Johnsen, Scott A., U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Ritual and Reform: Bali-Hinduism in the Indonesian Nation-State,' supervised by Dr. Peter A. Metcalf
SCOTT A. JOHNSEN, while a student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in July 2001 to aid research on Balinese Hinduism in Indonesia, under the supervision of Dr. Peter A. Metcalf. Johnsen's goal was to determine how the practices and interpretations of Balinese rituals might be changing as Bali shifted from a hierarchical, 'Indic' model of social organization to a model oriented toward inclusion and egalitarian values in the Indonesian nation-state. He conducted eighteen months of research based in the city of Bangli, the capital of the regency of the same name and the home of formerly influential court families. He collected data through a combination of participant observation of city temple rituals and life-cycle rituals, interviews with ritual participants and religious and political authorities, and study of the mass media. Two main issues were pursued: the nature and influence of the construct 'Balinese Hinduism' as promulgated by the National Hindu Council, local authorities, laymen, and school authorities and the ways in which local government had both adopted and transformed many of the ritual duties formerly thought to be the prerogatives of royal families. Johnsen gathered data on the use of the concept 'one god' in Balinese Hinduism and on the frequently heard idea that Balinese had only recently come to understand their religion. He obtained views of social rank and its place in contemporary Bali by interviewing participants in intercaste marriages and in funerals of upper-caste persons attended by lower caste persons. Interviews with members of former royal families and government authorities and attendance at government-sponsored rituals enabled Johnsen to understand how local government conceived of itself as the heir to the duties of the former royal families.
An, Linh My, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Mental Illness among Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City,' supervised by Dr. Douglas Wood Hollan
LINH MY AN, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, too aid research on 'Mental Illness among Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City,' supervised by Dr. Douglas Wood Hollan. This study investigated the responses to mental illness in Chinese immigrant families in New York City. More specifically, it examined how cultural notions of self, emotional experience, behavioral rules, mental illness, kinship structure, and morality of caring interact with economic and social processes to influence the way females caregivers deal with relatives who are schizophrenic. The overwhelming majority of previous studies of families and mental illnesses focus only on negative aspects of caregiving or the subjective experience of the patient. This previous work has underemphasized and underexplored how families interact to construct shared perspectives of mental illness, normalcy, and recovery. In contrast, this research utilized ethnographic observations and interviews to understand how meaning is constructed in everyday family interactions. It is hoped that study results will complement and extend current understanding of mental illness among immigrant groups who experienced renegotiation of familial and gender roles in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Mullee, John O'Donnell, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Cancer by Design: Integrating Chronic Care in Sao Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Julie Y. Chu
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the administration of cancer-care in São Paulo, Brazil. It pursues the question: in a society with a robust biomedical tradition, how does the administration of biomedicine as 'healthcare' become itself a key object of concern? In the context of an intensifying shift from infectious to chronic disease interventions in local public health, the project explores the ways that an emerging cancer 'epidemic' challenges existing practices and values in healthcare administration. Key among these values are the concepts of 'integration' and 'delivery' of healthcare. To understand how these values are and are not achieved in practice, as well as how cancer in particular is perceived to undermine the public healthcare system, the project attends ethnographically to patient and clinician trajectories through the healthcare system.
Deutsch, Cheryl Lynn, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'The Traffic of Desire: Economic Growth, Environmental Sustainability, and Transportation Planning in Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Keith Murphy
Preliminary abstract: In a recent decision, Delhi's High Court directly challenged the car culture of India's growing middle class. Striking down a lawsuit brought by car-owners against a new bus system in the capital city, the Court argued: 'A developed country is not one where the poor own cars. It is one where the rich use public transport.' The Court's decision gave a go-ahead to convert over 300 kilometers of vehicle lanes into bus-only corridors along the city's congested road network and reflects a shift in thinking about urban development away from consumer culture and towards environmental sustainability. Transportation planners now face the challenge of implementing this new Bus Rapid Transit system and, with it, re-engineering the car culture of Delhi's middle class. Through one year of ethnographic research with Delhi's transportation planners, this project will bring to light the contestations at work in changing conceptions of development through infrastructures of mobility.
Schmid, Mary Elizabeth. Wheeler, U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Global Farming Families of Southern Appalachia and the Mexican Bajio,' supervised by Dr. Ann E. Kingsolver
Preliminary abstract: This transregional project concentrates on a binational kin group and pays particular attention to gender and generation. Members of the extended family group together act as global farming families who own and operate small to midlevel agricultural enterprises in southern Appalachia and the Mexican Bajío, their region of origin. Members of binational extended families regularly negotiate social, economic and political borders within and across regions and in-so-doing reshape industries, cultural meanings and everyday realities. Contributing to our global agro-food system through various positions and locations, family members of this binational group specialize in the production and distribution of tomatoes in the foothills of southern Appalachia and basic grains in the foothills of the Bajío. This project asks: How do women and men of this binational kin group from the Guanajuato Bajío conceptualize and draw on 'family' relations and temporal-spatial strategies to organize agricultural enterprises in southern Appalachia? Research shows that agro-food corporations diversify production sites across state borders. Preliminary research shows that this binational family group also mediates globalized agro-food markets by collectively strategizing across borders and regions. By theorizing this group of workers as collective strategists, this study will counterconstruct stereotypes of Latinos' roles in southeastern US agriculture in focusing on a vertically integrated, kin group of allied migrant farming families. Their stories and strategies provide insights into how members of a kin-based group of agricultural producers navigate two distinct, yet interrelated, regional political economies in North America when owning and operating enterprises in the context of our global agro-food system.
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
ERIC M. HIRSCH, then a graduate student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was granted funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Investing in Indigeneity: Development, Promise, and Public Life in Andean Peru's Colca Valley,' supervised by Dr. Justin Richland. This project investigates the ways indigenous enterprise, culture, and life have become financial investment targets, part of a contemporary development paradigm meant to extend economic inclusion while validating cultural diversity within Andean Peru's Colca Valley region. This research also examines how investment works as a medium for imagining what it means to be and identify as indigenous, in a context where indigeneity has seen a rapid shift in status from a liability to an asset for economic development. In tracking how indigeneity and investment are emerging together and in new ways, through an array of empowerment schemes within and beyond the scope of development institutions, ethnographic research has revealed elaborate forms of creative self-fashioning and belonging at their intersection. Research shows how transforming money or goods into an investment entails culturally particular practices that are highly revealing about a place. This suggests investment is not simply something instrumental. Whether investing in Andean indigeneity means funding entrepreneurs with NGO seed capital or offering the earth ritual goods like chicha and coca leaves to ensure a plentiful harvest, the interval between an investment and its various kinds of return opens spaces in which ideas of personhood and community are forged and engaged.
Zipkin, Andrew Michael, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Material Symbolism and Ochre Use in Middle Stone Age East-Central Africa,' supervised by Dr. Alison S. Brooks
ANDREW M. ZIPKIN, then a graduate student at George Washington University, Washington, DC, received funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'Material Symbolism and Ochre Use in Middle Stone Age East-Central Africa,' supervised by Dr. Alison S. Brooks. The discovery of ochre pigments at African Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites has been widely interpreted as relating to the onset of modern human symbolic behavior. However, an alternate hypothesis holds that ochre's first function was technological rather than symbolic. This project asked, 'When routine human acquisition of ochreous minerals began during the MSA, was this activity motivated primarily by symbolic or technological considerations?' Using ochre artifacts from the site of Twin Rivers Kopje, Zambia, as well as samples of mineral pigment deposits from Zambia, Kenya, and Malawi, this project refined geochemical methods of matching ochre artifacts to their source on the landscape. In addition, ochre streak colorimetry combined with analysis of how ochre artifacts from Twin Rivers were modified by humans determined that pigments with a saturated purple color were preferentially modified by grinding, likely to produce powdered pigment, relative to other types of ochre available near the site. Finally, an experimental archaeology study of ochre and resin adhesives determined that ochre fillers do not yield a significantly stronger adhesive than other widely available minerals like quartz, indicating that the documented use of ochre in the hafting of composite tools in the MSA was likely motivated by visual considerations.
McCoy, Jack T., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Ecological & Behavioral Implications of New Archaeological Occurrences from Koobi Fora, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris
JACK T. MCCOY, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in December 2005 to aid research on 'Ecological and Behavioral Implications of New Archaeological Occurrences from Koobi Fora, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris. Decades of investigations in Upper Burgi Member exposures (2.2 to 1.9 Ma) by many prominent paleoanthropologists have produced more than three dozen hominin body fossils but virtually no stone tools or other evidence of behavior has been reported. These exposed sediments preserve an archive of fossils that can reveal a great deal about the ecology, environment, and changing foraging behaviors of the earliest members of the genus Homo. Through the collection and analysis of the fossils of terrestrial vertebrates, it is possible to reconstruct ancient animal communities and offer hypotheses about the changing ecological niche that early human ancestors occupied. The addition of significant quantities of meat and marrow into the diet of early hominins is also visible in the fossil record. Cut marks and percussion marks are preserved on fossil bones and this evidence of hominin presence and behavior was collected during this field research along with the oldest stone tools yet discovered at Koobi Fora. This research makes it possible to construct testable hypotheses about hominin habitat and changing foraging behaviors at this critical juncture in human evolution.
Cloutier, Christina U. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT - To aid research on 'Tracking Patterns of the Menopausal Transition Through Endocrine Change in the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes),' supervised by Dr. Kristen Hawkes
Preliminary abstract: Chimpanzees are the best studied of the great apes. They are our closest living relatives, and share with us similar ages of terminal female fertility. Yet, unlike humans, chimpanzees become decrepit with age during their fertile years and rarely survive them--even in captivity. The effects of this general physiological senescence on ovarian function in the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) have been understudied. Although chimpanzees and humans experience very similar patterns and mechanisms of ovarian cycling during most of the fertile years, we know very little of age-mediated reproductive endocrine changes through the late thirties and beyond. The proposed project seeks to improve the record by collecting and quantifying age-specific endocrine data along the chimpanzee hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis for comparison with published data on humans. The HPO axis is a regulatory system acting between the brain and the ovaries that is subject to age-mediated degradation. While changes along the HPO axis in humans--indicated by altered gonadotropin hormone levels--are associated with declining ovarian follicle stocks, many investigators emphasize an active role for the brain as well. The corollary of this interaction is that changes in brain aging that evolved with increased longevity in the human lineage likely have consequences for the physiology of perimenopause. By collecting hormone data in captive chimpanzees, we will improve our understanding of aging in our sister species. Comparing these observations with age-matched data on women will clarify similarities and differences between chimpanzees and humans in age-related cycling dynamics and contribute to understanding distinctive aspects of the perimenopausal experience in our own lineage. perimenopausal experience that evolved in our own lineage.
Rodriguez, Lydia, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Thinking Gesture: The Dialectics of Language, Gesture, and Thought in Chol Maya,' supervised by Dr. Eve Danziger
LYDIA RODRIGUEZ, then a student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Thinking Gesture: The Dialectics of Language, Gesture, and Thought in Chol Maya,' supervised by Dr. Eve Danziger. This research investigates the relationship between language, gesture, and thought in a community of Chol Maya speakers of Northern Chiapas, Mexico. It explores the ways in which notions of time are spatialized in speech-accompanying gestures. Most of the existing research on the representation of time in gesture is based on work with 'tense' languages. In all of these studies the fact that time is given a linear representation is noteworthy. This research asks whether such representation of time in gesture is indeed a human universal. Current findings indicate that a linear conceptualization of time is absent in Chol speakers´ gestural repertoire. The co-speech gestures that appear most consistently in Chol discourse are: 1)deictic gestures pointing at real or imaginary locations, and elements in the landscape and the nearby space; 2) iconic gestures depicting shape, size, quantity, and distinctive features of people or mythical characters; 3) gestures occurring in phrases with affectives or positionals. In light of these findings, it is proposed that linearity of imagistic representation of time is not necessarily a universal in human thought. The fact that Chol main grammatical strategy to indicate temporal reference is aspect, and not tense, may account for this lack of linearity in Chol temporal thought.