Moore, Hollis Leigh, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Imprisonment and (Un)relatedness in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Hilary Cunningham
HOLLIS L. MOORE, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Imprisonment and (Un)relatedness in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Hilary Cunningham. During the funded phase -- the third and final phase of fieldwork - participant-observation research and 40 key informant interviews were conducted. Core research sites included: visitor waiting areas as well as cells and common spaces of a men's and a women's prison; the Center -- a shelter/school for children of prisoners; the entrance of a penal compound; and homes of research participants. Key informant interview priorities were developed in ongoing dialogue with participant-observation findings; semi-structured interviews were conducted with women and men (ex-)prisoners and visitors (including religious volunteer visitors) as well as children sheltered at the Center and Center staff. Field notes, interview recordings and photographs contain evidence regarding linkages between prisons and neighborhoods viewed through the optic of intersecting practices of imprisonment and practices of (un)relatedness. Analysis of this data reveals how mass imprisonment shapes and is shaped by the social relations of heavily penalized, low-income neighborhoods. Specifically, research findings improve our understanding of social relations and subjectivities characteristic of Salvador, Bahia's prison-neighborhood nexus, helping to answer the primary research question: How does social reproduction occur in the context of connections and disconnections linked to practices of mass imprisonment?
Thames, Horacio B., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
HORACIO B. THAMES, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Full-coverage survey of the Tafi Valley involved the detection and recording of architectural remains and surface scatters throughout the valley floor and piedmont zone. Instead of sites, collection units were used as the basic spatial unit of data recording and analysis. A collection unit represents a standardized area delineated in the field whose boundaries were marked on air photographs. Two types of artifact collections were made within each collection unit. Systematic collection circles were used to collect all visible artifacts until reaching a minimum sample size. When sherd density was low, an opportunistic general collection was carried out. In addition, diagnostic sherds were collected when available from each collection unit. A series of shovel probes was dug in collection units containing surface architecture when surface artifact density was low. Survey methodology utilized yielded representative collections of ceramics of various kinds that are suitable for quantitative analysis. The information provided by the regional survey primarily allowed the grantee to create a reliable database and to develop digital maps. Databases will allow the grantee to calculate both proportions of sherds of various kinds (of particular periods, or forms) and densities of surface ceramics. Digital maps compiled display areas occupied during Formative and Regional Development periods and exhibit the spatial distribution of different kinds of artifacts. A typology based on formal attributes was developed to categorize domestic, public, and productive (agricultural and pastoral) structures recorded. Intersite comparison of architectural composition will be used to assess character and magnitude of complexity (i.e., functional differentiation) throughout the sequence.
Lamoreaux, Janelle Darice, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Studying Sperm, Enacting Environment: the Science of Male Infertility in China,' supervised by Dr. Cori P. Hayden
JANELLE LAMOREAUX, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Studying Sperm, Enacting Environment: The Science of Male Infertility in China,' supervised by Dr. Cori P. Hayden. This project explored the ways male reproductive health scientists in China study sperm, and how studies of 'sperm-environment interaction' have become a means to evaluate how China's unique environmental problems are within the bodies and biologies of its people. Focused in Nanjing, China, the study investigated how toxic 'environments-within' are brought out through scientific practice, focusing on the ways bodily fluids taken from infertile humans and other animals are turned into evidence for interaction between environments and bodies via toxins. Besides the practicalities of laboratory research, both in the lab and in the larger academic community, the research also investigated the interface of environmental activism and reproductive health science. The resulting dissertation will explore the legal and moral philosophies behind changing notions of environmental responsibility and compensation, as well as the way science may or may not be a key player in deciding how the side effects of China's recent history of rapid industrialism will be dealt with in order to ensure a fertile future.
Brant, Erika Marie, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Ancestors and Aggrandizers: Modeling Political Power and Ancestor Veneration in a Post-collapse Andean Society (AD 1000-1450),' supervised by Dr. Stephen Plog
Preliminary abstract: Anthropologists have long viewed ancestors as a source of kin-based authority which leaders draw upon to validate claims to power. An alternative viewpoint posits that ancestor worship may prevent the emergence of centralized authority and provide the ideological foundations for more equitable forms of sociality. The proposed research evaluates contrasting theories of ancestor veneration in the Titicaca Basin of Peru through surface collection and targeted excavations at Sillustani -- the foremost necropolis of the Colla ethnic group (AD 1000-1450). Following the collapse of the Tiwanaku state, the proliferation of modest forms of burial and commemoration in the Colla region seems to indicate a rejection of aggrandizing ideologies and the use of ancestors to promote more equitable social relations. Such a model is supported by local lore and limited archaeological research which describe Sillustani as an empty pilgrimage center where varying groups gathered periodically to honor lineage forebearers. Conversely, colonial documents characterize the Colla as a highly centralized kingdom and raise the possibility that Sillustani was a political capital. If the Colla were as centralized as Spanish documents attest, and Colla leaders resided at Sillustani, it is probable that much of their power derived from their proximity to Sillustani's ancestors, thus casting doubt on an egalitarian model of Colla ancestor veneration. Employing faunal and ceramic analyses to gauge status and wealth inequalities at Sillustani, my project evaluates the extent to which ancestor worship promoted or constrained the development of centralized authority in Colla society. Research at Sillustani also places ancestors at the center of debates surrounding the regeneration of hierarchy in post-collapse societies.
Detwiler, Kate M., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Hybridization Between Sympatric Cercopithecus Species in Gombe National Park, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Clifford J. Jolly
KATE M. DETWILER, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in August 2005 to aid research on 'Hybridization between Sympatric Cercopithecus Species in Gombe National Park, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Clifford J. Jolly. The project's objective is to investigate the genetic consequences of interspecific hybridization occurring among guenons (Cercopithecus ascanius and C. mitis) in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. The first research phase, field observation and collection of material for genetic analysis at Gombe and other East African sites, was completed in September 2005. The second phase, laboratory analysis of species-specific markers in mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA, was scheduled to finish in August 2008. To date, mitochondrial data support reciprocal monophyly of C. ascanius and C. mitis populations outside the Gombe hybrid zone, yet within Gombe this pattern is not observed. The samples from Gombe show unambiguous evidence for introgression of C. ascanius mitochondrial DNA into C. mitis. The data indicate that C. mitis monkeys at Gombe originated from C. ascanius females. Samples from outside and within the Gombe hybrid zone show no evidence of Y-chromosomal introgression, however, Y-chromsomal data from Gombe show both C. mitis and C. ascanius males cross mate, as hybrid males have Y-chromosomal DNA of both parental species. This is the first genetic study of Cercopithecus hybridization and the preliminary results demonstrate that the species boundary between these two guenons is semipermeable.
Markkula, Johanna Sofia Kristina, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Navigators of the Social Ocean: Filipino Seafarers and Coastguards in the Global Maritime World,' supervised by Dr. Liisa Malkki
Preliminary abstract: My research is a study of the maritime world and the people who occupy it as workers. Through ethnographic fieldwork with Filipino seafarers on international merchant ships, with coastguards in the Philippines involved in the South China Sea conflict, and with the actors and institutions that make up the global maritime world, this project takes the sea seriously as a social, political and legal space that is of great importance to our contemporary society, yet paradoxically seems to exist outside of it. I will explore how the sea as a social and political space influences the everyday lives of maritime workers in specific ways and also how these maritime workers shape and reproduce global processes through their everyday practices of labor and social relations. Finally, I will also map out the complex system of capitalist strategies, legal logics and regulatory forces of states and institutions that make up the global maritime world and articulate in complex ways with the life-worlds of its workers. By engaging critically with theories of globalization, global governance, territoriality and sovereignty, my research will show how such abstract concepts and processes exist in the concrete as 'work' carried out by people such as seafarers and coastguards.
Smith, Lindsay A., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman
LINDSAY A. SMITH, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Subversive Genes: DNA Identification and Human Rights in Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Arthur Kleinman. This project examined DNA identification technologies and their relationship to political, social and familial reconstitution in post-dictatorship Argentina. The fieldwork focused on two groups: one organized around the recovery of their kidnapped grandchildren and the other organized around the identification of the bodies of the 30,000 disappeared. Through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and archival research comparing these seemingly similar movements, which nonetheless constitute separate social movements and use different technological approaches, the grantee explored the coproduction of scientific and political orders in the midst of a seemingly endless process of 'transitional' justice. Initial findings document the flexible social meanings of DNA technologies, especially how the meanings of genetic tests are constructed and reconfigured as they travel between multiple sites of discourse and practice, connecting scientists in the U.S. and Argentina, radicalized mothers in Latin America, international human rights NGOs, kidnapped children, and even the other-worldly disappeared. This research suggests that forensic DNA identification technologies have emerged as core sites of identity formation both for individuals and families affected by the terror of the dictatorship but also for the Argentine nation-state as it tries to reckon with the legacies of repression.
Kantor, Hayden Seth, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Embodied Virtues: Local Strategies of Agricultural Production and Food Consumption in Bihar, India,' supervised by Dr. Stacey Langwick
Preliminary abstract: With increases in both food prices and crop yields, small-scale farmers in Bihar, India now experience the paradox of being unable to adequately support their families even as they produce more food. The recent introduction of Green Revolution agricultural practices to impoverished areas of the country has boosted rural incomes. Yet rapid food inflation has contributed to persistently high rates of malnutrition among poor households. Indebted farmers who increasingly grow commodity crops must rely on less nutritious government-subsidized staples for their household consumption. My project investigates how small-scale farmers negotiate this contradiction in the everyday activities of growing and eating food. I pose three connected questions that I will answer through ethnographic and archival research: First, how do agricultural and nutritional programs not only impact what farmers produce and consume, but also reconfigure the roles and responsibilities associated with growing and preparing food? Second, how do broader political economic formations reshape farmers' pleasures and ethics, and how do those experiences inform the ways they engage with these structural conditions? Third, how do villagers' food practices express an ethos of self-cultivation and care for others, and how do these values vary according to gender, age, class, and caste?
Barks, Sarah Kate, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'The Neural Bases of Social Cognition in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes),' supervised by Dr. James Kelly Rilling
SARAH K. BARKS, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Neural Bases of Social Cognition in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes),' supervised by Dr. James Kelly Rilling. Social cognition has been suggested as a driving force in human brain evolution. Its neural substrates in humans are well known, but have not been explored in apes. This study examines the neural areas that support social cognition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) using fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F]-FDG PET) imaging. Four adult chimpanzees were scanned in two test conditions: high and low social complexity (performing tasks featuring videos of conspecifics engaged in social and non-social behaviors, respectively). These data, compared to images from a non-social condition, show activation in areas associated with social processing in humans: the superior temporal sulcus (detection of biological motion), insula (empathy), and amygdala (emotional arousal). A second aim of this study was to compare chimpanzee social and resting cognition -- a comparison that is well-described in human neuroimaging literature. This literature suggests that humans engage in social cognition at rest; further, chimpanzee resting brain activity is very similar to that of humans. However, the social cognitive data collected here show significant differences with the chimpanzee resting state. While resting activation is mostly cortical, the social activations relative to rest are largely limbic (including the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus), possibly suggesting more emotionally driven processing than in humans.
Barks, Sarah K., Lisa A. Parr, and James K. Rilling. 2013. The Default Mode Network in Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes) is Similar to that of Humans. Cerebral Cortex (doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht253)
Chua, Emily Huiching, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on ''Culture Can Solve Problems': Communitarian Media Ethics and the Cultural Ambitions of Television Production in China,' supervised by Dr. Aihwa Ong
EMILY H. CHUA, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on ''Culture Can Solve Problems': Communitarian Media Ethics and the Cultural Ambitions of Television Production in China,' supervised by Dr. Aihwa Ong. As economic reform transforms China's mass media from a formidable Party-propaganda apparatus into a teeming culture industry, how are state-employed media producers responding to the changing political and economic conditions of their work? In the early twentieth century, Chinese journalists saw themselves as intellectual-activists who gave voice to the conscience of society and guided the country towards self-improvement. During the Mao era, the Communist Party's claim to exclusive ideological leadership turned the mass media into a mouthpiece of the Party-state. The end of Mao's revolutionary project and the rise of Deng's market-based approach have left China's media producers struggling to redefine the nature of their work. On the one hand, commercialization depoliticizes the media, allowing it to operate more like a forum of society than an instrument of the state. On the other hand, media producers are themselves now at the mercy of commercial forces. In the struggle for economic survival, they cannot afford to play the social critic they aspire to be. Political propaganda comes to be replaced by consumer entertainment instead, and society's conscience remains in need of a voice. From this situation spring the many new and difficult ethical problems with which China's idealistic and energetic young media producers now grapple.