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Research Awards: 2005-2006

Faculty and Student Research Awards: 2005 - 2006

2005 - 2006

  • Laura Russ. Graduate Student, Urban Planning. The Influence of Global Slum Dweller’s Networks on the South African Homeless People’s Federation Project Abstract: Federated housing movements have become an alternative, non-hierarchical, grassroots approach to government or NGO sponsored slum redevelopment projects. This model, promoted by the transnational organization Slum Dwellers International, encourages low-income residents to participate at many levels, from establishing local micro-credit chapters to participating in national and global political action. This project will use the recent organizational upheaval within the South African Homeless People’s Federation and its allies as a case study in order to more fully understand the limitations of and challenges to federated housing movements relying primarily on interviews with participants and key stakeholders.
  • Professor Dominic Thomas. Chair, French and Francophone. Equatorial Guinea in Global Contexts: Political Institutions, Security, and Human Rights. Project Abstract: The recent discovery of large oil reserves in Equatorial Guinea has dramatically altered this country’s status as a global player, and in turn Equatorial Guinea has received enormous interest from the American, British, and French governments. This project will address the discrepancy between international official discourse on this country concerning human rights abuses, the absence of an open and civil society, constitutional abuses, etc., and the tremendous interest and willingness by these same parties to ignore these crucial questions in order to set up favorable trading partnerships.
  • Nimmi Gowrinathan. PhD Student, Political Science. The Liberation of Female Fighters? The Impact of International NGOs on Gender Roles in Post-Revolutionary Societies. Project Abstract: This project seeks to understand the role of international non-governmental organizations on the status of women in post-conflict societies, specifically in those societies where women constitute more than twenty percent of the armed forces. This study looks at the cases of Eritrea and Sri Lanka, to identify patterns that travel across a variety of case studies. This project highlights the impact of globalization on the status of women. Globalization and gender intersect in the framework of inequalities produced by globalization, the role of globalization in undermining cultural norms, and the role of globalization in perpetuating aid dependency in many parts of the third world. This project specifically looks at whether international NGOs overshadow local civil society in the degree to which each defines gender roles, and to what degree these roles are incorporated and reinforced in the state-building process of a post-revolution society.
  • Galia Boneh. PhD candidate, World Arts and Cultures. Using popular culture to stop HIV/AIDS: The Bo Bra Pa concert party project for Ghana. Project Abstract: This project will investigate the meanings attached to AIDS and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Ghana, and how these are manifested in popular culture. This research will serve as the preliminary stage of my dissertation fieldwork, which will involve a performance project engaging local PLWHA and local popular artists in a collaborative process to create a “Concert Party” performance based on the experiences of the participating PLWHA. The dissertation will explore the prospects and challenges of using popular arts to stop the spread of AIDS and discrimination against PLWHA. The research questions for the preliminary research will be: What are the meanings assigned to HIV/AIDS and PLWHA in Ghana? How are AIDS and PLWHA addressed in popular discourse and popular culture?
  • Professor Dan Posner. Political Science. GSR: Tyson Roberts. Political and FDI-Policy Liberalization in West Africa. Project Abstract: The project will examine how governments in states dependent upon international finance flows make decisions regarding political and economic reform. Questions the current project will help answer inclue: (1) How do changes in the preferences of foreign donors, lenders and investors influence domestic policy makers decisions of whether or not to liveralize their foreign direct investment-related policies and their political systems? (2) How do policy makers make decisions on liberalization when the preferences of domestic actors conflict with the preferences of foreign actors? (3) How do decisions regarding FDI and political liberalization interact?.
  • Associate Professor Vinay Lal. History. Being Indian in South Africa: The Politics of Race, Multiculturalism, and Transnationalism in an Emerging Democracy. Project Abstract: Through an exploratory trip to South Africa, this project will research a number of questions that emerge from the recent history of its Indian communities, which account for some 2.5 percent of the country’s population of 43 million. Though prominent voices spoke glowingly of the “new South Africa” at the end of apartheid, how have minority communities, and in this case the Indians, fared under the changed political dispensation? Has the political participation of Indians become more enhanced, and have Indians entered into new coalitions, or do they persist with predictable forms of identity politics? What are the semiotic registers under which race now operates?
  • Katrina Thompson. Lecturer/Professor in Residence, Linguistics. Maasai Hip-hop: Globalizing Local Stereotypes and Localizing Global Hip-Hop. Project Abstract: The project will examine representations of Maasai ethnicity in the work of Tanzanian hip-hop artists, Mr. Ebbo and X-Plastaz. While Mr. Ebbo gives the Maasai a more positive image within Tanzania and has achieved great populatrity locally, X-plastaz draws on global stereotypes of the Maasai as one of the last “tribes” untouched by globalization, ironically commodifying that stereotype to present themselves as a unique reconstitution of an increasingly global musical genre. How do these groups draw on and revised global and local images and stereotypes of the Maasai? How does a global music genre impact local conceptions of ethnicity and being Maasai?
  • Professor Charlotte Neumann, Duncan Ngare, DrPH. Public Health. Impact of Animal Source Food versus Plant Source Foods in Feeding Interventions on Activities of Daily Living, Childcare, and Physical Work in HIV Positive, Drug Naïve Rural Kenyan Women: Time Allocation Study. Project Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest HIV prevalence rate among women globally with the highest percent of orphans. HIV infection imposes a severe decline in nutritional status. Particularly affected is the ability to carry out daily tasks of living, especially childcare and food production and preparation. Using time allocation methodology to quantitatively measure activities of daily living, childcare, and physical work of HIV infected women would serve as a measurable, functional outcome for measuring the impact of two types of nutrition interventions compared to a control group. HIV positive drug naïve women will be randomized to one of the three intervention groups. This pilot study, in collaboration with Moi University, Kenya, will determine if a Time Allocation study can capture differences, if any, by intervention feeding assignment.
  • Professor Merrick Posnansky, History. Confronting and Interacting with Imperilais, in Northern Uganda 1874-89. Project Abstract: The Madi of norther Uganda were impacted by outside forces from AD 1850, first by Arab slavers and later by the Imperial Egyptian Government in the form of military stations under the overall control of European generals controlling Equatoria. This research focuses on Dufile, a military station with 1100 Sudanese and Egyptians, and endeavors to evaluate firstly the impact and then the interactions between the Imperial forces and the Madi and to evaluate the process of acculturation as seen through archaeological, oral historical, material cultural and linguistic evidence. The research further studies transformations of the transplanted Madi population that became the nucleus of the still existing Uganda minority Muslim Nubian community in the Kampala-Jinja area.

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