Dolph, Charles, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Terror of Debt?: Soft Law and the Politics of Money in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
Preliminary abstract: This ethnographic and historical study analyzes how conflicting notions and historical narratives of 'terror' are intertwined with political and legal struggles over Argentina's sovereign debt. Argentina faces default for the second time in thirteen years, precipitated by the June 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a ruling that Argentina could not pay bondholders who accepted debt restructuring without satisfying holdouts demanding payment at the bonds' face value. The parties did not reach an agreement, setting off a complex political and legal dispute playing out through the UN, banks, and courtrooms in New York, on the pages of newspapers and on TV screens from Argentina to the U.S. and Europe, through legal maneuvering by hedge funds and the Kirchner administration to label one another as criminal terrorists, and in mass demonstrations and public debates in Argentina. Through documentary analysis and interviews with functionaries charged with elaborating soft law regulations aimed at combating 'terrorist financing'; participant-observation at mass demonstrations and public debates over debt and financial speculation in Buenos Aires; analysis of the role of media and its coverage of the debt dispute; and archival research at Argentina's Ministry of Economy, this project analyzes how populist debt politics in Argentina are mutually imbricated with soft law financial regulations and conditioned by the country's history of terror during dictatorships. By studying Argentina's sovereign debt dispute, this study illuminates the changing and contradictory institutional, moral, and political landscapes of money and debt in the contemporary world.
Conley, Robin Helene, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Discourses of Death: Language, Juries, and 'Future Danger' in Texas Death Penalty Trials,' supervised by Dr. Alessandro Duranti
ROBIN HELENE CONLEY, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Discourses of Death: Language, Juries, and 'Future Danger' in Texas Death Penalty Trials,' supervised by Dr. Alessandro Duranti. This research, conducted from 2009-2010, investigates how Texas death penalty defendants are constructed as 'dangerous' through jurors' and other legal actors' linguistic, cultural, and legal language practices. The fieldwork consisted primarily of observation of and participation in death penalty trials in multiple Texas counties, post-verdict interviews with jurors whose served on these and other death penalty trials, interviews with other state actors involved in the death penalty process, and the collection of a variety of legal documents, such as jury instructions and trial transcripts. The analysis demonstrates how interaction in capital murder trials shapes the construction of defendants and in turn jurors' decision-making trajectories. The dissertation analyzes these encounters against the backdrop of trial participants' ideologies about who capital defendants are and how they should be judged, which are rooted in widely circulating and regionally distinct discourses of justice, crime, and morality. Interactional aspects of the trials, such as emotional encounters between defendants and witnesses and eye-contact between jurors and defendants, often put jurors in intense conflict with these deeply seated ideologies. Comparatively analyzing interactional detail in death penalty trials with post-verdict juror interviews allows an examination of the development of these conflicts and their consequences for death penalty decisions.
Martin, Keir J., U. of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Housebuilding in Rabaul: The Reconstruction of Sociality in a Papua New Guinean City,' supervised by Dr. Karen M.Sykes
KEIR J. MARTIN, while a student at University of Manchester, Manchester, England, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on 'Housebuilding in Rabaul: The Reconstruction of Sociality in a Papua New Guinean City,' supervised by Dr. Karen M. Sykes. The research supported fieldwork to research transactions centered around land and house building at Matupit, Papua New Guinea, as a focus for examining the commodification of Melanesian social life. Research began with a survey of house building at Matupit, and at the Matupit-Sikut resettlement camp where many villagers had moved after Matupit was damaged by volcanic activity in 1994. The survey found out how people had mobilized labor, land, and materials as they rebuilt after the eruption, and asked why so many people had returned to Matupit despite the risks. This survey was followed by in-depth case studies of eight persons building houses during the fieldwork period. This involved continuous re-visiting over a two year period. This enabled a much more detailed analysis of the attitudes towards the transactions outlined in the initial survey. In particular it was possible to examine the extent to which compensating others for their assistance was presented as 'payment' for labor in different contexts. This work was complemented by case studies of a number of land disputes at Matupit and Sikut. As with the house building case studies, this enabled an examination of the different moral perspectives taken towards different relationships or transactions depending upon the person's relationship to others involved in the dispute. For example, the extent to which some people attempted to 'commodify' the customary land transaction of kulia in order to secure their rights over a piece of land was made clear in the context of this research.
Starr, Julie Elisabeth, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd
JULIE STARR, then a graduate student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,'supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd. Drawing on ten months of fieldwork in Shanghai, China, this research compares how Han Chinese and white Western professional women-all living in Shanghai and all between the ages of 25-35-understand, discuss, and moralize the pursuit of better bodies. Through examining daily practices and discussions about eating, working out, and going to beauty salons it illustrates and compares how these women view self, gender, and race as constituted in and through their bodies. In general, the findings of this research suggest that gender, race, and social status were much more bodily for the Chinese women and yet less essentialized: bodies and selves were assumed to be constantly changing and thus daily modifications were not seen to endanger a unique or authentic bodily-self. Furthermore, for the Chinese women, bodies were a legitimate site to work on the self in order to improve one's social standing. Whereas for the Western women, there was tremendous tension between seeing bodies as part of 'who one is' and denying that bodies have any relevance to one's social position. This research argues that the attitudes of these women toward body modification practices reveal important differences in their understandings of power, nature, and social change.
Greene, Lance K., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis
LANCE GREENE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in March 2006 to aid research on 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis. Research included two activities: archival research and archaeological excavations. Archival research was performed at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the special collections at Duke University, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University, and the courthouse, register of deeds, and historical museum in Murphy, North Carolina. Archaeological excavations were performed at three house sites in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The inhabitants of these sites -- the Welches, Hawkins, and Owls -- were members of the post-Removal Cherokee enclave of Welch's Town. The most extensive excavations were at the house site of John and Betty Welch, the patrons of Welch's Town. Archival, archaeological, and landscape data have provided considerable detail to the Welch's Town narrative and revealed a variety of adaptations pertaining to how these Cherokees survived the intense racism of the post-Removal era in North Carolina. The families of Welch's Town made pragmatic and conscious choices in material culture, reflecting a complex and changing identity bound to issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.
McCabe, Collin Michael, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Unwelcome Guests: Human-rodent Cohabitation and its Implications for Disease Transfer in Sedentary Agricultural Populations,' supervised by Dr. Richard Wrangham
Preliminary abstract: Rodents have inhabited human settlements since at least the advent of agriculture and sedentary lifestyles. This close contact between humans and rodents has been, and still is, a source of many emerging zoonotic diseases. However, little is known about what drives species to commensal lifestyles, and even less is known about whether these commensal species are more likely than non-commensal rodents to carry novel zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this study is to investigate certain behavioral and ecological factors that favor commensal living and pathogen burdens in East African rodents. I hypothesize that more exploratory rodent species with broader diets will more likely be commensal, and will likely have higher pathogen burdens. I plan to live-trap rodents in central Kenya from a community of 25 wild species, in both recently settled human agricultural villages and adjacent, undisturbed habitats to determine each species' level of commensality and the features of these wild rodents that favor commensal living. I will also obtain biological samples from these rodents to determine the zoonotic pathogen burdens. By enriching knowledge of rodent disease ecology, this project will provide data to hone or even transform our understanding of selective pressures of zoonotic pathogens on early agriculturalists.
Vento, Melanie, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Evolutionary Perspectives on the Emergence of Chronic Metabolic Diseases in an Amazonian Bolivian Population,' supervised by Dr. William R. Leonard
MELANIE VENTO, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Evolutionary Perspectives on the Emergence of Chronic Metabolic Diseases in an Amazonian Bolivian Population,' supervised by Dr. William R. Leonard. This research among the Tsimane' builds on recent findings to shed light on why transitional populations may experience greater risk of obesity and chronic disease under conditions of rapid social change. The recent finding that inflammation -- an immune process stimulated by both infection and obesity -- is integral to cardiovascular disease (CVD) suggests that individuals in transitional populations (experiencing both pathogenic physical environments and weight gain) will face a double burden of harmful inflammatory stimuli, placing them at greater risk for CVD. Furthermore, for developing populations, the joint effects of under-nutrition and high infectious disease load in childhood may contribute to both small body size and depressed metabolic rates leaving adults particularly at risk for the development of obesity and associated chronic disorders when exposed to a more urbanized diet and lifestyle. This study integrates these perspectives to test a novel model for the role of population adaptation in the rise of chronic disease under conditions of social change. Adopting the developmental origins of health and disease framework, which recognizes the importance of early life adaptive physiological changes to a predicted future environment, the research investigates the roles that diet, activity, metabolism, and inflammation play in chronic disease risk when increased market exposure leads to shifts in nutritional status across the life course. More specifically, the study examines: 1) how greater market integration is associated with adult weight gain and chronic disease risk; 2) the role of adiposity, infection, and pathogenicity on inflammation (C-reactive protein levels); and 3) whether the combined influence of poor early nutritional environments (indicated by leg length), low metabolism and small size place Tsimane' at greater risk for obesity and CVD in adulthood.
Burt, Nicole Marie, U. of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada - To aid research on 'Reconstructing Juvenile Diet In Medieval York Using a New Method of Dentine Stable Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok
NICOLE M. BURT, then a student at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Reconstructing Juvenile Diet in Medieval York Using a New Method of Dentine Stable Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok. The diet of children changes throughout early childhood from birth, through breastfeeding and weaning. In past populations, weaning was a critical period because it was stressful and often resulted in infant death. By analyzing collagen preserved in human remains using the stable isotope analysis of nitrogen and carbon it is possible to reconstruct these diets. Deciduous tooth dentine is useful for this because it begins forming prenatally and is completed in early childhood. This research created a stable isotope microsampling method to trace the changing dietary signals in the teeth. This method was used to reconstruct juvenile diet at Fishergate House (14th - 16th century) York. The dietary data were compared with growth and pathological data from the skeletons to analyze overall health. The results show that weaning was usually complete by 2 years. Variation in practice was seen looking at individuals. It appears that children with health problems may have been breastfed longer in an attempt to improve health. Childhood health at the site appears to have been average for the period despite its urban location and low socioeconomic class. High levels of marine proteins such as fish in the diets of children and adults likely account for this.
Burt, Nicole M. 2013. Stable Isotope Rtio Analysis of Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices of Children from Medieval Fishergate House York, UK. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 152(3):407-416.
Wheeler, Dean H., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Elite Management of Intensive Agricultural Production: A Comparison of Two Late-Terminal Classic Maya Polities,' supervised by Dr. Olivier de Montmollin
DEAN H. WHEELER, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in February 2005 to aid research on 'Elite Management of Intensive Agricultural Production: A Comparison of Two Late-Terminal Classic Maya Polities,' supervised by Dr. Oliveir de Montmollin. A full coverage systematic regional survey in the Upper Grijalva Basin, a Mayan setting in Chiapas, Mexico on the southwest periphery of the Maya lowlands, collected data on two neighboring Late-Terminal Classic (A.D. 650-950) Maya polities with differing needs for agricultural intensification due to differences in the distribution and extent of soils good for farming, and in the availability of water resources. The data collected will be used to address the primary research objective -- to determine the degree to which elites managed intensive agricultural production on terraces in these two polities. During the survey, architecture was the primary feature used to define sites. Architectural features were divided into two general categories -- terraces and structures -- and were mapped using Brunton compass, tape, and GPS. Although data analysis is in the preliminary stages, the evidence collected has already revealed much in regards to the research objective. In the more agriculturally marginal piedmont zone of the Morelos polity 812 agricultural terraces were recorded, whereas no agricultural terraces were found in the San Lucas polity where the extensive distribution of alluvial soils results in ample prime agricultural land. This indicates that elites in the San Lucas polity were not involved in the management of intensive agricultural production on terraces. In the Morelos polity, the high number of agricultural terraces recorded, and the proximity of agricultural terraces to elite dwellings and civic structures, leaves open the possibility that elites directly managed food production on terraces.