Nesbitt, Allison Marie Ulmer

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York, Stony Brook, State U. of
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
October 7, 2014
Project Title: 
Nesbitt, Allison Marie Ulner, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Morphological Integration between the Face and Dentition Throughout Ontogeny,' supervised by Dr. William Jungers

Preliminary abstract: The teeth and skull are particularly abundant in the fossil record. Thus, these elements are extensively studied in physical anthropology. The dentition and facial bones have similar developmental origins, functions and the teeth develop in the maxillary bone, which makes it likely that the face and teeth develop in a coordinated manner throughout the growth and development of an organism. The coordinated covariation between two parts or modules is called morphological integration. This study will investigate the integration between the size and shape of the face and the size and shape of the dentition in humans and chimpanzees to see if particular changes in the face are associated with dental development events such as the formation or eruption of particular teeth, such as the permanent incisors or molars. Computed tomography (CT) scans will be used to generate three dimensional (3D) surfaces of the crania and dentition of chimpanzees and humans. The size and shape of the specimens will be quantified with 3D landmarks and traditional linear, angular and volumetric measurements. The first goal of this study is determining whether and how the size and shape of the face covaries with the developing and erupting deciduous and permanent dentition. The second objective is to establish whether the strength of covariation between the dentition and face change throughout development. The final goal is to test whether the pattern and magnitude of covariation is similar between humans and chimpanzees. The results will provide a framework for future analyses of fossil specimens and may influence cranio-dental trait selection in the reconstruction of evolutionary relationships of fossil hominins.

Grant Year: 
2014
Award Amount: 
$10,230

Meek, Laura Anne

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
California, Davis, U. of
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
October 15, 2013
Project Title: 
Meek, Laura Anne, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Curing Drugs: Pharmaceutical Capacities in the Context of Radical Uncertainty in Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. James H. Smith

Preliminary abstract: Powerful antibiotics are readily available for purchase throughout Tanzania, and Western policy makers regularly decry this situation as dangerous and disordered, as if no rules govern the use of antibiotics in Africa. While Western biomedicine perceives pharmaceuticals as cures for disease, in Tanzania, such medicines are understood to be volatile and potentially dangerous substances- one among many unpredictable, fluctuating, and highly contemporary forces from outside, whose potentials are at once positive and negative. In the prevailing Western understanding of antibiotic use in Africa, 'truth' lies in the science that goes into the making and proper prescription of drugs, and such deviations as 'overuse' result from the fact that locals misunderstand what these drugs are and how they should be used. My preliminary research suggests that Tanzanian practice is aimed at determining the 'true' nature of these drugs, at differentiating types of drugs, and at establishing control over their variable capacities, an orientation that defines many related practices in the region, from politics to religion. This project will use ethnographic methods to investigate the social dynamics and concerns that inform the use of antibiotics in Tanzania in an effort to understand and eventually demonstrate the logics of drug use in Iringa, a regional capital in the southern highlands of Tanzania. It will ask what capacities and potentialities antibiotics are understood to have, what role embodied epistemological practices play in the production of this knowledge, and how efforts to know/control these medicines may be a response to globalizing forces more generally.

Grant Year: 
2013
Award Amount: 
$14,455

Sethi, Aarti

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Columbia U.
Status: 
Active Grant
Approve Date: 
October 18, 2013
Project Title: 
Sethi, Aarti, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Chronicles of Deaths Foretold?: Farmers' Suicides in Chhattisgarh, India,' supervised by Dr. Rosalind Morris

Preliminary abstract: More than a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide across India since 1995. Since what one report terms the 'largest wave of recorded suicides in human history' (Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2011) first received attention in the mid-nineties, the 'farmer's' suicide' has emerged as a potent politically charged symbol for intense public debates on the depredations of neoliberal structural adjustment, and the failures of state and society. Scholarly and activist discourses have attempted to establish causal links between the suicide of farmers and large-scale industrial transformation of agricultural production in the early 1990s. My research focuses on the suicides of farmers in the Durg and Mahasamund districts of Chhattisgarh in order to examine the means by which suicide is transformed from an exceptional occurrence in peasant life, to entering a culturally available repertoire of action. By examining affects and narratives around suicide deaths among cultivars in Mahasamund and Durg on the one hand, and the ways in which the category of the 'farmers' suicide' is energized as the grounds of new political mobilizations against neoliberalism on the other, my project explores the relationship between sociostructural marginality, forms of life and political possibility, under neoliberal precarity.

Grant Year: 
2013
Award Amount: 
$19,780

Harris, Tara Renee

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Yale U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
January 2, 2003
Project Title: 
Harris, Tara, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'The Functions of Roaring and Intergroup Aggression in Black and White Colobus Monkeys (*Colobus guereza*),' supervised by Dr. David P. Watts

TARA HARRIS, while a student at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded a grant in January 2003 to aid research on the functions of roaring and intergroup aggression in black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza, 'guerezas') in Kenya, under the supervision of Dr. David P. Watts. Adult male guerezas regularly engage in intergroup aggression and roar choruses, two potentially related behaviors. Previous research had shown that male guerezas in Kenya used intergroup aggression to defend mates but also to defend the food resources that females needed. This latter finding challenged current primate socioecological theory. In this project, Harris investigated whether male resource defense also occurred in a habitat in which guerezas' preferred food was presumably less defensible and whether roaring by males was related to mate defense, resource defense, or both. Roars might also be related to intergroup aggression, because their acoustic frequencies provide honest information about callers' body sizes. Harris investigated whether the outcomes of intergroup encounters could be predicted from body size information encoded in males' roars. The research was conducted at the Kanyawara field site in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Data on roaring, intergroup aggression, ranging, activity, grooming, approaches, diet, and mating behavior were collected between July 2002 and October 2003 for six groups of guerezas with overlapping home ranges. Morning chorus roars were digitally recorded, and urine from potentially fertile females was collected. Roars were subjected to spectrographic and formant analysis. Urine samples were assayed for progesterone and estrogen metabolites, in order to determine ovulation dates and thus test the mate defense hypothesis.

Grant Year: 
2003
Award Amount: 
$8,888

Cowgill, Libby Windred

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Washington U., St. Louis
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 27, 2006
Project Title: 
Cowgill, Libby Windred, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Ontogeny of Long Bone Diaphyses in Immature Late Pleistocene Postcrania,' supervised by Dr. Erik Trinkaus

LIBBY W. COWGILL, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Ontogeny of Long Bone Diaphyses in Immature Late Pleistocene Postcrania,' supervised by Dr. Erik Trinkaus. While studies of adult remains have identified patterns of temporal variation in postcranial robusticity, relatively less research has focused on possible differences in developmental trajectories that result in variable levels of skeletal robusticity in the adult form. This study aims to clarify the developmental basis for the acquisition of adult postcranial strength in both Late Pleistocene and Holocene humans by addressing two research questions: When during growth do the differences in postcranial strength that differentiate Late Pleistocene and Holocene adults manifest themselves in subadults? Are immature Late Pleistocene individuals attaining postcranial strength at the same rate and following the same pattern as Holocene subadults? Cross-sectional geometry was used to compare the developmental trajectories of humeral, tibial, and femoral growth in Late Pleistocene Neandertal and modern human subadults (N=104) to a sample of immature humans from seven geographically diverse Holocene populations (N=621). The results of this research indicate that populational differences in postcranial robusticity emerge early in development. While many of these differences are likely related to activity pattern variation, the early onset of populational variation during growth implies that other factors, including nutrition and genetics, may play an important role in the development of long bone strength. While individual variation is common, cross-sectional geometric properties of immature Late Pleistocene individuals generally show modestly elevated levels of postcranial strength. These results highlight the complex mosaic of processes that result in adult postcranial robusticity, and suggest that further exploration of the developmental interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic influences on skeletal robusticity will likely enhance our understanding of adult postcranial morphology.

Publication Credits:

Cowgill, Libby W. 2010. The Ontogeny of Holcene and Late Pleistocene Human Postcranial Strength. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141(1):16-37.

Cowgill, Libby W. 2007. Humeral Torsion Revisited: A Functional and Ontogenetic Model for Populational Variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 134(4):472-481.

Cowgill, Libby W., Erik Trinkaus, and Melinda A. Zeder. 2007 Shanidar 10: A Middle Paleolithic Immature Distal Lower Limb from Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan. Journal of Human Evolution 53(2):213-223.

Cowgill, Libby W., Anna Warrener, Herman Pontzer, and Cara Ocobock. 2010. Waddling and Toddling: The Biomechanical Effects of an Immature Gait. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 143(1):52-61.

Cowgill, Libby W., Courtney D. Eleazer, Benjamin M. Auerback, et al. 2012. Developmental Variation in Ecogeographic Body Proportions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148(4):557-570.

Grant Year: 
2006
Award Amount: 
$2,287

Rosenbaum, Susanna

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 7, 2002
Project Title: 
Rosenbaum, Susanna, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Domestic Economics: Immigrant Women, Middle-Class Employers, and Household Work,' supervised by Dr. Faye D. Ginsburg

SUSANNA ROSENBAUM, while a student at New York University in New York, New York, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on immigrant women, middle-class employers, and household work in Los Angeles, California, under the supervision of Dr. Faye D. Ginsburg. During a year of fieldwork, Rosenbaum examined the ways in which both employers and employees experienced domestic service in order to provide a more complete picture of this institution as it affected the lives of all parties. She asked how broader processes of globalization had affected both immigrants and non-immigrants in Los Angeles and how they had compelled both groups to redefine notions of household, family, motherhood, work, personal fulfillment, and femininity. These once immutable concepts had become sources of anxiety through economic transformations, generational changes, the experience of migration, and domestic service. Rosenbaum approached employers and employees separately by attending meetings of their organizations, spending time with members in their homes, and meeting additional people through members' social networks. Among employees, she began with a housecleaners' cooperative and an association seeking to organize domestic workers. On the employer side, she started with a networking organization for working women and a local affiliate of a national mothers' group. By conducting participant observation, tracking social networks, conducting interviews, and taking life histories, Rosenbaum analyzed how both employers and employees grappled with uncertainties and reworked previous concepts through daily practice and narrative.

Grant Year: 
2002
Award Amount: 
$19,918

Luehrmann, Sonja

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 2, 2005
Project Title: 
Luehrmann, Sonja, U.of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Secular Transformations and Interreligious Relations in Postsoviet Marli El, Russian Federation,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Lemon

SONJA LUEHRMANN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in June 2005 to aid research on 'Secular Transformations and Interreligious Relations in Postsoviet Marli El, Russian Federation,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Lemon. Through ethnographic fieldwork in religious organizations in the Republic of Marii EI (an autonomous republic in the Volga region) and archival research with the records of Soviet organizations involved in atheist propaganda from the 1950s to the 1970s, this research aimed at answering the questions: What material and human resources from Soviet secular culture do postsoviet religious activists draw on, how do they transform these resources for religious purposes, and what impact does this have on public life in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious region? Findings showed that part of the Soviet legacy is a large part of the population trained in doing ideological work aiming at making people engage with doctrinal principles through pedagogical forms which are still in use in the service of religious organizations today. Soviet efforts to create a mosaic of secular ethnic cultures also contributed to the currently widespread idea that there should be a match between ethnic and religious affiliation, which is used as an organizing and legitimizing principle by different religious organizations and government institutions. Similarities between Soviet-era communist and post-Soviet religious propaganda are in part due to biographical and institutional continuities, in part to common responses to the problem of making doctrine a part of people's lives.

Grant Year: 
2005
Award Amount: 
$2,500

Golitko, Mark Louis

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Illinois, Chicago, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 27, 2006
Project Title: 
Golitko, Mark Louis, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Chemical Characterization of Linienbandkeramik (LBK) Ceramics by ICP-MS,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Harold Keeley

MARK LOUIS GOLITKO, then a student at University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Chemical Characterization of Linienbandkeramik (LBK) Ceramics by ICP-MS,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Harold Keeley. Funding was utilized to collect Linienbandkeramik (LBK) culture (c. 5200 BC) ceramic samples housed at the Institut Royal de Sciences Naturelles in Brussels, Belgium during July/August of 2006, which were chemically and petrographically analyzed during 2006-2007 at the Field Museum Laboratory for Archaeogeochemistry to determine their production region. LBK villages founded in the Hesbaye region of Belgium exhibit village level production specialization that Keeley and Cahen have argued served to maintain military alliances along an expanding frontier of farming-there may have been two such networks, corresponding to different stream valleys, which traded in different axe raw materials. During initial settlement of the region, there is little evidence of conflict, while during later settlement there is both evidence of conflict in the form of fortifications, and evidence that production specialization was the norm. While analysis is ongoing, preliminary results suggest that the region became generally more economically integrated as conflict increased, and that the patterns evident in other forms of material culture are not mirrored by ceramic trade. In particular, one village received almost all its ceramics from villages it was hypothesized to have been conflict with. This suggests that models of trade in the region must be reformulated.

Grant Year: 
2006
Award Amount: 
$13,000

Wu, Yi

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Columbia U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 16, 2002
Project Title: 
Wu, Yi, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Negotiating Land Ownership: Property Relations and Legal Change in Rural Southwestern China,' supervised by Dr. Myron L. Cohen
Grant Year: 
2002
Award Amount: 
$18,800

Callahan, Mollie

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
August 13, 2004
Project Title: 
Callahan, Mollie, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Medical Discourse and Ethnobotanical Expertise Among Bolivian Kallawaya Healers,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine

MOLLIE CALLAHAN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in August 2004 to aid research on 'Medicl discourse and Ethnobotanical Expertise among Bolivian Kallawaya Healers,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. This project examines how local distinctions between Kallawaya medical experts and non-experts in Bolivia are maintained in daily interaction and related to power and economic relations in a wider world in the wake of their recognition by UNESCO as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.' Toward this end, the researcher employed a combination of ethnographic, interview, and linguistic methodologies over a 12-month period while living in Curva, Bolivia. Primary attention focused on the social and linguistic dynamics of how Kallawaya medical expertise is defined, reproduced, defended, and differentiated within the context of their participation in exclusive professional organizations and projects. Preliminary findings show that debates over authenticity and access to medical plants and knowledge have come to the fore as Kallawayas vie for prestige and access to material resources resulting from the UNESCO nomination. Consequently, processes of internal differentiation among Kallawayas are equally, if not more, important than the distinctions they draw between themselves and others and are tied to many of the same economic and political phenomena.

Grant Year: 
2004
Award Amount: 
$24,853
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