Stubbs, Matilda, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Documenting Lives: The Material and Social Life of the Case File in the U.S. Foster Care System,' supervised by Dr. Helen Schwartzman
Preliminary abstract: This investigation focuses on the procedures of consent (Jacob 2007), compliance (Brodwin 2010), assessment, and auditing culture (Hetherington 2011; Strathern 2000) of the foster care 'system' in the United States. In this context, case files are the legal tool of administration - objects that create and facilitate relations between people and social resources. Here, documents are the materialization of bureaucratic labor and the objectification of case management. This kind of file contains personal data that describe and represent individual users (who become 'cases') in ways that render them lawfully identified, which qualify and in some circumstances require, specific social services and interventions. In addition, these documents also record the actions and movement of officials and reimbursable services, thus simultaneously also serving as institutional histories of staff meetings, administrative decision making, the guardian consent process, and of interactions with foster youth clientele. It is this dynamic interaction between participants, objects, and resources that my project aims to explore at the intersection of case management and paperwork. How do case files mediate relationships and social services between people and institutions, thereby reshaping the subjects of documentation as well as reinforcing, recreating, and formalizing aspects of the bureaucracy itself?
Bonilla, Yarimar, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Labor Struggles and the Search for a Local Politics on the Island of Guadeloupe,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
YARIMAR BONILLA, while a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on the role of labor struggles in the political landscape of Guadeloupe, under the supervision of Jean Comaroff. The research explored labor movements as sites of social struggle wherein the form, content, and meaning of Guadeloupe's postcolonial relationship to France become negotiated and redefined. It sought to look at how French traditions of syndicalism are transformed in the postcolonial space of the outre-mer and how labor movements are emerging as the inheritors of failed anti-colonial and nationalist struggles. Using participant observation, targeted interviews and archival research, Bonilla conducted research among labor activists, local bosses, government officials, and members of the local media in order to interrogate the privileged role of labor unions in the Guadeloupean public sphere. The research focused on how the regulation of labor, and the struggle for the application of French labor laws, becomes an important site where the contradictions and tensions of the French postcolonial project become materially evident. Bonilla investigated the ritualistic and performative aspects of labor strikes and negotiations, as well as the tactical strategies that inform these practices, such as the manipulation of fear, violence, myth, rumor, and memory. The project also explored how the violence of the past informs present-day contestations of the symbols of social order and legal authority, in order to understand how and why in Guadeloupe a labor demonstration can become a civil riot.
Paredes, Oona, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Converting Conflict: Religion and Raiding in Northeast Mindanao in the Early Colonial Period (1596-1811),' supervised by Dr. James F. Eder
OONA T. PAREDES, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in May 2004 to aid research on the impact of missionization on indigenous social organization in the southern Philippines during the early Spanish colonial period, supervised by Dr. James F. Eder. From July 2004 to April 2005, Paredes studied primary sources archived in manuscript, microfilm, and digitized formats, and housed in five different collections in the United States and Spain. The object of this ethnohistorical study was to understand how religious conversion in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, and the missionary presence in general, may have produced major changes in local warfare, settlement patterns, political interaction, and demography - and as a consequence significant transformations in ethnic identity - among non-Muslim peoples in northeast Mindanao. Data was collected from a wide range of original mission and colonial administration documents in Spanish, including: two centuries worth of notarized papers establishing the encomienda (land grant or trust) infrastructure of northeast Mindanao; petitions from local leaders (datu) negotiating vassalage with the King of Spain in exchange for military assistance; and reports of the ongoing conflicts with neighboring indigenous Muslims. Because they are routinely portrayed and treated as people who exist outside of the Philippine colonial experience - viz., meaningless to the nation's modern cultural milieu except as precolonial icons - a related aim of this study was to recognize the proper historical and cultural provenience of Mindanao's indigenous non-Muslim peoples, whose descendants now use the Cebuano term Lumad ('born from the earth') for self-reference.
De Cesari, Chiara, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian R. Hodder
CHIARA DE CESARI, while a student at Stanford University, California, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage Between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian Hodder. This research focuses on the relationship between patrimonialization processes and the new forms of governmentality that have emerged during the past decade in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - a political (dis)order characterized by the coexistence of novel forms of Israeli colonial rule, a quasi-state, the Palestinian Authority, as well as the significant presence of international and donor agencies. Taking as starting point the activism of Palestinian civil society organizations, and the relevance of material remains of the past as sites of high discursive density, the research explored heritage discourses and practices, the conditions of their emergence, and the effects of heritage projects on affected local communities. During tenure of the Wenner-Gren grant, the researcher carried out ethnographic fieldwork chiefly within UNESCO and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, a Palestinian semi-governmental organization responsible for a major urban rehabilitation project in the old city of Hebron, as well as in the old city itself. Fieldwork indicates the proliferation of different cultures of memory/heritage in the lacerated space of Palestine, rooted in a desire for continuity and roots against dispossession and displacement. While global languages of heritage are appropriated by local actors in the making of a relived Palestinian past, the politics of donors' aid tend to direct flows of monies to restricted, accessible areas, thus reinforcing the current process of bantustanization of the Occupied Territories.
De Cesari, Chiara. 2010. Creative Heritage: Palestinian Heritage NGOs and Defiant Arts of Government. American Anthropologist 112(4):625-637
Kudlu, Chithprabha, Washington U., University City, MO - To aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Davis Stone
CHITHPRABHA KUDLU, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Stone. The study investigates current developments in commodification of Ayurvedic medicine in Kerala, India, and their effects on knowledge and livelihood of actors in the commodity chain for Ayurvedic herbs. Fieldwork has allowed identification of key nodes in the commodity chain and has revealed changes ranging from the routine to the transformative. On one hand, increased commodification has caused predictable shifts in the nature of knowledge contributions and livelihood outcomes for actors at the manufacturing, consuming, and practitioner nodes. On the other, developments associated with globalization, health tourism, and changing demands of domestic consumers have contributed to a dynamic new climate of commodification. The entry of non-traditional stakeholders is causing new paths and diversion for Ayurvedic commodities, sometimes threatening commodity boundaries and causing conflict between the old and new value systems. The industry's interest in globalizing Ayurveda has also brought in pressures of regulation and standardization that sometimes conflict with traditional practices. Although the dynamisms do not extend to the upstream supply, chain which continues to depend on a gathering economy, fledgling developments in farming and industrial cluster projects portend future potentials and constraints. The study examines the responses of various respondents in this context with special attention to changes in the roles and contributions of nodal actors; changes in power relationships between different stakeholders; changes in consumption patterns; and changes in the medicine commodity itself.
Seselj, Maja, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Fossil Homo', supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Anton
MAJA SESELJ, then a student at New York University, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Homo,' supervised by Dr. Susan Antón. Modern humans differ from our closest living relatives, the African apes, in having a particularly long period of growth and development, both dental and skeletal. Although many studies focused either on dental or skeletal development in fossil hominins, a key to a better understanding of the evolution of the modern human pattern of growth and development is evaluating both developmental systems simultaneously. This study aims to elucidate the relationship between dental and skeletal growth and chronological age in modern humans and Pleistocene hominins, and to explore the variability in dental and skeletal ontogeny in a large and diverse recent modern human sample from North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The results suggest that dental and skeletal growth and development are not conditionally independent given age, but the conditional relationship is relatively weak; thus one developmental system may not be a reliable proxy for the other. The ontogenetic patterns in Neanderthals and early H. sapiens appear to be generally comparable to recent modern humans.
Seselj, Maya. 2013. Relationship between Dental Development and Skeletal Growth in Modern Humans and Its Implications for Interpreting Ontogeny in Fossil Hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1):38-47.
Baca Marroquin, Ancira Emily, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Provincial Economy in Chinchaysuyo: Imperial and Local Ceramic Distribution and Consumption, Asia Valley, Central-Coast, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Partick Williams
Preliminary abstract: My project investigates the multidirectional core-periphery interplay with focus on theories of expanding empires and provincial economy. More specifically, I will examine the differing economic participation that intermediate elites and commoners of a non-state coastal society engaged with The Inca empire (A.D. 1400-1532), the largest ancient economic system ever recorded in the Americas. To examine economic participation, I focus on imperial and local ceramic distribution and consumption patterns of intermediate elites and commoners at the site of Quellca, Asia Valley, Peru. The questions that guide my research can be summarized as follows: To what extend intermediate elites and commoners in the Asia Valley consume imported imperial, provincial, and regional ceramics, or did they exclusively consume local wares? Are there qualitative/quantitative differences in the ceramic distribution and consumption patterns between these social groups? To what extent and in what ways did intermediate elites and commoners participate to imperial economic policies? Working under the assumption that provincial economies reflect arrangements between empires and provincial societies, my investigation into the differing distribution and consumption patterns of imperial goods between intermediate elites and commoners offers opportunities to expand developing theories of imperial expansion and provincial economy in modern and ancient settings.
Mykytyn, Courtney E., U. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Executing Aging: An Ethnography of Anti-Aging Medicine,' supervised by Dr. Cheryl Mattingly
COURTNEY E. MYKYTYN, while a student at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'Executing Aging: An Ethnography of Anti-Aging Medicine,' supervised by Dr. Cheryl Mattingly. The project examines the growth and development of the anti-aging medicine movement in the United States. Focusing on questions of the movement's rationale and consequences, this study attends to the reframing of aging in light of new biotechnological advances and shifts in scientific objectives that speak to goals of optimization of health and bodily experience. Studying anti-aging medicine has involved ethnographic interviews with medical practitioners of anti-aging, scientists of aging, activists, and opponents. Another integral facet of this research entailed observations in anti-aging clinics and attendance at conferences hosted by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and the Gerontological Society of America and locally sponsored seminars and focus groups. The project involved studying the scores of publications - both popular and scientific - and analyzing websites and list-serves devoted to anti-aging medicine. As the President's
Council on Bioethics involved itself with this topic, this research paid particular attention to the ways in which aging and anti-aging medicines were framed in federal discourse. Additionally, a professional genealogy database was designed to track individuals, publications, companies, conferences, websites, organizations and clinics and their interrelations. Analyzing how these varying 'actors' in the anti-aging medicine movement are connected, this genealogy refines traditional anthropological kinship work to apply it to complex socio-scientific movements. Shaping the way life and humanity are understood and experienced, an anti-aging medicine challenges the framework of nature and scientific objectives and 'Executing Aging ' has explored the nuances and contours of this movement at a particularly controversial and foundational moment.
Mykytyn, Courtney Everts. 2005. Anti-Aging Medicine: A Patient/Practitioner Movement to Redefine Aging. Social
Science & Medicine 62:643-653.
Mykytyn, Courtney Everts. 2006. Anti-Aging Medicine: Predictions, Moral Obligations, and Biomedical
Intervention. Anthropological Quarterly 79(11): 5-31.
Mykytyn, Courtney Everts. 2006. Contentious Terminology and Complicated Cartography of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Chatterjee, Moyukh, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Legacies of Collective Violence: Survivors, NGOs, and the State in Gujarat, India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Knauft
MOYUKH CHATTERJEE, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Legacies of Collective Violence: Survivors, NGOs, and the State in Gujarat, India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Knauft. This project examines how mass violence unfolds across legal institutions of state redress and its implications for survivors and human-rights NGOs struggling for justice in India. Despite numerous official commissions of inquiry, human-rights activism, and civil society efforts, mass violence against minorities -- supported by state officials and militant rightwing organizations -- goes largely unpunished in India. By examining the production, circulation, and interpretation of police and legal documents within different state institutions, and victim and NGO efforts to challenge state impunity, this project examines state writing practices and its effects on legal accountability. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in lower courts, legal-aid NGOs, and survivors/complainants of the anti-Muslim violence in 2002, this project outlines how law courts obfuscate individual culpability, invalidate victims' testimony, and render sexual and gendered violence against minorities invisible. The study examines the role of legal and police documents in enabling the state apparatus to regulate what can be officially seen and said about public acts of mass violence involving ruling politicians and state officials, and its implications for survivors, human-rights activists, and NGOs fighting for legal justice.
Juarez, Santiago, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Perspective from the Periphery: Investigations of the Rural Maya Community of Noh K'uh,' supervised by Dr. Cynthia Robin
SANTIAGO JUAREZ, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'A Perspective from the Periphery: Investigations of the Rural Maya Community of Noh K'uh,' supervised by Dr. Cynthia Robin. This research investigates how ancient Maya commoners contributed to the rise of urbanism during the Preclassic Period (2500 BC - AD 200) in the newly discovered site of Noh K'uh in Chiapas, Mexico. The majority of urban development models position the actions of elites and hegemonic authority as the main catalysts of social change and community growth, while the actions of commoners are largely ignored or minimized as a response to elite authority. This project argues that the combined actions of hundreds of non-elite individuals also served as an important mechanism for early Maya urbanization. The resulting dissertation will posit that the Preclassic Maya utilized a corporate model of leadership, in which all members of Noh K'uh's society worked cooperatively towards common goals in economic and political growth. Research at Noh K'uh revealed that commoners of Noh K'uh had regular access to foreign goods, constructed elaborate household compounds, and were concerned with maintaining communal bonds in everyday practices; all of which contributed to the establishment of an early urban society.