Wilson, Jeremy John, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Modeling Life and Death in Late Prehistoric West-Central Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Dawnie Lee Wolfe Steadman
JEREMY J. WILSON, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Modeling Life and Death in Late Prehistoric West-Central Illinois,' supervised by Dr. Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. Funding enabled analysis of skeletal samples from the Morton Complex and Norris Farms, as well as a trip to the University of Southern Denmark to work on quantitative modeling of bioarchaeological data. These research components contributed to a larger dissertation project assessing demographic and epidemiological variability in the central Illinois River Valley during late prehistory. The paleodemographic analyses demonstrated elevated levels of age-specific adult mortality developed during the latter half of the Mississippian period. Reduced rates of female survivorship coincided with the emergence of large-scale, fortified villages and deteriorating socio-political relations in the valley. The paleoepidemiological analyses demonstrated an association between the demographic parameters and the lesions on bones and teeth. More specifically, significantly different age-specific rates of carious lesion development and progression were observed for the sexes and across time periods. Related temporal and sex-specific patterns were also observed for enamel hypoplasias, dental attrition, tooth loss, and abscesses. These findings support the concepts and methodological concerns established in the 'Osteological Paradox.'. Skeletal samples routinely represent the frailest individuals at a given age with significant evidence for selective mortality.
Kwon, JongHwa, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Green Dreams: Development, Climate Change, and Making Carbon Markets in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Frederic C. Deyo
JONGHWA KWON, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Green Dreams: Development, Climate Change, and Making Carbon Markets in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Frederic C. Deyo. This ethnographic research to situate carbon markets of Korea in terms of a community of experts, calculative devices, and the entangled networks of legislative performance makes the following conclusions. First, when a market is saturated with institutional uncertainties -- caused by such factors as political precariousness, lack of comprehensive legal policies on property rights, or just simply its early stage of development -- the success, or the functionality, of a market heavily depends on the availability of diverse modes of valuation and the flexibility of involved agents to coordinate those heterogeneous valuation processes. Second, the speculative nature of carbon markets -- a preemptive practice that brings 'possible' futures into the present -- is key to its consistent dominance in climate-change discourse nowadays. In South Korea this speculative aspect is also closely related with conjuring up tales of economic development in the past to render historical anticipations. Finally, the dichotomies between market abstraction and cultural/social value quantification and qualification (both virtual and real) are not suitable for understanding the dynamics of contemporary market processes. Since carbon markets constantly reform and produce social and economic meaning to environmental crisis through market transactions, looking at how market objects and actors are simultaneously inserted into and abstracted from the social relation is crucial.
Aparicio, Juan R., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
JUAN RICARDO APARICIO, then a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Beyond Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions: Internally Displaced Persons, Autonomy and Collective Ethical Projects in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation project explored the production and circulation of discourses, practices, and objects related to the problem of internal displacement along a network that connects international institutions based in Geneva or Washington, with the local initiatives that have been defined as 'collective ethical projects' in two regions in Colombia. The location of the fieldwork sites included the rural areas of the Urabá region, the rivers in the Pacific coastland and offices of national and international institutions in the capital Bogotá, among others. Regarding the rural locations, fieldwork devoted to analyze the complex strategies deployed by both collectives to defend their own ethical projects, and the manifold challenges they are still facing today. From particular enunciations made by participants using a rights-based language to the proliferation of white shirts and flags carried by international officers and activists, among many others, both of these projects are deeply entangled in networks of the human rights and humanitarian global assemblage. In fact, as this multi-sited ethnography has proven, the emergence of these collective ethical projects could only be explained by an analytic that is aware of the different actors, scales, changing strategies, larger contexts and specificities of each region.
Pham, Yamoi, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'The Value of Spit: The Natural and Social Life of Edible Birds' Nests,' supervised by Dr. Shelley Feldman
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the social life of edible swiftlet nests in their transformation from a centuries-old foraged commodity into a high-tech product of avicultural mass production. Originating as a tributary gift to Chinese emperors from Southeast Asia, the nests remain a highly praised commodity across the Chinese-speaking world. In the late 1990s, a new industry based on the semi-domestication of the swiftlets and the construction of special birdhouses has thrived to satisfy the appetite of China's burgeoning middle class. Through conducting a year-long ethnographic study of swiftlet farming in Malaysia, I trace the commodity career of the nests as entangled in the Southeast Asian socio-ecological environment, overseas Chinese trading networks, and Chinese medicinal beliefs about exotic ingredients. I am curious about a) the role of modern sciences, technology and practical forms of knowledge in this process of taming nature in production, b) how the new swiftlet farming industry reshapes the existing social-economic relations of trade and circulation and c) how traditional practices of consumption are sustained and transformed through commercialization. By examining the process of the diverse agents/actants who create, circulate and consume value through swiftlet nests, I ultimately hope to engage the anthropological theory of value to understand the socio-ecologically constituted process of valuation and the complexity of sources and forms of value.
Valles, Dario, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Provedoras Unidas: Latina Migrant Family Child Care Providers Negotiating Poverty, Power & Organized Labor in Neoliberal Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Micaela di Leonardo
Preliminary abstract: The growth of a feminized global service sector, intersecting with the move from welfare to 'workfare' in the U.S., has engendered a 'child care crisis' where demand for care has skyrocketed while costs have outpaced rents in most states. In response, family child care (FCC) has become one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., with an estimated 2.3 million workers and many more working informally, providing alternatives to institutionalized daycare hours, cost and access. Like the low-income women they serve, U.S. FCC providers are predominantly Latina and black women; in Los Angeles, they are primarily recent migrants from Mexico and Central America. I propose to study Latina migrant family child care providers in Los Angeles and the ways in which they negotiate the contradictions among market demands for 'flexible' and cheap care, increased regulatory surveillance by government and racialized and gendered ideas of 'good motherhood' and 'proper families'. Joining a growing trend across the U.S., family child care workers in California have attempted to gain legal recognition as a union, yet face opposition from left- and right- leaning legislators alike. I will examine family child care union organizing alongside providers' daily experiences to understand the historical political-economic factors and racialized and gendered structures shaping Latina migrant women's participation in family child care. At the same time, I hope to uncover how Latina family child care providers ï¿½' in their everyday practices and collective action ï¿½' create new spaces of 'conviviality,' where migrant groups and marginalized workers craft new forms of political and social life in urban landscapes reconfigured by transnational flows and neoliberal globalization
Junge, Marvin B., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship: Emergent Masculinities in Porto Alegre, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft
MARVIN B. JUNGE, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, received an award in December 2001 to aid ethnographic research on emergent masculinities in Porto Alegre, Brazil, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce M. Knauft. During eighteen months' residence in one Porto Alegre slum (vila), Junge employed semistructured interviews, participant observation, community organization attendance, and other research methods to examine the relationship between gender and politics in the everyday-life discourse and practice of neighborhood residents. Specifically, he considered how the experience of the social world in gendered terms converged with understandings of the ways in which self and community were related, particularly understandings conveyed in the government and social movement discourses of rights, citizenship, and grassroots participation that distinguished Porto Alegre's sociopolitical landscape. Junge examined the ways in which awareness of one's relationship to a broader collectivity (incited in political discourse) influenced and was influenced by one's understanding of self and others in gendered terms. By considering different kinds of encounters with political discourse, ranging from direct participation in a social movement organization to 'passive' encounters in daily life, he aimed to shed light on the circulation of political discourse and its complex refractions of and by prevailing gender logics in an era characterized by increasingly heterogeneous representations of gender and sexuality and innovative models of participatory democracy.
O'Hara, John Francis, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Social Geographies of Personal Ornamentation in Late Glacial Franco-Cantabria,' supervised by Dr. Randall White
Preliminary abstract: This project will explore the complex social geographies of Late Glacial Franco-Cantabria through the analysis of personal ornamentation. Franco-Cantabrian societies attributed to the Magdalenian cultural complex were the population source for the re-establishment of human population across much of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum, however they are often conceived of as a rather homogeneous cultural reservoir. This project will explore the actual relationships which existed between what were in fact diverse bands of foraging groups, and how these relationships change as these societies expand and spread into formerly abandoned regions, while also confronting extreme climatic change. Typological, technological, and geochemical analyses of personal ornaments will allow the reconstruction of spheres of identity and interaction, and enable the reconstruction of aspects of Magdalenian social organization, mobility and networks of exchange. This project will also allow exploration of Magdalenian cultural logics of how identity was understood, enacted and asserted.
Dalyan, Can, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
Preliminary abstract: Last three years in Turkey witnessed the rise of an unlikely phenomenon to the forefront of public and governmental attention. With the opening of the Turkish Seed-Gene Bank (TSGB) in 2010, construction of the first national botanic garden with the help of 50 million Dollars of direct government funding, start of a series of seed-exchange festivals along the Aegean Coast and the ensuing media interest in stories of foreigners getting caught by the police while illegally collecting endemic plant species, loss of agro-biodiversity in Turkey became an important article of national political agenda and of popular interest. This project is an ethnographic and historical exploration of this phenomenon and it asks three three fundamental questions: 1) How does the current national policy of conserving and showcasing agro-biodiversity in Turkey take shape and how is it implemented? 2) How do the scientists working at the TSGB relate (politically, economically, intellectually) to this national policy and especially, how do they experience, work with, and think about this policy in its relation to global processes of climate change and biodiversity loss? 3) How is this contemporary interest and anxiety about agro-biodiversity linked to the distinctive periods in Turkish history in which loss of natural resources and regulation of nature appeared as major political and popular concerns?
Strava, Cristiana, U. of London, London, UK - To aid research on 'At Home with Modernity: Exploring Place-Making in a Casablanca Slum,' supervised by Dr. Trevor Marchand
Preliminary abstract: This project will examine the plurality of social, political, economic, sensorial and technological forces that shape, constrain and foster a particular way of 'being in the world' in Casablanca's oldest slum. Infamous as the birthplace of the suicide bombers who committed the 2003 and 2005 bomb attacks on the city, Hay Mohammadi was the site of French experimentation with modernist housing in the early 1950s and hailed as the birthplace of a culturally specific 'vernacular modernism', based on ethnological studies of the existing shantytown. While the housing project has received its share of attention from architectural historians, the inhabitants of Hay Mohammadi are largely missing from the picture. By focusing on everyday life in two of the emblematic housing projects designed by the French still in existence today, this project will investigate the mechanisms, tactics and dwelling practices by which people construct, ground and attach meaning to a contested urban space. Using a methodological approach that integrates participant observation with an array of audio-visual and map-making methods, this study will document the agency of the inhabitants as legitimate 'bricoleurs' of counter spaces of living. The main questions guiding my investigation are: To what extent is a meaningful experience of the everyday available to those struggling at the margins and what can be learned from moments of meaninglessness? How do various forms of power, both dominant and resilient, become represented through spatial practices in Hay Mohammadi? This research project will contribute to literatures in urban anthropology or space and place, as well as the anthropology of experience.