Tallman, Melissa Christine, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Postcranial Variation in Plio-Pleistocene Hominins of Africa,' supervised by Dr. Eric Delson
MELISSA TALLMAN, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received an award in April 2006 to aid research on 'Postcranial Variation in Plio-Pleistocene Hominins of Africa,' supervised by Dr. Eric Delson. One of the most interesting questions regarding human origins is the acquisition of bipedal posture, which is related to the degree of locomotor mosaicism present in Plio-Pleistocene hominins. This study is a comprehensive analysis including both unassociated and associated fossil postcranial remains. It addresses a series of important questions regarding human evolution in Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene including: 1) if there are postcranial difference that are characteristic of specific Plio-Pleistocene hominin species; and 2) what those differences indicate about types of locomotion that would have been used. Data were collected using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3D-GM). In 3D-GM, data is collected as a group of x,y,z, coordinate points (landmarks). The greatest advantages of 3D-GM as opposed to traditional linear measurements are that information is retained about the relationships among measurements in three-dimensional space, and shape changes can be visualized. Data were collected on all fossil humeri, radii, ulnae, femora, and tibiae dating from 3.5 - 1.5 Ma. These data will be compared to a number of extant samples, including: modern humans (four different populations), gorillas (G. g. gorilla and G. g. graueri), chimpanzees (P. t. schweinfurthii and P.t. troglodytes), and bonobos ( P. paniscus).
Kim, Jaeeun, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker
JAEEUN KIM, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in May 2008 to aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker. Fieldwork was carried out in Japan (part of the multi-sited dissertation field research in Korea, Japan, and China), examining the Cold War competition between North and South Korea over the allegiance of the colonial-era Korean migrants to Japan. Based on extensive interviews and broad archival research, fieldwork demonstrated: 1) those who migrated between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago during the postwar and Cold War periods not only were subjected to, but also have actively shaped, the evolving interstate system across East Asia; 2) in extending their embrace to the population outside their respective territories, North Korea tried to construct a parallel institutional world for Koreans in Japan, replicating the corporatist social structure of the homeland, while South Korea tried to outstrip its counterpart by operating more effectively at the Interface between this transborder population and the outside world (e.g., securing the cooperation and support of the Japanese government, controlling Korean Japanese' connection to their home communities); and 3) the registration and documentation practices were not a mere instrument of the two competing 'homeland' states, but served as a cultural artifact through which some transborder population envisioned their belonging on multiple scales.
Kim, Jaeeun. 2014. The Colonial State, Migration, and Diasporic Nationhood in Korea. Comparative Studies in Society and History 56(1):34-66
Bauer, Kenneth M., Oxford U., Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival
KENNETH M. BAUER, then a student at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in September 2003 to aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival. This field research investigated land use change and the impacts of government development policies among Tibetan pastoralists during the second half of the twentieth century. This work describes and analyzes the rhetoric and implementation of development policies by the Chinese government in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This history of land use dynamics, socio-economic change, and policy phases, is grounded in a case study of Porong Township (Nyelam County, Shigatse Prefecture, TAR, PRC). The grantee gathered several kinds of evidence, which will be interpreted using a multi-disciplinary approach. Support enabled the grantee to collect and translate historical texts describing land use and to interview pastoralists, government agents, and NGO workers, as well as work with local pastoralists to map historical and contemporary pasture boundaries.
Oenning da Silva, Rita de Cacia, U. Federal of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil - To aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon
RITA OENNING DA SILVA, then a student at Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil, was awarded funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon. Based on research with children that dance and sing on the streets of Recife, Brazil, the project shows how children living in the violent context of the favelas perceive themselves and are perceived by the local neighborhood and international audiences. Qualitative research provided the keys to a native theory of childhood, while also showing how children create new modes of relationship between themselves and other agents in their world. The children consciously use their bodies to make art, meaning they are both the subject of art and subjected by art, both the producer of the spectacle and the spectacle produced. Immersed in a complex dialectic between mimesis and creation, they enact and challenge local ethical and æsthetic norms. Movement becomes the dominant metaphor, with children as a fulcrum around which culture moves and adapts, while self emerges in the moment of 'overcoming the movement' (superar o movimento), where the child executes a traditional step or rhythm while adding something new and individual. The movie Alto do Céu, made during field research, showed that the children could document and evaluate the performance of their friends, but also that they saw the act of filming as a performance. In an imagined world of events and narratives, the children both described and re-created themselves.
Engelke, Christopher Robert, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity
CHRISTOPHER ENGELKE, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative: Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity. Current figures suggest that over 2 million Americans have a disability that compromises their speech intelligibility, requiring them to use a special form of assistive technology called augmentative alternative communications (AAC) devices in order to literally and figuratively have 'a voice.' This study examines the phenomena of embodiment, empathy, and intersubjectivity that manifest around the design and use of these augmentative communications devices by examining the ways in which individuals' embodied and ideological familiarities with the world are revealed in their engagements with these specialized communications technologies. By investigating the ways that able-bodied designers approach the task of developing AAC technologies, this study uncovers relationships between one's physical abilities, normative prescriptions for action, and the forms and limits of understanding others whose bodily abilities may be radically different from one's own. Moreover, by examining the ways that AAC users take up the features of their devices in everyday interactions, this study reveals the unique ways in which this technology is incorporated into bodily understandings of the 'self' and its location in the world.
Smith, Lindsay A., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman
LINDSAY A. SMITH, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman. This project examined DNA identification technologies and their relationship to political, social and familial reconstitution in post-dictatorship Argentina. The fieldwork focused on two groups: one organized around the recovery of their kidnapped grandchildren and the other organized around the identification of the bodies of the 30,000 disappeared. Through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and archival research comparing these seemingly similar movements, which nonetheless constitute separate social movements and use different technological approaches, the grantee explored the coproduction of scientific and political orders in the midst of a seemingly endless process of 'transitional' justice. Initial findings document the flexible social meanings of DNA technologies, especially how the meanings of genetic tests are constructed and reconfigured as they travel between multiple sites of discourse and practice, connecting scientists in the U.S. and Argentina, radicalized mothers in Latin America, international human rights NGOs, kidnapped children, and even the other-worldly disappeared. This research suggests that forensic DNA identification technologies have emerged as core sites of identity formation both for individuals and families affected by the terror of the dictatorship but also for the Argentine nation-state as it tries to reckon with the legacies of repression.
Jamison, Kelda, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
KELDA JAMISON, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'Hydraulic Interventions: The Making of a Technopolitical Landscape in Southeast Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. Research was conducted in Ankara, Turkey, and several cities in the southeast of the country. The research focused on the government ministry charged with coordinating the Southeastern Anatolia Project, a hydrodevelopment project of monumental scale, calling for 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, widespread irrigation networks, and a host of other ambitious social, economic, and engineering initiatives. During the tenure of the Wenner-Gren funded research, the researcher met with a variety of planners and technocrats who work at this ministry, conducted both formal and informal interviews, and analyzed official reports, surveys, and conference volumes, in order to analyze the ways 'society' emerges as a field of technocratic intervention. In addition to working with 'official' development planners, ethnographic research was conducted with other, non-governmental actors who are also deeply involved in 'developing' the sociopolitical landscape of the region, and for whom hydraulic intervention figures in contested ways with political transformation. Distinctions between 'technical' transformations and 'social' transformations form the battleground for debates about the legitimacy of different forms of state presence in this turbulent region. The circuits of intervention that crosscut the region expose the very real struggles and fractures that such 'development integration' process constitutes. The tenuousness of integration formed the unspoken backdrop to discussions of regional development, constituting the standard for judging success or failure. As the research continues, the researcher will further investigate the spaces of silence and erasure that lie at the heart of state intervention in this region, exploring the topics rendered visible and invisible by bureaucratic discourses of technopolitical progress.
Ahlin, Brinton R., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Hydraulic Civilization: Water, Shrines, and States in Central Asia,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Grant
Preliminary abstract: The transformation of water into cotton, electricity, and a running tap via large-scale infrastructure systems is fundamental to local understandings of the state in Central Asia. This research ethnographically investigates the relationship between these transformative capacities of water infrastructure and the role of water in shaping personal lives at a ritual pilgrimage site and natural spring in southern Tajikistan. I focus on these otherworldly sites of transformation as a way of rethinking conventional accounts of infrastructure that privilege its technical and material qualities while inadvertently reproducing understandings of it as a this-worldly object. Central to this endeavor is a concern with the alternative ways in which knowledge about infrastructure is produced across different contexts. My hypothesis is that the capacities of holy water at the shrine to enact a diverse range of Central Asian dreams for fertility, prosperity, or tranquility provide a powerful parallel lens through which many Tajiks make sense of the complex social lives of Central Asian states.
Morehart, Christopher T., Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Agricultural Landscapes and Political Economy at Xaltocan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel
CHRISTOPHER T. MOREHART, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Agricultural Landscapes and Political Economy at Xaltocan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel. Understanding the intersection between farming households, the state, and intermediate social relationships is central to the anthropological and archaeological study of agriculture. This project examined these issues by examining the creation, persistence, and decline of chinampa agriculture at Xaltocan, Mexico. Drawing on multiple data sources, this work articulated chinampa farming with the configurations of political, economic, social, demographic, and ecological factors that shaped the trajectory of this landscape. Xaltocan was a kingdom that developed in the Early and Middle Postclassic periods in central Mexico. By the Late Postclassic period, however, Xaltocan was conquered and its status as an independent political center had collapsed. Archaeological data indicate that intensive agriculture was contemporaneous with the political independence of Xaltocan. When Xaltocan's political system collapsed, however, chinampa farming was abandoned. This pattern does not indicate unequivocally that the state controlled agriculture but does suggest that farmers and their cooperative relationships were conditioned by its political stability. Investigations at a shrine in the farming system, by contrast, revealed ritual continuity despite dramatic social, political, and cultural change. This shrine helps reveal how ritual was integrated into changing historical circumstances as well as how people may have re-interpreted the pre-existing landscape.
Morehart, Christopher T. 2012. What if the Aztec Empire Never Existed? The Prerequisites of Empire and the Politics of Plausible Alternative Histories. American Anthropologist 114(2):267-281.
Morehart, Christopher T., Abigail Meza Peñaloza, Carlos Serrano Sánchez, et al. 2012. Human Sacrifice during the Epiclassic Period in the Northern Basin of Mexico. Latin American Antiquity 23(4):426-448.
de Vries, Daniel H., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Historical Ecology and Cultures of Temporal Reference Making: A North Carolina Floodplain Restoration Case Study,' supervised by Dr. Carole L. Crumley