Samuels, Joshua William, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Reclamation: The Archaeology of Agricultural Reform in Fascist Sicily,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell
JOSHUA SAMUELS, a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Reclamation: The Archaeology of Agricultural Reform in Fascist Sicily,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell. This project explored how Sicilian farmers negotiated Fascist land reforms and building programs of the 1930s and early 1940s. By asking whether farmers' compliance with the government was voluntary or coerced, and if they were the targets of a manipulative social re-education, the study questioned the extent to which Sicily can be considered an internal colony within the Fascist empire. Through a regional archaeological survey of Fascist-period farmhouses in western Sicily, ethnographic interviews with their former residents, and archival research into their planning, construction, and ownership, the project tied changes in domestic and agricultural practice to patterns of translocation across Sicily's agricultural landscape. As attention shifts away from the politicians, planners, and architects who engineer Fascist regimes, this three-pronged approach presented a fresh opportunity to understand the active contestations, compromises, and selective appropriations that people make, at the level of everyday practice, in their encounters with totalitarian hegemony.
Gottlieb, Samantha, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore MD - To aid research on 'Parental Decision-Making, Risk, and New Medical Technology: Mandating the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
SAMANTHA GOTTLIEB, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Parental Decision-Making, Risk, and New Medical Technology: Mandating the HPV Vaccine,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. This project considered the social-cultural debates around the new medical technology, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, and the public's attitudes and knowledge around its dissemination. Predominantly situated in Los Angeles, California, the ethnographic fieldwork explored parental attitudes toward vaccination, more generally, and looked at how terms like risk and uncertainty informed acceptance of the HPV vaccine. The data collected suggest that public understanding of the vaccine has been significantly shaped and informed by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Merck, quite possibly to the detriment of public education and comprehensive knowledge of one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections. The project followed the vaccine through disparate institutions and communities to try to capture the variety of interpretations and comprehension of the vaccine. Although initially framed as a project specifically about the HPV vaccine, the research also included the debates that the vaccine has fostered and emphasized the ways in which the vaccine sheds light on the complicated intersections of politics, marketing, and medicine. While the literature suggests that there are many countries in which the widespread use of the HPV vaccine could save many thousands of lives, the United States is not one of these countries.
Lin, Hsiu-Man, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'The Biological Evidence of the San-Pau-Chu-Site, Taiwan, and Its Association with Austronesian Migration,' supervised by Dr. Osbjorn M. Pearson
HSIU-MAN LIN, then a student at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'The Biological Evidence of the San-Pau-Chu-Site, Taiwan, and Its Association with Austronesian Migration,' supervised by Dr. Osbjorn M. Pearson. The general aim of this research is to characterize genetic variation in native population(s) in Taiwan as a tool to test hypotheses about population relationships and possible migrations in the southern Pacific. To date, we have collected samples of forty-one individuals from the San-Pau-Chu (SPC) site in Taiwan. Current ancient DNA results conducted for mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region sequencing and cloning as well haplogroups A, B, and M have show that at least two individuals can be assigned to haplogroup A, one to haplogroup B4, and four to haplogroup M. However, the results so far have raised additional questions. Do current results show that the SPC people are related to (or the ancestors of) the Ping-Pu people, the populations who were historically closer to Han Chinese, and more frequently admixed with them? Were the Ping-Pu people are genetically closer to Han Chinese than other highland Taiwanese Aborigines? Have issues with small sample sizes complicated the conclusions? Additional tests on haplogroups C and F, simulation studies of sampling designs, and collected dental morphological data may help to answer these questions. These next steps are currently underway and will be included in the dissertation.
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.
Rau, Pilar Karen, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Capitalist Relations: Kinship, Tourist Art, and Trade Networks in an Andean Community,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
PILAR RAU, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid 'Capitalist Relations: Kinship, Tourist Art, and Trade Networks in an Andean Community, ' supervised by Dr. Fred Myers. Cochas Chico is a Peruvian peasant community whose members want, in their words, to 'progress' and 'modernize.' Cochas Chico's claim to fame is the Mate Burilado, a gourd decorated with images of Andean life for sale to First World tourists. Many Cochasinos want their children to be 'professionals' instead of peasants and Cochasinos vehemently eschew the idea of their indigenousness: a state-of-being they locate in the past while, ironically, the craft they feel to be their ticket to capitalist modernity reproduces rural Andean culture through its idealized depictions and kin-based mode of production. This project examines how and why geographically dispersed members of a peasant community reproduce their families and peoplehood to pursue their goals of transforming themselves into 'modern' people by collectively producing symbols of rural peasant identity. It also seeks to understand how, in the wake of neoliberal restructuring, religious, neo-indigenist, and capitalist discourses influence local cultural identities and reproductive strategies and goals. This twelve-month ethnographic study collected data in Cochas Chico, Lima, and Cuzco, Peru on Cochasino practices of social reproduction, economic strategies, goals and understandings of their activities, and their participation in and understanding of the national and global discourses that interpolate peasants and artisans.
Fox, Samantha Maurer, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'EisenhüttenSTADT IM UMBAU: Imagining New Futures in a Post-Socialist City,' supervised by Dr. Brian Larkin
Preliminary abstract: Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany has been a city defined by a series of imagined futures since it was founded in 1950. Originally called Stalinstadt, it was conceived as the East German state's socialist utopia. Today it is a key site in the German government's push to transform post-industrial cities in the former East Germany into icons of green urbanism, most notably via the consolidation of sparsely populated urban areas and a rapid, often disruptive push to rely on renewable energy sources. My dissertation investigates the role that housing and electricity play in the transformation of Eisenhüttenstadt. I examine how residents interact with and talk about the transformations in their cityscape, and how such engagements fulfill or subvert planners' expectations. I also examine the ideologies of state socialism that lay behind the city's planning and investigate how such ideologies were manifested and experienced. Considering that the same built space has come to serve as a model for strikingly different conceptions of society and urbanization, Eisenhüttenstadt is an ideal site in which to investigate fundamental claims in anthropology about how built space produces social subjects and collectivities, as well as how new urban futures are established and enacted.
Wells, Eric C., Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at El Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Ben A. Nelson
ERIC C. WELLS, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received funding in July 2001 to aid research on 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at El Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Ben A. Nelson. The 2001-2002 Wenner-Gren Individual Research Grant in Archaeology, 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at EI Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' contributed financial support to a doctoral research project aimed at exploring the foundations of social power, expressed in the development of hierarchical social and material relations, in prehispanic Honduran chiefdoms. The study focused on the case of EI Coyote, the Classic period (ca. AD 300-1000) capital settlement of the lower Cacaulapa River Valley in northwestern Honduras. With funds from Wenner-Gren, archaeological data were collected from excavations in and around EI Coyote's main civic-ceremonial plaza to provide information on the range and organization of activities carried out in this space. The underlying assumption is that the practices that occurred in this space are directly related to the ways in which local rulers marshaled political and economic forces within their society and forged alliances with peers in neighboring realms. The nature and distribution of material remains in the plaza and in adjacent spaces, combined with chemical data produced from a multi-element analysis of the plaza's component sediments, indicate that craft manufacture, feasting, and ritual activities were carried out in the environs of the main plaza during the seventh through eleventh centuries. These data suggest that EI Coyote's rulers fashioned social hierarchy by centralizing and appropriating surplus labor during community-wide plaza activities in which feasts and other ritual practices served as inducements for individuals to participate in activities calculated to enhance chiefly productivity and to reinforce chiefly legitimacy.
Kloos, Stephan, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Tibetan Medicine in Exile: Ethics of Altruism, Politics of Survival,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams
STEPHAN KLOOS, then a student at University of California, San Francisco, California, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Tibetan Medicine in Exile: Ethics of Altruism, Politics of Survival,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams. This project studied the role of Tibetan medicine in exile in the ongoing effort to produce a Tibetan nation and preserve its culture. Ethnographic research focused on the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute (TMAI) based in Dharamsala, India, and its multiple relations with private practitioners of Tibetan medicine, the Tibetan exile-government, the Tibetan public, the Indian state, and foreign as well as Indian individuals and institutions. The research reveals that contemporary Tibetan medicine in exile is shaped and redefined at the intersection between governmental and commercial interests of these actors. It also describes how the TMAI struggles to integrate its governmental duty to represent the Tibetan cause and provide cheap health care to the Tibetan population, with the necessity to participate in a capitalist business model. The TMAI is forced to engage with modern science and technologies of quality control in order to 'preserve' its traditional efficacy, only to find its traditional technologies indispensible for creating the norms and standards that such quality control relies on. Through specific scientific practices such as this, as well as ethical, religious, and political maneuvers that this research documents, Tibetan medicine continues to transform itself in order to remain not only an effective health resource, but also a strong symbol of Tibet's place as a sovereign nation in the contemporary world. Preliminary results of this research have so far been presented as two conference papers.
Addo, Ping-Ann, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Cloth and Culture: The Significance of Tongan Barkcloth, with Special Attention to the Diaspora,' supervised by Dr. Eric W. Worby
PING-ANN ADDO, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded a grant in March 2001 to aid research on 'Cloth and Culture: The Significance of Tongan Barkcloth, with Special Attention to the Diaspora,' supervised by Dr. Eric W. Worby. This project investigated the cultural processes whereby hand-made textiles produced in the Tongan Islands remain significant in the daily lives and ceremonial cultural practices of New Zealand-dwelling Tongans. Broadly classified as koloa faka-Tonga (treasures of Tonga), these textiles constitute varieties of barkcloths and woven mats that have been produced continually in Tonga for at least the past three centuries and that remain the work of women. The research was designed to be a set of snapshots, over time and space, of the ways that textiles with locally distinctive Tongan patterns are serving the contemporary needs of Tongan people who make their homes in New Zealand. The research phases alternated between fieldwork in the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa, and in Auckland, New Zealand, in arenas where such textiles are produced, displayed, worn, commoditized, and exchanged as gifts. The main research question answered was: How is the value of koloa faka-Tonga affected by the correspondingly high value of money and hybrid Tongan-styled textiles (made from synthetic materials and primarily in diasporic locations), as evidenced through continuing processes of gift-exchange between Tongans in the homeland and the diaspora? The study will contribute to the ethnography of the Pacific and will advance theory in anthropology on material culture studies, as well as in the social sciences on diaspora and modernity.
Peano, Irene, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Sex-Trafficking between Nigeria and Italy: A Study of Networks, Personhood and the Commodification of Humans,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn Strathern
IRENE PEANO, then a student at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Sex-Trafficking between Nigeria and Italy: A Study of Networks, Personhood and the Commodification of Humans,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn Strathern. The research revolved around the phenomenon of women trafficking for sexual exploitation, taking place specifically between Nigeria and Italy. Eighteen months of fieldwork were carried out, of which eleven were spent in the Nigerian city of Benin, home to the majority of Nigerian women involved in the sex trade in Italy; the remaining time was spent in Turin, Italy. At a general level, fieldwork in both locations aimed at contextualising these practices in their social and cultural environment, by investigating kinship relations, moral values, ideas on society and the polity, religious beliefs, gender roles, notions of sexuality and the body, and perceptions of otherness, with particular reference to 'human trafficking' and its local understandings. More specifically, the research explored the ways in which different persons are constructed and construct themselves in some of the social spaces that trafficking defines: those of several NGOs and institutional actors, in their relations with their targets - trafficked sex workers in Italy and deportees or 'vulnerable women' in Nigeria. To those ends, the reflexive ethnographic method of participant observation was employed in the context of NGO activities in both countries, as well as in independent contacts with deported victims of trafficking and women currently engaged in the sex trade, supplemented by interviewing, attendance of court cases, and collection of written sources.