Rottmann, Susan Beth, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'The Predicaments of Reciprocity at 'Home' for German-Turkish Return Migrants,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Martin George
SUSAN BETH ROTTMANN, then a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'The Predicaments of Reciprocity at 'Home' for German-Turkish Return Migrants,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth George. With funding supported 12 months of dissertation research with German-Turkish return migrants in Turkey. By interviewing migrants, collecting their life stories, and observing everyday interactions, the grantee examined how German-Turks navigate belonging in families, communities, and nations after returning 'home.' By focusing on moral obligation in diverse domains (in families, in religious communities, and concerning the nation), the research was able to bring to light the complexities and interconnections of ethno-nationalism, class, and Muslim identity for return migrants. German-Turks are a group that has come to represent the potential socio-cultural redefinition of Turkey and Europe signified by Turkey's pending European Union membership, and this research represents an important contribution to our understanding of this group and makes contributions to anthropological scholarship on return migration, moral obligation, reciprocity, and ethno-national identity.
Graff, Sarah R., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Production and Distribution in Spatial and Historical Context: The Case of Northwestern Syria,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler
SARAH R. GRAFF, while a student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid archaeological research investigating the nature of the relationship between craft production, distribution and changes in social organization in northwestern Syria, 3000-1850 B.C., under the supervision of Dr. Michael D. Dietler. This project conducted analysis of ceramic sherds and clay samples from the Ghab, an area located in the Orontes River Valley of Northwestern Syria. The Ghab was an ideal location to study this problem because scholars believe it was under the political and economic control of the Ebla state whose capital was situated 44 kilometers east of the Ghab. The period of study, the third millennium BC and the transition into the second millennium BC, was also ideal to study this problem because it was a period of marked increase and subsequent interruption of urbanism in western Syria. Analyses focused on diagnostic ceramic sherds collected by Graff on surface survey dating to the third and early second millennium BC. After a preliminary macroscopic analysis sherds were chosen for petrographic analysis. Petrographic analysis of the sherds and local clay samples was used to provenience the ceramics as well as to study the technology used to manufacture them. The resulting data offer a complex picture of economic interactions within the Ghab that were not significantly affected .by the changes in social organization that took place in western Syria during the late third and early second millennia BC.
Wood, Brian Madison, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Male Food Production, Transfers, and Household Provisioning among Hadza Hunter-Gatherers,' supervised by Dr. Frank Marlowe
BRIAN M. WOOD, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Male Food Production, Transfers, and Household Provisioning among Hadza Hunter-Gatherers,' supervised by Dr. Frank Marlowe. This research among Hadza hunter-gatherers of northern Tanzania indicates that, contrary to earlier reports using less comprehensive and precise data, men distribute the foods they acquire in ways that differentially benefit their own households. This claim is based upon measures of the distribution of 202 male-acquired foods, including 33 large game, 53 small game, 19 loads of fruit, and 97 loads of honey. Across all resource classes, the acquirer's household typically retains shares much larger than those received by other households. The average share of fruit kept by an acquirer's household is 9.3 times larger than average shares given to other households. This producer advantage is 2.4, 1.9, and 4.7 in the case of large game, small game, and honey, respectively. These data refute key aspects of the costly signaling hypothesis as it has been applied in several studies of Hadza male foraging.
Li, Jin, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Reassembling Religion: Tibetan Buddhism in Post-Communist China,' supervised by Dr. Erik Mueggler
Preliminary abstract: Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists have formed a new network centered in a Nyingma monastery in eastern Tibet, called Larung. This encounter invites us to examine the formation and transformation of religious subjectivity: Why have Tibetan monks included Han Chinese in their revival of Buddhism? Why have so many urban Chinese abandoned the secularist worldview cultivated by the state to convert to Tibetan Buddhism? I address the questions by looking into a tradition in the Nyingma sect, known as gter, or ¡°excavation of hidden treasures.¡± In 1986, the founder of Larung, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, discovered as a ¡°hidden treasure¡± an old gazetteer about Mount Wutai, a Chinese Buddhist mountain sacred to both Tibetans and Chinese. In his eyes, this object was a revelation that Padmasambhava, the Indian master who introduced tantric Buddhism to Tibet, buried treasures to allow Tibetan monks to reconstruct ties with the Chinese. This episode shows how treasure hunting articulates the regimes of landscape, materiality, human wayfaring and religious interpretation. It reveals the two theoretical explorations of my research: First, the research takes issue with the anthropological convention that looks at the religious domain with a panoptic view, and sees the religious domain that has been revived by treasure hunting as an assembly. This assembly gradually comes into being, through encounters between people and things. Second, the research asks how religious subjects are created through their wayfaring encounters with the assembly. This will help engage into Joel Robbins¡¯s (2007) provocative question¡ªHow can anthropology anchored in ¡°continuity thinking¡± explain radical changes in human subjectivity, such as conversion?
Bjork, Stephanie R., U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'Clan as Social Capital among Somalis in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Malaby
STEPHANIE R. BJORK, while a student at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on clan affiliation as social capital among Somalis in Finland, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas M. Malaby. Bjork's goal was to understand the changing dynamics of the Somali clan system and the way traditional kinship networks are remade in diaspora. During 16 months of fieldwork among Somalis living in Helsinki and the neighboring cities of Espoo and Vantaa, she collected data through participant observation, sociodemographic surveys of 200 Somali men and women representing the major clan families and two minority groups, and in-depth interviews. Challenging the traditional assumption that clan-based societies are egalitarian, Bjork documented the hierarchical structure of the Somali clan system through clan discourse, including everyday talk, stereotypes, and performance. She also investigated the ways in which Somalis gained access to work in both the Finnish formal economy and the Somali informal economy. She found that clan identity played a stratifying role for Somalis in everyday life and that clan affiliation shaped social networks and affected participation in the Somali informal economy. New networks formed in diaspora among Somalis from different clans (and to a lesser degree including Finns) through work, school, neighborhoods, and friendships helped shaped the informal economy as well as clan affiliation in everyday use and practice.
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Modernity Meets Clan: Cultural Intimacy in the Somali Diaspora. In From Mogadishu to Dixon: The Somali Diaspora in a Global Context. (A. Kusow and S. Bjork, eds.) Red Sea Press:Trenton, NJ
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Clan Identities in Practice: The Somali Diaspora in Finland. In Somalia: Diaspora and State Reconstitution In The Horn Of Africa. (A. Osman Farah M. Muchie, and J. Gundel eds.) Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd.
Prentice, Michael Morgan, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Restructuring Corporations From Below: The Re-emergence of Hierarchy among South Korea's Conglomerates,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Hull
Preliminary abstract: In the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis in Korea, IMF restructuring led to major economic and social overhauls across Korean society, including reforms to corporate governance among the country's infamous conglomerates. Subsequent restructuring was meant to root out the cronyistic and personalistic practices of the past and implement new models of transparency, accountability and efficiency suitable for global competition. This project explores how Korean office cultures and work practices have changed in the years since, especially as post-IMF reforms have become institutionalized. I look at this phenomenon through the particular lens of changes in Korea's military-like hierarchy system, long a symbol of corporate paternalism. Numerous conglomerates have sought to transform hierarchical divisions along egalitarian lines, from 'flat' organizational structures to equalized terms of address. My project takes an interactional approach to understand why and how office workers might resist efforts to make workplaces more equal. In fourteen months of Wenner-Gren-funded fieldwork in Seoul, South Korea, I will explore the plethora of institutional policies across South Korea's sixty conglomerates and observe how they are taken up in practice, especially across new modes of digital communication. I hypothesize that as 'flat' relations become implemented, Korean office workers may seek asymmetrical relations with other co-workers to cultivate a social insurance in a turbulent labor market. This project will elucidate broader anthropological concerns for social mobility, capitalist organization and the language of hierarchy.
Frey, Carol J., U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Pastoralism's Ecological Legacy: Zooarchaeological Investigation in the Southwest Cape, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Donald K. Grayson
CAROL J. FREY, then a student at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, was awarded a grant in October 2003 to aid research on 'Pastoralism's Ecological Legacy: Zooarchaeological Investigation in the Southwest Cape, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Donald K. Grayson. This research used archaeofaunal remains to examine the prehistoric ecological impacts of the introduction of herding in the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Ecologists and conservationists recognize that the shapes and courses of modern ecosystems are plotted by the legacy of prior human land use and by long-term ecological community dynamics. In the Western Cape, already occupied by hunter-gatherers and native wild fauna, sheep (Ovis aries) and cattle (Bos taurus) were introduced between c. 2000 and 1300 years ago. In order to address how this prehistoric introduction of herd animals and herding economies may have affected the landscape, archaeofaunal remains were examined from three well-stratified sites that span the preceding period, as well as the local introduction and the development of pastoralism: Die Kelders, Kasteelberg and Paternoster. Factors relevant to addressing changes in human use of the landscape and changes in the Landscape itself include the types and range of prey taken by humans before and after the arrival of domestic animals, transport decisions, prey demographics, and live condition. Taxon, skeletal element, age-at-death, butchery and taphonomic data were collected for more than 30,000 reptile and mammal remains. Conical bone thickness, a potential indicator of animals' live condition, was recorded using X-ray photography of complete long bones and bone portions. Preliminary results suggest that the introduced domesticates did not directly impact wild populations, but shifts in human landscape use, consequent to the introduction of herding, did have effects on certain native taxa.
Velasco, Matthew Carlos, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'Burials and Boundaries: Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Social Differentiation and Integration in the Late Prehispanic Andes,' supervised by Dr. Tiffiny Audrey Tung
MATTHEW C. VELASCO, then a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Burials and Boundaries: Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Social Differentiation and Integration in the Late Prehispanic Andes,' supervised by Dr. Tiffiny A. Tung. This project examined how the emergence of new burial traditions contributed to social cohesion and identity formation during a period of widespread ecological and political upheaval in the ancient Andes (AD 1000-1450). Funding supported archaeological excavation, digital mapping, and skeletal analysis of a large collection of human remains (representing over 200 individuals) recovered from two cemetery sites in the southern highlands of Peru. Using a bioarchaeological approach, this study explored if diverse social groups utilized mortuary buildings to integrate their dead and promote alliance formation, or if they alternatively maintained separate cemeteries to reify group boundaries based on kinship and resource rights. Preliminary results reveal heterogeneity in the style and degree of cranial modification within single tombs, tentatively supporting a model in which mortuary practices promoted solidarity and exchange between different kinship and ethnic groups. However, the elongated form of modification is virtually absent from the earliest burial contexts, suggesting that the consolidation of a regional ethnic identity may have occurred relatively late in prehistory, perhaps in response to Inka imperial expansion. Ongoing analysis will provide additional insights into the social identities of the dead and how they intervened in broader political and social transformations among the living.
Kisin, Eugenia Carol, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Indigenous Sovereignties, Non-secular Modernities: The Market for Northwest Coast First Nations Art,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
EUGENIA C. KISIN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Indigenous Sovereignties, Non-Secular Modernities: The Market for Northwest Coast First Nations Art,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers. Indigenous social movements have had long histories in settler states. But in recent decades, a new cultural politics has emerged that hinges on expressive culture -- art, music, and performance -- to assert sovereignty and contemporaneity. Within these movements, indigenous peoples have complex affiliations in relation to the commodity market, including community, pan-indigenous, religious, and professional identities. This project documents how contemporary indigenous cultural politics emerge around art, focusing on how the state, the art market, and religiosities are entangled with projects of indigenous self-determination in Vancouver, Canada. Exploring the ways in which First Nations artists take up the fluid categories of contemporary art while challenging modernist and secularist models of art's efficacies, this research shows how participants in this regional art world imagine new ways for aesthetics and politics to comingle in Indigenous practice, often amidst extractive state regimes. Through participant observation, life histories, social network analyses, and archival work in the many spaces of the art world, this research explores how the politics, discourses, and processes of contemporary First Nations art production have led to a $100 million market for Northwest Coast art, and how, on this market, cultural and monetary values are powerfully interlinked.
Arnedo, Luisa Fernanda, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Variation and Social Functions of Neigh Vocalization in the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus),' supervised by Dr. Karen B. Strier
LUISA FERNANDA ARNEDO, then a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Variation and Social Functions of Neigh Vocalization in the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus),' supervised by Dr. Karen B. Strier. This project investigated the acoustic variation and social function of 'neigh' vocalizations of northern muriqui. During a 14-month study at the RPPN-Feliciano Miguel Abdala, Brazil, three questions were investigated: 1) whether female muriquis are able to imitate vocalizations of novel companions when they transfer into new groups, resulting in distinctive calls for each group; 2) whether vocalizations can provide information about the caller's sex and identity; and 3) whether differences in the number of calls per individual correspond to levels of sociality, with higher number of vocalizations predicted for individuals who maintain a larger number or associates. A total of 2,328 staccato and 1,217 neigh vocalizations were collected. Preliminary analyses suggest that resident females and males appear to produce neigh vocalizations more often than immigrant females. Females in general use staccato vocalizations more often than males, but resident females tend to use these vocalizations more often than immigrant females. Both of these findings are consistent with the idea that immigrant females might vocalize less often due to their lower levels of sociality. Furthermore, females might be reducing food competition by using higher rates of staccatos as spacing calls while foraging. Spectrographic and statistic analyses are underway to confirm these results.