Johnson, Caley Anne Szewczak, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, NY - To aid research on 'Baboon Diet in the Forest and Savanna: An Intraspecific Comparison of Nutritional Goals,' supervised by Dr. Jessica Rothman
Preliminary abstract: As early hominins left the forest and forged life on the savanna, they fed in increasingly open habitats and their diets diversified, especially in the Pleistocene. Pressures from foraging in this new environment are linked with a suite of changes since our last common ancestor with apes, including bipedalism and increased brain size. Available foods were different than those in the forest with less woody and herbaceous foods and more grass resources. It is hypothesized that early humans had little fat and carbohydrates in their diet and more protein. These changes in nutrition for Plio-Pleistocene hominins may have been necessary for physiological transformations such as a decrease in gut size and increase in brain size. It is also hypothesized that from our evolution on the savanna, modern humans express the propensity to maintain (or prioritize) the intake of protein as opposed to other nutrients. 'Protein leverage' in modern humans may contribute to the obesity crisis - with little evolutionary experience of foods rich in fats and sugars, we tend to overconsume energy and maintain protein intake. In order to test how environment shapes patterns of nutrient prioritization, I will use another living primate, which like humans is known for its ecological and dietary flexibility -- the baboon. The objective of this study is to determine how habitat shapes diet and nutrient priorities of an omnivorous primate. To address this, I will conduct observations of wild baboon feeding, collect foods for nutrient analyses, and employ the Geometric Framework of Nutrition to determine their nutritional priorities in Kibale National Park, Uganda (forest) and Laikipia, Kenya (savanna). This study may shed light on changes in diet and behavior in early human ancestors and the evolution of macronutrient management.
Noback, Marlijn Lisanne, Eberhard Karls U., Tubingen, Germany - To aid research on 'Climate- and Diet-related Variation in Human Functional Cranial Components,' supervised by Dr. Katerina Harvati
MARLIJN NOBACK, then a student at Eberhard Karls University, Tubingen, Germany, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Climate- and Diet-Related Variation in Human Functional Cranial Components,' supervised by Dr. Katerina Harvati. This study seeks to elucidate the physiological basis of craniofacial variation and the selective forces driving modern human cranial geographic diversity. Funding enabled the CT scanning of 45 individual crania from three different collections based in Paris, London, and Tübingen. These scans form part of a larger database of over 330 CT scans, representing populations from different climatic and dietary regimes. With the use of the software package AVIZO and a high performance laptop, 3D models of functional facial components are developed from the CT scans. Analyses are currently undertaken and include studies of variation and co-variation of the cranial components and their relation to diet and climate. This project will enhance understanding of the biological processes underlying the evolution of modern human anatomy, adaptation and geographic diversity.
Curley, Andrew Paul, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'The Changing Nature of Navajo Tribal Sovereignty in an Era of Climate Change,' supervised by Dr. Wendy Wolford
Preliminary abstract: This dissertation examines how tribal sovereignty is practiced and understood on the Navajo Nation (northeast Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southern Utah) with respect to continued coalmining, contested water rights, and other forms of development in this time of climate change.
Steele, Ian Emmet, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Gifts with the State: Reciprocity, Solidarity and Corruption in Egypt's Province of the Presidents,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
Preliminary abstract: Since Egypt's 2011 revolution, scholars have noted the seeming paradox between revolt against state corruption and adulation of elements of Egypt's 'deep state' through slogans like, 'The people, the army, and the police are one hand.' Rather than assuming an opposition between revolution and panegyric, this research project will investigate the cultivation solidarity with the Egyptian state through the very corruptions criticized by revolutionaries. Situated in a rural Nile Delta province infamous for receiving patronage because of its close relationship to Egypt's deep state, this twelve month ethnographic project will ask how exchange of favors through connections, or 'wasta,' binds and subordinates Egyptians to state authorities, drawing on and advancing anthropological literatures on reciprocity and obligation, solidarity and authority, and corruption. Most recent ethnographies of Egypt have focused on Cairo to the detriment of rural provinces where most Egyptians live, but by focusing on micropractices of nepotism at a local level, this study will help reveal the affective infrastructures that support the Egyptian state.
High, Mette M., U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid 'A Study of Gold Mining, Pastoralism, and Changing Working Lives in Rural Mongolia,' supervised by Dr. Caroline Humphrey
METTE M. HIGH, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'A Study of Gold Mining, Pastoralism and Changing Working Lives in Rural Mongolia', supervised by Prof. Caroline Humphrey. The research objectives were to understand the practical and cosmological issues that arise for pastoralists when mining comes to occupy a visible social and physical space and presents them with new subsistence opportunities. Fieldwork consisted of 10 months' participant observation and interviews with people who are taking part in the current gold rush as well as herders who distance themselves from the environmentally damaging mining practices. By examining narratives about industrialization and collectivization in the socialist era as well as the recent advent of the gold rush, the research concerned how notions of collectivity, responsibility and individualism were related to transformational historical processes and changing subsistence economies. Focusing on how people reconcile cosmological concepts related to the landscape with working practices that transgress fundamental taboos about the underground and water resources, moral commentaries and discourses of fear and suspicion highlighted people's negotiation of status and social interaction. The research demonstrates that emerging subsistence economies may not only be fuelled by economic incentives but also by particular socio-cultural mechanisms.
High, Mette M. 2013. Polluted Money, Polluted Wealth: Emerging Regimes of Value in the Mongolian Gold Rush. American Ethnologist 40(4):676-688.
High, Mette M. 2013. Cosmologies of Freedom and Buddhist Self-Transformation in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19(4):753-770.
Michaels, Ben Justin, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Team Tibet: Soccer as the Performance of Human Rights in the Transnational Tibetan Exile Community,' supervised by Dr. Marvin Sterling
BEN J. MICHAELS, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Team Tibet: Soccer as the Performance of Human Rights in the Transnational Tibetan Exile Community,' supervised by Dr. Marvin Sterling. For this phase of research, ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj, India, which is the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the major hub of Tibetan exile life. 2011 became a historic year for the transnational Tibetan exile community as the Dalai Lama announced his retirement from political life and handed over leadership of the Tibetan Government in Exile to an elected prime minister. This marked the next major step in the materialization of his long-envisioned process of Tibetan democratization and emboldened a new generation of politically active Tibetans to embrace their democratic right to disagree with their leaders. Acknowledging dissent as an essential element of the democratic process, this study examines the social mechanisms by which dissenting opinions are either muted at the local level or propagated and allowed to evolve into transnational social movements able to transcend spatial and political boundaries. At the same time, this research highlights some of the generational gaps in social and political views as young Tibetans, raised and educated in exile, use the emergence of new and globally accessible communicative media to express and circulate new ideas throughout the Tibetan world.
Carpenter, Leah J., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Ojibwe Land Acquisition Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Nancy J. Parezo
LEAH J. CARPENTER, while a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received funding in December 2001 to aid historical and ethnographic research on Ojibwe land acquisition strategies, under the supervision of Dr. Nancy J. Parezo. Investigating Ojibwe perceptions regarding land and the need for Ojibwe ownership of it, Carpenter compared the landownership histories of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Reservations in Minnesota and examined the historical and cultural factors that currently informed the decisions of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands regarding land acquisition. One primary method of data collection was archival, legal, and textual research into federal Indian policies, laws, and treaties affecting indigenous landownership. In addition, formal and informal interviews with band officials and land department staff, tribal elders, and other government officials provided invaluable information about Ojibwe perceptions of the historical loss of land within reservation boundaries, about the related need for additional tribal land acquisition, about contemporary tribal cultural activities on the land, and about current and historical land acquisition efforts. The research revealed the precariousness of Indian landownership in the United States, even within the boundaries of reservations that were intended to serve as permanent tribal homelands. The historical reality of major transfers of reservation land out of Ojibwe ownership informs tribal land acquisition efforts today. Although the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands share a common tribal identify and similar overall histories, they have distinct land tenure histories and landownership statuses today, which has led them to different land acquisition needs and strategies.
Schwoerer, Tobias, U. of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland - To aid research on 'Processes of Pacification in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Jurg Helbling
TOBIAS SCHWOERER, then a student at University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Processes of Pacification in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Jurg Helbling. This research analyzed the processes leading to the elimination of traditional warfare in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea under Australian colonial rule. Fieldwork was undertaken in four communities among three different ethno-linguistic groups in the Okapa and Obura-Wonenara districts, exploring variations in political dynamics, methods of conflict settlement and patterns of warfare between the communities, and evaluating group-specific social, political and cultural norms that shaped different responses to pacification. Through oral history interviews with eyewitnesses of the colonial period, it became clear that the forms, conduits and results of intercultural interactions between the inhabitants of the four communities and representatives of the colonial administration were central elements in the process, so were informal judicial institutions and their role in either successfully preventing inter-group violence in one area or failing in the other. Modalities and intensity of warfare, styles of political leadership as well as traditional methods of peace settlement all had a significant impact on the trajectory of pacification. Fieldwork was supplemented by archival research in the National Archives of Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as through interviews with retired colonial officers to further contextualize data from the field. This study illuminates the 'indigenous articulations' of colonial history - the perspective of indigenous witnesses and participants who experienced the transition from traditional warfare to colonial peace and (in some communities at least) back to 'tribal fighting' today.
Haanstad, Eric J., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Global Policing Enacted: An Ethnographic Analysis of International Law Enforcement in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Katherine A. Bowie
ERIC J. HAANSTAD, then a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, received funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'Global Policing Enacted: An Ethnographic Analysis of International Law Enforcement in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Katherine A. Bowie. Research pursued an ethnographic examination of the Thai police. To provide historical contextualization for the project, the grantee used archival sources to gather police histories, Thai-language works on police-related topics, and interviews with retired Thai police officers. This portion of the research is expected to result in the flrst extensive English language history of the Thai police. Using an 'incident-based' methodology, fieldwork focused on three major police social-order campaigns: a three-month drug suppression campaign, a three-month 'War on Dark Influence,' and the massive security preparations for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Bangkok. These campaigns culminated in a national public spectacle in December declaring a 'drug- free Thailand.' Ethnographic data was drawn from a wide variety of sources including more than a hundred interviews (with Thai police officers, DEA agents, taxi drivers, hospital administrators and the director of the Thai Forensic Science Institute); Thai TV news coverage of coundess police raids; anti-drug music recordings of classically-trained police singers; and issues of 'Top Cop' magazines with glossy centerfolds of SWAT teams and automatic weaponry. Using this data, research shows how social control is part of a local cultural-historical context and how the police are key performers/ symbols in the construction of order by the state.
Machicek, Michelle Lynn, U. of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK - To aid research on 'Elucidating Complexity in Mobile-Pastoralist Societies: A Study in Subsistence Strategies, Environmental Adaptation and Social Practice,' supervised by Dr. Andrew T. Chamberlain
MICHELLE LYNN MACHICEK, then a student at University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'Elucidating Complexity in Mobile-Pastoralist Societies: A Study in Subsistence Strategies, Environmental Adaptation and Social Practice,' supervised by Dr. Andrew T. Chamberlain. In the distant past until the present day, communities practicing various forms of mobile-pastoralism have come to characterize the vast steppe lands of Inner Asia. However, the details and complexities of this occurrence remain poorly understood. This research utilized data -- analyzed and recorded from samples of human skeletal material -- to address variation and similarities in dietary regimes of discrete communities inhabiting this region. The samples utilized for this research are derived from archaeological contexts, ranging in date from ca. 2500 BCE to CE 1300. Evidence relating to dietary regimes was obtained through a comprehensive study of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of human and faunal bone collagen. Further evidence was obtained from a detailed recording of dental pathological conditions and dental wear patterns. Dietary change and continuity over time was addressed through a program of radiocarbon dating in correlation with the results from the stable isotope and dental analyses. The results of this project have shed light on the degree of variation in dietary regimes of mobile-pastoralist groups which inhabited distinct ecological zones throughout the study region from differing time periods. The results have provided a measure for assessing dietary regimes of these groups with more informed and contextualized interpretations.