Kohut, Lauren Elizabeth, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'The Political Landscape of War: Late Pre-Hispanic Fortifications in the Colca Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Steven A. Wernke
LAUREN E. KOHUT, then a student at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'The Political Landscape of War: Late Pre-Hispanic Fortifications in the Colca Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Steven A. Wernke. The Late Intermediate Period (LIP; 1000-1400 CE) in the highland Andes of Peru has been defined as a time of heightened conflict and political fragmentation. Prior archaeological research on this period has focused on regional-scale surveys, which indeed show a largely fragmented political landscape. But while this characterization may be relevant at a regional scale, it overlooks the more local patterns of integration and affiliation that formed the basis of daily life for communities during the LIP. This research combines micro-regional survey of fortifications, systematic surface collection, and targeted excavation of a single fortified settlement to examine the meso and local scale interactions that have been absent from prior research on conflict during this period. Spatial analysis of defensive settlement patterns in the valley suggests local groups formed local alliance clusters that may have been integrated into a valley-wide alliance network. In addition to serving the defensive needs of individuals in the valley, fortifications provided a new context for community formation that existed in spite of, or more likely because of, regional fragmentation.
Perez, Michael Vicente, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Displaced Identities: Palestinian Citizens and Refugees and the Production of National Identity in Jordan,' supervised by Dr. William Derman
MICHAEL VICENTE PEREZ, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Re-Membering the Nation: Palestinians and the Productions of National Identity in Jordan,' supervised by Dr. William Derman. This research project examines the production of national identity amongst displaced Palestinians and refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It offers a critique of nationalism by uncovering the various discursive formations that produce and contest the meaning of the Palestinian nation. It also examines representations of Palestinian identity and shows how refugee camps, memory and history, and Islam function as productive sites for contestations over the formation of Palestinian national identity. Analyzing the relationship between identity and place, this research project argues that objectifications of the refugee camp and the refugee as national signifiers enable competing discourses about the authenticity of Palestinian identity and experience. It also details how historical memories signify the Islamization of Palestinian nationalism and the contest between secular and religious conceptions of the Palestinian homeland, nation, and cause. Moreover, this research project shows that, while the link between identity and memory indicates concerns over the past, it also underscores the very range of possibilities for what constitutes the present. A central point of the research findings is that manifestations of the Islamization of Palestinian nationalism is less about the Islamic revival in the Middle East than it is about the sets of claims such a discourse enables for the Palestinian national cause.
Dumes, Abigail Anne, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'The U.S. Lyme Disease Controversy: Medical Knowledge, Biopolitics, and the Environment,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Claire Inhorn
ABIGAIL A. DUMES, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded a grant in January 2011, to aid research on 'The U.S. Lyme Disease Controversy: Medical Knowledge, Biopolitics, and the Environment,' supervised by Dr. Marcia C. Inhorn. This project examined the controversy that surrounds the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in the United States. In particular, it investigated why, in a new era of 'evidence-based medicine' (i.e., the paradigmatic shift toward the scientific standardization of biomedical practice), there are two emergent 'standards of care' for Lyme disease and, more critically, how these standards of care are intimately linked to understandings of political power and the natural environment. Through ethnographic fieldwork conducted among Lyme disease patients, physicians, and scientists throughout the Northeast, the researcher explored: 1) the relationship between evidence-based medicine and the production and practice of biomedical knowledge; 2) attitudes toward the political regulation of Lyme diagnosis and treatment; and 3) changing understandings of the natural environment, as they affect and are affected by understandings of Lyme disease. The findings of this research suggest that, although intended to standardize medical practice, evidence-based medicine amplifies differences in opinion by creating a formula for reproducible legitimacy. In the case of Lyme disease, it also produces a platform for political legibility and the manageability of environmental risk.
Tryon, Christian A., U. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT - To aid research on 'The Acheulian to Middle Stone Age Transition in the Southern Kapthurin Formation, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Sally McBrearty
CHRISTIAN A. TRYON, while a student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, was awarded a grant in June 2001 to aid research on the Acheulean to Middle Stone Age transition in the southern Kapthurin Formation, Baringo, Kenya, under the supervision of Dr. Sally McBrearty. Excavations at Koimilot (GnJh-74) have revealed two stratified, in situ, early Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological assemblages in the southern Kapthurin Formation. Tephrostratigraphic correlation has shown that these assemblages are the youngest known from the formation and overlie a sequence of interstratified Acheulean, Sangoan, and MSA sites dated by 4OArp/39Ar to more than 284,000 years ago. The Kapthurin Formation preserves one of the few well-dated, continuous sedimentary and archaeological sequences appropriate for assessing the nature of the Acheulean-MSA transition, a technological shift reflecting profound behavioral changes in the later middle Pleistocene, the likely time and place of the appearance of modern humans. Preliminary sedimentological data from Koimilot, artifact size and distribution studies, and analysis of refitted flakes suggested an intact flaking floor at Koimilot Locus 1, with hominid activities directed toward raw material acquisition and the production of typically oval flakes by Levallois methods. The stratigraphically younger Koimilot Locus 2 showed a technology that targeted the production of large Levallois points or elongated flakes. These data suggested a diversification during the early MSA of methods initially developed within the local Acheulean. Additional landscape-scale studies of sites and paleoenvironmental features linked through tephrostratigraphic studies were expected to contribute to an understanding of this variability and to facilitate extraregional comparisons of the end of the Acheulean.
Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - Joseph Andrew Bush, PI - To aid research on 'Religious Non-commitment and Social Critique among Iraqi Kurdish Poets,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
JOSEPH BUSH, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Religious Non-Commitment and Social Critique among Iraqi Kurdish Poets,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. This research explores a mode of ethical self-formation among non-practicing Muslims in Suleimani, Iraq, which Geertz's termed 'religious non-commitment.' In addition to analyzing the public discourse of secular intellectuals, it documents the personal, spiritual struggles of such intellectuals. Here, the citation and recitation of classical Kurdish poetry--which is saturated with orthodox, Sufi themes-emerges as a form of reflexivity by which such persons interrogate their own (in)ability to believe in Islam or practice as a Muslim. This research further contextualizes the citation and recitation of such poetry within the history of the circulation of classical poetry in 20th-century Kurdistan: through careful examination of poetic texts and interviews with clergy, it provides a description of the historical process by which classical poetry has been exiled from the mosques and Sufi lodges (mezgewt, xaneqa, tekye) where it flourished in the late 19th Century. In such a context, the citation and recitation of Sufi poetry by non-practicing Muslims sheds light on how belief and doubt intertwine in the everyday life of 'secular' intellectuals who strive to lead morally good lives.
Nichols, Catherine Anitra, Arizona State U.,Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Museum Networks: The Distribution of the U.S. National Museum's Anthropological Collections,' supervised by Dr. Richard John Toon
CATHERINE A. NICHOLS, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received a grant in October 2011 to aid resarch on 'Museum Networks: The Distribution of the U.S. National Museum's Anthropological Collections,' supervised by Dr. Richard J. Toon. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, major scientific museums exchanged objects with each other in order to build encyclopedic collections. This project investigates the distribution of museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution's U.S. National Museum anthropology collections during the period of 1879-1940. In addition to collection exchanges, the U.S. National Museum distributed a large number of anthropological objects to educational institutions within the United States in return for political favors as a means of maintaining and increasing operational and research funding from Congress. Research traces the path of Southwest Native American objects distributed by the U.S. National Museum from a collection assembled in 1879-80. Using archival records, museum collection records and material culture (object data), it investigates how curators made decisions about what to keep and what to give away, and interprets those decisions within the intellectual, political, and social contexts of the time period. This study makes a significant contribution to museum anthropology through the evaluation of how American anthropologists influenced the development of museums globally, and the relationship between anthropological distributions and national identity formation.
Culbertson, Jacob Hiram, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Assembling Maori Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge and Expert Collaboration in an Emerging Science,' supervised by Dr. Alan M. Klima
JACOB HIRAM CULBERTSON, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Assembling Maori Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge and Expert Collaboration in an Emerging Science,' supervised by Dr. Alan M. Klima. From October 2010 to October 2011, research was conducted in the field of Maori architecture. The study focused on how traditional Maori building practices and global architectural movements influence this field and the scientific and non-scientific techniques that Maori architects use when these diverse influences are not readily compatible. The research was conducted in two periods, in Opotiki -- a rural, predominantly Maori town -- and Auckland, New Zealand. The first period centered on apprenticing with a group of Maori woodcarvers; participating in a series of projects using traditional technologies and facilitated in part by government job-creation schemes; and interviewing local Maori elders about the construction and use of meetinghouses. The Auckland component focused on the institutionalized aspects of Maori architecture, including: interviews with Maori and non-Maori architects and urban planners; archival research on the participation of Maori voices and concepts in drafting resource management laws and in planning Auckland's public spaces; and conferences on indigenous environmental planning. Research findings indicate that Maori architects distinguish their field from others by highlighting the importance of relationships, both through collaborative design processes and in using the resultant narratives to situate their buildings in local histories and landscapes.
Starkweather, Katherine Elizabeth, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'Merchant Mothers and Fisherman Fathers: Subsistence Work and Parental Investment among the Boat-dwelling Shodhagor,' supervised by Dr. Mark K. Shenk
Preliminary abstract: The nomadic Shodhagor live on small wooden boats, migrating through the rivers of rural Bangladesh while fishing and trading with the settled agricultural populations surrounding them. While they have much in common with other small-scale nomadic populations, they are highly unusual in the degree of variability in women's subsistence and parenting practices. In fact, women's strategies appear to vary more than men's, a pattern that has not been documented previously in groups of their size (i.e. Marlowe 2007; Hames 1988; Hewlett 1992; Winking et al 2011). This project will document and explain the variation in Shodhagor men's and women's subsistence and parenting practices by collecting detailed data using a mixed methods approach. Specifically, the project investigate how and why subsistence and parenting vary among the Shodhagor, as well as the outcomes of this variation. This research will make important contributions to optimal foraging theory and parental investment theory, and will contribute to the broader anthropological literature on small-scale, nomadic societies, subsistence, parenting, and South Asia.
Heuson, Jennifer Lynn, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Sounding Western: Producing National Sensory Heritage through Sound in South Dakota's Black Hills,' supervised by Dr. Marita Sturken
JENNIFER L. HEUSON, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Sounding Western: Producing National Sensory Heritage through Sound in South Dakota's Black Hills,' supervised by Dr. Marita Sturken. This dissertation explores how and why sound is used to produce national heritage in a popular, yet contested, tourist region in South Dakota: the Black Hills. It argues that the Black Hills is an important geopolitical space not only because of its history of 'native elimination' and resource extraction, but because of how this history is taught, preserved, and celebrated through popular culture and tourist events. Specifically, it examines how sonic experiences in the Black Hills produce the region as an experiential artifact of frontier mythologies that include manifest destiny, rugged individualism, and salvage ethnography. It outlines frontier aurality as crucial conceptual frame for understanding how past conquest shapes both present and future through the subtle modes of sensing enacted at heritage venues and offers both a highly contested example of the 'colonized ear' and an instance of the relationship of this ear to something that could be called 'the colonization of experience.' Through ethnographic observations and recordings, historical and cultural analyses, and interviews with heritage producers, this research hopes to expose the role of aurality in heritage production and in the continued subjugation of native peoples and places.