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.
Masterson, Erin Elizabeth, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Putting Teeth into the Developmental Origins Hypothesis: Early Childhood Ecology, Enamel Defects and Adolescent Growth,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Preliminary abstract: Like a window into the past, adult teeth may reflect early childhood ecology. Dental enamel on the permanent maxillary incisors calcifies incrementally during early childhood (0-5 years of age), is highly-sensitive to biological stress, and doesn't repair over the life course. Developmental defects in the enamel (DDE) are caused by metabolic disruption during development, including micronutrient deficiency, gastrointestinal disturbance, and bacterial and viral infections. According to developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) research findings and evolutionary theory, these factors may also influence chronic disease risk later in life. Bioarcheological findings have indicated an association exists between DDEs in the permanent dentition and increased morbidity and early mortality among skeletal remains, suggesting that dental enamel may be a retrospective marker of early childhood ecology. However, the association between DDEs and long-term health consequences has never been tested in a contemporary population. The purpose of the proposed project is to assess whether DDEs -- developed during the first five years of life -- is a marker of early childhood ecology and predictor of adolescent growth in a contemporary population. Based on evolutionary theory, we hypothesize that enamel defects mark a physiologically-stressful early childhood that predicts unhealthy growth in adolescence. We expect our study to provide the scientific community more confidence in interpretations of DDEs, and to introduce a new measure of early childhood ecology that may enable widespread study of the DOHaD and improve the sensitivity of these studies.
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Grossman, Kathryn Mary, PI - To aid research on 'Re-centering the Ninevite 5 Economy: Archaeological Investigations at Hamoukar, Syria,' supervised by Dr. Gil J. Stein
MARY KATHRYN GROSSMAN, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in November 2009, to aid research on 'Recentering the Ninevite 5 Economy: Archaeological Investigations at Hamoukar, Syria,' supervised by Dr. Gil J. Stein. Recent archaeological studies of ancient urban societies have drawn attention to the new kinds of social, political, and economic relationships that came into existence as cities emerged and developed. This focus on the disjunction between pre-urban and urban societies, however, needs to be balanced by a recognition that the specific trajectory followed by each case of urbanization was largely determined by what came before. This research project investigated the foundations of the urbanization process in Early Bronze Age northern Mesopotamia, fore-fronting the social context of food and craft production within a single site, rather than focusing on regional political economy. The project was built around excavations at Hamoukar, a major urban settlement in northeastern Syria with abundant evidence for both the Ninevite 5 period (c. 3000-2500 BC) and the better-known urban phase that followed (c. 2500-2200 BC). Excavations on the eastern and western sides of Hamoukar's lower town uncovered successive phases of well-preserved mudbrick architecture and a rich, in situ artifactual assemblage. Analysis of the architecture, ceramics, faunal remains, and administrative tools from these excavations has provided a wealth of new information about the roots of the urbanization process in northern Mesopotamia.
Rice, Kathleen Frieda, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Purity, Propriety and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy
KATHLEEN F. RICE, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Purity, Propriety, and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy. This project draws on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a rural Bomvana community in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The research addresses the following question: In the community under study, what cultural institutions are mobilized to reinforce and/or contest moral discourses and values relating to kinship, sexuality, and reproduction, and how is this accomplished? Particularly, this research examines embodied and/or symbolic forms of moral discourse, and to how these discourses spark anxieties and contests at the fault-lines of gender and generational power. Through focusing on issues such as bridewealth, abduction marriage, sexuality, and patterns of alcohol consumption, this research shows that significant intergenerational and intergendered anxieties are sustained, negotiated, and produced through contests over the meaning and value of human rights, gender equality, and access to money. These intergenerational and intergendered tensions are rendered especially acute due to the double burden of poor economic prospects alongside the HIV/AIDS epidemic.