Hinegardner, Livia Katherine, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Grassroots Video in Mexico City: Developing Counterpublics, Producing Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Bret D. Gustafson
LIVIA K. HINEGARDNER, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Grassroots Video in Mexico City: Developing Counterpublics, Producing Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Bret D. Gustafson. This research investigates the political practice of social movements in Mexico that produce and distribute documentary films as part of their strategy for social change. The networks and collaborations of filmmakers and social movements are developing new political communities of circulating discourse and practice ('publics') associated with new conceptions and practices of citizenship. These networks challenge anthropological conceptions of 'counterpublics' (social groups often forming the basis of organized social movements) that have been conceived as tied closely to religious and ethnic identities. This research examines emergent counterpublics in Mexico that are detached from these concepts. It asks,'How and with what effects are the practices of creating and distributing political documentaries in Mexico developing and mobilizing counterpublics?' The circulating discourse of these films, and the collaborations that produce and distribute them, also challenge New Social Movement theories in which groups make claims to citizenship rights based on identities. Film counterpublics make political claims based on performances of citizenship rooted in practices of engaging with public deliberation through the production and distribution of media. This research asks, 'What conceptions and practices of citizenship emerge out of the practice of creating and distributing films? How do people make political claims based on these conceptions of citizenship?'
Hinegardner, Livia. 2009. Action, Organization, and Documentary Film: Beyond a Communications Model of Human Rights Videos. Visual Anthropology Review 25:(2) 172-185.
Middleton, Emily Ruth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Ecogeographical Influences on Trunk Modularity in Recent Humans: Colonization and Morphological Integration,' supervised by Dr. Susan C. Anton
Preliminary abstract: One of the core issues in paleoanthropology concerns the evolution of human body form -- changes in size, shape, and structure of the skeleton -- and the selective pressures influencing that evolution. The ribcage, spine, and pelvis have undergone numerous shape changes throughout our evolutionary history as we shifted from tree-dwelling apes to upright creatures who walk around on two legs, give birth to large-brained babies, and possess the unique ability to live in all types of global environments. Unlike studies that look at different regions of the skeleton in isolation, my research investigates the relationships between the bony elements of the trunk to test how changes in the shape of the hipbone, for example, affect the spine and vice versa. My research also examines the relationship between shape and environment to explore if humans have a novel, complex ability to adapt to climate in a way unlike other mammals. Looking at how the ribcage, spine, and pelvis are interrelated and how each of these regions varies with climate provides clues about how our body responds to selection. Elucidating these relationships is critical for understanding how body form in human ancestors responded to the challenges posed by difficult obstetrics and novel environments.
Carruth, Lauren Elizabeth, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Bad Medicine: Risk, Rumor, and Humanitarian Relief in the Shinile Zone of Ethiopia,' superivsed by Dr. Mark A. Nichter
LAUREN E. CARRUTH, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Bad Medicine: Risk, Rumor, and Humanitarian Relief in the Shinile Zone of Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Mark A. Nichter. The most common causes of death in humanitarian emergencies are infectious diseases, and these are largely treatable with a short course of antibiotics. Consequently, millions of people benefit from the distribution of antibiotic medications during humanitarian relief operations in disasters and conflicts around the world. Yet, although pharmaceuticals are central to humanitarian interventions, and although there is extensive research on the effects of humanitarian interventions on people's health, most studies fail to account for the lasting effects temporary humanitarian relief on local healthcare systems and health behaviors. Therefore, this dissertation project asks, 'What effect does the temporary provision of free medications to underserved populations have on their health-seeking behaviors, local social relations of illness and healing, local health systems, and transnational flows of unregulated pharmaceuticals?' More generally, what are the lasting effects of clinical humanitarian interventions? To address these questions, this research employs multi-sited ethnography in communities, clinics, and relief agencies in the northern Somali Region of Ethiopia-a hub of recurrent humanitarian crises, repeated clinical humanitarian interventions, and transnational contraband pharmaceutical trade.
Scull, Charles A., U. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Growing up Samoan Style: Reinventing a Samoan Identity in California, ' supervised by Dr. Nancy C. Lutkehaus
CHARLES A. SCULL, while a student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, received an award in July 2001 to aid research on the reinvention of Samoan identity in California, under the supervision of Dr. Nancy C. Lutkehaus. Scull conducted fieldwork in the Samoan communities of the San Francisco Bay area and, to a lesser degree, the greater Los Angeles area, exploring Samoan identity among first-, second-, and third-generation young people. In the San Francisco Samoan community, Scull involved himself in community organizations and, as a volunteer teacher and tutor, in schools with high concentrations of Samoans. His affiliation with these institutions led to his involvement in community events such as church services, dance performances, fundraisers, gift exchanges, festivals, and sporting events. In addition to this participant observation, he acquired more structured data from forty-six Samoan youths (ages 14-31 and fairly evenly divided by gender) who completed surveys, semistructured interviews, group interviews, social mapping exercises, or personal timelines or who were photographed or videotaped. Many informants participated in more than one of these ethnographic activities. Analysis of the data was to form the basis for Scull's doctoral dissertation.
Hackman, Melissa Joy, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on ''Born-Again' Masculinity in Contemporary South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn M. Shaw
MELISSA J. HACKMAN, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Born-Again' Masculinity in Contemporary South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn M. Shaw. From July 2007 to July 2008 the grantee conducted ethnographic fieldwork with Pentecostal men who were members of an Assembly of God Church in the Sea Point section of Cape Town. The grantee focused on how masculinity is transformed for men through the born-again experience, specifically their sexuality and gender identities. Much of her work was with men in a Christian ex-gay and sexual addiction ministry ('healing homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ') at this church. Masculinity is historically profoundly racialized in South Africa, so a key emphasis of this ethnography is the intersections between born-again masculinity and race. Although Pentecostalism is usually seen as reproducing patriarchy and a stereotypically macho Christianity, conversion simultaneously 'masculinizes' and 'feminizes' men, who take a submissive and subservient role to God, traits that are usually seen as feminine and subordinate. Spiritual warfare -- fighting Satan, demons, and evil through intense prayer -- is part of everyday life for Pentecostals. Christian men see a major role for themselves in protection of those around them -- not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.
MacLeod, Joshua Peter, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Mega-Projects, Nature, and Social Movements in Post-Conflict Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Kay B. Warren
Preliminary Abstract: An ethnographic investigation based in the Ixil region of the Guatemalan highlands, this doctoral dissertation projects investigates social mobilizations around the construction of mega projects (such as open-pit mines, hydroelectric dams, African palm plantations, or cement factories). Frequently promoted by the Guatemalan state as the best opportunity for post-conflict economic recovery, such projects are provoking widespread resistance and rejection in rural communities. Asking how Guatemalan communities and organizations participate with and construct their opposition to mega-projects, my investigation involves three areas of research: First, an analysis of the politico-economic transformations that have contributed to the current emphasis on the extraction and accumulation of natural resources throughout Latin America and the world. Second, an investigation of to what extent recent indigenous mobilizations foreshadow a resurgence of identity politics or if we are seeing the emergence of a new socio-political moment where, as in other countries, indigenous peoples are seeking to articulate an alternative political agenda for all citizens. And finally, an exploration of how historical memories of la violencia are resonant with contemporary conflicts. I pay particular attention to the central place that contrasting conceptualizations of nature play in the contemporary conflicts as well as the complex ways in which--after decades of state terror and more than a decade of violent 'post-conflict' insecurity--Ixil experiences of the internal armed conflict are refracted through current conflicts over mega-project construction.
Blaszczyk, Maria Beata, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Temperament and Social Niche Specialization in Primates,' supervised by Dr. Terry Harrison
MARIA B. BLASZCZYK, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Temperament and Social Niche Specialization in Primates,' supervised by Dr. Terry Harrison. A large proportion of intrapopulational behavioral variation in humans is ascribed to personality differences. Although personality variation has long been studied from a proximate perspective within the human sciences, questions regarding the ultimate causation of this variation have remained neglected. The current study contributes comparative data pertinent to questions regarding the evolution of human personality variation by examining the behavioral ecology of temperament differences in wild vervet monkeys. The study tests the degree to which differences in temperament are predictive of individuals' social foraging strategies and social network metrics. Fieldwork was conducted at Soetdoring Nature Reserve, South Africa, from July 2011 to December 2012. Observational data on the social and foraging behavior of all adult and subadult individuals in two social groups (N=40) were collected using focal animal and ad libitum sampling. Six field experiments were conducted on each group to measure individual differences in responses to a variety of novel objects. The observational and experimental data are currently being prepared for analysis. As this is the first systematic study of the social ecology of temperament in a wild primate population, the findings obtained are expected to provide key insights into the evolutionary ecology of primate personality.
Robinson, Mark Dennis, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Joao Guilherme Biehl
MARK D. ROBINSON, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by dr. João Gulherme Biehl. This ethnographic and comparative study examines and compares several distinct translational neuroscience sites including university-based translation centers, neurotechnology industry conferences, and biotechnology investing events. The project includes more open-ended interviews with neurologists, psychiatrists, university administrators, bioentrepreneurs, neurosurgeons, and neuroscientists. The grantee also conducted observation at conferences, symposia, university-based translational neuroscience centers, and laboratories in northern California. This project also maps patients dealing with brain illnesses as well as patient advocates and users of neurotechnologies. The project also includes an analysis of market data. The grantee maps: 1) how patient constitutions of value are often disconnected from the stated aims of translational neuroscience initiatives; 2) the challenges involved in translational neuroscience at the level of the laboratory; 3) the ineluctable role of markets in translational medicine and science; 4) the temporality problem of translation more broadly; and 5) how translation gets constituted as a means of producing value even without evidence of this capacity. Thus, this project reveals how particular ideas and presumptions regarding value in health emerge in a specific context. Lastly, this project responds to questions about the ethics and efficacy of public-private partnerships in the name of health and innovation.
Garofalo, Evan Michele, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff
EVAN M. GAROFALO, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff. Adult morphology and variation are the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental effects during the growth process. Health, disease, and socio-economic status are important for the regulation of the growth trajectory, particularly during infancy and early childhood. However, genetic differences, increasing in prominence during adolescence, contribute significantly to growth profiles and the attainment of adult morphology. Thus, the primary goal of this project is to partition the relative importance of environmental and genetic influences on the timing and nature of the growth process. Multiple skeletal variables, each differentially sensitive to environmental and genetic influence, were examined to assess the skeletal growth of individuals from St. Peter's Church (Barton-upon-Humber, UK) -- a socially stratified and relatively genetically homogeneous population. In this study, there is no effect of socioeconomic status on long bone length, stature, body mass or articular dimensions. However, long bone diaphyseal cross-sectional cortical and medullary areas (considered to be highly environmentally sensitive) show marked differences, primarily during infancy and early childhood, with reduced or no differences for young adults. Early results and palaeopathological observations suggest socioeconomic groups differences may be related to sustaining more prolonged durations of metabolic distress in the higher socioeconomic subadult sample.
Woldekiros, Helina S., Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Archaeology of the Afar Salt Caravan Route of Northeastern Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Fiona Marshall
HELINA S. WOLDEKIROS, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Archaeology of the Afar Salt Caravan Route of Northeastern Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Fiona Marshall. In Africa, social, political, and economic structures have been shaped by salt production, distribution, and long-distance trade, in areas where salt is a critical resource. In Ethiopia, emphasis has been placed on Aksumite control of the Red Sea Trade (150 C.E.-C.E 700) and the trade in ivory, gold, perfume, and slaves rather than on local and regional trade in consumable commodities. Furthermore, scholars understand more about the geographic distribution of key resources than they do about other aspects of the archaeological record of ancient commodity flow -- such as procurement and transfer costs, or the material correlates of exchange activities -- that linked distribution centers. To address this issue, ethnoarchaeological research was carried out on the Afar salt caravan route in Northern Ethiopia, which focused on collection of information on the route and material traces of caravans to identify ancient use of the Afar trail. Major archaeological sites were identified on the salt route, and excavation of these sites revealed ancient bread-cooking stones similar to those characteristic of modern salt trader camps. Aksumite pottery and obsidian distinctive of the Afar were also identified, suggesting local or regional exchange in commodities from the Afar lowlands to the North Ethiopian plateau dating to as early as Aksumite (150 C.E-C.E 700) period.