Gonzalez Jose, Rolando, U. de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'Time Variation in Mesoamerica: Testing the Effects of the European Contact and Reconstructing Demographic Scenarios,' supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez
Zuckerman, Charles Henry Pearson, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Ethics of Exchange: Gambling and Interaction in Luang Prabang, Laos,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lempert
Preliminary abstract: Over the past twenty years, Luang Prabang (LPB), the once royal capital of Laos, has shifted from sleepy socialist hamlet to global tourist destination. The city's inhabitants have reacted to the influx of money and new forms of exchange with a mixture of desire and moral trepidation. My research studies how actors in LPB morally evaluate these new forms of exchange during face-to-face interaction. In 12 months of research, I will primarily investigate two forms of exchange--gambling for beer and gambling for money--as they occur in the popular game pétanque, which resembles bocce. Pétanque began to soar in popularity in LPB in the late 1990s and continues to grow as the Lao socialist state lifts many of its restrictions on gathering and gambling and embraces market capitalism, foreign investment, and tourism. Many people explicitly associate beer-gambling with the state, civil servants, and a distinctively 'Lao' and 'good' way of sharing. Conversely, they associate money-gambling with workers in the tourist sector and an increasingly common 'foreign' and 'immoral' way of consuming. I have chosen to study pétanque gambling because of its popularity, because of its morally fraught status, and because debates concerning the morality of the two forms of gambling appear to crystalize debates concerning new ways of making and spending money in LPB more generally. I am studying these exchanges with methods for studying face-to-face interaction because I predict that an attention to ordinary interaction will reveal the multiple modalities and methods through which exchanges become moral practices in the first place. More broadly, I anticipate that such an approach will shed light on the ethical domain itself.
Liebmann, Matthew J., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid 'The Guadalupe Mesa Archaeological Project: An Archaeological Examination of Pueblo Revitalization, 1680- 1696,' supervised by Dr. Robert W. Preucel
MATTHEW J. LIEBMANN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in June 2003 to aid archaeological research on seventeenth-century Pueblo revitalization at ancestral Jemez sites in north-central New Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Preucel. The research was carried out in collaboration with the Pueblo of Jemez Department of Resource Protection and consisted of a noninvasive study of two ancestral Jemez villages of the Pueblo Revolt era (1680-96 c.e.). Ceramic and architectural data were collected in order to evaluate the material manifestations of Pueblo revivalism (the introduction of cultural practices thought to have been characteristic of previous generations but not recently present in a society), nativism (the elimination of foreign influences from a culture), and changes in leadership that followed the revolt of 1680. Analysis of the ceramic assemblages from these sites indicated that Jemez potters did not return to the production of earlier ceramic types but instead created new styles of pottery during this turbulent time. Architectural data showed evidence for nativism and revivalism as well as strong, centralized, community-wide leadership in the early years following the revolt. The architecture of the later revolt era, however, suggested a deterioration of centralized leadership and the dissipation of the revitalization movement by 1694.
Liebmann, Matthew. 2008. The Innovative Materiality of Revitalization Movements: Lessons from the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. American Anthropologist 110(3):360-372
Beasley, Melanie Marie, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Paleoenvironment and Seasonal Variation in Rainfall at Allia Bay, Kenya 3.97 MA,' supervised by Dr. Margaret Schoeninger
Preliminary abstract: This project proposes to reconstruct seasonal patterns of rainfall 3.97MA at Allia Bay, Kenya to refine the definition of a mosaic paleoenvironment of Australopithecus anamensis, the earliest confirmed obligate hominin biped. The project will use a secondary ionization mass spectrometer (SIMS) to generate spot analyses of ä18O from tooth enamel fragments of fossil fauna from a well-characterized excavation. At tropical latitudes, which have limited fluctuations in temperature, d18O values indicate seasonal changes in precipitation amounts. These changes can result in major shifts in vegetation in open habitats but have limited impact to vegetation in forest ecosystem. The oxygen isotope ratios from enamel of non-drinking species will track intra-annual changes in relative humidity and water-dependent species will track variation in meteoric water values to indicate precipitation amounts. The fossil enamel analyzed in this study represent fauna occupying the Turkana Basin during a fluvial phase when the Omo River (originating in the Ethiopian Highlands) provided the most important water source, which based on previous work, would have tracked the precipitation changes. The seasonal rainfall patterns in conjunction with bulk d13C values will be used to distinguish animals living in closed forest, wooded savanna, open grassland, or more mixed habitats. Marked seasonality, aridification, and amount/duration of rainfall (suggested by intra-tooth variation in d18O values) favors more open habitats over closed forest habitats. Based on whether single or multiple habitats are represented in the fauna, the project will clarify whether Au. anamensis inhabited a region with continuous tree cover, wooded savanna, open grassland, or a mixed habitat.
Raspberry, Kelly A., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Assisted Reproduction Practices in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
KELLY A. RASPBERRY, while a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in July 2002 to aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Assisted Reproduction Practices in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. The focus of this research was to examine the roles of local circumstances and histories in the production of and public demand for knowledge and practices of assisted reproduction technologies in Argentina. By exploring how reproductive technologies are transformed according to local conditions of practice, this research addressed the common assumption that global 'technology transfer' is a culturally neutral process. Fieldwork for this project involved 15 months of ethnographic interviews and archival research, primarily conducted in Buenos Aires from November 2002 until January 2004. These ethnographic methods have provided data on, (a) current understandings of infertility and reproductive technologies in relation to constructions of family, the moral status of an embryo, and the global commerce of medicine; (b) the social, economic and political factors involved in the production and reception of assisted reproduction services in Argentina. Preliminary findings indicate that local conditions of the practice of assisted reproduction in Argentina - such as claims for modernity and legitimacy, restrictive Catholic values, and economic instability - produce local forms of science, medicine and choice. These findings will provide insight into how the production and consumption of assisted reproduction in Argentina, as an example of a rapidly-growing medical technology, is both a 'local' and a 'global' process.
Fotta, Martin, U. of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Gypsies in the Market: Nomadic Economic Strategies of the Calons in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Roger Sansi-Roca
MARTIN FOTTA, then a student at University of London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Gypsies in the Market: Nomadic Economic Strategies of the Calons in Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Roger Sansi-Roca. This study explores the functioning of the nomadic economy across the interior of Bahia, Brazil, where the Gypsies -- the Calons -- have become important moneylenders. The grantee investigates how the Calons earn their living, develop a social organization of subsistence and create value through this recognized niche. The research has shown that the Calons embrace the instability characteristic for socio-economic conditions of northeast Brazil. It is into this setting where moneylending fits: it is seen as a demonstration of skills and luck, and a way to perform one's masculinity. The major organizational principle for such moneylending is violence and not a search for perfect information about one's customers. Unlike other moneylenders in the area, the Calons do not search to transform debts into patronage. Violence also prevents development of fixed social structure, and is one of the main reasons for constant mobility and rearrangements of camps. This research shows how the indigenous form of credit functions in the interface of various local economies, while remaining on the outside of official economy and localized social relations. Such exploration from the point of view of an endogamous community of service providers offers an opportunity to examine alternative adaptation of subaltern people's unequal and unstable economic conditions and the functioning of the rural credit institutions.
Weiss, Erica, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'The Social Life of Conscience: The Case of Israeli Refuseniks,' supervised by Dr. Abdellah Hammoudi
ERICA WEISS, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'The Social Life of Conscience: The Case of Israeli Refuseniks,' supervised by Dr. Abdellah Hammoudi. Fieldwork was done with conscientious objectors in Israel, following how they encountered, socially and legally, the Israeli military and society. Conscientious objectors, also known as 'refuseniks', refuse to take part in the military and its operations for reasons of conscience, most often because of moral objections to the occupation of the Palestinians, though sometimes for religious or feminist reasons. This refusal to participate in the military is seen as an affront to a basic moral good in Israeli culture, and the central organizing institution of secular Israeli life. This might suggest that conscientious objectors would be summarily ostracized, however, at the same time, Jewish tradition and Israeli culture holds respect and value for the obligations of conscience, even when it speaks against authority. Therefore, there is the possibility for discussion. This research project investigated the places and contexts where this discussion coalesces, and the way that disparities in understanding and belief with regard to fundamental notions such as community and the proverbial 'neighbor,' the obligations of sacrifice, and the articulation of the self that are revealed. The results of this fieldwork also provided rich ethnographic data with regard to the place of sacrifice through military service in Israeli society.
Weiss, Erica. 2012. Principle or Pathology? Adjudicating the Right to Conscience in the Israeli Military. American Anthropologist 114(1):81-94.
Klein, Laura Danielle, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Impacts of Maternal Disease Ecology on Milk Immunofactors and Infant Immune System Development,' supervised by Dr. Katherine J. Hinde
Preliminary abstract: Mothers' milk provides crucial immunological protection to the infant during early life. However, little is known about how the immune molecules that are present in milk vary among women living in vastly different nutritional, disease, and cultural ecologies. This project will use a longitudinal study in a population of small-scale agriculturalists at the Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site in southern Poland to investigate how aspects of the local environment, including diet and disease exposure, relate to the variation in composition of immune factors in breast milk within a population. This project will also examine how variation in mothers' milk might influence infant immune system development by taking advantage of a regularly schedule vaccine that mimics a natural immune challenge.
Abrams, Elizabeth T., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Variability in Birth Outcome following Malaria during Pregnancy,' supervised by Dr. A. Roberto Frisancho
ELIZABETH T. ABRAMS, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in September 2001 to aid research on variability in birth outcomes following malaria during pregnancy, under the supervision of Dr. A. Roberto Frisancho. Malaria infections during pregnancy are associated with a number of poor birth outcomes, including intrauterine growth retardation, preterm delivery, and fetal death. Previous researchers had identified malaria-induced immune responses and birth outcomes, but the immune response to malaria could not fully account for the variation in birth outcomes. Abrams focused on a second potential determinant of poor birth outcomes: maternal and fetal iron status. She examined umbilical-cord hemoglobin levels in 33 malaria-infected and 57 uninfected women delivering in Blantyre, Malawi, in relation to maternal hemoglobin levels, malaria status, neonatal inflammation, and birth outcome. Although, as expected, maternal hemoglobin levels were significantly decreased by malaria infection during pregnancy, there was no reduction in cord levels, nor was there any significant relationship between the two. Nevertheless, cord ferritin levels were elevated in the neonates of malaria-infected mothers in relation to increased parasitemia, suggesting fetal immune activation to maternal malaria. Increased cord ferritin was associated with significantly decreased birth weight and gestational length, although maternal and cord hemoglobin levels and malaria status had no effect on birth outcome. The markers of fetal hypoxia that were examined, including erythropoietin, cortisol, and corticotrophin-releasing hormone, were not altered in malaria-infected versus uninfected women. In sum, in this population, cord hemoglobin levels were buffered from the effects of maternal malaria. However, elevated cord ferritin levels suggested fetal immune activation to malaria, which appeared to influence birth outcomes.
Abrams, Elizabeth T., and Julienne N. Rutherford. 2011. Framing Postpartum Hemorrhage as a Consequence of Human Placental Biology: An Evolutionary and Comparative Perspective. American Anthropologist 113(3):417-430.
Abrams, Elizabeth T. and Elizabeth M. Miller. 2011. The Roles of the Immune System in Women's Reproduction: Evolutionary Constraints and Life History Trade-Offs. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 54:134-154.
Abrams, Elizabeth T., et al 2005. Malaria during Pregnancy and Fetal Haematological Status in Blantyre, Malawi. Malaria Journal 4(39):1-8.