Doberne, Jennie Carmel, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Technologically-Assisted Later Motherhood in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Susan McKinnon
JENNIE DOBERNE, then a student at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received funding in May 2009 to aid research on 'Technologically-Assisted Later Motherhood in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Susan McKinnon. This research queries the reproductive practices and politics of extending motherhood into the fifth and sixth decades of life among Israeli women. Through the lens of later motherhood, both the limits and horizons of Israeli pronatalism become visible. The grantee conducted participant observation in a high risk pregnancy unit, interviewed later mothers and health care professionals, attended medical conferences on fertility and pregnancy, followed online communities of later mothers, and analyzed media representations of assisted reproduction. By listening to professional and personal narratives and by investigating the routes and risks Israeli women take to become mothers later in life, the stakes of belonging through family in Israel come to the fore. As citizenship is increasingly formulated in genetic terms and the future Jewishness of the state is uncertain, understanding the cultural preoccupation with assisting the nation's reproduction is of the essence.
Scullin, Dianne Mackenzie, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'A Materiality of Sound: Musical Practices of the Moche of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Terence D'Altroy
DIANNE MACKENZIE SCULLIN, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'A Materiality of Sound: Musical Practices of the Moche of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Terence D'Altroy. The objectives of the project are to investigate the relationships between the material and the ephemeral and to evaluate the feasibility of researching sound in past societies utilizing archaeological techniques. The musical practices of the Moche of Peru, who flourished on the north coast of Peru from 100 to 800 AD, provide the ideal case study for the investigation of sound in the past. The initial stage of this project involved the collection of data from a variety of sources. Over nine months, from November 2010 to August 2011, this project completed acoustic maps of three different Moche sites consisting of over 3,000 individual data points and created a database of Moche musical instruments containing 923 entries and 470 sound recordings. The data from the musical instruments and iconography provides information concerning the levels of cohesiveness of the Moche soundscape both geographically and temporally. The acoustic maps provide insight into the spatial arrangement and organization of sites, demonstrating the inclusiveness or exclusiveness of performance spaces. The techniques and methods utilized for this project demonstrate the feasibility of investigating sound in the past and provide low-impact solutions to investigating sound in any archaeological context.
Holmberg, Karen G., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid an 'Archaeological Survey of the Volcan Baru Region of Chiriqui, Panama,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell
KAREN G. HOLMBERG, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in January 2004 to aid an 'Archaeological Survey of the Volcan Baru Region of Chiriqui, Panama,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell. A volcano has both physical and social impacts upon those who live in a volcanic region, and the investigation of both aspects was integral to the dissertation research. Archaeological fieldwork, tephra collection, ethnographic data collection, and artifact analysis were conducted from January to December 2004 near the Volcán Barú in the Chiriqui province of western Panamá. Archaeological fieldwork methods included surface survey, shovel test pits, and 1x1 meter units on the east side of the volcano in the Boquete valley. The quantity of materials recovered - 6692 ceramic sherds and 542 stone tools and lithic fragments - indicates the richness of the archaeological occupation of the prehistoric area. Tephra samples were subjected to binocular scope analysis at Northern Arizona University. Preliminary interpretation of the data indicates that there have been more eruptions of the Volcán Barú than previously known and that eruptions do not always leave clear archaeological evidence in the high rainfall, high elevation archaeological contexts of Chiriqui. Importantly, the data also indicate that an eruption frequently cited in archaeological literature as integral in causing settlement changes in the area at roughly ~600 AD may have actually occurred closer to ~1400 AD. Collected ethnographic data and landscape data, including rock-art recording, indicate the social importance of the volcano outside of its physical impacts. The Volcán Barú was important in prehistoric life through the destruction and change it wrought through eruption, but it was also drawn into the web of social meaning for prehistoric people in non-eruptive periods.
McTighe, Laura Elizabeth, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Born in Flames: Black Feminist Resistance in the Prison Capital of the World,' supervised by Dr. Courtney Bender
Preliminary abstract: My research tracks the multigenerational practices by which southern black women transmit their hard-won political organizing traditions after Hurricane Katrina. Grounding my New Orleans-based fieldwork in a study of Women With A Vision, Inc. (WWAV)--a quarter-century old, politically vibrant activist collective for black women's social justice--my ethnographic work interrogates how two easily overlooked events have shaped the lives and organizing potentialities of its membership. (1) On March 29, 2012, WWAV litigation successfully overturned a statute for prosecuting sex work as a 'crime against nature;' (2) On May 24, unknown arsonists fire-bombed and destroyed WWAV's mid-city headquarters. Using ethnographic fieldwork and life history interviews to understand how these events braid together in activist subjectivities, my project will explore the functioning of politics in the everyday lives of the poor and their epistemologies for molding alternative futures. By centering questions of continuity amid modalities of violence (both 'slow' and 'punctuated'), I will document WWAV's decades-long program of mutual aid and intentional social transformation, retracing their genealogies to forgotten black women organizers in the Deep South. Ultimately, this study will contribute a more theoretically rigorous and dynamic public understanding of the complex strategies of survival, struggle and renewal among those accorded neither a legible past nor a commonly foreseeable future.
Conway, Meagan Kathleen, U. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC - To aid research on 'A Choice to Engage: Selective Marginality and Dynamic Households on the 18th -19th Century Irish Coast,' supervised by Dr. Charles Cobb
Preliminary abstract: This research explores the nature of marginality on the peripheries of empires. These shifting borders are historically fluid spaces which have revelatory potential regarding individual decision-making, sources of cultural change, and altered social dynamics under foreign rule. This project focuses on the local processes through individual households in rural communities off the coast of western Ireland in order to understand selective engagement in transnational systems and reaction to prescribed narratives from the imperial epicenter. This research interprets the expressions of selective engagement in transnational processes which demonstrate the presence, connection, and engagement to broader global networks of economic trade and access. This research proposes investigation a counter narrative which complicates the pre-existing account of isolation on the fringes, a story which often ascribes passive acceptance of powerlessness and subjugation over the complexity and agency of everyday life in the past. Anthropologists can then access how imperialism truly affected the daily lives of people on the margins. Purposeful adaptation and social change due to these external ascriptions and beliefs are examined through the lens of material activity and architectural change on two Irish islands in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Rosso, Daniela Eugenia, U. Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France - To aid research on 'Technological and Physicochemical Characterization of MSA Pigments from Porc-Epic Cave (Dire Dawa, Ethiopia),' supervised by Dr. Francesco D'Errico
DANIELA E. ROSSO, then a graduate student at University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, received funding in October 2013 to aid research on 'Technological and Physicochemical Characterization of MSA Pigments from Porc-Epic Cave (Dire Dawa, Ethiopia),' supervised by Dr. Francesco D'Errico. Novel methodology was applied to the analysis of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) ochre and ochre-processing tools from Porc-Epic cave (Dire Dawa, Ethiopia) with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the emergence of pigment related technology in this region, and discussing its implications for the debate on the origin of 'behavioral modernity.' This research shows that the MSA layers of this site have yielded the richest collection of pigment thus far, with 40 kg of ochre fragments and 23 ochre-processing tools. Porc-Epic cave is one of the rare palaeolithic sites at which most of the stages of ochre treatment are recorded. Elemental and mineralogical analyses show that ferruginous rocks, with variable proportions of iron, silicon, and aluminum, rich in hematite, goethite and clay minerals, were used to produce ochre powder, probably for a variety of functions (utilitarian and symbolic). The identification of different types of modification marks on the ochre fragments, and the presence of grindstones of a variety of raw material, show that a complex ochre treatment system, previously unknown in the Horn of Africa MSA, was used by the inhabitants of Porc-Epic cave.
Hanna, Bridget Corbett, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Illness in North India: Medicine, Risk, and Experience,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman
BRIDGET C. HANNA, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Illness in North India: Medicine, Risk, and Experience,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman. The grantee conducted research in north India looking at the effect of controversies over toxic chemical exposure on health experience and health care. The project was based in New Delhi and Bhopal, India, and focused on discourses of health and healing that have followed in the wake of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster. The grantee looked at the experiential, legal, and epidemiological history of attempts to concretize and make sense of the long-term effects of the exposure of half the city to methyl-isocyanate. With archival research, and through extended conversations with patients, doctors, researchers, bureaucrats, and activists, the grantee mapped usage of health care by survivors, and tried to understand the dynamics that structured the provision of health care to the affected group. The project asked: How is environmental illness causality survivor, the healer, and the state? What effect do these perceptions have on the lived experience of the individual, the family, and the city? What are the roles of state and non-state actors in articulating medical frameworks in Bhopal? And what are the implications of the culture of medical anxiety and obfuscation that has characterized the aftermath?
Widger, Thomas, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry
THOMAS WIDGER, then a student at London School of Economics, London, England, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry. Suicide in Sri Lanka has been a major health and social problem for the past four decades. The research project examined the social and psychological causes, cultural meanings, and formal and informal preventions strategies of suicidal behaviour amongst the Sinhalese of a small town on the northwest coast of the island. A combination of ethnographic, archival, clinical, and epidemiological methods were used that incorporated both qualitative and quantitative approaches. As a result, deep understanding of the range of contexts and experiences that contribute to and frame suicidal behaviour was established. In particular, romantic relationships and romantic loss, marriage, kinship and domestic stress, Sinhalese emotional disorder, and separation and misfortune were examined. The research will make contributions to the anthropology of suicide and South Asia and also anthropological theory.
Lyons, Kristina Marie, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Science, Storytelling, and the Politics of Collaboration: Advocacy against Aerial Fumigation in Colombia,' supervised by Dr. Marisol de la Cadena
KRISTINA LYONS, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Science, Storytelling, and the Politics of Collaboration: Advocacy against Aerial Fumigation in Colombia,' supervised by Dr Marisol de la Cadena. This research project takes seriously the proposal to think with and from the ethnographically inspired associations emerging out of 'the politics of soil' in Colombia. Taking into consideration that 2009 is the Year of Soil, this project traces its multiple lives and ontologies (as well as its health and sciences) in Colombian laboratories, political arenas, 'natural resource' debates, and within contexts of rural violence, in order to address the on-going relations between the worlds below and above our feet. The project takes up theoretical-and-practical conversations that expand the reach of ethnography beyond the boundaries and comforts of a humanist framework in order to think in terms of new forms of connectivity that have serious consequences for our understanding and engagement with the political. This projects questions the politics of translation that soil scientists, local communities, and 'soil stewards' engage in as they attempt to make the life and wellbeing of the soil meaningful in social, cultural, ecological, and political realms. It also addresses broader questions about what happens to politics and representational practices when 'nature' becomes understood as non human actors and existents that experience shared conditions of life and death with human populations.
Can, Sule, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'The State and the City: Ethno-Religious Conflict and Political Change at the Turkish-Syrian Border,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: The Syrian Civil War has displaced millions of Syrian citizens since March 2011 and has drastically changed the lives of those in the Turkish-Syrian borderlands. Hatay, which was annexed by the Republic of Turkey from Syria under the French Mandate in 1939, is a border province that hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees today. Although the province has long been renowned for its ethnic, religious diversity, the influx of the Syrian refugees and Turkey's Syria policy have created new ethno-religious conflicts and have shifted the dynamics of everyday life in Hatay. Drawing on micro-historical approaches to boundary-making and state formation, this ethnographic study focuses on first, the emergence of ethno-religious conflict in the city in response to Turkish state practices in Turkish-Syrian borderlands between local residents of Hatay and the displaced Syrians. Second, it explores political opposition and their impacts on claiming a 'right to the city' by looking at how the refugees and ethno-religious minorities grapple with the transformation of the city since the Syrian Civil War. This research will be conducted through a historical and ethnographic investigation of the local populations and the Syrian refugees in Hatay and the tense relations between Turkey and Syria. This project suggests that in international conflicts between neighboring states, the spatial, political and social divisions in border cities will increase as ethnic and religious identities become more politicized.