Stone, Naomi Shira, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Human Technologies in the Iraq War,' supervised by Dr. Brinkley Messick
Preliminary abstract: This is a study of the Iraq War through the dual lens of a subset of American politico-military theoreticians and the Iraqi 'frontier figures' whom they recruit as human technologies of war. Variously understood as translators of culture by the US military and as collaborators back home, how do these figures (mock villagers in combat simulations, political advisers, fixers, interpreters) see themselves? How might we understand the lives and complex allegiances, debts, and doubts of frontier Iraqis, both maneuvered by the military and making their own moves within economic and moral calculi, and now displaced into the America to which they, at great cost, aligned? And as these figures translate Iraqi culture, how do they translate themselves when wartime compels practices of constant masking? I investigate two interrelated case-studies of Americans and Iraqis within the war landscape: first, American military theoreticians at Fort Irwin, California's mock Iraqi villages, and the Iraqi role-players employed there; and second, American political strategists and Iraqis who advise them, and a range of other Iraqis who worked with the Americans during the war (drivers, interpreters) in Washington, DC. I will collect life-histories and observe the lives of frontier Iraqis; interview American theoreticians of war; and engage the military scripts that generate storylines for simulations. I propose that embodying the frontier location turns selves and bodies into second selves and bodies: technologies doing work within a bigger warmaking apparatus, traversing national & cultural boundaries. I further debates on contemporary war, arguing that amidst improved machine technology enabling distance & a potential turn to the 'posthuman,' my study foregrounds the human being at the frontier as an irreplaceable technology of war.
Hobaiter, Catherine Louise, U. of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Gestural Communication in Wild Chimpanzees of Budongo, Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Richard William Byrne
CATHERINE HOBAITER, then a student at University of St. Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Gestural Communication in Wild Chimpanzees of Budongo, Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Richard Byrne. In the first systematic study of gestural communication in wild chimpanzees, the grantee sought to compare her findings with previous results from captivity. First analyses have focused on possible routes of acquisition. Research on captive great apes led to the idea that ape gesture repertoires consist of signals with different ontogeny: species-typical displays biologically inherited, invariant in all populations, used automatically and in fixed ways; and ontogenetically ritualized gestures, communicative signals, shaped from effective actions, then subsequently used intentionally and flexibly. Recent work on gorilla gestures challenged this partition, reporting little difference in flexibility or intentionality between obvious species-typical gestures and those that might potentially have been ritualized. The grantee examined data from wild chimpanzees to see which account fitted best. There were no differences in flexibility or intentionality (persistence, response-waiting, audience-effects) between species-typical or potentially ritualized gestures, or any sign of the idiosyncratic or 'one-way' gestures expected from an ontogeny in dyadic shaping. Most strikingly, the grantee found significant differences between the physical forms of the gestures and the actions from which they were presumed to be ritualized. The research concludes that chimpanzees possess an extensive repertoire of biologically inherited gestures, used flexibly in intentional communication.
Minichillo, Thomas J., U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Middle Stone Age Lithic Study, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Angela E. Close
THOMAS J. MINICHILLO, then a student at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Middle Stone Age Lithic Study, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Angela E. Close. The Middle Stone Age began around 300,000 years ago and continued to around 35,000 years ago in Africa. During this period anatomically modern humans emerged in Africa. Also during this period increasingly sophisticated technological innovations and the earliest evidence for symbolic thought entered into the archaeological record. All of these events are critical for our understanding of modern human origins. The research funded focused on the lithic technology of the Middle Stone Age from the Cape coast of southern Africa and presents new data from the region, helping to place this important period of our evolution in context. It was found, through the use of innovative methods and previously unreported curated assemblages that, during the Still Bay sub-stage, stylistic boundaries are apparent in the stone tools at the same time as the earliest recorded instances of worked ochre and shell beads. As this socially constructed bounding co-occurs with the earliest evidence for symbolic thought and personal adornment in the global archaeological record, it suggests that at least by this time, 74,000 BP, Homo sapiens in southern Africa were behaving in thoroughly modern ways. This overturns one of the widely held explanations for modern human origins, the Neural Advance Model.
Minichillo, Tom. 2006. Raw Material Use and Behavioral Modernity: Howiesons Poort Lithic Foraging Strategies. Journal of Human Evolution 50(3):359-364.
Minichillo, Tom. 2007. Early Marine Resources and Pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature 449:905-909
Bird, Catherine, Tom Minichillo, and Curtis W. Marean. 2007. Edge Damage Distribution at the Assemblage Level on Middle Stone Age Lithics: An Image-based GIS Approach. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:771-780.
Thompson, Erin, Hope M. Williams, and Tom Minichillo. 2010. Middle and La Pleistoncene Middle Stone Age Lithic Technology from Pinnacle Point 13B (Mossel Bay, Western Cape Province, South Africa). Journal of Human Evolution 59(3-4):358-377.
Carvalho, Susana Claudio Ribeiro Marques de, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Chimpanzee Archaeology: Seeking the Evolutionary Origins of Technology,' supervised by Dr. William Clement McGrew
SUSANA CLAUDIO RIBEIRO MARQUES DE CARVALHO, then a student at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Chimpanzee Archaeology: Seeking the Evolutionary Origins of Technology,' supervised by Dr. William C. McGrew. Primate archaeology research in Guinea focused on chimpanzee nut-cracking, using non-human primate models to elucidate variables underlying the origins of technology in early hominins. The aim of the research was to investigate, for non-human primate tool use, typological and technological variation between different chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) communities with differing ecological constraints in two areas: Bossou and Diecke, Guinea, West Africa. An 'outdoor laboratory' in Bossou forest provided the opportunity for nut-cracking field experiments with locally available (Elaeis guineensis) and unavailable (Coula edulis) nuts, and introduced classical prehistoric raw materials (lava-basalt and flint) to the apes. The grantee recorded nut-cracking behavior and monitored nut-cracking sites in Bossou forest: 202 stone tools were seen to be used. Raw material sources were mapped and their availability measured along 14km of transect lines and samples quadrats. An archaeological excavation in Diecke forest revealed strata with stone artifacts, and stone tools and the debris produced during nut-cracking, as well as soil and residues, were collected. The grantee observed and recorded for the first time the chimpanzees of Diecke, and set up a research camp in the interior of this previously unstudied forest.
Carvalho, Susana, et al. 2009. Tool-composite reuse in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): archaeologically invisible steps in the technological evolution of early hominis? Animal Cognition 12(S1):103-114
Sehdev, Megha Sharma, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Voice, Document, Image: Evidentiary Genres in Indian Domestic Violence Law,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation research closely analyzes the movement of civil domestic violence claims from NGO sites to legal courts in New Delhi, India. I investigate how evidence of domestic violence is crafted within the Indian legal system. My research hypothesis is that ways in which domestic violence claims are presented by women and their affinal kin is more important to the outcome of these cases than is the content of their claims. The content of claims made in civil court tends to vary relatively little. Thus, how women present their cases in legal sites will, I expect, have weighty implications for whether or not these grievances are recognized. Given this, my project will track the different forms of evidence that are produced as domestic violence cases are initially heard in the NGO site and as they are ultimately disputed in civil court. The forms of evidence I expect to encounter in these cases are the feminine voice, the bureaucratic document, and the photographic image. I will investigate how women's voices in the initial complaint are translated into written evidence of abuse at the NGO site. I will then explore the way women and their written claims travel into to the courtroom, where they enter a terrain of evaluation alongside other forms of evidence: text messages, emails and photographic snapshots. I will probe how women's claims and the documentary evidence in which they are registered are subject to moral critique, evaluation and appropriation in the scene of the 'trial'. The object of my study is the intertextual terrain of voices, documents, and images, and the moral struggles over what evidences and constitutes domestic intimacy. I will show how encounters between evidetiary genres bring obligations between members of kin to light.
Hale-Gallardo, Jennifer, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'From Curanderos to Traditional Therapists: Institutionalizing Traditional Healing in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Stacey A. Langwick
JENNIFER HALE-GALLARDO, then a student at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'From Curanderos to Traditional Therapists: Institutionalizing Traditional Healing in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Stacey A. Langwick. This research project comprised a nuanced examination of the cultural politics involved in integrating Nahua healers into state programs in the northern mountains of Puebla in order to understand what's at stake for healers as they live out their inclusion in 'traditional medicine' government initiatives. To this end, she conducted in-depth interviewing and participant observation with healers, as well as interviewed and observed their interactions with biomedical physicians, hospital administrators, and state agents. Mapping the shifting ethical and political terrain that Nahua healers must navigate in contemporary initiatives for fomenting local healing practices, Hale-Gallardo documented the different kinds of moral regulation healers are subjected to which require them to critically negotiate their participation in such projects. She finds that despite the projects' many contradictions, Nahua healers find much recompense: alongside the satisfaction they receive from helping patients is an unprecedented recognition offered them and a new status as subjects in a global discourse on traditional medicine that promises to put these rural healers in out-of-the-way places on the map.
Mahadev, Neena, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Buddhist and Christian Ethical Endeavors: Charitable Works, Conversions, and Unstable Religious Commitments in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
NEENA MAHADEV, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Buddhist and Christian Ethical Endeavors: Charitable Works, Conversions, and Unstable Religious Commitments in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. The rise in global Pentecostal Christianity has begun to affect Sri Lanka over recent decades, inciting Buddhist nationalists to revive their efforts to protect against the possibility that Christianity will supplant Buddhism as the majority religion of the country. This research attended to the discourses and practices involved in protecting Theravada Buddhism, as well as to new practices of evangelism and charismatic Christianity in Sri Lanka. The fieldwork considered sub/urban religious landscapes where conversions to charismatic Christianity have been relatively concentrated within certain socioeconomic demographic groups, in contrast to predominantly Buddhist tsunami-affected areas where conversions have been gradual, limited, and dispersed across southern districts. In the crosscut between Buddhist nationalism and Pentecostal evangelism in Sri Lanka, this project took up the following ethnographic tasks: 1) to study the events that have caused a resurgence of exclusivist religious doctrines and practices, exacerbating Buddhist-Christian discord in Sri Lanka; 2) to study the impacts of heightened tensions on Buddhist and Christian institutions and individuals; 3) to gain knowledge about the workings of both harmonious and discordant inter-religious relationships; and 4) to understand how experiences of belonging within families and within village communities did or did not match ideologies of exclusivity promoted by religious authorities.
Bloomston, Bethany Rochelle, Syracuse U., Syracuse, NY - To aid research on 'Uneven Mobilization: Gender, Land, and Social Movements in Maranhao, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John S. Burdick
BETHANY BLOOMSTON, then a student at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, received a grant in May 2008 to aid research on 'Uneven Mobilization: Gender, Land, and Social Movements in Maranhao, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John S. Burdick. This research examines Brazilian rural women's organizing in the context of recently inaugurated multicultural reforms and neoliberal social inclusion schemes. It investigates how the Movimento Interestadual das Quebradeiras de Coco Babaçu (MIQCB)-a movement comprised of rural women involved in the extraction of babassu nuts, a non-timber resource, in the north and northeast of Brazil-organizes members around their individual rights as women and collective rights as 'traditional communities.' It explores how the introduction of multicultural legal frameworks and ethno-development schemes has altered the ways movement actors imagine and instantiate land and gender struggle, and has engendered important changes in movement dynamics, discourses and practices with ambiguous and, at times, contradictory local consequences. Most importantly, it investigates how women in the MIQCB relate to, think about, and/or take-up these newly emergent gender and ethno-cultural discourses in their everyday lives, and in the process, shape dynamic narratives of self. It focuses on a broad perceptual field that encompassed a range of social actors, including those for whom dominant movement ideology and projects do not completely resonate.
Rogers, Juliette R., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'The Politics and Power of Food: Norman Cheese, French Identity, and the Creation of 'Europeans',' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer
JULIETTE R. ROGERS, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, received funding in May 2004 to aid research on 'The Politics and Power of Food: Norman Cheese, French Identity, and the Creation of 'Europeans',' supervised by Dr. David I. Kertzer. Research was conducted between September 2004 and August 2005, based in Normandy, France. The objectives were to understand the functioning of political influence of a nationally recognized regional industry in the evolving European context, and to assess the extent to which European Union policy bore on the regional, national, or European self-identification of actors in that industry. Fieldwork consisted of participant observation and interviews with people active in the cheese industry of the region (which produces name-controlled AOC Livarot, Camembert de Normandie, and Pont-l'Eveque cheeses) including dairy farmers, cheesemakers, agricultural consultants, government inspectors and functionaries, elected officials, agricultural and cheese unions, and personally invested private citizens. Extending the enquiry to ascertain French and European levels of influence, officials and dairy industry employees in Paris and Brussels contributed new perspectives on motives for policy and regulatory change and how they are translated from one level to the next. Unsurprisingly, the concerns, stakes, goals, and restraints changed at each step of policy (and cheese) production, revealing the complexity of agricultural, health, and cultural policy as it passes from the local to regional, national, European, and international scales. Important issues to emerge from fieldwork include the politics and economics of name-controlled foods at all levels, internal French conflicts between widely cited cultural habits and 'mentalities' and their decline in actual practice, access to political and regulatory information and how that relates to the exercise of power, and the tension between cultural ideals and commercial realities.
George, Ian Douglas, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'Mapping the Cerebrocerebellar Language Network and its Role in Human Neuroevolution,' supervised by Dr. Kristina Aldridge
Preliminary abstract: Language is arguably the key factor that has influenced the evolution of the human brain. It is likely that increased language capabilities in humans are associated with both gross morphological changes as well as with novel neural networks. Endocasts, our only direct evidence of the brains of human ancestors, have revealed a disproportionate increase in size of the cerebellum relative to the cerebrum. Moreover, it is thought the cerebellum plays an important role in modulating language production through neural networks with the cerebellum. This project seeks to map the connectivity between the cerebrum and cerebellum and establish the pattern of the language-specific cerebrocerebellar network (LSCN) in the adult human brain thought the use cutting-edge in vivo quantitative imaging techniques. The proposed research will be the first to verify that the cerebellum is a key component of the language network in the brain. In addition, the proposed research will provide critical data on how much can be known about language from the study of fossil brain endocasts by testing the assumption that surface morphology reflects the architecture of underlying brain structure, enabling us to test the hypotheses that make predictions about the behavior of fossil hominin ancestors from endocast data.