Kergaravat, Marisa Soledad, U. of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid research on 'Public Spaces in South Andean Communities (900-1450 AD): Scales of Interaction and Social Practices,' supervised by Dr. Felix A. Acuto
MARISA S. KERGARAVAT, then a student at University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Public Spaces in South Andean Communities (900-1450 AD): Scales of Interaction and Social Practices,' supervised by Dr. Felix A. Acuto. This project studies public spaces in the North Calchaquí Valley during the Late Intermediate Period (900-1450 AD) in order to understand the nature of public gatherings, activities, and interactions. Differently from previous ideas of public spaces in the southern Andes, the central hypothesis of this project is that there were different scales of public gathering and interaction where not only feasting but also other activities took place during these encounters. The questions that guided this research project were: 1) Were there different types of public spaces in terms of architecture, form, size, and crowding capacity within Late Intermediate Period (LIP) sites? 2) How were these public spaces distributed? Was there a pattern in their location? How were public spaces connected to other spaces and enclosures? What facilities, spaces, enclosures, structures, and features were public spaces associated with? How did people access public spaces? 3) What types of activities were developed within public spaces? To accomplish these goals, a 75-day field season was conducted in one of the largest sites in the North Calchaquí Valley region: Las Pailas (SSalCac 18).
Wang, Yiru, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'The Origins of Sheep and Goats Domestication in Western China,' supervised by Dr. Preston T. Miracle
Preliminary abstract: The origin of Chinese domestic sheep and goats has long been an issue needs to be clarified. Since abundant Caprine remains do not appear in China until 4,000 B.P., and the earliest domestic sheep/goat in the world was from West Asia in around 10,000 B.P., it was assumed that sheep and goats were not originally domesticated in China, but came from the west as domestic animals. Considering the modern domestic Tibetan type sheep in western China are those most suitable for the local environment, similar to the local argali sheep, and mtDNA analysis suggest Chinese domestic sheep have a native inherence and likely to have a geographic independent domestication, my hypothesis is that the origins of caprine domestication in China may not be simply a spreading event, but have incorporated the local wild sheep during the process. It may represent a complex continuum of interactions between different populations and animals in the unique ecological and social context of western China. The current zooarchaeological research in China has basic problem in taxa identification and recognizing domestication. Several closely related Caprinae species with overlaping distributions cannot be separated based on the available expertise. I propose to have a detailed and systematic osteomorphology and osteometric study for the Caprinaes species distribute in western China and the different Ovis species distribute in Eurasia based on modern samples. Together with traditional zooarchaeological methods and with a focus of morphmetric study, a research on the first hand archaeological materials from 4 sites ranging 1,0000-3,5000 BP in Qinghai and Gansu province would shed lights on the nature of the caprine domestication in western China.
Ketchum, Frederick Benjamin, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Redesigning Human Nature: An Anthropology of Enhancement Drugs in Germany,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquar
Preliminary abstract: This research ethnographically examines the phenomena of 'enhancement' in Germany, or the use of medications to improve performance by individuals who are not sick. These medications give individuals the power to redesign themselves and their capacities, raising important ethical questions about whether using enhancements is unnatural, if this use threatens individuals' identity, if everyone should have access to these medications, and what the consequences for broader society are. I argue that enhancements need to be understood as technologies of everyday life that enable multiple ideals and desires to be realized, and are linked to hopes about human perfectibility and anxieties about the proper relationship between nature, humans, and technology. Drawing on anthropological scholarship on medicine, pharmaceuticals, biopolitics, and ethics, I will ethnographically explore the practices and motivations for using these drugs, and describe the ideals of perfection and achievement that power them. Enhancements are intimately linked to medicine and medical advances, as well as discourses of health and illness that are used to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate uses of drugs. Because much of what has been written about enhancements is oriented towards a future in which enhancement use is widespread, this work will also place enhancement technologies in the larger context of utopic (or dystopic) visions of a re-engineered humanity, in an attempt to discern what enhancements might mean for broader social and political life.
Di Rosa, Dario, Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Remembering the Colonial Past: Histories and Historicities of Kerewo People (Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea),' supervised by Dr. Christopher Hugh Lewis Ballard
Preliminary abstract: Blending archival research and ethnographic fieldwork, the present project explores what role knowledge of the colonial past plays in understanding 'modernity' among Kerewo people of Papua New Guinea. When the missionary James Chalmers was killed in a Kerewo village in 1901, the colonial government intervened with three subsequent punitive expeditions. Shortly after, Kerewo people were incorporated in the colonial state and under the mission influence, leading to the suppression of head-hunting and their incorporation into an unstable labour market. Memories of these experiences, read through the lens of indigenous epistemology, today form a means of understanding present relations with global forces such as Christianity, capitalist development and the nation-state. Through an ethnography of historical consciousness and the micro-politics of remembering, I intend to contribute to contemporary debates about notions of 'historicity' on one side, and 'modernity' on the other, paying attention to the role played by history in everyday life as a source for understanding relations which shape individual agency in the present/future.
Talmor, Ruti, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Art on the Periphery: Production and Consumption of an Ethnic Arts Center in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Thomas O. Beidelman
RUTI TALMOR, while a student at New York University in New York, New York, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on the production and consumption of art in an ethnic arts center in Ghana, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas O. Beidelman. Talmor looked at the Greater Accra Regional Centre for National Culture, the largest of Ghana's ten government-run centers for the promotion of culture, focusing on producers, sellers, and consumers of the visual arts. A central goal was understand the lines along which the diverse groups who engaged material culture at the center were defined-for example, by ethnicity, age, class, educational level, and type of employment-and in what sort of hierarchical, internally differentiated system those groups existed. The art and culture industries in Ghana provide an avenue for individual self-improvement, group mobilization, and national development. Control of these industries is a valuable commodity that elicits competition between and within groups. Participation in these industries is the most viable way to interact with foreigners, either tourists or members of Ghana's expatriate community, two groups that play key roles in the art and culture industries as consumers, collectors, patrons, and funders. They provide infusions of capital into a system in which people are struggling economically, as well as a connection to the larger world in which Africa is marginalized and ignored. By studying art making, Talmor was able to explore the relations between ethnicity, politics, and histories in Ghana and the effects of globalization on identity formation and age and class hierarchies there.
Ibrahim, Nur Amali, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan
NUR AMALI IBRAHIM, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Producing Believers, Contesting Islam: Conservative and Liberal Youths in Post-New Order Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gilsenan. This project examines the religious socialization of young believers in Indonesia in a context of competing religious ideologies. During the course of research, the grantee uncovered the beliefs of both groups, their intellectual influences, the history of their emergence, and the sociopolitical networks to which they belong. The research found that conservative Islam thrives in secular campuses, while liberalism flourishes in Islamic campuses. This counter-intuitive situation reflects a trend where 'born-again' Muslims from secular backgrounds are more easily persuaded to conservatism, whereas Muslims long exposed to Islamic education are more aware of nuances in religion that they become tolerant and plural. Comparing the socialization practices in both groups, the grantee discovered that conservatives have a systematic process to disseminate their ideology as they organized their members in small and tightly controlled cell groups. Liberals in contrast have a loosely organized structure, relying on debates and discussions rather than religious instruction. Conservatives and liberals compete fiercely to stamp their prominence on campus; this rivalry puts them in a dialectical relationship, such that each makes adjustments in response to the other's actions. Encountering dissatisfactions with their religious orientations, young people may eventually alter their stances, suggesting that conservatives and liberals can be transient identities rather than permanent.
Munoz Arbelaez, Santiago, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'The New Kingdom of Granada: The Making and Unmaking of Spain's Atlantic Empire, 1530-1650,' supervised by Dr. Stuart B. Schwartz
Preliminary abstract: My project examines the Spanish empire's project to create a centralized 'kingdom,' a political configuration they called the New Kingdom of Granada, amidst the variety of native groups and fractured geographies of present-day Colombia. Unlike Peru or Mexico, where the Spanish empire co-opted indigenous states, in this area decentralization posed specific challenges to colonial officials. How did the New Kingdom of Granada bring together such diverse peoples and areas? My study is a spatial history of the making and unmaking of the Spanish empire. I ask how colonial administrators tried to create landscapes of rule and how native peoples used space both to contest and to accommodate colonialism into their lives, or to flee and create spaces of refuge outside the Spanish area of influence. By drawing insights from ethnohistory and scholarship on state formation, I will argue that to extend the empire's tentacles to new groups and zones, colonial officials tried to standardize peoples and spaces of South America to make them legible for state rule, but they were also forced to mold their own domination strategies and to negotiate the meaning and scope of rule. This process produced a malleable political configuration that found ways to accommodate within it diverse groups of people and whose possibilities and constrains were defined on the ground in relation to the specific characteristics of native groups and landscapes. I examine this new spatial and political formation through the rubric 'ethnohistory of empire:' a dual concept that aims to show how the imperial state molded its institutions to fit local ethnic groups and how colonial institutions provided the conditions for the emergence of new ethnic groups both from within and from without imperial rule.
Clark, Terence N., U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Rewriting Marpole: The Path to Cultural Complexity in the Gulf of Georgia,' supervised by Dr. Gary Coupland
TERENCE N. CLARK, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Rewriting Marpole: The Path to Cultural Complexity in the Gulf of Georgia,' supervised by Dr. Gary Coupland. This grant funded museum based research at the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Burke Museum, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser Museum of Archaeology as well as several smaller institutions. Original analysis of over 22000 artifacts from 48 site components was coupled with data acquisition of published and unpublished site reports and field notes of faunal, mortuary, household, language and art style. These data streams were then examined using Integrated Distance Analysis (IDA) which was successful in delineating prehistoric group identity within the milieu of the mobile hunter gatherer societies of the Northwest Coast.
Slotta, James, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Dialect, Register, & the Big-Man: Social Organization of Sporadic Linguistic Innovations in Yupno, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein
JAMES SLOTTA, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Dialect, Register, & the Big-Man: Social Organization of Sporadic Linguistic Innovations in Yupno, Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein. The research has resulted in the detailed documentation of five dialects of the previously undocumented Yopno language (Papua New Guinea). In addition to documenting the relatively stable features of the phonology and grammar, dozens of hours of recordings of natural speech were transcribed to provide access to the more variable and evanescent qualities of Yopno speech, as well as to provide an indication of the textual and social emplacement of Yopno language material in various Yopno communities. The research highlights the far-reaching ways that social, cultural, and textual factors structure Yopno grammar and phonology, as well as the diversity of Yopno dialects. All Yopno speakers have some familiarity with several of the many dialects of the language and use words from other dialects in interactions to construct and maintain ties of relatedness to relatives outside of their patrilineal clans who live in other dialect areas. The tension between patrilineal relatedness as a basis for clan formation and cognatic relatedness as a basis for village and larger units of social organization and exchange gets played out interactionally through the use of linguistic variants. The organization of such multi-dialectalism is an important factor in constructing an adequate description of Yopno phonology.