Paris, Dr. Elizabeth, St. Lawrence U., Canton, NY; & Lopez Bravo, Dr. Roberto, U. de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Mexico - To aid collaborative research on "Households And Communities In Small Polity Networks: Inter-Polity Interaction In Highland Chiapas"
Preliminary abstract: This project will investigate changing patterns of socioeconomic interaction and integration between two neighboring polity centers in the Jovel Valley of highland Chiapas from the Late Classic period (AD 700-900) to Early Postclassic period (AD 900-1250). Our research will explore the degree to which the residents of these sites exchanged goods and information across polity boundaries and the ways the polities may have been interdependent and integrated through socioeconomic networks.
Hale, Dr. Charles, U. of Texas, Austin, TX; and Velasquez Nimatuj, Dr. Irma, Independent scholar, Guatemala - To aid collaborative research on "When Rights Ring Hollow: Racism and Anti-racist Horizons in the Americas"
Preliminary abstract: This proposal supports two research teams (in Guatemala and Brazil) that form part of a six-country study of indigenous and afro-descendant peoples, as they confront challenges rooted in ongoing social inequality, racial discrimination and limits to participation in their respective national political systems. The research emerges from three year's work with organizations in all six countries, which belong to a hemispheric network of "observatories on racism." Periodic meetings of this network yielded a central empirical observation: throughout the region,
National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH)
November 4, 2014
Bruner, Dr. Emiliano, National Research Center for Human Evolution, Burgos, Spain; and Veleminsky, Dr. Petr, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic - To aid collaborative research on "Cranial Anatomy, Anthropology, and Vascular System"
Preliminary abstract: The skull has four main vascular systems, largely involved in brain and endocranial blood management. Two of them run directly within or above the bone layers, and their imprints are visible on cranial remains: the middle meningeal vessels and the diploic system. These traits can be used to study vascular biology in situations in which vessels are no more available: archaeology, paleontology, and forensic anthropology. Many of these traits may have also medical importance, being associated with brain oxygenation and thermoregulation.
Taylor, Dr. Tonya, Columbia U., New York, NY; & Chibanda, Dr. Dickson, U. of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe - To aid collaborative research on 'Cultural Conceptions of Depression Among Traditional Healers and People Living with HIV/AIDS in Harare, Zimbabwe'
Preliminary abstract: Zimbabwe has one of the most severe AIDS epidemics in the world, with an estimated 1 out of 7 people living with HIV. Since the late 1990s, the country's epidemic has been exacerbated by an acute politic-economic crisis that has also heightened levels of depression. Given that depressed patients seek treatment for traditional healers more than primary care facilities, it is important to understand how cultural beliefs about depression: impact the way individuals respond to symptoms; inform individual decisions to seek care; and affect the manner in which people present their problems. Building on previous research, this proposed study seeks to explore how HIV+ patients and traditional healers in Zimbabwe conceptualize depressive symptoms and how these understandings influence subsequent treatment-seeking behavior and healing processes. Specifically, we will: 1) examine the ways that culture affects the clinical reality of depression, which include subjective experiences, idioms of distress, diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes; and 2) explore how differences in depression with HIV affect engagement with and adherence to HIV care. An understanding of how cultural beliefs of depression impact subjective meanings of experience and subsequent treatment-seeking behaviors may provide insight into how to improve psychosocial support for people with HIV in Zimbabwe.
Norton, Dr. Christopher J., Hunter College, NY; and Jin, Dr. Changzhu, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China-To aid collaborative research on 'Hominin Migratory and Behavioral Variability during the Chinese Plio-Pleistocene: Shandong Province'
Preliminary abstracts: The expansion of the homininae out of Africa and into East Asia is arguably one of the most important events in human evolution. There is good reason to believe that this expansion in the hominin range is associated with major behavioral and ecological changes. Nevertheless, our current understanding of the nature of this major transition in human evolution is primarily limited to theoretical inference because of the lack of concrete data in this region and time period. The China Human Evolutionary Research Program (CHERP), in close collaboration with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) and the Shandong Provincial Museum (SPM), will address this gap in paleoanthropological data by conducting a series of test excavations at five previously surveyed sites in central Shandong Province, central-east China. Funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation is requested to cover the cost of the proposed 2008 fieldwork and graduate student training. The proximate goal of the 2008 field season will be to determine presence/absence of in situ Plio-Pleistocene faunal remains and/or hominin body and/or trace (manuports, lithics, butchered bone) fossils at these designated localities. The longer term questions that CHERP will attempt to answer are: 1) When and where is the earliest evidence of hominin occupation in the region?; 2) What is the site distribution and how does it relate to hominin migratory and land use patterning?; 3) What is the relationship between the hominin body and trace fossils?
Norton, Christopher J., and Xing Gao. 2008. Hominin-Carnivore Interactions during the Chinese Early Paleolithic: Taphonomic Perspectives from Xujiayao. Journal of Human Evolution 55(1):164-178
Craig, Dr. Sienna, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; and Ao, Dr. Tsochen, Arura Group, Qinghai Province, PR China - To aid collaborative research on 'Tibetan Medicine Between Local and Global Worlds: Standardization, Commodification, and Clinical Use'
Preliminary abstract: Today, Tibetan medicine illustrates multiple, and somewhat confounding, agendas. This 'science of healing' must retain a sense of cultural authenticity and a connection to Tibetan Buddhism, yet it must be proven efficacious and safe according to international biomedical standards. Its practice must reflect both integrity and innovation within the scientific tradition from which it emerges, and operate in the context of medical pluralism, commingling with biomedical drugs, diseases, and practices - and, in China, with mainstream Chinese medicine. Tibetan medicines must treat illnesses in specific individuals and communities throughout the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, and are often given for free. They must also find a place within the multi-billion dollar global market for 'traditional' and 'complementary' medicines, and appeal to non-Tibetan consumers seeking alternate paths to wellness. Finally, Tibetan medicine must address the paradoxes of industry growth and environmental stewardship, given that this healing system depends on the materia medica of high Asia. In collaboration with colleagues in Germany and China, the proposed research will investigate how Tibetan medicines are being standardized and commodified through industry growth in China, how they circulate through diverse social settings as commodity goods and gifts; how they are prescribed and marketed as targeted therapies and as panacea for biophysical and psychosocial ills; and how they elucidate a larger biopolitics of traditional medicine, in both local and global arenas. Specifically, this multi-sited ethnography will: 1. explore the industrial production and marketing of Tibetan medicines and related clinical research agendas from within China's largest producer of these 'traditional' formulas: the Arura Group, Qinghai Province; and 2. examine how Tibetan medical practitioners living and working in the US procure, prescribe, and relate to their pharmacopia, now that they are practicing under radically different circumstances on new patients.
Green, Dr. Linda, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and Piedrasanta H., Dr. Ruth, Rafael Landivar U., Guatemala City, Guatemala; et al - To aid collaborative research on 'Impacts of 'Illegality:' Immigration Raids, Social Networks, Vulnerable Spaces'
Preliminary abstract: Immigration in the United States has been shaped in recent years by two relatively understudied phenomena. The first is what some scholars call the new geographies of immigration, involving both 'new' sending areas and 'new' receiving communities in the United States, such as the Deep South and the rural Midwest. The second involves stepped up governmental efforts at immigration enforcement, including not only heightened control at the US-Mexico border but increased immigration and law enforcement policing across the country. The largest workplace immigration raids in US history have taken place in the last few years in small urban centers, such as in Massachusetts and South Carolina and in rural towns in Iowa and Mississippi. These raids and large-scale deportations have had important, but not fully understood, effects on both sending and receiving communities. This multi-sited, interdisciplinary project takes seriously a recent call in North American anthropological circles for an ethnographic and theoretical investigation of 'removal' and specifically deportation. The project focuses on the cases of Postville, Iowa and Greenville, South Carolina, and their linked communities in Guatemala. We seek to understand how these large-scale raids and collective deportations have impacted migrant transnational networks as well as how they foster new alliances in receiving communities, reshaping politics and social imaginaries. The project builds upon pilot research in these sites, as well as many years of experience conducting fieldwork in rural Guatemala among the three co-PIs. It includes a training element to create a new university course in Guatemala on the anthropology of migration.
Kendall, Dr. Laurel, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY; and Nguyen, Dr. Van Huy, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, Vietnam - To aid collaborative research on the sacred life of material goods: museum objects revisited, 2004
DR. LAUREL KENDALL, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, and DR. VAN HUY NGUYEN, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, Vietnam, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in June 2004 to aid collaboration on 'The Sacred Life of Material Goods: Museum Objects Revisited.' This project wed material culture studies to the anthropology of religion, the practical work of museums to the ethnography of popular religion and magic. It qualified the vague and problematic concept of a 'sacred object' with several ethnographically contingent understandings of how material things become and how they cease to be sacred in different communities of religious practice, demonstrating the utility of Alfred Gell's notion that relationships between people and things can be studied much as anthropologists study relationships between people. The original donors, members of their communities, ritual specialists, and artisans described how six objects in the collection of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME) -- votive statues and amulets (Kinh majority), diviners' bundles (Tai minority), a shaman's stringed instrument (Tay minority), and a ritual tree (Tai minority) -- and others like them were produced, what powers were imputed to them, and how human users properly interact with these things in their sacred, potentially sacred, and no longer sacred states. In the new market economy, the relationship between production technology and magical power has been modified and practitioners make ritual improvisations when they bring sacred material into new contexts such as secular performance and museum collections.
Pavlov, Dr. Pavel, Institute of Language, Literature & History, Syktyvkar, Russia; and Roebroeks, Dr. Wil, U. Leiden, The Netherlands - To aid collaborative research on the colonization of the northern world
Thompson, Dr. Eric C., National U. of Singapore, Singapore; and Chulanee, Dr. Thianthai, Chulalongkorn U., Bangkok, Thailand - To aid collaborative research on 'Thai and Indonesian Migrant Cultures in Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore'