Nugent, Selin Elizabeth, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid research on 'Mobile Pastoralism and Power in Early Urban Centers of the Serur Valley, Azerbaijan (1500-800BC),' supervised by Dr. Clark S. Larsen
Preliminary abstract: This project combines stable and radiogenic isotopic analysis with the examination of mortuary space to explore how mobile pastoralists negotiated authority during Late Bronze/Early Iron Age (1500-800BC) in the earliest urban settlements of the Serur valley in Azerbaijan. Urban development is traditionally predicated on sedentism and agricultural production. Unlike traditional models, the South Caucasus offers a context in which emerging complex polities depended primarily on mobile pastoralist populations (Lindsay and Greene 2013). The proposed project will investigate mobile pastoralist roles in polities and their demonstrated authority over the construction and elaboration of mortuary space. This project will study a sample of 50 skeletal individuals and their mortuary contexts in Serur valley urban sites to test two hypotheses: (1) LBA/EIA populations engaged in mobile pastoralism through seasonal and recurrent mobility and (2) mobile pastoralists maintained control of resources in mortuary space through coercive and/or cooperative negotiations with emerging political institutions. Combined strontium and oxygen isotopic analysis on dental enamel sequentially sampled from each individual will be used to identify frequency and distance of mobility. Identification of pastoralist mobility patterns in turn aids in investigating the control more mobile people had over economic, political, and sacred resources for construction of mortuary space as reflected in style, location, and elaboration of burials. Understanding how mobile pastoralists interacted with administrative systems to negotiate space and power is an essential component of unraveling the processes of the development of complex sociopolitical structures.
Edwards, Terra, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Language, Embodiment, and Sociality in a Tactile Life-world: Communication Practices in Everyday Life among Deaf-Blind People in Seattle, Washington,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks
TERRA EDWARDS, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Language, Embodiment, and Sociality in a Tactile Life-World: Communication Practices in Everyday Life among Deaf-Blind People in Seattle, Washington,' supervised by Dr. William F. Hanks. This project investigates language and communication practices in a community in Seattle, Washington, whose members are born deaf and, due to a genetic condition, lose their vision slowly. Most members grew up using visual American Sign Language (ASL). Upon moving to Seattle, they transition to a tactile mode of reception of ASL. Until recently, this transition was treated as a compensatory strategy. Thus, a single interaction often occurred in two different modalities: a sighted or partially sighted person would use visual reception, while their blind interlocutor used tactile reception. Despite this variation, it remained normative to organize access to the immediate environment along visual lines. Therefore, the more a person moved away from visual practices and orientations, the more reliant on interpreters they became. Then, in 2007, a 'pro-tactile' social movement took hold, calling for the cultivation of tactile dispositions regardless of sensory capacity. Once everyone-blind, sighted, and partially sighted- 'went tactile,' relations between linguistic forms and the social and physical environment were reconfigured and new grammatical sub-systems began to emerge. Ongoing research aims to understand how linguistic forms derived from visual ASL are calibrated to the contours of this emergent tactile world, yielding an emergent, tactile language.
Singer, Elyse Ona,Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Legalizing Sin: Abortion among Catholic Women in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca Lester
Preliminary abstract: Despite the secular foundations of the modern Mexican state, the Church historically has wielded tremendous power over public life and political processes. Recently, however, gradual democratization of the political system, rising secularization, and pederasty scandals, have dampened the Church's political and popular authority and fundamentally altered its role in Mexican society (Amuchástegui et al. 2010; Amuchástegui and Flores 2013). In this climate, reproduction and sexuality have emerged as a key arena for long-standing conflicts between Church and state (Medina-Arellano 2012; Amuchástegui et. al 2013). Women's bodies in particular have been transformed into a political battleground for powerful actors and institutions, or 'discourse publics', interested in advancing contrasting moral visions for the future of Mexico (Fraser 1989: 297). These tensions crystalized with the watershed legalization of abortion in the nation's capital in 2007, legislation that is emblematic of broader transformations in 'reproductive governance' sweeping Latin America (Morgan and Roberts 2012). As these regional changes take acute shape in Mexico, I examine their lived implications for a population of social actors caught at the nexus of shifting moral and legal regimes of reproduction, an elision in current scholarship on this concept. Specifically, I explore how young Catholic women in Mexico City navigate sharply competing understandings about their bodies, their rights, and their morality when deciding on the course of an untenable pregnancy.
Ingebretson, Britta Elisabeth, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Media, Circulation and the State: A Study of Women's Reading Practices in a Chinese Village,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar
BRITTA E. INGEBRETSON, then a graduate student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Media, Circulation and the State: A Study of Women's Reading Practices in a Chinese Village,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar. The grantee has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on women's leisure and media consumption habits in Tunxi, located in southern Anhui Province, China. The project explores how women in a rural city seek to constitute themselves as modern, 'cultured' (you wenhua de) subjects in China's rapidly urbanizing countryside, and how these women navigate through and interact with state efforts to produce 'quality' (you suzhi de) subjects. Through fieldwork at various sites including a rural school, a yoga studio, and a newsstand, this research shows how rather than reject concepts of 'quality' or 'culturedness' as promoted through state campaigns such as the 'superior birth, superior (child) rearing' (yousheng youyu) campaign, women seek to inhabit and quite literally embody them through various projects of self-improvement. These concepts of 'quality' and 'culturedness' are defined through a constellation of diverse and seemingly disconnected practices and qualities that index a forward-thinking, modern, and upwardly mobile mother independent from traditional family networks and local hierarchies, as well as distinct from the imagined 'backwards' (luohou) rural subject.
Abdelrahman, Nisrin Elamin, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Life, Law and Belonging: Contested Land and the Politics of Claim-making in Central Sudan,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
Preliminary abstract: The new, yet old, phenomenon of 'land grabbing' is often characterized in media and NGO reports as an unstoppable tidal wave that has hit the African continent. Informed by anthropological approaches, this project seeks to understand and examine 'foreign land grabs' as a multi-directional set of historically contingent interactions, practices and contestations shaped by heterogeneous interests and relationships. My investigation is situated in the agricultural Gezira region of central Sudan, where government elites recently devised a plan to revive the nation's post-secession economy, by attracting foreign investments in agriculture from within the Muslim world. Prompted in turn by the 2008 food and financial crises, foreign agribusiness companies have since leased large tracts of land, previously farmed or owned by Gezira residents, for large-scale food production. This project explores how these foreign land acquisitions are reshaping social relations between various stakeholders with competing claims to Sudanese land. Specifically, I seek to understand social transformations put in motion when different forms of religious and political authority, understandings of Islam and notions of belonging are invoked and mobilized to lay claim to land. I approach this inquiry by focusing on the role prominent Sufi Muslim leaders (shaykhs) are playing in mediating and shaping local efforts to reclaim lands leased to foreign investors.
Monroe, Cara Rachelle, U. of Californa, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Ancient Human DNA Analysis from CA-SCL-38 Burials: Correlating Biological Relationships, Mortuary Behavior, and Social Inequality,' supervised by Dr. Michael Jochim
CARA R. MONROE, then a graduate student at University of California, Santa Barabara, California, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Ancient Human DNA Analysis from CA-SCL-38 Burials: Correlating Biological Relationships, Mortuary Behavior, and Social Inequality,' supervised by Dr. Michael Jochim. The Late Period (900 BP-250 BP) in the San Francisco Bay area witnessed shifts in settlement patterns that included mortuary treatment distinct from earlier periods. This change in mortuary pattern is interpreted either as a reduction in social inequality, a shift toward corporate group identity based on kinship, or an emergence of a lesser number of differentiated elites with control over high status resources. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data was collected from 204 individuals from SCL-38 (Yukisma) cemetery to test for a relationship between direct maternal kinship, grave goods, and mortuary wealth, and thus, inferred social inequality. These data were additionally used at the inter-site level to explore the hypothesized spread of Penutian populations. Results indicate that maternal relatedness is not correlated to the spatial distribution of burials. Additionally, no associations are noted between particular mtDNA haplotypes and burials with high grave wealth. Across the landscape, mtDNA lineages are identified that correspond with the hypothesized influx of Proto-Utian (Penutian) speakers into the San Francisco Bay area approximately 2500-3000 years ago. Additonal haplotypes are also identified that are probably older than 7000 BP in the region, most likely representing maternal lineages orignally belonging to ancestral Hokan speakers.
Daspit, Lesley L., Purdue U., West Lafayatte, IN - To aid research on ' Market Women in Central Africa: Transnational Interface of Wildlife Commerce & Conservation,' supervised by Dr. Melissa J. Remis
LESLEY L. DASPIT, then a student at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Market Women in Central Africa: Transnational Interface of Wildlife Commerce and Conservation,' supervised by Dr. Melissa J. Remis. This dissertation project examines the roles of women in the commerce and conservation of wildlife in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve (RDS), Central African Republic (CAR). Commercialized hunting and trade of wildlife is seen as the largest threat to wildlife in this region. To date, the majority of research and policy has centered on men as hunters, while undervaluing women as stakeholders. Within the RDS, wildlife is an increasing component of livelihoods, despite conservation efforts targeted at reducing dependence upon it. The current research focuses on a group of market women at the center of this trade. It combines gender analysis and ethnography to understand shifting human-wildlife relations within a fluctuating economy. It also explores the relationships between market women's activities and broader conservation and development policies through interview and archival research at key environmental NGOs in Washington, DC and CAR. Findings from this research demonstrate how women's roles in a wildlife economy intersect with movements of people, economic opportunities, and environmental ideologies. Further, these findings suggest that women are spatially and ideologically removed within the commerce and conservation of wildlife and shed light on how this impacts women's abilities to effectively contribute to sustainable development within the region.
Sandberg, Paul Adams, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'High Resolution Reconstruction of Early Life History Events in Archaeological Humans: A Biogeochemical Approach,' supervised by Dr. Matt Sponheimer
PAUL A. SANDBERG, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'High Resolution Reconstruction of Early Life History Events in Archaeological Humans: A Biogeochemical Approach,' supervised by Dr. Matt Sponheimer. There has been increasing interest in reconstructing aspects of human life history in the past using stable isotope analysis of bones and teeth. This has most commonly been accomplished by measuring stable isotope ratios in the bone collagen of individuals at various ages of death, or by comparing the stable isotopes in the enamel of teeth that form at different times. While useful, the temporal resolution of these methods is rather coarse grained. A relatively new method of measuring stable isotopes in tooth enamel -- laser ablation / gas chromatography / isotope ratio mass spectrometry -- permits the analysis of very small amounts of enamel in situ and creates the opportunity to generate high-resolution stable isotope profiles within single human teeth. The goal of this project is to use this method to greatly improve the temporal resolution of infant and childhood diet, and dietary changes associated with the weaning process and seasonality. A variety of methodological issues were addressed including sampling location within dental enamel and the comparability of isotope profiles in different tooth types and dental tissues. High resolution intratooth stable isotope analysis holds promise for addressing a number of questions concerning human life history in the archaeological and fossil records.
Hayrapetyan, Armine, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan, Armenia - To aid research on 'Economy of the end of Kura-Araxes culture and the Problem of its Transformation,' supervised by Dr. Ruben S. Badalyan
ARMINE HAYRAPETYAN, while a student at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan, Armenia, received funding in June 2002 to aid archaeological research on the early Bronze Age (EBA) Kura-Araxes culture, under the supervision of Dr. Ruben S. Badalyan. Hayrapetyan conducted excavations at an EBA settlement on the hill of Gegharot in the Tsakahovit Plain of north-central Armenia. The research was focused on revealing aspects of economic life during the final (III) phase of the Kura-Araxes culture in the late third millennium B.C.E. Excavations were conducted over an area of 362 square meters and proved the existence of an EBA settlement occupying the top and western slope of the hill. A cemetery contemporaneous with the settlement was also located on the western foothills-the first time a cemetery had been recorded in such a relationship to a settlement. The multidisciplinary investigations enabled the determination of characteristics of the paleoenvironment, the sources of raw materials (obsidian, clay, metal) used by the settlement's inhabitants, the main forms of the economy (on the basis of paleozoological materials), and the site's chronology (through radiocarbon dating). The completion of laboratory analysis was to enable Hayrapetyan to represent the settlement as a model of economic life in the area from the twenty-sixth through roughly the twenty-second century B.C.E.
Yang, Xiaoliu, Sun Yat-Sen U., Guangzhou, China - To aid research on 'Making Participatory Poverty Reduction Chinese,' supervised by Dr. Daming Zhou
XIALIU YANG, then a student at Sun Yet-sen University, Guangzhou, China, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Making Participatory Development Chinese,' supervised by Prof. Daming Zhou. The fieldwork was conducted in Meigu county, an impoverished, Nuosu ethnic region in Sichuan Province, Southwest China. The grantee did fieldwork from February to December 2006 to study how the Western 'participation' in China's rural poverty reduction is made Chinese. Research focused on three Western projects in a Nuosu village -- from the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, and Germany's Misereor Foundation -- to observe how 'participation' is made Chinese at different stages of the project cycle. Support enabled a multi-level investigation to collect information identifying key stakeholders involved in the delivery of Western participatory aid, including state and local government, international aid organizations, Chinese scholars, and indigenous people.