Belmar Pantelis, Carolina Andrea, U. of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid research on 'Plant Exploitation amoung Steppe Hunter Gatherers: An Approach from Plant Microfossils, Baño Nuevo 1 Cave Site,' supervised by Dr. Cristian Favier Dubois
CAROLINA BELMAR PANTELIS, then a student at University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Plant Exploitation among Steppe Hunter Gatherers: An Approach from Plant Microfossils, Baño Nuevo 1 Cave Site,' supervised by Dr. Cristian Favier Dubois. This project was oriented to study the plant remains at a Patagonian steppe hunter-gatherer site, Baño Nuevo (11,480-3000 AP, Aisén, Chile), which is a type of evidence not commonly used in hunter-gatherer investigations. In order to determine what plants are being exploited at Baño Nuevo, our studies focused on plant microfossils present in stone tool residues and fruits and seeds recovered from the Early, Middle and Late Holocene Occupations defined for the site. The archaeological seeds and fruits demonstrate the exploitation of local plants -- shrubs with edible fruits and herbaceaous plants -- that are recurrent during the three periods of occupation. Residue analysis show the use of a diverse set of stone tools for the procurement and/or processing of plant resources, indicating the multifunctionality of these instruments. There is also a constant in the plants that were identified for each occupation, which corresponds to local herbaceaous plants. Tus we were able to identify plant remains for the three Holocene occupations of Baño Nuevo, indicating a tendency to exploit local plants near to the site, as well as the presence of a plant from humid environments signaling access to these areas and, thus, mobility or exchange.
Belmar, Carolina, and Verónica Lema (eds.) 2015. Avances y Desafíos Metodológicos en Arqueobotánica: Miradas Consensuadas y Diálogos Compartidos desde Sudamérica. Monografías Arqueológicas, Facultad de Patrimonio Cultural y Educación, Universidad SEK: Chile.
Osterhoudt, Sarah Rae, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Vanilla for the Ancestors: Landscapes, Trade, and the Cultivation of Place in Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove
SARAH R. OSTERHOUDT, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Vanilla for the Ancestors: Landscapes, Trade, and the Cultivation of Place in Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove. The grantee is an environmental anthropologist working with small-scale vanilla, clove, rice and coffee farmers in the Mananara Nord region of Northeastern Madagascar. The project investigates the dynamic material, cultural, historical and ideological layers of agrarian landscapes, especially as related to commodity production and trade. Research notes how the agroforestry fields of Malagasy farmers emerge as places of overlap where products, meanings, and knowledges are actively circulated. Individuals draw from their everyday interactions with managed fields to imagine and articulate their past histories, present conditions, and future aspirations. Whether it is using a clove tree to recount family lineages, experimenting with a new technique to plant vanilla vines, or harvesting leaves from a hasina plant to use in a traditional ceremony, farmers draw from their fields both material and ideological resources. Focusing on agroforestry fields -- as places where 'natural' forests, managed forests, and agricultural activities intersect -- also complicates the ethnographic divide between agriculture and forest environments and illustrates the mutually constitutive spaces of nature and culture.
Fehrer, Kendra C., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Decentralizing Democracy: Urban Participation in Chavez's Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Kay B. Warren
KENDRA C. FEHRER, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded a grant in May 2009 to aid research on 'Decentralizing Democracy: Urban Participation in Chavez's Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Kay B. Warren. Research investigated the interaction of local citizenship practices with national development policy, and more specifically how citizens participate in a government program designed to foster grassroots democracy. Over the last several decades, political anthropologists studying the state have viewed participatory state programs as techniques of governance, mechanisms of constructing a 'governable subject' amenable to the state agenda. At the same time, development studies scholars have documented emerging participatory programs as institutionalized mechanisms of 'deepening democracy,' providing communities opportunities to expand the range and substance of their claims as citizens. Through twelve months of ethnographic research in a working class community in peri-urban Venezuela, the grantee explored the uneven, partial, and contested interaction of local practices with participatory development programs. Findings indicate that participatory programs -- as sights of negotiation and contestation over public resources -- were altering the mechanisms and meanings of citizen's participation. Specifically, they are circumscribing new practices and categories of citizenship closely tied to consumption of consumer goods, performance of public policy, and proximity to party structures. In a politically and geographically peripheral community far from the national capital, these practices are being contested and negotiated by community members seeking to create their own historical memory, livelihoods, and aspirations.
Sopranzetti, Claudio, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Constituting Mobilities: Ice-cubes, Newspapers, and Motor-taxis in Bangkok's CBD,' supervised by Dr. Michael F. Herzfeld
CLAUDIO SOPRANZETTI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Constituting Mobilities: Ice-cubes, Newspapers, and Motor-taxis in Bangkok's CBD,' supervised by Dr. Michael F. Herzfeld. Driven by the on-going political turmoil in Thailand, this research focused on understanding the local organization of the motor-taxis' drivers and its political relevance, both inside networks of migrants workers and for the city as a whole. Sharing the sidewalks with street-vendors, police officers, illegal lottery providers, and costumers from a variety of classes, as well as regional and geographical proveniences, the drivers negotiate their presence and roles in the city through spatial and social mobility that proliferates in the interstitial spaces between cars, classes, urban and rural life. In these spaces the motor-taxi drivers function as connectors -- both physically and metaphorically -- between different networks and in so doing collaborate in constituting the city as an entity and in spreading its images and discourses to rural areas.
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.