Berry, Nicole S., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Everyday Health Care Interactions and Obstetric Care Use Among Kaqchikel Women,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Mannheim
NICOLE S. BERRY, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in May 2002 to aid research on the use of obstetric care among Kaqchikel women in Guatemala, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Mannheim. Berry spent 12 months (September 2002 to August 2003) in Sololá, Guatemala, investigating the influence of everyday interactions between Kaqchikel Mayan women and health-care workers on these women's decisions to seek emergency care during birthing difficulties. She collected data primarily through participant and nonparticipant observation and interviewing. She participated in educational efforts aimed at increasing the quality of emergency obstetric care, both for indigenous traditional birth attendants and for doctors working in the hospital. During two months at the local hospital, she observed 93 obstetric cases that came into the emergency room and recorded a subset of 34 of them. The audio recordings were transcribed with the help of trained assistants. Finally, Berry carried out extensive interviewing in the Kaqchikel village where she lived and the two neighboring villages that composed one health district. She interviewed a randomly chosen sample of 134 women and 15 men about the topic of birth. In each interview she recorded basic demographic information, investigated people's uses of health care resources, and obtained a detailed reproductive history with an emphasis on birthing complications.
Berry, Nicole S.2006. Kaqchikel Midwives, Home Births, and Emergency Obstetric Referrals in Guatemala: Contextualizing the Choice to Stay at Home. Social Science & Medicine 62:1958-1969.
Polson, Michael Robert, City U. of New York, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Shifting Governance of Marijuana in Northern California: Medicalization, Illegality, and Practices of Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
MICHAEL R. POLSON, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Shifting Governance of Marijuana in Northern California: Medicalization, Illegality, and Practices of Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. This project analyzed the elaboration and negotiation of social relations and practices in the emerging medical and underground marijuana markets of northern California. It sought to understand the inter-relationship of policy production, activism, economic activity, and everyday practices of those related to marijuana in order to decipher the broader regional transformations in the political economy of marijuana. During fieldwork, substantial shifts occurred as the federal government intervened in the medical marijuana distribution system, thus altering marijuana's institutional composition, commodity chain flow, medical significance, il/legal status, and governance. Because the political terrain continues to change, this project focused on the dynamics of these changes, particularly on several key and enduring phenomena, including: tensions over modes of distribution; the significance of marijuana land transactions and agricultural practices; intermeshing of medical and 'recreational' marijuana markets; differing modes of governance; and biomedical vs. medicinal-herbal understandings of marijuana. The summation of these factors creates a picture of a regional economy in transformation with widespread implications for the War on Drugs, understandings of the relation between plants, medicine and the body, and the power of law and emergent modes of governance and political activism.
Polson, Michael. 2013. Land and Law in Marijuana Country: Clean Capital, Dirty Money, and the Drug War's Rentier Nexus. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 36(2):215-230.
Forgey, Kathleen, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Nasca Trophy Heads: Revered Ancestors or Victims of Warfare?,' supervised by Dr. Sloan R. Williams
KATHLEEN FORGEY, then a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in July 2001 to aid research on 'Nasca Trophy Heads: Revered Ancestors or Victims of Warfare?,' supervised by Dr. Sloan R. Williams. Trophy heads have been the subject of great debate concerning their role in early Nasca society, a famous ancient culture found on the south coast of Peru around AD 1- 600. Some researchers have argued that these trophy heads belonged to revered ancestors, and may have been displayed in religious ceremonies, while others have argued that the heads represent trophies of war and were taken from slain enemies. This research project was designed to survey mitochondrial DNA genetic variation in the Nasca area and to use that information to compare genetic variation between the human trophy heads and the associated skeletal remains from three Nasca archaeological sites: Cahuachi, Cantayo, and Majoro Chico to determine if the heads were more likely war trophies or ancestral relics. DNA was successfully extracted from the bone and tooth samples collected from 46 of the 73 individuals tested. These samples revealed that haplogroups A, B, C, X and possibly others were present in the Nasca valley. Although the study is as yet incomplete, clear evidence of mitochondrial genetic diversity is present in the valley, which suggests that the study of ancient genetic diversity can be successfully applied to this research question.
Valentine, Benjamin Thomas, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'Isotopic Perspectives on Migration and Identity: A View From the Harappan Hinterland,' supervised by Dr. John Krigbaum
BENJAMIN T. VALENTINE, then a student at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Isotopic Perspectives on Migration and Identity: A View from the Harappan Hinterland,' supervised by Dr. John Krigbaum. Indus Civilization cemetery burials provide an important opportunity for understanding the interaction between migration and identity in ancient urban South Asia. Life history data from the multi-isotope analysis of Integration Era (2600-1900BC) individuals at the lowland sites of Harappa (n=45) and Farmana (n=21) inform a mortuary analysis that seeks to embed the social dimensions of mortuary practices within a context of interregional interaction and highland-lowland exchange. Carbon and oxygen isotope data are variable but show little intra-cemetery patterning. Strontium and lead isotope data, however, suggest nearly all inhumed individuals were first generation immigrants separated in early childhood from natal groups living in the resource-rich highlands. Further analyses are needed to confirm the trend, but initial interpretations are best explained by fosterage. Known to be practiced in historical South Asia, fosterage can simultaneously create relationships of mutual obligation and hierarchical differentiation between culturally distinct groups. By contrast, isotope data from post-urban Sanauli suggest geographic origin demarcated identity less clearly during the Localization Era (1900-1300BC). If validated by further work, this archaeological case study helps to understand the complex outcomes of migration across urban cultural boundaries.
Khalil, Nemat-Allah, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Media War: Emerging Expressive Cultural Practices in Contemporary Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Kelly Askew
Preliminary abstract: Many young Egyptians no longer watch television; they critique official media outlets and private satellite television for being government mouthpieces. Unlike previous generations, Egyptian youth do not trust the information provided by such channels and actively shun their programming. While several young people seek out new forms of media for information and entertainment, others have mounted what they call a 'media war' against mainstream Egyptian channels, opting to produce alternative content themselves, while using the Internet to disseminate their work. Building on anthropology's interest in expressive cultural practices, this project asks: what alternative media and expressive practices are emerging in contemporary Egypt? How are young cultural producers reconfiguring social space and political practice? How is the Internet used as a platform for the dissemination of music videos, visual art, and short films as a way to undermine the theatre of the state? This project is situated in an ethnographic exploration of an alternative media production site in Cairo, Egypt and will specifically examine who young cultural producers are, what they are making, and how they are generating a virtual public. Linking the practice of cultural production to large anthropological questions about social process and social relations, this study aims to highlight the complex relationship between expressive culture and the exercise of power.
Andersen, Barbara Anne, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Nursing Education and Gendered Dilemmas in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
BARBARA A. ANDERSEN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Nursing Education and Gendered Dilemmas in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Nurses, the majority of whom are women, are the primary health care providers in Papua New Guinea (PNG). As members of PNG's small 'educated working class,' they share values that have been shaped by missionary, colonial, and developmentalist moralities of caregiving. These include the importance of outreach to the country's rural majority. However, rapid economic transformation has heightened social conflict along lines of gender, class, and region. Nurses in Papua New Guinea face a dilemma: they must serve and respect rural people -- with whom they may share kinship, language, and culture -- while also preserving their own fragile authority. This research, based on fourteen months of participant observation and life-history interviews at a nursing college in Eastern Highlands Province, examines how students acquire the discursive and practical repertoires necessary for managing this dilemma in clinical settings and in their own lives. This dissertation argues that students resolve the contradiction between the idealization of rural life and the desire for modernity through a strategy of 'displaced agency:' attributing to rural people qualities of willfulness and disobedience and linking health to discipline, obedience, and order. The study concludes that these concerns with obedience profoundly shape nursing practice in PNG, limiting nurses' ability to equitably distribute care.
Ossi, Kerry Michele, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'The Juvenile Balancing Act: Survival, Skill-Learning and Growth in Phayre's Leaf Monkeys,' supervised by Dr. Andreas Koenig
KERRY OSSI, then a student at State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Juvenile Balancing Act: Survival, Skill-Learning and Growth in Phayre's Leaf Monkeys,' supervised by Dr. Andreas Koenig. Evolutionary explanations often link primates' slow life history, in particular their extended immature period, to greater brain size. In turn, encephalization has been attributed to primates' increasingly complex dietary niche and their complex social environment. Whether or not selection favored a longer juvenility, this life stage is a period of great risks -- particularly pre-reproductive mortality -- and great opportunities, including the acquisition of social and ecological skills. This research aimed to address juvenile strategies and ontogenetic sources of possible fitness variation in juvenile Phayre's leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus phayrei) by assessing: 1) foraging skills relative to size, experience, and social factors: 2) spatial tactics for reducing competitive and predator risks; 3) social investment and potential benefits (e.g., models for learning, future allies); and 4) variation in size-for-age and its social and ecological correlates. Seventeen months of data were collected at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand over a 20-month span including behavioral observations, mechanical and chemical analyses of food plants, and digital photographs with distances for use in estimating limb lengths. Preliminary results point to age-related differences in feeding efficiency across several food types.
Borries, Carola, Amy Lu, Kerry Ossi-Lupo, et al. 2011. Primate Life Histories and Dietary Adaptations: A Comparison of Asian Colobines and Macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144(2): 286-299.
Douny, Laurence, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Perspectives on Dogon Cosmogony: An Archaeoethnography of Architectural Space and Forms,' supervised by Dr. Michael J. Rowlands
LAURENCE DOUNY, while a student at University College London in London, England, received funding in February 2003 to aid archaeoethnographic research on Dogon cosmogony as expressed in architectural space and forms, under the supervision of Dr. Michael J. Rowlands. Through fieldwork in the Dogon land of Mali-West Africa, Douny explored the Dogon worldview, or cosmogonic system, as reported in the 1950s by the French ethnologist Marcel Griaule and objectified in Dogon domestic architecture. Instead of producing an elaborate construction of symbolic knowledge embodied in materiality, he offered a more pragmatic and ontological exegesis of Dogon habitat and worldviews. Through systematic observations of embodied praxis and experience of materiality, he examined the nature, structure, and transmission of Dogon ontological worldviews. The bodily, tactile experience of materiality in the making and daily use of a compound revealed Dogon conceptions of the body, the self, and identity. It gave access to Dogon people's perceptions and conceptualizations of their habitat, which they identified as a container for life that provided ontological security, constituted the individual's self, and generated a particular sense of home and an attachment to it. Finally, by recontextualizing in situ an archaeological database provided by the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunden (Netherlands), Douny was able to itemize material changes in Dogon habitat over a period of twenty years, which told of changes in Dogon perceptions, definitions, and conceptualizations of society, the individual, and the environment.
Styles, Megan Anne, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Global Production in a Contested Local Landscape: The Conflict Surrounding Cut Flower Farming in Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
MEGAN A. STYLES, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Global Production in a Contested Local Landscape: The Conflict Surrounding Cut Flower Farming in Kenya,' supervised byDr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan. Cut flower exports play a critical role in the Kenyan economy. Roses, carnations, and other familiar flower varieties are now the nation's second largest foreign exchange earner, and an estimated 50,000 workers and their dependents rely on jobs within the industry. However, the success of floriculture is often tempered by allegations of environmental degradation at sites of production. The vast majority of Kenyan flowers are grown along the shores of Lake Naivasha, a critical freshwater body located in the Rift Valley that provides a lifeline for local communities and habitat for an impressive number of species. Because of the sensitive and contested nature of the landscape surrounding Lake Naivasha, the potential environmental effects of floriculture are particularly controversial in this locale. This project explores the ways that people living and working in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha view the environmental effects of floriculture and the strategies that they use to address these perceived effects. Although consumer (or buyer-driven) activism has played a vital role in reforming labor conditions and environmental practices in the flower industry, local actors are also a driving force in developing regulatory pathways and conceptualizing new forms of environmental governance in the lake area.
Indrisano, Gregory G., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff
GREGORY G. INDRISANO, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff. Full coverage pedestrian surface survey of 102 square kilometers on the northern shore of Daihai Lake, Liangcheng County, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, PRC, recorded the extent of ancient habitation from 2900 BCE to 1400 CE. The goal of the project was to systematically record the spatial extent as well as the artifact density and geographic setting of ancient habitation in this region through time. The northern shore of Daihai lake included more than 750 hectares of total occupation producing more than 17,800 sherds from the Laohushan, Zhukaigou, Warring States, Han Dynasty, Liao Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty Periods. Little or no settlement hierarchy is apparent in the settlement pattern for this region until it was integrated into the Central Plain polities during the Warring States Period. From the Warring States into the Han Dynasty Periods, strong settlement hierarchies develop as this region was integrated into the Han Dynasty. After a period of low population this area was once again integrated into the Central Plain Dynasties of the Liao and Yuan, where even further hierarchies develop, centered on the rich lacustrine environment on the shore of Daihai Lake. Another goal of the project was to investigate how these administrative hierarchies affected subsistence strategies in the past. Preliminary results suggest that many of these spatially extensive, administratively complex polities required intensive farming from the peasant populations to feed the large number of unproductive residents. This intensive farming brought people together into densely packed site hierarchies that left little room for herding activities, and the intensive agricultural practices would have limited the ability of farmers to practice mixed economies. If these preliminary results are supported by future analysis, then subsistence is more closely connected with the demands made on farmers by complex polities than by chan