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Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Project   printer-friendly-version
Program: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad
Award Number: P022A030068
Grant Period: 07/01/2003 - 02/28/2005
Funding:
2003:  $173,624
Institution: Yale University
Project Director: Thomas Burns
Graduate School, 320 York Street, PO Box 208236
New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8236
Tel: 203-432-1884
Fax: 203-432-7765
Email: thomas.burns@yale.edu
 
 
Abstracts
 
James Baskind

Discipline:  Religious studies
Country:  Japan
Language:  Japanese
Title: Yinyuan and the Early Masters of the Manpukuji: Tensions and Triumphs in the Japanese Reception of Obaku's Ming Buddhist Models

Ingen Ryuki stands at the source of one of the great Zen schools of Japan. Japanese Zen flows in three separate streams, the best known of which are the Rinzai and Soto schools. Indeed these two schools speak for much of Zen in Japan however, the third stream, Obaku Zen, is not as widely known although it has had an enormous impact on Zen art, religious practice, as well as sectarian identity. The Obaku school grew out of the rich soil of Ming Buddhist culture and was transplanted into Japan by Ingen and his prominent disciples. The temple Ingen founded, the Manpukuji in Uji, became the center of Obaku subsequent development, and the writings that Ingen and his disciples produced at this temple set the course of not only a new form of practice, but also of a new religious culture. The innovations in practice, ritual, and doctrine introduced and established by Ingen and his prominent disciples, Mokuan Shoto, Sokuhi Nyojitsu, and Kosen Shoton are areas of ripe for research. By taking a historical-textual approach to the writings of these four masters, I investigated how they synthesized Ming Buddhist models for their Japanese audience and then explain how such innovation contributed to the perception that Obaku was a new and separate school of Zen at odds with the Rinzai and Soto schools.
 
Marina Campos

Discipline:  Anthropology
Country:  Brazil
Language:  Portuguese
Title: Acquisition of Environmental Knowledge by Non-Indigenous Peoples: The Case of Amazonian Colonists

Most rural Amazonians are newcomers. Despite the increasing importance and impacts of migrant farmers in the transformation of the Amazon, we know little about their relationship with the forests they inhabit. Using an ethnoecological approach, this study analyzes the evolving relationship between these farmers and their forests, including their acquisition of knowledge of forest ecology and resources the relationship between this knowledge and their land-use practices and the broader role of farmers organizations in shaping new approaches to rural development. Findings from questionnaires and other types of interviews reveal that migrant farmers acquire knowledge about the forest resources over time in a region. Therefore, it is not a matter of lack of environmental knowledge. Rather, larger issues, such as colonization models and policies, play a more prominent role in limiting and constraining their forest management at the plot level. A regional grassroots organizations wrote a proposal for rural development that reconciles small agricultural production with environmental conservation. This proposal is centered in three main points land tenure reorganization of the region creation of environmental credit line and the implementation of two protected areas. The fact this proposal came from the migrant farmers suggests that they can play a far different role than previously imagined in developing new solutions for Amazonia development, one in which they are neither victims nor villains but potential partners for rethinking new avenues for forest conservation.
 
Joseph Hill

Discipline:  Anthropology
Country:  Senegal
Language:  Wolof
Title: Divine Knowledge and Moral Community: The Disciples of Ibrayima √Ďas in Senegal

This project examines the various practices and institutions related to cultivating religious knowledge, both spiritual and textual, in a transnational Sufi Islamic group, the disciples of Ibrayima Baay as. Research was based in Medina Baay Kaolack, Senegal, the holy center of this group, and also involved over a dozen villages around Kaolack as well as Dakar.Research included three main phases. From January to April, I supplemented my interviews with research in a local Arabic-language archive. The second phase, from April to June, focused on ethnographic interviews, especially with Islamic school teachers and religious leaders. During the third and most productive phase June to October, I formed a team of local part-time researchers to help collect narratives concerning the education and life trajectories of a number of religious elites and disciples. Members of the team conducted interviews throughout Senegal, especially in and around Kaolack and Dakar.Research focused on a number of sources and methods. The primary activity was conducting interviews with religious and community leaders as well as elders familiar with historical events and social practices. Another important activity was attending, recording, and transcribing religious meetings both for the historical and religious content of the speeches and for the ritual aspects. In addition to these ethnographic methods, I photographed thousands of Arabic-language documents, including religious treatises and historical accounts from a number of private local archives.
 
Emily Margaretten

Discipline:  Anthropology
Country:  South Africa
Language:  Zulu
Title: South African Street Youth and their Participation in Urban Street Shelters.

Over the duration of twelve months, I investigated the institutional experiences of South African street youth in urban street shelters. My anthropological research differentiated state-sponsored shelters from a newly emerging type of institution, which I designate as informal shelters. Informal shelters do not receive subsidies from the state. Nor do they operate under the auspices of religious organizations. Rather, informal shelters are established by youth, for youth.My research of informal shelters focused on one particular site a condemned building located in the center of Durbans metropolis. This informal shelter was inhabited by over 135 older street youth. Here, the street youth shared a collective sense of history and identity, which in turn, enabled them to resist repeated attempts of forced removal. Using methods of participation-observation and recorded interviews, I documented the everyday experiences of these youth, examining how they utilized informal shelters to create a common ethos of survival that both drew upon and departed from the formalities of state institutions and patriarchal authority. By examining connections between formal and informal institutions, my research investigates the ways in which South African street youth produce, reproduce, and challenge societal norms.
 
Alison Norris

Discipline:  Health sciences
Country:  Tanzania
Language:  Swahili
Title: Making Ends Meet: An epidemiologic and ethnographic study of sexuality and STIs among Tanzanian sugar plantation workers.

In my doctoral dissertation research project, I employed a combined epidemiologic and ethnographic methodology to examine how the context of life on a large agricultural plantation influences the formation of sexual relationships and infection with sexually transmitted infections STIs among the thousands of men and women who live and work there. Plantation workers and their families represent a poor and vulnerable population. We randomly sampled 330 households on a sugar plantation in northern Tanzania to invite people to participate in a cross-sectional study that involved an interview questionnaire and biological testing for three sexually transmitted infections HIV, herpes, and/or syphilis. More than 300 other individuals volunteered to participate as well. I will use the data collected from these 600 plantation residents to measure the association between infection with an STI and both traditional sexual behavior risk factors eg, number of partners, age of sexual debut and non-traditional, plantation-specific, factors eg, work status, economic pressures, social incentives. In addition, I collected qualitative data, including in-depth interviews, participant observation, and life histories, to explore the understandings that men and women at the plantation have about sexuality, reproduction, transactional sex, and infection with STIs. The results of the study, which have implications for the thousands of agricultural workers on plantations across sub-Saharan Africa, will be shared with the residents of the plantation and will be used by the plantation management to design programs to prevent future spread of STIs.
 
Richard Payne

Discipline:  Anthropology
Country:  Indonesia
Language:  Indonesian
Title: Adat, local culture and the politics of tradition in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

This project focused on the discourses and practices of agama religion and adat custom or law among Benuaq Dayaks in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. I conducted ethnographic research into two areas of indigenous ritual and legal practice curing and mortuary rituals, and customary methods of dispute resolution I examine the intersection of these village-level practices with extra-village structures and institutions new local political structures, missionaries, NGOs, and local and national discourses about ethnicity and religion. Customary methods of dispute resolution are the object of attempts by NGOs to harness this form of deliberation to promote sustainable resource management, attempting to recreate customary regulations where natural resources have become privatized and commoditized. Customary religious practices involve relatively specialized ritual knowledge and the use of ritualized speech forms that index a specifically Benuaq set of customs. Practitioners of these rituals are aware that in the dominant discourse of the nation state they are not considered agama and are therefore considered primitive and as obstacles to development. Once promoted by the state, discourses of primitiveness are now mostly made by evangelical Protestant Christians, many of whom are Benuaq villagers, and the decentralized state either neutral or defending the rituals. In response, ritual practitioners strive to define themselves as being in step with modernity rather than as enemies of progress. These dialogues and disagreements illuminate questions about ethic identity and the relationships between local practice and extra-local discourse and structure in the context of the post-authoritarian state.