Folch, Christine, City U. of New York - Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Territory Matters in the Triple Frontera: Geographic Imaginary, Identity, and the Paraguayan State,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
CHRISTINE FOLCH, then a student at City University of New York - Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2008, to aid research on 'Territory Matters in the Triple Frontera: Geographic Imaginary, Identity, and the Paraguayan State,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. Leftist former Bishop Fernando Lugo was able to topple the ruling Colorado Party in Paraguay in April 2008 by channeling discontent over unfulfilled promises, linking these grievances to one issue: Paraguay's hydroelectric dam shared with Brazil, Itaipú Binacional. Criticism of corruption and capitulation to foreign interests in the dam existed from the 1960s, but were dismissed as the complaints of a marginalized left. Four decades later, with the unexpected election of Lugo, these have become the chief diplomatic target of a government -- an issue supported by the left and the right. These changes portend a redefinition in the obligation of 'state' to 'nation' as stitched together in territory and development. 'Territory Matters' traces the course of this transformation and its outcomes-high-level renegotiations with Brazil, the redirection of millions of dollars in Paraguay-to show that what can be seen in the struggles over Itaipú is the reconfiguration of the Paraguayan nation-state. This historical ethnography is drawn from ethnographic data from unparalleled access to leaders in Lugo's government (as they negotiated with Brazil and administered the dam) and observation with popular social movements as they mobilized for 'hydroelectric sovereignty,' as well as rich archival evidence from the Stroessner-era secret police found in the Archives of Terror in Asunción.
Folch, Christine. 2013. Surveillance and State Violence in Stroessner's Paraguay: Itaipú Hydroelectric Dam, Archive of Terror. American Anthropologist 115(1):44-57.
Kim, Jieun, U. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN - To aid research on 'Understanding a Threshold of Population-specificity Using the Transition Analysis Aging Method for Asian Skeletal Samples,' supervised by Dr. Dawnie Wolfe Steadman
Preliminary abstract: Age-at-death estimation of adult skeletal remains has been a challenging task for biological anthropologists due to difficulties in (1) detecting age-related skeletal traits that correspond to chronological ages, (2) developing an objective technique to evaluate skeletal traits, and (3) finding an appropriate statistical model. Coupled with these difficulties, population-level variation in skeletal aging rates and patterns combined with a lack of population-specific methods, as is the case in parts of Asia, have exacerbated age estimation inaccuracies. To address the problem of between-population variation in skeletal aging, the proposed project seeks to systematically evaluate different aging processes at the continental and sub-continental levels using Transition Analysis (TA), a statistically more robust and objective method than conventional aging methods. Adult skeletal samples representing part of East and Southeast Asia will be used to further refine TA to develop an overall more reliable, population-specific aging method. The ultimate goal is to improve TA so that it can be utilized in geographically- and temporally-distributed populations with reduced error and increased accuracy and reliability. In this way, this project will help resolve current difficulties with age estimation of skeletal samples, thus providing an in-depth understanding of population variation as it relates to skeletal aging processes.
Williams, Karen Gwendolyn, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'From Coercion to Consent?': Governing the Formerly Incarcerated in the 21st Century United States,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
KAREN G. WILLIAMS, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'From Coercion to Consent? Governing the Formerly Incarcerated in the 21st Century United States,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. The decades-long expansion of law and order prison policy across the United States has led to historically high rates of incarceration, particularly for communities of color, and has had repercussions far beyond the prison walls. With over 65,000 people returning home each year, prisoner reentry has emerged as a central concern for the correctional system. This ethnography sited in the Missouri Department of Corrections, interrogates prisoner 'reentry' as a social category where meanings and practices of social control, surveillance, and governance are reworked. Reentry initiatives have revived a strong interest in rehabilitation, which have expanded the types of governing strategies. These governing strategies are formulated from evidence-based principals that include risk/needs assessments, targeted treatment, and positive and motivational interactions. Embedded in these strategies is the idea that criminal behavior is a choice; and therefore, economic inequality, racialized policing, and personal trauma are not viewed as barriers in the reentry process. These findings reflect a broader neoliberal approach that individualizes punishment and requires offenders to self-govern; additionally, reentry policies are unable to address the inequalities produced by the long history of mass incarceration.
Basnet, Govinda B., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'The Struggle for Water Rights in Contested Commons: Changing Institutional Landscapes in Upper Mustang, Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Robert E. Rhoades
GOVINDA B BASNET, a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia received funding in July 2005 to aid research on 'The Struggle for Water Rights in Contested Commons: Changing Institutional Landscapes in Upper Mustang, Nepal,' supervised by Dr. Robert E Rhoades. The research aimed at investigating how the struggle for water rights modifies the institutional landscape of agricultural resource management in a water scarce region of upper Mustang in Nepal. By integrating comparative and historical methods the research project investigated the dynamics of struggle for water rights in irrigation systems in six villages of upper Mustang through a fieldwork that lasted from October 2004 through July 2006. The project was designed to investigate the dynamics of struggle both within a village, and between villages sharing and not sharing water sources. The initial result form the field research shows that access to water is linked to impartible inheritance system, labor contribution, and types and growth stages of crop. Ownership claim is validated through exercising political power, narratives of local legends, and resorting to customary or state laws as appropriate. Struggle to be a part of decision making bodies for water management has ushered in changes in social institutions: In this arid region, water served not only as a bone of contention but also as a sticking glue to hold a society together.
Phillippi, Bradley Dean, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'A Diachronic Investigation of Labor Relations on a Plural Farmstead, Long Island, 1700-1885,' supervised by Dr. Mark W. Hauser
Preliminary abstract: This dissertation research explores the way diverse people working in different systems of labor created, altered, and occupied plural spaces in the past. The setting of my project is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rural Northeast North America, a time when capitalist practices and free labor gradually supplanted the subsistence-first farming practices dividing work between family members and slaves. A plural, slave-owning farm in New York will provide the context. The continuously occupied house (ca. 1700-1885) transcends contexts of slavery and freedom, thereby providing a unique opportunity to conduct a diachronic analysis of the plural spaces created by two systems of labor on a single site. Evidence related to the organization of space, household activities, and consumption will be collected using anthropological and archaeological methods to determine how the system of free labor altered plural space and impacted the daily lives of farmers and laborers of African descent. This project will build on archaeologies of plural sites and communities by adapting and applying concepts developed in anthropological archaeologies of labor and households. In so doing, this project will make broad yet substantive contributions to ideas of plurality and identity in anthropological and archaeological theory. By applying rigorous methods and analyses, this dissertation research will supply a concrete framework for seeing and analyzing activities and associated deposits in plural space as practices of diverse people entangled in relations of work.
Donkersloot, Rachel, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - To aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?': Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies
RACHEL DONKERSLOOT, then a student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on ''Get Out or Get Left?' Understanding Youth Life-Paths and Experiences of an Irish Fishing Locale,' supervised by Dr. Charles R. Menzies. This research is located in the social and economic landscape of a rural fisheries-dependent community. Here the subject of rural youth emigration is addressed through attention to gender differences in the ways young people perceive, experience, and cope with rural life, which includes decisions to emigrate. Funding made possible eleven months of fieldwork in the coastal community of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Through this support, 67 formal (individual and group) interviews were conducted. Research participants include young people (aged 18 to 30), as well as parents, teachers, community members/leaders, and retired and active fishermen and industry workers. Preliminary findings suggest: 1) discourse surrounding migration that devalues staying and locates stayers as underachievers or 'losers left behind' represents, at best, a 'partial perspective and particular interests;' and 2) gender is a critical dimension of rural youth experience but its import should not eclipse the very powerful ways in which class shapes young people's experience of place. Resituating young people's life narratives at the intersection of class and gender is imperative to understanding rural youth experience. To privilege gender over class, or vice versa, risks overlooking, over-simplifying or mis-recognizing the subject.
Valiani, Arafaat A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey
ARAFAAT A. VALIANI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Religious Nationalism and Its Shaping of Urban Space in Western India (1969-2002),' supervised by Dr. Karen Barkey. This grant funded ethnographic research in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, beginning in July 2003, pertaining to the effects of repeated episodes of violence occurring between Hindu and Muslim residents of the city. Findings, taken from materials produced through unstructured interviews with residents, local leaders, activists, religious figures, journalists, and local academics, confirm that the violence has cultivated various forms of perception that residing in separate and homogeneous neighborhoods could be safer and more 'culturally germane' for members of both communities despite the existence of centuries of relatively mixed residency in the city. A nationalist Hindu narrative of India being beset with aggressive invasions by Muslims over the past several hundred years structured the historical understanding of the city, especially for Hindu residents; Ahmedabad was described as being a Hindu city on top of which the Muslim king, Ahmed Shah, built Ahmedabad. Therefore, such an historical claim was a veiled absolute claim to the city for Hindus.
Valiani, Arafaat A. 2010. Physical Training, Ethical Discipline, and Creative Violence: Zones of Self-Mastery in the Hindu Nationalist Movement. Cultural Anthropology 25(1):73-99.
Jacobs, Rachel Lyn, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid research on 'Foraging Under Low Light Levels and the Evolution of Primate Color Vision,' supervised by Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright
RACHEL L. JACOBS, then a student at State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Foraging under Low-Light Levels and the Evolution of Primate Color Vision,' supervised by Dr. Patricia C. Wright. Trichromatic color vision (ability to discriminate red and green) is a feature that, among placental mammals, is likely unique to humans and other primates. To better understand the selective pressure(s) favoring the evolution of trichromacy, this project aimed to address hypotheses that trichromatic individuals have foraging advantages over dichromatic (red-green colorblind) individuals under bright and/or dim light levels. Foraging data were collected under 'bright' (day) and 'dim' (dusk/twilight) light conditions on red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer) in Ranomafana National Park (RNP), Madagascar. This population was previously identified as having a color vision polymorphism, indicating some females are trichromats, while other females and all males are dichromats. Preliminary genetic analyses (n= 78 individuals) found that the frequency of the long wavelength allele is at or near 100 percent. Notably, most dichromatic primate species have the (ancestral) medium wavelength opsin variant. RNP Red-bellied lemurs, therefore, provide an interesting counter-example in which the (likely derived) long wavelength allele is at or near fixation. This result may represent relaxed selection to maintain variation (allele loss due to drift) or directional selection favoring the long allele. Reflectance data of E. rubriventer food items will be combined with behavioral data to examine potential adaptive explanations for this result.
O'Neill, Kevin Lewis, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Producing Christian Citizenship: Evangelical Mega-Churches in Postwar Guatemala City,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson
KEVIN LEWIS O'NEILL, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Producing Christian Citizenship: Evangelical Mega-Churches in Postwar Guatemala City,' supervised by Dr. James Ferguson. Democracy and neo-Pentecostal Christianity are expanding worldwide. From 1972 to 1996, the number of electoral democracies jumped from 52 to 118, while from 1970 to 1997, the number of nondenominational Christians rose from 185 million to 645 million. Postwar Guatemala City offered a dramatic example of where these two developments have become entangled. Guatemala's slow transition from military rule to a formal democracy has coincided with the rapid evangelization of a once overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population. Over 90 percent Roman Catholic in the 1980s, Guatemala City is now an estimated 60 percent Pentecostal and charismatic Christian. While anthropologists have tended to keep the study of democracy and evangelical Christianity separate, this project explores their cultural coincidence and complex relationship through an ethnographic study of 'Christian citizenship.' The central question is: How do neo-Pentecostals in Guatemala City use their religion to produce different forms of Christian citizenship in an ethnically diverse, class-divided, and democratizing urban context? The primary field site is a prominent neo-Pentecostal mega-church in Guatemala City.
O'Neill, Kevin Lewis. 2010. I Want More of You: The Politicsw of Christian Eroticism in Postwar Guatemala.Comparative Studies in Society and History 52(1):131-156.
O'Neill, Kevin Lewis. 2012. There is No More Room: Cemeteries, Personhood, and Bare Death. Ethnography 13(4):510-530.