Leon, Melanie

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Stanford U.
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
April 8, 2016
Project Title: 
Leon, Melanie, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on ''Pretty and They Know It': Security, Sex Trafficking, and Humanitarianism in the Mexico-Guatemala Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Liisa Malkki

Preliminary abstract: My research brings together two subjects of increasing global concern: national security and sex trafficking. Through an ethnographic study of sex trafficking of undocumented Central American migrants in the border cities of Tapachula, Mexico and Tecun Uman, Guatemala, I investigate the connections between migrant exploitation and security practices in the region. I explore the mechanisms by which Mexico and Guatemala's security regimes target and produce migrants as 'threats' to the nation in order to understand how migrant vulnerability to violence and exploitation is produced at the state level. I also analyze the role of gender in shaping migrant experiences of (in)security, and how the intersection of gender with security discourses renders certain migrants more vulnerable to different forms of exploitation, such as sex trafficking. Lastly, I study the impact of security policies and discourses on local anti-trafficking advocacy. This illuminates the ways in which security policies and discourses not only produce insecurity in the lives of migrants, but also impact their ability to make claims to victimhood and access humanitarian resources.

Grant Year: 
2016
Award Amount: 
$17,936

Braun, David Royce

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Rutgers U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
December 4, 2003
Project Title: 
Braun, David R., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Ecology of Oldowan Technology: Koobi Fora and Kanjera South,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris

DAVID R. BRAUN, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Ecology of Oldowan Technology: Koobi Fora and Kanjera South,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris. The ultimate goal of this project was to determine if the archaeological record of Oldowan tool use could be used to determine the impact of stone tool use on hominid adaptive strategies. The two sites investigated in this study (Kanjera South and two localities from the KBS member of the Koobi Fora Formation) are particularly relevant for a description of the significance of stone tool manufacture because of their varied environmental and geographic context. We examined Oldowan technology through three major avenues: 1) experimental and archaeological studies of flaking patterns used by early hominids to extend the use-life of their tools; 2) geochemical and engineering analyses to determine the effect of raw material availability and quality on artifact production and discard in the terminal Pliocene; and 3) comparison of how these factors influenced the industries found in these two different contexts in northern and western Kenya. The synthesis of these three avenues of study have shown that Pliocene hominids were possibly adept at selecting high quality raw materials and may have preferentially transported rocks that had particular physical properties that made them ideal for making stone artifacts. Furthermore, these behaviors seem to be reflected in both basins of varying ecological context, suggesting that this may be an underlying pattern found in the earliest archaeological traces.

Publication Credit:

Braun, David R., Michael J. Rogers, John W.K. Harris, Steven J. Walker. 2008. Landscape-scale Variation in Hominin Tool Use: Evidence from the Developed Oldowan. Journal of Human Evolution 55(6):1053-1063.

Grant Year: 
2003
Award Amount: 
$24,295

Petrovic-Steger, Maja

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Cambridge, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
February 23, 2004
Project Title: 
Petrovic, Maja, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'Kinship and Political Values Attributed to the Body in Postconflict Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn Strathern
Grant Year: 
2004
Award Amount: 
$19,131

Gaerrang, XXX

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Colorado, Boulder, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 30, 2009
Project Title: 
Mr. Gaerrang, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Alternative (to) Development on the Tibetan Plateau: The Case of the Anti-Slaughter Campaign,' supervised by Dr. Emily T. Yeh

GAERRANG, then a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, received funding in April 2008, to aid research on 'Alternative (to) Development on the Tibetan Plateau: The Case of the Anti-Slaughter Campaign,' supervised by Dr. Emily T. Yeh. In the 1990s, seeing an increasing slaughter rate of livestock from Tibetan households and the suffering of livestock in transportation to Chinese markets, the influential Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok (1933-2004), began the anti-slaughter movement. Tibetan pastoralists across the Tibetan Plateau, including those in the study site of Rakhor Village, Hongyuan County, Sichuan, took multiple years' pledges to stop selling livestock to markets. This took place at the same time as the Chinese state was seeking to intensify its economic development agenda in Tibet, trying to shape its citizens to become rational market actors who prioritize commodity production, including by encouraging pastoralists to sell more livestock. This resulted in the negotiation by herders of two very different views of what constitutes development. The grantee conducted ethnographic fieldwork on lamas' motivations and herders' decision-making about the campaign, in order to shed light on the culturally specific, religious idioms through which development is negotiated, and the relationship between markets, subjectivity, and religious revival.

Grant Year: 
2009
Award Amount: 
$14,700

Tallman, Melissa Christine

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 28, 2006
Project Title: 
Tallman, Melissa Christine, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Postcranial Variation in Plio-Pleistocene Hominins of Africa,' supervised by Dr. Eric Delson

MELISSA TALLMAN, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received an award in April 2006 to aid research on 'Postcranial Variation in Plio-Pleistocene Hominins of Africa,' supervised by Dr. Eric Delson. One of the most interesting questions regarding human origins is the acquisition of bipedal posture, which is related to the degree of locomotor mosaicism present in Plio-Pleistocene hominins. This study is a comprehensive analysis including both unassociated and associated fossil postcranial remains. It addresses a series of important questions regarding human evolution in Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene including: 1) if there are postcranial difference that are characteristic of specific Plio-Pleistocene hominin species; and 2) what those differences indicate about types of locomotion that would have been used. Data were collected using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3D-GM). In 3D-GM, data is collected as a group of x,y,z, coordinate points (landmarks). The greatest advantages of 3D-GM as opposed to traditional linear measurements are that information is retained about the relationships among measurements in three-dimensional space, and shape changes can be visualized. Data were collected on all fossil humeri, radii, ulnae, femora, and tibiae dating from 3.5 - 1.5 Ma. These data will be compared to a number of extant samples, including: modern humans (four different populations), gorillas (G. g. gorilla and G. g. graueri), chimpanzees (P. t. schweinfurthii and P.t. troglodytes), and bonobos ( P. paniscus).

Grant Year: 
2006
Award Amount: 
$12,670

Kim, Jaeeun

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
California, Los Angeles, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 7, 2008
Project Title: 
Kim, Jaeeun, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker

JAEEUN KIM, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in May 2008 to aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker. Fieldwork was carried out in Japan (part of the multi-sited dissertation field research in Korea, Japan, and China), examining the Cold War competition between North and South Korea over the allegiance of the colonial-era Korean migrants to Japan. Based on extensive interviews and broad archival research, fieldwork demonstrated: 1) those who migrated between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago during the postwar and Cold War periods not only were subjected to, but also have actively shaped, the evolving interstate system across East Asia; 2) in extending their embrace to the population outside their respective territories, North Korea tried to construct a parallel institutional world for Koreans in Japan, replicating the corporatist social structure of the homeland, while South Korea tried to outstrip its counterpart by operating more effectively at the Interface between this transborder population and the outside world (e.g., securing the cooperation and support of the Japanese government, controlling Korean Japanese' connection to their home communities); and 3) the registration and documentation practices were not a mere instrument of the two competing 'homeland' states, but served as a cultural artifact through which some transborder population envisioned their belonging on multiple scales.

Publication Credit:

Kim, Jaeeun. 2014. The Colonial State, Migration, and Diasporic Nationhood in Korea. Comparative Studies in Society and History 56(1):34-66

Grant Year: 
2008
Award Amount: 
$15,350

Bauer, Kenneth Michael

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Oxford U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
September 8, 2003
Project Title: 
Bauer, Kenneth M., Oxford U., Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival

KENNETH M. BAUER, then a student at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in September 2003 to aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival. This field research investigated land use change and the impacts of government development policies among Tibetan pastoralists during the second half of the twentieth century. This work describes and analyzes the rhetoric and implementation of development policies by the Chinese government in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This history of land use dynamics, socio-economic change, and policy phases, is grounded in a case study of Porong Township (Nyelam County, Shigatse Prefecture, TAR, PRC). The grantee gathered several kinds of evidence, which will be interpreted using a multi-disciplinary approach. Support enabled the grantee to collect and translate historical texts describing land use and to interview pastoralists, government agents, and NGO workers, as well as work with local pastoralists to map historical and contemporary pasture boundaries.

Grant Year: 
2003
Award Amount: 
$23,930

Oenning da Silva, Rita de Cacia

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Santa Catarina, Federal U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 10, 2006
Project Title: 
Oenning da Silva, Rita de Cacia, U. Federal of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil - To aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon

RITA OENNING DA SILVA, then a student at Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil, was awarded funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon. Based on research with children that dance and sing on the streets of Recife, Brazil, the project shows how children living in the violent context of the favelas perceive themselves and are perceived by the local neighborhood and international audiences. Qualitative research provided the keys to a native theory of childhood, while also showing how children create new modes of relationship between themselves and other agents in their world. The children consciously use their bodies to make art, meaning they are both the subject of art and subjected by art, both the producer of the spectacle and the spectacle produced. Immersed in a complex dialectic between mimesis and creation, they enact and challenge local ethical and æsthetic norms. Movement becomes the dominant metaphor, with children as a fulcrum around which culture moves and adapts, while self emerges in the moment of 'overcoming the movement' (superar o movimento), where the child executes a traditional step or rhythm while adding something new and individual. The movie Alto do Céu, made during field research, showed that the children could document and evaluate the performance of their friends, but also that they saw the act of filming as a performance. In an imagined world of events and narratives, the children both described and re-created themselves.

Grant Year: 
2006
Award Amount: 
$13,950

Engelke, Christopher Robert

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
California, Los Angeles, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
October 14, 2010
Project Title: 
Engelke, Christopher Robert, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity

CHRISTOPHER ENGELKE, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Design and Use of Augmentative: Alternative Communications Technologies,' supervised by Dr. Paul V. Kroskrity. Current figures suggest that over 2 million Americans have a disability that compromises their speech intelligibility, requiring them to use a special form of assistive technology called augmentative alternative communications (AAC) devices in order to literally and figuratively have 'a voice.' This study examines the phenomena of embodiment, empathy, and intersubjectivity that manifest around the design and use of these augmentative communications devices by examining the ways in which individuals' embodied and ideological familiarities with the world are revealed in their engagements with these specialized communications technologies. By investigating the ways that able-bodied designers approach the task of developing AAC technologies, this study uncovers relationships between one's physical abilities, normative prescriptions for action, and the forms and limits of understanding others whose bodily abilities may be radically different from one's own. Moreover, by examining the ways that AAC users take up the features of their devices in everyday interactions, this study reveals the unique ways in which this technology is incorporated into bodily understandings of the 'self' and its location in the world.

Grant Year: 
2010
Award Amount: 
$22,045

Smith, Lindsay Adams

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Harvard U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
November 3, 2005
Project Title: 
Smith, Lindsay A., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman

LINDSAY A. SMITH, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman. This project examined DNA identification technologies and their relationship to political, social and familial reconstitution in post-dictatorship Argentina. The fieldwork focused on two groups: one organized around the recovery of their kidnapped grandchildren and the other organized around the identification of the bodies of the 30,000 disappeared. Through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and archival research comparing these seemingly similar movements, which nonetheless constitute separate social movements and use different technological approaches, the grantee explored the coproduction of scientific and political orders in the midst of a seemingly endless process of 'transitional' justice. Initial findings document the flexible social meanings of DNA technologies, especially how the meanings of genetic tests are constructed and reconfigured as they travel between multiple sites of discourse and practice, connecting scientists in the U.S. and Argentina, radicalized mothers in Latin America, international human rights NGOs, kidnapped children, and even the other-worldly disappeared. This research suggests that forensic DNA identification technologies have emerged as core sites of identity formation both for individuals and families affected by the terror of the dictatorship but also for the Argentine nation-state as it tries to reckon with the legacies of repression.

Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$23,429