Henry, Eric, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Speaking English in China: Second Language Learning and the Construction of Cosmopolitan Identities,' supervised by Dr. P. Steven Sangren
ERIC HENRY, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'Speaking English in China: Second Language Learning and the Construction of Cosmopolitan Identities,' supervised by Dr. P. Steven Sangren. One question that seems to aggravate foreign English teachers and linguists in China is why educational institutions and students seem uninterested in a 'proper' way to teach English. Their resistance has been attributed to everything from Confucianism to plain stubbornness. The grantee conducted a year of fieldwork in the northeastern city of Shenyang to examine the social and cultural contexts in which English-language learning takes place, and the structures and processes in which English is embedded in Chinese society. In other words, the research attempts to redirect the question from 'Why do English learners not listen to experts?' to 'What are Chinese learners attempting to accomplish through their study of English?' Data gathered through interviews with language learners, school administrators, teachers, and other stakeholders located English-language learning within a set of self-fashioning technologies that are designed to advance alternative notions of identity in a globalizing medium of social relations. Knowledge of English allowed proficient learners to participate as dominant partners in what Bourdieu has called a 'language market.' The research also served to highlight affinities between the processes of English-language learning and specific local concerns, such as the status of the local dialect and fears of being cheated in relations with others.
McInnis, Heather E., U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Middle Holocene Culture and Climate on the South Coast of Peru: Archaeological Investigations of the Pampa Colorado,' supervised by Dr. Madonna L. Moss
HEATHER E. McINNIS, while a student at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, received funding in November 2001 to aid research on economic specialization and the transition to sedentism among the creators of coastal Archaic shell middens in southern Peru, under the supervision of Dr. Madonna L. Moss. A survey of twenty-five square kilometers of the Pampa Colorada coastal desert plain, one of the few regions in the south-central Andes to have yielded a Middle Holocene date (5490 B.P.), was designed to identify and evaluate regional changes in settlement and subsistence economies and in the abundance and availability of natural resources in the area. Test excavations in twenty-three of one hundred documented sites provided evidence of occupation from 9000 to 3000 B.P. Settlement patterns and artifact and faunal assemblages revealed changes in socioeconomic strategies from intensive seasonal fishing and foraging during the Early Holocene to more diversified, marine-based subsistence economies by the late Archaic period. Increasingly hyperarid conditions in the south-central Andes from 8000 to 5000 B.P. and the onset of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events by 5000 B.P. may have prompted coastal fishers to settle seasonally at the juncture of multiple ecozones. These settlement and subsistence adjustments may have provided a basis for the development of sedentary fishing communities by the Late Holocene. Ethnographic interviews with Peruvian fishermen working in coastal zones close to the Pampa Colorada supplemented these data and provided a basis for modeling the development of resource specialization among coastal foragers.
Cederlof, Gustav Lars, King's College, London, UK - To aid research on 'The Energy Revolution: The Political Ecology of Electrification and Post-Oil Geographies in Cuba,' supervised by Dr. Raymond Bryant
Preliminary abstract: My project addresses energy use in the 'peak-oil' era. As oil wells deplete under global demand and climate change calls for low-carbon alternatives, it is crucial to refine our understandings of energy-supply disruption in fossil fuel dependent energy systems. The project interlaces political ecology with energy and technology by examining the history of electrification in Cuba; a country that within a few years in the early 1990s experienced an 87% drop in oil supply when the USSR collapsed. The project explores the construction of post-oil energy systems in Cuba and their social and environmental implications; how decentralized energy systems (dis-)empower different social groups; and how access or non-access to centralized energy systems informs social identity. This is done by contrasting ethnographic perceptions of electrification and energy system change with the role of energy in modernist and nationalist ideologies.
Sahota, Puneet Kaur Chawla, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid 'An Ethnography Of Medical/Genetics Research among American Indians: Political, Economic, and Ethical Considerations,' supervised by Dr. Bradley Philip Stoner
PUNEET SAHOTA, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, received funding in May 2007 for to aid research on 'An Ethnography of Medical/Genetics Research Among American Indians: Political, Economic, and Ethical Considerations,' supervised by Dr. Bradley P. Stoner. Fieldwork, including participant-observation and in-depth interviews with 53 community members, was conducted with a Native American community that has participated extensively in biomedical research studies. Tribal members' views were assessed regarding the impact of research studies on their health-related knowledge and behaviors. Tribal members' perceptions of the relationship between research studies and health care were also examined. Interviewees had diverse reactions to researchers' reports that Native Americans are at a higher risk for developing diabetes: some were motivated to improve diet/exercise habits while others were discouraged by genetic explanations for diabetes in their community. Tribal members also had a wide variety of views on the handling of biological specimens in medical/genetics research. The tribe recently developed a unique partnership with a genetics research group, including joint ownership rights for data and possible patents. Findings of this research will contribute to the anthropology of science and new technologies and may also have implications for bioethics policies and practices.
Sahota, Puneet Chawla. 2012. Genetic Histories: Native Americans' Accounts of Being at Risk for Diabetes. Social Studies of Science 42(6):821-842.
Sahota, Puneet Chawla. 2012. Critical Contexts for Biomedical Research in a Native American Community: Health Care, History, and Community Survival. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 36(3):3-18.
Gunel, Gokce, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
GOKCE GUNEL, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki. The grantee conducted research with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany. While the dissertation project mainly focused on the production of renewable energy infrastructures in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the grantee understood policy-making through United Nations to be a significant building block of this process, and decided to work more specifically on issues related to carbon capture and storage technology. The making of carbon capture and storage policy now constitutes one of the five chapters of the dissertation, which was filed May 2012.
Yoltar-Durukan, Cagri, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on '''Paying the Price': Moral Economy and Citizenship in the Kurdish Region of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot
CARGRI YOLTAR-DURUKAN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in April 2012 to aid research on ''Paying the Price:' Moral Economy and Citizenship in the Kurdish Region of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot. This research's interests broadly focus on the relationship between economy, politics, and morality. In particular, it addresses the anthropology of debt, state, citizenship, and political subjectivity -- especially at the nexus of political violence and welfare programs. The project explores these topics through an ethnographic and archival research of conflicting and competing discourses on rights, obligations, and justice inherent in the debates and claims on social assistance in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Its aim is to trace the ways in which the moralities and responsibilities that inform the political field in the Kurdish region disrupts the depoliticizing effects of welfare and development discourse, and bring into being complex citizenship claims. To do so, the study traces different uses and meanings of a particular idiom, bedel odemek ('paying the price' or 'bearing the cost') through which Kurds express the sacrifices they made in supporting the Kurdish political movement during the decades-long conflict with the Turkish state, and explore how bedel rhetoric plays itself out in making economic claims.
Borejsza, Aleksander, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Land Use and Land Tenure in Prehispanic Tlaxcala,' supervised by Dr. Richard G. Lesure
ALEKSANDER BOREJSZA, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on 'Land Use and Land Tenure in Prehispanic Tlaxcala,' supervised by Dr. Richard G. Lesure. Geoarchaeological research in Tlaxcala (Mexico) focused on the management of slopes for agricultural purposes, from prehispanic to modern times, and its relation to soil erosion. Surveying and excavation of abandoned agricultural terraces was combined with the study of alluvial sequences exposed in arroyo walls. Excavations at La Laguna revealed that a large settlement occupied the slopes in the Late to Terminal Formative (500BC-AD100) but the original ground surface was lost to erosion at abandonment. Stone-walled terraces that survive were built in the Late Postclassic (AD1350-1520) to reclaim land for cultivation. Erosion recurred after Conquest. Several successive systems of ditches and earthen berms (metpanties) were superimposed on the prehispanic vestiges by the managers of a hacienda since the eighteenth century. Barranca Tenexac, a stream that receives runoff from La Laguna, responded to slope erosion and stability by alternating episodes of rapid aggradation and soil development. The stratigraphy of three other low-order streams records widespread anthropogenic disturbance in the Late Holocene. Barranca Xilomantla cut a 9m-deep channel in the Formative and rapidly filled it with sediment rich in wood charcoal, which may reflect the use of fire in forest clearance and farming of unterraced slopes. All four streams incised more than 10m in response to the abandonment of terraces and overgrazing by sheep immediately after Conquest. No remains of Formative terraces were found, and some previously reported cases were dismissed as erroneous associations of sherd scatters with modern features. Terracing in the Late Postclassic targeted previously damaged an otherwise marginal land.
Borejsza, Aleksander. 2008. Agricultural Slope Management and Soil Erosion at La Laguna, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 35:1854-1866
Borejsza, Aleksander. 2010. Fluvial Response to Holocene Climate Change in Low-Order Streams of Central Mexico. Journal of Quaternary Science 25(5):762-781.
Borejsza, Aleksander. 2011. Swidden Agriculture in the Tierra Fria? Evidence from Sedimentary Records in Tlaxcala. Ancient Mesoamerica 22(1):91-106.
Borejsza, Aleksander. 2014. Village and Field Abandonment in Post-Conquest Tlaxcala: A Geoarchaeological Perspective. Anthropocene 3:9-23.
Borejsza, Aleksander, Charles D. Frederick, Luis Morett Alatorre, and Arthur A. Joyce. 2014. Alluvial Stratigraphy and the Search for Preceramic Open-Air Sites in Highland Mesoamerica. Latin American Antiquity 25(3):278-299.
Randle, Sarah P., Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Building the Ecosystem City: Environmental Imaginaries and Spatial Politics in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
Preliminary abstract: How are residents of Los Angeles negotiating attempts to manage their city as a service-providing ecosystem -- and what do these processes suggest about the politics remaking urban space under conditions of increasing environmental uncertainty? This project investigates emergent efforts to capture, store, and reuse rain and wastewater in new ways within L.A.'s cityscape, in response to widespread concerns about impending climate change-induced water supply scarcity. Proponents frequently present these initiatives as pieces of a broader spatial transformation within the city, restoring historic watershed functions to the urban landscape. Embedded in these framings is a particular vision of L.A.'s urban ecology, one in which properly managed city space provides key ecosystem services (such as water supply augmentation) to its citizens. Through 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork with water agency personnel, environmental activists and non-profit workers, 'green' business owners and employees, and mobilized residents, I trace the social, political, and material lives of such rescripted urban landscapes and resources. Studying interventions at multiple scales -- in private homes, city streets and parks, and wastewater treatment plants -- I examine the effects of these material projects and spatial imaginaries on Angeleños' political subjectivities, alliances, and claimsmaking.