Kang, Byungchu Dredge, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Reorientations: Asian Regionalism, Class Distinction, and Male Same-Sex Desire in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Peter John Brown
BYUNGCHU DREDGE KANG, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant in November 2008 to aid research on 'Reorientations: Asian Regionalism, Class Distinction, and Male Same-Sex Desire in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Peter John Brown. This project focuses on how gay men and male-to-female transgender persons (kathoey) in Bangkok, Thailand, experience and negotiate romantic partner preferences in a globalizing world. While there is a body of scholarship that addresses Western influences on Thai gender and sexuality, little is known about the impact of East Asian influences. The grantee proposed to investigate how Thailand's geopolitical position -- situated between wealthier and poorer countries in the region -- constrains and enables new partner preferences. The project examines how desires for Asian partners are created and how Thai-Asian partnerships affect local ways of thinking about and experiencing the self amidst regional economic change. There are three major sources of data for this project: public discourse, participant observation, and interviews.
Van Hoose, Jonathan E., U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'Learning Lineages as Reflected in Ceramic Production in Early Historic Northwest New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Ann F. Ramenofsky
JONATHAN VAN HOOSE, then a student at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Learning Lineages as Reflected in Ceramic Production in Early Historic Northwest New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Ann F. Ramenofsky. This project studied the dynamics of interaction throughout northern New Mexico between AD 1500-1750 by examining the flow of information about ceramic technology between Navajo populations in the Dinetah and northern Rio Grande Pueblo groups. While contact between Navajos and Pueblos is certainly of long standing, the nature and intensity of these contacts is debated. This study applied a concrete methodology for examining information flow and cultural interaction based on an explicit model of the ways that different learning modes are reflected in artifacts, and using a wide range of analytical approaches to quantify technological variation closely linked to actions and choices of potters. The data collected from 32 sites are beginning to paint a picture of broad macro-regional flow of easily transmissible information about potmaking (such as surface treatment), but relative isolation and restrictedness in the flow of more detailed information that would require a more intimate learning context (such as firing behavior, coil size, and the hand motions used in finishing vessels). This suggests long-term, constant contact between Navajo and Pueblo groups, but these relationships appear to be characterized by a relatively low level of intimate, close interpersonal contact between potters from different communities. These conclusions do not support the oft-cited 'refugee hypothesis' asserting a large influx of Pueblo refugees into the Dinetah during the Pueblo Revolt period, which would have been expected to result in some merging of Navajo and Pueblo ceramic-learning lineages. Finally, possible boundaries to information flow were also noted within the Navajo tradition itself.
Day, John William, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Peace through Prosperity: Capital Investment, Entrepreneurship, and the 'Kurdish Problem' in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven Charles Caton
WILL DAY, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on PPeace through Prosperity: Capital Investment, Entrepreneurship, and the 'Kurdish Problem' in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven Charles Caton. Research focused on urban poverty, post-conflict economic assistance and economic reconstruction projects, and claims making in the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast. Set in the context of the violent upheaval of the countryside and the acts of military-led forced displacement and rural dispossession that have remade country and city in that region since the 1980s and 1990s, this ethnographic study examines the ongoing consequences of this transformation. It centers on families cut off from rural subsistence solidarities and working to rebuild lives and livelihoods in a stagnant urban economy, and on the web of relations joining their social worlds with a heterogeneous and deeply divided field of poverty knowledge, assistance, and war-loss compensation. Through 26 months of fieldwork that moved back and forth between the sites of poverty knowledge production and economic policy (national and Kurdish local governmental institutions, various NGOs) and the meaningful practices of memory, claim making for state accountability and economic justice, storytelling, the researcher explore the generation of new forms of belonging and citizenship from within the contradictions and tensions of contemporary economy and politics in a city in flux.
Oenning da Silva, Rita de Cacia, U. Federal of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil - To aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon
RITA OENNING DA SILVA, then a student at Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil, was awarded funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'Child Performers on the Street,' supervised by Dr. Esther Jean Langdon. Based on research with children that dance and sing on the streets of Recife, Brazil, the project shows how children living in the violent context of the favelas perceive themselves and are perceived by the local neighborhood and international audiences. Qualitative research provided the keys to a native theory of childhood, while also showing how children create new modes of relationship between themselves and other agents in their world. The children consciously use their bodies to make art, meaning they are both the subject of art and subjected by art, both the producer of the spectacle and the spectacle produced. Immersed in a complex dialectic between mimesis and creation, they enact and challenge local ethical and æsthetic norms. Movement becomes the dominant metaphor, with children as a fulcrum around which culture moves and adapts, while self emerges in the moment of 'overcoming the movement' (superar o movimento), where the child executes a traditional step or rhythm while adding something new and individual. The movie Alto do Céu, made during field research, showed that the children could document and evaluate the performance of their friends, but also that they saw the act of filming as a performance. In an imagined world of events and narratives, the children both described and re-created themselves.
Horner Brackett, Rachel Anne, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on ''Eat it to Save it': Risk and the Slow Food Movement,' supervised by Dr. Erica Stephanie Prussing
RACHEL A. HORNER BRACKETT, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on ''Eat It to Save It:' Risk and the Slow Food Movement,' supervised by Dr. Erica Prussing. The Slow Food Movement outlines the risks of 'fast' food and living, targeting issues such as sustainability, loss of culinary traditions, unethical rural development, and vanishing biodiversity. How are the discourses of risks described by this movement translated by and through a milieu of diverse local histories and locally defined values surrounding food? To answer this question, research was conducted with Slow Food groups in Tuscany and Iowa from September 2008 to September 2009. This research was comprised of two related but distinct efforts: 1) a critical discourse analysis of Slow Food's stated missions, through evaluations of the media, public relations efforts, publications, and Slow Food events; and 2) the ethnographic study of local efforts to address food risks by Slow Food chapters and related organizations. Risk to place and tradition is emphasized in Italy, where breeds like the Cinta Senese pig are highlighted by Slow Food because they are symbolic of disappearing cultural landscapes and cultural knowledge. In the U.S., where the bureaucratization of a corporate food chain is seen as a major threat, Slow Food groups engage in overtly political contexts. Actors in both countries hold values that promote local activism aiming to redress 'external' threats.
Stynder, Deano D., U. of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa - To aid research on 'The Development of the Khoisan Phenotype: An Investigation Using a Craniological Approach,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca Rogers Ackermann
DEANO D. STYNDER, then a student at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, received a grant in June 2003 to aid research on 'The Development of the Khoisan Phenotype: an Investigation Using a Craniological Approach,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca Rogers Ackermann. The biological evolution of Holocene human populations along South Africa's Cape coast remains poorly understood. This is in stark contrast to the much better understood archaeological record. The current imbalance in knowledge regarding the cultural and biological records of these coastal dwellers is rather unsurprising though. A sizable majority of prehistoric coastal human remains in South African institutions represent individual interments, yielding little or no biological information about the populations from which they originally derived. Additionally, the sample is geographically, temporally, and in certain cases, biologically diverse. However, the single most important impediment to research into prehistoric human biology along this coast has been the lack of a large representative sample of dated remains. Funding went towards an extensive dating program centered on these skeletal remains. This research focuses on a craniometric analysis of a large sample (186) of dated crania from the Cape coast spanning the entire Holocene. It explores morphological similarities and dissimilarities within this diverse sample. In particular, it addresses the questions of how much variation existed in this population and whether the skeletal series represents a single population or is derived from several distinct populations. It also identifies the major sources of variation within this sample. Ultimately, these results have a bearing on questions of population isolation, migration and inter-regional links, issues that have proved difficult to address in archaeologically based studies.
Stynder, Deano. 2006. Craniometric Evidence for South African Later State Age Herders and the Hunter-Gatherers Being a Single Biological Population. Journal of Archaeological Science 1-9.
Stynder, Deano, Rebecca Rogers Ackermann, and Judith C. Sealy. 2007 Early to mid-Holocene South African Later Stone Age Human Crania Exhibit a Distinctly Khoesan Morphological Pattern. South African Journal of Science
Stynder, Deano, Rebecca Rogers Ackermann, and Judith C. Sealy. 2008. Craniofacial Variation and Population Continuity during the South African Holocene. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 134(4):489-500
Stynder, Deano D., Rebecca Rogers Ackermann, and Judith C. Sealy. 2007 Craniofacial Variation and Population Continuity during the South African Holocene. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 134(4):489-500.
Kurki, Helen K., Susan Pfeiffer, and Deano D. Stynder. 2012. Allometry of Head and Body Size in Holocene Foragers of the South African Cape. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147(3):462-471.
Monroe, Cara Rachelle, U. of Californa, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Ancient Human DNA Analysis from CA-SCL-38 Burials: Correlating Biological Relationships, Mortuary Behavior, and Social Inequality,' supervised by Dr. Michael Jochim
Preliminary abstract: Archaeological, ethnographic, and linguistic evidence from the Central Coast and San Francisco Bay area of California suggest a complex culture history of dynamic regional interactions and migration, as well as the emergence of varying degrees of permanent social stratification. The predominately Late Period (1000--Contact YBP) earth/shellmound cemetery site of CA-SCL-38 ('Yukisma') located in the Santa Clara Valley of California suggests that the site was spatially structured according to not just age and sex, but also through a dual moiety system and elite status. Using an ancient DNA (aDNA) approach, this project will test for correlations between the genetic relatedness of individuals, grave goods, and burial patterns. This will provide a direct examination of prehistoric mortuary practices and the emergence/maintenance of social inequality.
Chattaraj, Durba, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Between the City and the Sea:Transport and Connectivity in West Bengal,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Blom Hansen
DR. PARTH R. CHAUHAN, Stone Age Institute, Gosport, Indiana, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Palaeoanthropological Surveys and GIS Mapping in the Narmada Basin, Central India.' Due to future extensive submergence from large-dams in the Narmada Basin, the project's goal was to carry out a systematic survey for palaeoanthropological occurrences in stratified contexts and also create multi-layer GIS maps of known and new find-spots, sites, and localities, and associated stratigraphic sections in relation to geological formations of the valley. The field strategy involved locating, mapping and documenting as many sites as possible within an area of 60 sq-km, between the Tawa and Sher tributaries. Using multidisciplinary data, the research team constructed models of land-use patterns during the Paleolithic. For example, the Early Acheulean and Late Acheulean and Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic are geographically separate, despite shared raw material preference and locations (fine-grained Vindhyan quartzite). Additional work involved preliminary test-excavations or test-trenching at promising sites to understand the stratigraphic context of the associated material (e.g. lithics, fossils, geological features) and absolute dating possibilities. The most significant discoveries include: 1) high density of artifacts at Dhansi (the oldest-known site in the Basin and possibly in India); 2) Late Acheulean artifacts associated with an extensive paleochannel; 3) rare stratified Early Acheulean occurrences; 4) and the most complete Late Pleistocene elephant recovered in buried context.
Hampel, Amir, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Changing Selves in a Transforming Society: How Shy Chinese Learn the Virtues of Self Assertion,' supervised by Dr. Richard Allan Shweder
Preliminary abstract: Recent reports from China suggest that shy and reserved behavior, which used to be accepted and even encouraged, is increasingly regarded as an undesirable obstacle to personal advancement. Books, websites, and seminars teaching people how to become more assertive and outgoing have become extremely popular. Relating new norms of behavior to changes in economic, social, and moral life, I will study how shy students and alumni from universities in Beijing understand themselves and the social world and how self-confidence training groups and psychological education classes in schools promote the virtues of self-assertion. In a society built around enduring social bonds, shy and reserved behavior was interpreted as an intelligently cautious and commendably selfless social strategy. However, following the collapse of traditional society and the communist economy, individuals have been largely disentangled from collective ties to the family and the work unit. In the new market economy, people are forced to compete for their livelihoods, and new opportunities for consumption and modes of interaction force people to define their style and their social identity and to pursue their desires. To understand these social changes, this study will examine how Chinese people are learning that shyness and reserve are problematic.
Sethi, Aarti, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Chronicles of Deaths Foretold?: Farmers' Suicides in Chhattisgarh, India,' supervised by Dr. Rosalind Morris
Preliminary abstract: More than a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide across India since 1995. Since what one report terms the 'largest wave of recorded suicides in human history' (Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2011) first received attention in the mid-nineties, the 'farmer's' suicide' has emerged as a potent politically charged symbol for intense public debates on the depredations of neoliberal structural adjustment, and the failures of state and society. Scholarly and activist discourses have attempted to establish causal links between the suicide of farmers and large-scale industrial transformation of agricultural production in the early 1990s. My research focuses on the suicides of farmers in the Durg and Mahasamund districts of Chhattisgarh in order to examine the means by which suicide is transformed from an exceptional occurrence in peasant life, to entering a culturally available repertoire of action. By examining affects and narratives around suicide deaths among cultivars in Mahasamund and Durg on the one hand, and the ways in which the category of the 'farmers' suicide' is energized as the grounds of new political mobilizations against neoliberalism on the other, my project explores the relationship between sociostructural marginality, forms of life and political possibility, under neoliberal precarity.