Smith, Daymon M., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Language Ideologies in Mormonism, 1880-1930,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha
DAYMON M. SMITH, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ws awarded a grant in July 2005 to aid research on 'Language Ideologies in Mormonism, 1880-1930,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha. This grant funded overlapping stages of data collection and initial dissertation write-up. The dissertation was submitted and accepted in May 2007. It employs text analytics from linguistic anthropology to reconstruct a space of resistance in 1880s Utah Territory, called 'the Underground,' designed to conceal Mormon polygamists from federal intervention. It traces how emergent ideas about language, its usefulness and role in public spheres, developed among 'underground' Mormon elites. Resultant discursive and interpretive practices, alongside continuation or renunciation of polygamy, eventually aligned, splitting Mormonism into 'fundamentalist' and 'modern' groups. Each group developed historiographic methods that grounded their views of language, and claims to cultural authenticity, deep into history. The dissertation demonstrates how discourse, interlocking across newspapers, diaries, and letters, can be used to reconstruct the relationship between interactional events and large-scale culture change. Archival materials, consisting of diaries, letters, meeting minutes, emails, organizational directives, and so forth, were gathered from personal collections of Mormons affiliated with both fundamentalist and modern groups. As a result of the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation these archival resources are publicly accessible for the first time; and without its support the dissertation's interdisciplinary efforts surely would have been truncated, and its completion much delayed.
Hatch, Mallorie Ann, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Investigating Warfare and Physical Violence during the Mississippian Period (ca. AD 1000-1350) of Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Jane Ellen Buikstra
MALLORIE A. HATCH, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Investigating Warfare and Physical Violence during the Mississippian Period (ca. AD 1000-1350) of Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Jane E. Buikstra. The funded research examined if a positive correlation exists between intergroup violence and intragroup violence during the Mississippian period (ca. AD 1000-1350) in the Central Illinois Valley (CIV). Ethnographic research has identified links between increases in warfare with increases in various forms of intragroup violence, including domestic violence, assaults, homicides, and violent sports. Yet, it remains unclear whether or not this association holds within archaeological cultures uninfluenced by western states. To test these observations, skeletal trauma was analyzed in conjunction with age and sex variables to assess intragroup and intergroup violence frequencies. These results were refined through analysis of discrete and continuous phenotypic traits to estimate the biological kinship of those who exhibit skeletal trauma compared to the other members of the cemetery sample. Burial location and artifacts associations were also examined to test for differences in treatment at death. Initial results support the hypothesis that as intergroup violence increased during the Mississippian period in the CIV, intragroup violence increased concomitantly. While warfare and intragroup violence appeared in low frequencies early in the Mississippian period, after AD 1300, both intragroup and intergroup violence appear endemic. This project adds to the literature examining the cross-cultural consequences of violence socialization for warfare participation.
Mbah, Leonard Ndubueze, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Emergent Masculinities: The Gendered Struggle for Power in Southeastern Nigeria, 1850-1920,' supervised by Dr. Nwando Achebe
LEONARD NDUBUEZE MBAH, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on ''Emergent Masculinities:' The Gendered Struggle for Power in Southeastern Nigeria, 1850-1920,' supervised by Dr. Nwando Achebe. From July 2011 to July 2012, the grantee conducted three months of archival research in London, Edinburgh, Ibadan, Lagos, and Enugu, and nine months of oral history and ethnographic research in Ohafia, southeastern Nigeria. Relying on individual and group interviews, life histories, gendered rituals and memorialization ceremonies, emic interpretations of material culture and linguistic expressions, and participant observation, this research locates masculinity as a concept within the cultural logic, norms, practices, idioms, and institutions of Ohafia-Igbo society. The research elucidates the historical processes of the construction of and changes in masculinity, and interrogates the dialectics of individualism, subjectivity and consciousness in the face of internal (lineage system, warfare and head-hunting, socio-political organization, and indigenous institutions) and external (Atlantic slavery, British colonialism, Christian missionary evangelism, and Western education) influences. This study examines the dynamic relationships between masculinity and femininity within Ohafia-Igbo matrilineal context over time, as well as the tenuous gendered contestations there-in, and shows the impact of the historical constructions of masculinities on gendered unequal power distribution in the society, between 1850 and 1920. 'Emergent Masculinities' argues that constructing new individual and collective identities for political purposes was a real and immediate necessity in both pre-colonial and colonial Africa. The gendered character of this identity formation underlines the dramatic shift from a pre-colonial period characterized by more powerful and more effective female socio-political institutions, to a colonial period of male socio-political domination in southeastern Nigeria.
Bullock Kreger, Meggan Miranda-Lee, Pennsylvania State U., University Park, PA - To aid research on 'Immigrant Mortality in the Postclassic Urban Center of Cholula, Puebla,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Hirth
MEGGAN M. BULLOCK KREGER, then a student at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Immigrant Mortality in the Postclassic Urban Center of Cholula, Puebla,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Hirth. As part of a paleodemographic reconstruction of the Postclassic (AD 900-1521) urban center of Cholula, Puebla, a strontium isotope study of skeletons from a low-status residential zone was carried out to identify immigrants and to determine how they may have contributed to population dynamics in this Mesoamerican city. A preliminary interpretation of the strontium isotope data suggests that as much as 18-22% of the sample may consist of nonlocal individuals. As tentatively identified immigrants disproportionately date to the Early Postclassic, immigration may have played some role in the resurgence of the city during this time period. Both males and females were represented among potential immigrants, but females were slightly more numerous, which may reflect women immigrating to Cholula in order to marry. A child was also identified as having a possibly nonlocal value; thus, it seems that family groups were also relocating to the city. Adults identified as possible immigrants disproportionately died between the ages of 30 and 50, while those native residents who survived to adulthood generally lived past the age of 50, perhaps indicating that selective factors on migration resulted in immigrants to Cholula being frailer than native residents.
Sandberg, Paul Adams, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'High Resolution Reconstruction of Early Life History Events in Archaeological Humans: A Biogeochemical Approach,' supervised by Dr. Matt Sponheimer
PAUL A. SANDBERG, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'High Resolution Reconstruction of Early Life History Events in Archaeological Humans: A Biogeochemical Approach,' supervised by Dr. Matt Sponheimer. There has been increasing interest in reconstructing aspects of human life history in the past using stable isotope analysis of bones and teeth. This has most commonly been accomplished by measuring stable isotope ratios in the bone collagen of individuals at various ages of death, or by comparing the stable isotopes in the enamel of teeth that form at different times. While useful, the temporal resolution of these methods is rather coarse grained. A relatively new method of measuring stable isotopes in tooth enamel -- laser ablation / gas chromatography / isotope ratio mass spectrometry -- permits the analysis of very small amounts of enamel in situ and creates the opportunity to generate high-resolution stable isotope profiles within single human teeth. The goal of this project is to use this method to greatly improve the temporal resolution of infant and childhood diet, and dietary changes associated with the weaning process and seasonality. A variety of methodological issues were addressed including sampling location within dental enamel and the comparability of isotope profiles in different tooth types and dental tissues. High resolution intratooth stable isotope analysis holds promise for addressing a number of questions concerning human life history in the archaeological and fossil records.
Gouez, Aziliz, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Dwelling in Debt: Mortgage Debt and the Making of the Future in Contemporary Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Preliminary abstract: This research proposes to study the hold of financial debt on domestic time frames in contemporary Ireland by focusing attention on the role of debt in configuring the future, a domain of human life which remains underexplored in anthropology. The objective is to investigate the characteristics of the particular temporal regime fostered by a financial instrument which the Irish version of late capitalism made available to the many -- that of the mortgage loan. Taking my cue from Jane Guyer's notion of 'punctuated time', I shall examine how the domestic future is assembled and rendered intelligible (or perhaps, on the contrary, obscured) through the projection of dates that encapsulate distinct horizons and categories of obligations. This will entail looking at various temporal devices related to household budgeting strategies, such as wall calendars, family account books and mortgage repayment schedules, as a site from which to grasp the nesting of conflicting obligations as well as temporal disjunctures, when the round of monthly mortgage payments disrupts the unfolding of anticipated personal and intergenerational trajectories, or when it intersects with provisions made for a child's communion or one's own funeral. I shall also delve into the moral discussions arising from the weighing up of mortgage debt against other types of debt, including those binding citizens to the state, and those obligating the Irish government towards its international creditors.
Lin, Minghao, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'The Origin and Early History of Oxen Ploughing in China,' supervised by Dr. Preston Miracle
MINGHAO LIN, then a student at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'The Origin and Early History of Oxen Ploughing in China,' supervised by Dr. Preston Miracle. Cattle ploughing was, for thousands of years, the primary means of land cultivation for ancient Chinese people. Not only was this practice the most efficient way to achieve greater crop yield as population increased, but also contributed to social transformation by shifting more labor to other handicraft industries. The objective of this project is to clear the questions of when, where, and how cattle ploughing developed in northern China. Investigations were mainly carried out in dozens of sites in northern China with a focus on Chinese Bronze Age period, especially Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE). Examinations on bone pathology and improved metric methods were applied on both archaeological cattle samples and modern comparative ones. Other lines of evidence, such as oracle characters, ploughs, engraved stone pictures etc., were also employed in this research. While the major data-analyzing work is still in progress in the lab, preliminary results on pathology and measurement indicate cattle ploughing was developed during the Shang Dynasty, which contributes considerably to the decades-lasting debate of this practice in Chinese Bronze Age. Even more specifically, different pathological index values seem to reveal diverse cattle managements among sites in northern China.
Beier, Christine M., U. of Texas, Austin, Texas - To aid research on 'Composing Relationships: Extemporaneous Nanti Karintaa Poetry in Peruvian Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Joel F. Sherzer
CHRISTINE M. BEIER, then a student at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in November 2003 to aid research on 'Composing Relationships: Extemporaneous Nanti karintaa poetry in Peruvian Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Joel F. Sherzer. Research was carried out in the Nanti communities on the Camisea River in southeastern Peruvian Amazonia. In order to identify the distinctive features of karintaa, an extemporaneous chanted poetry performed by Nantis during village-wide feasts, the researcher investigated the salient contrasts among four Nanti ways of speaking: karintaa; scolding talk, principally performed by women to express disapproval; hunting talk, performed among male hunters; and visiting talk, a style of interaction used by all Nantis during focused intra- and inter-household social activities. By comparing these four ways of speaking, the researcher investigated how their formal features influence uptake and interpretation during interactions. Beier identified a set of features that consistently mark and distinguish between Nanti ways of speaking, including pitch, tone, timbre, and prosody; rate, volume, and intensity of speech; body alignment; participant frameworks; and co-occuring social activities. Beier also examined her data in part from the perspective of describing a Nanti discursive ecology, seeking to identify how discrete ways of speaking inform each other across social time and space. By investigating the features of Nanti ways of speaking from an ethnographic perspective, this research addresses more general disciplinary questions regarding the mutually constituting relationships between discursive practices and social organization.
Raucher, Michal Soffer, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Women Know What to Expect When They are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman
MICHAL SOFFER RAUCHER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Woman Know What to Expect When They Are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman. This research was based on the hypothesis that given the prominent cultural and religious rejection of fetal personhood by Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) women in Jerusalem, anthropological theories on the effect of fetal ultrasound on personification did not apply. This project sets out to unravel the relationship between medicine, religion, and the individual in Israeli prenatal care. The phase of research supported by Wenner-Gren resulted in the collection of interviews with doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas (labor-coaches) who work with Haredi women in Jerusalem. This phase also included extensive observations in a Haredi prenatal clinic and in the fetal ultrasound department of a major hospital in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the researcher spent a year observing the daily operations at the Jewish pro-life organization in Jerusalem. Findings from this phase of research highlight the ways in which doctors and rabbis act in concert in order to control the prenatal experiences of Haredi women; however, bolstered by their embodied experiences of pregnancy and the value given to their reproductive capabilities by the religious culture, Haredi women manipulate this system of control in order to conform to their requests and desires regarding prenatal medical care.
Fraga, Christopher, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Traffic in Contemporary Mexican Art Photography,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Abercrombie
CHRISTOPHER FRAGA, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in August 2007 to aid research on 'The traffic in contemporary Mexican art photography,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Abercrombie. The project sought to analyze the relationships between the changing political economy of the Mexican state and the aesthetics of art photography circulating in publications, exhibitions, and private sales. Over the course of fifteen months of research in Mexico City, the primary researcher acted as a participant observer in a wide range of art world and photography activities, focusing on how individual photographers were responding to the recently elected conservative government's redistribution of state support for the arts. The concentration of state resources in monumental projects (such as the newly inaugurated University Museum of Contemporary Art) has forced young artists and photographers to assume a curatorial function toward their own work, which in turn has pushed their artistic production in new, more critical directions. This project suggests that the poetics of contemporary Mexican photography challenges dominant art historical discourses about contemporary artistic production, rejecting neo-exotic representat