Bjork, Stephanie R., U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'Clan as Social Capital among Somalis in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Malaby
STEPHANIE R. BJORK, while a student at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on clan affiliation as social capital among Somalis in Finland, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas M. Malaby. Bjork's goal was to understand the changing dynamics of the Somali clan system and the way traditional kinship networks are remade in diaspora. During 16 months of fieldwork among Somalis living in Helsinki and the neighboring cities of Espoo and Vantaa, she collected data through participant observation, sociodemographic surveys of 200 Somali men and women representing the major clan families and two minority groups, and in-depth interviews. Challenging the traditional assumption that clan-based societies are egalitarian, Bjork documented the hierarchical structure of the Somali clan system through clan discourse, including everyday talk, stereotypes, and performance. She also investigated the ways in which Somalis gained access to work in both the Finnish formal economy and the Somali informal economy. She found that clan identity played a stratifying role for Somalis in everyday life and that clan affiliation shaped social networks and affected participation in the Somali informal economy. New networks formed in diaspora among Somalis from different clans (and to a lesser degree including Finns) through work, school, neighborhoods, and friendships helped shaped the informal economy as well as clan affiliation in everyday use and practice.
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Modernity Meets Clan: Cultural Intimacy in the Somali Diaspora. In From Mogadishu to Dixon: The Somali Diaspora in a Global Context. (A. Kusow and S. Bjork, eds.) Red Sea Press:Trenton, NJ
Bjork, Stephanie. 2007. Clan Identities in Practice: The Somali Diaspora in Finland. In Somalia: Diaspora and State Reconstitution In The Horn Of Africa. (A. Osman Farah M. Muchie, and J. Gundel eds.) Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd.
Papageorgiou, Kyriaki, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid 'Seeds of Doubt: An Ethnographic Investigation of Biosafety in Contemporary Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Susan Greenhalgh
KYRIAKI PAPGEORGIOU, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, was awarded a grant in January 2004 to aid research on 'Seeds of Doubt: An Ethnographic Investigation of Biosafety in Contemporary Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Susan Greenhalgh. The study of biosafety in Egypt illustrates the complex interplay of knowledge and power enacted in the new spaces of scientific negotiation that have opened up by genetic research. The recent World Trade Organization case over GMOs, in which the Egypt was inadvertently entangled, is particularly evocative of the political and epistemic conundrums of biotechnology. This case demonstrates the growing global knowledge disparities and accentuates the problems of science and expertise halting Egypt's biosafety framework. While in 2004 the commercialization of biotechnology was put on hold, biodynamics, a peculiar version of organic agriculture, was burgeoning in Egypt. Based on Goethe's scientific paradigm articulated through Rudolph Steiner, biodynamics takes as its starting point the idea that that living organisms do not react in predictable ways and that they can only be known in fragments when using modern science. Rather than positing the relationship of biotechnology and biodynamics as one of opposition, the dissertation considers how the transatlantic quarrels over the status of genetically modified food are tied to the politics of alterative agricultural practices; how interlocking narratives about nature and society are articulated in the juxtaposition; and how facticity and claims about life are organized, institutionalized, and marked as different kinds of knowledge.
Fleming, Mark Daniel, U. of California, San Franciso and Berkeley, San Franciso/Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman
MARK D. FLEMING, then a student at University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-Being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman. This project, based on thirteen months of ethnographic research, examines the production and contestation of scientific claims about 'work stress' in a post-industrial economy. The ethnographic research focuses both on scientists carrying out a long-term research study about work stress and on the political practices of unionized worker-subjects. The study tracks how concrete articulations of emotional well-being are produced within biomedical research on work stress, and analyzes how these articulations are mobilizing, through the political efforts of workers, new interventions and regulations of work settings. The aim is to disentangle how the expansion of neoliberal work regimes intersects with forms of biopolitical governance. This provides a way of investigating both the changing strategies of collective labor in a post-industrial economy, and the concrete procedures through which well-being is established and contested as ground for political debates. More broadly, this study charts the ways in which a politics of stress and well-being has emerged in America, destabilizing and refiguring claims about injury and responsibilities in a biopolitical age.
Stoetzer, Bettina Yvonne, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'At the Edges of the City: An Ethnography of Affective Landscapes and Racial Geographies in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Beth Rofel
BETTINA STOETZER, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'At the Edges of the City: An Ethnography of Affective Landscapes and Racial Geographies in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Rofel. The city of Berlin and the surrounding East German countryside together make an intriguing site to explore how boundaries are made and remade in a changing Europe. While debates about urban 'segregation' and 'ghettoization' proliferate in the city, Berlin simultaneously prides itself on being the 'greenest city' in Europe. Yet Berlin's many landscapes -- its urban districts, parks, green spaces, and rural edges -- offer both a trap and a refuge for different populations. Conducting research with immigrant and refugee communities living at the edge of the city -- as well as communities in one of Berlin's officially declared 'districts with special need for development' -- this one-year ethnographic project examines how contemporary urban and rural landscapes in and around Berlin become important in struggles over borders and thus in projects of inclusion and exclusion. Through interviews, informal conversations and participant observation, the project explores the following questions: 1) How do immigrants and refugees, city planners, public policy makers, park rangers, East Germans, and tourists transform urban and rural landscapes in and around Berlin through their planning, regulation, use, and experience of these spaces? 2) How and to what extent does the transformation of Berlin's urban and rural landscapes (and 'nature spaces' in particular) efface old divisions, reinscribe past histories and construct new ethnic, national and racialized forms of belonging? And 3) what are the various folk geographies and discrepant ways in which immigrants and other local actors that are situated at various social margins, experience, imagine and remake the material environments in which they live?
Kanne, Katherine Stevens, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle
KATHERINE S. KANNE, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle. This research documents early equestrianism in Bronze Age Hungary (2500-1800 BC). During the emergence of complex and stratified societies of this period, people changed the way they thought about and used horses. Horses were no longer considered food. They were treated differently from other animals in life and death as they were transformed into an important strategic resource for the development of political economies. Zooarchaeological, osteological, and stable isotope analyses provide evidence of selective horse breeding, trade, and riding. Chariotry was not important, if it was present at all in the Carpathian Basin. The earliest known bridle bits were found in Hungary and date to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Their form and subsequent distribution delimits a sphere of Carpathian equestrianism that was distinct from contemporaneous Eurasian steppe horse traditions. Status and identities were materialized as riding became linked to wealthy elites, but gender was not similarly defined until the Late Bronze Age. Although riding was common practice, each regional tradition within Hungary had unique patterns of horse production, trade, and amount of use, and approached the remains differently. This variability helps to explain the specific trajectories of polity formation that occurred within Bronze Age Hungary.
Atkinson, Lucy C., U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'What are Children's Responses to Displacement and What Effect Does This Have on the Community?' supervised by Dr. Anthony Good
LUCY C. ATKINSON, then a student at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, received funding in February 2002 to aid research on 'What are Children's Responses to Displacement and What Effect Does This Have on the Community?' supervised by Dr. Anthony Good. This was a study about children living in an unusual setting: a refugee camp. It recognized that such a situation causes disruption to children's lives, but rather than focusing exclusively on this disruption, it emphasized the children's everyday experiences of continuity and change as interpreted through their position as social actors. The study was based on two years of fieldwork conducted in Kala refugee camp in Zambia using participatory and child-centerd research techniques. It studied the children's everyday lives in order to gain a picture of continuity and change, and in particular, how these were experienced by the children. Going to school, working, and playing remained central to children's lives but these were experienced differently in the camp. By locating children as agents within their social context, this study considered the wider impact of the camp setting on children's experience of growing up. The children's preoccupations reflected those of the social group but included a unique child perspective on these issues. Dependency on NGO provision of food was a key defining characteristic of their refugee experience. The impact of this reached beyond provision of nutrition due to the importance of food in economic and social transactions, as a means of defining social relations and its symbolic role in everyday conversation. These combined to provide a forum for the negotiation of power relations between refugees and with the NGOs. The study concluded that changes to lifestyle affected the way that children grew up and therefore had an impact on their ideas of identity and what was acceptable or desirable behaviour. Adults, who aim to 'socialize' children into appropriate behaviour, affected this, but ultimately the children were active in authoring their own experiences, drawing influences from every aspect of their environment.
Navarro, Tamisha D., Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on ''Culture' vs. 'Progress': Economic Development in the United States Virgin Islands,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot
TAMISHA D. NAVARRO, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Culture' vs. 'Progress': Economic Development in the United States Virgin Islands,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot. In the fall of 2008, the financial sector of the US economy was in trouble. As a result of the failure of several major investment banks, a possible rescue package of Wall Street by the federal government became a topic of much discussion. In the U.S. Virgin Islands -- and particularly on the island of St. Croix -- this issue had particular resonance as a result of the 1991 establishment of the Economic Development Commission (EDC), a development initiative that closely linked the economic fate of this tiny island to developments on Wall Street. The EDC focused on attracting capital investment to the USVI by offering significant tax exemptions to companies, primarily investment firms, willing to locate to these islands. Since its inception, the EDC has provoked struggles among local senators, the USVI regional legislature, the US federal government, international businessmen and their wives, and the community of St. Croix at large. The research explores the various effects of the EDC by focusing on the new divisions that have emerged within St. Croix between 'EDC people' and US Virgin Islanders. These are divisions organized along the axes of race, class, gender, and notions of belonging in ways that recall an earlier history of colonial exploitation within the Caribbean but that also articulate with the new exigencies of today's global moment.
Doughan, Sultan, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Genealogies of Belonging: Citizenship and Religious Difference in Contemporary Germany,' supervised by Dr. Saba Mahmood
Preliminary abstract: During the last decade the German state has invested in various educational programs on the Holocaust that target Muslim Germans of migrant background in order to facilitate their integration as citizens. This project studies state-funded NGOs in Germany that provide Holocaust education including anti-Semitism prevention to align Muslims closer with the political culture of the state and liberal citizenship. It assesses the extent to which Muslims' stances towards German history coincide with and differ from those prescribed by the educational programs, and how this causes a problem for becoming a fully integrated cultural German citizen. By focusing on how Muslim participants claim German history through the frame of the Holocaust this project gauges how Muslims in Germany today relate to their new nation's past and what modes of relating these programs make possible or foreclose. The research will demonstrate to what extend discourses on Muslim integration in Germany intersect with the notion of Bildung and how this plays out in Holocaust education. Germany's self-perception as liberal and secular is entangled with Holocaust education. Further, contemporary forms of citizenship and national belonging in Germany intersect with Germany's genocidal history, which has not been fully accounted for in the anthropological literature. My project will provide new insights on how the memory of the Holocaust and the dis course on integration frames the subject-positions particularly of young Muslim citizens of migrant background.
Seselj, Maja, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Fossil Homo', supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Anton
MAJA SESELJ, then a student at New York University, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Homo,' supervised by Dr. Susan Antón. Modern humans differ from our closest living relatives, the African apes, in having a particularly long period of growth and development, both dental and skeletal. Although many studies focused either on dental or skeletal development in fossil hominins, a key to a better understanding of the evolution of the modern human pattern of growth and development is evaluating both developmental systems simultaneously. This study aims to elucidate the relationship between dental and skeletal growth and chronological age in modern humans and Pleistocene hominins, and to explore the variability in dental and skeletal ontogeny in a large and diverse recent modern human sample from North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The results suggest that dental and skeletal growth and development are not conditionally independent given age, but the conditional relationship is relatively weak; thus one developmental system may not be a reliable proxy for the other. The ontogenetic patterns in Neanderthals and early H. sapiens appear to be generally comparable to recent modern humans.
Seselj, Maya. 2013. Relationship between Dental Development and Skeletal Growth in Modern Humans and Its Implications for Interpreting Ontogeny in Fossil Hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1):38-47.
Howells, Michaela Emily, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'The Impact of Psychosocial Stress on Gestation Length and Pregnancy Outcomes in American Samoa,' supervised by Dr. Darna Dufour
MICHAELA E. HOWELLS, then a student at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Impact of Psychosocial Stress on Gestation Length and Pregnancy Outcomes in American Samoa,' supervised by Dr. Darna Dufour. The objective of this research is to determine the relationship between chronic maternal psychosocial stress on spontaneous abortion, gestation length, and neonate body size. In order to achieve this goal, the grantee conducted a biocultural, longitudinal, prospective study of pregnancy outcomes in 184 women experiencing significant shifts in cultural identity in American Samoa. Two interrelated indicators of psychosocial stress -- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibody concentration and status incongruence -- were paired with monthly maternal interviews to assess the effects of stress on pregnancy outcomes. EBV antibody concentrations represent a broad, non-specific response to psychosocial stressors. Status incongruence is related to a woman's status within the community and arises when an individual is unable to resolve traditional and nontraditional markers of status. This study follows from their first prenatal care appointment through to their pregnancies natural conclusion and will help clarify the effects of psychosocial stress on pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy outcomes will be assessed in terms of neonate size for gestation. Possible outcomes include spontaneous abortions, preterm births (? 36 weeks) and full-term births. This study aims to add to our knowledge of the factors associated with pregnancy loss, premature delivery, and infants born small-for-gestational-age in a non-western population of women.