Raucher, Michal Soffer, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Women Know What to Expect When They are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman
MICHAL SOFFER RAUCHER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'A Womb of One's Own? How Jewish Woman Know What to Expect When They Are Expecting,' supervised by Dr. Helen B. Schwartzman. This research was based on the hypothesis that given the prominent cultural and religious rejection of fetal personhood by Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) women in Jerusalem, anthropological theories on the effect of fetal ultrasound on personification did not apply. This project sets out to unravel the relationship between medicine, religion, and the individual in Israeli prenatal care. The phase of research supported by Wenner-Gren resulted in the collection of interviews with doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas (labor-coaches) who work with Haredi women in Jerusalem. This phase also included extensive observations in a Haredi prenatal clinic and in the fetal ultrasound department of a major hospital in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the researcher spent a year observing the daily operations at the Jewish pro-life organization in Jerusalem. Findings from this phase of research highlight the ways in which doctors and rabbis act in concert in order to control the prenatal experiences of Haredi women; however, bolstered by their embodied experiences of pregnancy and the value given to their reproductive capabilities by the religious culture, Haredi women manipulate this system of control in order to conform to their requests and desires regarding prenatal medical care.
Garrido Escobar, Francisco Javier, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'New Perspectives on the Inca Road: Local Mining and Globalization in the Prehistoric Chilean Desert,' supervised by Dr. Marc Bermann
FRANCISCO J. GARRIDO ESCOBAR, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'New Perspectives on the Inca Road: Local Mining and Globalization in the Prehistoric Chilean Desert,' supervised by Dr. Marc Bermann. Scholarly treatments of the Inca Empire have often focused on the deep economic and political transformations wrought by Inca conquest and administration. In contrast, much less is known about 'bottom up' changes, or how local groups might have independently used the overarching Inca system to create new economic opportunities of their own. The recent discovery of mining and craft specialized sites lying just off the Inca Road in the Atacama Desert provides the opportunity to explore the relationship of how local economic activities, not under Inca control, were stimulated by Inca imperial infrastructure. These sites that constitute the Chinchilla mining system differ markedly from Inca state-ruled mining sites in lacking Inca-style architecture, and featuring artisan (household) versus centrally managed production of copper ore beads, iron oxide red pigment, and stone artifacts. This research tested the proposition that this economic activity was made logistically possible only by the use of the Inca Road. In addition to evaluating the potential role of the Inca Road system as a spur to new forms of local economic activity, the research assesses contrasting models of imperial transportation systems and their role in the creation of global connections in marginal territories.
Warrener, Anna Gabriella, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Pelvic Shape and Locomotor Cost: An Empirical Test of Biomechanical Models of the Hip,' supervised by Dr. Herman Pontzer
ANNA G. WARRENER, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Pelvic Shape and Locomotor Cost: An Empirical Test of Biomechanical Models of the Hip,' supervised by Dr. Herman Pontzer. This study focuses on the effect of variation in hominin pelvic shape on locomotor cost and gait kinematics, specifically how pelvic width influences the functioning of the hip abductor muscles and what these muscles contribute to energetic expenditure during locomotion. This topic has been discussed widely in the literature, however all previous analyses have been based on static biomechanical models of hip abductor function that do not incorporate the dynamics of force production in the lower limb during locomotion. To address these questions, gait analysis, force plate, and oxygen consumption data were collected for 28 individuals as well as anatomical data from MRIs. Using a custom-written MatLab routine, muscle mechanical advantage, force, and active muscle volume will be determined for the hip abductors as well as the other major muscle groups of the lower limb active during locomotion. These data can then be used to determine the relationship between skeletal shape and muscle mechanical advantage as well as the direct contribution of the hip abductors to locomotor cost. Once analysis is completed, this research will help answer long-standing questions regarding early hominin locomotion and the effect of sexual dimorphism in the modern human pelvis on locomotor efficiency.
Kudlu, Chithprabha, Washington U., University City, MO - To aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Davis Stone
CHITHPRABHA KUDLU, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Journey from Plant to Medicine: A Study of Ayurvedic Commodity Chains in Kerala,' supervised by Dr. Glenn Stone. The study investigates current developments in commodification of Ayurvedic medicine in Kerala, India, and their effects on knowledge and livelihood of actors in the commodity chain for Ayurvedic herbs. Fieldwork has allowed identification of key nodes in the commodity chain and has revealed changes ranging from the routine to the transformative. On one hand, increased commodification has caused predictable shifts in the nature of knowledge contributions and livelihood outcomes for actors at the manufacturing, consuming, and practitioner nodes. On the other, developments associated with globalization, health tourism, and changing demands of domestic consumers have contributed to a dynamic new climate of commodification. The entry of non-traditional stakeholders is causing new paths and diversion for Ayurvedic commodities, sometimes threatening commodity boundaries and causing conflict between the old and new value systems. The industry's interest in globalizing Ayurveda has also brought in pressures of regulation and standardization that sometimes conflict with traditional practices. Although the dynamisms do not extend to the upstream supply, chain which continues to depend on a gathering economy, fledgling developments in farming and industrial cluster projects portend future potentials and constraints. The study examines the responses of various respondents in this context with special attention to changes in the roles and contributions of nodal actors; changes in power relationships between different stakeholders; changes in consumption patterns; and changes in the medicine commodity itself.
Banahan, Joan Patricia, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Small Site Archaeology: Complex Hunter-Gatherer Settlement, Mobility, and Resource Production,' supervised by Dr. Gary Graham Coupland
JOAN PATRICIA BANAHAN, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Small Site Archaeology: Complex Hunter-Gatherer Settlement, Mobility, and Resource Production,' supervised by Dr. Gary G. Coupland. This doctoral study investigates how pre-Contact hunter-gatherers on the northern coast of British Columbia developed and maintained social hierarchies. Funding supported several tasks: site mapping and test excavations; identification and quantification of vertebrate and invertebrate remains; and radiocarbon dating of camp sites in Prince Rupert Harbor. This region is part of the traditional territories of the Coast Tsimshian First Nations. Archaeological remains from camp sites are used to understand patterns of mobility, resource production, and household organization in Prince Rupert Harbor. The distribution of mammals, fish, birds, and shellfish indicate the harvest of local resource patches from fall through summer by household labor. Shellfish were a very significant resource and were bulk processed at camp sites. Traditionally, shellfish were traded and used in feasts by the Tsimshian. Access and control of shellfish beds may have been an important factor in concepts of resource ownership. Radiocarbon dating has produced the earliest know site in the region, dated to between 7,700 and 6,650 years ago. Radiocarbon dates also indicate a long-term, intensive shellfish economy established by at least 7000 years ago. By this time people were exploiting resources on outer islands using open water boats for logistical movement of people, gear and resources.
Pearson, Thomas William, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Biosafety, Neoliberalism, and the Struggle for Life: Anti-biotechnology Activism & the Politics of Expertise in Central America,' supervised by Dr. Carmen Alicia Ferradás
THOMAS WILLIAM PEARSON, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Biosafety, Neoliberalism, and the Struggle for Life: Anti-Biotechnology Activism and the Politics of Expertise in Central America,' supervised by Dr. Carmen Alicia Ferradas. Fieldwork investigated the relationships between neoliberal economic reforms and new concerns with the management of biological life, as an object of both technocratic control and political struggle. Through ethnographic research on conflicts over transgenic organisms and agricultural biotechnology, the grantee examined how biosafety is socially constituted as a form of risk management and expertise that mediates local and global circuits of technology, knowledge, capital, and nature. Ethnographic fieldwork with environmental activists who campaign against transgenics, and who work to reshape the meaning and practice of biosafety, provided insight into how 'life itself' is symbolically constructed as an object of struggle amidst wider transformations associated with free-market policies and ideologies. The research also adapted to and incorporated rapidly changing fieldwork circumstances when broad opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) coalesced into one of the largest social movements in the history of contemporary Costa Rica. As concerns over CAFTA came to concentrate on the impacts of new intellectual property rights reforms, environmentalists were unexpectedly propelled to the center of the popular movement, leading a struggle against the privatization and commoditization of genetic resources and seeds framed around the 'defense of life itself.'
Pearson, Thomas W. 2012. Transgenic-Free Territories in Costa Rica: Networks, Place, and the Politics of Life. American Ethnologist 39(1):90-105.
Pearson, Thomas W. 2013. 'Life is Not for Sale!': Confronting Free Trade and Intellectual Property in Costa Rica. American Anthropologist 115(1):58-71.
Evers, Cecile Anne Marguerite, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on ''Between Le Francais and L'Arabe: Muslim Second-Generation Youth Speak and Unspeak Marseille,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha
CECILE ANNE MARGUERITE EVERS, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Between Le Francais and L'Arabe: Muslim Second-Generation Youth Speak and Unspeak Marseille,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha. This linguistic ethnography, carried out over the 2012-2013 school year in Marseille, France, calls into question essentializing representations by the French State and popular media that construct second-generation youth of North and West African backgrounds as increasingly pious and more closely identified with transnational Islam than with locally grounded forms of belonging and being French. The research question asks how second-generation youth who live in Marseille and identity as Muslim draw linguistically on both family and peer-learned, non-standard repertoires of Marseillais French, dialectal Arabic, and other heritage languages (e.g., Wolof, Comorian), and school-learned standard repertoires of Arabic and French, in the development of their identities, seeking sometimes to reanimate and sometimes to contest alignments with the institutional categories that predicate a religiosity and transnationality of them. Data collected with youth who attend Modern Standard Arabic and Standard French classes in public and denominational schools, and secular and Muslim community centers reveal that youth micro-communities coalesce around shared stances -- expressed linguistically through recurring preferences to use standard or non-standard languages -- to such social categories as marginality, piousness, kinship and generational difference, foreignness, and Frenchness. Indeed, as they choose among the ideologically weighted linguistic options ambiently available to them, they are likewise communicating broader orientations they hold to Marseille -- as a long-term destination or imminent point of departure to the Muslim world -- and, in turn, the educational and social trajectories incident to these orientations.
Thames, Horacio B., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
HORACIO B. THAMES, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Full-coverage survey of the Tafi Valley involved the detection and recording of architectural remains and surface scatters throughout the valley floor and piedmont zone. Instead of sites, collection units were used as the basic spatial unit of data recording and analysis. A collection unit represents a standardized area delineated in the field whose boundaries were marked on air photographs. Two types of artifact collections were made within each collection unit. Systematic collection circles were used to collect all visible artifacts until reaching a minimum sample size. When sherd density was low, an opportunistic general collection was carried out. In addition, diagnostic sherds were collected when available from each collection unit. A series of shovel probes was dug in collection units containing surface architecture when surface artifact density was low. Survey methodology utilized yielded representative collections of ceramics of various kinds that are suitable for quantitative analysis. The information provided by the regional survey primarily allowed the grantee to create a reliable database and to develop digital maps. Databases will allow the grantee to calculate both proportions of sherds of various kinds (of particular periods, or forms) and densities of surface ceramics. Digital maps compiled display areas occupied during Formative and Regional Development periods and exhibit the spatial distribution of different kinds of artifacts. A typology based on formal attributes was developed to categorize domestic, public, and productive (agricultural and pastoral) structures recorded. Intersite comparison of architectural composition will be used to assess character and magnitude of complexity (i.e., functional differentiation) throughout the sequence.
Junaid, Mohamad, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Urban Kashmiri Youth Activists: State Violence, Tehreek, and the Formation of Political Subjectivity,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano
Preliminary abstract: Youth in Indian-controlled Kashmir's capital, Srinagar, live under conditions of chronic state violence, yet have been able to renew the long-standing Kashmiri movement for self-determination, locally known by its Urdu name Tehreek. Legally, Kashmiris are full citizens in India, but since 1990, India has used emergency laws and militarized governance to punitively contain Kashmiris. Kashmiri youth activists, who have spent most of their lives under these conditions, are, in particular, stigmatized and subjected to violence. The renewal of the Tehreek since 2008, mostly in the form of non-violent protests, has led to further state repression, but the movement has continued. However, an increasing emphasis on transnational Islamic politics, which challenges the traditional nationalist framings of self-determination, and an emerging articulation of young Kashmiri women's struggles within the Tehreek have turned the latter into a wider space for internal contestation. By ethnographically focusing on urban Kashmiri youth activists, my research will examine how youth sense everyday precarity under state domination, become committed to politics, and the implications of their emergent transnational discourse on the self-determination movement. Further documenting the experiences and perspectives of young Kashmiri women activists, I will analyze the consequences of differences within political movements in subordinated societies.
Ngo, Anh-Thu Thi, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Constructing / Belonging in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. Michael Herzfeld
ANH-THU THI NGO, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Constructing/Belonging in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,' supervised by Dr. Michael Herzfeld. This research focuses on transformation, adaptation, and belonging in Vietnam's largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City (known locally as Saigon). Three fields of interaction -- distinguished broadly as artistic, political and philanthropic activity -- serve as the grounds for an examination of the sociality inherent to self- and world-making in the context of urban growth. Amid both the empowering and obstructing capacities of city life, how do particular agents construct the means for grounding their lives meaningfully? How do the landscapes and social processes around them impinge on these endeavors? In each of the three spheres of inquiry, young Saigonese organize themselves to share information and resources to broaden and enable their creative, civic or charitable aims. The urban environment, which engenders these connections, grounds the ethnographic picture, even as Saigonese increasingly turn to social media platforms to engage one another. These investigations into well-being are framed not as processes that have neat arcs of fulfillment but rather as continual working at
'being-with:' being with oneself in terms of spiritual or moral understanding; being with others in social and political engagement; being with one's environment or cityscape in its multitude and mutations. Through extended conversations and multimedia engagement, this ethnography provides a mosaic of urbanites' attempts to forge futures when collective memories and present realities come together in uncertain manner.