PLACA Summer Research Grant

Student Recipients 2011

 Rose Cromwell

 Rose Cromwell

MFA Student,
Art Photography

"Everything Arrives" is an in-progress photographic essay. The artist statement for this body of work is as follows:

I've been visiting Cuba for the past 8 years.  My understanding of the place and my navigation of it are constantly in flux. Cuba is one of the most imaged countries in the world, and these images create myths and expectations. The portraits I make are dramas about performance, power, and love, on both sides of the camera.
 
“Everything Arrives” is a line from the Reinaldo Arenas poem "The Parade Ends". Arenas describes the streets of Havana with cold harshness; a reality that's oppressive, where free will seems unattainable.  Finally, “everything arrives” and he is able to exercise agency in the simplest of ways; he mentally frees himself from his present physical state and elevates himself to a world of “incessant jingling.” Here, in this state, he floats. Everything is open. Nothing is closed.

Bio: Rose Marie Cromwell is a photographer and arts activist based out of Panama and New York. She was named one of “25 under 25: Up and Coming American Photographers” by powerHouse books and The Center for Documentary Studies, is Meyers Traveling Photography  Fellowship recipient, a Fulbright Fellow and a Full Graduate Fellow at  Syracuse Universtity. Recent publications of her work include Vision Magazine (China), Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal published by Routledge, Pology Magazine: Online Travel and Culture Magazine and HIP Magazine (Panama). Her first solo show was at the Diablo Rosso gallery in Panama City.  Rose, co-founder and co-director of Cambio  Creativo, is also a member of the youth arts collective Visual  Identidades based in Syracuse, NY.  She has worked as a community arts educator for the past seven years in various locations such as Baltimore, MD, Panama, and Syracuse, NY.
   
Fran McCormick Photo
 Fran McCormick

Doctoral Student, 
Department
of Anthropology

"Slaves, Squatters and Farmers: Legal Status and Identity in the Local Brazilian Economy"

During the 19th century, the southeastern region of Brazil saw a boom in its plantation system, due to the successful cultivation of coffee. Slaves were shipped not only from Africa but from other regions of Brazil in order to supply sufficient amounts of labor. However, this coffee-based plantation society was not composed solely of masters and slaves; rather, an interesting array of people inhabited the space between slave and free, white and black, master and laborer. These individuals made a living as merchants, as small planters, as artisans, and as hired, itinerant labor. Some were newly-freed Afro-Brazilians; many were of at least partially African descent; some were the children of, if not amongst, the original settlers of the region, who established formative patterns of land-holding and property distribution by participating in little more than glorified squatting. Neither slave nor elite, and racially diverse, these individuals were anything from merchants of relative prestige to essentially landless sharecroppers. My goal is to identify and analyze these people archaeologically.

Therefore, this work seeks to examine the construction of identity and difference, along the axes of legal status and economic agency. By analyzing the degree of relatedness between the legal status and relative economic marginality (as defined within the mid-19th century system of coffee production in the Paraíba Valley), my goal is to understand how these socially marginalized individuals reacted to their imposed conditions through accepted channels of economic agency. In other words, how small-time planters or farmers—frequently of the class of free, black laborers—found their own degree of freedom from the dominant economic structures of the planter’s regime.

Fran McCormick is a second-year student of historical archaeology in the Anthropology Department. This summer, he will be traveling to Brazil in order to analyze artifact collections from the context of the 19th-century coffee region, and to visit plantation sites to determine potential for future excavation.