Thayer, Zaneta Marie, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Intergenerational Programming of Stress Reactivity: Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Kuzawa
ZANETA THAYER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Intergenerational Programming of Stress Reactivity: The Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Kuzawa. Anthropologists have a long history of studying biological responses to environmental stress from diverse perspectives. Within our field the effects of maternal psychosocial stress on biology and health in the next generation is becoming a topic of increased interest. This research project evaluated the intergenerational effects of maternal stress experience among an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of pregnant women from Auckland, New Zealand. Women who had lower socioeconomic status and who experienced ethnic discrimination had higher evening cortisol in late pregnancy and gave birth to infants with elevated cortisol reactivity and altered gene regulation (methylation) profiles. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that maternal social environment impacts maternal and offspring biology. Notably, the types of stress exposures that impacted cortisol in the present study are relatively novel from an evolutionary perspective. Thus the evolved capacity for an intergenerational transfer of information could be maladaptive in the contemporary ecology when activated in response to structural inequalities within society. Future research evaluating diverse sources of stress and a range of biological responses in offspring are necessary to clarify whether modifications in offspring biology reflect adaptation or biological impairment.
Nicewonger, Todd Evans, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture, & Flemish Fashion Design as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
TODD E. NICEWONGER, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in July 2007 to support research on 'Intellectuals, Material Culture & Flemish Fashion as an Economy of Innovation,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. The project was conducted at a Fashion Design Academy where the grantee examined the social organization of the institution and the communicative practices used among student designers. Building on contemporary research into the cultural production of aesthetics, embodiment, and apprenticeship, this study investigated how certain virtues associated with an avant-garde movement in fashion converged into what eventually became recognized as the Flemish fashion aesthetic. This effort was characterized by novel modes of production and ideas about what it means to be a 'good and creative' fashion designer. Fundamental to these beliefs were social ideals arguing that fashion mediates the re-orientation of knowledge and stimulates new ways of imagining lived reality. As such, artisans are believed to embody an intellectual responsibility: one that can craft embodied notions of doubt, joy, and-central to this investigation-possibility. By illuminating how notions of the future are imagined, translated into design concepts, and then technically produced, this study conceptualizes the creative practice of design as hope.
Deeb, Hadi Nicholas, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Remixing Authorship: Copyright and Capital in Hollywood,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs
HADI NICHOLAS DEEB, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Remixing Authorship: Copyright and Capital in Hollywood,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs. This project examines turmoil surrounding authorship. For centuries, a definition of authorship as an individual's spontaneous, creative expression has been the cornerstone of copyright law and underlying social norms in the United States and elsewhere. Copyright automatically grants valuable property rights to authors. The explosion of electronic media that allow the creation, manipulation, and circulation of information in unprecedented ways has placed tremendous pressure on this traditional model. The study analyzed the collision of traditional and emerging ideologies of authorship among a community with high stakes in the struggle: professional storytellers in Hollywood and their lawyer and marketer auxiliaries, especially innovators who embrace change in their craft but still seek prestige and profit through intellectual property rights. Mainly through participant observation over a twelve-month period, the researcher analyzed this community's obsessive talk about authorship in court, meetings, print and online discourse, and story production. A central argument is that authorship and ownership are not discrete statuses that only join together to regulate cultural objects; they are fluid practices that make mutually defined claims about social relationships. The project aims to direct legal debate toward this fluidity. It also revisits core linguistic anthropological theories of authorship that motivate the project but also invite critical reflection because they have roots in authorship's traditional definition.
Sokol, Grzegorz Stanislaw, New School for Social Research, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler
GRZEGORZ S. SOKOL, then a student at New School for Social Research, New York, New York, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Affect in Post-Socialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Anne L. Stoler. This project is situated in the context of the increase in, and greater attention given to, mood disorders following the transformation from real socialism to market democracy in Poland. Broadening diagnostic definitions, raised awareness, as well as psychopharmaceuticals and forms of therapy unevenly available to people diagnosed with afflictions of affect are here situated in relationship to the larger process, in which new models of personhood are brought into social practice. This ethnographic research and archival study charts the different forms of medicalization of affect and follows 'depression' across different settings: from an in-patient psychiatric ward, to an outpatient clinic and psychotherapy center, to the meetings of a twelve-step program. The analytic focus is on how treatments of mood disorders are sites where one acquires a new understanding of one's self, relationships, body, history, and relation to society. Especially the psychotherapeutic and twelve-step conception of emotionality enables redefinitions of personhood and gender models. Further, learning a different way of being a person often centers on questions of agency that appear as problems of possibility vs. necessity, expectations, immaturity, demanding attitude, and helplessness. In the process, the individual is put in relation to the broader narrative of postsocialist transformation.
Hollenback, Kacy LeAnne, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Disaster, Technology, and Community: Measuring Responses to Smallpox Epidemics in Historic Hidatsa Villages, North Dakota,' supervised by Dr. Maria Nieves Zedeno
KACY LEANNE HOLLENBACK, then a student at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Disaster, Technology, and Community: Measuring Responses to Smallpox Epidemics in Historic Hidatsa Villages, North Dakota,' supervised by Dr. Maria Nieves Zedeno. Disasters are prevalent phenomena in the human experience, having played a formative role in shaping world cultures. The anthropology of disaster recognizes that these processes have the potential to affect every facet of human life, including biological, technological, ritual, political, social, and economic aspects of a society. How groups react to and cope with these processes dramatically shapes their cultural histories. Using theoretical assumptions from the anthropology of technology, this research explores the social impacts of disaster at the household and community levels by drawing on method, theory, and information from across subdisciplinary boundaries to incorporate archaeological, ethnohistoric, and ethnographic datasets. Specifically, this research explores how Hidatsa potters located near the Knife River of North Dakota responded to the smallpox epidemics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and how these women maintained or modified their daily practice in light of these catastrophic events. Research findings indicate complex and heterogeneous responses with lasting legacies among contemporary descendants. Significantly this research suggests that in order to fully understand disaster processes a broad temporal lens is necessary.
Mielke, Alexander, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany - To aid research on 'Social and Cognitive Complexity in Chimpanzees and Sooty Mangabeys,' supervised by Dr. Roman Wittig
Preliminary abstract: Humans have several cognitive abilities that help us to cooperate effectively. Specifically, humans possess abilities to monitor and manipulate the social relationships of cooperation partners to prevent defection. We also use cognitive skills like joint attention that allow us to coordinate cooperative acts. Non-human primates also form cooperative relationships, and they also act towards a common goal in a coordinated fashion. Here, I will test whether the system of cooperation in species influences how they stop bonding attempts of other group members and establish whether they consider threats to their own bonds when making the decision to intervene into grooming bouts. I will compare the complexity of strategies of grooming interventions used by chimpanzees and sooty mangabeys, testing the hypothesis that in chimpanzees, grooming interventions should be more complex because the chance of partner defection is higher. I will also test whether mangabeys coordinate their mobbing responses of a snake model by monitoring and attending to the behavior of specific others, like kin or other cooperation partners, a precursor of human joint attention. Both these studies will take place in wild populations in Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire. I aim to shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of human cooperation.
Chirinos Ogata, Patricia, U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Strategies and Practices at a Colonial Settlement: Wari and Cajamarca Power Relations at Yamobamba, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Katharina J. Schreiber
Preliminary abstract: This project examines the power relationships between the Wari Empire and the Cajamarca polity in the Andes, and the establishment of the colonial settlement at Yamobamba as a result of this interaction. In particular, I focus on the activities conducted at Yamobamba, a Wari colony in the Cajamarca region during the Middle Horizon (AD 750-1000), to define how its construction and occupation were determined by the encounter of two political organizations with their own agendas and cultural traditions. Drawing on a theoretical framework concerning power relations, culture contact, interaction, and practice theory, this project will investigate how local and non-local groups coexisted at the colony and carried out daily practices in contexts of negotiation derived from the attempts by both Wari and Cajamarca to exert control over the region. In order to investigate this issue, broad-scale excavations will be conducted at Yamobamba. The identification of activity areas will be based on intra-site distribution of features, soil chemical analysis, and artifact analysis. Neutron activation and X-ray fluorescence analysis, compared to published data from Wari and Cajamarca sites, will define regional networks of distribution and consumption. This project uses a multi-scalar approach that focuses on both political strategies and daily practices, resulting in a novel way to study regional interaction. Due to its strategic location at the northern frontier of the imperial expansion, Yamobamba provides a unique opportunity to examine the intersection between local and non-local interests, offering new insights about the ways in which imperial strategies shape local subsistence and the regional power distribution, and making a significant contribution to our understanding of past and present colonial encounters.
Saxton, Dvera Irene, American U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Producers of the Sustainable: Organic Production and Farmworker Health,' supervised by Dr. Brett Williams
DVERA I. SAXTON, then a student at American University, Washington, DC, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Producers of the Sustainable: Organic Production and Farmworker Health,' supervised by Dr. Brett Williams. This research explores the relationships between immigrant farmworker health, the organization of farm labor management on different kinds of farms, and the structures of agricultural markets and state policies in California. Semi-structured interviews and observations of occupationally injured and ill farmworkers revealed that broader, structurally based practices and legal policies -- as they are designed and influenced by agricultural corporate power -- not only inform on-farm occupational inequalities and health problems, but also contribute to farmworkers' lives in off-farm contexts. These processes were more significant than organic and conventional farming practices. An interrogation of the workers' compensation insurance and pesticide approval systems in the state of California highlight processes of contestation that persistently deny access to health benefits by negating the lived experiences and embodied knowledge of sick and injured farmworkers. Farmworker communities encompass many layers of vulnerabilities, including race, gender, work status, class, and state of health. These vulnerabilities are exacerbated by on-farm practices as well as off-farm relationships and structures. A number of social services and non-profits are often funded by the agricultural industry through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs. While mitigating some suffering, such problems fail to address the root sources of farmworker health problems. Consequently, many farmworkers develop their own coping strategies including innovative, non-capitalist cross-border exchanges, which are not limited to sending monetary remittances to Mexico. These range from emotional and social support, medical care, seed exchange, child and elder care, and alternative income generating strategies.
Hammer, Emily Louise, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Landscapes of Pastoral Nomads in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Jason Alik Ur
EMILY L. HAMMER, then a graduate student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Landscapes of Pastoral Nomads in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Jason Alik Ur. The supported research investigated patterns of re-occupation and manipulation of natural resources by pre-modern mobile pastoralists in southeastern Turkey. Archaeological survey documented campsites and features related to herding. Satellite imagery and spatial analyses demonstrated various patterns in landscape organization. Terrestrial in-situ cosmogenic nuclide methods enabled the dating of rock-cut cisterns located in proximity to campsites. Four main conclusions were drawn: 1) mobile pastoralists altered their local landscapes in order to shelter humans and animals, collect water, and improve pastures; 2) pasture and water features were fixed, re-usable investments that encouraged seasonal re-inhabitation, over time these features became geographic foci that oriented inhabitation and herding patterns; 3) the topographical position of domestic and herding features would have resulted in vertical daily movement patterns for humans and animals; and 4) analyzed cisterns are 'non-recent' (dates currently being calculated), older than the surface campsites that cluster around them (last 500 years). Although incomplete, the novel geological methods applied to cistern dating have been successful, and could be more widely used. An over-reliance on ethnographic analogy plagues the archaeology of pastoralism around the world. This study represents a first step in reconstructing mobile pastoralists' dwelling spaces and premodern land-use strategies on the fringes of Mesopotamia.
Hammer, Emily. 2014. Local Landscape Organization of Mobile Pastoralists in Southeastern Turkey. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 35:269-288.