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 May 16, 2014

Anthropology faculty members receive support for research

Two Anthropology faculty members receive support for their research.

Robert Foster, Professor and Chair of Anthropology and Professor of Visual and Cultural Studies, and Heather Horst, Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, have been awarded a major three-year Discovery Grant by the Australian Research Council for their project "The Moral and Cultural Economy of Mobile Phones in the Pacific." Through a comparative study of mobile telecommunications markets in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, this project will investigate how companies, consumers and states shape the social consequences of new digital technologies. Foster plans to spend the spring semesters of 2015 and 2016 as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. 

John Osburg, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, was awarded a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship for a project called "Tibetan Buddhism and Moral Personhood in Contemporary China." The project is a six-month ethnographic study of a group of wealthy, urban Han Chinese who have become followers of Tibetan Buddhism. He will examine the integration of Tibetan Buddhist principles into their moral beliefs and ethical practices. The direct linkages being formed between affluent, urban Han Chinese and Tibetan monks have the potential to dramatically reshape Sino-Tibetan relations. Professor Osburg will spend half of the academic year in China, and half in Rochester writing the results from his research.