Jian, Ge, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'The Impact of Global English in Xinjiang, China: Linguistic Capital and Identity Negotiation among the Han and Ethnic Minority Students,' supervised by Dr. Laada Bilaniuk
Preliminary abstrat: This research will investigate the power dynamics between the international lingua franca English, the national dominant language Mandarin Chinese and the local ethnic minority language Uyghur (a Turkic language) in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China, a geopolitically contested area at the crossroads of Eurasia. This research explores two set of questions: 1)How do ethnicity, regional difference, class and gender factor into the uneven and unequal processes of linguistic capital acquisition among the ethnic minority and Han young people in Xinjiang, China? 2) What existing ideologies and identities does the English language disrupt? How do Han and minority ethnic groups negotiate their linguistic and cultural identities during the acquisition of English? The proposed research that requests for Wenner-Gren funding is the last phase (Phase III) of a seventeen-month fieldwork project. In the last phase I will be carried out in smaller cities (Gulja, Aksu, and Kashgar) in Xinjiang to find out the regional difference in English education in comparison to the capital city Urumqi, which is the focus of the ongoing Phase II research.
Naidu, Prashanthan, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Placing Smell: Sensing Hydrocarbon Encroachment on the Timorese Coast,' supervised by Dr. Stuart Kirsch
Preliminary abstract: How can the constitution of place be better understood through a more carefully honed attention to the sense of smell? This project investigates the relationship between the sense of smell and perceptions of place among the Mambai of East Timor, especially in relation to recent land expropriation. Since 2009, the East Timorese state and the hydrocarbon industry have encroached upon Mambai land for oil and gas extraction. The industry justifies its territorial expansion into Mambai land through the use of visually oriented technologies such as maps, property documents, and geographic information systems (GIS), that render perceptible the intangible profits available to the industry. Extractive activities also pollute the atmosphere and environment, thereby disrupting Mambai peoples' sense of place, which is primarily conceived through smell. Through eighteen months of ethnographic research in Betano district, I explore the significance of olfaction in Mambai perception of place. In my research I examine how olfactory pollution alters the local smellscape for the Mambai, and affects subsistence activities, and the way they relate to their territory. Through a triangulation of methods that include smell diaries, participant observation, and shadowing industry personnel, I will assess how the use of senses informs the ways that Mambai and the industry conceive of place. This project thus contributes to an anthropology of the senses by showing how places are imagined, lived, and contested.
Daniell, Rachel Jean, Graduate Center, City U. of New York, New York, NY -To aid research on 'Documenting Contested Pasts: The Production of History and the U.S. 'War on Terror',' supervised by Dr. Victoria Sanford
Preliminary abstract: What is at stake in producing historical knowledge about state violence when that violence has taken place in the very recent past? As controversial state actions move into the realm of historical representation, they are made legible in different ways: reworked into narratives, organized into archives, incorporated into public history projects, and written as textbook accounts. This project proposes an investigation of these history-making practices at their very inception through an analysis of emerging historical memory of controversial practices under the George W. Bush administration: allegations of torture, debates around indefinite detention, and the question of the legality of the Iraq War. These recent human rights controversies are currently being documented in historical archives and written into U.S. history textbook chapters. This project uses ethnographic research with two types of organizations--governmental archive organizations and nongovernmental archive organizations--as well as discourse analysis of U.S. history textbooks, in order to analyze this process of 'becoming history' in depth. Further, this project examines the understandings of actors involved in these documentation projects and the ways they articulate their significance. Ultimately, this research examines how the conditions of possibility for different understandings of controversial histories are formed through actions in the present.
Siew, Yun Ysi, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Biological Changes, Health, and Labor Patterns in the Holocene China,' supervised by Dr. Jay Theodore Stock
YUN YSI SIEW, then a student at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Biological Changes, Health, and Labor Patterns in the Holocene China,' supervised by Dr. Jay Theodore Stock. The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of socio-political developments on skeletal morphology as well as sexual division of labor in Chinese populations in the Holocene. The human skeletal remains that were studied in this project consist of both ancient and modern human samples, spanning from circa 7000BP to the present, and a total of 533 adult skeletons were examined from six archaeological sites and one ethnographical site on mainland China and Hong Kong, respectively. Three approaches were employed to elucidate the issues proposed including muscloskeletal stress markers (MSM), bone robusticity, and body growth. These approaches have a long history in tackling the temporal change of human biology and occupational roles, particularly during the shift of subsistence strategies. It is popularly believed that the robusticity of human bones has decreased over time as mechanical loadings reduced. Moreover, the occupational roles of females and males have altered to adapt to different subsistence activities. Nevertheless, it is also suggested that local factors may have been as important as general subsistence strategies on modifying skeletal morphology and division of labor. The partial findings of this project so far have supported both hypotheses.
Herstad, Kaeleigh Lynn, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Fighting Blight: Investigating Lived Processes of Postindustrial Ruination in Detroit, Michigan,' supervised by Dr. Anne Pyburn
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the dynamic process of blight removal and remediation in Detroit, Michigan, from multiple perspectives, asking how residents and organizations perceive and interact with the materiality of postindustrial transformation, and how the social and material dimensions of blight reflect and shape residents' understandings of the city's past, present, and future. Building on theories from within contemporary archaeology, postcolonial anthropology, and urban sociology, I explore postindustrial ruination (manifested in the vacant structures and lots left behind in the wake of displacement and deindustrialization, commonly referred to as 'urban blight') as a spatially-constituted 'lived process' shaped by broader socio-economic processes of uneven capitalist development and destruction. This study combines ethnographic methods with spatial and material analysis to argue that an investigation of the social and material dimensions of blight--its creation, peoples' interactions with it, and its removal or reuse--both provides a more holistic and inclusive understanding of the long-term impacts of postindustrial transformation and contributes directly to anthropological theory that posits modern ruination as a lens through which to understand the pasts, people, places that are being negated in order to create the geographies of the present and future.
McLeester, Madeleine Theresa, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Reconstructing the Calumet: Landscape Formation and Transformation During the Protohistoric and Historic Periods,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen Morrison
MADELEINE McLEESTER, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Reconstructing the Calumet: Landscape Formation and Transformation during the Protohistoric and Historic Periods,' supervised by Dr. Kathleen Morrison. This research project investigated how Upper Mississippian communities, living in the Calumet Region near Chicago from AD 1000 until European contact, utilized and managed ecosystems surrounding their domestic sites. Investigations of these hunting and foraging grounds have previously been treated as largely outside of the archaeological purview. Consequently, we have little knowledge of how these communities co-created and managed the broader landscape. Further, without a strong knowledge of this human-environment interaction, we cannot determine how practices conditioned later environmental responses to unprecedented, rapid social changes that occurred after contact. Employing a multi-scalar research design, this project investigated human-environment interaction in the Calumet Region through a suite of environmental archaeological methods. At the local scale, this project analyzed soil samples from the Oak Forest site, an Upper Mississippian agricultural village located in Cook County, Illinois. These data informed site seasonality and reconstructed the surrounding vegetation, determining resources available and those used by inhabitants. At the regional scale, this project investigated changes in the regional vegetation and fire histories from the Upper Mississippian period through European colonialism and settlement. Through these data, this project demonstrates the broad extent of Native American landscape management, deconstructing narratives of a pristine, natural pre-European landscape.
Cesario, Christa Dawn, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Socially Engaged Archaeology,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Thomas
CHRISTA DAWN CESARIO, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'The Politics of Socially Engaged Archaeology,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Thomas. This project sought to answer the question 'How do the globally circulating aims and intentions of socially engaged archaeology become situated locally in Yucatán, Mexico?' During the tenure of the grant, the research on the production of knowledge and identity was expanded to include other groups also focused on heritage management and outreach to Maya communities, on the level of culture and language, while maintaining a focus on engagement and the assumptions and epistemological notions inherent therein, identity construction, the production of knowledge, and the politics of cultural production. These organizations included a community theater group located in Oxkutzcab, Yucatán; a Mexican NGO focused on language education in Tizimín, Yucatán; and a Yucatec Maya-run NGO based in San Francisco, California that works with the Yucatecan immigrant community. Throughout this work she maintained an interest in how the targets of these projects - Maya communities - negotiated their way in the world, the avenues open to them, the paths they chose to take, and how they grounded themselves on a day-to-day basis. The widening of her project scope permits comparisons across multiple social and epistemological communities, enhancing the ability of her research to contribute to anthropological theory building.
Salomon, Noah D., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Sufism and the Struggle for Islamic Reform in Contemporary Sudan' supervised by Dr. Saba Mahmood
NOAH D. SALOMON, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in November 2004 to aid research on 'Sufism and the Struggle for Islamic Reform in Contemporary Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Saba Mahmood. While recent literature on Islam in Sudan has focused primarily on the Islamized state and its attempts to create an Islamic society, Islamic activism in Sudan is propelled by a large set of non-governmental actors as well. Sufism in Sudan has a national importance that exceeds the bounds of any individual Sufi organization and is concerned with reforming society by encouraging piety in both worship and daily affairs. This reformism comes in many guises: from promoting Sufi leaders to figures with national relevance, to raising the Islamic consciousness of elite society, to reforming entertainment practices through the propagation of Islamic song into spheres once dominated by the secular. This attempt to create a society with Sufi values and norms is in active struggle with competing claims to Islamic truth, such as those promoted by certain trends in what is known as 'Salafi' Islam (the label 'Salafi' asserting a claim of acting in the manner of the original Muslim communities). Sufi organizations' relationships with these Salafi groups are more complex than mere opposition, and the dissertation explores several ways in which Sufi reformism articulates itself in conversation with the transforming expectations of the contemporary Sudanese Muslim public sphere.
Gurung, Hari B., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Environmental Perception, Cognition, Concern and Behavior: An Anthropological Inquiry into Everyday American Environmentalism,' supervised by Dr. Robert E. Rhoades
HARI B. GURUNG, while a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia received funding in June 2003 to aid research on 'Environmental perception, cognition, concern, and behavior: An anthropological inquiry into everyday American environmentalism,' under the supervision of Dr. Robert E. Rhoades. Anthropology has seldom studied everyday environmentalism in contemporary post-industrial societies, such as the United States. This research studied differences in environmental perception, concern, and behavior, and correlation between concern and behaviors in Clarke, Laurens, and Bibb counties in Georgia as defined by a set of sociocultural variables. The variables comprised level of activism (laypersons, activist environmentalists, and non-activist environmentalists and science/environmental professionals), ethnicity, gender, age, education, income, years lived in county, political orientation, perceived nature of nature (benign, perverse/tolerant, capricious, and ephemeral), perceived human-nature relationships (orientalism/anthropocentrism, paternalism, and communalism), social network, perceived environmental problem (presence/absence), belief in science, personal competence, and social orientation (individualistic, egalitarian). Analyses indicated level of activism and gender differences in ecosystem, environmental state, and environmental protection orientations. Consumptive, aesthetic, and ecological were the primary environmental values held by the sample. Although environmental concern and behaviors varied significantly by level of activism, the sample expressed general environmental concern. Concern expressed and behaviors reported were invariant in the layperson sample. However, correlation between concern and behaviors was weak. Public policies to enhance public environmental knowledge are important to reduce discrepancy between concern and action. Future research into discrepancy in a social dilemma and cognitive dissonance theoretical framework is suggested. Contrary to the much publicized anti-ecological Christian ethics, research participants invoked their Christian belief positively to express environmental beliefs, values, and concern. Religion has received little attention in environmental research. Future research should examine its potentiality as an institution and a medium to achieve environmental sustainability and human survivability.
Yount-Andre, Chelsie Jeannette, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Giving, Taking, and Sharing: Reproducing Economic Moralities and Social Hierarchies in Transnational Senegal,' supervised by Dr. Caroline Bledsoe
Preliminary abstract: My proposed dissertation research asks how deepening inequalities in the wake of European economic crisis may be reshaping the ways Senegalese migrants in Paris socialize their children into economic moralities. Faced with the potential disintegration of their advantaged position in France, university-educated Senegalese provide a striking example of how transnational migrants reinforce class and education-based hierarchies in the transnational field as they cling to postcolonial privilege. Key to understanding how these migrants simultaneously maintain transnational socio-economic relations and invest in incorporation into their host country is examination of how they reproduce 'economic moralities,' normative sets of social expectations regarding material obligation and entitlement. Analysis of the ways migrants socialize children to competently manage multiple economic moralities according to context and participant framework, aligning themselves with some and distinguishing themselves from others, can provide insight into the ways migrants reproduce stratification in the transnational field. To examine emergent economic moralities, I will analyze daily exchanges of talk and food between caregivers and children through which appropriate means of giving, taking, and sharing are negotiated. I will set my investigation in Senegalese households in Paris, following family members back to Dakar over summer vacation to examine socialization in transnational movement. This study will contribute to anthropological literature on transnational migration by applying theory and methods from studies of language socialization to questions of how social values that guide economic practices