Larchanche, Stephanie, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX - To aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant Health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent
STEPHANIE LARCHANCHE, then a student at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent. This research sought to critically evaluate the reciprocal interaction between France's immigration politics and the strategies employed by West African immigrant households in Paris, France, to negotiate state institutions, in particular, the social welfare and public health systems. The researcher studied grassroots social and healthcare services, as well as three 'specialized' mental healthcare centers that cater specifically to West African immigrants. Research findings establish that the incapacity of the French public health system and/or of social services to take care of immigrants -- thereby resulting in referrals to 'specialized' mental healthcare institutions -- generally stems from institutional resistance in accommodating the multilayered needs that immigrants have, and which are often hastily reduced as resulting from mental disorder or cultural misunderstanding. In the mental healthcare context, immigrants themselves question the limits of the public health system and of social services, precisely because their demands are rarely exclusively related to a mental disorder, but intricately linked to negotiations between immigrants and the referring institutions themselves, for additional social benefits such as State welfare and housing. This project thus questions the French institutional reframing of immigrants' socio-economic vulnerability as psychological and cultural in origin.
Scaramelli, Caterina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Swamps Into Wetlands: Water, Conservation Science and Nationhood in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Stefan Helmreich
Preliminary abstract: How have wetlands, previously 'swamps' to be drained and reclaimed, become sites of ecological value in Turkey, starting with its participation to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1994? I argue that Turkish wetlands are becoming 'ecological objects' through which debates unfold about national water conservation practices; arenas in which scientists, birders, and citizens work through the relation of human and non-human phenomena in Turkish 'nature'; and venues through which such actors position regional dynamics within national narratives, international politics, and transnational scientific economies. I will conduct fieldwork in two delta wetlands of 'international importance'-- Gediz on the Aegean Sea, and Kizilirmak on the Mediterranean -- with wetland scientists, ornithologists, residents, visitors, and state officials. I will interview older wetland protection advocates as well, and will conduct archival research to track how wetlands have been operationalized in Turkey's scientific and policy circles. Wetlands are becoming novel sites through which national and transnational differences -- religious, ethnic, gender, economic-- as well as matters of international positioning are now negotiated; whether Turkey looks to Europe, the Middle East, or Asia is very much in the making, I suggest, in the wetlands. My project also complicates the anthropological questions of water's materiality and agency, treating it neither as essential to the material form of water itself nor as obviously the result of the underdetermination of material form. I ask, rather: Who decides what constitutes water in the wetland, and through which forms of knowledge and scientific techniques? Which sociotechnical worlds and infrastructures make it flow and how, and make materiality matter or not?
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.
Karis, Timothy Daniel, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Home and Hanoi: Migration, Native-place, and Urban Citizenship in the Red River Delta,' supervised by Dr. Suzanne A. Brenner
TIMOTHY KARIS, then a student at the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, received funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Home and Hanoi: Migration, Native-Place, and Urban Citizenship in the Red River Delta,' supervised by Dr. Suzanne A. Brenner. This research aimed to explore the economic, social, and symbolic connections maintained by Hanoians to native-places (que huong) in the Red River Delta, targeting: 1) the roles of native-place networks in supporting urban migration among citizens lacking legal rights in the city; 2) the operations of 'hometown associations' (hoi dong huong) currently proliferating in Hanoi; and 3) practices of 'returning home' to native villages for events, holidays, and ceremonies. Based on formal and informal interviews and travels between city and countryside, findings demonstrate the substantial and ongoing importance of native-places among both 'unofficial' urban migrants trying to access the necessities of urban life (work, housing, education) absent state support, as well as long-term residents of Hanoi interested in maintaining ancestral identities. Findings also show how native-place relationships change over time: recent migrants reported more material interdependence with rural villages and networks of kin and friends in Hanoi, while established urbanites reported more symbolic relationships based on ritual obligations and organized forms of benefaction.
Reisnour, Nicole Joanna, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Sounding the Immaterial: The Sonic Politics of Adat and Agama in Post-Authoritarian Bali,' supervised by Dr. Martin Fellows Hatch
Preliminary abstract: What happens when something invisible is made publicly audible? How do objects and practices that make the unseen perceivable mediate sociality in contemporary Bali? This project is an investigation of the religious and communal attachments that are produced, sustained, and transformed, through specific practices of making and manipulating sound. Through twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork--focusing primarily on the explicitly religious and customary use of bell towers (kulkul) and loudspeakers, but also considering a variety of musical and popular sound practices through which individuals and communities interact with, and intervene in, the immaterial world of spirits and the divine (niskala)--this study will pursue the following research questions: 1) What semiotic ideologies and affective sensibilities mediate engagements with sound in contemporary Bali?; 2) How do the specific material qualities of sounds contribute to their affective and semiotic agency?; and 3) How do sounds participate in negotiating the boundaries of adat (custom), agama (religion), and their various others (e.g. the modern, the secular, the state) in the post-authoritarian context? Ultimately, this study will provide insight into ongoing debates concerning the proper limits of religious and customary authority in Bali, which have been receiving renewed investment since the 1998 collapse of Suharto's New Order regime.
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.
Widger, Thomas, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry
THOMAS WIDGER, then a student at London School of Economics, London, England, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry. Suicide in Sri Lanka has been a major health and social problem for the past four decades. The research project examined the social and psychological causes, cultural meanings, and formal and informal preventions strategies of suicidal behaviour amongst the Sinhalese of a small town on the northwest coast of the island. A combination of ethnographic, archival, clinical, and epidemiological methods were used that incorporated both qualitative and quantitative approaches. As a result, deep understanding of the range of contexts and experiences that contribute to and frame suicidal behaviour was established. In particular, romantic relationships and romantic loss, marriage, kinship and domestic stress, Sinhalese emotional disorder, and separation and misfortune were examined. The research will make contributions to the anthropology of suicide and South Asia and also anthropological theory.
Hsiao, Chi-hua, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Subtitle Groups as Cultural Translators in China,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs
CHI-HUA HSIAO, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Subtitle Groups as Cultural Translators in China,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs. This dissertation project examines the phenomenon of cultural translation in the context of an underground network of Internet-based amateur translators in China. Informal volunteer subtitle groups emerged in the mid-1990s and began catering to the younger generation's thirst for U.S. media popular culture. These translators add Chinese-language subtitles to programs, post the shows online for free downloads, and provide a network for online interactions. The subtitling activity reflects the younger Chinese generation's articulation of new morality discourses and their challenges to the state-party monopoly of information. The younger generation attempts to establish its own moral justifications as a form of resistance to the regime surveillance and in adherence to individual life-enriching practices. This study explores how Chinese volunteer subtitlers construct representations of U.S. television programs and films and how these representations relate to the globalization of sociocultural ideologies. It offers insights into how the collaborative volunteer efforts of subtitle groups acting as cultural brokers represent a new paradigm of morality among Chinese youth and young adults of the virtual community and how such initiatives influence the younger generation's perceptions of foreign popular culture as part of the larger globalized flow of information.
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.
Perry, George Herbert, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'The Evolutionary Significance of Copy-Number Variation on the Human and Chimpanzee Sex Chromosomes,' supervised by Dr. Anne Carol Stone
GEORGE H. PERRY, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a grant in April, 2006, to aid research on 'The Evolutionary Significance of Copy Number Variation on the Human and Chimpanzee Sex Chromosomes,' supervised by Dr. Anne C. Stone. Copy number variants (CNVs) are duplications or deletions of large segments of DNA that are variably present among the genomes of normal individuals. We have recently learned that CNVs are far more prevalent in our genomes than previously believed, which has generated considerable excitement, in part because many copy number variants overlap genes and therefore may be of phenotypic and evolutionary significance. The purposes of this study were to compare levels and patterns of copy number variation in humans and chimpanzees and to contrast these patterns with those of copy number differences between our two genomes. One specific goal was to study the evolution of copy number variants on the X chromosome using a population genetics framework. The X chromosome is an excellent model for these studies because the single X chromosome of males can be isolated, circumventing many of the challenges of current CNV research. This study has resulted in the first comprehensive comparative species genome-wide map of copy number variation in humans and chimpanzees, with 465 and 387 CNVs identified among the genomes of 30 chimpanzees 30 humans, respectively. Interestingly, 162 genomic regions were observed to be copy number variable in both species, suggesting that certain genomic regions are particularly prone to structural instability. The evolutionary significances of particular CNVs are being examined as part of ongoing studies. A high-resolution analysis of the X chromosome led to the precise identification of 64 human and 54 chimpanzee CNVs. Population genetic analyses of these data have provided an important baseline for neutral expectations of CNV diversity patterns, and an initial understanding of how these patterns may be affected by natural selection.
Perry, George. 2008. Copy Number Variation and Evolution in Humans and Chimpanzees. Genome Research 18(11):1698-1710.