Smith, Abigail Chipps, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall
ABIGAIL C. SMITH, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall. This project investigates the relationship between mobile pastoral groups and urban populations in the past, focusing on the site of Jenné-jeno and its surrounding landscape. The project draws on four months of extensive excavation at two archaeological sites, Tato à Sanouna and Thiel, near the modern town of Djenné in Mali's Inland Niger Delta. Multiple lines of evidence are used to identify past modes of life in these sites and at the well-known ancient city of Jenné-jeno between about 200 to 1500 CE, particularly the interrelationship between sedentary urbanism, subsistence specialization, and mobile pastoralism. As the first large-scale excavation of smaller, outlying sites in the area, this project increases our understanding of the extent and variability of local human settlement. Additionally, the project's focus on subsistence and specialization provides empirical data about the trajectories of West African pastoralism and agriculture. This information enables discussion of the role of pastoral populations in the Jenné-jeno urban system and impacts our understanding of Jenné-jeno's trade relationships and political organization. Given the unique trajectories of African food production when compared to other world areas, this project is an important contribution to our understanding of variability in global pastoral strategies and mobile-sedentary interactions.
Hasinoff, Erin, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall
ERIN L. HASINOFF, a student at Columbia University, New York, received funding in December 2005 to aid research on 'Material Burma: Missionary Inventories and Consensual Histories,' supervised by Dr. Laurel Kendall. The grant was used to study the Missionary Exhibit, a fragmentary collection of ethnological artifacts that was accessioned by Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural History following the close of the Ecumenical Conference on Foreign Missions of 1900. The project assessed how the Burmese portion of this unstudied collection inventoried Burma (today, Myanmar), and traced its legacy: the production of Burmese identities in contemporary cultural museums in Myitkyina, Putao, Hkamti and Layshi. By critically engaging the object biography approach, this investigation looked at how the Missionary Exhibit materialized and continues to shape inventories of Burma, now at the periphery of anthropological knowledge. This research considered how artifacts were not just expressions of a new context, but were also technologies that created the context anew. This is premised on the idea that objects came to embody information about Burma, while also acting as agents in the relationships that developed between specific Burmese missionaries and anthropologists. Research followed the contours of the Exhibit's collection history back to Burma by considering how identities are produced in cultural museums. The study contributes to our understanding of the missionary imagination and its material entanglements over time, as well as to the politics and performance of cultural identity in museums today.
Maunaguru, Sidharthan, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Brokering Marriage: War, Displacement, and the Production of Futures among Jaffna Tamils,' supervised by Professor Veena Das
SIDHARTHAN MAUNAGURU, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received a grant in November 2006 to aid research on 'Brokering Marriage: War, Displacement, and the Production of Futures among Jaffna Tamils,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. Three decades of prolonged war in Sri Lanka has devastated the social and economic landscape of Sri Lankan communities, making their lives insecure and disrupting their social relations. Under these conditions of enforced dispersion this research is designed to look at ways in which marriage has emerged as one of the most significant ways by which people are not only moved out of places of insecurity, but also by which people are brought together. Specifically, the project focuses on the role of marriage as a way of building alliances between dispersed members of Tamil communities, and the manner in which these communities secure a future from the fragments of their devastated habitus through marriage. The research has concluded that: 1) in this process, the renewed expertise the marriage broker, in consultation with priests, astrologers and official legal instruments, is a primary character in negotiating these fragments, even as states constantly work to block and prevent the movement of newly married couples across border; and 2) in this process of negotiation traditional categories of kin, family, and marriage are transformed and rearticulated to adjust both to the context of an altered landscape and to the demands of hosting states.
Buchbinder, Mara Helene, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Communication and Subjectivity among Adolescent Chronic Pain Sufferers in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ruth Ochs
MARA BUCHBINDER, then a student at University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Communication and Subjectivity among Adolescent Chronic Pain Sufferers in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs. This ethnographic and linguistic study examines how care for adolescents with chronic pain is organized across clinical and family settings. During 2008-2009, fieldwork was conducted in a university-based multidisciplinary pediatric pain program in southern California. Data include open-ended interviews with 22 families and 30 pediatric pain clinicians; observations of medical consultations in the pain clinic and of the pain team's weekly meetings; and longitudinal video-recordings of four focal families in a range of clinical and community settings. The grantee documented: 1) how families implement care and respond to adolescents' suffering in their everyday lives; 2) how the multidisciplinary clinical team instantiates collaborative care for adolescent patients; and 3) how the team socializes adolescents and their families into institutionally organized ideologies and practices concerning pain management. By combining interview and observational data, the research considers not only narrativized responses to pain, but also the ways in which such responses and their corresponding logics of care are enacted and transformed in unfolding social interactions.
Buchbinder, Mara. 2011. Personhood Diagnostics: Personal Attributes and Clnical Explanations of Pain. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 25(4):457-478.
Samet, Robert Nathan, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ROBERT N. SAMET, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako. The overarching objective of the dissertation research is to describe the social processes through which violent events are framed as journalistic narratives by focusing on the everyday practices of crime reporters in Caracas. While there is a wealth of social scientific material that refers to news coverage of crime and violence, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand the processes of cultural production from the inside out. This project set out to accomplish four specific goals: 1) examine the culture of crime reporters; 2) describe the key factors shaping the day-to-day practices of journalists who cover the crime beat; 3) explain what influences the selection and composition of images and stories of crime; and 4) show the larger context in which these images and stories circulate. Together, these strands of inquiry will provide a nuanced understanding of how journalist and journalism have helped to shape 'the politics of security' in Venezuela during the Hugo Chavez era.
Gonzalez Jose, Rolando, U. de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'Time Variation in Mesoamerica: Testing the Effects of the European Contact and Reconstructing Demographic Scenarios,' supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez
Zuckerman, Charles Henry Pearson, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Ethics of Exchange: Gambling and Interaction in Luang Prabang, Laos,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lempert
Preliminary abstract: Over the past twenty years, Luang Prabang (LPB), the once royal capital of Laos, has shifted from sleepy socialist hamlet to global tourist destination. The city's inhabitants have reacted to the influx of money and new forms of exchange with a mixture of desire and moral trepidation. My research studies how actors in LPB morally evaluate these new forms of exchange during face-to-face interaction. In 12 months of research, I will primarily investigate two forms of exchange--gambling for beer and gambling for money--as they occur in the popular game pétanque, which resembles bocce. Pétanque began to soar in popularity in LPB in the late 1990s and continues to grow as the Lao socialist state lifts many of its restrictions on gathering and gambling and embraces market capitalism, foreign investment, and tourism. Many people explicitly associate beer-gambling with the state, civil servants, and a distinctively 'Lao' and 'good' way of sharing. Conversely, they associate money-gambling with workers in the tourist sector and an increasingly common 'foreign' and 'immoral' way of consuming. I have chosen to study pétanque gambling because of its popularity, because of its morally fraught status, and because debates concerning the morality of the two forms of gambling appear to crystalize debates concerning new ways of making and spending money in LPB more generally. I am studying these exchanges with methods for studying face-to-face interaction because I predict that an attention to ordinary interaction will reveal the multiple modalities and methods through which exchanges become moral practices in the first place. More broadly, I anticipate that such an approach will shed light on the ethical domain itself.
Liebmann, Matthew J., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid 'The Guadalupe Mesa Archaeological Project: An Archaeological Examination of Pueblo Revitalization, 1680- 1696,' supervised by Dr. Robert W. Preucel
MATTHEW J. LIEBMANN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in June 2003 to aid archaeological research on seventeenth-century Pueblo revitalization at ancestral Jemez sites in north-central New Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Preucel. The research was carried out in collaboration with the Pueblo of Jemez Department of Resource Protection and consisted of a noninvasive study of two ancestral Jemez villages of the Pueblo Revolt era (1680-96 c.e.). Ceramic and architectural data were collected in order to evaluate the material manifestations of Pueblo revivalism (the introduction of cultural practices thought to have been characteristic of previous generations but not recently present in a society), nativism (the elimination of foreign influences from a culture), and changes in leadership that followed the revolt of 1680. Analysis of the ceramic assemblages from these sites indicated that Jemez potters did not return to the production of earlier ceramic types but instead created new styles of pottery during this turbulent time. Architectural data showed evidence for nativism and revivalism as well as strong, centralized, community-wide leadership in the early years following the revolt. The architecture of the later revolt era, however, suggested a deterioration of centralized leadership and the dissipation of the revitalization movement by 1694.
Liebmann, Matthew. 2008. The Innovative Materiality of Revitalization Movements: Lessons from the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. American Anthropologist 110(3):360-372
Beck, Raymond Kelly, U. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT - To aid research on 'The Molecular Genetics of Prehistoric Marine Mammal Hunting on San Miguel Island, California,' supervised by Dr. Jack M. Broughton
RAYMOND K. BECK, then a student at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, received funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'The Molecular Genetics of Prehistoric Marine Mammal Hunting on San Miguel Island, California,' supervised by Dr. Jack M. Broughton. Zooarchaeologists interested in the complex relationships between prehistoric hunters and their prey routinely work to develop population histories of exploited taxa. Commonly, such histories are inferred from indexes that describe the relative abundances of different animals present in an assemblage based on bone counts. Relative abundance indexes, however, are sensitive to a number of archaeologically common problems and are indirect proxies for prey population histories. Fortunately, animals maintain a molecular record of their histories. Ancient DNA methods, coupled with theoretical insight from population genetics, provide access to this record and offer a more direct measure of prehistoric prey population history. This project used the genetic record of Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendi) from Middle and Late Holocene assemblages recovered during excavation at four archaeological sites on California's San Miguel Island to confront a longstanding debate in California archaeology about the effect of prehistoric hunting of these animals. Preliminary analysis of eighteen provisional DNA sequences obtained from these faunal assemblages suggest that marine mammal populations were initially small during the Middle Holocene, growing in size and importance to subsistence hunters around 1500 years ago, and thereafter suffering significant hunting pressure and declining in size through the Late Holocene to historic contact.
Raspberry, Kelly A., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Assisted Reproduction Practices in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
KELLY A. RASPBERRY, while a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in July 2002 to aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Assisted Reproduction Practices in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. The focus of this research was to examine the roles of local circumstances and histories in the production of and public demand for knowledge and practices of assisted reproduction technologies in Argentina. By exploring how reproductive technologies are transformed according to local conditions of practice, this research addressed the common assumption that global 'technology transfer' is a culturally neutral process. Fieldwork for this project involved 15 months of ethnographic interviews and archival research, primarily conducted in Buenos Aires from November 2002 until January 2004. These ethnographic methods have provided data on, (a) current understandings of infertility and reproductive technologies in relation to constructions of family, the moral status of an embryo, and the global commerce of medicine; (b) the social, economic and political factors involved in the production and reception of assisted reproduction services in Argentina. Preliminary findings indicate that local conditions of the practice of assisted reproduction in Argentina - such as claims for modernity and legitim