Schriever, Bernard Adolf, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - To aid research on 'Informal Identity and the Mimbres Phenomenon: Investigating Regional Identity and Archaeological Cultures,' supervised by Dr. Patricia Ann Gilman
BERNARD A. SCHRIEVER, then a student at University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Informal Identity and the Mimbres Phenomenon: Investigation Regional Identity and Archaeological Cultures,' supervised by Dr. Patricia A. Gilman. The extent to which archaeological cultures coincided with past identities has important implications for our understanding of how past people viewed and interacted with each other. However, archaeologists have struggled to develop means of assessing prehistoric identity formation and change. As part of research into regional identity formation and maintenance, the capabilities of the electron microprobe were applied to ceramics from three geographically distant Mimbres communities in southwestern New Mexico to assess the synchronic variation and diachronic changes in painted pottery production practices. Specifically, raw material selection and paste preparation practices were examined because these practices change primarily through interaction and communication among potters. The similarity or coalescence of these practices among the three communities of potters would suggest considerable communication, interaction, and the development of common practice, as would be expected during the formation or maintenance of a regional identity. The results of the research indicated that Mimbres potters participated in a common community of practice from the very beginning of painted pottery production that persisted over the next 500 years. Combined with other lines of data, these results support the suggestion that a Mimbres regional identity existed before A.D. 650 and was maintained until at least A.D. 1130.
Harmansah, Rabia, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Social Forgetting in Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cyprus,' supervised by Dr. Robert M. Hayden
RABIA HARMANSAH, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Social Forgetting in Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cyprus,' supervised by Dr. Robert Hayden. The research investigated the practice of social forgetting by relating it to the selective construction of history and to the human interactions with the commemorative and religious landscape. Social forgetting was taken as practices of disremembering, misremembering, omitting, distorting, or silencing past events/experiences and their traces, in order to shape the collective memory. The research, conducted in Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 2011-12, entailed multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, semi-structured and unstructured interviews with Greek/Turkish Cypriots and immigrant Turks, participant observation, archival research, and examination of patterns of transformations in built landscape. The research demonstrated that the local perceptions of the past have been shaped not simply by the official discourses, but by various complex cultural processes, personal experiences and active engagement of ordinary people with landscape in the process of memory and history. The research addressed theoretical and analytical issues of understanding social forgetting not only as a negation, neglect, failure of remembering, or unintended social amnesia, but as a positive process through which a certain kind of knowledge of the past is produced deliberately and actively by obscuring material evidence of what others wish to have remembered.
Mangal, Simone Alicia, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Aluminium: The Social and Environmental Value of Commodities,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Miller
SIMONE ALICIA MANGAL, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, received a grant in October 2008, to aid research on 'Aluminium: The Social and Environmental Value of Commodities,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Miller. Despite a conspicuous global preoccupation with markets and socio-environmental problems, commodity value studies dwell on production and circulation values and not socio-environmental values. This study in Trinidad and Tobago focused on socio-environmental transformations and nation-wide conflict over the commodity, aluminium, prior to the construction of an aluminium smelter. Topics of research interest included: the values claimed by different actors; how actors interacted to secure the values important to them; and how various values became associated with, or disassociated from, the commodity were studied in the villages adjacent to the smelter site; the Environmental Impact Assessment process; the Legal Courts; routines of anti-smelter activists; and the Media. The study exposed 'socio-environmental' values that were distinct from the labor or exchange values traditionally considered in Anthropology. Socio-environmental values were being masked and unmasked in a struggle in which the globalized system for socio-environmental valorization of a commodity came into friction with the values of the people of Trinidad, and eventually failed to enable the creation of the commodity. This study of what happens when a society turns its attention to its values and questions global market values addresses gaps in relevant conceptual frameworks in Anthropology, Economics, and formal regulatory and trade mechanisms aimed at making 'markets' socially and environmentally responsible.
Buswala, Bhawani, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Untouchable Butchers: Caste, Gender, and Occupation in India,' supervised by Dr. Lina Fruzzetti
BHAWANI BUSWALA, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Untouchable Butchers: Caste, Gender, and Occupation in India,' supervised by Dr. Lina Fruzzetti. The social life of caste in contemporary India creates precarious conditions for the 'untouchables' to carry out their everyday lives. They continue to negotiate different caste practices, varying from daily subtle discriminations to extreme forms of physical violence. Focusing on a butcher caste in north India, this dissertation project examines how a low caste negotiates its untouchable status through everyday practices. A caste's relation with its conventional occupation in a changing politico-economic context is analyzed through different symbolic and material values attached to the occupation, contests around these values, and practical implications of these on daily conduct and community relations. Changing occupational possibilities for the women of this caste are examined for their role in status negotiations. Inter-caste relations with reference to similar ranking lower status castes are also examined to understand the collaborating and competing conditions that shape the local socio-political relations. Taking untouchable occupation as a site for caste and gender formations, and based on ethnographic data collected through participant observations and informal interviews, this project studies how everyday struggles by the untouchables create possibilities for resisting caste marginality, the forms and the limits of these struggles, and how they may relate to broader political actions.
Robinson, Mark Dennis, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Joao Guilherme Biehl
MARK D. ROBINSON, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by dr. João Gulherme Biehl. This ethnographic and comparative study examines and compares several distinct translational neuroscience sites including university-based translation centers, neurotechnology industry conferences, and biotechnology investing events. The project includes more open-ended interviews with neurologists, psychiatrists, university administrators, bioentrepreneurs, neurosurgeons, and neuroscientists. The grantee also conducted observation at conferences, symposia, university-based translational neuroscience centers, and laboratories in northern California. This project also maps patients dealing with brain illnesses as well as patient advocates and users of neurotechnologies. The project also includes an analysis of market data. The grantee maps: 1) how patient constitutions of value are often disconnected from the stated aims of translational neuroscience initiatives; 2) the challenges involved in translational neuroscience at the level of the laboratory; 3) the ineluctable role of markets in translational medicine and science; 4) the temporality problem of translation more broadly; and 5) how translation gets constituted as a means of producing value even without evidence of this capacity. Thus, this project reveals how particular ideas and presumptions regarding value in health emerge in a specific context. Lastly, this project responds to questions about the ethics and efficacy of public-private partnerships in the name of health and innovation.
Goldberg, Harmony, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Making of the Service Working Classes: Multi-National Worker Organizing in New York's Low-Wage Service Industries,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
HARMONY GOLDBERG, then a student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Making of the Service Working Classes: Multi-National Worker Organizing in New York's Low-Wage Service Industries,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. The grantee conducted a twelve-month ethnographic study of the work of Domestic Workers United (DWU), a grassroots organization of Caribbean and Latina nannies, housecleaners, and elderly care providers in New York City. In 2010, Domestic Workers United won a historic legislative victory in New York State, which ended the longstanding exclusion of domestic workers from labor rights and employment protections. However, the highly decentralized, informal, and privatized nature of the domestic work industry made it difficult to enforce these new-won rights in a substantive way. This study followed DWU's work in the year after the Bill of Rights victory, tracing the organizing methodologies that the organization developed in order to enforce these new-won rights and to win more substantive gains in the lives of domestic workers in New York City. Challenging the historic assertion that the domestic work industry is 'unorganizable,' this study will suggest that not only is it possible to effectively organize domestic workers but that the political methodologies that they are developing suggest the directions in which the broader workers movement in the United States needs to transform if it is to remain relevant to contemporary workers.
Wienia, Martijn, Leiden U., Leiden, The Netherlands - To aid research on 'Ritual and the Construction of Konkomba Autochthony,' supervised by Dr. Peter Pels
MARTIJN WIENIA, while a student at Leiden University, the Netherlands, was awarded a grant in January 2006 to aid research on 'Ritual and the Construction of Konkomba Autochthony in Northern Ghana,' supervised by Prof. Dr. Peter Pels. Political liberalization often brings along a violent obsession with belonging. In Sub-Saharan Africa, this often correlates with the tension between democratization and 'traditional' authority. This project studies how and why the Konkomba people of Northern Ghana seek and use tradition (land rituals, chieftaincy) to claim autochthony in an area where they are migrants (i.e. the Nanumba districts). This is studied in the historical context of democratization and peace-building in Northern Ghana. The granted fieldwork of almost five months was the project's second research period and it included six weeks of archive studies in the National, Regional and District Archives. Other research methods were ethnographic to verify and complement previous data, follow the ritual cycle, document chieftaincy case studies and collect conflict narratives. While in the field, there were serious threats of renewed ethnic violence, and the researcher had the chance to observe and analyze local and national responses to the tensions, e.g. in security meetings. These data are very helpful for understanding autochthony claims in Nanun and for the dynamics of the peace process in Northern Ghana, as well as peace studies in general.
Wienia, Martijn. 2010. Ominous Calm: Autochthony and Sovereighnty in Konkomba/Nanumba Violence and Peace, Ghana. African Studies Collection, Volume 21. African Studies Centre: Leiden.
Leal, Alejandra M., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Home, Crime, and Policing: 'Rescuing' Mexico City's Historic Center,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn J. Ivy
ALEJANDRA M. LEAL, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Home, Crime, and Policing: 'Rescuing' Mexico City's Historic Center,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn J. Ivy. Fieldwork for this dissertation project was conducted in the Historic Center of Mexico City between January and December 2006. The research investigated a public- private initiative to revitalize or 'rescue' the Historic Center of Mexico City, which has placed critical emphasis on the renovation of residential buildings for middle to high-income housing and on public safety, including the implementation of a sophisticated security apparatus. Participant observation was conducted in two areas of the Historic Center targeted by the rescue project. It aimed to understand how newly settled residents -- a heterogeneous group composed of young professionals, artists and students -- came to inhabit the Historic Center as their home, producing and experiencing boundaries between safety and danger in their everyday lives; as well as to grasp the ways in which 'rescue' and security constantly reassert the presence of threat and exclusion. Research activities included attendance at art openings, social gatherings, and meetings at local bars and cafes; documentation of public art projects; collection of the life and residential histories of new residents, their perceptions of the security apparatus and their narratives about insecurity and crime in the area; and accompanying the security forces in their daily routines.
Bergey, Christina Marie, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Effects of Interspecific Hybridization on MHC Diversity in Wild Baboons,' supervised by Dr. Todd Disotell
Preliminary abstract: Hybridization between species is increasingly recognized as a common, significant occurrence that has shaped the evolution of primates, including humans. The immune system genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) are among the most likely candidates for transfer between species because natural selection favors immunological diversity: rare, novel variants may be advantageous in the evolutionary arms race with pathogens. The present study is on a natural experiment in hybridization, in which two species of baboons mate successfully in Ethiopia. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, I will type a MHC locus and thousands of neutral markers from individual baboons across the hybrid zone to test whether MHC alleles are able to transfer and spread widely throughout the parental population and to determine the relative influence of natural selection and genetic drift on the patterning of MHC variation. The Ethiopian baboon hybrid zone offers an ideal opportunity to explore the influence of selection and hybridization on MHC diversity in an appropriate primate model.
Plemons, Eric Douglas, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Making the Gendered Face,' supervised by Dr. Cori Hayden
ERIC D. PLEMONS, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Making the Gendered Face,' supervised by Dr. Cori Hayden. Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) -- a set of bone and soft tissue surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of male-to-female transwomen -- is predicated upon the notion that femininity is a measurable quality that can be both reliably assessed and surgically reproduced. Through ethnographic field research in the offices and operating rooms of two prominent FFS surgeons, this research seeks to understand what 'feminization' means as a target of surgical intervention. Constituted by a tension in which 'feminization' sometimes refers to the biologically female and other times to the desirably beautiful, FFS emerges here as both an art and a science. Through its complicated relationship to the contested status of transsexualism and its surgical treatment, FFS offers a distinct way to reconsider well-worn debates about bodily cultivation and the literal creation of the gendered body.