Walls, Matthew Daniel, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Frozen Landscapes, Fluid Technologies: Inuit Kayak Hunting and the Perception of the Environment in Greenland,' supervised by Dr. Max Friesen
MATTHEW DANIEL WALLS, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2011, to aid research on 'Frozen Landscapes, Fluid Technologies: Inuit Kayak Hunting and the Perception of the Environment in Greenland,' supervised by Dr. Max Friesen. This project explores how technologies can characterize the manner through which people experience and come to perceive their environment. The fieldwork is an ethnoarchaeological project in Greenland where the skills of seal-skin kayak hunting are practiced as a means of engaging Inuit heritage. Kayaks are a technology that involves a high degree of developed ability; hunting involves special types of physical fitness, technical ability, social relationships, and requires extensive environmental knowledge. Modern kayakers assert that the physical process of building kayaks and becoming skilled in their use is educative of intangible cultural heritage, which cannot be acquired through any other means than practice. Through a combination of participant observation and interviews, this project documents how the process of learning kayak hunting is a unique way of encountering a complex environment. It takes many years of training to participate in hunting, and enskilment develops special types of embodied knowledge that can only be refined through a type of learning that is kinaesthetically situated. Hunters must be able to intuitively work as a team, recognize and react instantly to subtle environmental cues, and depend on instinctive physical capabilities that are committed to muscle memory. This project provides an important case-study for archaeological theory directed at the vibrancy of artefacts by demonstrating an important distinction between enskilment in technology and material agency.
Kowalewski, Miguel M., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Subgrouping Patterns and Cooperative Strategies in Howler Monkeys in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Paul A. Garber
MIGUEL M. KOWALEWSK, then a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received funding in July 2003, to aid research on 'Subgrouping Patterns and Cooperative Strategies in Howler Monkeys in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Paul A. Garber. This research addressed questions concerning the evolution of primate sociality and factors that determine and constrain the size, composition, cohesiveness, and interactions among primates living in a social group. A detailed 24-month field study of subgrouping patterns, social affiliation and ecology in two neighboring groups of Alouatta caraya was conducted (7-15 individuals) on Isla Brasilera, 290 ha, 27º 20' S and 58º 40' W in northern Argentina.. A series of hypotheses concerning how factors such as social dominance, individual spacing, feeding competition, changes in food availability, partner preferences, and the development of nonkin social bonds was tested. Vegetation studies included the construction of 226 quadrants (20 x 20 m), in which 8371 individual trees were registered (2160 were marked and mapped) and 79 vine-patches were studied. The phenology of 28 plant species was analyzed in order to build an availability index for food patches. The two groups were followed five days a month, totaling 4450 individual focal hours and 8890 scan samples for each group across seasons. Home ranges were 5.6 ha and 4.3 ha, with an 85% of overlapping with other groups. Preliminary analysis of this research show evidence of weak within-group competition, and mild levels of between-group competitions mainly related to the protection of estrous females. The grantee also found more time invested in social affiliative interactions such as grooming, huddling, cooperative defense, within group tolerance of copulation, between-group playing interactions mainly by infants, juveniles, and subadult individuals, than expected based on previous studies of howlers.
Bakker, Sarah Aaltje, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Ancient Moderns: Claiming Middle Eastern Christian Identity in the Netherlands,' supervised by Dr. Melissa L. Caldwell
SARAH AALTJE BAKKER, then a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received a grant in May 2009, to aid research on 'Ancient Moderns: Claiming Middle Eastern Christian Identity in the Netherlands,' supervised by Dr. Melissa L. Caldwell. This dissertation research examines debates among Syriac Orthodox Christians living in the Netherlands about how to be religiously, culturally, and ethnically distinct despite the narrative binary of Christian Europe and the Muslim Middle East that dominates the secular discourse of Dutch multiculturalism. This ethnographically based project focuses on Dutch-Syriac efforts to cultivate a distinct moral identity that encompasses both their religious commitment to an ancient, sacred past -- as well as their political aspirations to achieve recognition as an indigenous ethnic group in the Middle East -- through international diasporic activism. This identity is crafted and contested through the practice of liturgical song (the focal point of Syriac religious observance and cultural performance), and then deployed via political advocacy and activism in a broader global field. In this study, musical expression and moral identity emerge as distinct yet entangled threads from Syriac Orthodox Christian engagements with the Dutch multiculturalism debates and with international geopolitical conversations about secularism, political identity, and religious identity. Even as they negotiate persistent marginalization and misrecognition, Middle Eastern Christians unsettle the racial and religious categories undergirding the popular narrative of Judeo-Christian secular Europe, defining new conceptions of religious difference within a plural Europe.
Patton, Anna K.B., U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Reconstructing Households: The Social Organization of an Early Village Site in Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia,' supervised by Dr. Gary Coupland
ANNA K. B. PATTON, while a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, received funding in May 2004 to aid research on the social organization of an early village site in Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Gary Coupland. Patton's objective was to elucidate the processes that led to pronounced social inequality among hunter-gatherers on the northern Northwest Coast of North America. To accomplish this, two house depressions were excavated at archaeological site GbTo-77, a small village site dated from 2000 to 2500 b.p. in Prince Rupert Harbour. The excavations focused on the household and its material correlate, the dwelling. Primary data sets were faunal material, architectural remains, and artifacts. It was expected that these materials would shed light on the nature of surplus production, house construction, interior use of space, and exchange networks. Moreover, they were to be studied to determine whether house forms, in addition to basic and prestige resources, were used to foster social inequalities within and between households before 2000 b.p. Through comparison of these results with information about post-2000 b.p. village sites, the study was designed contribute to understanding of the historical processes that led to the more recent large, highly stratified villages in the Prince Rupert Harbour area.
Escasa, Michelle Jickain, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV - To aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray
MICHELLE J. ESCASA, then a student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray. This project investigates the influence of lactation on female sociosexuality and mate preferences in urban Manila, a population with long-term breastfeeding, low contraceptive use, and quick return to cycling. From an evolutionary perspective, female ancestors were likely spending more time pregnant and lactating rather than ovulating. Moreover, a majority of conceptions in natural fertility societies occurred in lactating, ovulating women. These considerations suggest that lactating women face important life history allocation trade-offs between mating and parenting effort that may be manifested in their sociosexual behavior and mate preferences. Breastfeeding (n=155) and control (n=105) women were recruited to provide a saliva sample (for testosterone and estradiol analyses) and complete a face and voice preference task to determine preferences for masculinity. All participants also completed a questionnaire that assessed sexual functioning, sociosexuality, and relationship satisfaction, along with demographic variables. Breastfeeding women report differences in commitment to their relationship, jealousy levels, sexual functioning, and preferences for high-pitched voices. Further analyses incorporate the age of the infant and the cycling status of participants. Cultural and life history factors will be discussed and will serve as a framework for the findings.
Tambar, Kabir, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford
KABIR TAMBAR, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Demands of Tolerance: Secular Configurations of the Political in a Turkish Islamic Society,' supervised by Dr. Danilyn F. Rutherford. Research examined the role of ritual in shaping the socio-political world of Alevis in Turkey. Over the past fifteen years, the Alevi community has witnessed what some commentators refer to as an 'awakening.' However, this communal awakening has not been consolidated through a single voice. Debate within the community has focused both on defining the fundamentals of Alevi religious structure and on defining the political location of the Alevi community in both state and society. By examining Alevi ritual life, this research project explores the community's diverse forms of institutionalization and its imbrication in the wider politics of secularism in Turkey. Research was conducted with Alevi communities primarily in two sites: Ankara and Çorum, Turkey. Both cities are located in central Anatolia, the former being the country's capital and the latter being a relatively small provincial town. This project focused on three Alevi institutions: 1) the Haci Bektas Anadolu Kültür Vakfi (HBAKV) in Ankara; 2) the HBAKV's branch organization in Çorum; and 3) the Ehli Beyt Vakfi in Çorum.
Jones, Tristan Daniel, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Embodied Sovereignties: Indigenous Resistance and Tar Sands Development in Alberta, Canada,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Goldstein
Preliminary abstract: Alberta's oil or tar sands developments suggest tremendous wealth to some, and 'a slow industrial genocide' to others. Although a major driver of the Canadian economy, local Indigenous activists attribute changes in the health of the land to development-related pollution and contest further development on these grounds. Yet this conflict is about more than pollution: is is also understood by Indigenous activists an erosion of Indigenous sovereignty, which is claimed to exist prior to, and outside of, any North American political order. Thus, this conflict is about nebulous forms of sovereignty. In resistance to tar sands development, Indigenous activists draw upon traditional spiritual and subsistence practices as a form of political contestation - an assertion to an Indigenous sovereignty. I argue that these forms of traditional spiritual practice and land use are best understood through the lens of embodied practices. Thus, this research is a critical investigation into the ways Indigenous sovereignty is 'lived' through embodied practices in the arena of tar sands development. Through Indigenous methodologies, participant-observation, and critical analysis, this research is poised to enrich anthropological understandings of sovereignty as it is lived by Indigenous activists facing the potential disappearance of their communities and ways of life.
Nelms, Taylor C.N., U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Making Change and Valuing Difference: Dollarization and the Plurinational State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Bill Maurer
TAYLOR C.N. NELMS, then a student at University of California, Irvine, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Making Change and Valuing Difference: Dollarization and the Plurinational State in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Bill Maurer. This research investigates how projects of state transformation in Ecuador -- dollarization, on the one hand, and the institutionalization of 'alternative' economic values, on the other -- are articulated, instantiated, and contested through an ethnography of: 1) two forms of socioeconomic organization, family- and neighborhood-based savings and credit associations and an association of urban market vendors; and 2) encounters between these institutions and actors charged with making them visible to the state. During twelve months of fieldwork, more than 90 semi-structured and informal interviews were conducted across field sites in and around Quito, Ecuador: an urban marketplace; four savings and credit associations; and government offices at the national and municipal level. Participant observation was also carried out in these sites and at conferences, meetings, seminars, protests, and rallies. Archival research and document collection was also conducted. This research shows how dollarization and contemporary state transformation in Ecuador are interconnected, especially in discourses of change and stability. It demonstrates the emic importance of 'trust' in vernacular institution-building and how discourses of solidarity, sovereignty, and suspicion are linked to institutional practice, which then provides the infrastructure for political participation. Finally, this research highlights the role of money in debates about legal and institutional change, the scope of government, and 'representation,' political and semiotic. It does so by exploring the pragmatics of money's diverse uses.
De Cesari, Chiara, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian R. Hodder
CHIARA DE CESARI, while a student at Stanford University, California, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Cultural Heritage Beyond the 'State'/Palestinian Heritage Between Nationalism and Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Ian Hodder. This research focuses on the relationship between patrimonialization processes and the new forms of governmentality that have emerged during the past decade in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - a political (dis)order characterized by the coexistence of novel forms of Israeli colonial rule, a quasi-state, the Palestinian Authority, as well as the significant presence of international and donor agencies. Taking as starting point the activism of Palestinian civil society organizations, and the relevance of material remains of the past as sites of high discursive density, the research explored heritage discourses and practices, the conditions of their emergence, and the effects of heritage projects on affected local communities. During tenure of the Wenner-Gren grant, the researcher carried out ethnographic fieldwork chiefly within UNESCO and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, a Palestinian semi-governmental organization responsible for a major urban rehabilitation project in the old city of Hebron, as well as in the old city itself. Fieldwork indicates the proliferation of different cultures of memory/heritage in the lacerated space of Palestine, rooted in a desire for continuity and roots against dispossession and displacement. While global languages of heritage are appropriated by local actors in the making of a relived Palestinian past, the politics of donors' aid tend to direct flows of monies to restricted, accessible areas, thus reinforcing the current process of bantustanization of the Occupied Territories.
De Cesari, Chiara. 2010. Creative Heritage: Palestinian Heritage NGOs and Defiant Arts of Government. American Anthropologist 112(4):625-637
Smith, Carolyn, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Weaving pikyav(to-fix-it): Karuk Basket Weaving Practice in-Relation to the Everyday World,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary Joyce
Preliminary abstract: This project requests funding to research archival resources and museum collections pertaining to the Karuk Tribe of California's basket weaving practices, as well as to conduct interviews with Karuk basket weavers, descendants of weavers, and employees of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources. Anthropology has long engaged with Native American craftworks and this project will build on prior work by considering the configurations of social identity produced through practice in everyday life. Data produced will address questions regarding historical and contemporary relations between people and land: how do Karuk basket makers constitute social identity through the making and circulation of baskets? In what ways do these practices support the formation of connection to place? How does recontextualization of museum collections through linking objects with archival resources help us understand how objects can constitute social identities? In order to examine the relations of basket weaving with the broader issues of traditional ecological knowledge and its relation to natural resource management; the circulation of objects within and outside source communities; and the implications of considering objects as agentive; this project explores Karuk epistemology and ontology. The research will significantly contribute to museum anthropology, theories of materiality, and engagements with indigenous methodologies.