Huffman, Michaela, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid research on 'The Peopling of South America: Analysis of Dental Non-metric Traits to Evalutate Migration Scenarios,' supervised by Dr. Debra Guatelli-Steinberg
Preliminary abstract: The population history of the Americas has been the focus of much genetic and bioarchaeological research, yet the number and patterns of migrations that settled the Americas are still debated. Much of this work has concentrated on North American data, with less attention to South America. The goal of this research is to examine the peopling of South America through the analysis of non-metric dental traits. This study will examine the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System (ASUDAS) dental trait evidence from three geographic regions: Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and South America, spanning the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Two hypotheses will be tested regarding the peopling of South America during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Documenting the morphological diversity among Paleoamerican and Amerindian populations using an independent line of evidence, teeth, in conjunction with models combining both geographic range and the element of time is an important approach. This research aims to understand how people actually dispersed into the Americas and help native peoples understand their ancestry.
Bullock Kreger, Meggan Miranda-Lee, Pennsylvania State U., University Park, PA - To aid research on 'Immigrant Mortality in the Postclassic Urban Center of Cholula, Puebla,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Hirth
MEGGAN M. BULLOCK KREGER, then a student at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Immigrant Mortality in the Postclassic Urban Center of Cholula, Puebla,' supervised by Dr. Kenneth Hirth. As part of a paleodemographic reconstruction of the Postclassic (AD 900-1521) urban center of Cholula, Puebla, a strontium isotope study of skeletons from a low-status residential zone was carried out to identify immigrants and to determine how they may have contributed to population dynamics in this Mesoamerican city. A preliminary interpretation of the strontium isotope data suggests that as much as 18-22% of the sample may consist of nonlocal individuals. As tentatively identified immigrants disproportionately date to the Early Postclassic, immigration may have played some role in the resurgence of the city during this time period. Both males and females were represented among potential immigrants, but females were slightly more numerous, which may reflect women immigrating to Cholula in order to marry. A child was also identified as having a possibly nonlocal value; thus, it seems that family groups were also relocating to the city. Adults identified as possible immigrants disproportionately died between the ages of 30 and 50, while those native residents who survived to adulthood generally lived past the age of 50, perhaps indicating that selective factors on migration resulted in immigrants to Cholula being frailer than native residents.
Strand, Thea Randina, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid 'Varieties in Dialogue: A Historical and Ethnographic Study of Dialect Use and Shift in Rural Norway,' supervised by Dr. Jane H. Hill
THEA R. STRAND, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Varieties in Dialogue: A Historical and Ethnographic Study of Dialect Use and Shift in Rural Norway,' supervised by Dr. Jane H. Hill. This research investigates the relationships between dialect use, language ideologies, and rural identities in the rural Norwegian valley of Valdres, as well as the direction of contemporary local dialect shift relative to the competing written norms of Bokmål and Nynorsk. During ethnographic fieldwork in 2007-2008, recordings of dialect use were collected from metalinguistic interviews, casual conversations, theater performances, and national media appearances by dialect speakers. Based on these recordings, as well as participant observation, this study combines an analysis of dominant discourses and ideologies of language with the close linguistic analysis of accent and grammatical forms associated with the Valdres dialect. Additionally, a long-term historical perspective is incorporated in order to explore the ways in which the 150-year history of language planning and struggle in Norway has contributed to the development of the contemporary linguistic situation. While previous research in Valdres has indicated long-term change in the direction of normative, regional urban speech, a central finding of this study is that dialect change today appears to be multi-directional -- both toward standard, urban Norwegian, and, simultaneously, toward new, markedly rural forms. The latter kind of change is clearly supported by local ideologies that have recently revalued rural culture, identity, and language.
Johnson, Jessica Ann, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'The Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Washington State,' supervised by Dr. Ann Anagnost
JESSICA ANN JOHNSON, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'The Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Washington State,' supervised by Dr. Ann Anagnost. The research questions central to this dissertation project on same-sex marriage politics in Washington State are: How are moral and family 'values' deployed by both sides of marriage equality debates? How is the 'culture war' constructed by the media and identity-based activism? What do representations of a partisan divide elide concerning relationships between cultural politics and neoliberal transformations in the U.S. political economy? This year-long ethnographic investigation troubles accounts of an incommensurable ideological conflict over the legalization of gay marriage. Fieldwork in Seattle, Washington entailed conversations with leaders and members of gay rights activist groups, conservative evangelical churches, and progressive religious organizations. Through visits to church services and seminars on topics pertaining to gender and sexuality, interviews with lawyers and activists on both 'sides' of the issue, and textual analysis of legal discourse in conversation with neoliberal reforms, this investigation examined how seemingly polarized communities are mutually constituted through negotiations of intimacy, nation, and citizenship. Finally, this study explored how an overlapping domain of political value shaping and shaped by marriage equality debates indexes links in practices of U.S. identity politics, shifts in neoliberal forms of governance, and domestic 'threats' to national security producing the 'war on terror.'
Haro, Angelia, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Developing Utopias: An Ethnography of Millennium Villages,' supervised by Dr. Charlie Plot
Preliminary Abstract: I examine how future-oriented social phenomena operate in new global development practices and cultures organized by the Millennium Development Goals and the promise of the end of global poverty by 2015. I take the Millennium Villages Project, as the most visible Millennium Development initiative, for my research domain. The twelve rural communities in Africa, chosen by the UN and its partners, are intended to demonstrate the feasibility of the Millennium Development promise of the global eradication of poverty. The present proposal will support two phases of ethnographic research: A case study of the Sauri MVP in Kenya and an examination of the translocal dimensions of actors in the MVP-associated institutions in New York. My research objective is to observe the specific practices, ways of thinking and social formations through which different actors attempt to transform present conditions to fit or transform the Millennium Development vision. As simultaneously locally-situated and also translocal constructions, the Villages provide ideal ethnographic sites in which I might discern how a global utopian visions are imported and exported in actual development contexts; how local communities and individuals struggle over the situated coordinates of present possibility as they attempt to actualize it in the contingent, power-saturated present; and how social identities form along axes of competing possibilities and hopes.
Beitl, Christine Marie, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Mangroves and Movements: Collective Action, Institutions, and Social-Ecological Resilience on the Ecuadorian Coast,' supervised by Dr. Bram Tucker
CHRISTINE M. BEITL, then a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Mangroves and Movements: Collective Action, Institutions, and Social-Ecological Resilience on the Ecuadorian Coast,' supervised by Dr. Bram Tucker. Recent scholarship on social-ecological linkages has drawn attention to the role of collective action in studies of common pool resource management and human adaptation to various forms of environmental change. This research investigates the historical processes that have produced vulnerable conditions on the Ecuadorian coast, how communities have collectively reorganized themselves around new management institutions, and whether these new forms of organizing contribute to social-ecological resilience and sustainability within mangrove-dependent communities. To varying degrees of success, grassroots social movements in defense of livelihoods and the environment have consolidated into new civil society organizations in charge of mangrove reforestation, fishery management and monitoring, sometimes in collaboration with government agencies. Through the unique triangulation of ethnographic and ecological data focusing on the fishery for the mangrove cockle, the study examines the explicit link between social and ecological systems at different levels, determining how collective action is reflected in broader patterns of landscape change and differentially reflected in participation and the fishing effort of individuals. Using an exploratory framework for social-ecological resilience and building on common property and collective action theories, the results will address theoretical and methodological gaps in sustainability science and potentially inform policies for the management and conservation of coastal resources.
Sen, Debarati, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on ''From Illegal to Organic': Fair Trade-Organic Tea Production and Women's Political Futures in Darjeeling, India,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy L. Hodgson
DEBARATI SEN, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'From Illegal to Organic: Fair Trade-Organic Tea Production and Women's Political Futures in Darjeeling, India,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy L. Hodgson. This comparative ethnography analyzes the circumstances under which two groups of women in the tea industry in Darjeeling, India, can exercise their autonomy and improve their livelihoods by engaging with the transnational Fair Trade movement. The dissertation addresses a central question: why, in spite of producing the same commodity -- Fair Trade organic tea -- do women tea farmers (independent farmers growing organic tea in their own land) tend to be more politically active than women plantation workers (wage laborers)? Based on intensive ethnographic fieldwork in two distinct communities (women tea farmers and women plantation workers), the research concludes that institutional structures of collective bargaining, existing gender ideologies of work and varying histories of political involvement in previous movements among women determine where they will be more successful in deriving benefits from the Fair Trade movement. This in-depth ethnographic research shows that women tea farmers are more effective in connecting their struggles against economic and cultural domination to the goals of the Fair Trade movement. In contrast, women plantation workers, many of whom were politically active in previous nationalist and labor movements, are relatively incapable of mobilizing the Fair Trade movement to their own benefit.
Gohain, Swargajyoti, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Contested Boundaries: Region, Religion and Development in the Borderlands of North East India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft
SWARGAJYOTI GOHAIN, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Contested Boundaries: Region, Religion and Development in the Borderlands of North East India,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft. This project conducted fieldwork in western Arunachal Pradesh in North East India -- more specifically, Tawang and West Kameng districts -- between January and November 2010, which constituted the second phase of research. The project concerns spatial discourses among the Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh, a Tibetan Buddhist community who live in the border areas of India, Tibet, and Bhutan. It examines the narratives around the contemporary Monpa demand for autonomy and language politics -- as well as past and present narratives of origin, marriage, and migration -- to show how familiar geographies are contested and alternative geographies imagined. The transnational as well as pan-regional elements reflected in these disparate yet linked narratives chart an imagined geography that does not map onto existing territorial divisions, and problematizes the normative geography of national spaces. This project hopes to contribute to theories of reterritorialization, as well as provide critical sub-texts on the refugee-citizen dichotomy and state-border relations.
Adler, Daniel S., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Late Middle Palaeolithic Patterns of Lithic Reduction, Land-Use, and Mobility in the Southern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Ofer Bar-Yosef
DANIEL S. ADLER, while a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2002 to aid research on 'Late Middle Palaeolithic Patterns of Lithic Reduction, Land-Use, and Mobility in the Southern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Ofer Bar-Yosef. The southern Caucasus represents a major gap in our knowledge of Neanderthal lifeways. Since this region occupies an intermediate position between Europe and Asia, an accurate understanding of its Middle Palaeolithic systems of lithic reduction, mobility and land use is critical. Funding provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation allowed me to execute the first detailed analysis of lithic and faunal assemblages from a late Middle Palaeolithic within the Georgian Republic. Specifically, funding was used to produce the first collection of reliable chronometic estimates for the late Middle and early upper Palaeolithic of the southern Caucasus. In total thirty-four Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) sample from Ortvale Klde rockshelter were dated, producing a range of ages for three Middle Palaeolitic layers spanning 42-35ka. Two older layers at the site were dated via Thermoluminescence (TL) to 60-45ka. Samples from three Upper Palaeolithic layers at the site were dated to 33-21ka, indicating the late persistence of Neanderthals in the region and the late arrival of Upper Palaeolithic populations. The dating of Ortvale Klde is revolutionizing our understanding of Neanderthal behavior as well as the timing and mode of the shift from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic however.
Michelet, Aude Pierrette Pascale, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Learning Kinship in Huld (Mongolia),' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti
AUDE MICHELET, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Learning Kinship in Huld (Mongolia),' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti. In the village of Huld (Mongolia), children (aged 3 to 7) build representations about how they relate to other people that differ from those of their elders. Contrary to adults, children do not have a theory of kinship based on consanguinity. However, young children differentiate between two categories of people: those who are familiar -- category that includes ah duu ('kin'), and naiz ('friends') -- and those who are not. Familiarity is established through visits, phone calls, gifts, etc. From the age of 4, children start to restrict family membership to the people who are related to the mother as children or husband. They consider friendship and kinship to be equivalent kinds of relationships albeit friendship is restricted to people of the same age. They believe that relations of friendship and kinship have generative properties; they see these relations as transitive. At age 7, children start to distinguish ah duu (kin) from naiz (friends) and to develop genealogical knowledge to discriminate between the two, despite the overwhelming similarities in people's modes of interaction. The evidence collected suggests that children might share some intuitions about relationships. One would be that birth creates a special bond; a second that certain relationships have generative properties.