Nahman, Michal R., Lancaster U., Lancaster, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Making Sabras: An Ethnographic Study of Ova Donation in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Sarah B. Franklin
MICHAL R. NAHMAN, while a student at Lancaster University in Lancaster, England, received funding in November 2001 to aid ethnographic research on ova donation in Israel, under the supervision of Dr. Sarah B. Franklin. Nahman examined 'Israeliness' along trajectories of race, gender, religion, and nation through a study of the contested material-semiotic practices of ova donation. 'Ova traffic' was seen as a potential way of exploring the semipermeable membranes of Israeli identities. Nahman conducted nine months of research in three fertility clinics in large urban centers-one teaching hospital and two privately run institutions, two in Israel and one in Romania-where eggs were procured for Israeli women or couples. Research methods included participant observation in surgery rooms, in laboratories, and at physician-patient consultations. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twenty-five Israeli egg recipients (and most often their partners) and twenty Romanian egg donors. Interviewees' participation was gained through clinic staff and an information sheet posted on the Internet and in women's health centers around Israel. Nahman followed the stories of egg donation through participants, public debates, gossip, and legislation, tracing accounts of what was and was not permitted in a 'Jewish' embryo in order to construct a postmodern genealogy of Israel that was about (im)purity, (im)mobility, life, and death.
Nahman, Michal. 2006. Materializing Israeliness: Difference and Mixture in Transnational Ova Donation. Science as Culture 15(3): 199-213.
Nahman, Michal. 2006. Synecdochic Ricochets: Biosocialities in a Jerusalem IVF clinic. In Genetics, Biosociality and the Social Sciences: Making Biologies and Identities, (Sahara Gibbon and Carlos Novas, eds.), Routledge: London.
Thiels, John F., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Linguistic Repertoire Expansion and Ideologies of Multilingualism in Eastern Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
JOHN F. THIELS, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded funding in April 2005 to aid research on 'Linguistic Repertoire Expansion and Ideologies of Multilingualism in Eastern Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. Ethnographic fieldwork in the multilingual frontier town of Nueva Esperanza, Paraguay, revealed a complex social field in which ideologies of linguistic difference and appropriate practice entered into everyday social relations between Brazilians and Paraguayans. While upper-status Brazilians commonly expressed ideologies of social dominance, other Brazilians expressed a variety of alignments towards and against Paraguay with various kinds of uptake by their Paraguayan interlocutors. Whereas many Paraguayans aligned themselves towards officialist ideologies of language and nation, transient workers often countered these notions with alternative histories and explicitly syncretic notions of language use. Ethnography of community radio and other media in this area approaches the question of multilingual publics in linguistic anthropology and notions of temporality and political change that are enacted in the relations of these media with municipal government. Community and commercial radio mediate between different publics and produce the notion of a multilingual public, performing multilingualism for a public that identifies itself with the language contact prevalent in the area.
Bauernfeind, Amy Lynn, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Metabolic Supply and Demand: A Study of Energetic Strategy in the Brain,' supervised by Dr. Chet C. Sherwood
Preliminary Abstract: While the human brain is more energetically costly to grow and maintain than that of the other primate species, it is still unknown which cellular and biochemical modifications are especially responsible for this increased metabolic demand. The proposed study aims to elucidate the distribution of metabolic resources in the brain in light of two important considerations: (1) the amount of energy needed to support the brain is dynamic over the course of the lifetime, and (2) the cerebral cortex of primates contains a heterogenous composition of neurons which are certain to show diversity in their energy utilization due to their variation in size and connectivity. The proposed study will use matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry to investigate interspecific variability in metabolic supply and demand by linking molecules known to participate in metabolic processes to structural maturation and neuronal variability. The spatial specificity of this new proteomic method will be used to anatomically map the distribution of structural and metabolic proteins and to identify the specific contributions of neuronal subtypes and cortical layers in driving the energetic demand of the brain. This information will help us understand the functional consequences of energy allocation toward metabolically expensive neural tissue.
Jones, Tristan Daniel, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Embodied Sovereignties: Indigenous Resistance and Tar Sands Development in Alberta, Canada,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Goldstein
Preliminary abstract: Alberta's oil or tar sands developments suggest tremendous wealth to some, and 'a slow industrial genocide' to others. Although a major driver of the Canadian economy, local Indigenous activists attribute changes in the health of the land to development-related pollution and contest further development on these grounds. Yet this conflict is about more than pollution: is is also understood by Indigenous activists an erosion of Indigenous sovereignty, which is claimed to exist prior to, and outside of, any North American political order. Thus, this conflict is about nebulous forms of sovereignty. In resistance to tar sands development, Indigenous activists draw upon traditional spiritual and subsistence practices as a form of political contestation - an assertion to an Indigenous sovereignty. I argue that these forms of traditional spiritual practice and land use are best understood through the lens of embodied practices. Thus, this research is a critical investigation into the ways Indigenous sovereignty is 'lived' through embodied practices in the arena of tar sands development. Through Indigenous methodologies, participant-observation, and critical analysis, this research is poised to enrich anthropological understandings of sovereignty as it is lived by Indigenous activists facing the potential disappearance of their communities and ways of life.
McDonald, Charles Alan, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Jewish Relations: Conversion, Inheritance, and the 'Return to Sepharad' in Spain,' supervised by Dr. Ann L. Stoler
Preliminary abstract: In 1492, nearly a millennium of Jewish civilization on the Iberian Peninsula was extinguished when Spain decreed that all unconverted Jews would be expelled from the land known in Hebrew as Sepharad. Five centuries later, immigrants, converts, and the state are dramatically reconfiguring the place of Jews and Judaism in Spain. Although Jewish conversion, cultural heritage, and immigration are commonly taken to be multiple manifestations of a single
phenomenon--the 'return to Sepharad'--my research investigates the divergent actors and objectives that animate these projects to understand how the enactment of such 'returns'--whether of contemporary neighborhoods to medieval landscapes, of Spaniards to Judaism, or of Sephardic Jews to Spain--reconfigure debates about the nature of Jewish personhood, history, and the pressing contemporary question of coexistence. My study is guided by questions in three domains where claims to the Jewish past and present are made: (1) Conversion: How and when is an individual's Jewishness recognized as a historical fact or a future possibility? (2) Inheritance: What concepts and materials make it possible to claim people, places, and objects as Jewish inheritance? (3) Coexistence: How do Jews figure in debates about the potential for the celebrated medieval convivencia of Jews, Christians, and Muslims to serve as a template for contemporary multicultural inclusion? Unlike scholarship that focuses on the exclusion of Europe's religious minorities, my project instead examines the inclusion--however uneven and contradictory--of Jewish people and history in Spain in an
effort to shed new light on the vexed conditions of European multiculturalism.
Coleman, Leo C., Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Private Power: The Privatization of Electricity and Citizenship in Delhi, India,' supervised by Dr. Carol J. Greenhouse
LEO CHARLES COLEMAN, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Private Power: The Privatization of Electricty and Citizenship in Delhi, India,' supervised by Dr. Carol J. Greenhouse. This project studied urban citizenship and the political and social consequences of privatization in Delhi, India, with an ethnographic focus on consumer and citizen mobilizations in response to the partial privatization of electricity provision in 2002. The research reveals the internal strains and external constraints on the development of a self-described 'middle-class' in Delhi today, and describes the recent emergence in Delhi of class-homogenous territorially- and residentially-based political groups. Alongside national transformations in economic governance, novel practices of citizenship and urban inclusion and exclusion have emerged in Delhi, expressed in mobilizations for better electricity service and fairer rates, and citizen demands for slum clearance, urban renewal, and expansion of urban services. The mobilizations studied agitated for local control of 'public' goods and were informed by an ideology of consumer-citizenship which equates democracy with transparency, and the latter with local territorial sovereignty. These are the unexpected consequences of a privatization process deeply imbued with the neo-liberal orthodoxy of absolute individual autonomy, but which has produced, ironically, new territorial collectivities. Through joint archival and ethnographic research, the project also traces the continued, albeit submerged, relevance for political action of long-standing foci of communal identification and urban division, including citizenship and caste.
Snellinger, Amanda Therese, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'The Transfiguration of Political Imaginary: Nepali Student Activism on the National and Transnational Level,' supervised by Dr. David Hines Holmberg
AMANDA SNELLINGER, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in May 2006 to aid research on 'The Transfiguration of Political Imaginary: Nepali Student Activism on the National and Transnational Level,' supervised by Dr. David Holmberg. This grant allowed the grantee to complete dissertation fieldwork researching Nepali student activists and student political organizations as a way to understand socialization in Nepali politics. The grantee traveled throughout Nepal attending student organizations' programs and conventions, meeting with students in the south who were agitating for Madheshi rights, and visiting active students outside the capital in order to understand the students' participation within the political landscape nationwide. In Delhi, India research was conducted at the National Archives and Jawalarhal Nehru University, as well as in Varanasi at Banaras Hindu University in order to understand the underground Nepali democratic struggle during the Rana and Panchayat eras (1940-1990) and the 2005 royal takeover. Targeted and informal interviews, archival research, and ethnographic observation focused on the following themes: political elite culture; cultural conceptions of youth and how they are deployed in Nepali politics; generational interaction through the view of mother organizations' (political parties) and sister (student) organizations' relationships; how the history of underground and educational experience in India has impacted activists' and politicians' approach to Nepali politics; how history is politically deployed; conceptual forms of democracy; internal institutional culture; and organizational theory, coalition building and factionalism.
Abe, Yoshiko, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Butchery and Skeletal Element Transport among the Evenki of Siberia,' supervised by Dr. Curtis W. Marean
YOSHIKO ABE, while a student at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, received funding in August 2002 to aid ethnoarchaeological research on large-mammal butchery and skeletal element transport among the Evenki of Siberia, under the supervision of Dr. Curtis W. Marean. This year-round field study of a group Evenki cold-forest hunter-gatherers was designed to test a key assumption made in zooarchaeology: that carcass use can be inferred from the placement and frequency of butchery marks. Abe aimed to develop a more comprehensive model of the relationship between butchery marks and their behavioral meaning through close observation of the butchery process, using videography and a new method of recording butchery marks using GIS. Data were collected on both butchery activity and actual marks on bones for two species-wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and musk deer (Moschus moschiferus). More than 61 successful hunts were observed, and 4 reindeer and 29 musk deer were followed through all stages of butchery and consumption. Analysis of the data was expected to provide a comparative framework from which to address questions about relationships between butchery marks and their behavioral meanings, relationships between skeletal element use and utility, and processing costs for individual skeletal elements.
Ho, Conal G.Y., U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Negotiating Cultural and National Belonging: Chinese Expatriacy in Ghana, ' supervised by Dr. Daniel T. Linger
CONAL G.Y. HO, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received a grant in January 2004 to aid research on 'Negotiating Cultural and National Belonging: Chinese Expatriacy in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. Daniel T. Linger. This dissertation seeks to answer why, for the Chinese in Ghana, the future does not lie in Ghana. Given their extended transitory state in Ghana, it also investigates what their senses of home, community, and belonging are and how these are produced. It has been assumed that a sense of stability is needed to find one's place in the world -- that a sense of being grounded is important to locate oneself. This dissertation examines that assumption through a case study of the Chinese in Ghana. It pays attention to the relationship the Chinese have to their idea that Ghana is a transitory point for them. Despite this sense, contradictory feelings about home in Ghana are expressed. Sometimes Ghana is grudgingly accepted as home, and other times accepted with openness. Feelings about community are, too. They express wariness towards the wider networks of Chinese in Ghana, including their closer networks of friends. It is viewed that information about each other is often misused, misrepresented, or invented. Yet, making use of each other for information and resources is often practiced. In order to make sense of why their future is not in Ghana for the Chinese this dissertation then examines their worldview and morality.
Ho, Conal Guan-Yow. 2008. The 'Doing' and 'Undoing' of Community: Chinese Networks in Ghana. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell 37(3):45-76
Logan, Amanda Lee, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Practicing Change, Remembering Continuity: Incorporating Global Foods into Daily Routines in Banda, Ghana, AD 1000 - Present,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopoli
AMANDA L. LOGAN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Practicing Change, Remembering Continuity: Incorporating Global Foods into Daily Routines in Banda, Ghana (AD 1000 to Present),' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopoli. This study examined how global pressures impacted daily life in West Africa through the lens of food and domestic architecture. Research focused on Banda, a region in west central Ghana that has seen sustained archaeological work that has documented shifts in political economy over the last 1000 years. Investigations focused on how people incorporated new crops into daily practice during each of these shifts, and whether or not dietary continuities and changes corresponded with changes in domestic architecture. People relied mostly on indigenous grains pearl millet and sorghum for much of the last millennium. Maize, a high yielding American crop, arrived quickly in Banda (c. 1660), but did not become a staple until the 1890s under conditions of political and economic duress associated with the shift to market economies and colonial rule. These data point to the political underpinnings of food insecurity, and suggest that in the Banda area such problems did not emerge until quite late. Shifts in house form and construction techniques also hint at shifts in standard of living as Banda moved from an important node in Niger trade to a periphery in the modern world system.