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.
Franklin, Kathryn Jane, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Poltiical Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Authority in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500- 1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam Thomas Smith
KATHRYN J. FRANKLIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Political Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Economy in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500-1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. This project investigated the intersection of local political life along the mountain highways of Armenia with regional trade during the late medieval period (AD 900-1400). The project aims to discover how people living in the Armenian highlands at this time imagined themselves in relation to both local history and wider cultural and political phenomena, and how they put such imagined relationships into action through architectural projects that engaged with the material objects carried through the landscape by donkey caravans. To achieve these aims, the project investigated a caravanatun ('caravan house') built by a local merchant-prince in the early 13th century at the site of Arai-Bazarjugh. The excavations revealed the caravanatun to be a rectangular hall divided into vaulted galleries by rows of arches. This large and secure space provided accommodation for human travelers as well as their beasts, which were kept in specially built stable-galleries at the sides of the building. A second phase of the project focused on categorizing the material artifacts found within this building, which includes metal objects, animal bones, and pottery. The ceramic assemblage from the Arai-Bazarjugh caravanatun floors includes cookwares and small bowls, as well as glazed dishes that may have been trade goods on their way to the next town.
Lustenberger, Sibylle, U. of Berne, Bern, Switzerland - To aid research on 'Kinship and Homosexuality in the Age of Reproductive Technologies: A Perspective on Jewish Israeli society,' supervised by Dr. Edouard Conte
SIBYLLE LUSTENBERGER, then a student at the University of Berne, Bern, Switzerland, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Kinship and Homosexuality in the Age of Reproductive Technologies: A Perspective on Jewish Israeli Society,' supervised by Dr. Edouard Conte. It is argued that kinship relationships define a newborn child's place in society and reproduce collective identities and social relations. But how static are conceptions of kinship and what happens when gays and lesbians claim access to family rights? This research examines the obstacles same-sex couples overcome when becoming parents, and explores how they challenge the structure of Jewish Israeli society. In Judaism, kinship and religion are tightly interwoven, and religious status is transmitted through birth. This is also true in Israel, where family law is informed by Jewish approaches to kinship, and Orthodox authorities control conversion, marriage, and divorce. While Orthodox rabbis oppose same-sex parenthood, gays and lesbians have won partial access to reproductive technologies and recognition for their families in civil courts. Additionally, they bypass domestic restrictions, taking advantage of less restrictive regulations abroad. Against a background of legal incoherence, same-sex couples invest considerable energy to protect their family relations through legal means. Furthermore, they manifest their families' belonging to Jewish Israeli society when converting children born to non-Jewish mothers, and circumcising the boys. By promoting their own conceptions of kinship as legitimately Jewish, this research argues that they undermine the hegemony of Orthodox Judaism in Israel.
Kett, Robert John, U. of California, Irvine, CA - To aid research on 'Subterranean Science: Oil, Archaeology and the Making of Southern Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Mei Zhan
Preliminary abstract: This project studies two intersecting field scientific interventions in the southern Mexican region of Olman and their impacts on local people and places. Archaeology is known to preserve the cultural past, while oil exploration is seen to exploit natural resources. However, in Olman and elsewhere, these field sciences have something in common. Both explore and extract, generating resources from the subsurface and dramatically altering surrounding places. They also deploy similar conceptual tools to do so. In Olman, these conceptual and material similarities frame more immediate interactions and collaborations between these projects. While these processes are often studied as economic or nationalist phenomena, this project examines scientific exploration and extraction as precursors to industrial and national intervention in the region. Through ethnographic research with scientists and local communities and archival research, this research will examine the scientific practices that render Olman legible to industrial and national projects, and the transformations that result from resource extraction. Examining the entanglements of archaeology and oil geology, it explores a pattern of extraction that illuminates the ongoing (inter)national appropriation of resources from the 'periphery' as well as the historical, material and conceptual connections between purportedly distinct 'natural' and 'cultural' extractions, with implications beyond Mexico.
Yoltar-Durukan, Cagri, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on '''Paying the Price': Moral Economy and Citizenship in the Kurdish Region of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot
CARGRI YOLTAR-DURUKAN, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, received funding in April 2012 to aid research on ''Paying the Price:' Moral Economy and Citizenship in the Kurdish Region of Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Charles Piot. This research's interests broadly focus on the relationship between economy, politics, and morality. In particular, it addresses the anthropology of debt, state, citizenship, and political subjectivity -- especially at the nexus of political violence and welfare programs. The project explores these topics through an ethnographic and archival research of conflicting and competing discourses on rights, obligations, and justice inherent in the debates and claims on social assistance in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Its aim is to trace the ways in which the moralities and responsibilities that inform the political field in the Kurdish region disrupts the depoliticizing effects of welfare and development discourse, and bring into being complex citizenship claims. To do so, the study traces different uses and meanings of a particular idiom, bedel odemek ('paying the price' or 'bearing the cost') through which Kurds express the sacrifices they made in supporting the Kurdish political movement during the decades-long conflict with the Turkish state, and explore how bedel rhetoric plays itself out in making economic claims.
Rice, Jenna Dawn, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'The Sectarian Gift: Piety, Clientelism, and Changing Practices of Giving in Sidon, Lebanon,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako
Preliminary abstract: In Damascus, one is often told that 'no one is homeless; no one goes hungry.' This is reportedly due to informal networks of giving that aid the city's poor. My research will examine Syrians' giving practices in the context of economic liberalization, dramatic population growth, and a growing discourse among the political and religious leadership that attributes poverty to 'the wrong mentality.' This twelve month ethnographic study situated in Syria's capital city will ask: 'What is the range of broader sensibilities -- towards poverty, worthiness, obligation, merit, kinship, and care -- that inform Syrians' giving practices? Does the changing economic, demographic, and discursive context reconfigure Syrians' sensibilities toward giving? If so, how?' Most scholarship on giving in the Middle East focuses on the institutional and Islamic doctrinal dimensions of giving. Rather than presupposing a particular relationship between law and social practice, I will ask about the ways in which Islamic concepts are invoked in relation to giving practices; when they are invoked; and by whom. This project will advance understandings of informal giving in the Middle East under liberalization; further the anthropological tradition of situated studies on gift giving and sociality, and develop an approach to the cultural production of Islam.
Dua, Jatin, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
JATIN DUA, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. Since 2008, a number of high profile incidents of piracy off the coast of East Africa have resulted in increased global attention to this region, including the deployment of a multi-national naval patrol and attempts to prosecute suspected pirates. Policy makers have attributed this phenomenon to the lack of a strong centralized government in Somalia and called for various forms of intervention on-shore to address piracy's root causes. However, this interpretation of the conflict obscures a longer history of regulation and transgression and piracy's long pedigree in the Western Indian Ocean. This research resituates piracy within histories of the Indian Ocean and longstanding attempts to redefine sovereignty and legality within this oceanic space. This work suggests that maritime piracy may be better understood as a form of capital-intensive armed entrepreneurship and an attempt to secure protection from global poaching, waste dumping, and from the surveillance of regulators. As such, piracy as a system of protection competes with a variety of state and non-state forms of protection in this area. This project investigates the encounters between these overlapping regimes of protection and regulation in the Western Indian Ocean.
Idrus, Rusaslina, Harvard U., Cambridge MA - To aid research on 'Native State, Transnational Indigenes: Strategies in the Era of International Accountability,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho
RUSASLINA IDRUS, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2005 to aid research on 'Native State, Transnational Indigenes: Strategies in the Era of International Accountability,' supervised by Dr. Engseng Ho. At the international level, the legal realm is an emerging space of resistance for indigenous movements. There has been a significant increase in the number of court cases involving tribal communities successfully suing state governments for land and resource rights world wide. This project seeks to understand the larger implications of this strategy. How has this changed the relationship and dynamics between marginalized groups and the nation state? How has the state responded? How are transnational discourses such as 'human rights' and 'cultural rights' influencing these cases? How do ideas of international accountability and the global audience play into this? This project will examine the questions above by focusing on the relationship between the Malaysian State and the aboriginal people of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli.
Walker, Joshua Daniel Lee Zaks, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Crisis or Reconstruction? Street Children and Diamond Miners in Mbujimayi, Democratic Republic of Congo,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
JOSHUA WALKER, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'Crisis or Reconstruction? Street Children and Diamond Miners in Mbujimayi, Democratic Republic of Congo,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff. This research in the diamond mining town of Mbujimayi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, examined the lives and livelihoods of two socially marginalized groups of young people: street children and artisanal diamond miners. It asked how they create futures and fashion themselves as 'responsible' adults amidst precarious socio-economic circumstances borne of a declining diamond economy. The research found, first, that while they are often seen by the public as a menace to future social order, they in fact are following new pathways that participate in 'traditionally' valued forms of social reproduction. Second, the context of decline creates a situation in which these pathways themselves are often shaped by an inability to imagine wealth creation beyond diamonds, which attests to how the diamond commodity and Mbujimayi's dependence on it have foreshortened the imagination of different kinds of wealth creation. Finally, changes in the structure of diamond labor (from employees working for an industrial mining company to artisanal diggers) also have an impact on the temporality of everyday life, in which the inherent precarity of artisanal mining truncates the possibility of imagining futures even as they are being created in practice.
Petruccio, Claudia L., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Amniocentesis, Cultural Mediation, and the Construction of Difference in Italy,' supervised by Dr. Joseph S. Alter
CLAUDIA L. PETRUCCIO, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'Amniocentesis, Cultural Mediation, and the Construction of Difference in Italy,' supervised by Dr. Joseph S. Alter. This project examined a program in which native speakers of thirty languages facilitate the delivery of culturally competent healthcare to recent immigrants in Florence, Italy. Research was designed to reveal the ways in which culture is defined, represented, and enacted throughout the various administrative and clinical registers of the program, and was focused primarily on a prenatal clinic for Chinese immigrants housed in a center for the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The researcher attended trainings for cultural mediators, participated in the daily life of prenatal clinics where Arab, Romanian, and Chinese mediators assisted patients, and shadowed a Chinese mediator as she conducted rounds in the prenatal and maternity wards of a large suburban hospital. Interviews were conducted with administrators, doctors, midwives, mediators, and patients to elicit opinions about the meanings of culture and how it relates to the needs of expectant and new immigrant mothers. Particular attention was paid to points of disjuncture in clinical practice, where ideal theories or romanticized versions of culture came into conflict with the legal, material and structural reality of immigrant patients. The women who frequented the clinics described their needs primarily in legal, structural, and economic terms: long working hours and poor conditions, greater need for translation services, and difficulty navigating the bureaucracy of medical and government offices. All of these needs were addressed in daily interactions in the clinic, yet the clinic staff expressed a frustrating incongruity between an idealized Chinese culture, associated with healthful living and a balanced lifestyle, and the often unhealthy circumstances of their immigrant patients.