Tuttle, Brendan Rand, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Intergenerational Transformation in South Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar
BRENDAN RAND TUTTLE, then a student at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Interfenerational Transformation in South Sudan, supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar. Setting out from the experiences of young returnees from North America, Europe, and Australia, to places they called 'home' in Southern Sudan, this research explored endeavors to create networks of accountability among people living in multi-local (transnational and urban-rural) settings. This project began by exploring the particular dilemmas of returnees who, after long absences, struggled to create and activate localized ties to the places they considered home. It became a study of the particular ethical questions faced by a range of people considered partial outsiders -- particularly, migrants, soldiers, the educated, young people -- who were grappling with questions about their relations to their places of origin, what they owed to them, and what moral stakes were at play. During a period of relative calm in the region, the grantee conducted twelve months of ethnographic research in South Sudan, in Bor and the surrounding countryside, in order to understand the interrelations between contemporary ethical debates about authority and coercive power, migration, and the past.
Johnson, Amanda Caroline, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Twitter and the Body Parodic: Global Circulation of a Speech Genre,' supervised by Dr. Graham Jones
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the global circulation of Twitter parody accounts as a genre of social critique, asking how parody and the parodic voice are collaboratively created by the users and architects of Twitter. For while parodists animate accounts and, with interlocutors, co-create characters, the platform's architects shape expressive parameters through policies, affordances, and ideologies. As the Twitter platform expands, it increasingly comes into contact with a variety of legal regimes, censorship apparatuses, and cultural expectations that challenge the Twitter corporation's core values. No expressive form epitomizes such conflict more strongly than Twitter parody accounts, particularly those that 'animate' (Goffman 1981) the voices of political figures. Parody accounts serve as a flash point for legal issues of author's rights, impersonation, and defamation, with national and international dimensions. This project thus also examines shifting concepts of political participation and sovereignty. How do new communication resources spark negotiation of community affiliation and social power, and how do media actors navigate within and beyond traditional legal frameworks? To investigate these questions, this project combines organizational ethnography within Twitter itself--spanning the company's domestic and international operations--with comparative linguistic anthropological research on Twitter parodists and parody accounts that target regional politics in the United States, the Arab world, and Japan. It thus offers an alternative approach to both the media producer/consumer dyad and the online/offline binary, instead considering the Twitter participation ecology as a whole.
Njau, Jackson K., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ -
To aid research on 'Vertebrate Taphonomy and Paleoecology of Lake-Margin Wetlands during Oldowan Times in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine
JACKSON K. NJAU, while a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, received an award December 2001 to aid research on the vertebrate taphonomy and paleoecology of lake-margin wetlands during Oldowan times in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, under the supervision of Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine. Njau's objective was to develop ecological models of landscape facets as they pertained to early hominids and large wetland vertebrate fauna during the Plio-Pleistocene at Olduvai Gorge. The ultimate goal was to understand the ecological contexts in which the behaviors of stone-tool-using human ancestors evolved. Studying the feeding behavior of captive crocodiles and their consumption of large mammalian carcasses, Njau developed basic taphonomic guidelines for distinguishing the effects of crocodilians from those of large terrestrial carnivores in bone accumulations. He also studied large-vertebrate bone assemblages on modern wetland land surfaces in Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lakes Manyara and Eyasi. Systematic and intensive bone surveys were carried out at a very fine landscape scale in order to match environmental settings that might have existed in ancient Olduvai lake deposits, where unusually rich paleontological and archaeological material has been collected. Modern analog studies provided a useful tool in developing techniques for identifying the taphonomic characteristics of landscape sub-environments for application to prehistoric landscapes.
Njau, Jackson K., and Leslea J. Hlusko. 2010. Fine-Tuning Paleoanthropological Reconnaissance with High-Resolution Satellite Imager: The Discovery of 28 New Sites in Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 59(6):680-684.
Njau, Jackson K., and Robert J. Blumenschine. 2006. A diagnosis of crocodile feeding traces on larger mammal bone, with fossil examples from the Plio-Pleistocene Olduvai Basin, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 50 (2006): 142-162
Cunningham, Craig Andrew, U. of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ontogenetic Analysis of the Internal Architecture of the Human Pelvic Complex,' supervised by Dr. Susan Margaret Black
CRAIG A. CUNNINGHAM, then a student at University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Ontogenetic Analysis of the Internal Architecture of the Human Pelvic Complex,' supervised by Dr. Susan M. Black. The pelvic complex is an area of skeletal dynamics that is poorly understood, with few studies having considered its growth as a discrete entity. As such, the way in which the pelvic form changes throughout specific temporal periods has been largely undocumented. The principle objective of this research was to identify gross internal trabecular signatures and external morphological features of natural progressive physical maturation, such as sitting, locomotor behavior, puberty, and sex differences. To fulfill these objectives computed tomography scans from deceased juvenile individuals were obtained and, through the use of three dimensional reconstructions, gross architectural patterns and surface morphology could be quantified in relation to bone size. These observations will allow for an assessment of the biomechanical influences that inherent functional demands have on the growing pelvic complex. This project will contribute to the increased understanding of the pelvic skeletal form and the major architectural changes that it must undergo throughout life. Conducting the study, firstly in man, will assist in investigating evolutionary principles associated with adoption of a bipedal stance. The research will have particular relevance in maturity status evaluation of archaeological and fragmented pelvic specimens.
Statzel, Rebecca Sophie, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Paths to Godliness: The Political Ethics of Intimacy in Contemporary American Evangelicalism,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
REBECCA SOPHIE STATZEL, then a student at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Paths to Godliness: The Political Ethics of Intimacy in Contemporary American Evangelicalism,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. Why did the predominantly evangelical conservative movement that formed in the 1970s in the United States focus on the family instead of around other forms of Biblical values such as moral obligations to the poor? This dissertation answers this question through an historical and ethnographic study of the rise of the religious right. Through fourteen months of ethnographic research on evangelical church-based small groups in Colorado Springs and archival research on the emergence of the religious right, this dissertation argues that this rise in a politics of the family is: 1) informed by a gendered ethics of intimacy in evangelical Christianity; 2) this gendered ethics is a product of the suburban and racially segregated context the evangelical sub-culture was formed in; 3) the language of 'faith, family, and freedom' tie evangelical ethical life to a nationalist narrative that frames the possibility of individual freedom as dependent on a morally self-regulating populace.
High, Casey, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'From Enemies to Affines: History, Identity, and Changing Inter-Ethnic Relations among the Waorani of Amazonian Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow
CASEY HIGH, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'From Enemies to Affines: History, Identity, and Changing Inter-Ethnic Relations among the Waorani of Amazonian Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Peter Gow. This research began as a study of how the Waorani, an indigenous group of Amazonian Ecuador, construct peaceful relations both between local groups and with their indigenous Quichua neighbors, with whom they have a history of violent conflict. In addition to focusing on changing interethnic relations in the region, the project considered how local people engage representations of the past in establishing ethnic and other identities in relation to non-Waorani groups. Collecting narratives of past violence revealed that detailed imagery of violent death, narrated generally from the perspective of the victim group, is a central idiom by which Waorani people make moral commentary on intergroup and interpersonal relationships. While the research initially considered such local uses of historical representations, a particularly violent event that occurred in the Waorani territorial reserve during fieldwork led the researcher to examine the meanings contemporary intergroup violence has for local people. In May 2003, a group of men from a Waorani village attacked a distant enemy group, referred to locally as 'Taromenani', leaving some 25 people dead. Although nobody in the community where the fieldwork was conducted was harmed or directly involved, local villagers were familiar with and closely related to those who perpetrated the attack and were profoundly concerned with the implications of the event. By recording the frequent descriptions Waorani people made of the attack, the killers and their victims, the researcher was able to examine ethnographically how local people represent violence, interpret its causes, and react to such conflicts.
High, Casey. 2009. Victims and Martyrs: Converging Histories of Violence in Amazonian Anthropology and U.S. Cinema. Anthropology and Humanism 34(1):41-50.108
High, Casey. 2009. Remembering the Auca: Violence and Generational Memory in Amazonian Ecuador. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):719-736.
High, Casey. 2010. Warriors, Hunters, and Bruce Lee: Gendered Agency and the Transformation of Amazonian Masculinity. American Ethnologist 37(4):753-770.
Menegaz, Rachel A., U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'Ecomorphological Implications of Primate Dietary Variability: An Experimental Model,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Jordan Ravosa
RACHEL A. MENEGAZ, then a student at University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Ecomorphological Implications of Primate Dietary Variability: An Experimental Model,' supervised by Dr. Matthew J. Ravosa. The evolution and function of the human skull is intimately related to the mechanical demands imposed by diet and food items. However, despite a growing awareness of the complexity of the primate diet, the effects of such seasonal variability in food items on craniomandibular growth and morphology are poorly understood. This gap in the understanding of functional morphology hinders our ability to identify dietary variability in the fossil record, and to identify evolutionarily significant divergences in ecological strategies (such as the use of seasonal 'fallback foods') in closely related species within the human lineage. This integrative study uses an experimental approach to model mammalian skull growth as affected by temporal changes in dietary composition. Results from this study suggest that for anthropologists, changes in diet related to seasonal cycles increase the difficulty of inferring behavior from anatomy. To overcome this challenge, morphological analyses included within this research identify those features within the mandible and the cranium that are the most useful for correctly classifying individuals within the correct dietary category. Such an enhanced understanding of the complex relationship between diet and morphology is critical for understanding human evolution and the ecological and behavioral aspects of early hominins.
Carney, Joshua Luke, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Storms Through the Valley: Fact, Fiction and the US Image in Turkish Popular Media,' supervised by Dr. Ilana Miriam Gershon
JOSHUA L. CARNEY, then a student at University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Storms through the Valley: Fact, Fiction, and the US Image in Turkish Popular Media,' supervised by Dr. Ilana M. Gershon. Research examined the publics and discourses emerging around two immensely influential Turkish TV dramas ('dizi' in Turkish). The contemporary mafia drama, Valley of the Wolves, and the Ottoman costume drama, Magnificent Century, relate disparate periods and cater to very different audiences, but both have set the political and social agendas in Turkey due to the uneasy blend of fact and fiction in their plots. The project focuses on the increasing relevance of screen culture in the Turkish milieux through an ethnographic engagement with the publics generated by these shows, touching on conspiracy theory and nostalgia as strategies for coping in an era of multiple modernities, the creation and maintenance of gendered and national identities, and the political implications of the international distribution of these shows.
Schwartz, Saul Goodman, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Linguistics as a Vocation: Professional Legitimacy in Endangered Language Documentation,' supervised by Dr. Rena Lederman
SAUL GOODMAN SCHWARTZ, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Linguistics as a Vocation: Professional Legitimacy in Endangered Language Documentation,' supervised by Dr. Rena Lederman. In a time of unprecedented language loss on a global scale, endangered language documentation promotes the scientific and moral value of languages and the cultures they encode as essential elements of human diversity. Language documentation is both a research paradigm in linguistics and part of a broader social movement to preserve endangered languages. Ethnographic research on documentation demonstrates that language ideologies (beliefs and feelings about language) mediate social organization and knowledge production in this subfield of linguistics through complex processes of ideological feedback. Language ideologies organize practitioners and audiences from various backgrounds into networks of collaboration and evaluation. However, these networks of expertise in turn produce new linguistic and social knowledge that can transform the ideologies, identities, and solidarities of their members and constituencies. Central to language documentation ideologies are complementary and conflicting conceptions of time and technology, which also animate socially strategic discourses about motivation and expertise in particular practitioner-audience interactions. These findings are based on participant observation fieldwork with a Siouan language documentation and revitalization project, participation in linguistics conferences and summer programs, interviews with practitioners involved in Siouan documentation, and archival research on the history of Siouan linguistics.
Ha, Guangtian, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Reshaping Governance in a Liberalizing China: A Study of the Ethnically Unmarked Chinese Hui Muslims,' supervised by Dr. Myron L. Cohen
GUANGTIAN HA, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Reshaping Governance in a Liberalizing China: A Study of the Ethnically Unmarked Chinese Hui Muslims,' supervised by Dr. Myron L. Cohen. In contrast to the admiration the Chinese government often receives from the world for its impressive economic achievement, its treatment of religion and ethnic minorities has come under incessant attack from around the globe in the name of human rights protection. This research studies a particular minority group in China that is situated between religion and ethnicity. The Hui are ethnically unmarked (physically and, to a large extent, culturally indistinguishable from the majority Han) and stand in a disputed relation to Islam (some Hui find their identity defined solely by their Muslim identity, while others vociferously reject this religious definition and insist on a secular ethno-nationalist one). This research is based upon two years of fieldwork in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, and Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The research addresses how the separation between the religious and the secular socio-ethnic affairs is discursively constructed by a series of governmental regulations on religion and ethnicity and how this separation affects the ordinary Hui. It also analyzes the history and the current forms of the United Front (the major strategy deployed by the Communist Party to cope with religion and ethnic minority in contemporary China), the intricate ways this strategy works either for or against the logic of governance formulated more openly by the State Council, and how this strategy produces internal conflicts within the Hui, producing peculiar forms of subjectivity on the side of the Hui officials. The research examines the complex history of Hui-Han interaction, especially the debate on Hui ethnicity in the Republican period, how this history is inscribed on the body of the Hui, etched into its depth, and how this history puts the newly converted Han Muslim in a paradoxical situation. And, finally, it addresses Chinese intellectual and scholarly discourses on the politics of ethnic minority, especially those that draw an analogy between neo-Confucianism and US liberal constitutionalism as the framework for multi-culturalism.