Powell, Dana Elizabeth, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Alternative Power: The Cultural Politics of Development on the Navajo Nation,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy C. Holland
DANA E. POWELL, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Alternative Power: The Cultural Politics of Development on the Navajo Nation,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy C. Holland. This grant supported more than a year of ethnographic research focusing on energy development debates on the Navajo Nation and the broader networks of which it is a part. Contrasting a proposal for a large-scale coal plant with proposals for wind and solar power, this project calls into question claims of 'alternative' energy and the different visions of independence such claims engage. While long-standing extractive industries and newer 'green' technologies on the Nation pose different modes of economic development and engage a diverse range of advocates -- from regional environmental activists, to tribal leaders, to energy entrepreneurs, to financial investors -- the cultural politics of energy development remains contested and embodied in the everyday lives of tribal members. With over one-third of the reservation's homes lacking electricity and an enduring resistance movement to fossil fuel industry among tribal members and regional allies, the question of power is intimate and urgent. The production of power is thus a polyvalent trope for understanding parallels and intersections between generating electricity and strengthening self-governance. Broadly, the research findings suggest that energy development debates create a space of political action, knowledge negotiation, and subject formation.
Noy, Itay, London School of Economics, London, UK - To aid research on 'Extracting a Living? Inequality, Labor and Livelihoods in the Eastern Indian Coal Belt,' supervised by Dr. Laura Bear
Preliminary abstract: In eastern India's mineral-bearing tracts, bicycles loaded with outsized sacks of coal are a common sight. The men who push them along the roads, known as coal cyclists, gather, transport and sell coal illegally as part of an extensive informalized coal supply chain. Coal cyclists come mostly from lower castes and tribes -- the two most marginalized groups in Indian society. Following decades of displacement and dispossession in this mineral-rich region, with land and forests alienated for the expansion of mines, most of them are landless or land-poor. Lacking alternative employment options, they have taken to illegal coal peddling as a way to make a livelihood. My research focuses on the everyday lived realities of Indian coal cyclists, in order to investigate the social production of inequality, and responses to it, in the lives of precarious, informalized laborers in a setting of extractive capitalism. The project will contribute to anthropological debates about emerging forms of inequality, the informalized economy, everyday politics of labor, and contemporary state welfare measures.
Yonucu, Deniz, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Transforming Space and Citizens: Neoliberal Urban Governance and the Re-Formation of the State in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. P. Steven Sangren
DENIZ YONUCU, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Transforming Space and Citizens: Neoliberal Urban Governance and the Re-Formation of the State in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. P. Steven Sangren. The research has concentrated on the processes that led to the emergence of state of exception policies in some working-class neighborhoods of Istanbul during the 1990s. The first phase research was based on an ethnographic study conducted in a working class neighborhood of Istanbul. The second phase of the research was concentrated on the examination of the human rights abuse documents of the 1990s. The dissertation will argue that in addition to the officially declared state of exception policies in the Kurdish region of Turkey, the residents of the mostly Alevi populated, leftist identified neighborhoods have, also, been subjected to state of exception policies during the 1990s. The dissertation will analyze the effects of these policies on the marginalized working classes. It will also investigate the ways in which these policies which, sometimes express themselves in the most brutal forms of violence, inform the political subjectivities of the leftist identified working-class people in Istanbul.
Pile, James S., Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Beyond the Clan: Fighting Networks of the Layapo-Enga,' supervised by Dr. Rena Lederman
JAMES S. PILE, while a student at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in June 2003 to aid research on fighting networks among the Layapo-Enga of Papua New Guinea (PNG), under the supervision of Dr. Rena Lederman. From June 2003 to May 2004, Pile conducted research in the Lai Valley of Enga Province and elsewhere in PNG, including fieldwork with the Ambulyini clan, interviews with bigmen, war leaders, and gunfighters from tribes and clans throughout Enga Province, and archival research in Wabag, Mount Hagen, and Port Moresby. The work with the Ambulyini clan produced a detailed case study of two gun wars, enabling Pile to document and analyze the mechanisms through which war was declared, the internal politics that shaped the way war was prosecuted, and how the decision to end war was arrived at and put into effect. The interviews and archival research resulted in a regional account of feud relations and patterns of warfare alliance and enmity from contact to the present; a history of how factory-made shotguns and rifles, locally manufactured firearms, and, most recently, assault rifles had been incorporated into tribal fighting; and an analysis of the consequences of gun wars for social, economic, and cultural institutions. Finally, Pile documented how ambitious young men in the Lai Valley innovated on the most archaic traditions in the novel contexts of gun wars to gain control over assault rifles, create new relationships with other gunfighters, and effectively challenge the clan- and tribe-based moral and political foundations of Enga warfare.
Hatala, Kevin Gerard, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'A Novel Experimentally-based Investigation of Plio-Pleistocene Fossil Hominin Footprints,' supervised by Dr. Brian Garth Richmond
KEVIN G. HATALA, then a student at George Washington University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'A Novel Experimentally Based Investigation of Plio-Pleistocene Fossil Hominin Footprints,' supervised by Dr. Brian G. Richmond. Bipedalism is a fundamental characteristic of the human lineage that has profoundly influenced our behavior and ecology. Yet many questions about the nature of bipedalism throughout human evolution remain unanswered. In this project, a new approach was used to investigate sets of footprints made by our fossil ancestors, with the goal of addressing long-standing questions about the evolution of human locomotion. The first objective was to develop an understanding of how patterns of locomotion can actually be inferred from footprints. Experiments were conducted with habitually barefoot modern humans and chimpanzees, and the first quantitative framework was developed for directly relating footprint morphologies to specific biomechanical patterns. The morphologies of c.3.7 Ma fossil hominin footprints from Laetoli, Tanzania, and c.1.5 Ma footprints from Ileret, Kenya, are now being compared to the experimentally produced footprints. By analyzing these in the context of the experimental results, which link footprint morphology to specific biomechanical causes, informed reconstructions of the gaits used by the Laetoli and Ileret hominins will be developed. These data will be used to test the hypothesis that important changes to hominin locomotion (and therefore also their anatomy, behavior, and ecology) occurred between the Pliocene and early Pleistocene.
Schel, Anne Marijke, U. of St. Andrews, Fife, UK - To aid research on 'Effects of Predation Pressure on Black and White Colobine Referential Communication,' supervised by Dr. Klaus Zuberbuehler
SANNE MARIJKE SCHEL, University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Effects of Predation Pressure on Black and White Colobine Referential Communication,' supervised by Dr. Klaus Zuberbuehler. This study investigated the effects of predation pressure on alarm call use in Guereza colobus monkeys of Budongo Forest, Uganda. Playback experiments with predator vocalizations and corresponding conspecific monkey alarm reactions were conducted at two sites in the forest, where predation pressures exerted by the monkeys' natural enemies, most importantly leopards and crowned eagles, differed. One objective of the study was to investigate whether Guereza colobines produce predator-specific vocal alarms, and, if so, whether these alarms qualify as referential signals. Results showed that the vocal alarms in response to predator vocalizations differed considerably: playbacks of leopard growls elicited calling bouts consisting of short sequences made of a snort and pairs of roars, while playbacks of eagle shrieks elicited bouts consisting of long sequences made of no snorts but many roars. When these alarm reactions were played back to conspecific monkeys, recipients reacted as if they had detected the predators themselves, even in absence of the eliciting stimulus. This would qualify them as referential signals. Finally, this study showed differences in response rates to the different stimuli between the two sites. It is discussed how these findings might relate to the different predation pressures at the sites.
Hedges, Sophie M., London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK - To aid research on 'Difficult Decisions: Rural Livelihoods, Child Work and Parental Investment in Education,' supervised by Dr. David W. Lawson
Preliminary abstract: High levels of parental investment, extended juvenile dependency and children's contributions to the household economy are unique features of human life history, enabling unusually high fertility and facilitating complex skill acquisition. Evolutionary anthropologists have argued that subsistence transitions to modern economies lead to a corresponding demographic transition to low fertility as parents perceive increased benefits to formal education. However, many contemporary rural high-fertility populations face external pressure to educate children and reduce child labour to meet international development targets. This leads to difficult decisions for parents because children continue to make vital contributions to the household and education is not clearly beneficial, nor free from risk. This project will use a mixed-methods approach to investigate the novel trade-offs faced regarding which children to educate and which to engage in labour activities among Sukuma agro-pastoralists in Tanzania. It will make contributions to theory surrounding human behavioural ecology, parental investment strategies and rural subsistence transitions. It will also contrast evolutionary anthropological models of child work, which emphasize the benefits at the household-level and the underlying rationality of parental decision-making, to policy literature on the topic, which emphasizes the harmful effects of child work for individual children and the need for behaviour change.
Trever, Lisa Senchyshyn, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Mural Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins
LISA S. TREVER, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Muralo Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins. Archaeological and art historical research was carried out at Panamarca, the southernmost Moche (c. 200-800 CE) urban and ceremonial center on the Peruvian north coast. This project was designed to investigate and document the architectural and archaeological contexts of mural paintings known at the site since the 1950s. This fieldwork was successful in re-identifying, excavating, documenting, and conserving all previously known paintings, although some had suffered severe deterioration over time. The project also uncovered several new mural paintings and associated contexts. The corpus of known Moche mural paintings has thus been dramatically expanded. This fieldwork provides the foundation for a dissertation that will advance ancient Andean studies further into spatial analysis of image and architecture, including the phenomenological analysis of how these figurative paintings may have been seen, approached, and experienced within their built environment and how physical evidence of damage, libations, interment, reopening, and later dedicatory acts may demonstrate the ancient reception and memory of these monumental images. The mural paintings of Panamarca were not passive reflections of Moche thought but rather effective participants in ritual performance and in the construction of social memory and political presence on the southern Moche frontier.
Thames, Horacio B., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
HORACIO B. THAMES, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Full-coverage survey of the Tafi Valley involved the detection and recording of architectural remains and surface scatters throughout the valley floor and piedmont zone. Instead of sites, collection units were used as the basic spatial unit of data recording and analysis. A collection unit represents a standardized area delineated in the field whose boundaries were marked on air photographs. Two types of artifact collections were made within each collection unit. Systematic collection circles were used to collect all visible artifacts until reaching a minimum sample size. When sherd density was low, an opportunistic general collection was carried out. In addition, diagnostic sherds were collected when available from each collection unit. A series of shovel probes was dug in collection units containing surface architecture when surface artifact density was low. Survey methodology utilized yielded representative collections of ceramics of various kinds that are suitable for quantitative analysis. The information provided by the regional survey primarily allowed the grantee to create a reliable database and to develop digital maps. Databases will allow the grantee to calculate both proportions of sherds of various kinds (of particular periods, or forms) and densities of surface ceramics. Digital maps compiled display areas occupied during Formative and Regional Development periods and exhibit the spatial distribution of different kinds of artifacts. A typology based on formal attributes was developed to categorize domestic, public, and productive (agricultural and pastoral) structures recorded. Intersite comparison of architectural composition will be used to assess character and magnitude of complexity (i.e., functional differentiation) throughout the sequence.
Kadirgamar, Ahilan Arasaratnam, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York NY - To aid research on 'Households, Caste, Class, Land and Post-war Reconstruction in Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Michael Blim
AHILAN A. KADIRGAMAR, then a graduate student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Households, Caste, Class, Land and Post-war Reconstruction in Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Michael Blim. In May 2009, a three-decade-long civil war came to an end in Sri Lanka. In the post-war years a process of reconstruction characterized by state infrastructure development, financialization, and the expansion of the market has been underway. This study looks at rural livelihoods and changes to the social structure of Jaffna, the war-torn, predominantly Tamil district in northern Sri Lanka. How has the process of reconstruction impacted incomes related to the land and agricultural production in Jaffna? What is the relationship between faltering agricultural incomes and widespread indebtedness to out migration and remittances? In analyzing the household economy, this study addresses issues of caste stratification and class differentiation after the war. It further analyzes the economic pressures on rural social associations such as cooperatives and the new forms social exclusion relating to rural education. This study is important for understanding the dispossession of the peasantry, common to so many places in the global South ravaged by armed conflicts and going through rapid global integration.