Raviele, Maria Elena, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density Through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. William A. Lovis
MARIA ELENA RAVIELE, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Willaim A. Lovis. The goal of this study was twofold: first, to determine if quantification of maize phytoliths, based on density was feasible; and second, to apply those experimental results to archaeological ceramic residues derived from sites located within the Saginaw River Valley of Michigan. Quantification of maize phytoliths was determined through experimental residues utilizing different forms of maize: ground flour, dried whole kernel, dried cracked kernel, green kernel, whole green cob. The experimental results determined that maize phytolith quantification was not possible due to differential inclusion of phytoliths based on the form of maize used. It was found however, that the presence of maize starch and/or phytoliths could potentially indicate if green or dried maize was utilized; use of green maize was more likely to include the incorporation of phytoliths into a residue. The archaeological component resulted in the identification of maize starch and phytoliths from ceramic residues dating to an earlier time period than prior dates on macrobotanical remains. Results from AMS dates are pending but utilizing local ceramic chronology, it appears maize was incorporated at some level by AD 300. In addition to the identification of maize, starch and phytoliths from other economic plants, including aquatic tubers, were identified.
Francis, Michael, U. of Natal, Durban, South Africa - To aid research 'On the Borders of the Zulu Nation: Multiple Identities among Zulu of San Ancestry,' supervised by Dr. Keyan Tomaselli
MICHAEL FRANCIS, then a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, received funding in 2004 to aid ethnographic research into the people of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa that trace Zulu and San/Bushmen ancestry, supervised by Dr. Keyan Tomaselli. Francis found that as these people attempt to reclaim rights lost through colonization, assimilation, and Apartheid, they are creating new rituals and attaching new significance to rock art sites. He also found that the contemporary ethnography of the Drakensberg peoples can aid interpretations of the rock art and also challenges established hegemonies of interpretation. The research also challenges the ethnic/cultural distinctions that are assumed to be salient between peoples of South Africa and adds to the 'Kalahari debate' by questioning notions of an either or situation of assimilation or subordination. The ethnohistorical record indicates a much more complex web of relations existed historically than is related in the dominant academic discourses. The extent to which these people will be recognized as aboriginal remains to be seen, and currently they are creating social and political links with San organizations with the hopes of future gains and political recognition of their rights and identity.
Welton, Megan Lynn, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison
MEGAN LYNN WELTON, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was granted funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison. This research utilizes strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of human remains from a large Early Bronze Age cemetery at Ikiztepe in northern Turkey in combination with spatial and biodistance analysis and various dating techniques to identify potential immigrants to the site and to examine larger issues of residential mobility and social organization. Chronological issues were addressed through fluoride and AMS radiocarbon dating of the skeletal remains, creating an absolute and relative chronology for the burials. The results indicate that the cemetery dates a millennium earlier than previously supposed. Strontium and oxygen isotope analyses allowed the identification of individuals whose bone chemistry suggests they were possible long distance immigrants to the site, as well as suggesting the existence of a group of mobile individuals who may represent a transhumant segment of the Ikiztepe population. Immigrant individuals and nomadic or semi-nomadic segments of the population do not appear to have been distinguished in any observable way from their sedentary local counterparts, displaying similar burial types, grave goods and spatial locations. The results suggest that assumptions about funerary practices as important indicators of cultural identity and lineage affiliation may represent an over-simplification of complex patterns of interaction and integration among and within populations.
Kocamaner, Hikmet, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Governing the Family through Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Television Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein
HIKMET KOCAMANER, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Governing the Family through Islamic Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein. Turkey has witnessed a proliferation of Islamic television channels since the liberalization of television broadcasting in the 1990s. Initially, these Islamic TV channels produced shows in which divinity professors and men of religion educated viewers in the culture of scriptural Islam. Recently, however, most of these channels have started producing what they call 'morally and socially appropriate' entertainment programs to provide a safe haven for the Turkish family in what they deem to be a degenerate media scene. An overview of the programs aired on these Islamic channels reveals that the family -- more than the ritualistic and scriptural aspects of Islam -- has become their main focus. This project examines the relationship between the increasing prominence placed by Islamic television channels on the family and changing constellations of religion and secularism as well as emerging forms of governance in contemporary Turkey. Through an ethnographic investigation of media professionals involved in Islamic television production, viewers of Islamic television stations, and state institutions and officials taking part in the regulation of broadcasting in Turkey, this dissertation explores how Islamic television channels in Turkey establish the family as the generator of a neoliberal idea of citizenship and of a modern yet Islamically appropriate lifestyle.
Adler, Daniel S., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Late Middle Palaeolithic Patterns of Lithic Reduction, Land-Use, and Mobility in the Southern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Ofer Bar-Yosef
DANIEL S. ADLER, while a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2002 to aid research on 'Late Middle Palaeolithic Patterns of Lithic Reduction, Land-Use, and Mobility in the Southern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Ofer Bar-Yosef. The southern Caucasus represents a major gap in our knowledge of Neanderthal lifeways. Since this region occupies an intermediate position between Europe and Asia, an accurate understanding of its Middle Palaeolithic systems of lithic reduction, mobility and land use is critical. Funding provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation allowed me to execute the first detailed analysis of lithic and faunal assemblages from a late Middle Palaeolithic within the Georgian Republic. Specifically, funding was used to produce the first collection of reliable chronometic estimates for the late Middle and early upper Palaeolithic of the southern Caucasus. In total thirty-four Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) sample from Ortvale Klde rockshelter were dated, producing a range of ages for three Middle Palaeolitic layers spanning 42-35ka. Two older layers at the site were dated via Thermoluminescence (TL) to 60-45ka. Samples from three Upper Palaeolithic layers at the site were dated to 33-21ka, indicating the late persistence of Neanderthals in the region and the late arrival of Upper Palaeolithic populations. The dating of Ortvale Klde is revolutionizing our understanding of Neanderthal behavior as well as the timing and mode of the shift from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic however.
Pearson, Thomas William, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Biosafety, Neoliberalism, and the Struggle for Life: Anti-biotechnology Activism & the Politics of Expertise in Central America,' supervised by Dr. Carmen Alicia Ferradás
THOMAS WILLIAM PEARSON, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Biosafety, Neoliberalism, and the Struggle for Life: Anti-Biotechnology Activism and the Politics of Expertise in Central America,' supervised by Dr. Carmen Alicia Ferradas. Fieldwork investigated the relationships between neoliberal economic reforms and new concerns with the management of biological life, as an object of both technocratic control and political struggle. Through ethnographic research on conflicts over transgenic organisms and agricultural biotechnology, the grantee examined how biosafety is socially constituted as a form of risk management and expertise that mediates local and global circuits of technology, knowledge, capital, and nature. Ethnographic fieldwork with environmental activists who campaign against transgenics, and who work to reshape the meaning and practice of biosafety, provided insight into how 'life itself' is symbolically constructed as an object of struggle amidst wider transformations associated with free-market policies and ideologies. The research also adapted to and incorporated rapidly changing fieldwork circumstances when broad opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) coalesced into one of the largest social movements in the history of contemporary Costa Rica. As concerns over CAFTA came to concentrate on the impacts of new intellectual property rights reforms, environmentalists were unexpectedly propelled to the center of the popular movement, leading a struggle against the privatization and commoditization of genetic resources and seeds framed around the 'defense of life itself.'
Pearson, Thomas W. 2012. Transgenic-Free Territories in Costa Rica: Networks, Place, and the Politics of Life. American Ethnologist 39(1):90-105.
Pearson, Thomas W. 2013. 'Life is Not for Sale!': Confronting Free Trade and Intellectual Property in Costa Rica. American Anthropologist 115(1):58-71.
Drah, Bright Bensah, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Crisis Fostering in an Age of HIV/AIDS: Experiences of Queen Mothers of Manya Krobo, Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Daniel W. Sellen
BRIGHT BENSAH DRAH, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, received a grant in November 2008 to aid research on 'Crisis Fostering in an Age of HIV/AIDS: Experiences of Queen Mothers of Manya Krobo, Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Daniel W. Sellen. About 170,000 Ghanaian children are orphaned due to AIDS, 80 percent of whom are fostered by women. Existing research about orphan care has focused on the woman-child dyad, thereby obscuring other forms of care. Moreover, the conventional measures of orphan care are based on frameworks that ignore orphans' perspectives and the social context in which caregiving is negotiated. In the Lower and Upper Manya Krobo districts in Ghana's Eastern Region, queen mothers (traditional female leaders) are responsible for orphans. The aims of the current study are to examine: 1) the socio-cultural context of orphan care in Manya Krobo; 2) caregiving strategies used by the queen mothers; and 3) the outcomes for orphans. Between September 2008 and December 2009, data were collected from queen mothers, children 6-11 years old, chiefs, HIV-infected/uninfected adults, welfare officers and NGOs using qualitative and quantitative methods, including focus groups, semi-structured interviews, structured interviews, and participant observation in households. Data collected included participants' understandings and expressions of care, child/orphan and caregiving practices. Analysis and manuscript preparation are expected to be complete by June 2010. Findings will address existing gaps in anthropological theory of community based child caregiving and contribute to improving orphan care in Ghana and internationally.
Todd, James E., U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Racing the South: The Poetics and Politics of Race and Region in NASCAR,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
JAMES E. TODD, while a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, was awarded a grant in November 2001 to aid research on 'Racing the South: The Poetics and Politics of Race and Region in NASCAR,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles. This research offers an ethnographic examination of the connections between the cultural practices of region-making and the production of racial difference in the traditionally white, working-class sport of NASCAR stock-car racing, a sport which has recently begun traveling beyond its original Southern circuits in an effort to become nationally recognized. Because NASCAR's premier racing series 'tours' racetracks in the South and throughout the United States, it presents an exceptional case for studying how the South and white racialness travel through locations, people, commodities, narratives, and spectacular events. The largest phase of this project was supported by Wenner-Gren: ethnographic research was undertaken by following the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup stock-car racing circuit in a recreational vehicle. Over the course of 10 months and 40,000 miles, the researcher observed and documented the narratives and practices of fans, sports writers, marketers, public relations employees, corporate executives, evangelical preachers, drivers, and teams. NASCAR provided full access to racing facilities, marketing and public relations employees granted admission to meetings and provided press room credentials to observe reporters creating stories. Over the 38 four-day events, substantial time was spent among fans in the camping areas. The research was highly successful and was completed with broad depth. The dissertation is expected to be finished in 2005.
Jarrin, Alvaro Esteban, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''The Right to Beauty': Cosmetic Citizenship and Medical Modernity in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Anne Allison
ALVARA ESTEBAN JARRIN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'The Right to Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Medical Modernity in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Anne Allison. This research project examines the construction of beauty in Brazil as a product of the complex race, class and gender inequalities that the country has faced in the past and still faces today. Beauty is a body marker believed to have the power to both stabilize racial and class differences (by making that difference visible to the naked eye) and to make social mobility possible (by providing economic and social opportunities to those who 'achieve' beauty through various means -- particularly plastic surgery). The grantee contrasts the distinct ways in which the body is understood in different social classes, and compare the motives for seeking out plastic surgery among patients in private clinics and patients in public hospitals. The medical world itself has very different approaches to patients in the private and the public health sectors, since the latter is considered the perfect setting for residents to practice and to develop new surgical techniques. The research argues that risk involved in these surgeries is continuously downplayed by medical discourse and by the media, which instead glorifies the transformations achieved through surgery as narratives of social uplift.
Nelms, Taylor C.N., U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Making Change and Valuing Difference: Dollarization and the Plurinational State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Bill Maurer
TAYLOR C.N. NELMS, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Making Change and Valuing Difference: Dollarization and the Plurinational State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Bill Maurer. This research investigates how projects of state transformation in Ecuador -- dollarization, on the one hand, and the institutionalization of 'alternative' economic values, on the other -- are articulated, instantiated, and contested through an ethnography of: 1) two forms of socioeconomic organization, family- and neighborhood-based savings and credit associations and an association of urban market vendors; and 2) encounters between these institutions and actors charged with making them visible to the state. During twelve months of fieldwork, more than 90 semi-structured and informal interviews were conducted across field sites in and around Quito, Ecuador: an urban marketplace; four savings and credit associations; and government offices at the national and municipal level. Participant observation was also carried out in these sites and at conferences, meetings, seminars, protests, and rallies. Archival research and document collection was also conducted. This research shows how dollarization and contemporary state transformation in Ecuador are interconnected, especially in discourses of change and stability. It demonstrates the emic importance of 'trust' in vernacular institution-building and how discourses of solidarity, sovereignty, and suspicion are linked to institutional practice, which then provides the infrastructure for political participation. Finally, this research highlights the role of money in debates about legal and institutional change, the scope of government, and 'representation,' political and semiotic. It does so by exploring the pragmatics of money's diverse uses.