Larcombe, Linda A., U. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada - To aid research on 'Native North American Resistance and Susceptibility to Infectious Disease: An Anthropological Approach,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Hoppa
LINDA A. LARCOMBE, then a student at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Native North American Resistance and Susceptibility to Infectious Disease: An Anthropological Approach,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Hoppa. This research explored a functional and evolutionary interpretation of the observed differences between the cytokine SNPs frequencies maintained by the Aboriginal and Caucasian populations. The analysis of human resistance and susceptibility to infectious disease must consider that the response to infectious diseases is a biological, social, and evolutionary process. As such, the integration of research from archaeology, molecular anthropology, and immunogenetics, provided the longitudinal perspective required for exploring a population's adaptation to their environment. A novel method was developed to examine the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the cytokine promoter region of nuclear DNA isolated from human skeletal remains from Manitoba, Canada. Cytokines are proteins that are key regulators of the human immune response to infectious diseases and this research successfully typed for the first time, cytokine SNPs in ancient human remains dating to as early as 4000 years B.P. The novel approach that was developed to examine SNPs in ancient human remains will enable a more complex understanding of disease etiology and may provide novel insights into the genetic basis for patterns of differential population susceptibility and/or resistance to infectious agents.
Aulino, Felicity, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Transforming Death, Transforming Society: Palliative Caregiving Networks in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Byron J. Good
FELICITY AULINO, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Transforming Death, Transforming Society: Palliative Caregiving Networks in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Byron J. Good. In northern Thailand, the government, the private sector, and civil society alike are increasingly promoting home-based care models for the elderly. Therein, family members and community volunteers face the challenges of carework amidst a web of social caregiving norms challenged by economic and demographic changes, international elder care initiatives, and the daily grind of providing physical care. This research explores caregiver subjectivity and emergent social networks related to the shifting landscape of care for dependent elderly and those nearing death in this setting. The resulting dissertation theorizes a distinctly Thai logic of psychological support and emphasizes Thai attention to and care of the social body as key to understanding the influence (and limitations) of larger-scale elder care reform efforts. Care for the elderly thus offers a glimpse of life in the shadows of institutions: where traditions are calibrated and embodied, where global ideals are carried out or countered, and where communities of like-mindedness emerge and grow.
Polson, Michael Robert, City U. of New York, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Shifting Governance of Marijuana in Northern California: Medicalization, Illegality, and Practices of Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
MICHAEL R. POLSON, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Shifting Governance of Marijuana in Northern California: Medicalization, Illegality, and Practices of Citizenship,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. This project analyzed the elaboration and negotiation of social relations and practices in the emerging medical and underground marijuana markets of northern California. It sought to understand the inter-relationship of policy production, activism, economic activity, and everyday practices of those related to marijuana in order to decipher the broader regional transformations in the political economy of marijuana. During fieldwork, substantial shifts occurred as the federal government intervened in the medical marijuana distribution system, thus altering marijuana's institutional composition, commodity chain flow, medical significance, il/legal status, and governance. Because the political terrain continues to change, this project focused on the dynamics of these changes, particularly on several key and enduring phenomena, including: tensions over modes of distribution; the significance of marijuana land transactions and agricultural practices; intermeshing of medical and 'recreational' marijuana markets; differing modes of governance; and biomedical vs. medicinal-herbal understandings of marijuana. The summation of these factors creates a picture of a regional economy in transformation with widespread implications for the War on Drugs, understandings of the relation between plants, medicine and the body, and the power of law and emergent modes of governance and political activism.
Polson, Michael. 2013. Land and Law in Marijuana Country: Clean Capital, Dirty Money, and the Drug War's Rentier Nexus. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 36(2):215-230.
Faudree, Paja, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'The Double-Edged Pen: Indigenous Language Literatures and Ethnic Identity among Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban
PAJA FAUDREE, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in December 2001 to aid research on 'the Double-Edged Pen: Indigenous language Literatures and Ethnic Identity among Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban. In the interest of understanding why some social movements succeed where others fail, this study examined a particular type of cultural revitalization movement from southern Mexico. Centered on the creation and circulation of texts written in indigenous languages, such revitalization projects seek to reverse the effects of colonialism and nationalism on indigenous peoples and their languages. While such projects aimed at creating written indigenous literatures are extremely widespread, the vast majority have not gained grassroots appeal and remain of interest primarily to indigenous elites. By contrast, the project unfolding in the community studied here constitutes a popular success. A broad range of speakers of Mazatec (the local indigenous language) now writes poems, stories, and especially songs in their language. Musicians from across the region compete in the annual Day of the Dead Song Contest and in the cassette tape industry the contest has generated; even more local people use and, ultimately, perform these texts. In considering the case's relatively unusual success, this study explored the culturally specific ways that literacy and writing in Mazatec were introduced, thereby coupling them to quintessentially local, ethnically marked practices and values, especially those expressing homage to the dead through the vehicle of song.
Verinis, James Peter, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
JAMES PETER VERINIS, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, was granted funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Though Greek agriculture has served as the picture of rural underdevelopment in Europe, rural Greece is undergoing significant transformations. Immigrants play a diversity of socio-economic roles in farming communities experiencing a new global migratory context. They help define what agricultural [dis]incentives, environmental stewardship, social fabric, and territorial occupation mean in the countryside. With locals they co-manage tensions stemming from European rural development programs and global commodity markets. Scholarship largely reifies the conclusion that immigrants are merely transient, exploited laborers. In conjunction with macroeconomic analyses of rural 'stagnation,' such characterizations misrepresent current realities and undermine alternative potential forms of rural development in Greece. Fieldwork in rural villages in Laconia Prefecture of the Peloponnese, primarily in communities of olive growers, has served to undermine such misrepresentations. Participatory farming amongst Greek and non-Greek agriculturalists, in conjunction with related forms of ethnographic data gathered from various stakeholders, sheds light on a context allowing for immigrant integration and rural development as well as for xenophobia and 'resistance' to global capitalism. Contemporary globalized countrysides along the borders of Europe beg such fieldwork in order to evaluate current and potential paths based on new conceptual frameworks set by their new range of residents.
Arumugam Karunithy, Jeyanithe, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Violence, Trauma, and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer
JEYANITHE A. KARUNANITHY, then a student at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, received a grant in December 2008 to aid research on 'Violence, Trauma and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer Tamil refugees have spread to all corners of the world as a result of the three decades of civil war and political violence, exacerbated by a 1983 pogrom in Sri Lanka. Tamil refugee claimants have been experiencing tightened immigration control since 9/11, as they hope to find 'refuge' in Canada, their preferred destination. Under the circumstances of refugee and asylum dilemma, this study is designed to explore the paradox of institutional practices of state, refugee law and psychiatric practices (e.g., the discourse and diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), by focusing on its impact upon the process of transformation of personhood. The fieldwork was conducted in the Tamil neighborhoods in Toronto, involving forty in-depth interviews with a group of refugee claimants of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. The data collected on the claimants' experiences of Canadian asylum and strategies of their identity (re)construction will be used to analyze the politics of recollection (memory), interpretation and narrations of the event by using the oral-histories as narrated by asylum-seekers themselves. In other words, the detailed narratives of refugee claimants (which are difficult to narrate and sometimes violate cultural norms), will be analyzed to understand the ways in which the state's practices -- marked by heavy 'bureaucratization' and 'medicalization' -- trigger suffering of refugees who are at the social margins created by the conditions of 'illegality' and 'deportability.'
Osborne, Dana Marie, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Negotiating the Hierarchy of Languages in Ilocandia,' supervised by Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton
Preliminary abstract: Situated in contemporary Philippines, this project explores the social and linguistic impacts that exclusionary language policies have had on speakers of the minority language of Ilocano. After decades of deliberation following national independence, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports instituted the Bilingual Educational Policy in 1974 which declared Filipino and English to be the national and official languages, respectively -- all other languages, specifically minority languages like Ilocano, were considered auxiliary or 'transitional', ineligible as mediums of literacy or instruction. This declaration had widespread and immediate impacts on minority language speakers, giving rise to a symbolic and material hierarchy of languages. Because of this historical backdrop, language has become one of the most salient signs of identity and of enduring national struggle in the Philippines; it is the foremost stage on which the complexities of social participation are negotiated. This project seeks to examine the ways that young Ilocanos are grappling with the hierarchy of languages with a special focus on the ways that these speakers produce, reproduce and contest the ideological material set into motion by the BEP. A systematic analysis of the social semiotic practice of spatial language among speakers will be carried out to determine the strength and directionality of any language change underlying contemporary language practices among speakers of Ilocano.
De Lucia, Kristin, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel
KRISTIN DE LUCIA, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Domestic Economies and Regional Transition: Household Production and Consumption in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth M. Brumfiel. This project investigated domestic units in Early Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico, to understand how households articulated with local and regional economies. This research takes a microscale approach using microartifact and soil chemistry analysis of floors to examine the everyday practice of individual households during the growth of Xaltocan from a small settlement into a regional capital. Horizontal excavations were conducted to document change in the organization of activity areas, household production, and social organization as Xaltocan grew into a regional center. In addition, consumption choices were examined to better understand household participation in market exchange. Preliminary findings suggest that rather than working cooperatively, households specialized in different aspects of production, selling their products for profit on the market. By employing diversified production strategies, households were able to obtain both ordinary and luxury goods through the marketplace, contributing to Xaltocan's economic growth. At the same time, a strong emphasis on social continuity and household ritual through time highlights the importance of household reproduction and social memory. In sum, by analyzing patterns of daily interaction, including the organization of household space, production activities and ritual, a better understanding of broader patterns of change and development in ancient societies can be gained.
De Lucia, Kristin. 2010. A Child's House: Social Memory, Identity, and the Construction of Childhood in Early Postclassic Mexican Households. American Anthropologist 112(4):607-624.
Swart, Patricia L., New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Film Practices, Globalization, and the Public Sphere in Kerala, India,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
PATRICIA L. SWART, while a student at New School University in New York, New York, was granted an award in December 2002 to aid research on film practices, globalization, and the public sphere in the state of Kerala, India, under the supervision of Dr. Rayna Rapp. Swart examined the ways in which globalization processes had transformed the portrayal of women in popular and art films and women's spectatorship of films in Kerala. Changes in film texts and spectatorship were found to be linked to shifts in gender identity, concepts of citizenship, and the shaping of the public sphere-all unique reactions to globalization in Kerala. Although the state had a long history of global trade and cultural assimilation, the newest wave of globalization had inspired violent protests and demonstrations. The Malayalam-language cinema of Kerala responded to global changes by making films that reverted from formerly more liberal and enlightened portrayals of women to a kind of traditionalism that glorified patriarchal behaviors and attitudes. Swart conducted fieldwork in several primary areas: spectatorship practices, film institutions, and film texts. Interviews, participant observation, and a study of archival sources indicated that despite Kerala's reputation as a model of development, women in the state were subjected to increasing restrictions on their mobility and participation in public events and to increasing violence and sexual harassment. Research on film and gender showed the links between globalization, inequality, and repression by revealing some of the tensions extant in Kerala, including high unemployment, increasing consumerism, and a high rate of suicide among women.
Hsiao, Chi-hua, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Subtitle Groups as Cultural Translators in China,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs
CHI-HUA HSIAO, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Subtitle Groups as Cultural Translators in China,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs. This dissertation project examines the phenomenon of cultural translation in the context of an underground network of Internet-based amateur translators in China. Informal volunteer subtitle groups emerged in the mid-1990s and began catering to the younger generation's thirst for U.S. media popular culture. These translators add Chinese-language subtitle