Leclerc-Madlala, Dr. Suzanne, U. of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa - To aid conference of ASA on 'Southern African Anthropology in the Context of Globalisation: The Way Forward,' 2005, Durban, in collaboration with Dr. Anand Singh
'Anthropology Southern Africa (ASA) 2005 Conference,' September 22-24, 2005, Durban, South Africa -- Organizers: Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and Anand Singh. The annual conference of Anthropology Southern Africa was hosted by the Department of Anthropology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College in Durban. Under the theme 'Continuity, Change and Transformation: Anthropology in the 21st Century,' approximately 175 scholars attended the conference, which drew from a pool of academic contributions from university staff, students and practitioners in the field, where the latest trends in research and pedagogy in anthropology were discussed and debated. Three exciting keynote speakers with expertise in areas that are currently of critical importance in Southern Africa and globally -- transformations in tertiary education, terrorism, and HIV/AIDS -- set the tone for the entire conference, which included the delivery of 61 scholarly papers. The conference closed with an AGM, where new office bearers for ASA were chosen and plans for next year's joint ASA-Pan African Association of Anthropologists were finalized.
Abu El-Haj, Dr. Nadia L., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Genomic Evidence, Historical Quests, and the Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Millennium'
DR. NADIA ABU EL-HAJ, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in August 2001 to aid research on 'Genomic Evidence, Historical Quests, and the Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Millennium.' This project considers the scientific work and social implications of a growing domain of research in genetic anthropology through a study of explorations of Jewish origins and migrations via molecular genetic evidence. It is a study that analyzes understandings of Jewish history as developed within this domain of genetic research and its implications for articulations of contemporary Jewish identity. More generally, this study engages with the ways in which this contemporary field of scientific inquiry both extends and differs from previous biological sciences harnessed to classify and study Jewish populations: race science and population genetics. It does so both by analyzing the knowledge-making practices of this incipient science and by considering the forms of community and polity, visions of the body, race and diaspora, and understandings of kinship, identity and intimacy that such molecular genetic research at the border of the natural and the human sciences entails and, in turn, that it makes possible in the social world.
Skrydstrup, Dr. Martin Christian Hugo, Independent Scholar, Copenhagen, Denmark - To aid research and writing on 'Once Ours: Dramas of Repatriation and States of Redemption' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Preliminary abstract: What form of property do museum objects embody? How should we understand the coming into being of the institution of 'cultural property' and the contemporary praxis of 'retention', 'return', 'restitution', and 'repatriation'? In my field research, I interrogated these interrelated questions vis-a-vis two distinct cultural property polities: the American NAGPRA regime, which is renowned for a uniform legalistic approach, and the Danish ad hoc ethical modality, which has come to be known under the rubric of UTIMUT. My archival and ethnographic research focused predominantly on the 'experts' of each regime trusted to make findings and deliberate disputes. What emerged was two distinctively different technologies of recognition of claimants, where NAGPRA grappled with definitions of indigeneity, specifically with regard to Hawaii, UTIMUT circumvented this question and only recognized other metropolitan museums as legitimate claimants. I found that the undergirding doctrine of NAGRPA was restoration of 'prior possessions', whereas in UTIMUT the operating modality was 'patrimonial partage', ie a form of division of collections, according to curatorial criteria of preservation and display. I argue that these two operating modalities index different colonial legacies and define the materiality of the objects in question. I show that NAGPRA produce claims, whereas UTIMUT silence claims. Ultimately, I demonstrate that the transactional orders of each cultural property polity simultaneously expose the guilt and consciousness of the postcolonial nation-state and offer prospects for State legitimacy by way of redeeming colonial legacies. During the fellowship, I will complete a book manuscript based on this research tentatively entitled: 'Once Ours: Dramas of Repatriation and States of Redemption.'
Lock, Dr. Margaret Marion, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'Biosociality and Genetic Testing for Susceptibility Genes'
DR. MARGARET LOCK, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Biosociality and Genetic Testing for Susceptibility Genes.' Social science research about individual genetic testing has been carried out almost exclusively in connection with single gene disorders. The focus of such research has been on postulated changes in identity after being informed of genotype results, and on advocacy activities undertaken by groups of people known to be at risk for specific diseases. In contrast, this project examined the impact of emerging knowledge about susceptibility genes, by far the majority of active genes in the human genome. A new technology, GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies), involving many thousands of samples of DNA is being used globally in an effort to better understand Alzheimer's Disease genetics. Involved scientists, clinicians, and AD advocacy representatives were interviewed about the strengths and weaknesses of this new technology. The interviews made it clear that GWAS findings thus far are very inconclusive, and every interviewed individual argued that genetic testing for the late-onset common form of AD should not be carried out other than in research settings. It is evident that creating risk estimates for complex diseases such as AD based on genotyping alone is not realistic, with important implications for anthropological research in connection with the social impact of genetic testing.
Gjording, Karin Jane, San Francisco, CA - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Dr. Chris Gjording for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, Maryland