Grinberg, Yuliya, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Data Mines: The Quantified Self and the Cultural Work of Data in the Digital Age,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn Ivy
Preliminary abstract: It has become commonplace to invoke the contemporary excesses of digital data. Popular media takes particular pleasure in regularly announcing the '2.8 zettabytes,' the '1 sextillion bytes' the '24 quintillion tweets' or the 'hundreds or thousands of petabyte-scale databases' being generated today (Pearlstein 2013). These staggering figures and exotic descriptors call attention to the way advances in digital technology have opened the gates to a fantastic excess, an incessant digital copying and preservation of minutest signs and gestures that seem to be secreted manically and automatically, leaving behind a techno-social human refuse figured as human resource. While the contemporary ubiquity of digital data has become the most routine reality, this project addresses how digital technologies of capture have become an important social and political technology, and a central means of making sense of the everyday. To examine this, the project is grounded in ethnographic research with a burgeoning community, the Quantified Self, which typifies as it extends the current trajectories and excesses of data collection, processing, and application.
Yang, Xiaoliu, Sun Yat-Sen U., Guangzhou, China - To aid research on 'Making Participatory Poverty Reduction Chinese,' supervised by Dr. Daming Zhou
XIALIU YANG, then a student at Sun Yet-sen University, Guangzhou, China, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Making Participatory Development Chinese,' supervised by Prof. Daming Zhou. The fieldwork was conducted in Meigu county, an impoverished, Nuosu ethnic region in Sichuan Province, Southwest China. The grantee did fieldwork from February to December 2006 to study how the Western 'participation' in China's rural poverty reduction is made Chinese. Research focused on three Western projects in a Nuosu village -- from the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, and Germany's Misereor Foundation -- to observe how 'participation' is made Chinese at different stages of the project cycle. Support enabled a multi-level investigation to collect information identifying key stakeholders involved in the delivery of Western participatory aid, including state and local government, international aid organizations, Chinese scholars, and indigenous people.
Liu, Xinyi, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Origins and Early Spread of Broomcorn Millet,' supervised by Martin Kenneth Jones
XINUI LIU, then a student at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Origins and Early Spread of Broomcorn Millet,' supervised by Dr. Martin K. Jones. Studies into the origin of agriculture often concern the domestication of contemporary demanding crops such as wheat, barley, and rice. They are believed to be initiated from 'fertile crescents,' and carried to other parts of the world in a slow process. A minor crop, Panicum miliaceum (broomcorn millet), however, paints a different chronological and geological pattern in its records of archaeobotany. The major objects of this research were to explore what was the earliest isotopic evidence of millet consumption in Northeast China, and how it varies through time. What are the earliest dates for Panicum miliaceum in the archaeobotanical records. Fieldwork was carried out in various early Neolithic loci in North China, followed by lab research conducted in different institutions. This forms a multi-disciplinary investigation embracing archaeobotanical flotation, isotopic sampling, radio-carbon dating, and contemporary landraces surveys. While the flotation programs in two pre-6000 BC sites are in progress, the result of the isotopic analysis (combined with the archaeobotanical sorting) indicates a clear signature of millet consumption among the population of Xinglongwa (cal. 8200-7600 BC), the earliest such known. Investigations into early millet sites in North China also encourage a new insight in the construction of the early farming communities, putting the foci of river valleys in challenge.
Liu, Xinyi, Harriet V. Hunt, and Martin K. Jones. 2009. River Valleys and Foothils: Changing Archaeological Perceptions of North China’s Earliest Farms. Antiquity 83(319):82-95.
Liu, Xinyi, Martin K. Jones, Zhijun Zhao, Guoxiang Liu, and Tamsin C. O'Connell. 2012. The Earliest Evidence of Millet as a Staple Crop: New Light on Neolithic Foodways in North China. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(2):283-290.
Bogart, Stephanie Lynn, Iowa State U., Ames, IA - To aid research on 'Insectivory and Savanna Apes: Tool Use and Diet of Fongoli Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Jill Daphne Pruetz
STEPHANIE LYNN BOGART, then a student at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Insectivory and Savanna Apes: Tool Use and Diet of Fongoli Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Jill Daphne Pruetz. This research examined the ecology and behavior of Fongoli chimpanzees in southeastern Senegal from August 2006 to August 2008. Ecological data are essential to gain knowledge of the types of habitat at Fongoli, the availability of food resources, and the underlying ecological context of tool use and foraging. Fongoli is a mosaic habitat composed of grassland (47%), plateau (21%), woodland (16%), bamboo (10%), field (4%), forest ecotone (1%), and gallery forest (<1%) with a total rainfall of 674mm during this study. The only closed habitats available for chimpanzees within their 63km2 range are forest ecotone and gallery forest. Feeding trees are denser in these closed habitats; however, the Fongoli chimpanzees do not seem to lack fruit resources. Fongoli does not contain colobus monkeys, known to be the major prey species at other chimpanzee sites. The Fongoli chimpanzees consume termites all year, which is uncommon. This study explores the insectivorous diet and its potential as a nutritive resource for the Fongoli chimpanzees. Approximately 900 hours of behavioral data were collected in conjunction with 15 hours of video. Data obtained from observations and ecology will provide a qualitative and quantitative understanding of Fongoli's environment and its impact on the chimpanzees.
Bogart, Stephanie L., and Jill D. Pruetz. 2011. Insectivory of Savanna Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 145(1):11-20.
Bogart, S.L., J.D. Preutz, L.K. Ormiston, J.L. Russell, A. Meguerditchian, and W.D. Hopkins. 2012. Termite Fishing Laterality in the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus): Further Evidence of a Left Hand Preference. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(4):591-598.
Rafiq, Mohamed Yunus, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Shaykhs and the State: The Incorporation of Tanzanian Shaykhs in Biopolitical Projects in Pre and Post-Ujamaa Era,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Jordan Smith
Preliminary abstract: Given Tanzania's success in constructing a pluralist national identity through socialist policies, one would expect Tanzania to continue as a peaceful, secular nation even after its transition to neo-liberalism. Yet, the transition to neo-liberalism in the early-1990s saw tensions arise between Muslims and Christians, as well as between these religious communities and the government, at times resulting in violent confrontations that threatened the national unity that was created during Ujamaa, the socialist period. The violent outbreaks were also linked to a political discourse where some Muslims claim that the state, dominated by Christians, was marginalizing Muslims in education, employment and public health services. What explains the rise of violence and politicization of religious identities after almost thirty-five years of socialist rule? Is the incorporation of Muslim leaders a tactic by the state to address religious marginalization of Muslim communities; or, does the inclusion of Muslim authorities represent continuities of Tanzanian socialism? To answer these empirical questions, this study will examine the incorporation of Muslim religious leaders (Shaykhs) in the state's public health programs for Muslims, using the case of Chongoleani village in Tanga region located in north-eastern Tanzania. The aim of this study is to elucidate both the centrality of health to governance, as well as to uncover the tacit role that religion plays in securing the state's political legitimacy. I intend to seek to distance myself from the consolidated 'Christian' and 'Muslim' identities in Tanzania, and to ask instead how religious identities came to be entrenched through 'transition' from socialism to neo-liberal statecraft.
Galemba, Rebecca B., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Contesting Security: Everyday Crossings at the Mexico - Guatemala Border,' supervised by Dr. Kay Warren
REBECCA B. GALEMBA, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Contesting Security: Everyday Crossings at the Mexico-Guatemala Border,' supervised by Dr. Kay Warren. On a section of the Mexico-Guatemala border, a clandestine three-mile road connects Chiapas, Mexico to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. While in the past this border passage was officially monitored, since the mid-1990s five small cross-border communities along this road began to assert their ownership over the route. These communities prohibit the entrance of state authorities, and assert their own rights to charge tolls, or what they call 'taxes.' In contrast to corrupt state officials, the residents here proclaim themselves the rightful and ethical border authorities. Yet these locals must negotiate their authority to control the border with officials from both states, as well as with cross-border smugglers, migrants, social organizations, farmers, consumers, and national and international companies. This dissertation examines how border residents in their interactions with other border actors, at times reproduce, contest, or reconfigure the border and state powers. It challenges the uncritical conflation of legality and ethics at an international border crossing, highlighting the politics and competing views that underlie the construction of legality and morality there. Legality is revealed as a fluid, relational concept that provides a lens through which to examine how nationality, class, community, and notions of ethics and rights are constructed at the border.
Galemba, Rebecca B. 2013. 'Corn is Food, Not Contraband': The Right to 'Free Trade' at the Mexico-Guatemala Border. American Ethnologist 39(4):716-734.
Voorhees, Hannah Huber, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Co-Management of Alaskan Marine Mammals: Dilemmas of Indigenous Legitimacy in the Age of Environmental Risk,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna
HANNAH H. VOORHEES, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Co-Management of Alaskan Marine Mammals: Dilemmas of Indigenous Legitimacy in the Age of Environmental Risk,' supervised by Dr. Adriana Petryna. This dissertation research focuses on collaborations between Alaska Native subsistence hunters and governmental biologists conducting marine mammal research in the Bering Strait region amidst accelerating loss of arctic sea ice. The mandates of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act have increased scientific demand for information about the changing Arctic environment. Biologists seek the knowledge, skills, and cooperation of Inupiat and Siberian Yupiit hunters, who are uniquely skilled at locating, capturing, and tagging animals traditionally harvested for subsistence. These skills, along with Traditional Ecological Knowledge and community support, have become valuable resources in a new Arctic 'economy of loss.' Environmental monitoring is a valuable asset, and increasingly, a subjective mode of being on the land (and sea) for Alaska Natives. Yet hunters, scientists, and bureaucrats continue to negotiate a 'fair price' for indigenous contributions, in both economic and, political terms.
Koh, Kyung-Nan, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid 'Corporate Discourses about 'Giving': An Ethnographic and Discourse Based Study,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban
KYUNG-NAN KOH, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received an award in November 2004 to aid research on the rhetoric and practices of corporate social responsibility in the U.S., under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Urban. Research was conducted at two different companies in Pennsylvania and in an island of Hawai`i, and was concerned with how corporate social responsibility help companies relate to the community and develop corporate personhood. The research focused on areas of corporate giving, community engagement, and marketing, and data was gathered in the form of internal documents and audio or digital photographic recordings of everyday work activities, meetings, and social gatherings. The data sets show that corporate outgoing 'texts' and 'things' undergo a meticulous entextualization process and that during the dynamic processes of their production, are mobilized as collective representations that appeal to imagined rather than contacted communities: as tools for recruiting interests from, and relating the corporation to, various socio-cultural groups that have potentials to enter into exchange relations. In a sense, contemporary displays and performances of social responsibility are corporate communicational attempts to locate audiences and form entrusting relationships, for employees that cope with uncertainties about maintaining organizational continuity.
Bachand, Holly S., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Formative Mesoamerican Cylinder Seals and Stamps: A Study of Their Function and Meaning,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce
HOLLY S. BACHAND, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in July 2002 to aid research on 'Formative Mesoamerican Cylinder Seals and Stamps: A Study of their Function and Meaning,' supervised by Dr. Rosemary A. Joyce. It has long been assumed in Mesoamerica that Formative period cylinder seals and stamps were used to paint the body or textiles worn on the body. The objective of this research was to investigate the form, manufacture, iconography, and contexts of these objects to make inferences about social identity and cultural interaction, since practices like bodily adornment are closely tied to people's social identities. The sample of 321 specimens, from publicly held collections in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize was photographed, measured, and drawn. Manufacturing methods were noted, and where possible ceramic paste and temper were described. Additionally, 47 pigment residue samples were taken and identified using a polarized light microscope. There are many correlates in design and iconography that suggest widespread networks across Mesoamerica. Yet the majority of stamps and seals exhibit manufacture and design features that are clearly of local invention. Distribution patterns indicate that the practice probably diffused from the Valley of Mexico, where the longest and most vibrant tradition of cylinder-seal use exists. Nevertheless, there is nothing prototypical about the styles and designs of stamps and seals either within or beyond the Valley of Mexico. This diversity implies diverse agents and networks were involved in the spread of the practices and the manufacture of these objects.
Park, Joowon, American U., Washington, DC. - To aid research on 'Belonging in a House Divided: Violence and Citizenship in the Resettlement of North Koreans to South Korea,' supervised by Dr. Adrienne Pine
Preliminary abstract: Violence -- visible and invisible, intentional and unintentional - permeates the experience of forced migrations, shaping and defining every phase of resettlement processes. Since the majority of forced migrants experience acute violence(s) in displacement, it is necessary to examine how violence operates in the ways in which citizenship is constructed and constituted as they attempt to integrate into host societies. Citizenship is generally conceptualized in the dimensions of status and rights, but where both status and rights are granted to people recognized as refugees in integration processes, this study goes beyond the juridical-political aspects of having status, rights, and duties. Thus, this dissertation research investigates the relations between violence and citizenship through the resettlement and integration of North Korean defectors in Seoul, South Korea and asks: how do wide-ranging forms of violence North Korean defectors experience impact their pathways to and embodiment of citizenship? Through examining the ways in which citizenship is constituted, constructed, claimed, practiced, and imagined in relation to the multiple embodied experiences and legacies of violence, this ethnographic research explores the lived experiences and subject-making processes of citizenship vis-à-vis refugee resettlement.