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.
Blajko, Anton Vyacheslavovich, Saint-Petersburg State U., Saint-Petersburg, Russia - To aid research on 'The Beginning of the Upper Paleolithic in the Northwestern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Lubov V. Golovanova
ANTON VYACHESLAVOVICH BLAJKO, then a student at St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, received funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'The Begtinning of the Upper Paleolithic in the Northwestern Caucasus,' supervised by Dr. Lubov Vitalievna Golovanova. The beginning of the Upper Paleolithic is now one of the main issues of the Paleolithic research. Results of 2006 excavation in Korotkaya Cave, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, allow making several conclusions: First, the early modem humans occupation of the Northwestern Caucasus is now presented more than one site known before in Mezmaiskaya Cave. In both caves, the EUP is dated more than 30.000 yr ago. Second, the EUP industry from Korotkaya Cave is similar to that from Mezmaiskaya. This data confirms that the EUP appeared in the Northwestern Caucasus as a completely formed Upper Paleolithic type industry based on blade and bladelet technology and bladelet dominated tool set. This EUP industry has no relationship with the local Middle Paleolithic like it is clearly different from typical Aurignacian. Third, the EUP industry in the Northwestern Caucasus has no analogies in Eastern Europe. In the Southern Caucasus, chronologically and typologically similar EUP assemblages are known in Dzudzuana Cave and Ortvale Klde rockshelter in Georgia. Among the EUP industries, the Levantine Ahmarian is most similar to the EUP in the Northwestern Caucasus. This allows hypothesizing about the West Asian origin of the early modern humans in the Northwestern Caucasus.
Robertson, Mary Denise, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Marketing 'Race': Investigating Racial Identities and Cultural Expertise in South African Marketing Research,' supervised by Dr. William Mazarella
Preliminary abstract: In post-apartheid South Africa, the figure of 'the Black consumer' has become the focal point for key tensions surrounding 'race' and identity. While marketers and advertisers are under increasing pressure to tap the spending power of Blacks, what it means to be both 'Black' and a consumer is contested, both within the industry and in broader society. While some see the rise of Black spending power as a marker of political freedom (Posel 2010), others see it as evidence of cultural loss, with the Black elite being accused of having lost their identity and of being 'coconuts' -- brown on the outside, but white on the inside (Matlwa 2007). At the same time, racial identity itself is being commodified. Following fierce criticism of the way White advertisers had gone about representing 'Black culture' in their ads in the early years of post-apartheid South Africa (Kuzwayo 2000), Black South Africans -- both rich and poor -- are entering the previously white-dominated marketing research industry, valued for their cultural expertise in 'being Black'. How do those in the marketing research industry, occupying diverse positions within the South African social landscape, negotiate the relationship between racial identity and consumption in their day to day interactions and in the knowledge they produce? This project will investigate this question by conducting ethnographic research of two marketing research companies, each of which position themselves as specialists in researching the 'emerging Black market' -- the term used by the industry to gloss Black South Africans conceptualized as potential consumers.
Gardner, Andrew M., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Cities of Strangers: Transnational Labor and 'De-Nationalization' in the Persian Gulf,' supervised by Dr. Michael Bonine
ANDREW M. GARDNER, while a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received funding in December 2002 to aid research on transnational labor and 'de-nationalization' in the Persian Gulf, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Bonine. Gardner explored the relationship between host and laborer in contemporary Bahrain, which, like the other petroleum-rich nations of the Arabian Gulf, hosts a large and diverse workforce from around the globe. Gardner focused on the largest and oldest of those laboring contingents, the Indian population. Using ethnographic methods, he examined the diversity of the Indian population, the social institutions that reiterated Indian identity in the foreign context, and the kinds of strategies utilized by Indians and other foreigners to deal with the hardships of life in the region. As a case study, the project was designed to contribute to the collective knowledge of transnational migration flows outside western Europe and North America.
Gardner, Andrew M. 2008. Strategic Transnationalism: The Indian Diasporic Elite in Contemporary Bahrain. City & Society 20(1):54-78
Wobber, Victoria Elizabeth, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Cognitive Development in Chimpanzees and Bonobos: Novel Perspectives on the Evolution of Human Cognition,' supervised by Dr. Richard W. Wrangham
VICTORIA E. WOBBER, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2009, to aid research on 'Cognitive Development in Chimpanzees and Bonobos: Novel Perspectives on the Evolution of Human Cognition,' supervised by Dr. Richard W. Wrangham. Human cognition is central to our species' uniqueness, determining our cultural sensibilities and facilitating our ability to use language. Understanding the developmental origins of cognitive abilities provides further insight into how human cognition differs from that of other animals. The development of numerous human traits has been altered relative to other primates, such as the advent of adolescent growth spurts in height and of menopause. However, little comparative work has determined how humans' cognitive development is distinct. This project assessed cognitive development in humans' two closest living relatives, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Bonobos have been suggested to be paedomorphic, or 'juvenilized,' in the development of their skeletal features in comparison to chimpanzees. This project tested the hypothesis that bonobos are also cognitively paedomorphic relative to chimpanzees. Bonobos were found to exhibit delayed development in their skills of physical cognition, or knowledge of the physical world, though their social cognitive skills developed comparably to those of chimpanzees. These results suggest that developmental patterns were under selection in recent ape evolution. Similar shifts in human development may have resulted from convergent selection pressures in bonobos and humans, for example in the reduction of aggression in both species.
LaHatte, Kristin Margaret, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on ''Don't Hand Your Stomach Over to Just Anyone:' Development Aid and Personal Social Relations in Haiti,' supervised by Dr. Ira Bashkow
Preliminary Abstract: Development aid advocates a normative ethos of professionalism that foregrounds equality between providers and recipients while discouraging personal relationships that could lead to accusations of corruption, nepotism and dependency. These personal relationships are understood to undermine the inculcation of values such as transparency and accountability that are encouraged by development aid providers. And yet, in many of the places that development aid operates, recipients consider personal relationships--gift exchange, food sharing, and long-term commitments--not only appropriate, but also obligatory. Haiti is a particularly rich site to examine this dissonance as the social relations that Haitians most value directly conflict with the relational model promoted by development. While Haitian appraisals of development aid are overwhelmingly negative, one exception I found during my preliminary fieldwork was 'twinning:' parish-to-parish development projects between Catholic churches in the US and Haiti, which emphasize the creation of personal relationships. Given this contrast between the ethos of professionalism and the ethos of 'twinning,' I hypothesize that Haitians evaluate development aid through the very creation of the personal relationships that the ethos of professionalism in development discourages, rather than merely through the criteria of project goals and effectiveness. Through a twelve month ethnographic exploration of two food aid projects in Haiti, this research will examine how aid recipients evaluate and compare development organizations and their projects and what broader meanings such evaluations hold.
Arnedo, Luisa Fernanda, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Variation and Social Functions of Neigh Vocalization in the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus),' supervised by Dr. Karen B. Strier
LUISA FERNANDA ARNEDO, then a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Variation and Social Functions of Neigh Vocalization in the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus),' supervised by Dr. Karen B. Strier. This project investigated the acoustic variation and social function of 'neigh' vocalizations of northern muriqui. During a 14-month study at the RPPN-Feliciano Miguel Abdala, Brazil, three questions were investigated: 1) whether female muriquis are able to imitate vocalizations of novel companions when they transfer into new groups, resulting in distinctive calls for each group; 2) whether vocalizations can provide information about the caller's sex and identity; and 3) whether differences in the number of calls per individual correspond to levels of sociality, with higher number of vocalizations predicted for individuals who maintain a larger number or associates. A total of 2,328 staccato and 1,217 neigh vocalizations were collected. Preliminary analyses suggest that resident females and males appear to produce neigh vocalizations more often than immigrant females. Females in general use staccato vocalizations more often than males, but resident females tend to use these vocalizations more often than immigrant females. Both of these findings are consistent with the idea that immigrant females might vocalize less often due to their lower levels of sociality. Furthermore, females might be reducing food competition by using higher rates of staccatos as spacing calls while foraging. Spectrographic and statistic analyses are underway to confirm these results.
Erensu, Sinan, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MI - To aid research on 'Making of Green Energy: Cultural Politics of Nature in the Turkish Black Sea Coast,' supervised by Dr. Michael Goldman
Preliminary abstract: Renewable energy is growing worldwide, promising a more livable future and a sustainable environment. My dissertation examines how this contemporary global demand for renewable energy shifts the mutual constitution of society and nature in the post-carbon era, and transforms rural spaces into energy landscapes. Global renewable energy ideas and practices do not unfold uniformly across the board, transpiring, to the contrary, as a site-specific ensemble in each of their iterations. Through an investigation of the introduction and contestation of small hydropower plants (SHPs) in Eastern Black Sea Region (EBSR) of Turkey, I aim to understand how global renewable energy policies travel across borders, shaping and getting shaped by, national development priorities as well as the local uses, meanings and experiences of nature; how an emerging green capitalism appropriates lands and resources for environmental ends; and how these joint forces disrupt property relations, water use practices, and environmental imaginaries at the countryside. My multi-sited research stretches from the valleys and villages of the EBSR where more than 1,000 licensed SHP projects are located to the offices of State Hydraulic Works, from local SHP contractors to global renewable energy brokers, using of a spectrum of qualitative methods; ethnographic, interview-based, and archival.