Obadia, Julienne Jeanne, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Shared Intimacy: Opening the Door of the American Bedroom,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin
JULIENNE J. OBADIA, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Shared Intimacy: Opening the Door of the American Bedroom,' supervised by Dr. Miriam Ticktin. This research explores how American notions of self, relationship, and family relate to the contemporary conceptualization and practice of polyamory, or honest non-monogamy. Findings point to three significant themes. First, frustrated by the monogamous mandate to have all needs and desires met by one person, polyamorous people find that intimacy with multiple people can satisfy a much wider range of needs and desires. Commonly, this entails an emphasis on self-analysis, self-knowledge, and self-compartmentalization based on the principle that relationships work best and are most satisfying when each partner knows him/herself and what he/she wants from each relationship. Second, to organize poly life and minimize surprises, contracts and agreements often designate in advance what kinds of relationships and intimacies are acceptable. Understood as a tool for both self-knowledge and relationship transparency, contracts are always transforming, encouraging while regulating modes of self-elaboration. Last, current polyamorous practice utilizes a concept of 'sexual orientation' associated primarily with homosexuality: a set of desires that one is born with and is unaffected by upbringing, choice, or culture. Consonant with a theory of personhood based on discovering and elaborating a core self, this orientation is described as having always existed as an essential part of oneself.
Emery, Melissa A., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Ovarian Function and Dietary Composition in Wild Chimpanzees (*Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii*),' supervised by Dr. Richard A. Wrangham
MELISSA A. EMERY THOMPSON, while a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in May 2001 to aid research on diet and ovarian function in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), under the supervision of Dr. Richard A. Wrangham. Thompson analyzed reproductive endocrinology in wild female chimpanzees in three East African populations-those at Kibale National Park and Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda and at Gombe National Park in Tanzania. In addition to data on diet, aggression, and sexual behavior, fieldwork up to December 2002 yielded more than 1,900 fecal and 2,500 urine samples from more than 75 female chimpanzees as a means of studying general patterns and variation in ovarian steroid levels within and among communities. Enzyme-immunoassay procedures were validated for the measurement of estrone conjugates and pregnanediol glucuronide. These data provided important information on three research questions. First, patterns of hormonal activity were examined for important reproductive events such as pregnancy and adolescence. Second, relatively little variation in steroid activity was observed between wild populations, with consistent relationships between reproductive states at each site. Finally, significant variation emerged within populations with regard to reproductive state, female status, and ripe fruit consumption. These results indicated that chimpanzee ovarian function, while following predictable patterns over the life course, shows marked variability within and between females, indicative of sensitivity to local ecology.
Emery Thompson, Melissa, and Richard W. Wrangham. 2008. Diet and Reproductive Function in Wild Female Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) at Kibale National Park, Uganda. American Journal of Physical
Smith, Daymon M., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Language Ideologies in Mormonism, 1880-1930,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha
DAYMON M. SMITH, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ws awarded a grant in July 2005 to aid research on 'Language Ideologies in Mormonism, 1880-1930,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha. This grant funded overlapping stages of data collection and initial dissertation write-up. The dissertation was submitted and accepted in May 2007. It employs text analytics from linguistic anthropology to reconstruct a space of resistance in 1880s Utah Territory, called 'the Underground,' designed to conceal Mormon polygamists from federal intervention. It traces how emergent ideas about language, its usefulness and role in public spheres, developed among 'underground' Mormon elites. Resultant discursive and interpretive practices, alongside continuation or renunciation of polygamy, eventually aligned, splitting Mormonism into 'fundamentalist' and 'modern' groups. Each group developed historiographic methods that grounded their views of language, and claims to cultural authenticity, deep into history. The dissertation demonstrates how discourse, interlocking across newspapers, diaries, and letters, can be used to reconstruct the relationship between interactional events and large-scale culture change. Archival materials, consisting of diaries, letters, meeting minutes, emails, organizational directives, and so forth, were gathered from personal collections of Mormons affiliated with both fundamentalist and modern groups. As a result of the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation these archival resources are publicly accessible for the first time; and without its support the dissertation's interdisciplinary efforts surely would have been truncated, and its completion much delayed.
James, Paul E., U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'The Disease Ecology of Asthma in the Migrant Mixtec Population,' supervised by Dr. Magdalena Hurtado
PAUL E. JAMES, then a student at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'The Disease of Ecology of Asthma in the Migrant Mixtec Population,' supervised by Dr. Magdalena Hurtado. What was an adaptive immune response to intestinal parasites in our agrarian past may underlie the current rise in childhood asthma among urban and acculturated populations. This research addressed the relationship between intestinal parasites and childhood asthma by examining the underlying immunological mechanisms, which these diseases share, within a transnational Mixtec population living in three distinct environments. Data collection included interviews, physiological measurements and biological sampling of induced sputum and stool from 196 Mixtec children aged 4 to 15 years living in rural Oaxaca, Mexico, urban Tijuana, Mexico and periurban California, USA. Preliminary analysis suggests that not just intestinal parasites but also other childhood infectious diseases may be protective against the development of childhood asthma. This may be the result of the general stimulation of a down regulatory effect of the interleukin-10 cytokine upon Immunoglobulin E mediated allergic inflammation. This supports the idea that a lag exists between biological adaptation and rapid ecological change, in this case due to urban migration, and that this theory is useful for linking biochemical processes to global patterns of disease such as the epidemiological transition from infectious to chronic disease.
Aga, Aniket Pankaj, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Genetically Modified Politics: Transgenic Agriculture, Contested Knowledge, and Democratic Practice in India,' supervised by Dr. K. Sivaramakrishnan
ANIKET PANKAJ AGA, then a graduate student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Genetically Modified Politics: Transgenic Agriculture, Contested Knowledge, and Democratic Practice in India,' supervised by Dr. K. Sivaramakrishnan. The controversy-whether or not to allow genetically modified (GM) or transgenic food crops in India-which exploded in early 2010 is now in its fourth year without any definitive resolution. This research followed the controversy over GM food crops in order to understand the relationship between science and politics in contemporary India. Through multi-sited ethnography, interviews, and archival research, this study explored how people made sense of transgenics, how they evaluated them and how transgenics became an object of contestation across three key sites involved in the GM food debate: regulatory and policy-making offices of the federal and state-level government; a prominent NGO critical of India's policy-making and regulatory regime vis-à-vis GM crops; and the R&D centers of private sector seed companies that have invested in transgenics. The research examined how dynamic processes (such as activists making claims, bureaucratic policy-making and regulation) and private capital making investments on a technology with uncertain results, enable and transform democratic politics. At the same time, it also focused on how these processes allow certain groups to participate in the debate, while trying to keep others out.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Transnationalism and its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez Jr.
MICHELLE MORAN-TAYLOR, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in February 2001 to aid research on 'Transnationalism and Its Consequences in the Homeland: Return Migration in a Maya and Ladino Sending Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert R. Alvarez, Jr. This cross-cultural and cross-regional study questions how transnational migration, particularly return migration, affects ethnicity, class, and gender in culturally and regionally distinct sending communities. Research was conducted in a Ladino town in eastern Guatemala and in a predominantly Maya K'iche' community in the western highlands during 2000-2001. Results demonstrate that migration has become a way of life for many Guatemalans and the presence of transnational migration impacts are quite noticeable. Moreover, remittances and return migrants transform some aspects of gender and ethnicity. Initial findings illuminate, for instance, that although international migration has the potential to alter gender relations, any migration-related changes are short-lived (e.g., men return to dominant roles). While transnational migration is paramount in the lives of many Guatemalans it is not the only agent for change. Other factors operating at the local, regional, national, and global levels have also contributed in both altering and affirming gender and ethnicity in this social terrain.
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. Guatemala’s Ladino and Maya Migra Landscapes: The Tangible and Intagible Outcomes of Migration. Human Organization 67(2):111-124
Moran-Taylor, Michelle J. 2008. When Mothers and Fathers Migrate North: Caretakers, children, and Child Rearing in Guatemala. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):79-95
De Lucia, Kristin, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel
KRISTIN DE LUCIA, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel. This project investigated domestic units in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico, to understand how households articulated with local and regional economies. This research takes a microscale approach using microartifact and soil chemistry analysis of floors to examine the everyday practice of individual households during the growth of Xaltocan from a small settlement into a regional capital. Horizontal excavations were conducted to document change in the organization of activity areas, household production, and social organization as Xaltocan grew into a regional center. In addition, consumption choices were examined to better understand household participation in market exchange. Preliminary findings suggest that rather than working cooperatively, households specialized in different aspects of production, selling their products for profit on the market. By employing diversified production strategies, households were able to obtain both ordinary and luxury goods through the marketplace, contributing to Xaltocan's economic growth. At the same time, a strong emphasis on social continuity and household ritual through time highlights the importance of household reproduction and social memory. In sum, by analyzing patterns of daily interaction, including the organization of household space, production activities and ritual, a better understanding of broader patterns of change and development in ancient societies can be gained.
De Lucia, Kristin. 2010. A Child's House: Social Memory, Identity, and the Construction of Childhood in Early Postclassic Mexican Households. American Anthropologist 112(4):607-624.
Sauer, Jacob James, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'The Creation of Araucanian Anti-Colonial Identity During the Contact Period, AD 1552-1602,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Dalton Dillehay
JACOB JAMES SAUER, then a student at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, received a grant in October 2008, to aid research on 'The Creation of Araucanian Anti-Colonial Identity during the Contact Period, AD 1552-1602,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Dalton Dillehay. Unlike the majority of indigenous groups in the Americas, the Araucanians (today known as the Mapuche) of south-central Chile resisted and rejected Spanish attempts to colonize ancestral lands, managing to maintain social, political, and economic autonomy for more than 350 years. Archaeological excavations conducted at the Contact period (AD 1550-1602) site of Santa Sylvia, ethnographic research in the surrounding area of Pucón-Villarrica, and ethnohistoric investigation of primary source documents from the colonial period indicate that the Araucanians in the region used pre-existing cultural patterns, systems, and practices that allowed them to defeat the Spanish and retain control of their territory. The Spanish were unable to inhabit the site for more than five years, and Araucanian material culture (ceramics, tools, etc.) show limited influence from the Spanish. The Araucanians adopted useful goods, such as horses, wheat, and barley, but rejected Spanish religious and political influence and experienced further cultural development, including expansion across the Andes into Argentina.
Heintz, Matthew Robert, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Immediate and Delayed Benefits of Play Behavior in Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf
MATTHEW R. HEINTZ, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Immediate and Delayed Benefits of Play Behavior in Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf. Play behavior is widespread among mammals and occurs at high frequency and complexity in primates. However, the benefits of play behavior and the evolution of play in humans remain relatively unknown. Chimpanzees are an ideal species to study play because chimpanzees play at high rates and have an extended period of development. Additionally, long-term behavioral datasets and additional behavioral endocrinology data from Gombe National Park, Tanzania, enables both immediate and long-term benefits of play to be examined. The research objectives of the current study are to determine: 1) how play influences development, stress, and health (immediate benefits); and 2) how levels of play during infancy correlate with stress later in life, and with dominance rank and mating success during adulthood (delayed benefits). The grantee collected behavioral data on immature chimpanzees and also collected fecal samples for stress and health analysis. Preliminary analysis has shown that play was positively correlated with cortisol, a stress hormone. In addition, play was positively correlated with fecal cortisol on the following day. Research results suggest that play may be a form of eustress, or positive stress, in wild immature chimpanzees. Future analysis will examine long-term benefits of play behavior.
Younie, Angela Marie, Texas A&M U., College Station, TX - To aid research on 'Microblades, Bifaces, and the Chindadn Complex: Reinvestigating Healy Lake through New Discoveries at Linda's Point', supervised by Dr. Ted Goebel
ANGELA M. YOUNIE, then a graduate student at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, received funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Microblades, Bifaces, and the Chindadn Complex: Reinvestigating Healy Lake through New Discoveries at Linda's Point,' supervised by Dr. Ted Goebel. Funding assisted research in Fairbanks, Alaska, over the winter of 2012-2013 on archaeological materials housed at the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the University of Alaska's Museum of the North. The Village site was excavated in the 1960s and 1970s, while excavations are ongoing at Linda's Point; both sites are located on the shores of Healy Lake in the Tanana River Valley of central Alaska and show similarities in environmental, geological, and cultural context dating back to early human occupation in the region. The research addresses the nature of this 13,000 year sequence of occupation, human adaptations to late Pleistocene environments, and the meaning of geographic and chronological patterning in microblade and biface technologies. Specific research goals are to clarify and build upon the results of early studies at Healy Lake Village, which have been contested but also widely referenced in archaeological study. More broadly, this research contributes to an understanding of the initial migration of humans into the Americas, and of human cultural and technological responses to challenging and fluctuating environments.