Cutright, Robyn E., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, 'supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann
ROBYN E. CUTRIGHT,then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann. Archaeological field excavations were carried out at Pedregal, a Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1460) village in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. The excavations targeted the domestic occupation of the site in order to reconstruct the range of domestic activities at the site and identify the ways in which domestic and culinary practice may have shifted during the valley's conquest by the Chimú state in AD 1350. Materials recovered during excavation and examined during subsequent laboratory analysis suggest that the site's residents were heavily engaged in agricultural production, as well as animal husbandry, textile production, and the processing and preparation of food. Though the site's occupational sequence was more complex than originally believed, dramatic changes do not seem to have occurred during the Late Intermediate Period. Instead, continuity at the domestic level may have characterized the Chimú conquest of the valley.
Stefanoff, Lisa B., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Voice to Property: The Social Practices of Indigenous Media Production at C.A.A.M.A,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
LISA B. STEFANOFF, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'From Voice to Property: The Social Practices of Indigenous Media Production at CAAMA,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers. The research details the production of audio-visual 'Aboriginal Media for the World' by culturally diverse teams supported by the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) at the start of the 21st century. Field and media-archival research investigated the meanings and values, for a variety of CAAMA film-makers, of the collective enterprise of 'storytelling.' The project traced individuals' identifications with CAAMA's encompassing corporate invocation to 'See the World Through Aboriginal Eyes.' Located in intersecting fields of cultural production -- Central Australian desert culture, Aboriginal national politics, Australian culture and arts bureaucracies, the community broadcasting mediascape, Australian/Indigenous artworlds, and the Australian screen industry -- six CAAMA documentaries, fiction films, and television community service announcements are examined as forms of material culture with alienable and inalienable property values. As sites and symbols of intercultural exchange that have been key to the construction of new Indigenous identities, CAAMA screen works mediate motivating experiences and anxieties about cultural loss. Drawing on participant observation of these processes and in-depth interviews with key creators, the study describes the creation of these works from pre-production to distribution. It illustrates how CAAMA's screen work achieves market values as Indigenous expression by only by mediating colliding cultural interests, contradictory creative impulses, and unanticipated constraints.
Hillewaert, Sarah Marleen, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Language, Space, and Identity: Linguistic Practices among Youth in Lamu, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
SARAH M. HILLEWAERT, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Language, Space, and Identity: Linguistic Practices among Youth in Lamu, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. Investigating linguistic practices among youth of Lamu Island (Kenya), this research set out to provide new understandings of the complex relation between language and agency, exploring how everyday linguistic and semiotic practices can be constitutive in redefinitions of identities. A two-year research period on Lamu Island revealed how youth actively exploit and redefine the linkage between stylistic variation and social identities, statuses, and value systems to monitor social relations in a context of rapid change. Data collection revealed a linguistic complexity on Lamu Island, inextricably tied up with the island's historical social stratification. Over six Swahili dialects spoken by different ethnic groups reflect social identities that coincide with spatial divisions on the island. As economic, political and social changes come to undermine these historical social structures, linguistic practices become crucial in monitoring social relations. While spatial divisions remain, youth actively exploit changes in mobility (i.e. movement through the town, across spatial divides) as well as linguistic and semiotic practices to defy ascribed social identities. Switching and mixing of dialects, combined with changes in occupation of social space demonstrate how youth endeavor to challenge historically established ideologies. As changes in mobility proved to play a crucial role in this challenging of social identities, the researcher was forced to investigate the impact of different notions of mobility (i.e. the actual movement through space but also use of cell phone, satellite tv) on notions of identity and language practices. Analysis also indicates that an important gender aspect needs to be included in the research's theoretical considerations, as the cultural restrictions in mobility have forced women, more so than man, to exploit linguistic practices in their attempts to redefine their position in Lamu Society.
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.
Carroll, Jennifer Jean, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Choosing Methadone: Managing Addiction and the Body Politic in Post-Soviet Ukraine,' supervised by Dr. Laada Bilaniuk
Preliminary abstract: In recent years, interventions targeting the HIV and intravenous drug use epidemics in Ukraine have been supported by some of the largest international public health grants in the world. This has given leverage to European and North American biomedical approaches to drug use and addiction, which stand in stark contrast to Soviet-era approaches to addiction. Biomedical paradigms are gaining traction and forcing addicts and public health workers, alike, to change the way that they think about the connections between drug use, addiction, and mental health. Methadone therapy is hailed by Western biomedicine as an effective medical treatment for addiction, which is viewed as a maladaptive medical disorder. This research questions these definitions, and asks whether drug use and drug treatment can be seen as adaptive behaviors, and whether addicts seek methadone treatment for its purported medical benefits at all. Via ethnographic research in L'viv, Ukraine--a city that lies culturally and geographically in the space where Europe and the former Soviet Union meet--this project will explore how drug users incorporate these new public health infrastructures into their addiction and into their personal strategies for navigating new political economies in an increasingly neoliberal Ukraine.
Scott, Jeremiah Ezekiel, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Nonsocial Influences on Canine Size in Anthropoid Primates,' supervised by Dr. William H. Kimbel
JEREMIAH E. SCOTT, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received an award in April 2008 to aid research on 'Nonsocial Influences on Canine Size in Anthropoid Primates,' supervised by Dr. William H. Kimbel. While it is well-established that the tall, daggerlike canine teeth of most anthropoid primates are the product of intermale competition for mates, the factors that limit canine size or favor their reduction remain obscure. This issue is of particular interest to paleoanthropologists because canine reduction distinguishes the oldest-known hominins from fossil and living apes. The goal of this dissertation project was to test hypotheses proposed to explain canine reduction. Funds were used to collect the morphometric data necessary for testing one of these hypotheses -- Hylander and Vinyard's masticatory-efficiency hypothesis, which posits that canine reduction is a consequence of selection for increased bite-force production. Results support the hypothesis: in comparison to species with relatively tall canines, species with relatively short canines possess masticatory systems that convert a greater amount of muscle force into bite force. Thus, species with shorter canines are capable of producing a given magnitude of bite force with less muscular effort. Although a direct test of the masticatory-efficiency hypothesis in early hominins will require a more complete fossil record and a better understanding of hominin dietary evolution, this study provides a strong comparative foundation and a clear focus for future research.
Haas, Bridget Marie, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Producing Subjects in the U.S. Political Asylum Process,' supervised by Dr. Janis H. Jenkins
BRIDGET MARIE HAAS, then a student at the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Producing Subjects in the U.S. Political Asylum Process,' supervised by Dr. Janis H. Jenkins. This research investigated the U.S. political asylum process, focusing on the experiences of Cameroonian asylum seekers in the urban Midwest. Recent changes in immigration law and policies have made the asylum process more challenging and asylum claimants often find themselves in protracted situations of uncertainty. The contemporary climate surrounding immigration has provided the grantee an important opportunity to ethnographically examine how discourses of human rights and trauma, on the one hand, and discourses of national security, on the other, come to be enacted on a local level and impact individual lives. Data collection included unstructured, open-ended interviews with asylum claimants; semi-structured interviews with staff members of a human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) that assists asylum seekers; semi-structured interviews with asylum officers and immigration attorneys; participant observation among asylum seekers within their daily lives; and observation in various institutional settings (immigration offices, immigration court). By collecting data in both institutional and social contexts, the grantee documented a) the discourses and practices that institutional bodies (NGO workers, immigration attorneys and officials) draw upon to render the asylum seeker a knowable subject, and b) asylum claimants' responses to institutionally produced identities and the salience of alternate identities and subjectivities.
Macias, Marisa Elena, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Functional Integration of the Hominin Forelimb,' supervised by Dr. Steven E. Churchill
Preliminary abstract: Over the last six million years of hominin evolution, humans transitioned from a tree-dwelling arboreal lifestyle to a bipedal, terrestrial one. As such, the forelimb transformed from a climbing and suspensory apparatus to a tool-making and tool-using one. The exact nature and timing of this transition, however, remains unclear. Australopithecus predates the genus Homo by at least two million years; whether suspensory and climbing behavior were also important remains unclear due to conflicting interpretations of the biomechanical and behavioral significance of isolated aspects of forelimb anatomy. My study evaluates the degree to which three species of Australopithecus have a forelimb organized for climbing and suspension. This will allow an evaluation of the role of arboreal locomotion during the transition to bipedalism. The results will enhance our ability to discriminate among various adaptive scenarios. This project includes a novel modeling approach that views the forelimb as a functionally integrated structure and is explicit in viewing isolated aspects of anatomy as contributing to the function of the entire forelimb during locomotion. The aims are 1) to explore relationships among phylogeny, body size across primates, 2) to evaluate muscular leverage, habitual range of motion, and capability for transmission of loads, and 3) test hypotheses of Australopith forelimb functional organization. Geometric morphometrics and biomechanical modeling are used to evaluate the predictions for humans, apes, suspensory monkeys, and quadrupedal monkeys, as well as to analyze Australopithecus afarensis, africanus, sediba, and Homo erectus.
Blanchette, Alexander David, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Factory Hog Farming, Capitalist Natures, and the New American Rural Frontier,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Masco
ALEXANDER D. BLANCHETTE, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Factory Hog Farming, Capitalist Natures, and the New American Rural Frontier,' supervised by Dr. Joseph Masco. The aim of this ethnographic research project was to clarify the cultural and historical meaning of the 'factory' within a cluster of the world's largest factory hog farms on the American Plains. The grantee tracked the ways that vertical integration -- ostensibly just the merging of distinct agricultural operations such as raising, feeding, or slaughtering pigs -- is actually a philosophy for re-imagining and seeing hidden value within the industrial hog's life-course. As such, this dissertation research queries the forms of management and labor-based culture that animate and emerge from this novel experiment in mass-producing living nature. To this end, the grantee engaged in interviews and management shadowing at almost every work phase of corporate hog production from (pre-)life to (post-)death, participated in post-WWII Japanese manufacturing theory classes as they were applied onto the farming process, conducted over 100 interviews with regional workers and planners, and himself worked as a laborer on an industrialized sow farm. As a whole, this dissertation project promises to contribute to our understanding of the cultural underpinnings of industrialization in the so-called 'post-industrial' United States, while vivifying new ways of seeing nature, life, and labor in a rural America undergoing transformation.
Robins, Tara C., U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Social Change, Parasite Exposure, and Autoimmunity among Shuar Forager- Horticulturalists of Amazonia: An Evolutionary Medicine Approach,' supervised by Dr. J. Josh Snodgrass
Preliminary abstract: Exposure to parasites is hypothesized to decrease the risk of autoimmune disorders by regulating immune activity. Termed the Hygiene Hypothesis, this suggests that exposure to certain microbes helps organize immune function and prevents immune response to harmless stimuli. The Disappearing Microbiota Hypothesis takes this a step further, suggesting that recent changes in human ecology are altering the composition of our intestinal bacteria, thereby reducing vital immune programming. Existing research suffers from two weaknesses. First, almost all studies of these relationships have been conducted in Western clinical settings among populations with low infection rates, limiting our knowledge of the contextual factors that affect immune regulation. Second, there is very little anthropological research that explores the co-evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes. The proposed study uses evolutionary medicine and biocultural frameworks to further test these hypotheses among the indigenous Shuar forager-horticulturalists of Ecuador, who are currently experiencing rapid social change resulting in pronounced intra-population variation in parasite exposure. Avoidance behaviors, intestinal parasite composition, and autoimmune disease prevalence will be examined among Shuar at different levels of market integration. This project is the first population-based study to examine relationships between microbe exposure and autoimmunity among an indigenous population transitioning to a market-based economy.