Mahadev, Neena, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Buddhist and Christian Ethical Endeavors: Charitable Works, Conversions, and Unstable Religious Commitments in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
NEENA MAHADEV, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Buddhist and Christian Ethical Endeavors: Charitable Works, Conversions, and Unstable Religious Commitments in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. The rise in global Pentecostal Christianity has begun to affect Sri Lanka over recent decades, inciting Buddhist nationalists to revive their efforts to protect against the possibility that Christianity will supplant Buddhism as the majority religion of the country. This research attended to the discourses and practices involved in protecting Theravada Buddhism, as well as to new practices of evangelism and charismatic Christianity in Sri Lanka. The fieldwork considered sub/urban religious landscapes where conversions to charismatic Christianity have been relatively concentrated within certain socioeconomic demographic groups, in contrast to predominantly Buddhist tsunami-affected areas where conversions have been gradual, limited, and dispersed across southern districts. In the crosscut between Buddhist nationalism and Pentecostal evangelism in Sri Lanka, this project took up the following ethnographic tasks: 1) to study the events that have caused a resurgence of exclusivist religious doctrines and practices, exacerbating Buddhist-Christian discord in Sri Lanka; 2) to study the impacts of heightened tensions on Buddhist and Christian institutions and individuals; 3) to gain knowledge about the workings of both harmonious and discordant inter-religious relationships; and 4) to understand how experiences of belonging within families and within village communities did or did not match ideologies of exclusivity promoted by religious authorities.
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.
Seselj, Maja, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Fossil Homo', supervised by Dr. Susan Carol Anton
MAJA SESELJ, then a student at New York University, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Human Growth Evolving: Integrating Dental and Skeletal Growth Proxies to Understand Life History in Homo,' supervised by Dr. Susan Antón. Modern humans differ from our closest living relatives, the African apes, in having a particularly long period of growth and development, both dental and skeletal. Although many studies focused either on dental or skeletal development in fossil hominins, a key to a better understanding of the evolution of the modern human pattern of growth and development is evaluating both developmental systems simultaneously. This study aims to elucidate the relationship between dental and skeletal growth and chronological age in modern humans and Pleistocene hominins, and to explore the variability in dental and skeletal ontogeny in a large and diverse recent modern human sample from North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The results suggest that dental and skeletal growth and development are not conditionally independent given age, but the conditional relationship is relatively weak; thus one developmental system may not be a reliable proxy for the other. The ontogenetic patterns in Neanderthals and early H. sapiens appear to be generally comparable to recent modern humans.
Seselj, Maya. 2013. Relationship between Dental Development and Skeletal Growth in Modern Humans and Its Implications for Interpreting Ontogeny in Fossil Hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1):38-47.
Langergraber, Kevin E., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Kinship and Social Behavior of Chimpanzees, ' supervised by Dr. John C. Mitani
LANGERBRABER, KEVIN E., while a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in July 2004 to aid research on 'Kinnship and Social Behavior of Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. John C. Mitani. The grant provided funds for the genotyping of wild chimpanzees living in the Ngogo community in Kibale NationaIPark, Uganda. Fecal samples were collected non-invasively from individually identified chimpanzees and analyzed in the laboratory to determine how the 150 members of the Ngogo community are related to one another genetically. Behavioral data were also collected to determine patterns of affiliation and cooperation between chimpanzees. When combined, the genetic and behavioral data will answer whether genetically related chimpanzees preferentially affiliate and cooperate. These results will add to our understanding of the role that nepotism plays in the evolution of cooperation among animals and humans.
Fly, Jessie Kimmel, U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Unnatural Disasters: Coping Strategies and the Legacy of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta,' supervised by Dr. Ted L. Gragson
JESSIE K. FLY, then a student at University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Unnatural Disasters: Coping Strategies and the Legacy of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta,' supervised by Dr. Ted Gragson. Much of the recent literature on strategies for coping with food insecurity emerges from communities with subsistence-based economies and highlights the importance of a diversity of resources, or 'capitals,' from which households can draw to procure food. This research project, conducted over a one-year period from 2007 to 2008, sought to understand how people cope with food insecurity in a rapidly changing natural and economic environment. The research focused on three coastal hamlets in Tra Vinh, Vietnam, that were swept into world shrimp markets in the late 1990s. Now, with aquaculture crops failing, mixed messages from the government about environmental conservation, the rising costs of inputs, and the falling price of shrimp, many households find themselves coping not only with regular seasonal food shortages but also with mounting debt and variable access to the necessary resources to cope with those food shortages. This project used a combination of ethnographic methods, including oral-history interviews, livelihoods surveys, and a weekly food frequency survey that captured data on dietary diversity and household methods of food procurement, in order to document changing coping strategies across space and time.
Bazylevych, Maryna Y., State U. of New York, Albany, NY - To aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroad: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail Heidi Landsman
MARYNA Y. BAZYLEVYCH, then a student at State University of New York, Albany, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroads: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail H. Landsman. This project sought to understand the factors and implications of increasing participation of women in the biomedical profession in post-socialist Ukraine while their numbers in other previously female-dominated fields were decreasing. Research activities included comparative investigation of the medical professionals in private and state health care facilities in the capital city of Kyiv and the peripheral city of Vinnytsia in central Ukraine. In-depth interviews, free listing, focus groups, life histories, and participant observation were used as methodology. Through investigation of rapidly changing biomedical field and its actors, the researcher found that the concept of professional prestige is deeply gendered and contextualized. Perception of prestige in an unstable society with transforming value system depends on a wide range of factors, including a person's experience, education, family, gender, media, etc. It is also conditioned by a broader context of lack of trust between the newly emerged state and individuals. Furthermore, the relationship between private and public spheres is not dichotomous, and the boundaries between these two loci of the biomedical employment are blurred. The study suggests that this complex interplay of broader social issues provides a well-informed explanation for women's appropriation of the biomedical field as a suitable venue for income earning and self-actualization.
Rosecan, Stephen M., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Choctaws in the Workforce: Development, Hegemony, and Conjunctural History in East-Central Mississippi, ' supervised by Dr. Raymond D. Fogelson
STEPHEN ROSECAN, while a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in June 2001 to aid research on 'Choctaws in the Workforce: Development, Hegemony, and Conjunctural History in East-Central Mississippi,' supervised by Dr. Raymond D. Fogelson. In recent years, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has become nationally recognized for its economic development initiatives. In my research, I sought to gain a better understanding of some of the local issues that have arisen from the Choctaws' economic development projects. Rather than finding (as commonly depicted) a homogeneous group that quietly assents to the tribal government's actions, I found a steady undercurrent of dissent among segments of tribal members. Most people did not question the legitimacy of the work practices that are constitutive of development; however, many had concerns over the proper means of distributing the jobs, revenue, and resources provided by the development projects. Development was not so much discussed as a set of productive practices but rather as a set of relationships among people. The struggle for many on the reservation was to establish a generally accepted, equitable, and legitimate way of distributing the products of development among tribal members.
Karaca, Banu, City U. of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look at Germany and Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano
BANU KARACA, while a student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, received a grant to aid research on 'Claiming Modernity through Aesthetics: A Comparative Look At Germany and Turkey', supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano. This comparative study is based on fieldwork conducted in the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and Istanbul. Drawing from interviews with artists, curators, critics, gallery directors, corporate sponsors, foundation and government officials, as well as observations at contemporary arts institutions, including each city's Biennial, and the analysis of cultural policy documents this research examines how divergent conceptions of art are mediated within the art world. Furthermore, this study centers on how modernization and nation-building processes in both Germany and Turkey impact the discourses, policies and practices in their present-day art scenes. In so doing, rather than asking questions about a Turkish or German 'kind of modernity' it aims to understand respective experiences and, most importantly, probe paradoxes of modernity through the lens of the arts. Paradoxes that manifest themselves, for instance, in tensions between the civic impact accorded to art and its pliability to market forces, and between understandings of art as a universally human and also particularly national expression.
Doll, Christian Joseph, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'South Sudan Emerging from 'Ground Zero': State-Making Amidst Precarity in the World's Newest Nation,' supervised by Dr. James H. Smith
Preliminary abstract: Shortly after gaining independence, members of the newly sovereign Government of South Sudan (GOSS), announced plans to move South Sudan's capital from the established economic and political center, Juba, to Ramciel, a remote village in the geographic center of the country. Why, considering the plethora of state-building challenges facing the new nation-state, would GOSS propose to build a new capital city from the ground up? A partial answer is that Ramciel's centrality would allow GOSS to bureaucratically cater to and symbolically unify South Sudan's disconnected and divided populace. A further motivation for the move is the historically thick reality, violent history, and bitter land politics of Juba, which planners hope to escape in the forests of Ramciel. Since independence, Juba has become home to a hetoroglot populace of nationals from throughout the country and entrepreneurs and aid workers from throughout the world--all seeking to gain from and contribute to the formation of the world's newest nation. Meanwhile, Ramciel's Dinka pastoralists see equal possibility of their empowerment or disenfranchisement through the relocation of the capital to a place that will be more hospitable to them than Juba ever was. What are the particular understandings of the state, and what the state should be, that are emerging in Juba and Ramciel? How will they be sustained and materialized in the midst of failure, delay, and overarching precarity? To answer these questions, I will conduct multi-sited fieldwork on the interactions between state actors and civilians, in Juba and Ramciel, as they express and enact their visions of the South Sudanese state, and its potential future, in their divergent state-making discourses and practices.
Abraham, Sarah Jane, U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Provincial Life in the Inca Empire: Continuity and Change at Hatun Lucanas, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Katharina Jeanne Schreiber
SARAH J. ABRAHAM, then a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Provincial Life in the Inca Empire: Continuity and Change at Hatun Lucanas, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Katharina J. Schreiber. This project investigates the imperial-provincial relationship between the Inca empire (AD 1438-1532) and the people of Hatun Lucanas in the southern highlands of Peru. Funding supported excavation, detailed mapping, and architectural analysis, and laboratory analysis were conducted to better understand the transition from autonomous polity to subjugated population. Excavations at Hatun Lucanas targeted residential compounds to expose domestic contexts and their associated artifacts and architectural elements. Those data were then used to identify changes in local political, economic, and social organization after Inca conquest. Preliminary observations suggest that this project provides the first documentation of Lucanas material culture including pottery styles, architectural canons, and mortuary practices. Additionally, data reveal a shift in local political organization with the emergence of local elites after Inca conquest. Finally, changes were detected in the local economy during the Late Horizon. Excavations uncovered evidence of textile production and metalworking at Hatun Lucanas as well as an intensification in processing, likely of food, metals, or pigments. Ongoing analysis will provide additional lines of evidence with which to reconstruct the nature and magnitude of imperialism at the local level.