Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationKentucky, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9441
Approve DateApril 18, 2017
Project TitleWaugh-Quasebarth, Jasper J., U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Musical Instrument Makers, Appalachian Forests, and the Re-enchantment of Livelihood and Material in West Virginia,' supervised by Dr. Ann E. Kingsolver
JASPER J. WAUGH-QUASEBARTH, then a graduate student at University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, received a grant in April 2017 to aid research on ‘Musical Instrument Makers, Appalachian Forests, and the Re-enchantment of Livelihood and Material in West Virginia,’ supervised by Dr. Ann E. Kingsolver. This ethnographic project explores how musical instrument makers’ experiences with and knowledge of global forest environments in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States and the Carpathian Mountains of Romania influence attempts to re-enchant labor through crafting musical instruments and musical ‘tonewood.’ In conversation with anthropologies of work, environment, and relational material agency, this project employs ethnographic apprenticeship to understand how the embodied knowledge of craft is entangled in a process that makes both instrument and maker. Makers navigate terrains of localized extractive timber practices, reliant on the products of such processes yet contesting extractive temporalities that clash with material requirements of the craft, especially regarding the size and growth rate of trees. Materials act on makers through the complexities and temporality of the craft process, compelling them to continue to pursue craft livelihoods. Situated within global processes of governance, exchange, and production, makers find meaning in their work through the novel and skilled relationship with wood materials while relying on disenchanted labor and extractive logics in other global forests. With a multi-sited perspective, this project finds makers and tonewood producers in Appalachia and Romania pursuing re-enchanted labor fraught with complexity and contradiction in processes of production, exchange, and consumption.