Gregory Gleason (University of New Mexico) – “Mapping Parallel Communities: Afghan Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and Afghan Tajiks in Tajikistan.”
The goal of this research project is to collect data and develop data categories for the purpose of identifying the size and influence of the Afghan émigré political communities in Central Asia. The research project focuses on Afghan Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and Afghan Tajiks in Tajikistan. It will use previous scholarly and governmental contacts and existing visa arrangements to conduct brief consultations with scholars and policy makers in Tashkent and Dushanbe during meetings during summer 2007. The research will lead to a scholarly article on this subject and will also be used to facilitate the development of larger, long-term research project with the same goal.
Rachel Lehr (Rubia) – “Rediscovering Afghanistan: Lessons from the Home.”
This project will support a multimedia program to disseminate information and understanding about everyday life in Afghanistan. The aim is to create a cultural geography of Afghanistan, examining everyday spaces and activities of the home, by integrating new digital technology with material artifacts. The project will build an interactive exhibit module housing both a digital media presentation and actual artifacts. Rediscovering Afghanistan: Lessons from the Home will enhance understanding of complex cultural issues for American audiences by offering an innovative digital-media based approach to education and dissemination.
Emily J. Levitt (Cornell University) – “Ethnographic Research on Food Systems in Differing Agricultural Zones of Northern Afghanistan.”
Malnutrition and its associated mortality and morbidity are limiting the capacity of many Afghan households to contribute to the nation’s social and economic development. The project aims to support government, donor, UN, and NGO initiatives in Afghanistan focusing on building households’ capacity to achieve adequate nutrition. The specific objectives include: 1) To describe food-related beliefs and traditions that affect nutrition, particularly among vulnerable groups; 2) To describe food practices in terms of the household food system taking into consideration seasonal variation and intra-household differences; and 3) To identify what combination of knowledge, skills and resources are needed for households to achieve adequate nutrition.