Deleporte, Sarah F., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler
SARAH F. DELEPORTE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in November 2003 to aid research on 'The Musee du quai Branly: Anthropology, Art, and the Cultural Politics of Alterity in France,' supervised by Dr. Michael D. Dietler. The dissertation research supported by this grant consisted of an ethnographic study of the creation of the Musee du quai Branly, France's newest national museum devoted to extra-European arts and civilizations, opening in Paris in 2006. Designed as both a museum of fine arts and of human sciences, the museum is officially slated to foster admiration, respect, and curiosity for cultural diversity in French society. Since the 18th century, the French state has consistently invested in museums as part of a matrix of citizen-forming tools (including public schools, universities, and ministerial training schools) meant to educate and cohere the nation's diverse populations. In the 21st century, the creation of the Quai Branly Museum has created a domino effect in French cultural policy, most notably spurring mandates to create two additional national museums, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseilles and the National Center for the History of Immigration in Paris. In the midst of extensive administrative reform and structural change, the French national museums are confronting their institutional legacy and providing new possibilities for the practice of anthropology in museums as well as for an anthropological understanding of the role museums play in the nation-building efforts of contemporary, multicultural societies.
Szanto, Diana, U. of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary - To aid research on 'Engaging with Disability: NGOs between Global and Local Forces in the Post-conflict Reconsolidation of Sierra Leone,' supervised by Dr. Gabor Vargyas
DIANA SZANTO, then a student at the University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Engaging with Disability: NGOs between Global and Local Forces in the Post-Conflict Reconsolidation of Sierra Leone,' supervised by Dr. Gabor Vargyas. This research project investigates the interplay between local and international NGOs in the context of the Sierra Leonean post-war reconstruction focusing specifically on the field of disability. The grantee employs the term 'project society' to describe a particular type of governmentality produced by the strategic linking of 'international development' with 'civil society,' where both notions are to be understood as fallacies to be deconstructed. The overall objective of the research is to obtain a better understanding on how 'project society' functions in Sierra Leone in general, and to describe how it affects the nascent disability movement, in particular. The project describes the strategies of different categories of actors within this framework as exposed in everyday performances, exploring the outcomes affecting the actors themselves as well as the movement. The grantee contends that the dynamics observed in the field of disability are part of a more wide-ranging transformation, that of the 'normalization' of conflicting ideas about the nature of the desirable modernity to be achieved in Sierra Leone. Such a project can only be accomplished at the price of denying its internal contradictions.
Hubbard, Edward A., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Performing Multiple Creolities in Cape Verde: A Three-Island Ethnography,' supervised by Dr. Mary M. Steedly
EDWARD A. HUBBARD, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Performing Multiple Creolities in Cape Verde: A Three-Island Ethnography,' supervised by Dr. Mary M. Steedly. The aim of this fieldwork was the collection of ethnographic data in the Cape Verde archipelago that illustrate the cultural dynamics of creolization. A 'creolized' society is a hybrid product of two or more distinct peoples who have experienced an extended period of contact and synthesis, usually marked by a history of inequality between them. Cape Verdean society is the product of the creolization of enslaved Africans and Portuguese colonizers. The researcher focused on three Cape Verdean performance modes, each one unique to its island setting: 1) a burgeoning musical movement on the island of Santiago that is said to be a 'modernization' of the African features of Cape Verdean culture; 2) a tradition on the island of São Vicente, of telling jokes whose effect is contingent upon negative stereotypes of the presumed Africanness of people from Santiago; and 3) on the island of Fogo, a nocturnal masquerade called kanizadi, that dramatizes certain fears and anxieties related to creolization. These performances and the cultural politics they dramatize are a reflection of the creole condition; one can perceive in them a definite logic of ascribed status as well as historical traces of racial hierarchy, conflict, and anxiety.
Morrison, Amanda Maria, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan
AMANDA MARIA MORRISON, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Rockin' the Body Politic: Multiracial Youth and Hip-Hop Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area,' supervised by Dr. John Hartigan. Through ethnography, the grantee examined how hip-hop's expressive forms are being used as the raw materials of everyday life by residents of the San Francisco Bay Area -- home to what many regard as one of the most diverse, politically progressive, and creatively prolific hip-hop 'scenes' in the U.S. This focus on regional specificity provides a greater understanding of the impact hip-hop is having on the ground, as an aspect of localized lived practice. While taking a geographically delimited 'case study' approach would seem to narrow the scope of this project, it actually expanded the discussion into often-overlooked areas, exploring hip-hop's heterogeneity and its regional specificity. The Bay Area offers a rich site for the investigation of hip-hop culture because it is distinct in ways that complicate prevailing scholarship on the subject, most of which either emphasize its continuity within Afro-Diasporic expressive traditions or bemoan its cooptation by the global cultural industries. Three key characteristics about the local scene particularly stand out: its racial diversity, its penchant for producing socially conscious artists, and its commercial independence from the corporate music industry. These three qualities provide the primary foci for this analysis.
Shirley, Meghan, U. College London, London, UK - To aid research on 'Body Composition and the Brain: Investigating Life History Trade-offs in Living Humans,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Wells
Preliminary abstract: Energy resources in any given environment are finite. Life history theory examines trade-offs between competing functions such as maintenance and reproduction across an organism's life course. For early humans, the evolution of a metabolically expensive brain was likely associated with reorganized energy investment and/or alterations in life history strategy and behavior. Insight into how the human brain was afforded may be most readily achieved with attention directed to investment 'decisions' at the level of organs and tissues. For example, Aiello and Wheeler's (1995) 'expensive tissue' hypothesis proposed that a reduction in the size of the human gut enabled encephalization. Research has demonstrated tissue trade-offs in a range of animals, yet empirical studies of human investment strategies remain rare. With the collection of MRI and body composition data from healthy adults, this project will investigate trade-offs between the human brain and other 'expensive' tissues of the body, trade-offs between the brain and adipose tissue, and also positive brain-body phenotype associations. Further, the study will examine the effect of early life experience on phenotype. This data will add to knowledge of the variability with which modern humans 'strategically' manage energy investment and lead to more robust inferences concerning hominin life history evolution.
Harmansah, Rabia, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Social Forgetting in Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cyprus,' supervised by Dr. Robert M. Hayden
RABIA HARMANSAH, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Social Forgetting in Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cyprus,' supervised by Dr. Robert Hayden. The research investigated the practice of social forgetting by relating it to the selective construction of history and to the human interactions with the commemorative and religious landscape. Social forgetting was taken as practices of disremembering, misremembering, omitting, distorting, or silencing past events/experiences and their traces, in order to shape the collective memory. The research, conducted in Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 2011-12, entailed multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, semi-structured and unstructured interviews with Greek/Turkish Cypriots and immigrant Turks, participant observation, archival research, and examination of patterns of transformations in built landscape. The research demonstrated that the local perceptions of the past have been shaped not simply by the official discourses, but by various complex cultural processes, personal experiences and active engagement of ordinary people with landscape in the process of memory and history. The research addressed theoretical and analytical issues of understanding social forgetting not only as a negation, neglect, failure of remembering, or unintended social amnesia, but as a positive process through which a certain kind of knowledge of the past is produced deliberately and actively by obscuring material evidence of what others wish to have remembered.
Martin, Sarah Abigail, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid research on 'Expression of Fluctuating Asymmetry in Primate Dentition: Analyzing the Role of Growth Duration,' supervised by Dr. Debra Guatelli-Steinberg
SARAH A. MARTIN, then a student at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Expression of Fluctuating Asymmetry in Primate Dentition: Analyzing the Role of Growth Duration,' supervised by Dr. Debra Guatelli-Steinberg. In comparison to other mammalian species, primates exhibit prolonged growth periods. Within the primate order, growth periods lengthen from prosimans to apes and humans. Although prolonged growth periods can be advantageous, extended development may provide more time for developing body structures to be affected by sources of stress. Extended periods of growth are therefore predicted to be associated with greater developmental noise, measured by fluctuating asymmetry (FA). This study tested if and to extent growth duration influenced the expression of FA in primate dentition. Dental dimensions, collected from 26 primate species, were used to calculate FA. Crown formation times of the primate first molar and canine served as the basis for making comparisons between and within species. To date, FA has been calculated for the dentition of Hominidae and Hylobatidae. Results obtained so far demonstrate that growth duration does influence the expression of FA in primate first molars. FA of Hylobatidae mandibular and maxillary first molars is lower than FA estimations of Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo. Gorilla males exhibited greater canine FA relative to gorilla females while gibbon males and females exhibited similar canine FA, further suggesting the hypothesis that growth duration is a factor in canine FA expression.
Bridges, Elizabeth Jane, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Regional Political Authority Under the Vijayanagara Empire: Archaeology of the Keladi-Ikkeri Nayakas,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopoli
ELIZABETH BRIDGES, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in April 2008, to aid research on 'Regional Political Authority Under the Vijayanagara Empire: Archaeology of the Keladi-Ikkeri Nayakas,' supervised by Dr. Carla M. Sinopoli. This project investigated the Keladi-Ikkeri Nayakas, regional kings who ruled under the Vijayanagara Empire from 1500 to 1614 and as independent sovereigns from 1614 to 1763. This project is based on archaeological survey at the first and second capitals of the Nayaka kings, occupied in the imperial and early independent periods. Archaeological fieldwork was conducted during three seasons between 2007 and 2009; Wenner-Gren funding supported the completion of fieldwork in the final season and subsequent analysis of artifacts. Archaeological fieldwork was conducted at the sites of Keladi and Ikkeri in Shimoga District, Karnataka State, India. A full-coverage survey over 18 square kilometers comprising the former urban cores at both sites located and documented a total of 238 sites. Support also funded archival research on historical sources held in the British Library; the documents examined included unpublished translations of relevant literature, and early colonial survey and census data relevant to establishing site chronology. These and other lines of evidence indicate that while the empire was instrumental in supporting the development of Nayaka power, regional rulers were functionally highly autonomous. This picture represents a contrast to many other archaeologically known empires whose processes of regional integration relied on relations of domination and resistance.
Ruiz, Yesenia, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Poor Campesinos to Tortilla Kings: Mexican Migrant Elites and Transnational Class Formation,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
YESENIA RUIZ, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'From Poor Campesinos to Tortilla Kings: Mexican Migrant Elites and Transnational Class Formation,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. This research project analyzed an emerging transnational Mexican migrant elite as a new social and economic group that has emerged not from established elites or from privileged backgrounds but from poor peasant families. The majority of these (male) entrepreneur-migrants entered the United States without documents and worked in unskilled jobs for extended periods. Eventually, they began to establish their own businesses in the states of New York and New Jersey and within a twenty-year period have accumulated unprecedented amounts of wealth. Successful in both the US and Mexico, these entrepreneurs are distinct from other transnational migrant groups. They have constructed transnational forms of class mobility, and new notions of ethnicity, citizenship, nationality, as well as innovative socio-economic, political, and solidarity networks shaped by neoliberalism. This research was based on ethnographic research carried out in the Mixteca region of the state of Puebla and New York as well as in New Jersey. It examined the ways in which these transnational entrepreneurs became part of such recent emerging elite in both the US and Mexico. Furthermore, these entrepreneur migrants have established political relations with local politicians in both Mexico and the US. In the last twenty years, members of this entrepreneur group have supported former governors (as well as the current one), senators, and politicians throughout their campaigns in Puebla and in New York. These entrepreneur migrants have gone from being an undocumented worker to becoming 'Tortilla Kings' and millionaire importers of Mexican goods.