Jimenez, Odilio, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Rethinking Community Studies in Postwar Guatemala: Contesting or Reproducing Localism?' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale
ODILIO JIMENEZ, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Rethinking Community Studies in Postwar Guatemala: Contesting or Reproducing Localism?' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Hale. This research was carried out in the municipality of Ixtahuacán, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Through careful ethnographic analysis (the combination of life history interviews, formal and informal interviews, and written sources) and intensive participant observation, the proposed research investigated the complex formation of Mam identity and the redefinition of their localized spaces. The objective of this research was to understand 'locality'-the actual space and place of people's lives-and how it is reproduced, appropriated, and negotiated by the ladino population and the state as well as by Mam people in Ixtahuacán. This included an analysis of the role 'locality' plays in the production of indigenous people's culture and, by extension, in Maya grassroots political movements. Research indicates that the complexities that take place in the community of Ixtahuacán also involve many struggles over power and meaning among indigenous and ladino people. Indigenous peoples' struggles in Ixtahuacán are not homogeneous and represent various voices and processes that weave the complexity of Mam identity. In other words, Mam struggles take different forms not only as an effort to maintain and reproduce their identities but also as a response to the projects and practices that the state and the ladino population undertake and reproduce.
Culbertson, Jacob Hiram, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Assembling Maori Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge and Expert Collaboration in an Emerging Science,' supervised by Dr. Alan M. Klima
JACOB HIRAM CULBERTSON, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Assembling Maori Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge and Expert Collaboration in an Emerging Science,' supervised by Dr. Alan M. Klima. From October 2010 to October 2011, research was conducted in the field of Maori architecture. The study focused on how traditional Maori building practices and global architectural movements influence this field and the scientific and non-scientific techniques that Maori architects use when these diverse influences are not readily compatible. The research was conducted in two periods, in Opotiki -- a rural, predominantly Maori town -- and Auckland, New Zealand. The first period centered on apprenticing with a group of Maori woodcarvers; participating in a series of projects using traditional technologies and facilitated in part by government job-creation schemes; and interviewing local Maori elders about the construction and use of meetinghouses. The Auckland component focused on the institutionalized aspects of Maori architecture, including: interviews with Maori and non-Maori architects and urban planners; archival research on the participation of Maori voices and concepts in drafting resource management laws and in planning Auckland's public spaces; and conferences on indigenous environmental planning. Research findings indicate that Maori architects distinguish their field from others by highlighting the importance of relationships, both through collaborative design processes and in using the resultant narratives to situate their buildings in local histories and landscapes.
Newman, Jessica Marie, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Abortion, Negotiation, and Activism in Morocco,' supervised by Dr. Marcia C. Inhorn
Preliminary abstract: Global health campaigns targeting reproductive and maternal health consider access to medical abortions to be intrinsically linked to lower maternal mortality and morbidity rates. Yet in contexts where abortion is illegal, public health projects targeting the reduction of 'unsafe abortion' have been unsuccessful. This project seeks to understand the ways that everyday actors draw on religious and human rights discourses to understand their bodies, their behaviors, and their rights. Specifically, this research will examine how the intersection of juridical practices that criminalize abortion, and human rights and global health frameworks structure women's access to abortions in Morocco. The Maliki school of Islam, to which Morocco belongs, disallows abortion after 40 days of gestation and Morocco's criminal code outlaws both abortion and premarital sexuality. Attempts to contest these laws therefore challenge religious and state authority, which are entwined in the Moroccan state apparatus. Despite proscriptions against abortion in Morocco, high rates of abortion bespeak the myriad ways in which women negotiate access to abortive care in cases of unplanned pregnancy. This project examines women's therapeutic itineraries in contexts of constraint, while questioning how normative medical, religious, and feminist discourses influence individuals' understandings of their own opinions about and experiences with abortion.
Hernann, Andrew, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Ethics on the Margins: Religious Transformation in a Labor Regime in Timbuktu, Mali,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder
Preliminary abstract: This research project examines to what extent local conceptions of Islam influence division of labor in northern Mali. Utilizing archival and various ethnographic methodologies, I interrogate how Islam's shifting roles in the region affect the ways in which residents understand and integrate themselves into Timbuktu's salt trade. Further, my research investigates how these changes in local notions of Islam may indicate the development of an Islamic morality as distinct from Islamic law (Shari'a). I ask: Which religious categories are implemented in labor regimes in northern Mali; to what extent; and how? Are the older religio-legal institutional guidelines of Shari'a competing with ethical and secular ones? And if so, what is the origin of this ethic? Such a secular transformation demands ethnographic scrutiny, especially considering this atypical emergence on the margins of the state. This project merges culture and religion, law and the state, and political economy, topics which usually remain separate in traditional anthropological--and social scientific--analysis. Additionally, it aims to examine the margins as creative and productive. Critically, its focus on unequal division of labor permits a direct investigation of religion and ethics, analyzing: (1) emergent secular Islamic ethics in a region on the margins, and (2) how orthodox Shari'a law integrates or competes with that emergent ethic.
Speller, Camilla Filomena, Simon Fraser U., Burnaby, Canada - To aid research on 'Investigating the Process of Turkey Domestication Through Ancient DNA Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Dongya Yang
CAMILLA SPELLER, then a student at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Investigating the Process of Turkey Domestication through Ancient DNA Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Dongya Yang. Animal domestication revolutionized the lives of pre-historic peoples, their relationship with their environment, and their technological and social development. Ancient DNA analysis, which recovers genetic material from archaeological remains, has the unique ability to document this complex process in the past. Using a case study of turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) domestication in the Southwest U.S., this study extracted DNA from over one hundred archaeological turkey bones to investigate how the process of animal domestication unfolded in pre-contact North America. The genetic analysis of the ancient bones indicated that the domestic turkey population had undergone a strong genetic bottleneck, clearly revealing the domestic status of the bird. The DNA sequences can also provide important insights for studying the geographic origin of these domesticated turkeys, and understanding how wild and domestic turkeys were exploited in the past.
Speller, Camilla. 2010. Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous north American turkey domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(7) 2807-2812.
Speller, Camilla F., George P. Nicholas, and Dongya Y. Yang. 2011. Feather Barbs as a Good Source of mt DNA for Bird Species Identification in Forensic Wildlife Investigations. Investigative Genetics 2:16. Published online.
Kennedy Thornton, Erin, Kitty F. Emery, David W. Steadman, Camilla Speller, et al. 2012. Earliest Mexican Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya Region: Implications for Pre-Hispanic Animal Trade and the Time of Turkey Domestication. PLoS ONE 7(8).
Brandisauskas, Donatas, Aberdeen U., Aberdeen, UK - To aid research on 'Beliefs and Practices among Hunters and Gatherers in the Zabaikalja Region, Russia,' supervised by Dr. David G. Anderson
DONATAS BRANDISAUSKAS, then a student at Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, Scotland, received funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Beliefs and Practices among Hunters and Gatherers in the Zabaikalja Region, Russia,' supervised by Dr. David G. Anderson. Ethnographic research was conducted among Orochen-Evenki hunters' and reindeer herders' communities from January to December 2005 in the northern part of Chita district and Buriatiia Republic in Eastern Siberia (Russia). The research explored how Orochen relationship between cosmology and environment has changed because of external stresses such as the establishment of the Soviet! Post-Soviet policies. It focused on the everyday activities and discourses of indigenous Siberians as they hunt, herd reindeer, and fish to explore the concept of 'odiun.' (master, ruler) which is crucial to understanding the way in which the indigenous relate to places. 'Odiun' is a 'root metaphor' for the social power configuration of the world in Orochen realities that is also found widely throughout Siberian natives. 'Odiun' can designate spiritual entities like the masters of mountains, lakes, or rivers and it can be explained as a 'ruler' or a 'host' of a particular place, referring to any sentient being. Research discovered that 'masterhood' can be used as analytical concept to tie together many disparate concepts such as cosmological knowledge, power, perception of landscape and animals, and recent political discourses. It can serve as excellent explanatory concept crucial to many Asian societies.
Meharie, Anduamlak, U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Development and Displacement in Peri-Urban Areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Impacts on Youth and Households,' supervised by Dr. Peter D. Little
ANDUAMLAK MEHARIE, then a student at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Development and Displacement in Peri-Urban Areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Impacts on Youth and Households,' supervised by Dr. Peter Little. The study examined the coping and adaptive strategies of displaced individuals and households in Yeka Tefo, a peri-urban farming community on the eastern part of Addis Ababa. The study examined how these strategies, on the one hand, reduce risks associated with displacement, and on the other, how these strategies affect intergenerational and other social relations within the community. More specifically, the study investigated whether the dislocation of peasants from their farms provides youth with independence from parental control over land, on-farm employment, and social obligations, so they can pursue other livelihood opportunities, such as education, wage employment, and entrepreneurship. The study further explored the impact of youth?s decisions on intra-household and intra-community relationships and livelihood security. The fieldwork lasted twelve months during which qualitative and quantitative data from two adjacent communities in the eastern side of Addis Ababa were collected.
Cardenas Gonzalez, Roosbelinda, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Black Pacific: Place, Race, and Afro-Colombian Territoriality,' supervised by Dr. Mark David Anderson
ROOSBELINDA CARDENAS GONZALEZ, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Black Pacific: Place, Race, and Afro-Colombian Territoriality,' supervised by Dr. Mark David Anderson. This research project examines the political articulations of blackness and territoriality in Colombia by looking ethnographically at two processes of deterritorialization: forced displacement and confinement of black communities. The project takes the current moment of exacerbated violence as a critical conjuncture in which the articulation of blackness and territoriality is both unmade and remade. The research looks at the history of this articulation, how it came under fire in the late 1990s, and how it is currently being remade into a hybrid notion of blackness that incorporates a uniquely Colombian-ethnicized link to territory, and diasporic notions of racial discrimination. The research findings gleaned from a year of fieldwork suggest that displacement has presented an unexpected opportunity to re-craft ethno-territorial blackness into an identity that refuses to choose between ethnic rights and racial redress. While denouncing the human rights violations that displaced and confined Afro-Colombians suffer, the project focuses not on what has been lost, but on exploring the real and imagined landscapes of belonging that are constructed while in displacement and under fire. Thus, this work approaches urban settlements of Afro-Colombian internally displaced persons and black collective territories under dispute as rich contact zones where black identities are resurrected, invented, and rearticulated in the unexpected encounters with new others and new places.
Cárdenas, Roosbelinda. 2012. Green Multiculturalism: Articulations of Ethnic and Environmental Politics in a Colombian 'Black Community'. Journal of Peasant Studies 39(2):309-333.
Cardenas, Roosbelinda. 2012. Multicultural Politics for Afro-Colombians: An Articulation 'Without Guarantees'. In Black Social Movements in Latin America: From Monoculture Mestizaje to Multiculturalism. Jean Muteba Rahier Palgrave, ed. Macmillan: New York
Gunel, Gokce, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
GOKCE GUNEL, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Imagining an Oil-less Future: Responses to Global Climate Change in Abu Dhabi,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki. The grantee conducted research with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany. While the dissertation project mainly focused on the production of renewable energy infrastructures in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the grantee understood policy-making through United Nations to be a significant building block of this process, and decided to work more specifically on issues related to carbon capture and storage technology. The making of carbon capture and storage policy now constitutes one of the five chapters of the dissertation, which was filed May 2012.