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.
Raucher, Michal Soffer, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Women Know What to Expect When They are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman
MICHAL SOFFER RAUCHER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Woman Know What to Expect When They Are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman. This research was based on the hypothesis that given the prominent cultural and religious rejection of fetal personhood by Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) women in Jerusalem, anthropological theories on the effect of fetal ultrasound on personification did not apply. This project sets out to unravel the relationship between medicine, religion, and the individual in Israeli prenatal care. The phase of research supported by Wenner-Gren resulted in the collection of interviews with doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas (labor-coaches) who work with Haredi women in Jerusalem. This phase also included extensive observations in a Haredi prenatal clinic and in the fetal ultrasound department of a major hospital in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the researcher spent a year observing the daily operations at the Jewish pro-life organization in Jerusalem. Findings from this phase of research highlight the ways in which doctors and rabbis act in concert in order to control the prenatal experiences of Haredi women; however, bolstered by their embodied experiences of pregnancy and the value given to their reproductive capabilities by the religious culture, Haredi women manipulate this system of control in order to conform to their requests and desires regarding prenatal medical care.
Fraga, Christopher, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Traffic in Contemporary Mexican Art Photography,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Abercrombie
CHRISTOPHER FRAGA, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in August 2007 to aid research on 'The traffic in contemporary Mexican art photography,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Abercrombie. The project sought to analyze the relationships between the changing political economy of the Mexican state and the aesthetics of art photography circulating in publications, exhibitions, and private sales. Over the course of fifteen months of research in Mexico City, the primary researcher acted as a participant observer in a wide range of art world and photography activities, focusing on how individual photographers were responding to the recently elected conservative government's redistribution of state support for the arts. The concentration of state resources in monumental projects (such as the newly inaugurated University Museum of Contemporary Art) has forced young artists and photographers to assume a curatorial function toward their own work, which in turn has pushed their artistic production in new, more critical directions. This project suggests that the poetics of contemporary Mexican photography challenges dominant art historical discourses about contemporary artistic production, rejecting neo-exotic representations of Mexico as a land of perennial, violent banditry.
Wells, Hallie Elizabeth, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Moving Words: Malagasy Slam Poetry at the Intersection of Performance, Politics, and Transnational Circulation,' supervised by Dr. Charles Briggs
Preliminary abstract: My research analyzes how understandings of democracy are shaped by the transnational circulation of slam poetry--a contemporary urban oral poetry competition that merges poetry reading with rap battle--as it contends with centuries-old genres of public discourse. In this project I track how an urban poetry contest born in a largely African-American neighborhood in Chicago came to take root on an island in the Indian Ocean where verbal art is anything but new. Slam has flourished in countries around the world, but Madagascar is unique in its rich and diverse tradition of verbal art genres that are still prevalent in everyday life, such as oratory (kabary) and proverbs (ohabolana), both of which were foundational sites for linguistic anthropological understandings of rhetoric, poetics, and politics. This project will show how slam poets and other verbal artists--including politicians--contest and reform notions of the private versus the public sphere, evaluations of authority and competence (who has the right and the ability to speak?), and norms of indirectness and deference in social interaction. To do so I will focus on the linguistic and embodied practices of slam poets and their audiences, the circulation of these performances in new social media, and the interaction between slam and other spheres of verbal performance. By leveraging the problematics that arise in social anthropological discussions of global circulation, in combination with fine-grained linguistic analysis of verbal art performances and everyday speech, my research will provide critical insight into how language ideologies and bodily dispositions form, contend with opposing dispositions and ideologies, and ultimately impact the political and economic livelihoods of communities.
Klopp, Emily Bernice, Northwestern U., Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Primate Sexual Dimorphism and Display: Intraspecific Scaling of Craniofacial Features in Male Cercopithecoids,' supervised by Dr. Brian T. Shea
EMILY KLOPP, then a student at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Primate Sexual Dimorphism and Display: Intraspecific Scaling of Craniofacial Features in Male Cercopithecoids,' supervised by Dr. Brian T. Shea. The project provides a first and very important test of the theoretical predictions of recent sexual selection models in the socially complex higher primates. The hypothesis predicts that the canine tooth and several bony facial features exhibit intraspecific positive allometry across adult males within each of various highly dimorphic papionin species. Positive allometric scaling for adult males is functionally based in the potential role of sexually dimorphic craniofacial features in 'advertising' or signaling overall male size and fitness to both females and/or other adult male conspecifics. Initial analysis shows the null hypothesis to be supported in Macacafascicularis, Papio anubis/cynocephalus, and Hylobates lar lar but not in Cercopithecus aethiops. Additional analysis on papionin species using accurate size surrogates is forthcoming. This project departs from almost all previous studies of sexual dimorphism in papionins and other primates by focusing solely on male variance and scaling within species, and by testing a specific hypothesized functional explanation for an allometric trajectory.
Klopp, Emily B. 2012. Craniodental Features in Male Mandrillus May Signal Size and Fitness: An Allometric Approach. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147(4):593-603.
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.
Pearlstein, Kristen Ellen, American U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins
KRISTEN E. PEARLSTEIN, then a student at American University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins. This project evaluated and compared the skeletal health of European immigrants and Euro-Americans in New York City from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in order to understand the impact of socio-economic inequality and poverty during this time period. The skeletal collection selected for analysis was the George S. Huntington Anatomical Skeletal Collection, housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The association between low socio-economic status and negative trends in morbidity and mortality is often expressed in the skeletal remains of vulnerable populations and includes the physical evidence of trauma, disease, and activity. Therefore, comparisons of skeletal health were carried out using measurements of trauma, bone lesions, and osteoarthritis. A total of 1550 non-commingled partial skeletal remains were selected and evaluated. The preliminary analysis indicates that compared to the U.S.-born group, the immigrant group as a whole does not have significantly higher frequencies of trauma and disease, contrary to the original hypothesis. However, the initial results also indicate that differences in the frequencies of health indicators do exist between the selected Irish, German, and Italian immigrant groups. A better understanding of the preliminary results will be accomplished following statistical analyses.
Doyle, James Alan, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Planned Monumentality and 'Planted' Settlements in the Preclassic Maya Lowlands,' supervised by Dr. Stephen D. Houston
JAMES ALAN DOYLE, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Planned Monumentality and 'Planted' Settlements in the Preclassic Maya Lowlands,' supervised by Dr. Stephen D. Houston. In this dissertation project, the grantee investigated the origins of ancient Maya civilization at the site of El Palmar, Petén, Guatemala, located in the southern Lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula. Grant funding provided support for one year of field and laboratory research. The dissertation explores the relationship between early monumental architecture, settlement growth, and abandonment in the Preclassic Maya Lowlands. The dissertation will add to the growing body of literature on the emergence of social complexity in the New World, as well as societal 'collapses' and recovery in the Americas and in the global past.
Doyle, James A., Thomas G. Garrison, and Stephen D. Houston. 2012. Watchful Realms: Integrating GIS Analysis and Political History in the Southern Maya Lowlands. Antiquity 86(333):792-807.
Doyle, James A. 2012. Early Maya Geometric Planning Conventions at El Palmar, Guatemala. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(2): 793-798.
Timura, Christopher T., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Negotiating Expertise: The Globalizing Cultures of British and American Peace Negotiators,' supervised by Dr. Conrad P. Kottak
CHRISTOPHER T. TIMURA, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding to aid research on the globalizing cultures of British and American peace negotiators, under the supervision of Dr. Conrad P. Kottak. Timura conducted eleven months of fieldwork with a representative sample of university and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the globalizing field of conflict resolution. He obtained more than 140 interviews with students, trainers, and practitioners, collected oral histories from key informants, and acted as a participant observer in seminars and training workshops. In addition, he used information about practitioners' professional networks and their referrals to arrange interviews with key individuals involved in the conflict management activities of the U.S. and British governments. The data showed that conflict management theories could be traced back to a small but diverse group of North American and European founding figures who used their institutional affiliations to promulgate their understanding of how violent conflict could be prevented, managed, and resolved. Despite considerable demographic diversity in the field today, a common set of concepts and value orientations enabled this transnational group to coalesce around a conflict resolution epistemology and practice. Conflict resolution specialists have used their roles in government, NGOs, and academe to advocate for changes in the ways governments manage and resolve violent conflict, while arguing for the existence of their own specific form of expertise. 'Local' cultural, socioeconomic, religious, and political factors have played varying roles in the globalization of this expertise beyond North America and Europe, offering opportunities for considering how anthropology might constructively analyze and otherwise engage with this and similar phenomena having significant effects on international governance.
Jaroka, Livia, U. College of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ethnic Relations and the Management of Everyday Life among Hungarian-Speaking Urban Roma in Postcommunist Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Michael S. Stewart
LIVIA JAROKA, while a student at University College of London in London, England, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on ethnic relations and the management of everyday life among Hungarian-speaking urban Roma in post-communist Hungary, under the supervision of Dr. Michael S. Stewart. Jaroka's fieldwork was focused on Roma living in the Jozsefvaros, an area in the Eighth District of Budapest. Data were gathered on Roma social organization, status, and experiences of and responses to social, cultural, economic, political, and human rights conditions since the political-system change in 1989. Special emphasis was placed on factors encouraging or discouraging assimilation or the continued classification of others as Roma. The data showed how the Roma-most of whom had lost economic security after the change of the political system-had failed to be absorbed into Hungarian society, mainly because the non-Roma population appeared to accept unrealistic, exotic stereotypes of Roma and to be unwilling to accept the integration attempts of aspiring Roma. The everyday experiences of informants showed that integration attempts were rejected by majority Hungarians even while the Roma were constantly blamed for 'not being able and willing to integrate.' The discriminative attitude among the majority was the main reason for seeking assimilation, yet many Roma, especially younger people, chose a more nationalistic Roma attitude, often antagonistic to non-Roma.