Rojas, David Manuel, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Putting a Price on the Amazon: The Constitution of Environmental Payments in Mato Grosso,' supervised by Dr. Marina Welker
DAVID M. ROJAS, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Putting A Price On The Amazon: The Constitution of Environmental Payments in Mato Grosso.' During 2011, the grantee conducted ten months of ethnographic research in Brazil, studying a strategy that will pay Amazonian landholders for not cutting down their forests. Research examined this strategy, which is known as REDD+ (an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation-the '+' is for carbon stocks improvements), working with scientists and Amazonian landholders who are involved in its constitution. The grantee examined how the scientists and peasants who take part in REDD+ pilot projects create and mobilize documents, skills, and tools in order to accomplish three politically significant goals: establishing new relations across rural sites, scientific laboratories and policy forums; sharing their personal experiences on potentially catastrophic environmental transformations; and participating in national and international climate change policy forums. Although the flow of documents, skills, and tools that REDD+ pilot projects facilitate is not new to the Amazon-it draws on the activities of scientists and landholders who have studied and lived in the region for decades-the grantee has studied how REDD+ represents an unprecedented incursion of scientific and economic strategies into political undertakings that intend to endure and to manage-not avoid-human-driven, large-scale environmental disruptions.
Gomes, Cristina M., Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany - To aid research on 'The Dynamics of Social Exchanges in Wild Chimpanzees of the Tai Forest, Cote d'Ivoire,' supervised by Dr. Christophe Boesch
CRISTINA M. GOMES, then a student at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, was awarded a grant in June 2004 to aid research on 'The Dynamics of Social Exchanges in Wild Chimpanzees of the Tai Forest, Cote d'Ivoire,' supervised by Dr. Christophe Boesch. This project investigates the dynamics of social exchanges in female and male wild chimpanzees of the Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire), by considering grooming, aggression, aggressive support, food sharing and copulations as commodities that can be traded between individuals in a biological market. Data on these and other social interactions were collected in the South Community of the Tai Chimpanzee Project, between July 2004 and February 2006. Information collected was used to construct giver and receiver matrices to test hypotheses of general and direct reciprocity. Preliminary analysis showed that chimpanzees in the Taï Forest did not follow a general rule of directing grooming more frequently towards those with whom they associated the most or those of the same rank or age class. However, both female and male chimpanzees gave more grooming to those individuals from whom they received more grooming in return. This finding supports the hypothesis that wild chimpanzees exchange social acts such as grooming for grooming, suggesting that such exchanges could be part of a more complex biological market, where other commodities are exchanged. Further analysis will be done to investigate if other social acts such as food sharing, copulation and support are exchanged between and within sexes and if these are affected by market pressures.
Putz, Gudrun A., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb
GUDRUN A. PUTZ, while a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb. The research conducted for this project resulted in quite fruitful, if unexpected, material. Legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands in 1999, international calls for the eradication of trafficking, expansion of the European Union into Eastern Europe, a worsening Dutch economy, and intensification of anti-immigration sentiments all resulted in Dutch government crackdowns on 'Eastern-European' sex workers and their subsequent movement underground. This environment and the disappearance of one of the two main populations of the research -- the Russian-speaking sex workers -- then became project's new focus. Interviews were conducted with Amsterdam government officials, police, and business-owners around the Red Light District. Newspaper articles and scholarly writing about Eastern-European sex workers and Eastern Europeans in general were collected. In addition, interviews and participant observation were conducted with non-governmental organizations working with migrants and sex workers. Consequently, the second research population of former-soviet street sellers featured more significantly within the general study of Russian speakers in Amsterdam, who were all concerned in one way or another with views about them as 'foreigners' and their relationship with Dutch society. Interviews and participant observation were conducted with former-Soviets on the streets, in their homes, and also during a month spent in Latvia and Lithuania with four of them. The researcher approached other Russian speakers for interviews in the main Amsterdam Russian Orthodox church, Russian stores, and on Russian-migrant websites. The result is an examination of the continuing importance of Cold-War ideas and stereotypes, European social and economic consolidation, and the effect this has had (both positive and negative) on former-Soviet migrants.
Leighton, Mary Theresa Frances, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Making Authoritative Knowledge in the Field: The Epistemic Culture of South American Archaeological Research Projects,' supervised by Dr. Shannon L. Dawdy
MARY THERESA FRANCES LEIGHTON, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Making Authoritative Knowledge in the Field: The Epistemic Culture of South American Archaeological Research Projects,' supervised by Dr. Shannon L. Dawdy. This dissertation project explores the nature of expert knowledge within field sciences, aiming to understand how such knowledge is constructed, circulated, and delineated in field sciences in contrast to laboratory sciences. Specifically, it uses the example of South American archaeology to explore the practice and structure of a disciplinary community that crosses international boundaries, while being intimately situated in national contexts and produced in local landscapes. Funding supported nine months of research studying the practice of archaeology in Chile, which involved interviews and participant observations in key field sites -- excavations, universities, and conferences. Starting from the concept that field sciences rely on the embodied expertise of the scientist to bring-into-being its objects of study, particular attention was paid to the ways in which expert archaeologists are created through formal and informal educational practices, and subsequently how expertise is communicated and recognized by both non-archaeologists (including indigenous stake-holders) and fellow archaeologists. Attention was paid to the differences in epistemic and disciplinary culture among archaeologists from different countries, and attempts made to trace people, practices and concepts as they moved between local, national and international spheres.
Bernstein, Anna, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Transformations in Siberian Buddhism: Mobility, Visuality, and Piety in Buryat Worlds,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Grant
ANNA BERNSTEIN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid 'Transformations in Siberian Buddhism: Mobility, Visuality, and Piety in Buryat Worlds,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Grant. This project explores the renovation of Siberian Buryat Buddhist practices through transnational, post-Soviet ties. It brings together field and archival study to bear upon three fields of inquiry: 1) the ethnography of Siberia; 2) cosmopolitan, transnational religious forms; and 3) material culture. In contrast to some scholars who have seen Buryats purely as 'native,' 'indigenous,' or even as a 'fourth-world' people, many Buryats have long viewed themselves as cosmopolitans who consider Buddhism as one of the most prominent markers of southern Siberia's expansive histories since its arrival in approximately the eighteenth century. Many today ask: Should Buryat Buddhism be understood as adhering to a 'Tibetan model,' one most recently advanced through pilgrimages by monks and well-funded lay persons to Tibetan monasteries in India? Or, as nationalists argue, should it downplay its international ties to assert itself as a truly independent 'national' religion? This project argues that the ways in which Buryats transform older cosmopolitanisms into contemporary socio-religious movements are key for understanding new geopolitical forms of consciousness, as long-held Eurasian ties are now being revived in the wake of Soviet rule. Based on twelve months of field research, this project tracks these issues ethnographically through a study of two Buryat monastic and lay religious communities located in Russia and in India. The focus on material culture engages specific case studies of how various material objects -- such as relics of famous monks, auspicious images found on rocks, and ritual implements buried underground during Soviet times -- are reinterpreted to create new sacred geographies, historiographies, and modes of religiosity.
Bernstein, Anya. 2011. The Post-Soviet Treasure Hunt: Time, Space, and Necropolitics in Siberian Buddhism. Comparative Studies in Society and History 53(3):623-653.
Ponce, Tilsa, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on ''Potato Kings:' Indigenous Elites Challenging Social and Spatial Mobility in the Andes,' supervised by Dr. Gary Urton
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation project examines how 'potato kings,' an indigenous rural bourgeoisie who emerged with a potato boom in the 1950s in the Peruvian central highlands, challenge class, racial, and spatial boundaries. The mobility of this emergent elite is disruptive and traditional mestizo elites have found in the label 'potato kings' a way to 'root' them back in their Indian and peasant origins in the highlands. Through intense ethnographic engagement with two generations of 'potato king' families, wageworkers, and traditional mestizo elites, as well as archival research, my project challenges a 'romanticization' of the rural world and its traditional associations with marginality and poverty. By weaving together political economic studies of the peasantry with critical studies of race and space, my project will analyze different dimensions of mobility in the making of this class of 'potato kings,' in order to explain how struggles of class formation are predicated upon complex politics of racial and spatial belonging.
Ford, Randall Thomas, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'The Role of Female Mate Choice in Mantled Howling Monkey Reproduction,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Earl Glander
RANDALL FORD, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'The Role of Female Mate Choice in Mantled Howling Monkey Reproduction,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Glander. As part of a larger project, this study looked at genetic paternity to compare the results with mating behavior observed in Alouatta palliata. Blood samples were collected on Whatman FTA cards and sent to Therion International for analysis. Of the 8 microsatellite loci attempted, only 4 were polymorphic in this sample. Paternity exclusion allowed assignment of paternity in only 2 of 16 cases. One infant was assigned to a male from a neighboring group, and the other was assigned to the study group's alpha male at the time of conception. Two other cases allowed the assignment of a probable sire based on a rare allele shared with one male, the alpha male at the time of conception. These results are consistent with behavioral observations in which the alpha male appeared to monopolize females when they were most attractive to males. However, the paternity exclusion was limited by the small number of polymorphic loci. Also, there were three cases in which the presumed mother (based on observation, lactation, and interbirth intervals) was excluded as the possible dam. Additional study is necessary to determine the validity of these genetic data and develop more primers that can be used to assign genetic paternity.
Valiani, Arafaat A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey
ARAFAAT A. VALIANI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey. This grant funded ethnographic research in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, beginning in July 2003, pertaining to the effects of repeated episodes of violence occurring between Hindu and Muslim residents of the city. Findings, taken from materials produced through unstructured interviews with residents, local leaders, activists, religious figures, journalists, and local academics, confirm that the violence has cultivated various forms of perception that residing in separate and homogeneous neighborhoods could be safer and more 'culturally germane' for members of both communities despite the existence of centuries of relatively mixed residency in the city. A nationalist Hindu narrative of India being beset with aggressive invasions by Muslims over the past several hundred years structured the historical understanding of the city, especially for Hindu residents; Ahmedabad was described as being a Hindu city on top of which the Muslim king, Ahmed Shah, built Ahmedabad. Therefore, such an historical claim was a veiled absolute claim to the city for Hindus.
Valiani, Arafaat A. 2010. Physical Training, Ethical Discipline, and Creative Violence: Zones of Self-Mastery in the Hindu Nationalist Movement. Cultural Anthropology 25(1):73-99.
Khan, Arsalan Khalid, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Performing Ummah: Practice, Piety, and Moral Order among the Tablighi Jama'at in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Richard Handler
ARSALAN KHALID KHAN, then a student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in May 2010, to aid 'Performing Ummah: Practice, Piety, and Moral Order among the Tablighi Jama'at in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Richard Handler. This research investigates how Pakistani Tablighis (practitioners of the Tablighi Jama'at), a transnational Islamic preaching movement, actualize Islamic ideals in the space of the preaching movement. Tablighis state that preaching (dawat/tabligh) is completely different from giving 'speeches' or 'mere talk.' It is, they say, a 'ritual practice' (amaal), which, if done according to the method established by the Prophet, cultivates the moral and ethical sensibilities necessary for the Pakistani nation (millat) and the global Islamic community (ummah). Drawing on twelve months of ethnographic research based in Karachi, the research explores the significance Tablighis place on preaching, and their distinct ideas about the power of ritual speech to transform speakers and listeners, turning them into moral persons. Furthermore, the research explores how these ideas about ritual speech help organize a hierarchical form of sociality that Tablighis see as distinctly Islamic, a feature that differentiates them from other Islamic groups and movements in Pakistan. This research contributes to growing body of literature on the Islamic revival and religious revivals more generally as well as to scholarship that addresses the relationship between speech, religion and morality in various religious traditions.
Andaya, Elise, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Reproducing the Revolution: Maternity and Kinship in Contemporary Cuba,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
ELISE ANDAYA, while a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2004 to aid research on changes in Cuban gender ideologies and kinship strategies after the collapse of the international communist bloc, supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Andaya examined how socialist values in Cuba are reproduced, contested, and transformed through everyday practices of gender, kinship, and family-making. While tracking how the state uses progressive arguments about gender and reproduction to support its socialist agenda, she also studied how familial practices in Cuba's new economic and social context are changing in ways at times antithetical to the desires of the state. During 18 months of fieldwork in Havana, the grantee conducted participant-observation at reproductive health-care clinics, and interviewed laypeople, academics, and policy-makers to understand state reproductive and familial policies, academic discourses about 'socialist' family values, and the daily practices and decisions of women and men making and sustaining families in the new economy. Through examining problems of biological and social reproduction, Andaya studied tensions over the meaning of Cuban socialism as the state and individuals struggle to make families and make socialist citizens in a 'post-socialist' world.
Andaya, Elise. 2009 The Gift of Health: Socialist Medical Practice and Shifting Material and Moral Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 23(4):347-374.