Martinez Abadias, Neus, U. de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'Quantitative Genetics of Craniofacial Traits: A Functional Approach to Heritability, 'supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez
NEUS MARTINEZ ABADIAS, then a student at Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain was awarded a grant in May 2004 to aid research on 'Quantitative Genetics of Craniofacial Traits: A Functional Approach to Heritability, 'supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez. The research undertaken consisted in the recording of craniometric and demographical data from the Hallstatt population (Austria). The evidence collected will allow the heritability estimation of both morphological and life-history traits. Hallstatt's skull collection contains more than 400 skulls falling into pedigrees. Genealogies have been reconstructed thanks to Catholic Church records based on baptisms, marriages and deaths from the seventeenth century to present. Craniometric data has been recorded by means of 3D geometric morphometric techniques. The final depurated database contains 353 individuals represented by 58 osteological landmarks. Taking into account the morphological integrated nature of the human skull, functional and developmental modules have been identified. Size and multivariate shape heritabilities upon these structures will be computed following an animal model and by applying restricted maximum likelihood methods (REML). The REML analysis incorporates multigenerational information from unbalanced datasets and provides estimates of the additive genetic variance, and the variance of the residual errors, from which the narrow heritability can be estimated. Fitness traits heritability will be computed following the same procedure, and will be compared to the morphometric ones. This will raise interesting discussion regarding phenotypic selection, heritability, genetic constraints, and trade-offs of both kinds of traits for the human species.
Martinez-Abadías, Neus, Rolando González-José, Antonion González-Martín, et al. 2006. Phenotypic Evolutionof Human Craniofacial Morphology after Admixture: A Geometric Morphometrics Approach. American Journal of Physical
Martinez Abadias, Neus. 2009. Heritability of Human Cranial Dimensions: Comparing the Evolvability of
Different Cranial Regions. Journal of Anatomy 214:19-35.
Martinez Abadias, Neus. 2009. Developmental and Genetic Constraints on Neurocranial Globularity: Insights
from Analyses of Deformed Skulls and Quantitative Genetics. Evolutionary Biology 36:37-56.
Tessier, Laurence Anne, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin
LAURENCE ANNE TESSIER, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Localizing the Mind: An Ethnography of Alzheimer's Diagnosis in France and the United States,' supervised by Dr. Liu Xin. This research is a comparative study of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in France and the United States. The one who diagnoses this neurodegenerative disease is positioned in a problematic borderline situation: between the organic cause of the disease assumed but not revealed until death and the psychic expression that the patient describes and suffers from during life. Thus the neuroscientists who diagnose AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, need to establish a relation between the mental, the social, and the cerebral. This study describes how this naturalist enterprise is carried on in the everyday clinical practices of neurologists, at two world-class centers for diagnosing dementia. It examines how this diagnosis is arrived at differently in both clinics. When the French neurologists rely on biological proofs to make their decision, the American neurologists trust their clinical intuition. A diagnosis 'by feeling' allows them to practice a 'phenomenology' of the disease. This project looks at the ways in which these different manners of making a diagnosis expose different set of moral judgments on patients in both countries. It then describes how these moral judgments impact the care of patients, inquiring into the mutually constitutive ties between epistemology, medicine and care.
Levitt, Emily Katherine, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY -To aid research on 'Changing the Tax Base Changes Everything: The Fiscal Dimensions of Citizenship and Sovereignty in Upstate New York,' supervised by Dr. Paul Nadasdy
Preliminary abstract: In Seneca Falls, NY, the Cayuga nation is buying property and refusing to pay the associated taxes, thereby attempting to establish a reservation. Many residents of Seneca Falls are organizing in opposition to this move and the associated loss to the municipal tax base. This project examines the financial and non-financial stakes of the struggle from the perspectives of the different players involved. I ask: what understandings of political and economic life are embedded in these controversies surrounding the changes posed to the tax base? Through studying both Cayuga and non-Cayuga discourses about the role of taxes and revenue, this project examines the ways in which these heated debates reflect and constitute different ideas of what citizenship and sovereignty entail. This research will open new space for anthropological enquiry through its focus on taxation's relationship to citizenship and sovereignty, through its synchronic approach to a group of politically highly varied research subjects, and through bridging the traditionally discrete domains of Native American and other North American anthropologies. Through drawing anthropological attention to these contestations about the fiscal dimensions of citizenship and taxation, this project will further academic understanding of a variety of important aspects of American political debates.
Fleming, Luke O., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Linguistic Exogamy and Ethnonationalism among Urban Indigenous Immigrants in Northwest Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Greg P. Urban
LUKE FLEMING, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received funding in May 2005 to aid research on 'Linguistic Exogamy and Ethnonationalism among Urban Indigenous Immigrants in Northwest Amazonia,' supervised by Dr. Greg P. Urban. Classical anthropological theory -- from Morgan and Malinowski onwards -- has understood kinship as the organization center of small-scale societies. While kinship sometimes serves metaphorically as a means of conceptualizing 'modern' social identities and relations, it is rarely seen as the dominant institution underpinning them. On the contrary, modernity seems to eschew kinship -- which orders society through face-to-face relations of alliance and descent -- and instead embraces symbolically mediated, often anonymous, processes of group formation. This research project takes a very well studied pattern of exogamy characteristic of the Northwest Amazon and documents the manner through which the migration of indigenous peoples transposed this pattern onto an urban locale, where state and non-state institutions impinge upon ties of kinship, creating competing valorizations of personhood and modes of belonging in social groups. The study maps out the manner in which forms of indigenous personhood come to be decoupled from relations of kinship through: 1.) educational, governmental, and religious institutions; 2.) culture-contact interactions between non-indigenous Brazilians and indigenous peoples; 3.) different indigenous groups brought into contact through migration; 4.) relations between the genders refashioned through urbanization; and 5.) the changing relations between young and old.
Quinn, Colin Patrick, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Inequality in the Presence of Death: Mortuary Rituals in Bronze Age Transylvania,' supervised by Dr. John O'Shea
Preliminary abstract: 'We are all equal in the presence of death' -- Publilius Syrus. Death, as a universal experience, has long been considered a great equalizer. However, mortuary rituals involved in death and burial are an important social context in which social inequalities are often materialized. My research examines how people use mortuary rituals to negotiate social relationships and influence the development of social inequality in Bronze Age Transylvania. My aim is to integrate perspectives of human agency and ideological systems with economic and political trajectories to better understand the tensions that produced dynamic shifts in social inequality in Bronze Age communities. Using demographic and material evidence from the Trascau Mountains and Mures River corridor in southwest Transylvania (Alba County, Romania) during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (2500-1600 BC), I seek to address (1) how relationships of social inequality in these communities were materialized in mortuary contexts, (2) the rate and extent of change in mortuary rituals throughout the Early and Middle Bronze Age, and (3) whether changes in mortuary rituals, as ideological institutions, reflected or influenced changes in the scale and degree of social, economic, and political inequality in local communities.
Brown, Scott, New School U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Prototyping the Social? An Ethnography of 'Social Innovation' Design Practice,' supervised by Dr. Hugh Raffles
Preliminary abstract: In recent years, the field of design has been undergoing a significant shift. In addition to its traditional focus on creating specific objects such as buildings, clothes and interfaces, designers are increasingly addressing a wider range of material,social and political problems by designing social systems and processes. Hired by governments, NGOs and corporations alike, designers today are working to solve issues ranging from healthcare service delivery to enhancing relationships between citizens and the state. This project investigates the forms of knowledge and practice that constitute the work of this new generation of 'social innovation' design. It will investigate how these designers are rendering social and political complexity into 'design problems' that have specific solutions, as well as how are they being trained to do so. In seeking answers to these questions, this research will consist of twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in the New York City area at various design firms and schools. Situated within the spaces of everyday design practice - the studios, labs, consultancies and training institutes- this project seeks to understand this emergent community of expertise by attending to the everyday habits, practices, ideas and common sensibilities of which constitute the work of 'social innovation' designers.
Ditto, Emily Cubbon, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Cosmological Caches: Organization and Power at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (A.D. 850-1150),' supervised by Dr. Vincas P. Steponaitis
Preliminary abstract: My dissertation focuses on Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, where clear indications of social differentiation in the Pueblo world first appeared during the 9th-11th centuries. Though research has been conducted since 1896, many central questions, such as the distinct nature of Chacoan organization and leadership, have been difficult to solve. Recently, many scholars have argued convincingly for strong ritual components. One key question concerns the roles of dual organization (moieties) and ritual sodalities (non-kin groups). Current evidence for dualism is biological and architectural. Artifacts, especially details regarding their contexts, and what they reveal about ritual and power, have been underemphasized in recent Chaco research. In addition, two conspicuously elaborate groups of burials found in Pueblo Bonito (the largest great house, in the canyon center) are often cited as the most unmistakable evidence for Chacoan social differentiation. Despite their widely recognized importance and potential to address difficulties understanding the roles of Chacoan leaders, no systematic study of artifact distributions relative to skeletal remains has been conducted. My research will use artifacts to investigate whether dualism was represented in Chacoan organization by analyzing patterns of variation among ritual caches and comparing the contents and symbolic associations of the two Pueblo Bonito burial assemblages.
Kemp, Brian M., U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Extant and Prehistoric Populations of Mesoamerica and the Southwest,' supervised by Dr. David G. Smith
BRIAN M. KEMP, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Extant and Prehistoric Populations of Mesoamerica and the Southwest,' supervised by Dr. David G. Smith. In the largest study of mitochondrial DNA variation in populations from the American Southwest and Mesoamerica, it was determined that population relationships between the two regions are not very close despite the number of linguistic and culture ties between them. In particular, groups of Uto-Aztecan speakers, who are argued to have been responsible for the northward spread of agriculture from Mesoamerica to the Southwest, also do not appear closely related to each other unless they are located in close geographic proximity. Overall, genetic distance between the populations studied here is positively correlated with geographic distance and not with linguistic distance. A recent population expansion within the American Southwest was detected that probably followed the introduction and intensification of maize agriculture in the region. This recent expansion may have blurred ancient genetic patterns, which might otherwise have revealed a closer genetic relationship between the Southwest and Mesoamerica.
Kemp, Brian M., Ripan S. Malhi, John McDonough, et al. 2007. Genetic Analysis of Early Holocene Skeletal Remains from Alaska and its Implications for the Settlement of the Americas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132(4):605-621.