Stubbs, Matilda, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Documenting Lives: The Material and Social Life of the Case File in the U.S. Foster Care System,' supervised by Dr. Helen Schwartzman
Preliminary abstract: This investigation focuses on the procedures of consent (Jacob 2007), compliance (Brodwin 2010), assessment, and auditing culture (Hetherington 2011; Strathern 2000) of the foster care 'system' in the United States. In this context, case files are the legal tool of administration - objects that create and facilitate relations between people and social resources. Here, documents are the materialization of bureaucratic labor and the objectification of case management. This kind of file contains personal data that describe and represent individual users (who become 'cases') in ways that render them lawfully identified, which qualify and in some circumstances require, specific social services and interventions. In addition, these documents also record the actions and movement of officials and reimbursable services, thus simultaneously also serving as institutional histories of staff meetings, administrative decision making, the guardian consent process, and of interactions with foster youth clientele. It is this dynamic interaction between participants, objects, and resources that my project aims to explore at the intersection of case management and paperwork. How do case files mediate relationships and social services between people and institutions, thereby reshaping the subjects of documentation as well as reinforcing, recreating, and formalizing aspects of the bureaucracy itself?
Indrisano, Gregory G., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff
GREGORY G. INDRISANO, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in November 2002 to aid research on 'Subsistence in Marginal Environments and its Correlations to Environmental Fluctuations and Changing Societal Complexity,' supervised by Dr. Katheryn M. Linduff. Full coverage pedestrian surface survey of 102 square kilometers on the northern shore of Daihai Lake, Liangcheng County, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, PRC, recorded the extent of ancient habitation from 2900 BCE to 1400 CE. The goal of the project was to systematically record the spatial extent as well as the artifact density and geographic setting of ancient habitation in this region through time. The northern shore of Daihai lake included more than 750 hectares of total occupation producing more than 17,800 sherds from the Laohushan, Zhukaigou, Warring States, Han Dynasty, Liao Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty Periods. Little or no settlement hierarchy is apparent in the settlement pattern for this region until it was integrated into the Central Plain polities during the Warring States Period. From the Warring States into the Han Dynasty Periods, strong settlement hierarchies develop as this region was integrated into the Han Dynasty. After a period of low population this area was once again integrated into the Central Plain Dynasties of the Liao and Yuan, where even further hierarchies develop, centered on the rich lacustrine environment on the shore of Daihai Lake. Another goal of the project was to investigate how these administrative hierarchies affected subsistence strategies in the past. Preliminary results suggest that many of these spatially extensive, administratively complex polities required intensive farming from the peasant populations to feed the large number of unproductive residents. This intensive farming brought people together into densely packed site hierarchies that left little room for herding activities, and the intensive agricultural practices would have limited the ability of farmers to practice mixed economies. If these preliminary results are supported by future analysis, then subsistence is more closely connected with the demands made on farmers by complex polities than by changes in environment.
Mosothwane, Morongwa N., U. of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa - To aid research on 'Molecular Tracing of Early Farmers Diets in Eastern Botswana,' supervised by Dr. Karim Sadr & Dr. Judith C. Sealy
MORONGWA NANCY MOSOTHWANE, then a student at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Molecular Tracing of Early Farmers Diets in Eastern Botswana,' supervised by Dr. Karim Sadr and Dr. Judith C. Sealy. The study was intended to identify farmers and foragers during the Early Iron Age (EIA) in Botswana through the use of stable isotope analysis. The areas were selected as they are known to have been frontiers of contact between foragers and farmers. The aim was to determine whether there were foragers buried on farmers' settlements or vise versa and to identify those individuals who had shifted from one of subsistance to the other over a long period. The human samples came from EIA settlements in the Toutswe area, Tsodilo Hills and Okavango River. Toutswe samples were derived from Kgaswe B55 (n=17), Bonwapitse (n=3), Taukome (n=5) and Thatswane (n=6), Bosutswe (n=13) and Toutswemogala (n=28) and others (n=4). At the Tsodilo Hills, two sites are Divuyu (n=1) and N!oma (n=3). Xaro (n=2), is along the Okavango River. Thus, 76 humans were selected for stable isotope analysis. Animal samples from archaeological and modern context were analysed to provide reference standards for the interpretation of human isotope values. They included domestic species like cattle, sheep/goats, and a dog as well as wild animals: zebra, hare, tortoise, and steenbok. According to results, EIA farmers in the Toutswe and the Tsodilo Hills areas relied on domestic C4 crops (sorghum and millet), which they supplemented with C3 plants. The C3 component was derived from a combination of domestic and wild plants. At N!oma the two individuals showed isotopic evidence for having been a foragers who later shifted to a farming mode of subsistence. It is possible that the Xaro individuals exploited freshwater fish from the nearby Okavango River but they were farmers.
Coyle, Lauren Nicole, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Dual Sovereignties in the Golden Twilight: Law, Land, and Labor in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff
LAUREN COYLE, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Dual Sovereignties in the Golden Twilight: Law, Land, and Sacrificial Labor in Ghana,' supervised by Dr. John L. Comaroff. This study examines the often hidden or unremarked cultural, economic, and social effects of Ghana's mining industry, which is widely lauded as a great economic success in one of Africa's most celebrated democracies. The research focuses on Obuasi, a legendary ethno-cosmopolitan mining center in Asante, long home to an underground gold mine and, recently, to a bitter controversy over surface extraction. Obuasi played a central role in British colonialism and is now a key pillar of the country's economy. In many ways a company town, Obuasi is run by a transnational mining corporation. It is currently the site of Ghana's most acute mining-related conflicts, following the dispossession and destruction of many indigenous farmlands and streams, the declining political and spiritual legitimacy of traditional rulers, the casualization of mine labor, soaring youth unemployment, and the rise of an increasingly organized and militarized shadow labor force of small-scale miners ('galamseys'), among them ever more foreigners, especially Chinese. The grantee argues that, in this theater of struggle, novel forms of shadow authority operate, ambivalently, as forces of beneficence and terror-at once biopolitical and exceptional, earthly and other-worldly-and exercise sovereign-like rule over territories and populations in the shadows of the formal legal system.
Setton, Emily Gayong, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Land, Law & Indigenous Media: Building Political Futures in Highland Burma,' supervised by Dr. Annelise Riles
Preliminary abstract: Kachin activists in highland Burma find themselves at a conjuncture of two historic processes: top-down land reform aimed at encouraging foreign investment, and the possible cessation of decades of conflict between ethnic armed groups and the Burma army. My dissertation looks at the ways in which Kachin activists, and the armed group leaders they work with, anticipate and bring into being a political future after peace, through a vision of federalism simultaneously rooted in the past and grounded in the tenuous realities of the present. My research will examine their involvement in two related political practices that bring to light ongoing ecological and cultural dispossession: the making of autonomous 'customary' land law, and the production of indigenous media. Through 15 months of ethnographic research, my project seeks to understand the ways in which Kachin activists draw upon indigenous political ideologies and ontologies of land, alongside outside discourses of sovereignty and human rights, in flexible ways that configure new assemblages of land and media.
Hayat, Maira, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Bureaucracies of Care, Infrastructures of Crime: Water Economies in Postcolonial Pakistan,' supervised by Dr. Kaushik Sundar Rajan
Preliminary abstract: Through ethnographic examination of water theft, I propose to study state-citizen relations, bureaucratic care, conceptions of property, and of the licit in Pakistan. I approach water theft not only in the usual register of law and crime via case law, but also as practice--ways of navigating water infrastructures and flows--and in everyday discourse: allegations, impressions, and rumors. I hypothesize that it is in these micro-practices and the discourses driving, and deriving from them that state sovereignty; citizenship; perceptions of the (im)propriety of property; and the (il)licit are constituted. Contrary to popular perceptions in Pakistan that a growing informal groundwater economy and proliferating water theft represent yet another instance of state and societal failure, I ask if water theft may be better understood as re-writing the social contract. My primary field-site is a part rural, part urban town in the Punjab province, Pakistan's agricultural hub, and home to its densest irrigation infrastructure; it is known among many irrigation bureaucrats as a town with rampant water theft. I will study water infrastructures and the public canal irrigation network here, and conduct ethnographic research at the provincial Irrigation department.
Matarazzo, Stacey Ann, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Skeletal Correlates of Knuckle Walking in the Manus of Great Apes,' supervised by Dr. Laurie Rohde Godfrey
STACEY ANN MATARAZZO, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Skeletal Correlates of Knuckle Walking in the Manus of Great Apes,' supervised by Dr. Laurie Rohde Godfrey. To better understand variation in knuckle walking and how this affects the skeletal structure of the hand, manual pressure distributions were obtained for captive chimpanzees and gorillas, and these data were used to construct hypotheses regarding hand bone structure that could be tested noninvasively (i.e., using simple caliper measurements and micro computerized tomography scans). This project documents, for the first time, variation in manual pressure distributions during knuckle walking by gorillas and chimpanzees. It also documents how that variation depends on the age, sex, or weight of individuals. Finally, it identifies internal and external bony correlates of knuckle walking in general, and of the particular types of knuckle walking employed by gorillas or by chimpanzees. This research has broader implications for the identification of knuckle-walking signals in the fossil record, and for addressing the debate over whether the common ancestor of chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans was or was not a knuckle walker. Are the differences so great that they suggest parallel or convergent evolution? In fact, there are some marked differences in the way these animals knuckle walk, and these differences are captured in the bony anatomy of the hand.
Matarazzo, Stacey. 2013. Manual Pressure Distribution Patterns of Knuckle-Walking Apes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 152(1):44-50.
Caple, Zachary Adam, U.of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'The Unmaking and Remaking of Central Florida's Phosphate Fertilizer Landscapes,' supervised by Dr. Anna Tsing
Preliminary abstract: This research studies the waste landscapes generated by the phosphate fertilizer industry in Central Florida. In this region, phosphate rock is mined and converted into fertilizer, and its waste outputs are disposed in the footprint of exhausted mines. Agricultural use of phosphate fertilizers in Florida, through runoff, has polluted aquatic ecosystems throughout the peninsula. In both mining and agricultural zones, scientists and managers are grappling with waste legacies and their impacts on other species through projects of reclamation and restoration. My work examines such projects in the situated contexts of Bone Valley (Florida's extensive phosphate region between Orlando and Tampa) and Lake Apopka (a large hypereutrophic lake undergoing restoration in west Orlando). My research is organized along three lines of inquiry that together might lead to new understandings of waste landscapes in a North American context: 1) cultural and environmental histories of industrial waste; 2) knowledge practices of waste-landscape scientists and managers; and 3) multispecies interactions as they relate to both waste impacts and managerial designs. At the intersection of these three components of study, I argue, landscape emerges as a revitalized object of study.
Roudakova, Natalia, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Property, Professionalism, Practice: 'Brownian Motion' in Post-Soviet Journalism,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia J. Yanagisako
NATALIA ROUDAKOVA, while a student at Stanford University in Stanford, California, was awarded funding in July 2001 to aid ethnographic research on media ownership and journalistic practice in post-Soviet Russia, under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia J. Yanagisako. Roudakova studied the transformation of Russian journalism during the country's highly contested shift toward capitalism. In particular, she explored whether and how new configurations of media ownership had created new editorial priorities and practices of news gathering, and whether and how these practices encouraged new professional identities among journalists. Data collected at three news outlets representing the major configurations of media ownership in postsocialist Russia demonstrated that journalists' identities varied significantly, depending on the routines of news gathering encouraged by the media outlet's property structure. Journalists for advertisement-driven publications saw themselves not as mediators in a democratic public forum but as business and consumer analysts servicing the needs of emerging financial, managerial, and other high-income groups. In news outlets sponsored by covert subsidies from political and financial elites, journalists focused on the accurate delivery of political messages to other members of the elite, developing castelike solidarity with their sponsors. Journalists for government-held newspapers viewed themselves as public mediators and educators for whom state subsidies enabled an absence of market pressures on their civic and intellectual expression. Focusing on the link between media ownership and journalists' subjectivities, Roudakova viewed property structures not as external constraints on journalists' intellectual production but as elements constitutive of the practice and understanding of modern journalism.
Grama, Emanuela, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
EMANUELA GRAMA, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Europeanizing Labor, Rethinking Belonging: Romanian-German Relations in Romania,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. In the multiethnic city of Sibiu, located in the center of Transylvania region of Romania, research focused on practices of community work. More specifically, it investigated current phenomena of volunteering and social work performed mostly by different groups of young foreigners, mostly coming from German-speaking lands to help the Saxon community. Members of the community explain the volunteering by setting it within a historical context in which community work was intimately linked to the Saxon ethnic group. Results suggest that such arguments, which stress the moral and social value of community work, help the currently small group of Saxons (1.5 percent of the city's population) present itself as unique and thus maintain its historically grounded social and political prestige within the symbolical geography of the city and the whole region. Such practices of work are employed as key markers of ethnic boundaries and thus help, to a certain extent, to reinforce interethnic symbolic hierarchies even when done outside the boundaries of the group (for instance, in the reconstruction project of the historical center of the city, built by the Saxons in 12th century, but where now few Saxons still live).