Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationPurdue U.
Grant numberGr. 9306
Approve DateApril 20, 2016
Project TitleSchulze, Savannah M., Purdue U., West Layfayette, IN - To aid research on 'Implications of Exclusion for Batwa Communities: Remaking their Histories in a Multispecies Protected Landscape,' supervised by Dr. Melissa Remis
SAVANNAH M. SCHULZE, then a graduate student at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, received a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Implications of Exclusion for Batwa Communities: Remaking their Histories in a Multispecies Protected Landscape,’ supervised by Dr. Melissa J. Remis. The grantee conducted over twelve months of fieldwork on the fringes of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), Uganda in order to examine place and identity among displaced Batwa, former forest dwellers now living on the borders of the park. As a UNESCO world heritage site centered on mountain gorilla conservation and tourism, the BINP landscape provides a unique opportunity to investigate how historical processes, conservation efforts, and new ecotourism projects fundamentally challenge and change what it means to be Batwa. Using a unique combination of ethnographic methods, the study employed participant observation, interviews, and cultural mapping techniques. Specifically, participant observation was utilized to get a sense of daily practice among displaced Batwa communities. In depth interviewing took place with key informants to understand life history, new perspectives on conservation history, and traditional knowledge transfer and maintenance. Finally, these data were coupled with cultural mapping exercises conducted to determine how the Batwa maintain mobility across the landscape.