Njau, Jackson K., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ -
To aid research on 'Vertebrate Taphonomy and Paleoecology of Lake-Margin Wetlands during Oldowan Times in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine
JACKSON K. NJAU, while a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, received an award December 2001 to aid research on the vertebrate taphonomy and paleoecology of lake-margin wetlands during Oldowan times in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, under the supervision of Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine. Njau's objective was to develop ecological models of landscape facets as they pertained to early hominids and large wetland vertebrate fauna during the Plio-Pleistocene at Olduvai Gorge. The ultimate goal was to understand the ecological contexts in which the behaviors of stone-tool-using human ancestors evolved. Studying the feeding behavior of captive crocodiles and their consumption of large mammalian carcasses, Njau developed basic taphonomic guidelines for distinguishing the effects of crocodilians from those of large terrestrial carnivores in bone accumulations. He also studied large-vertebrate bone assemblages on modern wetland land surfaces in Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lakes Manyara and Eyasi. Systematic and intensive bone surveys were carried out at a very fine landscape scale in order to match environmental settings that might have existed in ancient Olduvai lake deposits, where unusually rich paleontological and archaeological material has been collected. Modern analog studies provided a useful tool in developing techniques for identifying the taphonomic characteristics of landscape sub-environments for application to prehistoric landscapes.
Njau, Jackson K., and Leslea J. Hlusko. 2010. Fine-Tuning Paleoanthropological Reconnaissance with High-Resolution Satellite Imager: The Discovery of 28 New Sites in Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 59(6):680-684.
Njau, Jackson K., and Robert J. Blumenschine. 2006. A diagnosis of crocodile feeding traces on larger mammal bone, with fossil examples from the Plio-Pleistocene Olduvai Basin, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 50 (2006): 142-162
Davidson, Joanna H., Emory U. Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'The Salience of Ethnicity in Inter-Group Conflict: Felupe-Fula Tensions in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa,' supervised by Dr. Bruce M. Knauft
JOANNA H. DAVIDSON, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded funding in October 2001 to aid research on the salience of ethnicity in intergroup conflict in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce M. Knauft. Davidson conducted twenty-two months of ethnographic and historical research, focusing on recent conflicts within and between ethnic groups in northern Guinea-Bissau. Residing in a Diola village, she gathered a broad array of ethnographic information on areas such as agricultural practices, land tenure, work ethic, neighborhood organization, initiation and socialization, kinship, interethnic marriage, religious institutions and practices, Christian conversion, and funerary practices. Field research methods included interviews, genealogies, household surveys, life histories, and participant observation, complemented by document analysis and archival research. Davidson also collected oral histories on settlement patterns, colonial involvement in the region, and changes in traditional leadership. She explored the way Diola residents and their neighbors in northern Guinea-Bissau were responding, individually and collectively, to recent dramatic changes in their natural and social environment, such as climate change (with its impact on subsistence agriculture), youth migration, schooling, and national political transformations. Within this context, she examined the extent to which ethnicity had become an organizing principle for social action and how such changes were linked to conflicts within and among ethnic groups in the region. A major facet of her research involved understanding how long-standing Diola practices revolving around social and economic egalitarianism were being challenged by both internal and external forces and how such changes were affecting Diola notions of personhood and pluralism.
Hoenes del Pinal, Eric, U. of California, San Diego, CA - To aid research on 'Language Use and Language Ideologies among Catholic Maya in Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Kathryn A. Woolard
ERIC HOENES DEL PINAL, then a student at University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California, received funding in April 2004 to aid research on 'Language Use and Language Ideologies among Catholic Maya in Guatemala,' supervised by Dr. Kathryn A. Woolard. This research investigated the emerging differences in language use between Mainstream Catholics and Charismatic Catholics in a single parish with an ethnically Q'eqchi'-Maya congregation in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Whereas Mainstream Q'eqchi'-Maya Catholics have a strong preference for using Q'eqchi' in ritual settings, Charismatic Catholics have begun to use both Spanish and Q'eqchi'. Additionally Charismatic Catholics have introduced other linguistic innovations (including call and response patterns, loud singing, and 'shouts of joy') and a different set of norms for bodily behavior during religious services, that contrast with the generally quiet and reserved style of worship practiced by Mainstream Catholics. These differences in language use and physical comportment have led to intra-community tension, as parishioners contest what it means to be properly Catholic and Q'eqchi'-Maya. The grantee conducted participant-observation research for twenty months (June 2004 to January 2006) with both Mainstream and Charismatic Catholic groups regularly observing religious rituals including masses, Celebrations of the Word, vigils, and prayer meetings. Additionally, he interviewed group leaders. Over 150 hours of audio- recordings and 50 hours of video-recordings of various rituals were collected to enable closer post-field analysis of parishioners' speech, gesture and movement patterns.
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.
Sood, Anubha, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Women's Help-Seeking Pathways: Global Policy, the State and Mental Health Practices in India,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca J. Lester
ANUBHA SOOD, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Women's Help-Seeking Pathways: Global Policy, the State and Mental Health Practices in India,' supervised by Dr. Rebecca J. Lester. This research project investigated the help-seeking pathways of women experiencing mental distress in urban North India. In India's medically plural landscape (which includes myriad treatment options), mystical-spiritual healing practices based on ideas of supernatural affliction are believed to hold special expertise for treating mental disorders, and are especially popular among women. However, the Indian state endorses biomedical psychiatry, a less commonly sought option among women, as the only legitimate mental health system for the country and denounces magico-religious healing as superstitious and inimical to the women seeking such treatment. The study investigated what distinct appeal these two systems of mental health care held for women and what might women's engagements with these systems reveal about how state discourses shape women's health concerns. The research was conducted among women, their families and the psychiatrists/healers in a public health psychiatric facility in Delhi and a popular Hindu healing temple in the neighboring state of Rajasthan. The two field settings were carefully chosen based on an overlapping population of attendees similar in socio-demographic and socioeconomic profile visiting the two sites. The project was carried out over the period of July-December 2009 and involved participant observation and person-centered interviewing, semi-structured and unstructured interviewing as the primary methods of research.
Michaels, Ben Justin, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Team Tibet: Soccer as the Performance of Human Rights in the Transnational Tibetan Exile Community,' supervised by Dr. Marvin Sterling
BEN J. MICHAELS, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Team Tibet: Soccer as the Performance of Human Rights in the Transnational Tibetan Exile Community,' supervised by Dr. Marvin Sterling. For this phase of research, ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj, India, which is the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the major hub of Tibetan exile life. 2011 became a historic year for the transnational Tibetan exile community as the Dalai Lama announced his retirement from political life and handed over leadership of the Tibetan Government in Exile to an elected prime minister. This marked the next major step in the materialization of his long-envisioned process of Tibetan democratization and emboldened a new generation of politically active Tibetans to embrace their democratic right to disagree with their leaders. Acknowledging dissent as an essential element of the democratic process, this study examines the social mechanisms by which dissenting opinions are either muted at the local level or propagated and allowed to evolve into transnational social movements able to transcend spatial and political boundaries. At the same time, this research highlights some of the generational gaps in social and political views as young Tibetans, raised and educated in exile, use the emergence of new and globally accessible communicative media to express and circulate new ideas throughout the Tibetan world.
Chapman, Chelsea, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Conceptions of Energy and Economies of Knowledge in Central Alaska's Yukon Flats,' supervised by Dr. Larry Nesper
CHELSEA CHAPMAN, then a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Conceptions of Energy and Economies of Knowledge in Central Alaska's Yukon Flats,' supervised by Dr. Larry Nesper. This project investigated concepts of energy in central Alaska, asking how regional developments of hydrocarbon and renewable resources are experienced, evaluated, and disputed. Via ethnographic study of a land trade between an Alaska Native corporation and a regional wildlife refuge in the Yukon Flats -- and bio-mass energy projects in the same region -- the research looked at how fields of energy knowledge manifest, and how they are rendered authoritative or marginal as they animate local conflict. Multiple cultural orientations toward nature, land, and power were found to circulate within regional energy production. Despite heterogeneity among cultural models of energy, findings confirmed the relationship of oil, gas, and bio-mass fuels to personal and societal characteristics like vitality, independence, stamina, and life force. Participants conceptualized central Alaska as precarious (energy-brittle) due to political relationships hardened by North Slope oil production, legacies of social inequality, and consequences of climate change. Apocalyptic forecasts related to energy crisis were shared across ethnic, cultural, and occupational groups. Findings further indicate that spiritual practice, especially Pentecostal Christianity, relates closely to a powerful conception of energy as a morally compelling substance languishing untapped in the trees and subterranean hydrocarbons of the boreal forest.
Schauer, Matthew Philip, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Warfare on the Inca Frontier: Fortification, Imperialism, and Interaction on the Frontier in Northern Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Harold Keeley
MATTHEW SCHAUER, then a student at University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'Warfare on the Inca Frontier: Fortification, Imperialism, and Interaction on the Frontier in Northern Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Lawrence Keeley. In the northern Ecuadorian highlands, the Inca constructed fourteen fortifications at Pambamarca to subjugate a local chiefdom called the Cayambe. These sites are clustered together yet vary in the number of walls, structures, defensives, and size. The purpose of this dissertation project was to explain the variability and clustering of these sites and determine the types of activities that took place. This study was carried out in three phases. The first phase was survey using a combination of methods to establish a typology identifying a three-tier hierarchy of fortress sites. The next phase of research involved a systematic test sampling program from the three types. The purpose of this phase was to determine the density and distribution of occupation across a site. The final phase involved larger excavation units to expose what type of activities were happening at these sites, the sequence of occupation and who exactly was occupying these sites. Preliminary results suggest that different types fulfilled different roles. The imperial strategy of the Pambamarca complex of fortifications appears to have functioned as a complex network of imperial garrisons meant to prevent incursions from across the frontier with smaller sites serving as watchtowers for mutual support and defense.
Hallowell, Elizabeth Ann, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Care, Body, and Rights: Maternal Health and the Production of Emergency in the Contemporary U.S.,' supervised by Dr. Frances K. Barg
ELIZABETH A. HALLOWELL, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Care, Body, and Rights: Maternal Health and the Production of Emergency in the Contemporary U.S.,' supervised by Dr. Frances K. Barg. The research undertaken during this Dissertation Fieldwork Grant constitutes a key part of a larger project on how increased attention to individual emergencies during pregnancy draws attention away from evermore-attenuated forms of collective security for pregnant women and their families in the contemporary U.S. This grant supported two phases of this research project, consisting of ethnographic fieldwork at a large urban medical center and historical research at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National Library of Medicine, and online. This study explores different conceptions of pregnancy-related emergencies from the perspectives of maternity patients, healthcare providers, and experts. It also demonstrates how what counts as an emergency during pregnancy has changed from the 1980s to the present as the result of changes in healthcare markets, medical research, and health policy. Based on these data, as well as data collected from an earlier phase of this study, this research will make a foundational intervention in the anthropological literature on reproduction. It will also make a timely contribution to debates surrounding federal health reform and women's reproductive healthcare in the U.S.
Baca Marroquin, Ancira Emily, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Provincial Economy in Chinchaysuyo: Imperial and Local Ceramic Distribution and Consumption, Asia Valley, Central-Coast, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Partick Williams
Preliminary abstract: My project investigates the multidirectional core-periphery interplay with focus on theories of expanding empires and provincial economy. More specifically, I will examine the differing economic participation that intermediate elites and commoners of a non-state coastal society engaged with The Inca empire (A.D. 1400-1532), the largest ancient economic system ever recorded in the Americas. To examine economic participation, I focus on imperial and local ceramic distribution and consumption patterns of intermediate elites and commoners at the site of Quellca, Asia Valley, Peru. The questions that guide my research can be summarized as follows: To what extend intermediate elites and commoners in the Asia Valley consume imported imperial, provincial, and regional ceramics, or did they exclusively consume local wares? Are there qualitative/quantitative differences in the ceramic distribution and consumption patterns between these social groups? To what extent and in what ways did intermediate elites and commoners participate to imperial economic policies? Working under the assumption that provincial economies reflect arrangements between empires and provincial societies, my investigation into the differing distribution and consumption patterns of imperial goods between intermediate elites and commoners offers opportunities to expand developing theories of imperial expansion and provincial economy in modern and ancient settings.