Gamez Diaz, Laura Lucia, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Household Religiosity: Discerning Pluralism or Integration in Ancient Maya Society,' supervised by Dr. Olivier de Montmollin
LAURA LUCIA GAMEZ DIAZ, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Household Religiosity: Discerning Pluralism or Integration in Ancient Maya Society,' supervised by Dr. Olivier de Montmollin. This project conducted field research at the ancient Maya city of Yaxha, located in northern Guatemala. The primary focus of the investigation was the ancient Maya domestic ritual practices in this pre-Hispanic polity. It is suspected ancient social diversity involved differences and similarities between religious ideology and rituals from elites and nobles on the one hand (state religion), and commoners on the other (folk religion). The project sought to learn how these folk and state religions meshed together and how commoners might have participated in this state religion. Excavations where carried out in six different households at Yaxha's residential zone, all differing in their superficial characteristics and location within that zone. Not only ample material samples from these households were collected through the excavations, but also, it was possible to gather very useful information from the monumental central zone while on the site, setting an appropriate database for further analysis and comparisons.
Taneja, Anand Vivek, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Sacred as History: Jinns and Justice in the Ruins of Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Partha Chatterjee
ANAND VIVEK TANEJA, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'The Sacred as History: Jinns and Justice in the Ruins of Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Partha Chatterjee. This research is concerned with contemporary ritual practices around medieval Islamic ruins in Delhi. Many of these sacralized ruins are those of 'secular' buildings, not intended to be places of worship - palaces, dams, hunting lodges. The grantee argues that the sacredness of these ruins can be understood through an alternate ontology and epistemology linked both to the Islamic tradition, and to the massive disruptions and dislocations that have characterized everyday life in Delhi over the past hundred years. Through this research, the grantee argues for understanding the sacred as history, understanding these terms to be co-constitutive rather than antithetical. The emphasis on alternate epistemologies also offers a way of understanding relations between religiously defined communities beyond the usual approaches of secularism and tolerance. This research explored the understanding of Islam among non-Muslims who come to these ruins, and argues for the idea of Islam not as an identity, but as a remembered way of being, linked to pre-modern ideas of justice and ethics, and with powers of healing across confessional divides.
Taneja, Anand V. 2013. Jinnealogy: Everyday Life and Islamic Theology in Post-Partition Delhi. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3 (3):139-65.
Taneja, Anand Vivek. 2012. Saintly Visions: Other Histories and History's Others in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi. Indian Economic and Social History Review. 49(4):557-590.
Kim, Kiho, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'New Vineyards in Old Villages: Modernity and Temporality in China's Wine Industry,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar
KIHO KIM, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'New Vineyards in Old Villages: Modernity and Temporality in China's Wine Industry,' supervised by Dr. Judith Farquhar. In China, the wine industry is a state-sponsored project invested in gaining global recognition for the nation's cultural competitiveness, and presented as a catalyst for extending the efficiency of industrial agriculture in rural areas. Local governments provide wine companies with favorable terms in taxation and land contracts, and large-scale vineyards are expanding into vast areas of rural farmland on which villagers used to retain individual land-use rights and plant grain and vegetables. The ethnographic research of China's wine industry illuminates differing discourses of quality on products and humans, and demonstrates how they contend and negotiate with each other to claim legitimate paths of development. In Shandong Province, wine companies project a model of industrial agriculture and labor management while claiming the farming practices of Chinese villagers as inefficient or 'backwards' (luohou). Local officials and winery managers often blame the personal quality (suzhi) of local farmers for the low quality of wine grapes. In conclusion, the state project of the wine industry frames villagers into the 'old, inefficient' minds accustomed to memories of collective production and quantity-oriented production, and aims at advocating the realization of 'a new countryside' (xin nongcun) and 'new peasants' (xin nongmin) in rural villages.
Baxstrom, Richard B., John Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Difference and Danger: Brickfields, Tamils and the Emergence of an Alternative Modernity in Malaysia,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
RICHARD B. BAXSTROM, while a student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, received funding in December 2001 to aid research on the emergence of an alternative modernity among Tamils in Malaysia, under the supervision of Dr. Veena Das. By undertaking a detailed ethnography of Brickfields, a primarily Malaysian Tamil neighborhood located near the center of Kuala Lumpur, Baxstrom investigated the ways in which the Tamil minority community in Malaysia is concretely produced as, and is the producer of, a discrete subcategory of identity. His approach was to empirically investigate and connect the specific situation of Brickfields Tamils with global processes, Malaysian state power, and the unique trajectory of urban life in Kuala Lumpur, examining the ways in which their identity is produced by the Malaysian state and how the community itself produces its own identities, which simultaneously accommodate and resist the state's agenda.
Oland, Maxine H., Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Interactions at the Edge of the Spanish Colony: Early Colonial Maya Archaeology at Chanlacan, Belize,' supervised by Dr. Cynthia Robin
MAXINE H. OLAND, while a student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on early colonial Maya archaeology at Chanlacan, Belize, under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Robinson. Archaeology at the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Maya community of Chanlacan was undertaken to study interaction between Chanlacan and its Spanish and Maya neighbors. Chanlacan is known ethnohistorically for its role in the early Maya resistance movement against the Spaniards, but few documents exist to shed light on the community's relationships. The 2003 excavation season was devoted primarily to the study of household structures and middens. A map was produced of structures along the west shore of Progresso Lagoon, on which the site is located. Horizontal excavations and test pits exposed 528 square meters of Terminal Late Postclassic (fifteenth-sixteenth century) and colonial occupation in a residential area of the site. Although Spanish artifacts had been found at another, more public and ritual part of the site, none was found in the household excavations. There was little evidence to suggest direct Spanish interaction with households at the community, whereas Maya artifacts suggested a continued network of native trade and alliances. There were few direct signs of accommodation to, or resistance against, Spanish authority. Instead, household political economy at Chanlacan suggested that interactions with other native communities structured Chanlacan's relationship with the colonial power.
Escasa, Michelle Jickain, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV - To aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray
MICHELLE J. ESCASA, then a student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray. This project investigates the influence of lactation on female sociosexuality and mate preferences in urban Manila, a population with long-term breastfeeding, low contraceptive use, and quick return to cycling. From an evolutionary perspective, female ancestors were likely spending more time pregnant and lactating rather than ovulating. Moreover, a majority of conceptions in natural fertility societies occurred in lactating, ovulating women. These considerations suggest that lactating women face important life history allocation trade-offs between mating and parenting effort that may be manifested in their sociosexual behavior and mate preferences. Breastfeeding (n=155) and control (n=105) women were recruited to provide a saliva sample (for testosterone and estradiol analyses) and complete a face and voice preference task to determine preferences for masculinity. All participants also completed a questionnaire that assessed sexual functioning, sociosexuality, and relationship satisfaction, along with demographic variables. Breastfeeding women report differences in commitment to their relationship, jealousy levels, sexual functioning, and preferences for high-pitched voices. Further analyses incorporate the age of the infant and the cycling status of participants. Cultural and life history factors will be discussed and will serve as a framework for the findings.
Smithson, Brian Christopher, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Piety in Progress: Video Filmmaking and Religious Encounter in Benin,' supervised by Dr. James Lorand Matory
Preliminary abstract: This research explores collaborative media production in Bénin as religious encounter between Yorùbá-speaking Béninois and Nigerian video filmmakers. Béninois media professionals show ambivalence toward their Nigerian counterparts: they invite these filmmakers to Bénin to serve as experts and mentors, but they express concerns that their Nigerian guests carry with them attitudes toward religion and religious interaction that have been steeped in a national climate of mounting inter-religious tensions and violence. This study thus seeks to determine how the production of religious media becomes a forum to debate and establish norms of community and religious practice for these filmmakers, as well as for the ad hoc audiences who come to watch films being made. As an apprentice with a filmmaking troupe and a large filmmaking NGO in Pobè, Bénin, I will interview filmmakers and spectators from both sides of the Bénin--Nigeria border, participate in all stages of the filmmaking process, and attend religious services and festivals with filmmakers and other members of the community. In so doing, I will determine the roles that national identity, religious affiliation, and professional prestige play in negotiations over religious attitudes and conceptions of community. I also will seek to determine how an open production style shapes the public that can participate in conversations about religious representation, iconography, and aesthetics in media. Firsthand participation and broader analysis of the media landscape will enable me to determine the link between religious deliberation on film sets and the religious attitudes and practices of the participants.
Jaroka, Livia, U. College of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ethnic Relations and the Management of Everyday Life among Hungarian-Speaking Urban Roma in Postcommunist Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Michael S. Stewart
LIVIA JAROKA, while a student at University College of London in London, England, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on ethnic relations and the management of everyday life among Hungarian-speaking urban Roma in post-communist Hungary, under the supervision of Dr. Michael S. Stewart. Jaroka's fieldwork was focused on Roma living in the Jozsefvaros, an area in the Eighth District of Budapest. Data were gathered on Roma social organization, status, and experiences of and responses to social, cultural, economic, political, and human rights conditions since the political-system change in 1989. Special emphasis was placed on factors encouraging or discouraging assimilation or the continued classification of others as Roma. The data showed how the Roma-most of whom had lost economic security after the change of the political system-had failed to be absorbed into Hungarian society, mainly because the non-Roma population appeared to accept unrealistic, exotic stereotypes of Roma and to be unwilling to accept the integration attempts of aspiring Roma. The everyday experiences of informants showed that integration attempts were rejected by majority Hungarians even while the Roma were constantly blamed for 'not being able and willing to integrate.' The discriminative attitude among the majority was the main reason for seeking assimilation, yet many Roma, especially younger people, chose a more nationalistic Roma attitude, often antagonistic to non-Roma.
Albanese, Jeffrey Scipione Black, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Social Alterity and Regulation in Legally-Recognized Homeless Tent Cities,' supervised by Dr. Damani Partridge
JEFFREY S.B. ALBANESE, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in April 2014 to aid research on 'Social Alterity and Regulation in Legally Recognized Homeless Tent Cities,' supervised by Dr. Damani Partridge. Recent scholarship in diverse urban contexts has emphasized intensified forms of exclusion and spatial control that have accompanied urban transformations in the contemporary global political economy. Yet such perspectives offer few resources for understanding cases in which marginalized groups have managed to appropriate urban space and establish legally recognized residential settlements. Based on fieldwork in Oregon with a legally recognized homeless 'tiny house village' and a homeless encampment pursuing legal-recognition, this dissertation project explores connections between law, material culture, and everyday social life in the governance of urban poverty and inequality. Politically organized homeless communities have pursued legal recognition in a variety of ways-by claiming liberal rights to property and due process, by invoking international human rights law, by claiming constitutionally protected free speech and religious exercise, etc. Yet evictions of such encampments (and their occasional legal incorporation) often proceed through public health regulations, building codes, or zoning ordinances-regulatory technologies that primarily govern the built environment and only indirectly (but profoundly) govern persons. In tracing these varied legal trajectories, this research shows how the social organization and material composition of 'informal' settlements are transformed by disjunctures between marginalized groups' legal claims and their eventual adjudication.
Morrison, Amanda Maria, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan
AMANDA MARIA MORRISON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan. Through ethnography, the grantee examined how hip-hop's expressive forms are being used as the raw materials of everyday life by residents of the San Francisco Bay Area -- home to what many regard as one of the most diverse, politically progressive, and creatively prolific hip-hop 'scenes' in the U.S. This focus on regional specificity provides a greater understanding of the impact hip-hop is having on the ground, as an aspect of localized lived practice. While taking a geographically delimited 'case study' approach would seem to narrow the scope of this project, it actually expanded the discussion into often-overlooked areas, exploring hip-hop's heterogeneity and its regional specificity. The Bay Area offers a rich site for the investigation of hip-hop culture because it is distinct in ways that complicate prevailing scholarship on the subject, most of which either emphasize its continuity within Afro-Diasporic expressive traditions or bemoan its cooptation by the global cultural industries. Three key characteristics about the local scene particularly stand out: its racial diversity, its penchant for producing socially conscious artists, and its commercial independence from the corporate music industry. These three qualities provide the primary foci for this analysis.