Masterson, Erin Elizabeth, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Putting Teeth into the Developmental Origins Hypothesis: Early Childhood Ecology, Enamel Defects and Adolescent Growth,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Preliminary abstract: Like a window into the past, adult teeth may reflect early childhood ecology. Dental enamel on the permanent maxillary incisors calcifies incrementally during early childhood (0-5 years of age), is highly-sensitive to biological stress, and doesn't repair over the life course. Developmental defects in the enamel (DDE) are caused by metabolic disruption during development, including micronutrient deficiency, gastrointestinal disturbance, and bacterial and viral infections. According to developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) research findings and evolutionary theory, these factors may also influence chronic disease risk later in life. Bioarcheological findings have indicated an association exists between DDEs in the permanent dentition and increased morbidity and early mortality among skeletal remains, suggesting that dental enamel may be a retrospective marker of early childhood ecology. However, the association between DDEs and long-term health consequences has never been tested in a contemporary population. The purpose of the proposed project is to assess whether DDEs -- developed during the first five years of life -- is a marker of early childhood ecology and predictor of adolescent growth in a contemporary population. Based on evolutionary theory, we hypothesize that enamel defects mark a physiologically-stressful early childhood that predicts unhealthy growth in adolescence. We expect our study to provide the scientific community more confidence in interpretations of DDEs, and to introduce a new measure of early childhood ecology that may enable widespread study of the DOHaD and improve the sensitivity of these studies.
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Grossman, Kathryn Mary, PI - To aid research on 'Re-centering the Ninevite 5 Economy: Archaeological Investigations at Hamoukar, Syria,' supervised by Dr. Gil J. Stein
MARY KATHRYN GROSSMAN, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in November 2009, to aid research on 'Recentering the Ninevite 5 Economy: Archaeological Investigations at Hamoukar, Syria,' supervised by Dr. Gil J. Stein. Recent archaeological studies of ancient urban societies have drawn attention to the new kinds of social, political, and economic relationships that came into existence as cities emerged and developed. This focus on the disjunction between pre-urban and urban societies, however, needs to be balanced by a recognition that the specific trajectory followed by each case of urbanization was largely determined by what came before. This research project investigated the foundations of the urbanization process in Early Bronze Age northern Mesopotamia, fore-fronting the social context of food and craft production within a single site, rather than focusing on regional political economy. The project was built around excavations at Hamoukar, a major urban settlement in northeastern Syria with abundant evidence for both the Ninevite 5 period (c. 3000-2500 BC) and the better-known urban phase that followed (c. 2500-2200 BC). Excavations on the eastern and western sides of Hamoukar's lower town uncovered successive phases of well-preserved mudbrick architecture and a rich, in situ artifactual assemblage. Analysis of the architecture, ceramics, faunal remains, and administrative tools from these excavations has provided a wealth of new information about the roots of the urbanization process in northern Mesopotamia.
Rice, Kathleen Frieda, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Purity, Propriety and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy
KATHLEEN F. RICE, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Purity, Propriety, and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy. This project draws on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a rural Bomvana community in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The research addresses the following question: In the community under study, what cultural institutions are mobilized to reinforce and/or contest moral discourses and values relating to kinship, sexuality, and reproduction, and how is this accomplished? Particularly, this research examines embodied and/or symbolic forms of moral discourse, and to how these discourses spark anxieties and contests at the fault-lines of gender and generational power. Through focusing on issues such as bridewealth, abduction marriage, sexuality, and patterns of alcohol consumption, this research shows that significant intergenerational and intergendered anxieties are sustained, negotiated, and produced through contests over the meaning and value of human rights, gender equality, and access to money. These intergenerational and intergendered tensions are rendered especially acute due to the double burden of poor economic prospects alongside the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Guiry, Eric J., U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid resarch on 'Domesticate Animals in Colonial Trade Networks: Stable Isotopic Perspectives on Historical Human-Animal Relations,' supervised by Dr. Michael P. Richards
Preliminary abstract: The objective of this research is to use stable isotope analyses to reconstruct the social and geographic lives of key domesticate species -- cattle and pigs -- and their products (e.g. barreled salt meat) in the context of globalizing historical trade networks. Despite the powerful economic, social, and symbolic role of livestock in colonial projects around the globe, relatively little of what is known about them is based on direct archaeological evidence. My research will utilize stable carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope analyses of archaeological cattle and pig remains (bones and teeth) to reconstruct dietary and mobility aspects of the husbandry, transportation, and consumption of these animals. Focusing on 17th-19th C. colonial centers of livestock production and consumption in Ireland and Canada, respectively, as well as inter-colonial transportation (shipwreck sites) my research will take a 'cultural biography of things' approach to understand how the value and perception of animals and their products changed with movement within and between local and global socioeconomic contexts in Old and New World population centers. This multi-site approach will also examine how human-animal relations and ontologies (on a subject-object continuum) are influenced by different scales of social, temporal, and environmental intimacy.
Wang, Yu, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Naturalizing Ethnicity, Culturalizing Landscape: The Politics of World Heritage in China,' supervised by Dr. Ralph A. Litzinger
YU WANG, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in September 2005 to aid research on 'Naturalizing Ethnicity, Culturalizing Landscape: The Politics of World Heritage in China,' supervised by Dr. Ralph A. Litzinger. In the past ten years, more than twenty sites in China have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. This growing World-Heritage 'fever' has manifestly transformed the lives of people living in these sites. It also raises questions about the changing relationships between culture and nature, local and global, and development and conservation. Based on an ethnographic account of the tourism development, ethnicity construction, and heritage protection on a potential World Cultural Heritage Site in Yunnan Province of China, the research investigates how the world-heritage system generates debates about cultural (ethnic) authenticity and creates new sites of struggle over control of local resources in this particular site of Yunnan. In a context where both global and state policies continue orchestrating developments in contemporary China, and where local struggles over identification and poverty increasingly haunt the policies, this research particularly tackles the problems of development and conservation by offering a case that is centrally engaged with international and state-based modes of governmentality. This project aims above all to put in question assumptions about the simple relationship between the development agenda of the state and the conservation mission of UNESCO.
Liebman, Adam Daniel, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Turning Trash into Treasure: Waste, Commodity Values, and Environmentalism in Postsocialist China,' supervised by Dr. Li Zhang
ADAM D. LIEBMAN, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received a grant in October 2013 to aid research on 'Turning Trash into Treasure: Waste, Commodity Values, and Environmentalism in Postsocialist China,' supervised by Dr. Li Zhang. This project investigated the shifting moral and economic values associated with waste and recycling in Yunnan Province, China. Ethnographic research revealed that waste politics is a crucial site where notions of 'environment' and its relations with human activities are being contested and reformulated in postsocialist China. Recent entrepreneurial and NGO attempts to regulate and reform a variety of practices labelled huishou (literally, 'taking back') draw heavily on Western environmentalist notions of 'recycling.' As such, this research focused on the practices of cultural and linguistic translation deployed in attempts to build an equivalence between 'huishou' and 'recycling.' In order to overcome the historical and cultural specificity of huishou practices and their relation with socialist-era experiences of resource scarcity and thrift, these attempts emphasize the connections between garbage and human-produced toxins which can move across time and space through complex biosocial processes. Lastly, research with one company in southern Yunnan Province-which received government praise and support for their efforts to utilize excess rubber tree seeds and recycled plastic in the production of building materials-highlighted different social actors' uneven access to and accumulation of environmentalist morality along different links of the commodity chains that transform wastes into 'green' products.
Brown, Laura C., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Tipping Scales with Tongues: Language Use in Thanjavur's Petty Shops,' supervised by Judith T. Irvine
LAURA C. BROWN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in April 2005 to aid research on 'Tipping Scales with Tongues: Language Use in Thanjavur's Petty Shops,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. Roadsides in India bloom with small grocery shops, mali kada, where goods, advertisements, and news from distant locations mix with products and persons who spend most of their time within a single neighborhood. Because they are primary sites for household consumption and expenditure, meetings between friends and interactions between neighbors who are unlikely to speak in other settings, these shops are critical sites for the enactment and negotiation of multiple kinds of affiliation, obligation, and trust. Focusing on conversations in and around three such shops in Thanjavur, India this project explores the ways in which communication about different forms of debt and obligation -- in cash, kind, action, and affection -- relates to ideas about the correctness, economic value, and morality of Tamil language use. Recordings of conversations in shops, examinations of account books, interviews with product suppliers, and explicit discussions of ways of speaking suggest that people doing business in such shops often stress the quantity and regularity of talk, as opposed to its form or content, as critical to the maintenance of relationships
Pine, Jason A., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'La Sceneggiata: A Neapolitan Popular Song Genre, the Melodramatic Aesthetic and Its Moral/Political Economy,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart
JASON A. PINE, while a student at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on the moral and political economy of Naples, Italy, as seen through a popular song genre called the sceneggiata, under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen C. Stewart. The objective was to understand the role of emotion and aesthetics in a shadow economy dominated by organized crime. This melodramatic genre was found to be linked to organized crime in three ways: its lyrical content treated themes associated with organized crime, the circuit in which it was produced and performed was crosscut with organized criminal activities, and its primary consumers were crime families. The protagonists of the sceneggiata industry participated, to varying degrees, in organized crime, negotiating the moral valence of their choices according to context. Pine's goal was to understand the role emotions and aesthetics played in such negotiations. The guiding research questions were: In what practices did Neapolitans engage on the sceneggiata music scene and in other sectors of the shadow economy? What could individual life stories reveal about peoples' decisions to engage in the sceneggiata music industry and, by extension, in organized crime? How did singers and fans evaluate sceneggiata performances, and what made the melodramatic aesthetic significant for Neapolitans? Preliminary analysis revealed that in Naples, emotions and aesthetics dominated communication, social, musical, and economic practices because they enabled people to simultaneously respect and circumvent prohibitive expectations of secrecy in an environment of limited resources, volatile power balances, and fear of violence.
Garofalo, Evan Michele, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff
EVAN M. GAROFALO, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff. Adult morphology and variation are the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental effects during the growth process. Health, disease, and socio-economic status are important for the regulation of the growth trajectory, particularly during infancy and early childhood. However, genetic differences, increasing in prominence during adolescence, contribute significantly to growth profiles and the attainment of adult morphology. Thus, the primary goal of this project is to partition the relative importance of environmental and genetic influences on the timing and nature of the growth process. Multiple skeletal variables, each differentially sensitive to environmental and genetic influence, were examined to assess the skeletal growth of individuals from St. Peter's Church (Barton-upon-Humber, UK) -- a socially stratified and relatively genetically homogeneous population. In this study, there is no effect of socioeconomic status on long bone length, stature, body mass or articular dimensions. However, long bone diaphyseal cross-sectional cortical and medullary areas (considered to be highly environmentally sensitive) show marked differences, primarily during infancy and early childhood, with reduced or no differences for young adults. Early results and palaeopathological observations suggest socioeconomic groups differences may be related to sustaining more prolonged durations of metabolic distress in the higher socioeconomic subadult sample.
Theissen, Anna J., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Location of Madness: Spiritist Psychiatry and the Meaning of Mental Illness in Contemporary Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Scheper-Hughes
ANNA J. THEISSEN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in October 2005 to aid research on 'The Location of Madness: Spiritist Psychiatry and the Meaning of Mental Illness in Contemporary Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Nancy Scheper-Hughes. This ethnographic research in two Spiritist psychiatric hospitals in Brazil investigated how belief influences professional medical ethics and choices, i.e. the moral underpinnings and cultural construction of psychiatric diagnosis. Spiritists -- followers of a 'modern spirit possession religion' with Euro-American origins -- administer one third of private psychiatric hospitals in Brazil, in many of which standard neuroscientific practice is integrated with spiritual treatment modalities: information gleaned in Spiritist séances oriented psychiatric treatment and vice versa. Spiritist treatment of mental illness was two-pronged: one dimension concentrated on the obsessing spirits trying to persuade them to leave their victims; the other focused on the moral re-education of patients. Expert and lay concepts of mental illness and its spiritual influences (i.e. the attribution of causes and responsibility) differed widely. Many patients and their caretakers sought out Spiritist psychiatric treatment hoping that it would relief them from the social stigma associated with mental illness by explaining their affliction as spirit possession. In contrast, Spiritist psychiatrists stressed the patient's self-responsibility, and their spiritual diagnosis and de-obsession treatments uncovered the supposed immoral character and criminal past lives of the mentally ill.