Webinar Sept. 28th: Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants

Join us on September 28th at 7AM and 7PM Eastern Time, for, “Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grant”.

To register for the 7AM workshop click here.

To register for the 7PM workshop click here.

In 2021, the world still feels like a precarious place. The Covid pandemic is far from over, with vaccine apartheid and resistance and the emergence of new variants threatening populations around the world. Racial injustice, economic inequality, climate catastrophe — none of these things have gone away. These realities are reshaping anthropological practice. Whether or not you are studying these pressing issues, they form the context for your work. Join Danilyn Rutherford, President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, for a discussion of proposal writing in these tumultuous times. She’ll describe the Foundation’s approach to supporting anthropology worldwide, offer tips on succeeding in the competition for Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants, and describe some of the Foundation’s new initiatives. There will be lots of time for questions.

September 28th 7AM Eastern Workshop:

September 28th 7PM Eastern Workshop: 

CART captioning for the 7AM workshop will be provided by Wendy Baquerizo.

Take Part – Survey Sponsored by Wenner-Gren, Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective and More!

The Wenner-Gren Foundation, in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists, the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, and a group of major anthropology funders, is sponsoring a survey.  It’s designed to provide as complete a portrait as possible of who today’s anthropologists are, how they fund their research, and what factors determine who gets supported and who does not.  Focused on North America, the survey is part of a broader initiative designed to promote greater equity in our field. All the major anthropological associations based in the US are participating in this phase of the project; we hope to collaborate with colleagues in other world regions in future research.   You’ll be receiving a link from your professional association that leads to the survey.  Please take a moment to fill it out!

Apply Now! Wenner-Gren Foundation SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program

SAPIENS logo

Wenner-Gren Foundation SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program

The Wenner-Gren Foundation invites applications for its Public Fellowship program. This year, the program will place one fellow in a two-year term (2022-2023) staff position at SAPIENS, the Foundation’s online magazine. The fellow will participate in the substantive work of the magazine and receive professional mentoring. The Fellow will receive a stipend of $50,000 per year and benefits through the University of Chicago Press. The Foundation cannot sponsor a U.S. work visa, but successful applicants may work outside the U.S. Acknowledging the precarity of early career anthropologists, the fellowship may thus be fulfilled by telecommuting from any location or by working at the Foundation’s headquarters in New York City.

This initiative aims to expand the role of doctoral education in the United States by demonstrating that the capacities developed in the advanced study of anthropology have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The program allows advanced scholars to gain career-building experience in public media and science communication.

The Foundation seeks applications from recent PhDs who aspire to careers in public service by choice rather than circumstance. Competitive applicants will be able to demonstrate sincere interest in public anthropology and will have a record of success in both academic and extra-academic endeavors.

Job activities will include but are not limited to:

The position has five primary areas of work, which include the following: (1) oversee the magazine’s art editing process, (2) identify articles by anthropologists for republication, (3) oversee the magazine’s translated articles and process, (4) write Q&A articles and other content, and (5) oversee the magazine’s pedagogical projects. The Managing Editor will also regularly meet with the editorial team through Zoom to build a cohesive editorial vision for the publication and to ensure the publication’s editorial systems are effective and efficient; conduct online or in person workshops for anthropologists on the craft of writing; represent the magazine at conferences and other venues; and collaboratively work with editing colleagues within the publication through Slack.

Desired qualifications of applicants:

  1. have a PhD in anthropology conferred between September 1, 2017 and September 1, 2021
  2. defend and file/deposit their completed dissertations no later than September 1, 2021, and be prepared to verify this with official university documentation during the review and selection process; and
  3. write fluent English, the primary language of the magazine.

Application procedures:

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please apply through the jobs portal at University of Chicago Press, which hosts the position. Note that the two-year postdoctoral fellowship is titled “Managing Editor” for UCP’s administrative purposes. Review of the applications begins on September 15, 2021.

Your cover letter will be a critical part of the application review process. Please talk about 1) your past experiences and how they have led to an interest in this fellowship program, and 2) your vision for the mission of public communication, the future of SAPIENS, and your own future as a practitioner in the field.

 

 

Announcing the 2021 Global Initiatives Grants New Approves

Wenner-Gren is excited to announce the 2021 new approves for our Global Initiatives Grant!

The Black Feminist Archive Pandemic Preservation Project of Black Women Practicing Anthropologists

Dr. Irma McClaurin received funding to encourage and guide Black and Indigenous women who are anthropologists working outside the academy as independent consultants and community-based activists to preserve and archive the invaluable knowledge about social justice issues in their communities and beyond. At a time when many states are prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory, preserving these important historical materials and archiving these collections communicates the value and historical relevance of the work of practicing BIPOC anthropologists to broader communities, as well as to practitioners themselves.

Decanonization: The Global Anthropology Syllabus Project

Dr. Heather O’Leary received funding for the initial stage of an ongoing collaborative initiative aimed at promoting global conversations and collaboration.  The initiative will work towards the creation of a curriculum that expands the narrow focus from knowledge production in traditional academic institutions to a more inclusive, diverse representation of anthropological traditions produced outside hegemonic centers.  This preliminary phase supports the recruitment of a globally diverse and inclusive group of 40 scholars who will serve as an advisory council.

Inclusivity and Ethics in Archaeological Training: The ARF Field School

Dr. Christine Hastorf received funding to pilot an 8 week commuter field school designed to make archaeology more accessible. It provides stipends for BIPOC students and boosts the inclusion of low- and middle-income students entering the career. At the same time, the training will promote community-engaged archaeology and more sustainable ethical stewardship practices by using low impact methods to inventory and analyze orphaned collections and their legacy sites.

Southern African Field Archaeology

Dr. Dipuo Kgotleng received funding for the revival of Southern African Field Archaeology as an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal. The proposed platform encourages and subsidizes African-based scholars, students and practitioners of archaeological and cultural heritage studies by providing free editorial services. It aims to boost the participation of African scholars in disseminating their research results, at the same time it increases readership, public awareness and local participation in the research process.

UnderstandingRace.org Website Upgrade

Dr. Edward Liebow received funding to support the upgrade of the American Anthropology Association’s UnderstandingRace.org website.  This educational resource uses current findings from across the subfields of anthropology to challenge the notion that racial identities are biologically based and fixed. Its teaching guides help to rectify misconceptions about human biological variation and contribute to timely public conversations regarding social injustices.

Announcing the Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences

Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences

In partnership with the School for Advanced Research (SAR), the Wenner-Gren Foundation is sponsoring one nine-month residential fellowship open to PhD-holding anthropologists of all ranks.

This fellowship aims to expand the anthropological conversation and build capacity in anthropology by amplifying perspectives previously under-represented in the discipline.

We are eager to support individuals whose research draws on Black studies, critical race studies, diasporic Africana studies, the vernacular insights of communities of color, and other sources of inspiration growing out of global Black experiences to advance new lines of scholarship in any of anthropology’s subfields.  We hope to attract applicants working in a diverse range of sites, including but not limited to Black communities.

Applicants should show how this support will enable them to succeed at a critical juncture in their career and alter their trajectory in the field. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

The successful applicant will join a cohort of scholars at SAR in Santa Fe, New Mexico. SAR especially welcomes applicants willing to spend the fellowship term on our residential campus in Santa Fe, but the program is also willing to consider applications from those who can only participate through a combination of remote gatherings and an in-person residency of several weeks.

Fellows receive a stipend of $50,000. Resident scholars also receive low-cost housing and free office space at the SAR campus. Fellows who opt not to relocate receive a travel subsidy covering the cost of short-term in-person residency at the SAR campus.

The deadline for applications is November 1, 2021, for a fellowship starting in September 2022. For more information, please contact scholar@sarsf.org.

Learn more about the fellowship.

Find out how to apply.

Survey of Wenner-Gren Applicants and Grantees

Have you applied for a Wenner-Gren grant in the past five years?  If so, we’d love to have your input.  We’ve distributed a survey that asks about you, your history with Wenner-Gren, and your willingness to help us reach a broader community of scholars.  Your input will help us do a better job of advancing anthropological research, addressing the precarity of anthropology and anthropologists, and fostering an inclusive vision of the field.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Save the Date! June 1st: Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Introducing the Engaged Research Grant Program

The events of 2020 have forced anthropologists to reckon with their discipline’s history and the nature of the relationships they forge through their research. They are finding themselves asking themselves hard questions about the ethical implications of the work they do.

The best way to advance knowledge in anthropology is to draw on new sources of insight. The best way to ensure anthropological research has an impact is to make sure projects are meaningful for everyone involved. By supporting projects that are collaborative from the get-go, the Wenner-Gren Foundation hopes to demonstrate the value of this new approach to research for the field more generally.

Join the Foundation’s president, Danilyn Rutherford, for a discussion of the Engaged Research Grant program. Danilyn will describe the program’s objectives, go over the criteria of evaluation, and offer tips on writing a winning proposal. There will be lots of time for questions.

This workshop will have CART captioning.

Tuesday, June 1 from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Eastern). Click here to register for this event.

Tuesday, June 1 from 9:00-10:30 PM (Eastern). Click here to register for this event.

 

Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants

From the Covid-19 pandemic to the global struggle for racial justice, anthropology has not escaped 2020 unscathed. On Tuesday, March 30th Danilyn Rutherford, President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, hosted a discussion of proposal writing in these tumultuous times. She discussed the Foundation’s approach to supporting anthropology worldwide, offered tips on succeeding in the competition for Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants, and described some of the Foundation’s new initiatives.

Watch it now!

 

 

Annnouncing the Wenner-Gren Foundation Engaged Research Grant Program

We are proud to announce the creation of a new grant program designed to support and celebrate research partnerships that blend the skills and knowledge of anthropologists and activists and community leaders from minoritized and marginalized groups.

The events of 2020 have forced anthropologists to reckon with their discipline’s history and the nature of the relationships they forge through their research.  They are finding themselves asking themselves hard questions about the ethical implications of the work they do.   The best way to advance knowledge in anthropology is to draw on new sources of insight.

The best way to ensure anthropological research has an impact is to make sure projects are meaningful for everyone involved.  By supporting projects that are collaborative from the get-go, Wenner-Gren hopes to demonstrate the value of this new approach to research for the field.

The deadline for applications is August 1, 2021. The online application will be made available two months before the August 1 deadline.

You will find further information and instructions on how to apply at Wenner-Gren Engaged Research Grants.

Introducing the Wadsworth Institutional Grant

In 2019, the Wenner-Gren Foundation piloted the Wadsworth Institutional Grant in the Department of Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, based in the National Museum of Brazil, the site of a devastating fire.  At a time when Brazil’s right-wing government has slashed budgets for academic research, this new program provides pilot funding and training in grant writing to doctoral students, who in the future will be increasingly dependent on international sources of support.  To select the students who would receive an award, the anthropology department at the Federal University held an internal competition, using Portuguese language proposals modeled on the Wenner-Gren application.  The six winners, whose work is featured below, received grants of $5,000 or less to launch a preliminary exploration of their topics.  They are now preparing to apply for Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork grants.  Through this program, Wenner-Gren is exploring ways to level the playing field, when it comes to the structural inequalities that give students from well-funded North American programs an unfair advantage in the competition for our awards.

Byron Giovanny Ospina Florido

In search of the “Hicotea Man”: An Ethnography of the Amphibious Culture and Construction of a Peasant Way of Life.

La Mojana, is a natural, ecological region located on the Pacific coast in Colombia. It is known for its broad range of productive zones along the floodplains of the Magdalena, Cauca and San Jorge Rivers. It is in this wild setting — governed by land and water, floods and droughts, agriculture and fishing — that Orland Fals Borda described the “amphibious culture” of farmers he referred to as Turtle-Men.  Moving beyond Fals Borda’s analysis, I have sought in this project to explore the construction, as well as the capacities and limitations, of this amphibious culture and of “hicotea men” as an interpretive framework for understanding the contemporary way of life of the peasants who reside in the floodplains of the San Jorge River. I have also probed identity and everyday life and considered how processes of continuity, maintenance and transformation are shaped by often conflicting environmental, political and economic processes in a territory lacking clear boundaries between land and water.

Ellen Fernanda Natalino Araujo

The Fulni-ô People of the Brazilian Northeast:  An Ethnography of Possibility

I carried out the research reported on here among the indigenous Fulni-ô people (about 4,000 strong) who live in a transitional wilderness area in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil from November 2019 to April 2020. The research period was marked by an intense dispute between competing leaders, which resulted in a split between opposing factions and allowed me to observe processes of leadership transition firsthand.  My close relationship with the new shaman’s extended family and access to their social networks facilitated my research.  Because I was able to participate in the daily village life of the Fulni-ô, I obtained ethnographic data that shed light on socio-cosmological beliefs and emic perspectives, which has helped me to understand processes of social reproduction over time. Instead of simply describing mobility practices, my study is advancing understanding of the Fulni-ô by foregrounding the way in which they use mobility as a strategy to guarantee rights over the territory and resources that form the material basis of their ethnic identity.

Helena Santos Assunção

Relations between Women and Madjine: Spiritual Marriages in Ilha de Moçambique

In this research, carried out in Ilha de Moçambique and Nampula (northern Mozambique), I have focused on the relationship between people and spirits.  I have explored a phenomenon frequently encountered among women in this region, in which they take on a marido da noite (“night husband”) and suffer from doença de madjine (“spirit disease”).  Night husbands are gendered spiritual beings who engage in relationships with people and may manifest themselves in dreams or by possession, causing a series of effects, especially with regard to motherhood and sexuality. By following some of my closest friends in Ilha de Moçambique through their diagnoses and treatments, I have sought to understand how “spiritual marriage” takes place, why this expression is used to describe relations between people and spirits, and how these relations influence other affective relationships. To this end, I have established connections and comparisons between madjine rituals/drummings (ekoma ni djine) and female initiation rites (ekoma za quintale). I have also addressed the literature on gender and kinship in makhuwa/nahará matrilineal societies, which make up the regions’ main ethnic group. Through the study of relationships between women and their madjines, I intend to contribute to analyses of gender that not only examine power relations between men and women, but also consider relationships between humans and spirits that constitute a person.

Luis Reyes

Afro-indigenous Peoples of the Peruvian Desert: An Ethnographic Theory of Mestizaje and Afro-indigenous Relations in Zaña and Subtanjalla, Peru.

The hegemonic notion of mestizaje describes a process of hybridity between two discrete races/cultures, usually whiteness and indigeneity that results in the formation of a new “mestizo” race/culture. In this research, I have sought to challenge this hegemonic understanding by way of an Afro-Andean ethnographic theory of mestizaje from Zaña, a Peruvian district constituted by people who auto-identify as Afro-Andean mestizos, descendants of enslaved Africans and indigenous Andeans. Since Peru gained independence, its leaders have used classifications such as “the Peruvian mestizo,” “the Peruvian Indian,” and “the Peruvian peasant” to construct a national identity.  My intention is to introduce the notion of “Peruvian interculturality” into this conversation.  Peruvian society predominantly identifies as “mestizo.” However, paraphrasing Marisol de la Cadena, it can be said that in Peru the mestizo is a mestizo but not just that (De la Cadena 2014). Based on ethnographic research in Zaña and Subtanjalla, I am probing the Afro-Andean mestizo population’s ontological understanding of what mestizaje and mestizo are.  By focusing on the articulations between indigenous and Afro-descendants, this research will analyze the emic analytical concepts of grafting, graft, crossed and crossing, which are local words used to define mestizaje and mestizo, respectively.

Marcelo Moura Silva

Cosmopolitics, Transformation and Translation among the Yanomami of the Demini and Toototobi Rivers

I have been conducting research among the Yanomami in Brazil, more precisely among inhabitants of the region of the Demini and Toototobi Rivers in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory. My focus is on the dynamics of transformation activated through these inhabitants’ experience of the interethnic political relationships in which the Yanomami are involved, both in the forest and in the cities, where we can observe the interaction between two registers of political action.  My aim is to reveal constant and variable elements (and how these vary) in the communication between napë (“white”) politics and Yanomami politics.  Through an analysis of the translations – of terms, concepts and practices – performed on this relational interface, I am mapping the contexts associated with napë and Yanomami politics and exploring how these registers alternate in the spaces where the Yanomami act.

Mariane Aparecida do Nascimento Vieira

Rescuing the National Museum of Brazil: Between Collection Remnants and Curatorial Reinvention.

My thesis deals with the crisis surrounding the fire that ravaged the preeminent scientific institution of Brazil, the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. Working closely with interdisciplinary teams coordinated by the Rescue Group, my ethnographic study has focused on the process of recovering the remnants of the collections. Through an analysis of museum space and interviews with partners engaged in “aid policy,” I have examined rescue action protocols and their execution. This task has been especially challenging given that diverse collections, originally housed on three floors, have been lumped together. As a next step, I will reach out to the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia of Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Museum of Archeology and Ethnology of the University of São Paulo) and the Museu Antropológico of Universidade Federal de Goiás (Anthropological Museum of the Federal University of Goiás) to analyze the impact of the Museu Nacional fire on the broader scientific community and to create a network of collaborators to discuss strategies for the museum’s reinvention. In addition, I will visit the village of Karajá to explore the museum fire’s impact on its inhabitants and to better understand the relationship between the Museu Nacional and the people it aims to represent.