O'Reilly, Jessica, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Policy and Practice in Antarctic Specially Managed Areas,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
JESSICA O'REILLY, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in October 2005 to aid research on 'Policy and Practice in Antarctic Specially Managed Areas,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles. What are the practices -- discursive or otherwise -- through which scientists and other Antarctic community members succeed at making Antarctica a model of environmentalism as well as a place of 'peace and science'? Research activities involved twelve months of fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand, working with an Antarctic scientific research expedition, observing conferences, meetings, and workshops, and conducting ethnographic interviews. This project is based upon an analysis of the relationships between scientists and policy makers at the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA). However, the people involved in the Dry Valleys ASMA are also intensely involved in other emerging Antarctic environmental issues. Therefore, this project examines articulations of policy and practice not only in ASMA management plans and implementation, but also in the histories of Antarctic environmental practices, competing strategies about non-native species in the Antarctic, and the ways in which Antarctic experts engage with non-experts over the science and politics of climate change. The resulting dissertation will analyze the ways in which Antarctic science and policy complicate each other and the ways in which scientists, policy makers, Antarctic lifeforms and object, data, and paperwork are arranged to influence environmental management on the continent.
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, Benjamin K., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Language and the Development of Self in Aymara Middle Childhood,' supervised by Dr. John Lucy
BENJAMIN K. SMITH, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Language and the Development of Selfhood in Aymara Middle Childhood,' supervised by Dr. John Lucy. The dissertation project is a study of how the Aymara-speaking (Peru) child's acquisition of those language resources that have systematic implications for a speaker's 'creditability' help a child to leverage those locally salient authority relations that enable more effective modes of instrumental selfhood. The linguistic focus of the project -- 'creditability' -- is on those forms that, in certain referential contexts, have systematic implications for the status of the speaker as an agent (e.g., whether she takes responsibility for the action). The ethnographic focus of the project -- 'authority relations' -- is on those role-relationships in which the child's responsibility for some social actor (in particular, younger siblings, and the child herself) licenses her to 'control' that actor's behavior. The psychological focus of the project -- instrumental selfhood -- is on the sense in which the successful inhabitance of an 'authority relation' enables new, higher possibilities for socially coordinated task execution. Preliminary evidence suggests that the acquisition (from 6.5-7.5 years of age) of the language forms in question (as measured through linguistic experiments) does help the child to leverage authority relations as a more effective means of task execution (as measured through performance in games and through informal ethnographic observation).
Smith, Benjamin. 2012. Language and the Frontiers of the Human: Aymara Animal-Oriented Interjections and the Mediation of Mind. American Ethnologist 39(2):313-324.
Jae, Gina, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Translating Experiments to Experience: Producing Transplant Practices for Sickle Cell Disease in the US and France,' supervised by Dr. Lesley Sharp
GINA JAE, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Translating Experiments to Experience: Producing Transplant Practices for Sickle Cell Disease in the US and France,' supervised by Dr. Lesley Sharp. This study examines how healthcare centers are making a risky, expensive, and potentially curative procedure available to children affected by sickle cell disease, a disabling genetic disorder common to minority and immigrant populations in the United States and France. This multi-sited study employs regional and transnational comparative ethnography to elucidate how clinical practices are being produced across four hospital-based centers that provide specialized medical care for children with sickle cell disease in New York and Paris. Sickle cell disease provides a unique lens to compare how divergent standards of care are emerging through the co-production of technological innovation, clinical knowledge, medical authority, ethnicized discourses, and state-level health policies for a disease whose knowledge production has uniquely intertwined with racial, ethnic, and class-based politics and history. Implications of this work include relocating secular scientific priorities toward innovation as not merely the embodiment of positivist objectives to improve health outcomes, but also the means for practitioners to advance professional interests and perform medical authority and expertise. Using the extended case method, this research seeks to refine ongoing theories of biosociality in contemporary risk-based societies and fundamental cause theory in health inequalities.
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.
Moore, Katrina L., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Exploring the Relationship Between Aging and Sexuality in Contemporary Japan,' supervised by Dr. Theodore C. Bestor
KATRINA L. MOORE, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in June 2004 to aid research on 'Exploring the Relationship between Aging and Sexuality in Contemporary Japan,' supervised by Dr. Theodore C. Bestor. Studies of postwar Japanese society have depicted the white-collar male worker or salary man as a soldier brimming with dedication to his company or, alternatively, maligned him for having no identity apart from work. What happens to the salary man when he retires? Terms that refer to the retired male such as 'wet fallen leaves clinging to his wife' (nureoclliba) or 'bagworm' (minomushi) suggest considerable pathos. While uttered in jest, they point to social anxiety about the impact of retirement on men and members of their households. The research undertaken under this grant provides an etbnograpbic portrait of retirement and focuses in particular on men who have thrown themselves into the pursuit of lifelong learning after their departure from the workplace. It examines men's motivations for entering these centers and analyzes the impact of these learning activities on their relationships with their wives.
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.
Sarie', Issa J., Hebrew U., Jerusalem, Israel - To aid research on 'Patterns of Paleodiet and Bio-Cultural Practices of Neolithic Ain Ghazal Inhabitants in Jordan,' supervised by Dr. Patricia Smith
ISSA J. SARIE, while a student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, was awarded a grant in May 2001 to aid reseach on patterns of paleodiet and biocultural practices at the Neolithic village of Ain Ghazal, Jordan, under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Smith. Chemical analyses of dental calculus, attrition, microwear, radiology, and periodontal diseases were carried out on 994 teeth from 146 individuals from Ain Ghazal in order to study the effects of changes in subsistence patterns on biophysical activities and health. Evidence from the dental analyses showed that the population practiced a mixed mode of subsistence, including agriculture, which predominated, game hunting, and gathering of wild fruits and seeds. Dental attrition and microwear, in association with periodontal disease, suggested heavy mastication of an abrasive diet of fruits and seeds, both gathered and cultivated. The enormous prevelance of dental enamel hypoplasia, associated with infectious and noninfectious diseases such as tuberculosis, porotic hyperostosis, and cribra orbitalia and with high child mortality rates, reflected environmental and nutritional stresses that led to a gradual deterioration in the health of the Ain Ghazal population. Through such results, the study promised to yield insights into the relationship between humans and their environment at Ain Ghazal and contribute to explanations of the abandonment of Neolithic sites in the Levant after the late PPNB.
Hein, Emily Carter, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Out of the Archive: Coptic Language Ideologies in Berlin, Germany,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
EMILY JANE HEIN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Out of the Archive: Coptic Language Ideologies in Berlin, Germany,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. This project examined the role of the sacred language of Coptic in creating an imagined community for Copts in Berlin, Germany. It explored ideas about Coptic and its relationship to social phenomena (known as language ideologies) as they emerge in textual practices between the Coptic Orthodox Christian community and the academic Coptology community in Germany. Using the techniques of participant observation, interviews, and recording spontaneous conversation, the grantee focused on the three sites where these communities are becoming interconnected: the church, the university, and the monastery. Research findings indicate that it is the act of speaking in structured ways -- independent of particular codes such as Coptic -- that is a defining element of imagined community for Copts in the diaspora. This focus on the pragmatics of language may undermine projects of Coptic language maintenance or revival, but facilitates the creation of the Christian ecumene as a larger religious diaspora in which Copts claim membership. The research findings confirm the importance of focusing on the role of religion, and particularly religious language, in creating new transnational communities.
Yosef, Dawit A., Addis Ababu., Addis Ababa, Ethiopa - To aid research on 'Protesting the Past and Negotiating the Future: Ethnicity, Ethnic Relations and Identity Transformation of the Qemant,' supervised by Dr. Fekadu A. Tufa
Preliminary abstract: This research project focuses on the Qemant and Amhara ethnic groups in North West Ethiopia. It will examine the changing nature of ethnic relations between the two groups and identity transformation of the Qemant across two different ethno-political histories of Ethiopia. The Qemant in the past had their own distinct socio-cultural features that provided ethnic members a sense of collective identity. By favoring ethnic endogamy, their indigenous religion had served as ethnic integrative mechanism. However, such objective cultural aspects that marked off the social boundary between the Qemant and their Amhara neighbors get blurred following the mass Christianization of the Qemant. As part of the nation-state building efforts in the pre 1991 period of Ethiopia, the Qemant were made to fuse into their Amhara neighbors through religious conversion and interethnic marriage. However, following the adoption of ethnic federalism and ethnic based territorial self administration in post 1991 period, ethnic revival movement of the Qemant has getting activated, ethnic tension has emerged and the ethnic boundary between the two groups has glared. Therefore, using diachronic perspective and qualitative research methodology, this project will examine how ethno-political perspectives from above coalesce into local socio-economic situation in affecting ethnic relations and identity transformation.