Ritchie, Jason, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'The Logic of the Checkpoint: Queer Palestinians, the Israeli State, and the Politics of Passing,' supervised by Dr. Matti Bunzl
JASON RITCHIE, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Logic of the Checkpoint: Queer Palestinians, the Israeli State, and the Politics of Passing,' supervised by Dr. Matti Bunzi. Research focused on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender -- or 'queer'-- Palestinians who live in or travel to Israel. The project is part of a broader interest in the relationship between sexuality and race in ostensibly democratic nation-states at the historical convergence of neoliberal capitalism and 'clash of civilizations' discourses, which have facilitated the increasing normalization of homosexuals and the increasing marginalization of racialized -- especially Arab -- others. Against this backdrop, the plight of queer Palestinians -- in Israel and in many Western countries -- has emerged as an effective tool for normalized queers to engage in nationalist politics and indirectly advocate for their own projects by constructing 'homophobia' as the sine qua non of the illiberal, non-Western/non-Israeli other. Rather than taking for granted the centrality of Palestinian homophobia or the benevolence of Israeli liberalism, the project utilized extended ethnographic research with queer Palestinians to explore the uses of sexuality and race in the disciplinary practices of the Israeli state and the possibilities -- or not -- of social change emanating out of spaces defined and constrained by those practices.
Guell, Cornelia, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Chronic Illness at the Margins: Turkish Immigrant Experiences of Type 2 Diabetes in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Mathias Ecks
CORNELIA GUELL, then a student at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in May 2007, to aid research on 'Chronic Illness at the Margins: Turkish Immigrant Experiences of Type 2 Diabetes in Berlin,' supervised by Dr. Stefan M. Ecks. This research explored Turkish migrants? experience with diabetes in Germany. Health statistics frequently identify minority groups as vulnerable to chronic illness, and ethnographic studies, accordingly, explore conflictual lay beliefs and medical encounters, and experiences of suffering and inequality. Interviews with healthcare professionals alluded to a Turkish migrant patient group disadvantaged and immobilized by high illiteracy rates, lacking language and health knowledge. Further ethnographic exploration, however, revealed an active engagement with diabetes within the Turkish migrant population of Berlin. Informal diabetes care, for example a Turkish-language self-help group, was individually and communally negotiated where formal care was inadequate. 'Diabetes among Turkish-origin Berliners' can therefore be understood as a form of political activism and economic enterprise that involves a whole community, not only patients and their healthcare professionals, in order to fill a provision gap. On an individual level, migrant diabetes patients who have access to such care support manage their self-care actively, for example negotiating between clinical German dietary recommendations and their Turkish home cooking. Rather than representing the common image of the inert, disadvantaged migrant patient, these Turkish migrants engage in deliberate 'tactics of diabetes control' in order to make their chronic illness experience habitable.
Guell, Cornelia. 2011. Candie(e)d Actions: Biosocialities of Turkish Berliners Living with Diabetes. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 25(3):377-394.
Guell, Cornelia. 2012. Self-Care at the Margins: Meals and Meters in Migrants' Diabetes Tactics. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(4):518-533.
Genz, Joseph H., U. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI - To aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney
JOSEPH H. GENZ, then a student at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney. The research aimed to investigate indigenous navigation in the Marshall Islands. The Marshallese developed a system to detect land by sensing through sight and feel the way islands disrupt the patterning of ocean swells. One of the few remaining elders with navigational knowledge recently resolved to revive this dying art. A collaborative project developed among University of Hawaii anthropologists and oceanographers, Waan Ae/on in Maje/ ('Canoes of the Marshall Islands;' a canoe building and sailing revival project) and several elders to document indigenous navigational knowledge, study its physical oceanographic basis, revitalize traditional voyaging. The collaborative research provides a case study to understand how Pacific navigators answer the question, 'Where am I?' Contrary to other Pacific navigation traditions, the Marshallese find their way across the ocean by following distinctive oceanographic phenomena. They sense how the motion of the canoe is affected by wave reflection, refraction and diffraction.
Genz, Jospeh. 2011. Navigating the Revival of Voyaging in the Marshall Islands: Predicaments of Preservation and Possibilities of Collaboration. The Contemporary Pacific 22(1):1-34.
Genz, Joseph H., and Ben R. Finney. 2006. Preservation and Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage: A Perspective from Cultural Anthropological Research on Indigenous Navigation in the Republic of the Marshal Islands. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 5(1&2):306-313.
Williams, Erin Marie Shepard, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Influences of Material Properties and Biomechanics on Stone Tool Production,' supervised by Dr. Alison S. Brooks
ERIN MARIE SHEPARD WILLIAMS, then a student at George Washington University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in April 2009, to aid research on 'Influences of Material Properties and Biomechanics on Stone Tool Production,' supervised by Dr. Alison S. Brooks. Later Homo possesses a derived thumb that is robust and long relative to the other digits, with enhanced musculature compared to extant apes and early hominins. Researchers have hypothesized that this anatomy was selected in part to withstand high forces acting on the thumb during stone tool production. Previous studies indirectly support this hypothesis; however, direct data on loads experienced during stone tool production and their distribution across the hand are lacking. Using a dynamic pressure sensor system and 3-D motion capture technology, manual forces and pressures were collected from six experienced knappers replicating Oldowan tools. Knappers used hammerstones requiring a 3-jaw chuck grip. Peak and strike forces and pressures and impulse and pressure-time integrals were consistently significantly greater on the 2nd and/or 3rd digits compared to the 1st across all subjects. Kinematics data revealed that this distribution pattern was not consistently present during up-swing, however it was established during the down-swing pre-strike phase and continued through swing termination. These results do not support the hypothesis that loads experienced during stone tool production are significantly higher on the thumb compared to the other digit, calling into question hypotheses linking modern human thumb anatomy specifically to stone tool production load resistance.
Williams, Erin Marie, Adam D. Gordon, and Brian G. Richmond. 2012. Hand Pressure Distribution during Oldowan Stone Tool Production. Journal of Human Evolution 62(4):520-532.
Pham, Yamoi, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'The Value of Spit: The Natural and Social Life of Edible Birds' Nests,' supervised by Dr. Shelley Feldman
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the social life of edible swiftlet nests in their transformation from a centuries-old foraged commodity into a high-tech product of avicultural mass production. Originating as a tributary gift to Chinese emperors from Southeast Asia, the nests remain a highly praised commodity across the Chinese-speaking world. In the late 1990s, a new industry based on the semi-domestication of the swiftlets and the construction of special birdhouses has thrived to satisfy the appetite of China's burgeoning middle class. Through conducting a year-long ethnographic study of swiftlet farming in Malaysia, I trace the commodity career of the nests as entangled in the Southeast Asian socio-ecological environment, overseas Chinese trading networks, and Chinese medicinal beliefs about exotic ingredients. I am curious about a) the role of modern sciences, technology and practical forms of knowledge in this process of taming nature in production, b) how the new swiftlet farming industry reshapes the existing social-economic relations of trade and circulation and c) how traditional practices of consumption are sustained and transformed through commercialization. By examining the process of the diverse agents/actants who create, circulate and consume value through swiftlet nests, I ultimately hope to engage the anthropological theory of value to understand the socio-ecologically constituted process of valuation and the complexity of sources and forms of value.
Fagioli, Monica, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Failure to Resource: The Somali Diaspora and State-making in Somaliland and Puntland,' supervised by Dr. Janet Roitman
Preliminary abstract: Since the 1990s, international development agencies and governments have begun to describe migration and diaspora as resources for national development within their countries of origin. This project studies the convergence between diaspora and development in Somaliland and Puntland (north of Somalia) by exploring the effects of this shift in international development and local national policies, which draws on migration and diaspora networks as resources. I focus on a United Nations Development Program and International Organization of Migration (UNDP-IOM) project, 'Qualified Expatriate Somali Technical Support- Migration for development in Africa,â? or QUESTS-MIDA, to ask questions about the relationship between transnational migration and processes of state-building by looking at the participation of â??qualifiedâ? diasporas in their home country. This project studies the tensions between ideas and practices of transnational governance in contexts like Somalia, which international development agencies call â??post conflict societiesâ? or â??failed states.â? Instead of assuming a failure of the state in Somalia, this study asks if and how the state is actively being reconfigured in ways that involve a larger network of power relations besides and alongside state-building projects.
Valentine, Benjamin Thomas, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'Isotopic Perspectives on Migration and Identity: A View From the Harappan Hinterland,' supervised by Dr. John Krigbaum
BENJAMIN T. VALENTINE, then a student at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Isotopic Perspectives on Migration and Identity: A View from the Harappan Hinterland,' supervised by Dr. John Krigbaum. Indus Civilization cemetery burials provide an important opportunity for understanding the interaction between migration and identity in ancient urban South Asia. Life history data from the multi-isotope analysis of Integration Era (2600-1900BC) individuals at the lowland sites of Harappa (n=45) and Farmana (n=21) inform a mortuary analysis that seeks to embed the social dimensions of mortuary practices within a context of interregional interaction and highland-lowland exchange. Carbon and oxygen isotope data are variable but show little intra-cemetery patterning. Strontium and lead isotope data, however, suggest nearly all inhumed individuals were first generation immigrants separated in early childhood from natal groups living in the resource-rich highlands. Further analyses are needed to confirm the trend, but initial interpretations are best explained by fosterage. Known to be practiced in historical South Asia, fosterage can simultaneously create relationships of mutual obligation and hierarchical differentiation between culturally distinct groups. By contrast, isotope data from post-urban Sanauli suggest geographic origin demarcated identity less clearly during the Localization Era (1900-1300BC). If validated by further work, this archaeological case study helps to understand the complex outcomes of migration across urban cultural boundaries.
Kruglova, Anna, U. of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada - To aid research on 'The Unhip Risk Society: Imagination and Uncertainty in a Russian City,' supervised by Dr. Michael Joshua Lambek
ANNA KRUGLOVA, then a student at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'The Unhip Risk Society: Imagination and Uncertainty in a Russian City,' supervised by Dr. Michael Joshua Lambek. The project addresses everyday epistemologies of the postsocialist condition among middle-class contemporaries in Russia, with a focus on how and why perceived limits, limitations, and voids of knowledge are constructed. The grantee conducted fieldwork in an 'average' Russian city, documenting encounters with people in their 30s, who are seen, and see themselves, as equally 'average' in terms of wealth and success in life. The everyday world of Russian 'authoritarian capitalism' is perceived, paradoxically, as both stagnant and consistently unknowable. Conversations and ethnographic observation illustrate how the rhetoric of uncertainty, surprise, mystery, danger, and revelation pervades all aspects of life. The project argues that at least among the so-called 'generation of perestroika,' and despite authoritarianism and propaganda, the Russian state failed to instil any semblance of hegemonic consensus. The few sites where the norms seem to be agreed upon and the transgressions are actively contested -- for instance, the culture of car ownership and driving -- are explored to highlight by contrast the theme of uncertainty. All too often, all sorts of lines --- between work and leisure, public and private, sobriety and alcoholism, personal and collective responsibility, fidelity and infidelity, assault and defence, modernity and obsolescence -- remain unclear. When few answers are available, uncertainty becomes an ethical stance: questioning, pointing to danger or deferring a choice brings a dimension of morality where it is otherwise lacking. Although such orientations preclude a sense of futurity, positive reassurance comes from the physical and psychological borders, a belief in 'nature' and the present moment, and the old stock of collective ideals.
O'Hara, John Francis, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Social Geographies of Personal Ornamentation in Late Glacial Franco-Cantabria,' supervised by Dr. Randall White
Preliminary abstract: This project will explore the complex social geographies of Late Glacial Franco-Cantabria through the analysis of personal ornamentation. Franco-Cantabrian societies attributed to the Magdalenian cultural complex were the population source for the re-establishment of human population across much of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum, however they are often conceived of as a rather homogeneous cultural reservoir. This project will explore the actual relationships which existed between what were in fact diverse bands of foraging groups, and how these relationships change as these societies expand and spread into formerly abandoned regions, while also confronting extreme climatic change. Typological, technological, and geochemical analyses of personal ornaments will allow the reconstruction of spheres of identity and interaction, and enable the reconstruction of aspects of Magdalenian social organization, mobility and networks of exchange. This project will also allow exploration of Magdalenian cultural logics of how identity was understood, enacted and asserted.
Bonilla, Yarimar, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Labor Struggles and the Search for a Local Politics on the Island of Guadeloupe,' supervised by Dr. Jean Comaroff
YARIMAR BONILLA, while a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in July 2003 to aid research on the role of labor struggles in the political landscape of Guadeloupe, under the supervision of Jean Comaroff. The research explored labor movements as sites of social struggle wherein the form, content, and meaning of Guadeloupe's postcolonial relationship to France become negotiated and redefined. It sought to look at how French traditions of syndicalism are transformed in the postcolonial space of the outre-mer and how labor movements are emerging as the inheritors of failed anti-colonial and nationalist struggles. Using participant observation, targeted interviews and archival research, Bonilla conducted research among labor activists, local bosses, government officials, and members of the local media in order to interrogate the privileged role of labor unions in the Guadeloupean public sphere. The research focused on how the regulation of labor, and the struggle for the application of French labor laws, becomes an important site where the contradictions and tensions of the French postcolonial project become materially evident. Bonilla investigated the ritualistic and performative aspects of labor strikes and negotiations, as well as the tactical strategies that inform these practices, such as the manipulation of fear, violence, myth, rumor, and memory. The project also explored how the violence of the past informs present-day contestations of the symbols of social order and legal authority, in order to understand how and why in Guadeloupe a labor demonstration can become a civil riot.