Lopiparo, Jeanne L., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Household Ceramic Production and Small-Scale Economies in the Terminal Classic Ulua Valley, Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce - Lita Osmundsen Fellowship
JEANNE L. LOPIPARO, while a student at the University of California in Berkeley, California, was awarded the Lita Osmundsen Fellowship in January 2001 to aid research on household ceramic production and small-scale economies in the Terminal Classic Ulúa Valley, Honduras, under the supervision of Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce. Through fine-grained excavation and analysis of Terminal Classic household sites in the lower Ulúa Valley, Lopiparo documented the dispersed production of fine-paste ceramic artifacts and examined the implications of small-scale production for processes of social integration. The incorporation of locally produced, mold-made ceramic artifacts into rituals of renewal at multiple scales provided evidence of a ritual mode of production for the integration of independent house societies. Stylistic analysis of these artifacts demonstrated how participation in shared production practices both expressed commonalities and established distinctions among households, communities, and regions. Lopiparo advanced a model for the ritual mode of production that suggested the means of integration through which societies were produced and reproduced at the local level in the absence of the sociopolitical and economic centralization characteristic of Classic-period centers in the Maya lowlands. As nexuses for rituals that were fundamental to social production and reproduction, house societies were instrumental in the crafting of society in the Terminal Classic Ulúa Valley.
Cabatingan, Lee Elizabeth, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Caribbean Court of Justice: International Pursuits and National Promises in a Regional Court' supervised by Dr. Stephan Palmie
LEE E. CABATINGAN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'The Caribbean Court of Justice: International Pursuits and National Promises in a Regional Court,' supervised by Dr. Stephan Palmie. Based on participant-observation, interviews, and archival research at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Trinidad & Tobago, this project addresses the question of how a newly established legal institution, like the CCJ, works to create its authoritative legal voice. The court is intended to serve many of the independent nation-states of the English-speaking Caribbean, but these states and their publics tend to view the court with hesitation and suspicion. They place the CCJ alongside a history of failed regional experiments. And, the fact that the CCJ promises to cut the last strings of colonialism by replacing the Privy Council in England as the final court of appeal does little to establish its authority for a public that remains devoted to the perceived superiority of British law and order. As a result of its precarious positioning, the CCJ operates anxiously, striving in everything it does, says, signals, or portrays to establish a balance between colonial court-ness, independent Caribbean-ness, regionalism, nationalism, past, future, passion and logical persuasion in order to establish a foothold in the very region it is designed to serve. This dissertation, then, explores the ways in which the CCJ, both through its mudane practices and its extraordinary events, attempts to construct a scaffolding upon which its authoritative legal voice-its jurisdiction-can be perched.
Powell, Dana Elizabeth, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Alternative Power: The Cultural Politics of Development on the Navajo Nation,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy C. Holland
DANA E. POWELL, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Alternative Power: The Cultural Politics of Development on the Navajo Nation,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy C. Holland. This grant supported more than a year of ethnographic research focusing on energy development debates on the Navajo Nation and the broader networks of which it is a part. Contrasting a proposal for a large-scale coal plant with proposals for wind and solar power, this project calls into question claims of 'alternative' energy and the different visions of independence such claims engage. While long-standing extractive industries and newer 'green' technologies on the Nation pose different modes of economic development and engage a diverse range of advocates -- from regional environmental activists, to tribal leaders, to energy entrepreneurs, to financial investors -- the cultural politics of energy development remains contested and embodied in the everyday lives of tribal members. With over one-third of the reservation's homes lacking electricity and an enduring resistance movement to fossil fuel industry among tribal members and regional allies, the question of power is intimate and urgent. The production of power is thus a polyvalent trope for understanding parallels and intersections between generating electricity and strengthening self-governance. Broadly, the research findings suggest that energy development debates create a space of political action, knowledge negotiation, and subject formation.
Gildner, Theresa E., U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Life History Tradeoffs Between Testosterone and Immune Function: Testing the Immunocompetence Handicap Hypothesis,' supervised by Dr. J.Josh Snodgrass
Preliminary abstract: This research uses a biocultural approach and anthropological methods to test predicted life history tradeoffs between reproductive effort (measured using testosterone levels and phenotypic masculine traits) and immune function among the Shuar of Ecuador, a forager-horticulturalist group characterized by high parasite load. Human Life History Theory aims to understand how natural selection produces age and context-dependent tradeoffs in resource allocation to different biological functions, and the physiological bases of these allocations and their outcomes. Still, predicted energetic tradeoffs between mating effort and immune function remains poorly tested among contemporary human populations. Debate remains, for example, about the degree to which intra- versus inter-sexual selection have shaped tradeoffs between immunocompetence and the development and maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., through the effects of sex hormones like testosterone). Furthermore, to date, no study has examined the relationship between testosterone and immune function in a natural fertility, high pathogen environment (like the Shuar) reflecting conditions more similar to past human populations under which these hypothesized tradeoffs evolved. This project is the first population-based study to test if there is a direct relationship between testosterone profile and parasite load among an indigenous population. The results of this study will provide insights useful for assessing the validity of hypotheses dependent on these data, such as the hypothesis that inter-sexual selection produced female assessment and preference for testosterone-linked masculine traits as an honest signal of male quality because of the immunosuppressant effects of testosterone.
Trever, Lisa Senchyshyn, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Mural Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins
LISA S. TREVER, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Muralo Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins. Archaeological and art historical research was carried out at Panamarca, the southernmost Moche (c. 200-800 CE) urban and ceremonial center on the Peruvian north coast. This project was designed to investigate and document the architectural and archaeological contexts of mural paintings known at the site since the 1950s. This fieldwork was successful in re-identifying, excavating, documenting, and conserving all previously known paintings, although some had suffered severe deterioration over time. The project also uncovered several new mural paintings and associated contexts. The corpus of known Moche mural paintings has thus been dramatically expanded. This fieldwork provides the foundation for a dissertation that will advance ancient Andean studies further into spatial analysis of image and architecture, including the phenomenological analysis of how these figurative paintings may have been seen, approached, and experienced within their built environment and how physical evidence of damage, libations, interment, reopening, and later dedicatory acts may demonstrate the ancient reception and memory of these monumental images. The mural paintings of Panamarca were not passive reflections of Moche thought but rather effective participants in ritual performance and in the construction of social memory and political presence on the southern Moche frontier.
Kudlu, Chithprabha, Washington U., University City, MO - To aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Davis Stone
CHITHPRABHA KUDLU, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Stone. The study investigates current developments in commodification of Ayurvedic medicine in Kerala, India, and their effects on knowledge and livelihood of actors in the commodity chain for Ayurvedic herbs. Fieldwork has allowed identification of key nodes in the commodity chain and has revealed changes ranging from the routine to the transformative. On one hand, increased commodification has caused predictable shifts in the nature of knowledge contributions and livelihood outcomes for actors at the manufacturing, consuming, and practitioner nodes. On the other, developments associated with globalization, health tourism, and changing demands of domestic consumers have contributed to a dynamic new climate of commodification. The entry of non-traditional stakeholders is causing new paths and diversion for Ayurvedic commodities, sometimes threatening commodity boundaries and causing conflict between the old and new value systems. The industry's interest in globalizing Ayurveda has also brought in pressures of regulation and standardization that sometimes conflict with traditional practices. Although the dynamisms do not extend to the upstream supply, chain which continues to depend on a gathering economy, fledgling developments in farming and industrial cluster projects portend future potentials and constraints. The study examines the responses of various respondents in this context with special attention to changes in the roles and contributions of nodal actors; changes in power relationships between different stakeholders; changes in consumption patterns; and changes in the medicine commodity itself.
Beyin, Amanuel Yosief, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid 'Paleolithic Investigation on the Red Sea Coast of Eritrea,' supervised by Dr. John J. Shea
Beyin, Amanuel. 2009. Late Stone Age Shell Middens on the Red Coast of Eritrea. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 4:108-124.
Beyin, Amanuel. 2010. Use-wear analysis of obsidian artifacts from Later Stone Age shell midden sites on the Red Sea Coast of Eritrea, with experimental results. Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 1543-1556.
Fish, Allison Elizabeth, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Owning Transnational Yoga: Intellectual and Cultural Property Claims to a Traditional Practice,' supervised by Dr. William Michael Maurer
ALLISON E. FISH, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Owning Transnational Yoga: Intellectual and Cultural Property Claims to a Traditional Practice,' supervised by Dr. William Maurer. Research related to this project took place primarily in Bangalore, Dehli, and California. What the grantee terms 'transnational yoga' is an example of the rapid transformation that forms of traditional cultural knowledge undergo as they are increasingly offered in commoditized form to consumers in affluent and cosmopolitan markets. The research takes two US federal district court cases, Bikram v. Schreiber-Morrison et al. and Open Source Yoga Unity v. Bikram as a starting point. These suits served as the catalyst triggering open conflict concerning the proprietary nature of yogic knowledge. In researching the resulting dispute, the grantee attends to two sets of reactions. The first is that of the Indian state, which is concerned with what it perceives to be the on-going piracy of its national-cultural heritage. The study focuses upon the state's own claim to yoga and its attempt to protect this claim through the construction of a traditional knowledge digital library. Secondly, the research examines the reactions of select yoga organizations, which have also adopted intellectual property claims. In tracing these relationships the grantee shows how not only yoga, but also other cultural objects (such as intellectual property) are contested and reconfigured. In doing this, the project contributes to a re-examination of the tradition-modernity binary.
Staudt, Smiti Nathan, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Ingenuity in the Oasis: An Examination of Early Bronze Age Agricultural Communities in Oman,' supervised by Dr. Rita Wright
Preliminary abstract: This project will investigate the socio-economic foundations of oasis communities during the Early Bronze Age (EBA) (ca. 3100BCE -- 2000BCE) in southeastern Arabia. These relatively small-scale communities demonstrate strategic organizational and subsistence choices in extreme environments and climates that led to the establishment of widespread oasis agriculture communities across the landscape. This project will operate as a contextualized study of settlement patterning and plant cultivation and usage amongst EBA oasis communities in southeastern Arabia through the integration of geospatial, ethnoarchaeological, and archaeobotanical analyses. Decision-making strategies of EBA inhabitants will be contextualized and analyzed using niche construction frameworks that focus on humans as agents of cultural change. This project will examine how EBA communities organized themselves, practiced plant cultivation, strategized decision-making, and, thus, contributed to the maintenance and spread of oasis agriculture communities, which provided the socio-economic foundations for development of complexity in southeastern Arabia.