Environmentalists with Guns: Conservation and Counterinsurgency in the Petén, Guatemala, 1960-1996
My dissertation examines the development of environmental conservation in northern Guatemala as a strategy of counterinsurgency during its long civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. The research on which it is based unfolds across three levels of analysis: the institution of the army, which directly governed the region and established conservation policies with enduring legacies; the discourses of conservation and development generated by the army, environmental NGOs, and development agencies; and the practices of conservation on the ground as enacted by actual people in their daily lives as subjects to and enforcers of environmental law. The counterinsurgency priorities that guided conservation policy in northern Guatemala during the civil war weighed heavily on the postwar legacy of environmental protection and the demands for justice that came out of the Peace Accords in 1996, yet debates about conservation in Guatemala regularly ignore this violent past. Grafting together the methods of political ecology with those of social, cultural, and institutional history, I attempt to show how the conservation landscapes of northern Guatemala are both the product of a bloody counterinsurgent war and the continuation of it by other means. My evidence is drawn from national, municipal, and private documentary sources, as well as oral testimony, collected from sites in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. The implications for this project speak to both academic and policy debates on conservation in the underdeveloped world, challenging scholars and practitioners to grasp the social problems at the heart of conservation.
Japanese Recession of the 1990's and its Lessons for Advanced Industrial Countries
International Collaboration in Technology Development
The Production of Urban "Knowledges:" The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro as Sites of Intervention
The Seismic Cityscape: Earthquake Anticipation in Istanbul
My project asks how the expectation of a major natural disaster affects human-landscape relationships, and approaches this question through the lens of earthquake anticipation in Istanbul, Turkey--a city of some 13-15 million people located in an active fault zone with a history of devastating earthquakes. On August 17, 1999, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern edge of the Marmara Sea, about 80 kilometers away, killing tens of thousands of people and underscoring Istanbul’s vulnerability to a similar disaster. Through twelve months of ethnographic and documentary research, I propose to trace the contours and effects of earthquake anticipation in Istanbul, both as a technopolitical process that seeks to mold landscapes, buildings, and bodies into a state of preparedness, and as an affective relationship to time and space generated by the experience of dwelling in a seismically active landscape. The project will investigate how earthquake risk is produced as an object of knowledge by experts like seismologists, engineers and actuaries, but also through rumor, faith, and superstition; how earthquake anticipation gains material and political effect through the activities of municipal officials, architects, activists, and other residents; and how the imagination of disaster shapes the everyday experience of life in the seismic cityscape. It will shed light on the role of earthquakes and earthquake anticipation in shaping the city of Istanbul's built environment and urban imaginary. Drawing on approaches from anthropology, archaeology, and science and technology studies, this project will contribute to the interdisciplinary study of disaster and the anthropology of contemporary Turkey.
The African Union’s Role in providing African Solution to African Conflicts
commercial Sex Workers and Gender Violence in Communities Along the Southern Axis of Nigeria-Benin Republic Border Corrridor
Segmented Production, Networked Solidarity: Labor and Industrial Restructuring in Latin America's Apparel and Auto Industries
Formation of Muslim Communities in the Ottoman Balkans: The Case of Deliorman, 16th-17th Centuries
Entrepreneurship and Regional Culture in the Information Age: A Comparative Study of Regional Business Communities in Japan and the United States
Crude Fictions: Oil and the Making of Modularity in Equatorial Guinea
At the center of the petroleum industry’s ‘new Persian Gulf,’ the central African micro-state of Equatorial Guinea has seen over 10 billion dollars in petroleum-related capital investment over the last six years, and is now Africa’s third largest oil producer. While some scholarship suggests that Equatorial Guinea will now join a class of typical oil states that includes Nigeria, Venezuela, Kuwait, etc., anthropology finds this narrative of ‘typicality’ reductionist, and points instead to contingent realities unique to particular sites like Equatorial Guinea. My project starts from a dissatisfaction with this opposition, and asks instead, what cultural work is required to produce and maintain typicality, replication, and modularity? If, in attempting to recreate a specific environment, the petroleum industry requires that certain things be erased and others created, what are those erasures and creations in Equatorial Guinea? Through an institutional ethnography of a major oil company and participant observation in a colossal, oil-funded public works project, this study aims to illuminate the twin processes of transformation and reproduction in Equatorial Guinea. My research will be the first ethnographic project in this country by an American scholar, and will contribute to ongoing anthropological discussions on how situated ethnographic work can produce results at a scale that might effectively participate in larger debates.
A Comparative Legal Study of Non-Standard Employment Policies in the US, Germany and Japan: The Regulatory Approach, Market Function Approach and Options for Japan
The Japan Sea Initiative: The Role of Local Governments in Sub-Regional Cooperation
The Politics of Market Reform in Peru
Mobility and Locality: Afghan Identity in South India 1629-1779
I propose to follow the history of two Afghan family lineages, the Miyanas and the Pannis, over a hundred and fifty year time span between 1629 and 1779 as they moved across frontiers and between political centers in central and southern India. While attending to these groups' roles in the major political events of the period, I will also focus on situating them within their cultural contexts. Through attention to their literary production and participation in regional and extra-regional religious networks but also through practices of marriage, patronage, adoption, friendship and other ties that bound them to localities, I seek to uncover a political and cultural history focusing on themes often overlooked in state-centered narratives: the regular movement of groups across state frontiers, the construction of social identities spanning diverse cultural and political contexts, and the production of densely interlocked local, regional and transregional spheres of belonging. The project makes three interventions in existing historiography. Firstly it seeks to articulate a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be Afghan in early modern India across commonly divided time periods and geographies. Secondly, the project seeks to expand our understanding negotiations between local, regional and imperial power structures. Finally, the project aims to contribute to a body of scholarship on the nature of global transformations taking place in late medieval and early modern Eurasia.
Schooling, Occupation, Choice and Career Mobility: A U.S.-Japan Comparative Analysis
Environmental Policy Instruments to Promote Technological Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Japanese Experiences
Transformation of Employment Structure and Social Inequality in the Post-industrial Countries: A Comparison of Japan, South Korea, and the United States
The Creation of Local Order: Armed Groups' Strategies and Civilians' Collaboration in Civil Wars
Narco-rulers and Civilian Choice
Korean Youth Worlds: An Ethnography of Politically Active University Students in South Korea
Becoming "Xhosa:" German Missionary Linguists and How the Borderland Communities of the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa Became Part of the Xhosa Ethnolinguistic Group, 1830-1930
When the communities of the Eastern Cape first encountered European missionaries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they identified themselves as the Ngqika, Ndlambe, Gcaleka, Thembu, Mpondo and Mpondomise. However, toward the end of the nineteenth century, these communities began to speak of a Xhosa nation that gradually encompassed all these groups. I believe the development of a vernacular language (isiXhosa) for the purpose of Bible translation, and the conversion of isiXhosa-speakers to Christianity were crucial issues that drove the emergence of the Xhosa nation. The former issue may have had two key impulses. The first involved missionary efforts to identify local modes of verbal communication as the “Kaffir” language and develop its vocabulary, grammar and script. The second concerned translation of the Bible into this language and, most importantly, translating it into distinct “Xhosa-Kaffir” and “Zulu-Kaffir” scripts. This latter decision may have contributed to the bifurcation of “Kaffir” into separate isiXhosa and isiZulu languages, as well as its speakers into separate ethnolinguistic groups. The Xhosa Bible that resulted from these efforts gave African converts direct access to the “source of revelation,” as well as the “ur-narrative” of nationhood. As Adrian Hastings explains, “The Bible…presented in Israel…a developed model of what it means to be a nation….” (Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood, 1997). And as John Peel has remarked, “Human beings produce sociocultural form [e.g. identity] through an arch of memories, actions, and intentions. Narrative is the way in which that arch may be expressed, rehearsed, shared, and communicated….[And] the Bible provides the “great Ur narrative” for this kind of narrating” (Peel, “For Who Hath Despised the Day of Small Things? Missionary Narratives and Historical Anthropology,” 1995). Taking inspiration from the ideas of Hastings and Peel, I will determine the extent to which conversion to Christianity provided African converts a blueprint for developing a national identity, first circumscribed by linguistic efforts designed to publish the Bible in the vernacular.
The Deuxième Portion: Forced Labor, Resistance and Memory in the French Soudan, 1926-1946
Influence of Environmental Pressure on Inter-Communal Relations: Environmental Scarcity and Conflict in Cross-Border Pastoral Areas of the Lower Omo Valley