Veilleux, Carrie Cecilia, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Effects of Nocturnal Light Environment on the Evolution of Nocturnal Primate Color Vision,' supervised by Dr. Edward Christopher Kirk
CARRIE C. VEILLEUX, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Effects of Nocturnal Light Environment on the Evolution of Nocturnal Primate Color Vision,' supervised by Dr. Edward Christopher Kirk. Habitat transition is commonly linked to the evolution of novel hominin locomotor or dietary anatomy. Yet, while humans differ from apes in color vision features, little work has explored how habitat transition influenced human visual evolution. Using nocturnal lemurs as a model, this project combined molecular analyses of selection pressure acting on the S-opsin gene (coding for blue-sensitive retinal cones) with field measurements of nocturnal ambient light (n=547 measurements) available across the lunar cycle in lemur habitats (dry forest Kirindy Mitea, rainforest Ranomafana). The goals were to test whether: 1) selection for color vision in lemurs varies by habitat type; and 2) habitat types vary in the color and intensity of nocturnal light. Preliminary analyses of the S-opsin gene in 112 nocturnal lemurs suggest selection on the gene varies by habitat type, microhabitat, and diet. While comparisons of nocturnal light environments are also preliminary, light color and intensity appear to vary by lunar phase and habitat type, with dry forests exhibiting much brighter light environments. Together, these data suggest that habitat transitions can impact primate color vision evolution. These results provide a framework for investigating the role of habitat transition and dietary shift on the evolution of hominin visual systems.
Kim, Ujin, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Moral Resonance: Honorific Speech among Kazakh Nomads in China,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
UJIN KIM, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Moral Resonance: Honorific Speech among Kazakh Nomads in China,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. This ethnographic research, conducted in Kaba County, Altai Prefecture, Xinjiang, China, shows that Kazakh nomads use their honorific speech to communicate the images of an ethical person, grounded in the appropriateness of one's linguistic choice in a given situation. This appropriateness, in turn, is based on the perceived congruence among the linguistic forms used (both honorific and non-honorific) and the non-linguistic components of the situation, mediated by language ideologies about what constitutes good speech and a good person. This study highlights the semiotic processes by which the grammatical components of honorific speech become imagistically linked to the various non-linguistic aspects of pastoral life. In their everyday ethical judgment of how one should act in different social settings, Altai Kazakhs appear to be concerned less about fulfilling their prescribed mutual obligations within the traditional kinship structure, but more about skillfully fashioning their social networks by drawing on the sociolinguistic generative scheme that links types of speech and types of kin relations, which can be tropically extended to all social relations, including non-kinship and interethnic ones. When the Kazakh herders use honorific speech in interactions, such imagistic 'fit' between forms of talk and social forms is understood to reveal the speaker's moral quality.
Arnavas, Ms. Chiara, London School of Economics, London, UK - To aid research on 'What is in a Land Right?,' supervised by Dr. Laura Bear
Preliminary abstract: The aim of my project is to advance the anthropology of citizenship through a study of a social movement for land rights among a peri-urban migrant community in Rajarhat, in the north-eastern periphery of Kolkata, India. This community of East Bengali origins has been dispossessed from houses and land to make way for a new modern high-tech township for commercial and residential use. By exploring the emergence of an anti-dispossession movement among this community, my research will explore concepts of rights within this movement, how they emerge and their consequences for engagements with the state. My research will focus on idioms of rights, practices of claim-making, and self-representations among the community. Using theoretical insights from recent work in the anthropology of politics and citizenship in neoliberalism, I will examine how rights to land are a contested and historically constituted social field. Moreover, I hope to show how, for refugees, land entitlements from the state can foster connections to the site of resettlement, which can become a place of refuge, of belonging, of political and social engagement. Therefore, focusing on this community's struggle against dispossession, I will examine to what extent citizen's concepts of land rights challenge the stability and inequality of neo-liberal notions of rights.
Ozsoy, Hisyar, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Between Revolution and Democracy: Renegotiating Kurdish Identities,' supervised by Dr. Kamran A. Ali
HISYAR OZSOY, while a student at The University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research titled, 'Between Revolution and Democracy: The Renegotiation of Kurdish Political Identities in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Ali. Ozsoy investigated the renegotiations of Kurdish political in the context of the ongoing transformation of Kurdish politics away from the goal of revolution and independence towards integration through multicultural democracy in Turkey. He researched, on the one hand, the changing content and structure of state-Kurdish relations in this process and the implications of these with regard to political identity among Kurds. On the other hand, he focused on how the politics of multicultural democracy has transformed Kurdish politics internally, detailing on the reconfiguration of class and gender relations and memory formation processes that underwrite political identities. Research findings indicate that the shift in Kurdish politics is accompanied by a complex process of redistribution of power and authority among multiply situated Kurds, which has fueled up contradictions within the Kurdish community and resulted in significant demobilization, existential disillusionment and political alienation. This deepening fragmentation and increasing politicization of internal contradictions carve up new fields of power, identity and struggle within the Kurdish community and besides their ongoing struggle with the Turkish state for recognition and power. This research is based on archival, ethnographic and collaborative research with Kurdish men and women from different power positions, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds in the adjacent Ofis and Baglar districts of Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Duruiz, Deniz, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Embodiment of Labor and Migration: Kurdish Migrant Farm Workers in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Nadia Abu El-Haj
Preliminary abstract: Every spring more than one million Kurds migrate from the Kurdish region to different provinces of Turkey to work as seasonal farm laborers for three to six months. This project explores the structures of power and economy that enable this form of labor and migration; the changes in Turkey's socio-political and economic landscape introduced by this labor migration; and the ways in which farmworkers' lives are shaped by these practices. My proposed project is to do ethnographic fieldwork by living with several groups of Kurdish farm workers, following their paths of migration and homecoming for a year. With a focus on the embodiment of labor and on the affective and material worlds that labor and migration generate, this study aims to bring to the fore out how these practices of labor and migration transform rural Turkey and the Kurdish workers' lives. Also, most significant for a so-called informal labor practice is that the Turkish state actively organizes this labor migration, by replacing legal regulation of labor with ad hoc acts of administrative regulations such as manipulation of their routes of migration, surveillance of labor camps and arbitrating the disputes between employers and farm workers. So my study will also focus on the role of the neoliberal Turkish state in capitalist agricultural production and what the Kurdish workers learn about it by participating in these practices of labor and migration.
Swank, Heidi F., Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Textbooks and Grocery Lists: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in the Everyday of Dharamsala, India,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay
HEIDI F. SWANK, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in January 2001 to aid research on 'Textbooks and Grocery Lists: Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in the Everyday of Dharamsala, India,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay. Through an analysis of seemingly inconsequential writings, such as text messages and grocery lists, this study examined how Tibetan refugee youth in Dharamsala, India utilize written language to negotiate boundaries and inclusion across and within three communities of practice that are based primarily on nativity. This study contributes to work that challenges theories of social reproduction through education and the primacy of spoken language, respectively, by demonstrating that 1) despite a change to Tibetan-medium education youth chose to write primarily in English in everyday situations and 2) although results of a sociolinguistic survey of 214 Dharamsala resident demonstrate uniform use of spoken Tibetan at home, the majority of Tibetan youth use English in everyday writing. Not only does this study support work that questions the influence of the educational system on language, but it extends this work by examining specifically written language, in particular, multilingual writing practices that diverge significantly from spoken language practices across this community.
Jamil, Nurhaizatul Jamila, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Marketing Manners Makeover: Women, Islam and Self-Help in Contemporary Singapore,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay
Preliminary abstract: Since 2007, Singaporean graduates of Egypt's Al-Azhar University have helped pioneer a new wave of 'religious' classes that incorporate American self-help rhetoric with Sufi theology and poetry, while closely referencing the Quran and Hadith (prophetic traditions). These returnees offer seminars such as 'The 7 Habits of Effective Muslims,' 'Al-Ghazali's Beginning of Guidance,' 'Manners Makeover for Wives,' 'Islamic Business Ethics,' and 'Finding your Ideal Muslim Partner.' Like their counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen, and Egypt, the returnees market their costly lessons as opportunities for young ethnic and religious minority Muslim graduates of Singapore's secular universities to apply new understandings of their faith to everyday spheres. Further distinguishing themselves from older preachers, they utilize new media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to proselytize and market their lessons. While their seminars attract male participants, the vast majority of students are professional women desiring to fashion 'ideal' Muslim selves while pursuing their careers. Women attend these classes dressed in the latest Islamic fashions, armed with technological gadgets, and virtually archive their participation on Facebook. How can we understand young women's attraction to, and use of, these classes? What is the relationship between the proliferation of these new education ventures and women's anxieties concerning the pursuit of economic mobility, religiosity, and love in a neoliberalizing economy? How does women's embrace of globally commodified Islam, new media, and eclectic pedagogical incentives reframe notions of Islamic 'piety' and 'education,' and pose challenges to dominant male religious authority and interpretation?
Murray, Shawn S., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'African-Rice Domestication and the Transition to Agriculture in the Middle Niger Delta, Mali,' supervised by Dr. T. Douglas Price
SHAWN S. MURRAY, while a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, received a grant in June 2001 to aid research on African rice domestication and the transition to agriculture at the site of Dia in the middle Niger Delta, Mali, under the supervision of Dr. T. Douglas Price. Because African rice grains (Oryza glaberrima) had been found at Dia without their diagnostic hulls, Murray's goal was to develop new methods of identifying the naked rice grains as either wild or domestic species. Research showed that the dimensions of African rice species (length, width, thickness) overlapped extensively but that ratios of these dimensions could discriminate between species. Interestingly, ratios for the ancient grains closely resembled those for the modem domestic species, overlapping little with the wild taxa. These results suggested that domesticated rice was present from Dia's earliest occupation (800-500 B.C.E.) and that farming in this region was older than previously thought. It is possible that domesticated African rice entered the upper delta from elsewhere, perhaps farther north or west.
Cutright, Robyn E., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, 'supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann
ROBYN E. CUTRIGHT,then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann. Archaeological field excavations were carried out at Pedregal, a Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1460) village in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. The excavations targeted the domestic occupation of the site in order to reconstruct the range of domestic activities at the site and identify the ways in which domestic and culinary practice may have shifted during the valley's conquest by the Chimú state in AD 1350. Materials recovered during excavation and examined during subsequent laboratory analysis suggest that the site's residents were heavily engaged in agricultural production, as well as animal husbandry, textile production, and the processing and preparation of food. Though the site's occupational sequence was more complex than originally believed, dramatic changes do not seem to have occurred during the Late Intermediate Period. Instead, continuity at the domestic level may have characterized the Chimú conquest of the valley.