New York U., New York, NY, Narges Bajoghli, PI - To aid research on 'Restaging the Revolution: Military Media and the Contested Legacies of Revolution in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg
NARGES BAJOGHLI, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2013 to aid research on 'Restaging the Revolution: Military Media and the Contested Legacies of Revolution in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg. If successful, every revolutionary movement eventually faces a dilemma: how does the commitment to the revolutionary project get transmitted from one generation to the next as historical circumstances change? In the case of the Iranian revolution, from the 1979 generation to the present, different media forms have been critical indicators of generational sensibilities-from graffiti, posters, faxes and other 'small media' (that characterized the early days) to work in feature film, television, and social media identified with the contemporary moment. This research included intensive participant-observation of pro-regime filmmakers and cultural producers in the Islamic Republic. The grantee conducted ethnographic research in editing rooms, in production meetings, and in distribution trips of pro-regime filmmakers, focusing on how card-holding members of Iran's paramilitary organization, the Basij, create media and train a younger generation of media makers.
Parson, Nia C., Rutgers U., New Brunswick,NJ - To aid research on 'Gender, Trauma and Healing in Chile: An Ethnographic Exploration of Domestic Violence During Dictatorial Rule,' supervised by Dr. Peter J. Guarnaccia
NIA C. PARSON, while a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, received funding in July 2002 to aid ethnographic research on domestic violence during the transition from dictatorship (1973-90) to democracy (1990-present) in Santiago, Chile, under the supervision of Dr. Peter J. Guarnaccia. The violent and repressive ideologies, policies, and practices of the Chilean dictatorship aimed to depoliticize the population and encourage passivity in the face of authority-both in the state and in the home. The long-term effects of this state violence linger, Parson found, in postdictatorship state institutions, such as police departments and courts, that are charged with responding to women survivors of domestic violence. Gender roles encouraged during the military regime positioned women as subordinate to men and linked ideologies of the nation as family, in need of an authoritarian father figure, to ideologies of the individual family and women's and men's roles within that unit. These ideologies persist and are buttressed by rigid ideologies of family and gender roles espoused by the Catholic Church, as well as by the 1994 Family Violence Law, which encourages women to reconcile with abusive partners in order to maintain the family at all costs. Parson was able to demonstrate that in the Chilean postdictatorship context, women's health has been compromised by judicial systems and institutions that are only slowly moving away from a context of state violence. Her work highlights the importance of the promotion of gender equality in societies in transition from dictatorial to democratic systems.
Parson, Nia. 2010. Transformative Ties: Gendered Violence, Forms of Recovery, and Shifting Subjectivities in Chile. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 24(1):64-84.
Erami, Narges, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on ' Crafting Bazaari Identity: Markets, Law, and Society in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Brinkley M. Messick
NARGES ERAMI, while a student at Columbia University in New York, New York, received funding in June 2001 to aid ethnographic research on identity and practices in the bazaari carpet industry in west-central Iran, under the supervision of Dr. Brinkley M. Messick. Erami addressed the ways in which bazaaris in the carpet trade maintained their status as traditionalists while partaking of modern commercial techniques, from transnational capital flows to state-of-the-art technologies and marketing strategies. Bazaaris had reportedly allied themselves with the ulama (religious leaders) who founded the Islamic Republic of Iran, but they also retained a special autonomy from the state and its clerical apparatus. Looking at bazaari social networks in three towns, Erami explored the autonomous commercial spaces staked out by contemporary bazaaris, from the workshops and offices where ancient practices of carpet-making met high-tech design to the labyrinthine urban bazaars and more 'modern' sites of mercantile activity. The subtle interrelations between merchants in the bazaar and other players in the chain of rug production and circulation-designers, cottage-industry laborers, and local and international buyers-were examined. Bazaaris in the post-Revolution carpet industry were found to have formed self-regulating alliances to monitor trade and mediate disputes in a local domain independent of the state's legislative and judicial institutions. In their negotiations with fellow merchants and with producers and consumers of their luxury goods, the bazaaris of the carpet trade strategically counterbalanced conceptions of trust and openness with secrecy and suspicion.
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).
Johnson, Jennifer Lee, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Comfortwork, Commerce, and Control in a Cosmopolitan African Artisanal Fishery,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca D. Hardin
JENNIFER L. JOHNSON, then a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in January 2011 to aid research on 'Comfortwork, Commerce, and Control in a Cosmopolitan African Artisanal Fishery,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca Hardin. Traversing national boundaries and international networks of commerce, control, and expertise, Lake Victoria has long been a crucible for transformative social dynamics characterized by the littoral -- literally the shoreline. It is a place of heightened prospects for actual and economic mobility, alternative moralities of sexual and economic exchange, and competing valuation of space and resources for leisure, protein, and politically strategic purposes. Guided by the overarching proposition that women are vital to sustaining local, regional, and intercontinental fisheries-based economies, though their work is often overlooked, this research examined gender, intimacy, and marginality within Uganda's southern mainland and island-based fisheries. By following fish, people, and ideas about fish and people as they circulated within and between fishing beaches, fish-smoking 'covers,' industrial processing plants, markets of various kinds, restaurants, homes, managerial institutions, spiritual sites, and archives, this research demonstrated that women (and men) sustain these fisheries through species- and form-specific activities that are also suffused with kinship, sexual, and spiritual connections. Furthermore, their work mitigates possibilities for the kind of spectacular triumph or failure featured in dominant popular narratives and the more narrowly defined criteria for managerial success in Lake Victoria, and instead sustain a socially and ecologically cosmopolitan Nyanja.
Nave, Carmen Asha, U. of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada - To aid research on 'Kinship and the State in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Carol Bamford
CARMEN NAVE, then a student at University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Kinship and the State in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Carol Bamford. This research looks at changes in matrilineal kinship among the Asante of Ghana by asking how debates and polices over inheritance have affected family structure, roles, and practices. It found that matrilineal kinship has undergone a number of changes and continues to do so. Perceptions around how inheritance should be managed are changing, but a variety of economic and social pressures contribute to a situation in which abstract ideas of what is good for one's society may not translate into immediate ideas of what is good for one's self and one's family. Not only do disputes over kinship remain, but 'customs' are changing in response to efforts to provide for widows and children such that they are now subject to far greater responsibilities to the father in life and in death. Yet, people continue to find meaning and importance in the relationships defined by matrilineal kinship, and kinship is commonly used metaphorically to invoke and strengthen relationships. In the urban setting, people use the metaphor of kinship to help resolve disputes between neighbors and to link broad social networks through kin-based relationships.
Davidson, Joanna H., Emory U. Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'The Salience of Ethnicity in Inter-Group Conflict: Felupe-Fula Tensions in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft
JOANNA H. DAVIDSON, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded funding in October 2001 to aid research on the salience of ethnicity in intergroup conflict in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce M. Knauft. Davidson conducted twenty-two months of ethnographic and historical research, focusing on recent conflicts within and between ethnic groups in northern Guinea-Bissau. Residing in a Diola village, she gathered a broad array of ethnographic information on areas such as agricultural practices, land tenure, work ethic, neighborhood organization, initiation and socialization, kinship, interethnic marriage, religious institutions and practices, Christian conversion, and funerary practices. Field research methods included interviews, genealogies, household surveys, life histories, and participant observation, complemented by document analysis and archival research. Davidson also collected oral histories on settlement patterns, colonial involvement in the region, and changes in traditional leadership. She explored the way Diola residents and their neighbors in northern Guinea-Bissau were responding, individually and collectively, to recent dramatic changes in their natural and social environment, such as climate change (with its impact on subsistence agriculture), youth migration, schooling, and national political transformations. Within this context, she examined the extent to which ethnicity had become an organizing principle for social action and how such changes were linked to conflicts within and among ethnic groups in the region. A major facet of her research involved understanding how long-standing Diola practices revolving around social and economic egalitarianism were being challenged by both internal and external forces and how such changes were affecting Diola notions of personhood and pluralism.
Smith, Abigail Chipps, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall
ABIGAIL C. SMITH, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Mobility and Urbanism: The Place of Mobile Pastoralists in Mali's Iron Age Cities,' supervised by Dr. Fiona B. Marshall. This project investigates the relationship between mobile pastoral groups and urban populations in the past, focusing on the site of Jenné-jeno and its surrounding landscape. The project draws on four months of extensive excavation at two archaeological sites, Tato à Sanouna and Thiel, near the modern town of Djenné in Mali's Inland Niger Delta. Multiple lines of evidence are used to identify past modes of life in these sites and at the well-known ancient city of Jenné-jeno between about 200 to 1500 CE, particularly the interrelationship between sedentary urbanism, subsistence specialization, and mobile pastoralism. As the first large-scale excavation of smaller, outlying sites in the area, this project increases our understanding of the extent and variability of local human settlement. Additionally, the project's focus on subsistence and specialization provides empirical data about the trajectories of West African pastoralism and agriculture. This information enables discussion of the role of pastoral populations in the Jenné-jeno urban system and impacts our understanding of Jenné-jeno's trade relationships and political organization. Given the unique trajectories of African food production when compared to other world areas, this project is an important contribution to our understanding of variability in global pastoral strategies and mobile-sedentary interactions.
Hirsch, Eric Michael, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Investing in Indigeneity: Development, Promise, and Public Life in Andean Peru's Colca Valley,' supervised by Dr. Justin Richland
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates investment's role in the 'revalorization' (Toche 2011) of indigenous identity in Andean Peru's Colca Valley. My inquiry is situated at the conjuncture of two broader shifts in Peru, Latin America, and much of the globe beyond: a shift in development policy from state-centered modernization schemes to an emphasis on devolution, community self-determination, and empowerment through the market; and a shift in attitudes about indigenous identity from a point of shame to a point of pride. In Colca, development organizations are trying to effect this validation through financial investments; but unlike other contexts in Latin America and elsewhere, indigeneity in Colca is not visibly mobilized for citizenship, land rights, or political voice (Povinelli 2002, 2011; Postero 2007; Greene 2009). Indeed, many Colca residents did not call themselves 'indigenous' until indigeneity became a target of development investment. My research asks why these communities have begun to see the indigenous past as the new way forward, and investigates the role that investment has played in organizing this new priority and in reconfiguring relationships to the past and the future. I seek to understand the everyday encounters and non-instrumental investments of emotional energy and imagination that both emerge from and provide the conditions of possibility for financial investment. To do so, I will track four heritage promotion projects underway in Colca's communities, while ethnographically examining the broader significance that notions of indigeneity and investment have for residents and development professionals. My research draws on studies of value, aspiration, and selfhood to contribute an investigation that foregrounds investment as an ethnographic problem.
Meierhoff, James Walter, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Historic Tikal: Refugee Exploitation of the Last Maya Frontier,' supervised by Dr. Joel Palka
JAMES W. MEIERHOFF, then a student at University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Historic Tikal: Refugee Exploitation of the Last Maya Frontier,' supervised by Dr. Joel Palka. The project investigated the remains of a nineteenth century village at the ancient Maya City of Tikal. This village is contemporaneous with the migration of Yucatec-speaking Maya who were fleeing the violence of the Caste War of Yucatan, and settled in the sparsely occupied frontier zone on the edge of three distinct colonial and national entities: Mexico, Guatemala, and British Honduras. It is hypothisized that the positioning of this village in an area conceived of as frontier space by the surrounding societies facilitated the ability the inhabitants to renegotiate trade and social relationships with these groups. In 2014, four historic households were investigated by locating their stone hearths and associated trash deposits with metal detectors. The trash deposits surrounding the habitation sites suggest a robust trade relationship with the outlining societies. Foreign trade items of metal, glass, and 'white wear' ceramics were found in abundance, and often in reusable condition. Local forest products, such as diverse animal remains and possibly reused ancient stone tools, were also present. Continued analysis of the artifacts from the historic Tikal village will continue to inform on life in the Last Maya Frontier, and the materiality of the refugee experience.