2004 Grantees

Amal Amireh– “Marketing Women: Arab Women Writers and the Politics of Perception

Peter Balint– “Solar-energy projects in Zimbabwe”

Fred Bemak– “A Global Analysis of Public Policy, Funding Priorities, and Assessed Need for Psychological Adjustment during Refugee Postmigration: International Organizations’ Responses to Resettlement Psychosocial Adjustment Needs”

Jon B. Gould– “Predicting Genocide”

Matthew B. Karush– “Cultures of Class: The Making of a Divided Argentina, 1920-1945”

Lisa Pawloski– “An Examination of the Growth, Development, and Nutritional Status of Peri-Urban Thai Adolescent Girls: Are They Over or Undernourished?

Kenneth A. Reinert– “Trade-Related Technical Assistance in the Least Developed Countries: An Analysis of the ‘Integrated Framework’”

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Project Descriptions

Amal Amireh

Professor of English

College of Arts and Sciences
“Marketing Women: Arab Women Writers and the Politics of Reception”

“Marketing Women: Arab Women Writers and the Politics of Reception” investigates the complex ways Arab women’s transnational writing is mediated by discursive, institutional, and ideological structures operating in the different contexts in which their works are produced and received.  The book locates the global reception of Arab women writers in the intersection of feminist, multiculturalist, and Orientalist discourses and material practices, and thus seeks to historicize the reception of Arab women writers in a way that complicates our understanding of some key issues relevant to the wider fields of Postcolonial and Global Studies.  Among these issues is the institution of marginality in the Western academy, the location of authenticity, the politics of translation, and the culture of difference.  Attention will be paid to the multiple functions of what Pierre Boudieu calls in The Field of Cultural Production “legitimizing agents” such as publishers, editors, reviewers, translators, prizes, and marketers as they relate to the production and marketing of Arab women’s texts.  The book will also study the meta textual devices—cover designs, blurbs, introductions, and endorsements—which work to “authorize” a text and to draw a horizon of readerly expectations.

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Peter Balint

Professor of Public and International Affairs and Environmental Science and Policy
College of Arts and Sciences

“Solar-energy projects in Zimbabwe”

In rural areas of developing countries, small household solar-energy systems are an attractive alternative source of electricity for many poor families who lack access to national power grids.  Agencies from the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank to local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are experimenting with ways to bring this equipment to potential beneficiaries, either through donations or markets.  In previous research, I have applied case-study fieldwork methodology to analyze and evaluate such projects in El Salvador.  The purpose of the proposed research is to broaden this effort to include an examination of similar projects in Zimbabwe, a country that has made a strong commitment to the use of solar energy in rural development.  Findings will support useful comparative analyses clarifying the impact on project outcomes of differing cultural norms, political contexts, and project design elements.

This work will help fill a significant gap in the literature.  Case-study researchers examining such projects typically focus exclusively on particular countries or regions.  Larger-sample studies, often funded by multilateral institutions or international NGOs, summarize “lessons learned” from projects in many countries, but these assessments are generally superficial.  This research will support comparative analyses that are both cross-cultural and detailed.

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Fred Bemak

Professor of Counseling and Development
Graduate School of Education

“A Global Analysis of Public Policy, Funding Priorities, and Assessed Need for Psychological Adjustment during Refugee Postmigration: International Organizations’ Responses to Resettlement Psychosocial Adjustment Needs”

The relationship of psychosocial adjustment to public policy and funding is an important next step in the field of refugee studies.  Reviewing the refugee studies literature, there is a relatively small proportion of research in the area of psychosocial adjustment and mental health, and a noticeable lack of research that links the relationship between mental health, adjustment, and refugee social policy.  Thus a critical need in the field is to gain a better understanding about the intersection of public policy and funding priorities with psychosocial postmigration adjustment.  This study will conduct an in-depth investigation of a) the prevalence of public policy and funding priorities geared towards refugee psychosocial adjustment in the primary international organizations that would work with refugees (UNHCR, WHO, IMO, UNICEF, and UNESCO); and b) the demonstrated need for psychosocial adjustment through a global review of existing research studies on refugee mental health.  The proposal will examine the cultural, economic, political, psychological, and sociological aspects of refugee postmigration adjustment from a global perspective.

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Jon B. Gould

Professor of Public and International Affairs (Administration of Justice Program)
College of Arts and Sciences

“Predicting Genocide”

This research represents an early stage of a project to apply complexity theory and computational social science to the development of genocide in order to predict its possible, future rise.  The research has two essential halves.  First, it is necessary to identify factors associated with past acts of genocide, both features specific to individual instances of genocide and variables that appear in more than one setting.  In the second part, researchers will apply the factors identified in the first half to create agent-based models for computerized simulations of genocide and the conditions that lead to it.

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Matthew B. Karush

Professor of History and Art History
College of Arts and Sciences

“Cultures of Class: The Making of a Divided Argentina, 1920-1945”

The research will support his ongoing book project on the history of Argentine mass culture.  This book will explore the contested meanings expressed in movies, sports, music, and food in order to illuminated Argentina’s historic failure to produce a viable, inclusive national identity.  In particular, it will reveal how the mass culture of the 1920s and the 1930s produced populist national identities and a hardening of class divisions in Argentine society.  The book will thus illuminate the origins of Peronism in Argentina even as it contributes to larger scholarly projects, such as the study of nationalism in global, comparative perspective as well as the current efforts to link political and cultural history.  Specifically, this research will support the section of the book dealing with film in the 1920s and 1930s.  Here, among other issues, he will explore the reception of American films in Argentina and the creation of a dynamic, local film industry in dialogue with Holly wood.  He will combine the techniques of cultural history and film studies to examine the globalization of mass culture in this crucial period.

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Lisa Pawloski

Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing and Health Science

“An Examination of the Growth, Development, and Nutritional Status of Peri-Urban Thai Adolescent Girls: Are They Over or Undernourished?”

The majority of studies investigating nutritional issues in Thailand have primarily concerned young children, mothers, and the elderly, yet very few have examined the nutritional status of adolescent girls.  Malnutrition during adolescence, either from undernutrition or overnutrition, has great health implications for a girl and her future children.  Research from developing countries has shown evidence of a growing transition from undernutrition to over nutrition among children and adults, primarily in urban areas.  Recent evidence from Southeast Asia has shown that we are not beginning to see an emergence in overweight and obesity, particularly in Thailand, and to the dramatically improved social and economic transitions.  Thus this study proposed to quantitatively and qualitatively examine the nutritional status and eating behaviors of a group of adolescent girls living in a peri-urban community in Bangkok, Thailand.  The study will provide much needed information concerning the nutritional status of a worldwide-recognized neglected group as well as provide clues concerning the causes of malnutrition among adolescent girls in Thailand.  These findings may have many implication for further research conducted in the United States and clues to the rising epidemic of obesity among adolescents throughout the United States and the global community.

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Kenneth A. Reinert

Professor of Public Policy
School of Public Policy

“Trade-Related Technical Assistance in the Least Developed Countries: An Analysis of the Integrated Framework’”

Over 600 million persons live in the 49 countries that collectively compose what the United Nations calls the least-developed countries.  According to recent estimates, half of the population in these countries lives in extreme poverty.  In the project, he will focus on the 42 least-developed countries that are WTO members, WTO observers, or ascending to WTO membership.  He will analyze and assess the WTO’s “Integrated Framework” for trade-related technical assistance, which has been the key locus of interaction between six international economic organizations (World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, International Trade Centre, and United Nations Development Program) and the least-developed countries since 1997.  He will detail the issues that have arisen during the operation of the Integrated Framework and assess its relationship to the larger trade and development issues facing the least-developed countries.  This will be done through textual analysis of official documents and reports and, most importantly, through interviews with officials from the six international agencies that are part of the Integrated Framework.

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