van Vliet, Netta, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Israeli Security Corps: Citizenship, Population, and Militarism in Israeli National Identity Formation,' supervised by Dr. Diane Michelle Nelson
NETTA VAN VLIET, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received a grant in November 2006 to aid research on 'Israeli Security Corps: Citizenship, Population, and Militarism in Israeli National Identity Formation,' supervised by Dr. Diane Nelson. In 2002, Israel began constructing its controversial 'Security Fence.' More than 600 kilometers long, costing approximately 1.5 million dollars per kilometer, and complete with army patrols and watchtowers, the fence is an example of Israel's attempt to militarize and secure its borders while also consolidating its population as Jewish. The fence is emblematic of the two kinds of Israeli national security concerns -- demographic and militarized -- that are the focus of this research. This project examines security practices that link the production and defense of a specific collective to cultural and physical separation, incorporation, and reproduction of individuals. The research is based on three years (2006-2008) of ethnographic fieldwork focused on how Israeli state mechanisms aimed at producing a cohesive national Jewish-Israeli community shape the broader category of Israeli citizenship through social and biological reproductive processes framed in terms of securing a Jewish majority. This project examines how Jewish Israelis differently define and act on the values that inform their decisions to participate in, reproduce, and sometimes resist national security mechanisms, and how these definitions and practices shape their relations to and formations of wider socio-political contexts in terms of security, threat and war.
Kaehler, Laura E., City U. of New York, Graduate Center, NY - To aid research on 'Market Translators in Kuala Lumpur: Social Practice in High Finance,' supervised by Dr. Jane C. Schneider
LAURA E. KAEHLER, while a student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in New York, New York, received funding in July 2001 to aid research on social practice in high finance in Kuala Lumpur, under the supervision of Dr. Jane C. Schneider. Kaehler's findings indicated that in Malaysia, the commodification of risk was a crucial cause of the financial crisis of 1997-98. Risk management practices were also implicated in the uneven distribution of the effects of the crisis across society. At the time of Kaehler's research, the political and financial elite were attempting to inculcate practices of risk management at the family, state, and national levels. However, the governmental calculus and rhetoric of risk aversion, as well as the state-controlled media's focus on manipulation of risk, had served to make the public not more risk averse but less so. 'Stock fever' continued at pre-crisis levels, and market participation had become a key marker of sociability, patronage, and prestige. Increasingly, social life had become regulated by market practice, which meant not just simple market economics but the adoption of a frenzied style of stock-market speculation by unlikely comers from private and public life. Kaehler collected evidence through interviews with government officials, fund managers, and individual investors and through participant observation at a Malaysian hedge fund. Her findings suggested a possible reformulation of anthropologists' arguments regarding the embedding of markets in societies to incorporate the transplanting of Euro-American financial markets into developing countries without grafting roots in local market cultures, even where financial markets were run by locals.
Ochoa, Marcia, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and Mass Media in Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Renato I. Rosaldo
MARCIA OCHOA, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in August 2002 to aid research on 'Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and Mass Media in Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Renato I. Rosaldo. 'Queen for a Day' examined the ways women in Venezuela use transnational mass media to fashion womanhood. This study, developed as an ethnography of media, embedded hegemonic productions of beauty and femininity within discourses of the nation and everyday practice. Two groups of women were chosen for the study: participants in the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant, and transformistas, as some transgender women are called in Venezuela. Particular attention was paid to the 'accomplishment of femininity' of both groups by comparing and contrasting self-fashioning practices through interviews, participant observation, and video recording methods. The study also examined the emergence of the modern beauty pageant in 20th Century Venezuela, and its relationship to transnational circuits of economic and cultural power. Further, the study sought to account for the marginalization experienced by transformistas, and to document the strategies they employed for survival and selfmaking. This focus on social inequality also engaged ongoing transformation in Venezuela under President Chavez, political subjectivity, participation and citizenship in groups of people marginalized from the space of the political by their presumed frivolity. The study has resulted in a dissertation and article, several HIV prevention and human rights interventions, and a book under contract with Duke University Press.
Darmadi, Dadi, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Hajj, Reinvented: Pilgrimage, Mobility and Inter-State Organizations in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
DADI DARMADI, while a student at Harvard University, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Hajj, Reinvented: Pilgrimage, Mobility and Inter-State Organizations in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia,' supervised by Professor Engseng Ho. The grantee conducted twelve months of research on the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in March 2007, working with Indonesian pilgrims, bureaucrats, middlemen and other key actors in the Hajj business -- spiritual guides, tour and travel agents, government officials, leaders and activists of Islamic organizations, and migrant workers. The research was designed to investigate the consequences of state-to-state organization of the Hajj between a country with the largest contingent (over 200,000 pilgrims) and its host. Research was conducted in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and during the pilgrimage itself, and provides an analysis of the burgeoning pilgrimage bureaucracy by emphasizing the actual rather than the ideal workings of state-sponsored Hajj administration. It shows that various groups of middlemen in both countries have a far greater role in shaping the contemporary practice of the Hajj than was previously believed and, while both governments seek to serve and protect pilgrims from organizational failures, the state regulation often becomes a vehicle for private gain at public expense. The social context of bureaucratization and marketization of pilgrimage were examined through a multi-sited ethnography including direct observation, interviews, and participatory research during the Hajj Islamic pilgrimage, and documented by an in-depth study of both state regulations and recent popular Hajj literature. The key aim of this ethnographic research is to provide useful analysis and enlighten anthropological understanding of such major ritual practice as the Hajj and its complex relationships with government and market institutions.
Su, Anne, Stony Brook U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Functional Morphology of Subchondral and Trabecular Bone in the Hominid Hindfoot,' supervised by Dr. Brigitte Demes
ANNE SU, then a student at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, received a grant in October 2008, to aid research on 'The Functional Morphology of Subchondral and Trabecular Bone in the Hominid Hindfoot,' Supervised by Dr. Brigitte Demes. Previous studies of the external morphology fossil hominin hindfoot bones have revealed unique mosaics of ape-like and human-like features that have complicated locomotor reconstruction of these extinct individuals. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the internal morphology (subchondral and trabecular bone) of these skeletal elements hold a diagnostic locomotor signal that may help to further characterize the nature of this mosaicism. Micro-computed tomography (µCT) images of associated hominoid hindfoot bones were obtained and morphological properties of the subchondral cortical and trabecular bone were quantified. Preliminary analyses indicate that in the human tibiotalar joint, the greatest subchondral cortical bone thickness and radio density, and trabecular bone volume and thickness were found in regions that agree with those that are in greatest compression during the push-off phase of the gait cycle, coinciding with the time of peak load. Furthermore, the regions within the joint exhibiting these relative indicators of bone strength differ among the hominoid species. The study of how these differences relate to habitual locomotor differences is ongoing, as well as investigation into patterns of the degree and direction of trabecular anisotropy and their relation to habitual ankle posture.
Su, Anne, Ian J. Wallace, and Masato Nakatsukasa. 2013. Trabecular Bone Anisotropy and Orientation in an Early Pleistocene Hominin Talus from East Turkana, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 64(6):667-677.
Holowka, Nicholas Baird, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Kinematics of the Chimpanzee Foot During Terrestrial and Arboreal Locomotion,' supervised by Dr. Brigitte Demes
Preliminary abstract: Chimpanzees and other apes possess highly mobile pedal joints that allow the foot to function as a grasping organ during arboreal positional behaviors, whereas humans have evolved relatively stiff feet with reduced joint mobility to enable the foot to function as a propulsive lever during bipedal locomotion. Foot joint morphology is an important determinant of the functional differences in human and ape feet. Pedal remains from early hominins indicate a fascinating mosaic of ape- and human-like features at these joints. However, a limited understanding of ape foot mechanics hampers interpretations of ape-like joint morphology in these fossils. To improve our understanding of early hominin positional behaviors, the objective of the proposed study is to collect detailed three-dimensional kinematic data of the foot joints in chimpanzees during locomotion on terrestrial and arboreal substrates. A four camera motion capture system will be used to record foot motion in two chimpanzee subjects during the following behaviors: bipedal and quadrupedal walking on a flat surface, and climbing on a vertical pole. Additionally, foot motion will be recorded in five human subjects during bipedal walking. From these recordings, three-dimensional motion will be measured at the talocrural, subtalar, transverse tarsal, cuboidometatarsal, and metatarsophalangeal joints. Chimpanzee and human foot kinematics during bipedal locomotion will be compared to investigate the functional consequences of interspecies differences in joint morphology. Chimpanzee foot kinematics during terrestrial quadrupedalism and vertical climbing will be compared to determine whether specific features of chimpanzee foot joint morphology reflect adaptations to arboreal locomotion.
Mojaddedi, Fatima, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The War Bubble: Kabul's Shifting Warscape and Afghan-American Community,' supervised by Dr. Rosalind Carmel Morris
Preliminary abstract: This project examines Kabul as a frontier in an international economy of war profiteering and considers how it has transformed in the interactions of space, war and transnational diaspora activity. I focus on the crucial role of the repatriated Afghan-American community in mediating Kabul's booming war economy and property market. Seeking to illustrate how diverse social actors enable and mediate urban militarization, I will trace a range of transformative local effects in key sites of socio-urban transformation in Kabul that exemplify broader processes of urban militarization and social enclaving. These discrepant spaces overlap to provide a landscape that shapes various understandings and experiences of war. Thus, my dissertation asks: How has the war reconfigured Kabul's socio-spatial and urban landscape? What role does Kabul's speculative property market and repatriated Afghan-American community play? How does segregated social space effect how local and foreign residents live in Kabul? My project builds on several broad literatures while insisting on the importance of Kabul's particular socio-cultural and economic topography; studying the ways in which Kabul's urban 'warscape' is forged by spatial relations of militarized control that hinge on overlapping social and economic relations.
Cesarino, Pedro D., U. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To aid research on 'Translation and Study of Marubo Oral Tradition,' supervised by Dr. Eduardo B. Viveiros de Castro
PEDRO D. CESARINO, then a student at University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awarded funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Translation and Study of Marubo Oral Tradition,' supervised by Dr. Eduardo B. Viveiros de Castro. This project was conducted in the Indigenous Reservation Vale do Javari (Amazonas State, Brazil) to analyze verbal arts related to shamanism, cosmology, and death conceptions of the Marubo, speakers of a Panoan language from the upper Ituí River. The research resulted in a substantial collection of recorded chants, narratives, and interviews, as well as drawings done by three elderly shamans. A selection of translations, drawings, and research data will be used to illustrate the notions of social and cosmological transformation involved in Marubo mythology and shamanism, as well as the characteristics of the synesthetic poetics (inter-relation of distinctive aesthetic domains) developed by this culture. Fieldwork, conjugated with the work of translation of a corpus originated from oral tradition, led to the recognition of an encompassing and live system of cosmological reflection and ritual action regarding death and disease, which was the focus of this research.
Shabel, Alan B., U. of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Ecology of the Robust Australopithecines: Testing the Wetland Model with Dental Microwear and Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Anthony D. Barnosky
ALAN B. SHABEL, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in October 2005 to aid research on 'Ecology of the Robust Astralopithecines: Testing the Wetland Model with Dental Microwear and Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Anthony D. Barnosky. The habitat and dietary preferences of the robust australopithecines (Paranthropus) have been a central concern of paleoanthropologists for over 5O years. No fewer than eight paleoecological reconstructions of Paranthropus have been advanced, including the new durophage-ecotone model. The durophage-ecotone model is based on a morphological analogy between Paranthropus, on the one hand, and consumers of hard-shelled food objects (HSOs) from wetland ecosystems on the other. A unique suite of craniodental features is common to both Paranthropus and the wetland HSO consumers, including an overall massive skull, wide zygomatic arches, prominent sagittal crest, robust dentary, high ascending ramus, expanded postcanine dentition, reduced anterior dentition, and 'puffy' dental cusps. A preliminary analysis of microwear features on the chewing surfaces of robust hominin teeth from South Africa is consistent with a diet of wetland HSOs for Paranthropus in that region. An extensive analysis of trace elements (Sr, Ba, Ca) and carbon isotopes in the tissues of African vertebrates and invertebrates is also consistent with a wetland-based diet for Paranthropus. The new durophage-ecotone model fits the totality of evidence better than any other reconstruction, and the new model provides an ecological mechanism for the coexistence of Paranthropus and Homo in the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa.
Hamberger, Klaus, EHESS, Paris, France - To aid research on 'Kinship as Space,' supervised by Dr. Michael Houseman
KLAUS HAMBERGER, then a student at EHESS, Paris, France, was awarded funding in March 2005 to aid research on 'Kinship as Space,' supervised by Dr. Michael Houseman. Fieldwork has been conducted in the village of Afagnan-Gbleta, Prefecture of Afagnan, Maritime Region, Republic of Togo. Its aim was to collect evidence for the empirical assessment of systematic correlations between kinship and spatial patterns among the Ewe-speaking Watchi of South-East Togo. The evidence collected includes a household census, house and village plans, agricultural and market maps, and a genealogical network. These data have been completed by several interview series with clan representatives, vodu priests, and professional groups, and also and by participant observation (including the participation in rituals). Preliminary research results appear to corroborate the perspective in which the research project was undertaken: the identification of a unified model of residence and marriage alliance based on the hypotheses of a general tendency in both male and female kin groups to be localized. Watsi kinship structure includes bilinear descent groups and parallel sex-affiliation to religious groups, combined with spatial segregation (houses vs convents) and vertically parallel cross-cousin marriage. These features are also known from non-African societies and confirm the view that the model needs not to be restricted to the cultural areas for which it has originally been developed.