Su, Hsiao-Ling, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Counterfeit Goods, the State, and Intellectual Property Rights: An Ethnography of Legal Consciousness in Post-Socialist China,' supervised by Dr. Yongming Zhou
HSIAO-LING SU, then a graduate student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, received funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'Counterfeit Goods, the State, and Intellectual Property Rights: An Ethnography of Legal Consciousness in Post-Socialist China,' supervised by Dr. Yongming Zhou. China, upon its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, became obliged to protect intellectual property. The concept of private ownership embedded in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), however, contrasts with vaguely defined local property relations and contradicts practices of reciprocity common in China. This six-month extension of dissertation fieldwork in two southern Chinese markets investigates the emergence of a legal consciousness of IPR in a context where legal reforms enforce private ownership and yet long-practiced customs of reciprocal exchange continue. An examination on interactions between business owners, sales staff, and state actors reveals that business owners and sales staff differentiate various kinds of property and act accordingly. On trademark law, the majority of business owners and sales staff contest regulations by continuing to carry and sell counterfeit goods while remaining wary and vigilant. On ideas and information including new season designs and general know-how, which is not legally protected, they actively fend off competitors. Finally, on dispensable resources such as money, food, time and labor, all groups reciprocate intensively. State actors are more on the receiving end of reciprocal exchanges, which has important implications on shaping market people's legal consciousness of property.
Katz, David Charles, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Universality and Biological Mechanisms of Subsistence-Driven Craniofacial Reduction,' supervised by Dr. Timothy D. Weaver
DAVID C. KATZ, then a graduate student at University of California, Davis, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Universality and Biological Mechanisms of Subsistence-Driven Craniofacial Reduction,' supervised by Dr. Timothy D. Weaver. This research assesses the extent to which modern human cranial and mandibular form evolved in response to dietary changes associated with the agricultural revolution. The emergence of agriculture as the predominant means by which people obtain food resources is one of the most significant economic shifts in human evolutionary history. Physical anthropologists have long hypothesized that the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture produced common shape changes in the chewing architecture of early agriculturalists because the diets of early farmers were softer and more heavily processed than those of their hunter-gatherer predecessors. To test this hypothesis on a worldwide scale, 3D shape data was collected: 1) on the cranial and mandibular remains of over 500 hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist populations from six continents; and 2) on the mandibular remains of approximately 200 subadults from a subset of these populations. Data analysis is ongoing, with project completion expected by June 2015.
Katz, David, and Martin Friess. 2014. Technical Note: 3D from Standard Digital Photography of Human Crania - A Preliminary Assessment. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 154(1):152-158.
Baig, Noman, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Capital-extraction: Esoteric Islam, Counter-terrorist Surveillance, and Corporate Finance in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Ali
NOMAN BAIG, then a graduate student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Capital-Extraction: Esoteric Islam, Counter-Terrorist Surveillance, and Corporate Finance in Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Ali. The research focuses on the shaping of merchants' subjectivity in Karachi's contemporary marketplace. It does this by placing human experience within the matrix of the cosmological value system, driven to a large extent by Islamic moral and ethical principles, as well as everyday material conditions, determined by economic activity. In doing so, it brings together the material and spiritual in conversation with each other. This research particularly focuses on the convergence of Sufi moral discourse and meditative practices of zikr/dhikr with globalized technologies of finance capitalism. It seeks to answer: How do the two seemingly different practices converge? Modern financial practices aim to discipline merchants into becoming economic subjects accumulating capital. In contrast, the spiritual tradition of Sufi techniques shapes this excessive desire for accumulating, through the meditation (zikr/dhikr), molding the merchants into charitable subjects. Being a self-maximizing as well as a self-annihilating individual in the market, the merchant is able to contain the larger structuring of money and moral universes in everyday life. The experience generated at the threshold of accumulation and charity, the grantee argues, gives rise to an affirmative subjectivity, which perceives the unity of existence the way it is.
Nguyen, Victoria, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Urban Interrupted: Rethinking Urbanization and Development in Contemporary China,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar
Preliminary abstract: As China pushes ahead with its New National Urbanization Plan, a radical proposal to move 250 million rural residents into towns and cities in the next 12 years, the city in China today has become a primary site for the production of a developed nation state and, perhaps implicitly, its modern urban citizens. Yet, in the absence of any standardized consensus of what constitutes the 'urban', towards what goals do projects like these now strive, and what are the metrics of their assessments? Using comparative ethnographic methodology over 13 months of fieldwork, this study will examine the redevelopment of Old Beijing, a site now considered 'improperly urban' under China's new urbanization policy, to understand how culturally and historically specific ideas of the 'urban' are being translated, measured, and authorized as quantitative and objective national goals in late-socialist China. Focusing on the social effects of urbanization on the life of cities, the results of this study aim to expand anthropological knowledge by investigating how shifting ideals of urban life affect built and social environments, drawing new lines of division between the 'urban' and 'non-urban', historical preservation and demolition, and proper citizenship and stigmatized exclusion. In addition, it will also offer a critical investigation of the industries, experts, and projects that sustain and perpetuate urbanization as both a problem and a solution to national social ills. At an historical moment when global urbanization discourse has become seemingly ubiquitous in development and policy circles, this project interrogates anew the quantitative assumptions of current urban research and the qualitative values of the social category of the 'urban' as they inform contemporary urbanization projects.
Dua, Jatin, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
JATIN DUA, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. Since 2008, a number of high profile incidents of piracy off the coast of East Africa have resulted in increased global attention to this region, including the deployment of a multi-national naval patrol and attempts to prosecute suspected pirates. Policy makers have attributed this phenomenon to the lack of a strong centralized government in Somalia and called for various forms of intervention on-shore to address piracy's root causes. However, this interpretation of the conflict obscures a longer history of regulation and transgression and piracy's long pedigree in the Western Indian Ocean. This research resituates piracy within histories of the Indian Ocean and longstanding attempts to redefine sovereignty and legality within this oceanic space. This work suggests that maritime piracy may be better understood as a form of capital-intensive armed entrepreneurship and an attempt to secure protection from global poaching, waste dumping, and from the surveillance of regulators. As such, piracy as a system of protection competes with a variety of state and non-state forms of protection in this area. This project investigates the encounters between these overlapping regimes of protection and regulation in the Western Indian Ocean.
Shear, Boone Wingate, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Making the Green Economy: Culture, Politics and Economic Desire in Massachusetts,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Krause
BOONE W. SHEAR, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Making the Green Economy: Culture, Politics, and Economic Desire in Massachusetts,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth L. Krause. The fieldwork explored how groups of activists are imagining, responding to, and enacting the economy in relation to green economy discourse in Massachusetts. In particular, the project investigated economic subjectivity among green economy coalition members, focusing on the conditions under which both capitalist and non-capitalist desires and practices emerge. This engaged research project combined participant observation while working alongside activists and organizers, with semi-structured and informal interviews in order to better understand how different economic dispositions and desires emerge, are closed-off, or are enacted. The research revealed that interest in economic innovation, experimentation, and organizing around alternative economic projects -- what Gibson-Graham and others have described as 'non-capitalism' -- appears to be increasing among green coalition members. Though preliminary research suggests that discursive interventions can lead to new economic identities and desires, the research also shows that a politics of non-capitalist possibility might also be able to utilize capitalist and anti-capitalist desires in the construction of on-the-ground non-capitalist enterprises and relations. More broadly, this research intends to expand understandings around the complex relationship between structure, subjectivity, and agency.
Hume, Yanique M., Emory U., Atlanta, Georgia - To aid research on ''Haytien Nouye' Celebrating Cubanidad: Performing and Reconfiguring a National Cultural Identity,' supervised by Dr. Ivan Karp
YANIQUE M. HUME, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in May 2003 to aid research on Haitian cultural identity in Cuba, under the supervision of Dr. Ivan Karp. The project was designed to explore the sociohistorical transformations that prompted the inclusion of previously denigrated Haitian cultural forms in recent folk tourism projects in Santiago de Cuba. Hume considered the debates surrounding the definition, use, public representation, and interpretation of 'Haitian' cultural performances presented in national, regional, and local settings. These new and more public venues for self-representation afforded Cubans of Haitian descent a space in which to (re)construct their identities, articulate their diasporic identification, and (re)shape long-standing cultural forms while becoming actively involved in the shaping of new conceptions of national identity, particularly the ideology of cubanidad, or Cubanness. Hume documented national and regional festivals, feast-day celebrations, domestic rituals, and daily life in rural Haitian-Cuban communities and later supplemented the resulting video databank with archival materials. Interviews were conducted with members of the public, performance troupes, community leaders, cultural officials, and members of Cuba's Association of Caribbean Culture and other local associations. A regional emphasis on eastern Cuba allowed Hume to articulate how, amid a broader occidental imagination of Cuban society, grassroots groups continued to trouble the dominant definitions of Cuba's national cultural identity.
Millhauser, John Kenneth, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Salt of the Earth: Craft and Community at Postclassic and Colonial San Bartolome Salinas, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Brumfiel
JOHN K. MILLHAUSER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Salt of the Earth: Craft and Community at Postclassic and Colonial San Bartolome Salinas, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Brumfiel. This research asks how the changing demand for salt under the Aztec and Spanish empires stimulated, challenged, and sustained communities in the Basin of Mexico. This archaeological and ethnohistoric investigation of San Bartolome Salinas, a salt-making site occupied from about AD 1350 to 1650, explores how material patterns in the organization, intensity, and scale of salt-making reflect the independence and interdependence of producers and the social, economic, and political integration of the community. Excavations of salt-making and domestic contexts revealed that Aztec-period salt-making anchored and supported groups larger and more complex than individual households. In fact, salt-making was the foundation of many contemporary communities, a finding documented through systematic surface collections at four nearby salt-making sites. The abandonment of these sites during the first centuries of Spanish control, at a time when the state sought to control the circulation of salt, reminds us that the political context of salt consumption was as fundamental to the nature and viability of these communities as was the scale and consistency of demand. More broadly, this research shows how work became an organizing principal for social groups, one that overlapped with kinship, gender, race, and class, in the context of pre-capitalist states and empires.
Cutright, Robyn E., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, 'supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann
ROBYN E. CUTRIGHT,then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann. Archaeological field excavations were carried out at Pedregal, a Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1460) village in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. The excavations targeted the domestic occupation of the site in order to reconstruct the range of domestic activities at the site and identify the ways in which domestic and culinary practice may have shifted during the valley's conquest by the Chimú state in AD 1350. Materials recovered during excavation and examined during subsequent laboratory analysis suggest that the site's residents were heavily engaged in agricultural production, as well as animal husbandry, textile production, and the processing and preparation of food. Though the site's occupational sequence was more complex than originally believed, dramatic changes do not seem to have occurred during the Late Intermediate Period. Instead, continuity at the domestic level may have characterized the Chimú conquest of the valley.
Cutright, Robyn E. 2015. Eating Empire in the Jequetepeque: A Local View of Chimú Expansion on the North Coast of Peru. Latin American Antiquity 26(1):64-86.
Sadruddin, Aalyia, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Late-Life Caregiving and Aging in Post-Genocide Rwanda,' supervised by Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick
Preliminary abstract: Rwanda is currently in the midst of a major demographic transition due to population aging. In terms of 'enabling environments' for older persons (aged 60 and over), Rwanda was ranked as thirteenth in the world, and first in Africa in 2014. At the same time, social and demographic shifts such as increased rates of parental mobility, urbanization, and orphanhood are catapulting older persons into becoming late-life caregivers to parentless grandchildren and unrelated orphans, as opposed to receivers of care in old age. Older persons (many of whom were in the prime of life during the 1994-genocide) are providing care while also grappling with notions of collectivity, conceptions of kinship outside biological ties and memories of violence as Rwanda moves forward from its complex past. The overarching goal of my research project is to analyze the ways older persons are 'keeping families together,' in the wake of rapid social change after the genocide. I will achieve my goal by conducting twelve months of ethnographic research in central (peri-urban) and eastern (rural) Rwanda by documenting the challenges of growing old in post-genocide Rwanda, the contributions older men and women are making to local society and the strategies older persons deploy in order to sustain family ties. By putting older Rwandans - an understudied demographic group - at the forefront of its analysis, this research enriches and bridges anthropological literatures on caregiving, aging, family-level resilience and healing in the aftermath of conflict.