Ozcan, Omer, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Waiting in the Kurdish Bordertown of Yuksekova,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali
OMER OZCAN, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Waiting in the Kurdish Bordertown of Yuksekova,' supervised by Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali. The grantee conducted twelve months of research to study historically conditioned and future-oriented aspects of ordinary waiting practices in the border town of Yuksekova. Located at the juncture of the borders of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, Yuksekova has been a significant center of the ongoing armed conflict between the Turkish army and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since the mid-1980s. In this border town waiting took on the weight of history and the embodied process of living shot through with trauma, forced displacement, chronic unemployment, and poverty. This project explored how chronic waiting has permeated the sensibilities of everyday life and shaped local conceptualizations of hope and resignation. Situated in the anthropological studies of time, everyday life and hope, this project studied waiting at two analytically related levels: 1) the ways in which waiting practices mediated historical and social change into the arrangement and rhythm of everyday life; and, more importantly, 2) how this influenced the imaginations of the future and conceptualizations of hope and resignation. Employing methodological tools of archival research, participant observation, life histories and interviews, this project analyzed the intricacies of everyday life within the larger processes of socio-political transformations and individual and communal experiences saturated with uncertainties and expectations.
Dua, Jatin, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
JATIN DUA, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. Since 2008, a number of high profile incidents of piracy off the coast of East Africa have resulted in increased global attention to this region, including the deployment of a multi-national naval patrol and attempts to prosecute suspected pirates. Policy makers have attributed this phenomenon to the lack of a strong centralized government in Somalia and called for various forms of intervention on-shore to address piracy's root causes. However, this interpretation of the conflict obscures a longer history of regulation and transgression and piracy's long pedigree in the Western Indian Ocean. This research resituates piracy within histories of the Indian Ocean and longstanding attempts to redefine sovereignty and legality within this oceanic space. This work suggests that maritime piracy may be better understood as a form of capital-intensive armed entrepreneurship and an attempt to secure protection from global poaching, waste dumping, and from the surveillance of regulators. As such, piracy as a system of protection competes with a variety of state and non-state forms of protection in this area. This project investigates the encounters between these overlapping regimes of protection and regulation in the Western Indian Ocean.
Suhail, Adeem, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Dead Dreams and Boys With Pistols: Rethinking Urban Violence in Lyari Town, Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. David Nugent
Preliminary abstract: Within the space of a decade, the township of Lyari transformed from a peaceful neighborhood known to be a bastion of working-class solidarity to an urban war-zone marked by violence between street gangs organized along ethnic lines. This study seeks to answer the question why. Hitherto, anthropological inquiry has either taken an 'objectivist' route that explains urban violence as a by-product of 'larger forces'; or a 'subjectivist' approach that highlights the lived experience of precariousness. However, between the analytical binaries of global/local and space/place are people who constantly innovate and reorganize their lives in response to circumstances that are not of their own making. This research project explores a 'third way' between objectivist and subjectivist approaches. It tests the hypothesis that urban violence can be explained through a close study of the evolution of social organization. It further explores the merits of the claim that evolving social forms mediate between local actors and global forces and constitute the optimal analytic scale through which to understand the recurrent and ubiquitous phenomenon of urban violence in our times.
Jabbour, Rebecca S., City U. of New York, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Postcranial Skeletal Diversity and Ecomorphology of African Apes,' supervised by Dr. Thomas W. Plummer
REBECCA S. JABBOUR, while a student at City University of New York, New York, New York, received funding in February 2004 to aid research on geographic variation in African ape postcranial morphology, supervised by Dr. Thomas W. Plummer. The goal of the project was to assess African ape variation at the population and subspecies levels in postcranial features associated with terrestrial and arboreal locomotion. Because postcrania of some African ape subspecies are poorly represented in collections, obtaining an adequate sample for a study of geographic variation requires data collection at many museums. Between January and June 2005, measurements were taken from African ape forelimb and hindlimb bones at five museums in Europe. Combined with previous work at U.S. museums, this research tour produced a sample that is outstanding for its coverage of the African ape geographic range. Preliminary analyses indicate variation between African ape subspecies in features of the hand and foot skeletons. Some types of features appear to be better than others at reflecting differences between subspecies in degrees of arboreality and terrestriality. Further work will focus on other skeletal elements and on population-level analyses. This research promises to inform future interpretation of variation in fossil hominoids.
Muia, Mulu, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL - To aid research on 'Changes in Lithic Technology and Origin of Modern Human Behavior in Ntuka, Southwest Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Stanley H. Ambrose
MULU MUIA, then a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded funding in February 2005 to aid research on 'Changes in Lithic Technology and Origin of Modern Human Behavior in Ntuka, Southwest Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Stanley H. Ambrose. The grant was used: 1) to expand excavations at two sites (GvJh11 and GvJh12) that had been excavated extensively previously, but whose sample size was small; and 2) to carry out new excavations at three other sites (GvJh21, GvJh78 and GvJh81) that had been test excavated. Artifacts recovered were made mostly of obsidian, lava and cherts. Faunal remains were limited mostly to teeth. Analysis of the artifacts sought to understand the process of technological change from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) to the Later Stone Age (LSA). The first step in the analysis focused on recording the various tool classes (the typology) and the raw materials so that the diversity of both in the MSA and LSA can be quantified. To understand raw material procurement strategies, all pieces were examined for cortex. Metric dimensions (length, width, and thickness) for all finished tools were recorded using electronic calipers. Flakes were examined for platform preparation by recording the presence or absence of facets. Where facets were present, they were counted. Platform width, thickness, and angle were recorded to identify flaking techniques.
Cuellar, Andrea M., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'The Organizations of Agricultural Production in the Emergence of Chiefdoms in Valle de Los Quijos, Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
ANDREA M. CUELLAR, while a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received an award in January 2002 to aid research on the organization of agricultural production in the emergence of chiefdoms in Valle de los Quijos, Ecuador, under the supervision of Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Cuellar was concerned with the emergence of chiefly societies in the eastern piedmont of Ecuador, particularly with two main issues: the history of occupation in the region and patterns of agricultural production, emphasizing how both were related to the emergence of chiefly authority. A full-coverage, systematic regional survey was conducted to reconstruct settlement patterns at different moments of the sequence, in order to account for changes in sociopolitical structure through time. In addition, a series of test pits was excavated to collect samples for analysis of pollen and macroremains at different sites belonging to the period of chiefdom emergence. Site selection criteria targeted contrasting environmental and social contexts that might account for any observed regional differences in the organization of agricultural production as seen through the analysis of botanical remains.
Shayduk-Immerman, Olesya, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting it,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak
OLESYA SHAYDUK-IMMERMAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Reinventing the Jewish Way: How the Soviet State Created the Jewish Movement by Restricting It,' supervised by Dr. Alexei Yurchak. Recently the mass media became agitated by a new bill advanced by the Israeli cabinet of ministers and drafted by a former Soviet Jewish politician, Zeev Elkin. The law legitimizes the Jewish character of the state of Israel and deprives Arabic of its official second language status. The world community considers such political views, typical for the former Soviet Jews, a paradox since Jews in the USSR experienced being a discriminated minority and fought for democratic changes in Soviet society. As a result, people previously regarded as victims and elevated to the ranks of heroes by the activists of the world leftist movements became subverted to the status of evildoers. Yet when observed more closely, this situation contains no paradox-the views have not changed, but the context has. Transition from socialism to western capitalism caused a significant shift in the meanings of the ideas and practices of the Soviet Jewish movement participants. In order to understand the rationalities behind their actions and statements, one has to assign them meanings relevant to Soviet socialism. The following are the most important presumptions: one cannot be neutral about their Jewishness, they have to either be proud or ashamed of it; ethnicity matters-the prevalence of class is a meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet state; anti-Semitism exists-objections against the idea of Israel as a Jewish state are anti-Semitic by their nature; the claim that Israel is an aggressor is meaningless rhetoric of the Soviet Union because in fact the policies of Israel are a defense against the neighboring enemies and, therefore, Judaism is a form of critical thinking.
Hebert, Karen, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Reworking Regimes of Value: Fishery Restructuring and Globalization in Bristol Bay, Alaska,' supervised by Dr. Fernando Coronil
KAREN HEBERT, then a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michicagn, was awarded a grant in January 2004 to aid research on 'Reworking Regimes of Value: Fishery Restructuring and Globalization in Bristol Bay, Alaska,' supervised by Dr. Fernando Coronil. The ten months of dissertation research supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation enabled the grantee to gather data crucial for considering the questions outlined in the proposed project, 'Reworking Regimes of Value: Fishery Restructuring and Globalization in Bristol Bay, Alaska.' The fieldwork grant allowed travel in and between sites of fishing practice and policy production in order to understand how a wide variety of industry participants construct and conceptualize fishery restructuring designs. The central research question asks how local regimes of value might serve to shape-rather than simply stymie-projects of globalization contained in salmon industry restructuring plans, particularly those involving corporate consolidation, labor downsizing, and resource privatization. As the proposal anticipated, the bulk of the research was conducted in and around Dillingham and Anchorage, Alaska, through extensive participant-observation -- including work in numerous fishing operations and regular attendance at key regulatory meetings -- as well as interviews of fishers, processing workers and managers, fisheries analysts, and politicians. Findings to date indicate that historically dense notions of fisher independence play a significant role in shaping current policy.
Maurer, Megan Lynn, U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Growing Change? Urban Gardening and Citizenship in Southeast Michigan,' supervised by Dr. Kristin Monroe
Preliminary abstract: Residents of Southeast Michigan are challenging images of urban decay by physically transforming their cities. People from all walks of life are investing 'sweat equity' in their urban environments, turning vacant lots into vegetable garden plots and generating civic life. Through these investments gardeners engender forms of citizenship, creating new landscapes of political engagement, as well as producing green space and food. However, what kinds of citizenship these gardeners enact remains unclear. Do gardener-citizens operationalize neoliberal ideologies of private responsibility for social service provision, or are they forging alternatives to them? Urban gardening thus raises important questions about how people use everyday activities to affect the sociopolitical conditions of their daily lives. To investigate these questions, this project uses in-depth ethnographic study in a small Southeast Michigan city to identify gardeners' ideas about urban land use and civic life, and to explore how these ideas impact urban gardening and citizenship. This project also considers how different experiences of race and class inequalities shape participation in urban gardening and citizenship. Finally, given the regional impacts of global economic restructuring and recent changes in Michigan's urban governance policies, this project asks in how gardeners influence their city's political governance and economic redevelopment.
Carpenter, Leah J., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Ojibwe Land Acquisition Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Nancy J. Parezo
LEAH J. CARPENTER, while a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received funding in December 2001 to aid historical and ethnographic research on Ojibwe land acquisition strategies, under the supervision of Dr. Nancy J. Parezo. Investigating Ojibwe perceptions regarding land and the need for Ojibwe ownership of it, Carpenter compared the landownership histories of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Reservations in Minnesota and examined the historical and cultural factors that currently informed the decisions of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands regarding land acquisition. One primary method of data collection was archival, legal, and textual research into federal Indian policies, laws, and treaties affecting indigenous landownership. In addition, formal and informal interviews with band officials and land department staff, tribal elders, and other government officials provided invaluable information about Ojibwe perceptions of the historical loss of land within reservation boundaries, about the related need for additional tribal land acquisition, about contemporary tribal cultural activities on the land, and about current and historical land acquisition efforts. The research revealed the precariousness of Indian landownership in the United States, even within the boundaries of reservations that were intended to serve as permanent tribal homelands. The historical reality of major transfers of reservation land out of Ojibwe ownership informs tribal land acquisition efforts today. Although the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands share a common tribal identify and similar overall histories, they have distinct land tenure histories and landownership statuses today, which has led them to different land acquisition needs and strategies.