Scherer, Andrew K., Texas A&M U., College Station, TX - To aid 'Dental Analysis of Classic Maya Population Structure and History,' supervised by Dr. Lori E. Wright
ANDREW K. SCHERER, while a student at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, received funding in April 2003 to aid 'Dental Analysis of Classic Maya Population Structure and History,' supervised by Dr. Lori E. Wright. Scherer analyzed dental metric and nonmetric variability on a sample of 987 skeletons from 18 archaeological sites in the Maya region of modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This data is being used to test two major hypotheses: 1) that biological distance between Classic period Maya site populations is correlated with geographic distances between sites; and 2) when gene flow occurred during the Classic period, it was primarily at the elite level of society. Preliminary multivariate statistical analysis of the data indicates that geographic distance is a poor indicator of biological distance in the Maya area. In some cases, regional isolation of biological variability is observed. In other instances major gene flow events occurred during the Classic period corresponding either to continual interaction between these sites, as well as possible large-scale episodes of migration. Further statistical testing will evaluate these original findings.
Scherer, Andrew K. 2007. Population Structure of the Classic Period Maya. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132(3):367-380.
Bauernfeind, Amy Lynn, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Metabolic Supply and Demand: A Study of Energetic Strategy in the Brain,' supervised by Dr. Chet C. Sherwood
Preliminary Abstract: While the human brain is more energetically costly to grow and maintain than that of the other primate species, it is still unknown which cellular and biochemical modifications are especially responsible for this increased metabolic demand. The proposed study aims to elucidate the distribution of metabolic resources in the brain in light of two important considerations: (1) the amount of energy needed to support the brain is dynamic over the course of the lifetime, and (2) the cerebral cortex of primates contains a heterogenous composition of neurons which are certain to show diversity in their energy utilization due to their variation in size and connectivity. The proposed study will use matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry to investigate interspecific variability in metabolic supply and demand by linking molecules known to participate in metabolic processes to structural maturation and neuronal variability. The spatial specificity of this new proteomic method will be used to anatomically map the distribution of structural and metabolic proteins and to identify the specific contributions of neuronal subtypes and cortical layers in driving the energetic demand of the brain. This information will help us understand the functional consequences of energy allocation toward metabolically expensive neural tissue.
Hefner, Claire-Marie, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gates Peletz
CLAIRE-MARIE HEFNER, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael G. Peletz. How do young Indonesian Muslim school girls learn and engage with what it means to be a proper, pious, and educated woman? How do differences in understandings of proper Muslim femininity reflect broader variations in Indonesian associations, educational traditions, and social values? These are the broad questions that frame this comparative study of two Islamic boarding schools for girls in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The focus of the investigation is two prominent Islamic boarding schools (pesantren): Pesantren Krapyak Ali Maksum and Madrasah Mu'allimaat Muhammadiyah. Each school is run, respectively, by one of the two largest Muslim social welfare organizations in the world: the 'traditionalist' Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the 'modernist' Muhammadiyah. These two schools were selected because of their national reputations and because of the critical role they play in molding future NU and Muhammadiyah female kaders (cadres). At a time when many scholars suggest that the distinctions between NU and Muhammadiyah are no longer relevant, this study questions that assertion through the optics of developments in Indonesian Islamic education, evaluating what it means for these young women to be members of these organizations. As private institutions with strong academic reputations, Mu'allimaat and Krapyak also cater to the needs and desires of the new Indonesian Muslim middle-class. Through ethnographic observations, a multivariate student survey, over 100 interviews, and media analysis, this study examines girls' engagement with 'gendered' aspects of curricula, extracurricular practices, and informal socialization within and outside of school.
Coleman, Leo C., Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Private Power: The Privatization of Electricity and Citizenship in Delhi, India,' supervised by Dr. Carol J. Greenhouse
LEO CHARLES COLEMAN, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in April 2005 to aid research on 'Private Power: The Privatization of Electricty and Citizenship in Delhi, India,' supervised by Dr. Carol J. Greenhouse. This project studied urban citizenship and the political and social consequences of privatization in Delhi, India, with an ethnographic focus on consumer and citizen mobilizations in response to the partial privatization of electricity provision in 2002. The research reveals the internal strains and external constraints on the development of a self-described 'middle-class' in Delhi today, and describes the recent emergence in Delhi of class-homogenous territorially- and residentially-based political groups. Alongside national transformations in economic governance, novel practices of citizenship and urban inclusion and exclusion have emerged in Delhi, expressed in mobilizations for better electricity service and fairer rates, and citizen demands for slum clearance, urban renewal, and expansion of urban services. The mobilizations studied agitated for local control of 'public' goods and were informed by an ideology of consumer-citizenship which equates democracy with transparency, and the latter with local territorial sovereignty. These are the unexpected consequences of a privatization process deeply imbued with the neo-liberal orthodoxy of absolute individual autonomy, but which has produced, ironically, new territorial collectivities. Through joint archival and ethnographic research, the project also traces the continued, albeit submerged, relevance for political action of long-standing foci of communal identification and urban division, including citizenship and caste.
Rice, Kathleen Frieda, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Purity, Propriety and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy
KATHLEEN F. RICE, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Purity, Propriety, and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans,' supervised by Dr. Janice Boddy. This project draws on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a rural Bomvana community in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The research addresses the following question: In the community under study, what cultural institutions are mobilized to reinforce and/or contest moral discourses and values relating to kinship, sexuality, and reproduction, and how is this accomplished? Particularly, this research examines embodied and/or symbolic forms of moral discourse, and to how these discourses spark anxieties and contests at the fault-lines of gender and generational power. Through focusing on issues such as bridewealth, abduction marriage, sexuality, and patterns of alcohol consumption, this research shows that significant intergenerational and intergendered anxieties are sustained, negotiated, and produced through contests over the meaning and value of human rights, gender equality, and access to money. These intergenerational and intergendered tensions are rendered especially acute due to the double burden of poor economic prospects alongside the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
McKay, Ramah Katherine, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Medical Welfare in Neoliberal Times: Transnational Philanthropy, the Family, the Ethics of Care in Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
RAMAH McKAY, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Medical Welfare in Neoliberal Times: Transnational Philanthropy, the Family, the Ethics of Care in Mozambique,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. This project examines the process through which welfare is made in contemporary Mozambique. Focusing on 'psycho-social' and 'community' technologies, the study examines how patients, clients, families, humanitarian and philanthropic organizations, and the state interact. The study uses interviews, participant observation, and media and archival analysis to examine how practices of social welfare are configured around 'natural,' 'social,' and 'biological' logics of risk and care. It investigates the political and medical process through which this occurs, investigating how psycho-social and community-oriented technologies work to mediate and administer caring practices making available some practices of care while foreclosing others. At a broad level, the research examines the relationship between public health projects and transnational philanthropy to understand political context in which health workers, families and patients learn and contest both new and old practices of welfare. At a micro level, the study asks about the narratives, practices and techniques through which welfare is constituted in Mozambique today.
McKay, Ramah K. 2012. Documentary Disorders: Managing Medical Multiplicity in Maputo, Mozambique. American Ethnologist 39(3):545-561.
Abe, Yoshiko, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Butchery and Skeletal Element Transport among the Evenki of Siberia,' supervised by Dr. Curtis W. Marean
YOSHIKO ABE, while a student at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, received funding in August 2002 to aid ethnoarchaeological research on large-mammal butchery and skeletal element transport among the Evenki of Siberia, under the supervision of Dr. Curtis W. Marean. This year-round field study of a group Evenki cold-forest hunter-gatherers was designed to test a key assumption made in zooarchaeology: that carcass use can be inferred from the placement and frequency of butchery marks. Abe aimed to develop a more comprehensive model of the relationship between butchery marks and their behavioral meaning through close observation of the butchery process, using videography and a new method of recording butchery marks using GIS. Data were collected on both butchery activity and actual marks on bones for two species-wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and musk deer (Moschus moschiferus). More than 61 successful hunts were observed, and 4 reindeer and 29 musk deer were followed through all stages of butchery and consumption. Analysis of the data was expected to provide a comparative framework from which to address questions about relationships between butchery marks and their behavioral meanings, relationships between skeletal element use and utility, and processing costs for individual skeletal elements.
Greene, Lance K., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis
LANCE GREENE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in March 2006 to aid research on 'An Archaeology of Cherokee Survival: Identity Construction in the Aftermath of Removal,' supervised by Dr. Vin P. Steponaitis. Research included two activities: archival research and archaeological excavations. Archival research was performed at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the special collections at Duke University, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University, and the courthouse, register of deeds, and historical museum in Murphy, North Carolina. Archaeological excavations were performed at three house sites in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The inhabitants of these sites -- the Welches, Hawkins, and Owls -- were members of the post-Removal Cherokee enclave of Welch's Town. The most extensive excavations were at the house site of John and Betty Welch, the patrons of Welch's Town. Archival, archaeological, and landscape data have provided considerable detail to the Welch's Town narrative and revealed a variety of adaptations pertaining to how these Cherokees survived the intense racism of the post-Removal era in North Carolina. The families of Welch's Town made pragmatic and conscious choices in material culture, reflecting a complex and changing identity bound to issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.
Wille, Sarah J., Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'The Social Role of Objects: Investigating Artifact Life Histories at Chau Hiix, Belize' supervised by Dr. K. Anne Pyburn
SARAH J. WILLE, while a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, received funding in November 2004 to aid research on 'The Social Role of Objects: Investigating Artifact 'Life Histories' at Chau Hiix, Belize,' under the supervision of Dr. K. Anne Pyburn. Analysis of Maya ceramics and other artifacts addressed specific questions concerning the function and meaning of an elaborate, site-center deposit near an important civic-ceremonial structure, while also considering the social role of deposited objects. Research provided a clearer picture of Later Classic period (ca. AD 800-1100) artifacts at Chau Hiix. Preliminary analysis of material in 2003 suggested the deposit served as an offering. Three systems of artifact classification (typological, analytical, and biographical) were employed to help evaluate the hypothesis that the deposit resulted from ritual termination action in the Terminal Classic, a period in Northern Belize characterized by continuity and change. Additional research involved intra-site comparative analysis of the data with similar ritual artifact assemblages from Later Classic burials and several caches. Over 5200 diagnostic ceramics and approximately 3700 lithic fragments were analyzed, and a representative sample was illustrated and photographed, as were all unique material finds including modified bone and shell, jade, and obsidian. While research will require further scrutiny of the data, preliminary results suggest the huge quantity of open vessel forms, stylized blackware vases, and unique material items do not indicate the deposit was an everyday midden, and instead represent the remains of some type of termination ritual, feasting event, or deposited 'specialized' trash.
Burdick, Christa Marie, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Imagining a New Alsace: The Branding of Place and the Production of Ethnolinguistic Identity,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates the ways in which place branding initiatives constitute important sites for the contemporary reconfiguration of nations, cultures and languages along the lines of global market imperatives. Focusing on a particularly fraught instance of region branding in Alsace, France, this project traces the ways in which Alsatian linguistic difference is rearticulated as profitable within broader discourses of place-based economic distinction. I will track the ways 'Alsatianness' is produced by regional branders for the specific brand form, and how efforts to produce 'Alsatianness' recruit Alsatian dialect to index and perform authenticity. Alsace however, as a region that changed hands between France and Germany four times within two hundred years, has long been the site of contested linguistic and national identification. Today, Alsace remains a region that defies identification along national lines, thus complicating the brand process that seeks to elicit consumable images and identities. Thus, this project also seeks to understand how emergent economic valuations of linguistic difference confront, coexist or compete with long-standing configurations of language and the nation. Employing methods of participant observation, interviews and focus groups with brand custodians and Alsatian individuals, I will trace the production, implementation and circulation of the brand to understand where and how Alsatian individuals are themselves interpellated to embody the regional brand identity, for as branding literature shows, place brands must be 'lived' to be successful (Aronczyk 2013).