Tessier, Laurence Anne, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin
LAURENCE ANNE TESSIER, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin. This research is a comparative study of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in France and the United States. The one who diagnoses this neurodegenerative disease is positioned in a problematic borderline situation: between the organic cause of the disease assumed but not revealed until death and the psychic expression that the patient describes and suffers from during life. Thus the neuroscientists who diagnose AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, need to establish a relation between the mental, the social, and the cerebral. This study describes how this naturalist enterprise is carried on in the everyday clinical practices of neurologists, at two world-class centers for diagnosing dementia. It examines how this diagnosis is arrived at differently in both clinics. When the French neurologists rely on biological proofs to make their decision, the American neurologists trust their clinical intuition. A diagnosis 'by feeling' allows them to practice a 'phenomenology' of the disease. This project looks at the ways in which these different manners of making a diagnosis expose different set of moral judgments on patients in both countries. It then describes how these moral judgments impact the care of patients, inquiring into the mutually constitutive ties between epistemology, medicine and care.
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.
Flood, Elizabeth Sapir, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Working-Class Women and Country Music Performance: Negotiating Gender and Agency in Hard Times,' supervised by Dr. Richard Will
Preliminary abstract: My research examines amateur musical performance in the rural south as a space where individuals and groups are compelled to negotiate fraught issues of gender and class, brought to public attention through lyrics, bodies, and practices inherent to local musical genres like Country. Focusing on female musicians at concerts, jams, and in daily life around Johnson City, Tennessee, I examine the cultural work these women do as they practice the working-class art of Country music, and deal with issues of class belonging, normative gender roles, and female agency. I situate this work against a backdrop of changes occurring alongside or as a result of political-economic policies three decades in the making, often collected under the term neoliberalism. These changes at the local level include the increasing prevalence of women as primary breadwinners; a noted and nascent focus on the autonomous individual in detriment to established local norms of solidarity and mutual aid; and of course the local economic results of corporate consolidation, the offshoring of labor, and the dismantling of social safety nets. Focusing on the tensions that result from the collision of cherished local tradition with new economic necessity, my work suggests that gender, class, and agency are concepts that are mutually entwined in ways that are important to account for in all ethnographic work dealing with these ideas as primary theoretical lenses. This work also draws on my training as an ethnomusicologist to suggest productive ways of engaging and analyzing expressive culture in ethnographic and theoretical work.
Harvard U., Cambridge, MA, Mohammadi-Doostdar, Alireza, PI - To aid research on 'Sciences of the Strange and the Sociality of Science in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Steven Charles Caton
ALIREZA MOHAMMADI-DOOSTDAR, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Sciences of the Strange and the Sociality of Science in Iran,' supervised by Dr. Steven C. Caton. The dissertation research examines the emergence of the category of the 'supernatural' (mavara or metajizik) in Iran as a domain of potential knowledge (speculative, visionary, or empirical) and practical manipulation (through mystical experience or technical procedure). It focuses on the articulation of various discourses -- philosophical, theological, jurisprudential, mystical, occult, and modern scientific -- in middle class Iranians' encounters with the supernatural. Specifically, it examines these encounters as marked by various forms of doubt, uncertainty, and hesitation, which individuals attempt to bridge or resolve by drawing on multiple discourses and forms of reasoning in an ad-hoc fashion. Such uncertainties appear in a range of encounters with the supernatural -- such as attempts to explain apparent communications with souls, make sense of supposed spirit possession, and sift true magic from charlatanism. The different ways in which people resolve their hesitations -- or continue to dwell within them -- are animated by divergent social and political stakes that precipitate realignments among science, religion, and the supernatural.
Fitting, Elizabeth, M., New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Milpa to Market: Household Labor and Corn Production in the Tehuacan Valley, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Deborah A. Poole
ELIZABETH M. FITTING, while a student at the New School for Social Research in New York, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2001 to aid research on household labor and corn production in the Tehuacan Valley, Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Deborah A. Poole. Maize is at the center of images and debates about the Mexican countryside. It was a key commodity in the NAFTA negotiations-the crowning achievement of neoliberal reform-and the target of rural reforms more generally, and it lies at the heart of an international debate about the risks transgenic crops and imports may pose to Mexican biodiversity. Fitting considered these images and debates in relation to changing livelihood strategies in the southern Tehuacan Valley, one of the possible sites of original maize domestication. She investigated the ways in which the rural household was reproduced through the circuits of labor and capital beyond the borders of the house, the field, and the nation-state and how this entailed the negotiation of both neoliberal policy and local values and pressures. She found that agricultural production had declined, but corn had become a more significant share of overall production, contrary to policy predictions. Neoliberal reform and sustained economic crisis had produced an increasingly flexible, gendered labor force in the valley. At the same time, U.S.-bound labor migration constituted part of the local strategy. Fitting examined this strategy and the tension between reproducing rural livelihoods and agrarian futures, on one hand, and the erosion of agricultural knowledge and production, on the other. She focused on the local aspects of rural labor migration, although the cycle itself was transnational.
Laheij, Christian Laurentius Elisabeth, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on ''Resolve this Problem our Way.' Islamic Reformism and Dispute Management in Northern Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. Deborah James
CHRISTIAN L.E. LAHEIJ, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on ''Resolve This Problem Our Way:' Islamic Reformism and Dispute Management in Northern Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. Deborah James. The research focused on dispute management in the context of an Islamic revival in Nampula City in northern Mozambique. Through a combination of research methods (including participant observation, life histories, legal case studies, an attitudinal survey among households in three field sites, and experimental methods borrowed from moral psychology), it explored intersections between Islamic reformism and ideas and practices of dispute management. The research found that reformist Muslims distinguish themselves primarily from others in Nampula City through their conceptions of personhood. While the majority of city dwellers privilege kinship and citizenship modalities and conceptualize the self as emergent, taking on different content in new contexts and social roles, reformist Muslims hold a more objectified, individualized notion of the self, defined in relation to Allah. This has various implications for dispute management. Among other things, reformist conceptions of personhood are involved in the reconstitution of private-public boundaries, in the emergence of novel models for public accountability, in revised measures of truth finding, and in the transformation of the normative bases of legal reasoning and of punishment preferences.
Call, Tristan Philip, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'Migration, Precarious Labor, and Class Formation Among Southern U.S. Farm Workers,' supervised by Dr. Lesley Gill
Preliminary abstract: The expansion of insecure, low-wage labor, termed 'precarious' labor by scholars, has been most dramatic among immigrant workers who leave home to fill the least desirable jobs in the United States. Immigrant workers labor alongside co-workers from distinct linguistic, national, religious, and political backgrounds, which poses a problem for the perennial attempts to create understandings and political alliances across 'difference' and to challenge the continuing degradation of working conditions. Considerable scholarly controversy exists in both the labor and migration literatures about whether migrant workers are 'unorganizable,' or whether their common experiences of migration and dispossession can help spur a new wave of labor organizing. The proposed research will explore this debate. Using ethnographic methods, it will investigate how Latino farmworkers experience the disruption of moving for work between the Tennessee tomato and tobacco industries and the Florida tomato industry over the course of an agricultural season and the extent to which they are able to build alliances among themselves and with other civil society networks that seek to improve working and living conditions.
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.
Reynolds, Cerisa Renee, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Faunal Use and Resource Pressure at the Origins of Agriculture in the Northern U.S. Southwest,' supervised by Dr. James Enloe
CERISA R. REYNOLDS, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Faunal Use and Resource Pressure at the Origins of Agriculture in the Northern U.S. Southwest,' supervised by Dr. James Enloe. In the northern U.S. Southwest, the Basketmaker II (BM II) period (1500 BC - AD 500) marks the entrance of corn-based agriculture into the region. As this system included no domesticated animals, most attention regarding the BM II diet has focused on the use of domesticated plant resources. Unfortunately, the economic importance of wild animals has been less systematically studied. In response to this imbalance, the faunal data from 31 BM II sites were collected and analyzed to investigate how different BM II communities utilized wild animal resources. The results generally suggest that sedentism and a lack of domesticated sources of protein during the BM II period resulted in the overharvesting of high-ranking wild fauna and a subsequent reliance upon smaller, lower-ranking fauna. When the results were correlated with both preexisting chronological data and six newly acquired radiocarbon dates, it becomes clear that the BM II diet did not systematically change over time, and there are no distinct 'early BM II diet' and 'late BM II diet' trends. Instead, most BM II communities were consistently stressed due to an early overuse of the region's large game. Furthermore, the BM II diet was also periodically impacted by drought and population packing.