Smith, Dr. Lindsay, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; and Garcia Deister, Dr. Vivette, U. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City - To aid collaborative research on 'Migrant DNA: The Science Of Disappearance And Death Across The Mexican Borderlands'
Preliminary abstract: Forensic DNA is an ever-growing scientific and political regime in spaces of violence, dispossession, and death. This Project, working in the Mexican borderlands, from Guatemala to the United States, will examine the emergence and consolidation of forensic genetics at the intersection of state-based and grass-roots responses to migration and migrant death. Focusing on scientists, we seek to elucidate the knowledge practices that shape death and identification, particularly the way that genetics has emerged as a contested paradigm for making sense of the crisis of migration and human rights. Drawing on the anthropology of science, critical forensic anthropology, and migrant studies, this study explores the epistemology of forensic genetics in this border region. We seek to elucidate the role of genetics within a new politics of life and death, one where the dead body, made legible through the molecular gaze becomes a contested space for narrating the suffering of violence. This ethnography of forensic science in Mexico adds a new dimension to the theorization of the border, bringing critical attention to the role of forensic science as a knowledge-making borderland straddling justice and research, humanitarian identification and state obfuscation, and the consolidation and contestation of Mexican state power. By focusing on migrant DNA an integral component of the production of violence, justice, and belonging in the global economy, we propose a new methodology for a multi-disciplinary anthropology of science that moves out of the laboratory to better understand the epistemologies and violences of truth-making in the borderlands.
Blumenschine, Dr. Robert J., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ; and Maso, Dr. Fidelis T., Open U., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - To aid collaborative research on 'Oldowan Hominin Land Use in the Post-Volcanic Lowermost Bed II Eastern Olduvai Basin, Tanzania'
Blumenschine, Robert J., Ian G. Stanistreet, Jackson K. Njau, et al. 2012. Environments and Hominin Activities across the FLK Peninsula during Zinjanthropus Times (1.84 Ma), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 63(2)364-383.
Blumenschine, Robert J., Fidelis T. Masao, Harald Stollhofen, Ian G. Stanistreet, et al. 2012. Landscape Distribution of Oldowan Stone Artifact Assemblages across the Fault Compartments of the Eastern Olduvai Lake Basin during Early Lowermost Bed II Times. Journal of Human Evolution 63(2):384-394.
Di Fiore, Dr. Anthony, New York U., New York, NY; and Dr. Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Formosa, Argentina - To aid collaborative research on comparative socioecology of monogamous neotropical primates in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Argentinian Chaco
Kideckel, Dr. D., Central CT St. U., New Britain, CT; and Mihailescu, Dr. Vintila, Nat'l School for Political & Admin. Studies, Bucuresti, Romania - To aid collaborative research on 'Citizenship & Changing Political Identity In Two Globalizing Societies'
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
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.
Boric, Dr. Dusan, Cardiff U., Cardiff, UK; and Sljivar, Dr. Dusko, National Museum in Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia - To aid collaborative research on 'Household Craft Specialization and Emergence of Metallurgy in the Neolithic Vinca Culture of SE Europe'
Preliminary abstract: The project focuses on questions surrounding the emergence of craft specialization, including early stages of metallurgy, in early agrarian society. The case study chosen relates to the Vinca culture communities of southeast Europe with the earliest currently dated evidence of copper mining and metallurgy in Europe. We focus on the site of Belovode, eastern Serbia. Belovode spans the whole duration of the culture history phenomenon known as the Late Neolithic Vinca culture (5400-4500 cal BC). Vinca culture agrarian communities are characterized by new forms of craft production in the form of dark burnished ceramics, a specific style of ceramic figurines, and, importantly, copper metallurgy. Our work should enable us to specify in more detail aspects of houselhold level craft specialization in relation to metallurgy as well as all other aspects of material culture (ceramics, lithic, ground stone, etc.), and to differentate between likely existence of specialized zones of activities within the settlement limits. This will be achieved by investigating two different areas of the Belovode settlement with identified burnt house features as well as 'empty' areas with no apparent structures. This phase of research is the first step in developing longer term research dedicated to this period and region.
Di Rienzo, Dr. Anna, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and Dr. Rem Sukernik, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia - To aid collaborative research on adaptive evolution of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA loci in circumpolar populations of Siberia
Harris, Dr. John William Kendal, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ; and Mbua, Dr. Emma N., National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya - To aid collaborative research on 'International Collaborative Paleoanthropological Research Project (lcpr), Ileret, Kenya'