Greenfield, Dana Emily, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Crossing the 'Valley of Death': Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a Public University,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams
Preliminary abstract: Since the 1980s, federal legislation has increasingly encouraged universities to capitalize on basic research through widening intellectual property regimes and industry partnerships, particularly in the biomedical sciences where new discoveries, drugs, and devices have recently been lagging. Concurrently, the transformation of biology into a science of engineering and the rise of venture capital, have encouraged scientists to become entrepreneurs and translate their academic research into their own start-up companies. The need to capitalize on academic research has intensified amidst current federal and local funding crises, raising questions about the future, direction and mission of public research universities, in particular. The proposed project is a year-long ethnographic study of a translational research institute at a public research university and medical center in California, with the mandate to transform scientists into entrepreneurs and the university into an engine of economic growth. This research aims to understand how the values and practices of market-driven medical innovation and entrepreneurship affect the trajectory, mission, and organization or research throughout the campus. My project will also trace what counts as 'innovation' in this context, asking what is possible and what is foreclosed at the current frontiers of medicine. This project will be based on participant-observation, interviews of entreprenuers, faculty, and staff, and analysis of published media. My research will contribute to a better understanding of how the funding of science relates to broader concerns over the role of the university and state in knowledge production, and the concrete impact of private capital on the contours, outcomes, and responsibilites of biomedical research.
Wright, Arielle Justine Oliver, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on ''We Do it For Love': The Politics of Care in Botswana's Community Home Based Care Program,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca Lester
Preliminary abstract: Botswana has been profoundly affected by the HIV epidemic over the past two decades. In response to the overwhelming demand for care, Botswana introduced the Community Home Based Care (CHBC) program in 1998, which trained local volunteers to assist families with the care of HIV patients at home. My preliminary research suggests that the program contributes to re-negotiations of responsibility for the sick between kin, community and government agencies. In the proposed research, I ask how CHBC as a site of intervention reshapes caring labor within the household and transforms modes of communication and critique between citizens and government bodies. CHBC represents a substantially different approach to crisis intervention than those discussed so far by anthropologists. For instance, CHBC is not designed as a biomedical intervention at the level of individual bodies, but aims to intervene in the nexus of community and household relations through care. Therefore the study of care within this program in Botswana can yield key insights for anthropological theories about the nature of care and its role in politics of social welfare. Specifically, this project aims to shed light on the role of care in constituting household and community relations and in the negotiation of reciprocal rights and responsibilities among citizens and government bodies in the wake of HIV.
Lin, Hsiu-Man, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'The Biological Evidence of the San-Pau-Chu-Site, Taiwan, and Its Association with Austronesian Migration,' supervised by Dr. Osbjorn M. Pearson
HSIU-MAN LIN, then a student at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'The Biological Evidence of the San-Pau-Chu-Site, Taiwan, and Its Association with Austronesian Migration,' supervised by Dr. Osbjorn M. Pearson. The general aim of this research is to characterize genetic variation in native population(s) in Taiwan as a tool to test hypotheses about population relationships and possible migrations in the southern Pacific. To date, we have collected samples of forty-one individuals from the San-Pau-Chu (SPC) site in Taiwan. Current ancient DNA results conducted for mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region sequencing and cloning as well haplogroups A, B, and M have show that at least two individuals can be assigned to haplogroup A, one to haplogroup B4, and four to haplogroup M. However, the results so far have raised additional questions. Do current results show that the SPC people are related to (or the ancestors of) the Ping-Pu people, the populations who were historically closer to Han Chinese, and more frequently admixed with them? Were the Ping-Pu people are genetically closer to Han Chinese than other highland Taiwanese Aborigines? Have issues with small sample sizes complicated the conclusions? Additional tests on haplogroups C and F, simulation studies of sampling designs, and collected dental morphological data may help to answer these questions. These next steps are currently underway and will be included in the dissertation.
Block, Caroline Mohr, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MN - To aid research on 'Rabbis, Rabbas, and Maharats: Aspiration, Innovation and Orthodoxy in American Women's Talmud Programs,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
Preliminary abstract: My research centers on the women's Talmud programs that have recently emerged in the American Modern Orthodox Jewish community, where women study the rabbinic curriculum without the current possibility of receiving ordination or of serving as rabbis in their Orthodox communities. Institutionally unable to claim traditional rabbinic authority, these women have begun to experiment with cultivating alternative forms of pious authority and spiritual leadership within the bounds of American Orthodoxy. In an ethnographic investigation of these educational institutions and the ways in which aspirations for both individual cultivation and communal innovation are enacted through study within them, this research examines the changing landscape of religious authority in a community which has received little attention from anthropological research. Through its focus on American Jewish denominationalism, and the ways in which it simultaneously promises and poses a threat to innovations such as those toward which these female Talmudic scholars aspire, this study aims to contribute to a new and dynamic picture of tradition as it relates to modern religion in the public sphere.
Quinn, Colin Patrick, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Inequality in the Presence of Death: Mortuary Rituals in Bronze Age Transylvania,' supervised by Dr. John O'Shea
COLIN P. QUINN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Inequality in the Presence of Death: Mortuary Rituals in Bronze Age Transylvania,' supervised by Dr. John O'Shea. Death, as a universal experience, has long been considered a great equalizer. However, mortuary rituals involved in death and burial are an important social context in which social inequalities are often materialized. This research project examined how people used mortuary rituals to negotiate social relationships and influence the development of social inequality in Bronze Age Transylvania. Using demographic and material evidence from the Trascau Mountains and Mures River corridor in southwest Transylvania (Alba County, Romania) during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (2700-1400 BC), this study addresses: 1) how relationships of social inequality in these communities were materialized in mortuary contexts; 2) the rate and extent of change in mortuary rituals throughout the Early and Middle Bronze Age; and 3) whether changes in mortuary rituals, as ideological institutions, reflected or influenced changes in the scale and degree of social, economic, and political inequality in local communities. Research included field surveys and an intensive radiocarbon dating program. Preliminary results suggest that mortuary practices shifted through time. Inequality was manifest in all Bronze Age mortuary contexts. Variability in the tempo and nature of burial through time suggests that ideological institutions served key, potentially transformative, roles in the organization of Bronze Age societies.
Funahashi, Daena Aki, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Social Order and its Borders: Exploring Depression in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Dominic C. Boyer
DAENA A. FUNAHASHI, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Social Order and its Borders: Exploring Depression in Finland,' supervised by Dr. Dominic C. Boyer. This study investigates the phenomenon of work-related depression and workplace burnout in Finland by looking at how this phenomenon is talked about, categorized, and institutionalized within three spheres: patients, the workplace, and treatment centers. This research examined the ways in which people from these three spheres interpreted depression and burnout. Depression meant different things to patients, employers, and clinicians. For some patients who worked in competitive offices it was a stigma-ridden category, and a risk to their professional life. For employers, it posed as an economic burden in terms of lost productivity and sick-leave. For those in healthcare, depressed patients were welcome clients for their services. The two categories of depression and burnout were closely related, depending on how the patient or company wanted to negotiate self-image and finances: depression was often diagnosed as burnout (a condition requiring shorter amounts of sick-leave), and burnout as depression. Three main trends in the explanation for the rise in burnout cases emerged: 1) an increasing demand for efficiency in the workplace; 2) anxiety over increasing opacity in the welfare system; and 3) increasing clash between the traditional valuation of hard work for its own sake and the market drive to maximize profit.
Funahashi, Daena Aki. 2013. Wrapped in Plastic: Transformation and Alienation in the New Finnish Economy. Cultural Anthropology 28(1):1-21.
Villagra, Analia, City U. of New York, Queens College, Flushing, NY - To aid research on 'Cadê o Mico? (Where is the Tamarin?): Locating Monkeys in the Politics of Land and Conservation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John Francis Collin
ANALIA VILLAGRA, then a student at City University of New York, Queens College, Flushing, New York, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Cadê o Mico? (Where is the Tamarin?): Locating Monkeys in the Politics of Land and Conservation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John Francis Collin. The project sought to explore the intersection between land rights and conservation politics in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest region of southeastern Brazil. Inspired by classic work in ecological anthropology and recent studies of scientific practice, the research is interested in how people understand and emplace themselves in a world configured as natural, as well as with how these understandings impact global politics today. More specifically, the project analyzes how a burgeoning concern with conservation alters contemporary struggles over rights to land and land use. The investigation is organized around the efforts to save the Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT), a monkey species endemic to the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Kocamaner, Hikmet, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Governing the Family through Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Television Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein
HIKMET KOCAMANER, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Governing the Family through Islamic Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein. Turkey has witnessed a proliferation of Islamic television channels since the liberalization of television broadcasting in the 1990s. Initially, these Islamic TV channels produced shows in which divinity professors and men of religion educated viewers in the culture of scriptural Islam. Recently, however, most of these channels have started producing what they call 'morally and socially appropriate' entertainment programs to provide a safe haven for the Turkish family in what they deem to be a degenerate media scene. An overview of the programs aired on these Islamic channels reveals that the family -- more than the ritualistic and scriptural aspects of Islam -- has become their main focus. This project examines the relationship between the increasing prominence placed by Islamic television channels on the family and changing constellations of religion and secularism as well as emerging forms of governance in contemporary Turkey. Through an ethnographic investigation of media professionals involved in Islamic television production, viewers of Islamic television stations, and state institutions and officials taking part in the regulation of broadcasting in Turkey, this dissertation explores how Islamic television channels in Turkey establish the family as the generator of a neoliberal idea of citizenship and of a modern yet Islamically appropriate lifestyle.
Augustine, Jonah Michael, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Aesthetic Constitution of Polity: Ceramic Production and Material Politics in the Tiwanaku Valley, AD 500-1100,' supervised by Dr. Alan L. Kolata
JONAH M. AUGUSTINE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Aesthetic Constitution of Polity: Ceramic Production and Material Politics in the Tiwanaku Valley (AD 500-1100),' supervised by Dr. Alan L. Kolata. The central problem that this project examined was the relationship between aesthetics and politics within the ancient Andean polity Tiwanaku. Focusing on various locations within the Tiwanaku Valley, the project analyzed the iconographic characteristics of ceramics, one of the central media through which Tiwanaku images were presented. The preliminary results reveal that during the early phases of the polity, there were convergences between elite and non-elite iconography in the open areas of large-scale, urban rituals. This suggests that shared aesthetic experiences mediated disparate social positions and fostered bonds between groups. Beyond the city, it was noted that characteristic 'Tiwanaku' forms (i.e. those associated with the urban rituals) were reproduced in non-canonical ways. This indicates that the subjective experience of Tiwanaku was predicated on an active and perhaps playful engagement with Tiwanaku materiality. Finally, there was a decrease in the diversity of representational forms as the Tiwanaku polity became more rigidly hierarchical during later phases. This may reflect a tactic used by emergent elites to create a unified political imaginary within the valley. From these data, it is possible to better reconstruct the deeply important aesthetic dimension of Tiwanaku politics.