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.
Suarez, Rafael, U. of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid research on 'Paleoindian Adaptations at the Subtropical Landscape During Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in Uruguay,' supervised by Dr. Laura L. Miotti
RAFAEL SUAREZ, then a student at University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Paleoindian Adaptations at the Subtropical Landscape during Pleistocene Holocene Transition in Uruguay,' supervised by Dr. Laura L. Miotti. The investigation of the Pay Paso 1 site allowed researchers to generate a chronological and stratigraphic base for a sequence of human occupations of late Pleistocene and early Holocene in northwest Uruguay. Two new designs of projectile points for the Paleoindian period have been discovered at the archaeological excavations in locality 1 of Pay Paso site. The paleo-vegetation record indicates dry climatic conditions shortly before 10,930 yr 14C BP. The greatest paleo-environmental change is observed when Amarathus is replaced by a varied vegetal community that includes subtropical and tropical trees, and plants adapted to humid soils and to highly humid conditions (such as the ferns and moss). The investigation shows the expansion of the subtropical forest, associated to an increase in temperature, humidity and rainfall at the mouth of the Cuareim River between 10,205-10,100 yr 14C BP. Five species of fauna have been identified -- the only fauna collection recovered in an archaeological site for the Paleoindian period in Uruguay. Two identified species correspond to late Pleistocene mammals - giant armadillo (Glyptodon sp.) and American horse (Equus sp.) -- and three correspond to records of present fauna: Boga fish (Leporinus sp.), otter (Myocastor sp.) and Rhea (Rhea Americana). The fauna recovered in the earliest cultural components present a relatively high variety of class with records of bird, mammal and fish. Stratigraphic association in context between Equus sp. (American Horse), a young individual Glyptodon sp. (Giant Armadillo) and archaeological material that includes Pay Paso points in the cultural component dated during the early Holocene, which indicates the simultaneous coexistence of two surviving species of Pleistocene fauna with humans at the Northwest of Uruguay ca. 9,500 yr 14C BP.
Ives, Sarah Fleming, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Rooibos and Redemption: Cultivating a Global Commodity in South African Tea Farming,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
SARAH FLEMING IVES, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded funding in October 2010, to aid research on 'Rooibos and Redemption: Cultivating a Global Commodity in South African Tea Farming,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. Considerable social and semiotic work goes into conferring value upon niche commodities in a global capitalist system. The project's goal is to contribute to an enhanced understanding of the ways in which production and transnational exchange cannot be separated from simultaneous struggles over subjectivity and value -- both through products themselves and through the contested and politicized narratives that surround them. Through an examination of South African rooibos tea farming, the study combines a grounded political economy approach with an anthropological semiotics in order to re-center discussions around value and the ways in which commodity value -- both economic and affective -- is indissociable from subjectivities. Based on more than twelve months of ethnographic research, this project explores how the rooibos community's intensely personal social dramas are entangled with struggles over land, labor, indigeneity, and social belonging in post-apartheid South Africa and in an increasingly interconnected world. Advertisements alternately refer to rooibos as a globalized commodity, an authentic local product, and South Africa's national beverage. Drawing on these competing narratives, this project examines how capitalism and value are discursively constituted through historically specific negotiations around commodities, natural resources, and political identities.
Cuellar, Andrea M., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'The Organizations of Agricultural Production in the Emergence of Chiefdoms in Valle de Los Quijos, Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
ANDREA M. CUELLAR, while a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received an award in January 2002 to aid research on the organization of agricultural production in the emergence of chiefdoms in Valle de los Quijos, Ecuador, under the supervision of Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Cuellar was concerned with the emergence of chiefly societies in the eastern piedmont of Ecuador, particularly with two main issues: the history of occupation in the region and patterns of agricultural production, emphasizing how both were related to the emergence of chiefly authority. A full-coverage, systematic regional survey was conducted to reconstruct settlement patterns at different moments of the sequence, in order to account for changes in sociopolitical structure through time. In addition, a series of test pits was excavated to collect samples for analysis of pollen and macroremains at different sites belonging to the period of chiefdom emergence. Site selection criteria targeted contrasting environmental and social contexts that might account for any observed regional differences in the organization of agricultural production as seen through the analysis of botanical remains.
Shapero, Joshua Aprile, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Speaking Places: The Grammar of Space and the Sociality of Place among Central Quechua Speakers,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Mannheim
JOSHUA A. SHAPERO, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Speaking Places: The Grammar of Space and the Sociality of Place among Central Quechua Speakers,' supervised by Dr. Bruce Mannheim. This project examines patterns of spatial orientation in language and environmental practice in the Rio Negro watershed, in the north-central Peruvian Andes. The study integrated ethnographic, grammatical, and experimental methods to show how speakers of the endangered language, Ancash Quechua, engage their physical environment through language and practice, and how this is changing intergenerationally. Ancash Quechua speakers communicate spatial relations by means of allocentric Frames-of-Reference; in other words, systematically using place-names and local topography, as in 'Juan's house is toward Rio Sawan,' or 'the cup is on the uphill side of the table.' This habitual integration of environmental knowledge with the grammar serves as a mechanism mediating spatial orientation in language and cognition and the cultural patterns of environmental practice that constitute meaningful places, such as seasonal pasturing, the collection of medicinal herbs, and place-bound rituals of healing, divination, and sacrifice. The high grasslands called the puna or hallqa are central here. Pastoralism in this zone has persisted across successive periods of political fragmentation and violence in the last several millenia. This study shows that the persistence of complex patterns of practice such as hallqa pastoralism are not due simply to cultural, economic, or ecological determinants, but to a mutual relationship between environmental practice, language structure, and cognition.
Hazel, Mary-Ashley, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Sexually Transmitted Disease, Ecology, and Reproduction among the Tjimba/Himba: A Pastoral Community in Transition,' supervised by Dr. Bobbi Stiers Low
MARY-ASHLEY HAZEL, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Sexually Transmitted Disease, Ecology, and Reproduction among the Tjimba/Himba: A Pastoral Community in Transition,' supervised by Dr. Bobbi Stiers Low. Human Behavioral Ecology predicts that certain variability in reproductive strategies will be associated with differential access to resources. If individuals who have a more ecological vulnerable resource base use reproductive strategies as a means to optimize resource access, then there should also be an accompanying, predictable pattern of variability in measurable reproductive health markers, such as burden of sexually transmitted disease (STD). This project based in Namibia conducts an interdisciplinary exploration of the association of cultural, ecological, and behavioral factors with STD risk among the Tjimba/Himba, a southern African agro-pastoral community experiencing economic and cultural transitions. This research attempts to: 1) explore the variability in viral and non-viral STD rates between villages as a function of wealth, urban proximity and frequency of migration; 2) determine how ecological vulnerability impacts STD risk; and 3) contextualize STD risk within the changing cultural landscape of the Tjimba/Himbas. STD morbidity and mortality is both an academic and practical concern for scientists. A complete study of STDs explores epidemiological and ecological correlates as well as the cultural impact at both the individual level and population level; this study therefore approaches these issues with the theoretical and methodological tools of multiple disciplines, including cultural anthropology, behavioral ecology and epidemiology.
Matza, Alexis R., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Masculinity: Comparing Testosterone Therapy in the Aging Male and Transgender Populations,' supervised by Dr. Ellen Lewin
ALEXIS R. MATZA, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Masculinity: Comparing Testosterone Therapy in the Aging Male and Transgender Populations,' supervised by Dr. Ellen Lewin. While all healthy male and female bodies produce testosterone, in North America testosterone is thought to be the substance that makes men masculine. Testosterone therapy, the use of synthetic testosterone as a hormone replacement therapy, at once establishes, maintains, and enforces a coherently embodied gender. Testosterone is at once a symbol of cultural notions of masculinity and a commodity, a metaphor and an object. This research analyzed multiple discourses of testosterone and disparate usages of testosterone therapy in two intriguingly divergent populations in North America. Aging men (ages 40-70) and transgender men (male-identified, though not born biological men), illuminate the extent to which masculinity is a cultural construction, influenced by culture, biology, and technology. This project explores how masculinity is pursued, not just through the accumulation of culturally sanctified behaviors, but also through technological modifications of the body. The findings of this project include the realization that ordinary men, subject at once to their individual desires and society's hegemonic demands of appropriate masculinity, do not always conform to stereotypes of appropriate masculinity. In addition, this project found that both transgender and non-transgender aging men use gendered performance as a type of mask, a phenomenon that the grantee calls Maskulinity.
Carpenter, Leah J., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Ojibwe Land Acquisition Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Nancy J. Parezo
LEAH J. CARPENTER, while a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received funding in December 2001 to aid historical and ethnographic research on Ojibwe land acquisition strategies, under the supervision of Dr. Nancy J. Parezo. Investigating Ojibwe perceptions regarding land and the need for Ojibwe ownership of it, Carpenter compared the landownership histories of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Reservations in Minnesota and examined the historical and cultural factors that currently informed the decisions of the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands regarding land acquisition. One primary method of data collection was archival, legal, and textual research into federal Indian policies, laws, and treaties affecting indigenous landownership. In addition, formal and informal interviews with band officials and land department staff, tribal elders, and other government officials provided invaluable information about Ojibwe perceptions of the historical loss of land within reservation boundaries, about the related need for additional tribal land acquisition, about contemporary tribal cultural activities on the land, and about current and historical land acquisition efforts. The research revealed the precariousness of Indian landownership in the United States, even within the boundaries of reservations that were intended to serve as permanent tribal homelands. The historical reality of major transfers of reservation land out of Ojibwe ownership informs tribal land acquisition efforts today. Although the Grand Portage and Leech Lake Bands share a common tribal identify and similar overall histories, they have distinct land tenure histories and landownership statuses today, which has led them to different land acquisition needs and strategies.
Rozental, Sandra C., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mobilizing the Monolith: Property, Collectivity, and Vernacular Archaeology in Contemporary Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie
SANDRA ROZENTAL, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Mobilizing the Monolith: Property, Collectivity, and Vernacular Archaeology in Contemporary Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Thomas A. Abercrombie. This research examined how archaeology -- a science that has been key in formulating state ideology and national heritage in Mexico -- is being mobilized by community projects to claim inalienability over land and community property over scarce natural resources in the context of rampant urbanization and social change. Ethnographic research was conducted in Coatlinchan, a town characterized by the extraction of a colossal pre-Hispanic stone monolith that was taken by the state to Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology in 1964. Findings draw on eight months of participant observation among: groups working with cultural heritage in Coatlinchan, the absent monolith and its many replicas; local authorities in charge of managing community property; and other social actors engaged in activities around the town's history and heritage. A second phase of research was conducted during six months of work in the national and state archives locating documents, maps, and photographs illustrating the history of Coatlinchan's buildings and territories, and oral-history interviews with participants in the monolith's extraction and in the study of Coatlinchan as an archaeological site. This study argues that national heritage (as a property category) and State appropriation of the preconquest indigenous past and its material culture (as the nation's past and property) are being re-signified by local communities who are mobilizing this past and the tangible ruins located in their territories to claim indigenous ancestry and collective ownership over land and resources at the same time Mexico's neoliberal policies work to dismantle the inalienability of ejidos (communal property) and communal forms of government and identity that had characterized Mexico's post-revolutionary recent past. This project contributes to studies on property, heritage (as both a system of ancestry and inheritance), and the uses of science and scientific knowledge by social actors in contemporary claims.