2001 to aid research and writing of a book entitled The Meaning of Whitemen: Race and Modernity in Papua New Guinea. The book is a theoretically focused ethnography of an Orokaiva community in Papua New Guinea that examines how Orokaiva people conceptualize 'whitemen,' development, and the West. In it Bashkow explores the racial symbolism that is central to Orokaiva ideas of modernity and provides an unprecedented account of the cultural construction of 'whiteness' and race in a non-Western culture. He shows how Orokaiva use the symbolism of 'whitemen' to interpret the position of their local communities and their race in the world economy. Recognizing that modernity is an essentially racial concept for Orokaiva is the key to understanding modernity's power to insinuate itself into their local cultural processes and tap into dynamics of their local moral order, so that even these people, whose historical experience of modernity has been so unrewarding, still ardently desire to reforge their society in the image of the modern other. Growing out of the writing of the book was a related article on the globalization of time, in which Bashkow examined how the Orokaiva cultural construction of whitemen was substantiated in people's use of 'whitemen's time,' meaning, in Orokaiva terms, the synchronization of different people's activities using modem, Western-style clock and calendrical time. The ethnography of whitemen's time supports a general theoretical argument about the way in which non-Western time systems change (and are resilient) in the face of globalization.
Bashkow, Ira. 2006. The Meaning of Whitemen: Race and Modernity in the Orokaiva Cultural World. University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London.
Dobrin, Lise M., and Ira Bashkow. 2010. 'Arapesh Warfare': Reo Fortune's Veiled Critique of Margaret Mead's Sex and Temperment. American Anthropologist 112(3):370-383.
Hardin, Jessica Anne, Brandeis U., Waltham, MA - To aid research on 'Exchange and Health: Negotiating the Meaning of Food and Body among Evangelical Christians in Independent Samoa,' supervised by Dr. Richard J. Parmentier
JESSICA A. HARDIN, then a student at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Exchange and Health: Negotiating the Meaning of Food and Body among Evangelical Christians in Independent Samoa,' supervised by Dr. Richard J. Parmentier. In a 'traditional' Samoan idiom, large body size indexed deep social networks and prosperity. Today, as rates of weight-related diseases and obesity increase, meanings of the large body are in flux. Exchange is increasingly critiqued by public health and evangelical Christians as a source of financial, social, and emotional hardship that causes weight-related disorders. This research explores how weight-related disorders are constructed as a problem of inequality and social change related to global influences on everyday life. This analysis draws from fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork that included participant observation, semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis in two evangelical churches and public health domains in the urban and peri-urban areas of Apia. These diverse data sets enabled an investigation of how: weight-related disorders are linked to exchange; spiritualized etiologies encourage social and embodied change; and global public health discourses are articulated in complex and surprising ways. This research into responses to the rise of weight-related disorders illuminates the social and spiritual dimensions shaping disease management in contemporary Samoa; this suggests a focus on well-being, as opposed to health, in prevention and policy is necessary.
Martinez-Reyes, Dr. Jose Eduardo, U. of Massachusetts, Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Mahogany Intertwined: Enviromateriality Between the Maya Forest, Fiji, and the Gibson Les Paul'
Preliminary abstract: This project will produce a global ethnography that engages both, the material culture and materiality of Honduran mahogany (Sw. macrophylla), along with a global political ecology of forest conservation. It seeks to understand the complex dynamics between people and mahogany by tracing human-nature relations through the global commodity networks by focusing on one particular artefact, the Gibson Les Paul, an iconic solid wood electric guitar made of mahogany. In recent years, Gibson has been supplied with 'sustainably certified' mahogany by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) grown in the Maya Forest of Quintana Roo, Mexico and more recently in Fiji (whose mahogany was transplanted when a British colony). On the production (material) side, I ask questions to local communities about how they relate to the material in question and more importantly, whether FSC certified mahogany helps create sustainability and community well-being within a neoliberal framework as it proclaims. I also seek to unravel the power relations of mahogany production within Mexico's and Fiji's particular land tenure systems. On the consumption (materiality) end, I will interview Gibson Les Paul builders and players about why they consider mahogany to have sonic and tonal agentic force (which I call 'sonicality') that they seek when building and when playing the guitar. I also interrogate what role does mahogany play in driving the Les Paul's supply and demand, and if such drives contributes to the demise of mahogany and the efforts of agro-forestry as a sustainable conservation practice. From a UMass Boston grant I was able to conduct research in Mexico in 2011-12. In this proposal I seek funding to carry out fieldwork in Viti Levu, Fiji for a total of 12 weeks in 2013-14 and travel to Nashville, TN to the Gibson Factory in the Spring of 2013 to carry out interviews and ethnographic observations
Mawyer, Alexander D., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly
ALEXANDER D. MAWYER, while a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in December 2001 to aid research on 'Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia,' supervised by Dr. John D. Kelly. Between January 2002 and February 2003, the grantee conducted primary dissertation fieldwork in French Polynesia for a project titled 'TV TALK and Other Processes of Media Receptivity and the Production of Identities in the Gambier, French Polynesia.' The theoretical focus of this project remained centered, throughout the fieldwork, in the investigation of particular affinities between the use of available sociolinguistic tools, the interactional stances taken by speakers in the various discursive situations of daily life, and the production of groupness-higher orders of social organization such as publics or communities. During the course of fieldwork, the grantee investigated how it is that speakers do inhabit roles and identities, and generally perform the great play of culture in all its modes and moods, in the indexical realization of the universe of their discourse - resulting in observations of speakers shifting between multiple possible stances, identifying with a public or publics within French Polynesia. A significant methodological goal of this project was to show how culturally situated persons in a sense improvisationally perform and generate the very publics that constitute them, a process which is in part realized by various linguistic devices that simultaneously index and entail that performance. From examining such 'realizations' in the discursive negotiation of the meaningfulness of news and other culturally mediating tropes - in this case, Mexican soap operas, a metropolitan French talk show, and ongoing local political debates articulated with pearl legislation and the French Polynesian government's regional objectives-1 gained an analytical purchase on the cultural and social logics of 'significant' information and the role(s) of communication more generally, in village society.