Nesvet, Matthew W., U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on ''Zama Zama': The Hustle and Flow of Criminalized Gold Production in Gauteng Province, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. James Smith
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation investigates 'illegal' gold production in Gauteng, South Africa. My research explores how the materiality of gold and criminalization of some groups of artisanal and informal gold miners are related. Gold's material capacities to be isolated, melted, combined with gold originating at other places and times, and transported at low cost, due to its density, malleability and inertness has disrupted efforts to certify some gold as produced legally and other as 'illegal'. Unlike conflict diamonds that are traced to mines and times that classify them as having been produced by 'conflict' actors, gold's liquidity renders its history illegible. This enables gold to flow between 'illegal' and 'legal' bodies, markets, and spaces of production and trade, transgressing boundaries between these. Thus gold's materiality troubles criminal and anthropological practice - and motivates this research on how 'illegal' bodies and materials are demarcated from 'legal' ones, in a world where such a distinction is continuously contested in mining, crushing, smelting and trading. I will trace the practices that link criminalized forms of gold production and trade to both large-scale industrial and small-scale 'customary' mining. I hypothesize that, just as gold's material flows enable its circulation between 'legal' and 'illegal' worlds, criminalized gold miners also have illegible histories that disrupt their ability to make property claims to the gold they unearth. Unlike 'customary' miners, 'illegal' miners do not articulate historical memories of mining or belonging to pre-colonial mining communities. This explains how they are imagined as 'foreign' and 'criminal' in a context where the practices that underlie 'criminal', 'law-abiding, 'foreign', or 'citizen' are imbricated. This research thus constitutes an early attempt to place criminality within the ontological turn.
Douny, Laurence, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Perspectives on Dogon Cosmogony: An Archaeoethnography of Architectural Space and Forms,' supervised by Dr. Michael J. Rowlands
LAURENCE DOUNY, while a student at University College London in London, England, received funding in February 2003 to aid archaeoethnographic research on Dogon cosmogony as expressed in architectural space and forms, under the supervision of Dr. Michael J. Rowlands. Through fieldwork in the Dogon land of Mali-West Africa, Douny explored the Dogon worldview, or cosmogonic system, as reported in the 1950s by the French ethnologist Marcel Griaule and objectified in Dogon domestic architecture. Instead of producing an elaborate construction of symbolic knowledge embodied in materiality, he offered a more pragmatic and ontological exegesis of Dogon habitat and worldviews. Through systematic observations of embodied praxis and experience of materiality, he examined the nature, structure, and transmission of Dogon ontological worldviews. The bodily, tactile experience of materiality in the making and daily use of a compound revealed Dogon conceptions of the body, the self, and identity. It gave access to Dogon people's perceptions and conceptualizations of their habitat, which they identified as a container for life that provided ontological security, constituted the individual's self, and generated a particular sense of home and an attachment to it. Finally, by recontextualizing in situ an archaeological database provided by the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunden (Netherlands), Douny was able to itemize material changes in Dogon habitat over a period of twenty years, which told of changes in Dogon perceptions, definitions, and conceptualizations of society, the individual, and the environment.
Shankar, Shobana, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Wards and Workers: Christianity, Agency, and Social Mobility in Muslim, Hausa Society, 1899 to Present,' supervised by Dr. Edward A. Alpers
Hu, Di, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Daily Life, Domestic Labor Organization, and Identity at the Textile Workshop Community of Pomacocha, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Christine Ann Hastorf
DI HU, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Daily Life, Domestic Labor Organization, and Identity at the Textile Workshop Community of Pomacocha, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Christine A. Hastorf. Through a historical and archaeological investigation of a Late Horizon 'mitimae' (Inka retainer) site and a major Spanish colonial era 'obraje' (textile workshop) in Pomacocha, this project asks whether there was a decline in the importance of Inka and pre-Inka forms of identification and social cohesion. To trace the relationship between imposed forms of labor organization and domestic (i.e. non-imposed) forms of labor organization from the Inka through the Spanish colonial eras, excavations were carried out in three sectors of the Pomacocha: the mitimae settlement, the obraje, and the historic residential area. Preliminary analysis of organization of domestic space, archival, ceramic, faunal, lithic, and botanical data suggests that there was more spatial prescription of domestic tasks through time. This suggests that the extreme division of labor of the obraje may have influenced the organization of domestic space in the historic-period community. Increasing spatial prescription of domestic tasks continues to the present day and may have accelerated after the overthrow of the obraje turned hacienda in 1962. While Inka and pre-Inka period forms of identification and social cohesion may have declined in the colonial and post-colonial period, other social divisions organized around labor and class became more salient in the community.
Middleton, Emily Ruth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Ecogeographical Influences on Trunk Modularity in Recent Humans: Colonization and Morphological Integration,' supervised by Dr. Susan C. Anton
EMILY R. MIDDLETON, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'Ecogeographical Influences on Trunk Modularity in Recent Humans: Colonization and Morphological Integration,' supervised by Dr. Susan C. Antón. The ribcage, vertebral column, and pelvis have undergone numerous shape changes throughout hominin evolutionary history, responding to a wide suite of locomotor, obstetric, and climatic selective pressures. The degree to which morphological elements are integrated, or covary, has important implications for the way body form evolves, and this project seeks to understand the pattern of morphological integration in the trunk skeletons of modern humans and our closest living relatives. Most studies of integration focus on interspecific comparisons, but this project specifically investigates how intraspecific variation due to ecogeography and sex affect integration. Skeletal data were collected from a range of modern human populations and from multiple chimpanzee taxa. Preliminary results suggest support for the research hypotheses, with humans possessing weaker relationships among skeletal trunk elements than chimpanzees, which may have contributed to the successful colonization of diverse global environments by modern humans. In addition, human females appear to possess slightly weaker patterns of trunk integration than human males, which may relate to the protection of obstetric dimensions of the bony pelvis in the face of conflicting selective pressures. Additional data analyses are ongoing to further elucidate aspects of the pattern of trunk integration in modern humans and chimpanzees.
Cuffe, Jennifer Lynn, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'Configuring Commensurability: Number and Cultural Diversity in the Evaluation of Traditional Herbal Medicines, Ottawa, Canada,' supervised by Dr. Allan Young
JENNIFER CUFFE, then a student at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, was awarded a grant to aid research on 'Configuring Commensurability: Number and Cultural Diversity in the Evaluation of Traditional Herbal Medicines, Ottawa, Canada,' supervised by Dr. Allan Young. The grantee used methods of social anthropology to investigate the measures - the statistics, standards, and numbers - used in the regulatory evaluation of traditional, herbal medicines in Canada. Fieldwork was conducted from August 2006 to September 2007 in a science-based, government directorate mandated to evaluate medicines for safety, efficacy, and quality, while 'respecting … philosophical and cultural diversity.' Participant-observation was centered on working as scientific staff in various capacities for a year. The grantee also formally shadowed the work of a dozen staff, perused internal documents, and conducted 1-3 hour interviews with 40 current scientific staff and 10 other affiliates. Based on the fieldwork experience and preliminary analysis, the research found that, wherever possible, measures in scientific evaluation were made non-manipulable; opportunities for calculation were transformed into opportunities for comparison. Respect for 'philosophical and cultural diversity' was operationalized, in part, as a complex system of classification and standards. This system shaped how scientific staff interpreted the meaning of their own regulatory judgments regarding efficacy, and how they accounted for the incommensurability of medicines from various traditions. In addition the grantee investigated the history of Health Canada's evaluation of traditional medicines, and interviewed and observed members of pertinent industry and research associations.
Harris, Irina, Boston U., Boston, MA - To aid research on 'The Politics of War and Trade Between the Nomadic Khazar Empire and the Islamic Caliphate,'supervised by Dr. Thomas J. Barfield
IRINA HARRIS, while a student at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in October 2003 to aid research on the politics of war and trade between the Khazar empire of European Russia and the Islamic caliphate in the seventh and eighth centuries c.e., under the supervision of Dr. Thomas J. Barfield. Major social changes in nomadic Khazar society were triggered by the military expansion of the caliphate and subsequent war and trade relationships between the two polities. In order to understand the development and organization of the Khazar state and its relations with the caliphate, Harris conducted an archaeological field survey in the Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation, concentrating on the parts of the Caspian coastal corridor (the Black Lands) that connected the core area of the Khazar empire with the lands of the caliphate. She discovered a large number of diverse and valuable military and horse-tending items and multiple horse remains from the Khazar period, which suggested that the nomadic inhabitants of the Black Lands belonged to the military elite. In contrast, material culture from previously excavated 'urban' Khazar sites included virtually no military or horse-tending items; those sites were evidently shielded by the nomadic imperial army positioned in the Black Lands. Harris was also able to make observations regarding the Khazar nomads' strategic use of the desert-steppe landscape, their regional spatial organization, and their traditional infrastructure, which accommodated trade and war with the caliphate.
Winchell, Mareike, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind
MAREIKE WINCHELL, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Politics of Ayllu Justice: Translations of Tradition and Law among Quechua Activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Hirschkind. Research focused on the ways recent legal reforms reshape existing practices of historical consciousness and ethical subjectivity in Bolivia, with emphasis on the frictions between the Bolivian state's vision of revolutionary change, on the one hand, and rural experiences of state reform among Quechua and Spanish-speaking descendents of landowners, and servants in ex-hacienda regions on the other. Through research with land reform officials and rural Quechua-speakers, the study shed light on: 1) how emergent ideals of revolutionary citizenship and temporal change become institutionalized; and 2) the ways institutional efforts coexist uneasily with a set of vertical relational practices that rural residents imbue with ethical significance.