Salas Landa, Monica Mariella, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Touring their Ruins: The Ethnic Industry in Tajín Totonac, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Magnus M. Fiskesjo
MONICA M. SALAS LANDA, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Touring Their Ruins: The Ethnic Industry in Tajín Totonac, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Magnus M. Fiskesjo. This dissertation examines the afterlife of documents, artifacts, industrial and monumental structures, substances, and smells that resulted from the post-revolutionary process of state formation in the northern highlands of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Combining an archival approach with ethnographic research, the study analyzes the ways in which these remnants -- and the effects, desires, fears, and expectations, they generate -- continue to shape the political experience of those who confront, in the everyday, these residues of violence and revolution. Funding supported twelve months of research in Mexico (ethnographic and archival) and the United States (archival) during 2012-2013. Evidence collected served two purposes: 1) to analyze the ways in which post-revolutionary projects of state formation -- namely indigenismo, land redistribution, and oil expropriation -- worked out in northern Vera Cruz; and 2) to provide an analysis of the everyday encounters that people in this region have with these visible and invisible forms of state debris.
Gomez Linganzi, Vanessa, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Making Gains from Industrial Scrap: Small-Scale Production in Burkina Faso,' supervised by Dr. Karen T. Hansen
VANESSA GOMEZ LINGANZI, while a student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on small-scale producers of items from industrial scrap in Burkina Faso, under the supervision of Dr. Karen T. Hansen. Linganzi's objective was to understand what people who produced utilitarian goods from scrap materials considered to be gainful outcomes, beyond economic profits. Through videotapes, photographs, and interviews, she documented the kinds of knowledge and practices used by producers of aluminum cooking pots, tin buckets, and tire sandals. She found that they indeed wanted money to feed their families and sustain their businesses. But the values and constraints that shaped the organization and management of their enterprises showed that these small-scale entrepreneurs were not looking only for monetary gain. They sought just as much to become 'respectable' men, socially and religiously. They worked in order to get married, support their close and extended families, and fulfill their religious duties. They dealt with two sets of aspirations and constraints: their work helped them fulfill a social role within the familial and religious realms, but they also had to manage their enterprises in the context of a global market economy that threw them into a regional circuit of raw materials over which they had little control. This brought competition among producers and created new consumer needs that were hard to satisfy. Emigrating to the West, to the 'Whites' place,' was for many the way to answer both of these ambitions, even if for many it remained an unfulfilled dream.
Zogas, Anna Baker, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on ''Invisible Injury': Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Disability Compensation in the U.S. Military Healthcare System,' supervised by Dr. Lorna A. Rhodes
Preliminary abstract: Since 2001, two million members of the United States' armed services have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to wage the country's two most recent and protracted wars. Mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI), also known as concussion, is one of the most common injuries sustained by these troops and it has become known as one of the 'signature wounds' of the two post-9/11 wars. The etiology and the long-term effects of the injury are poorly defined, but mild TBI seems to be an emerging vocabulary the post-combat symptoms that some service members experience, and perhaps for 'invisible' combat injuries more generally. This research addresses how historically-specific conceptions of combat injuries and discourses of disability shape emerging constructions of mild TBI as a combat wound. In a twelve-month ethnographic study situated in the largest integrated healthcare organization in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), this research investigates mild TBI as it is constituted in medical research, clinical diagnosis, and the VA's unique disability benefits system, from the perspectives of medical researchers, clinicians, patients, and benefits officers.
Li, Min, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Conquest, Concord, and Consumption: Becoming Shang in East China,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopli
MIN LI, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Conquest, Concord, and Consumption: Becoming Shang in East China,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopli. The grantee's archaeological research at the site of Daxinzhuang (30 ha) investigated the social and cultural transformations during the mid and late Shang period in the Jinan region. Recent excavations at this important mid Shang settlement in eastern China revealed a rapid expansion of the Shang state into this culturally diverse region. Stylistic and technological differences in material culture reveal that changes in social relations resulting from Shang conquest were probably construed and demarcated along existing lines of cultural difference in the community. With a dissertation fieldwork grant (7261) from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Li Min conducted excavation at the site in collaboration with archaeologists from the Shandong University and the Jinan City Institute of Archaeology. The excavation uncovered a dozen large pit features filled with residential debris from the Mid-Shang period residents, as well as evidence for human and animal sacrifice resulting from ritual activities. The excavation was followed by analysis of ceramics and animal bones from context of food consumption and ritual activities. As animals had symbolic and economic importance in the Shang world, the research on patterned variation animal remains in diverse archaeological context informs on status difference, economic condition, and cultural identity at the local society.
Bauernfeind, Amy Lynn, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Metabolic Supply and Demand: A Study of Energetic Strategy in the Brain,' supervised by Dr. Chet C. Sherwood
Preliminary Abstract: While the human brain is more energetically costly to grow and maintain than that of the other primate species, it is still unknown which cellular and biochemical modifications are especially responsible for this increased metabolic demand. The proposed study aims to elucidate the distribution of metabolic resources in the brain in light of two important considerations: (1) the amount of energy needed to support the brain is dynamic over the course of the lifetime, and (2) the cerebral cortex of primates contains a heterogenous composition of neurons which are certain to show diversity in their energy utilization due to their variation in size and connectivity. The proposed study will use matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry to investigate interspecific variability in metabolic supply and demand by linking molecules known to participate in metabolic processes to structural maturation and neuronal variability. The spatial specificity of this new proteomic method will be used to anatomically map the distribution of structural and metabolic proteins and to identify the specific contributions of neuronal subtypes and cortical layers in driving the energetic demand of the brain. This information will help us understand the functional consequences of energy allocation toward metabolically expensive neural tissue.
Ramadan-Santiago, Omar F.M. City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Performing the Third Race: Rastafari Ideology and the Racial Imagination in Puerto Rico,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Shannon
Preliminary abstract: I am proposing to examine the religious construction of race with a focus on the Puerto Rican Rastafari community. My research will examine the processes of 'constructing' and 'becoming' racialized subjects, and 'performing' these subjectivities among Puerto Rican Rastafaris. I ask what role does religion play in constructing and performing race. I will examine a community that opts for a stigmatized racialization; my research explores how this decision is informed by religious ideology and how their racialized Rastafari identity is performed.
Folch, Christine, City U. of New York - Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Territory Matters in the Triple Frontera: Geographic Imaginary, Identity, and the Paraguayan State,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
CHRISTINE FOLCH, then a student at City University of New York - Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2008, to aid research on 'Territory Matters in the Triple Frontera: Geographic Imaginary, Identity, and the Paraguayan State,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. Leftist former Bishop Fernando Lugo was able to topple the ruling Colorado Party in Paraguay in April 2008 by channeling discontent over unfulfilled promises, linking these grievances to one issue: Paraguay's hydroelectric dam shared with Brazil, Itaipú Binacional. Criticism of corruption and capitulation to foreign interests in the dam existed from the 1960s, but were dismissed as the complaints of a marginalized left. Four decades later, with the unexpected election of Lugo, these have become the chief diplomatic target of a government -- an issue supported by the left and the right. These changes portend a redefinition in the obligation of 'state' to 'nation' as stitched together in territory and development. 'Territory Matters' traces the course of this transformation and its outcomes-high-level renegotiations with Brazil, the redirection of millions of dollars in Paraguay-to show that what can be seen in the struggles over Itaipú is the reconfiguration of the Paraguayan nation-state. This historical ethnography is drawn from ethnographic data from unparalleled access to leaders in Lugo's government (as they negotiated with Brazil and administered the dam) and observation with popular social movements as they mobilized for 'hydroelectric sovereignty,' as well as rich archival evidence from the Stroessner-era secret police found in the Archives of Terror in Asunción.
Folch, Christine. 2013. Surveillance and State Violence in Stroessner's Paraguay: Itaipú Hydroelectric Dam, Archive of Terror. American Anthropologist 115(1):44-57.
Weichselbraun, Anna Maria, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Regulating the Nuclear: The Textual Production of Technical Independence at the International Atomic Energy Agency,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Maco
Preliminary abstract: The proposed study is an ethnography of the communicative practices through which civil servants at the International Atomic Energy Agency seek to establish and maintain the organization's legitimacy as the sole arbiter in the regulation of global nuclear technology. This project asks how, against accusations of politicization and regulatory capture, various actors at the Agency work to display and communicate 'technical independence'--the unbiased technical competence and legal judgment by which the IAEA's missions can be made globally acceptable--to a vast international audience. The results of this study aim to expand anthropological knowledge in four domains: (1) the study of bureaucracy and documents, (2) historical and social scientific studies of knowledge and expertise, (3) analyses of legal and political language, and (4) understandings of a changing nuclear age. This project's careful attention to language as embedded in a range of other semiotic (sign) systems can offer a novel perspective on how the nuclear order with its laws and knowledge is constituted and contested. The research is based on 14 months of participant-observation, interviews, and archival work at the public information, legal, and training divisions of the IAEA and will be completed by rigorous linguistic anthropological analyses of the actors' interactional, ritual, and documentary practices.
Kim, Ujin, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Moral Resonance: Honorific Speech among Kazakh Nomads in China,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
Preliminary abstract: The honorific speech of Kazakh nomads I propose to study is of great anthropological interest because highly systematic honorific expressions are found in a presumably egalitarian nomadic society. Are the Kazakh nomads not very egalitarian after all? What kinds of asymmetric relations are expressed in Kazakh honorifics? What do these linguistic forms communicate besides social status? What motivates the Kazakh nomads to actively engage in the give and take of honorific speech? I hypothesize that Kazakh nomads use honorifics not only to acknowledge certain unequal social relations that may exist among them, but also to invoke moral stereotypes ideologically associated with their choice of linguistic forms, regardless of their social standing. This research explores the semiotic processes that link honorific speech to the local notions of moral personhood, proper conduct, and ideal social order.
Abe, Yoshiko, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Butchery and Skeletal Element Transport among the Evenki of Siberia,' supervised by Dr. Curtis W. Marean
YOSHIKO ABE, while a student at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, received funding in August 2002 to aid ethnoarchaeological research on large-mammal butchery and skeletal element transport among the Evenki of Siberia, under the supervision of Dr. Curtis W. Marean. This year-round field study of a group Evenki cold-forest hunter-gatherers was designed to test a key assumption made in zooarchaeology: that carcass use can be inferred from the placement and frequency of butchery marks. Abe aimed to develop a more comprehensive model of the relationship between butchery marks and their behavioral meaning through close observation of the butchery process, using videography and a new method of recording butchery marks using GIS. Data were collected on both butchery activity and actual marks on bones for two species-wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and musk deer (Moschus moschiferus). More than 61 successful hunts were observed, and 4 reindeer and 29 musk deer were followed through all stages of butchery and consumption. Analysis of the data was expected to provide a comparative framework from which to address questions about relationships between butchery marks and their behavioral meanings, relationships between skeletal element use and utility, and processing costs for individual skeletal elements.