Millhauser, John Kenneth, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Salt of the Earth: Craft and Community at Postclassic and Colonial San Bartolome Salinas, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Brumfiel
JOHN K. MILLHAUSER, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Salt of the Earth: Craft and Community at Postclassic and Colonial San Bartolome Salinas, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Brumfiel. This research asks how the changing demand for salt under the Aztec and Spanish empires stimulated, challenged, and sustained communities in the Basin of Mexico. This archaeological and ethnohistoric investigation of San Bartolome Salinas, a salt-making site occupied from about AD 1350 to 1650, explores how material patterns in the organization, intensity, and scale of salt-making reflect the independence and interdependence of producers and the social, economic, and political integration of the community. Excavations of salt-making and domestic contexts revealed that Aztec-period salt-making anchored and supported groups larger and more complex than individual households. In fact, salt-making was the foundation of many contemporary communities, a finding documented through systematic surface collections at four nearby salt-making sites. The abandonment of these sites during the first centuries of Spanish control, at a time when the state sought to control the circulation of salt, reminds us that the political context of salt consumption was as fundamental to the nature and viability of these communities as was the scale and consistency of demand. More broadly, this research shows how work became an organizing principal for social groups, one that overlapped with kinship, gender, race, and class, in the context of pre-capitalist states and empires.
Pav, Brent Ryan, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Social Relationships and Gestural Communication in Wild Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. John C. Mitani
BRENT RYAN PAV, then a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Social Relationships and Gestural Communication in Wild Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. John C. Mitani. Several theories exist about how, when, and why language evolved. One prominent theory suggests that the use of gestures played an important role in the evolution of language. Despite this hypothesis, few data exist regarding how our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, use gestures in their natural social and environmental settings. This project attempts to fill this gap in knowledge through a systematic study of wild chimpanzee gestural communication. Specifically, the kinds of gestures used by wild chimpanzees were documented, who used them, with whom, how frequently, and the responses that they elicited. A key component of this research is to test hypotheses designed to examine the effects of social relationships on gesturing behavior. Fieldwork was conducted at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, where an unusually large community of chimpanzees resides. Focal animal sampling and ad libitum behavioral observations were used to obtain the requisite data. Results derived from this research provide some of the very first information about gestural communication by wild chimpanzees and furnish a basis for evaluating the gestural hypothesis of language origins.
Hale-Gallardo, Jennifer, U. of Florida, Gainesville, FL - To aid research on 'From Curanderos to Traditional Therapists: Institutionalizing Traditional Healing in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Stacey A. Langwick
JENNIFER HALE-GALLARDO, then a student at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'From Curanderos to Traditional Therapists: Institutionalizing Traditional Healing in Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Stacey A. Langwick. This research project comprised a nuanced examination of the cultural politics involved in integrating Nahua healers into state programs in the northern mountains of Puebla in order to understand what's at stake for healers as they live out their inclusion in 'traditional medicine' government initiatives. To this end, she conducted in-depth interviewing and participant observation with healers, as well as interviewed and observed their interactions with biomedical physicians, hospital administrators, and state agents. Mapping the shifting ethical and political terrain that Nahua healers must navigate in contemporary initiatives for fomenting local healing practices, Hale-Gallardo documented the different kinds of moral regulation healers are subjected to which require them to critically negotiate their participation in such projects. She finds that despite the projects' many contradictions, Nahua healers find much recompense: alongside the satisfaction they receive from helping patients is an unprecedented recognition offered them and a new status as subjects in a global discourse on traditional medicine that promises to put these rural healers in out-of-the-way places on the map.
Bazylevych, Maryna Y., State U. of New York, Albany, NY - To aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroad: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail Heidi Landsman
MARYNA Y. BAZYLEVYCH, then a student at State University of New York, Albany, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroads: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail H. Landsman. This project sought to understand the factors and implications of increasing participation of women in the biomedical profession in post-socialist Ukraine while their numbers in other previously female-dominated fields were decreasing. Research activities included comparative investigation of the medical professionals in private and state health care facilities in the capital city of Kyiv and the peripheral city of Vinnytsia in central Ukraine. In-depth interviews, free listing, focus groups, life histories, and participant observation were used as methodology. Through investigation of rapidly changing biomedical field and its actors, the researcher found that the concept of professional prestige is deeply gendered and contextualized. Perception of prestige in an unstable society with transforming value system depends on a wide range of factors, including a person's experience, education, family, gender, media, etc. It is also conditioned by a broader context of lack of trust between the newly emerged state and individuals. Furthermore, the relationship between private and public spheres is not dichotomous, and the boundaries between these two loci of the biomedical employment are blurred. The study suggests that this complex interplay of broader social issues provides a well-informed explanation for women's appropriation of the biomedical field as a suitable venue for income earning and self-actualization.
Thomson, William Brian, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Harmony under Construction: The Work of Building the Chinese Century,' supervised by Dr. Angela Zito
WILLIAM B. THOMSON, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Harmony under Construction: The Work of Building the Chinese Century,' supervised by Dr. Angela Zito. This research investigated how migrant construction workers in Xian, China, relate to the growing city that is being built through their labor. It explored how these workers negotiate the spatial and social gap between China's countryside and its cities, how their rural identities shape their prospects for work and life. This project documented how social, legal, and economic restrictions make it impossible for them to settle permanently in the cities, while at the same time foreclose the possibility of returning to farm work in the countryside. Some of the principal findings and directions that to be explored in the resulting dissertation include the masculine gender projects that motivate their sojourns in the cities, especially of material and social preparations for marriage, which include building or buying a house. The grantee is especially interested in how these attitudes are changed as younger generations spend more time in city environments and begin to cultivate different urban desires and urban pleasures than their parents' generation, and has focused research around the structure of the relationship between those who design and those who build the cities. The architectural industry relies on these very distinct and separate roles, and this research contends that understanding that relationship is a window into the way that new class divides are being structured in China along multiple axes of education, urban/rural identity and profession.
Collins, Benjamin Robert, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'Middle Stone Age Subsistence Strategies during the late MSA at Sibudu Cave, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Andre Costopoulos
BENJAMIN ROBERT COLLINS, then a student at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Middle Stone Age Subsistence Strategies during the late MSA at Sibudu Cave, South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Andre Costopoulos. This research project was designed to collect data for a taphonomic analysis and a re-examination of the unidentifiable portion of the faunal assemblages from the late (~48,000 years ago) and final (~38,000 years ago) Middle Stone Age layers of Sibudu Cave, South Africa. These periods present a shift in the faunal assemblages through time that are the result of changes in human subsistence patterns. Understanding the nature of this shift is the focus of this research. The recently completed fieldwork portion of this study has generated data that can now be used to assess how the interplay of social, technological, and environmental factors contributed to changes in the range and abundance of fauna available, which fauna were hunted, changes in the climate and landscape, and changing demographic pressures. It is hypothesised that all of these factors would have all contributed to the observed changes in subsistence patterns. The data that has been collected will allow for an analysis of the extent to which each factor impacted the past foragers and affected cultural change. This research will therefore contribute to understanding the behavioral variability that characterizes the late Middle Stone Age and test the notion of a transition to the Later Stone Age.
Magana, Maurice Rafael, U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR - To aid research on 'Contentious Walls: The Cultural Politics of Social Movement Street Art in Southern Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Stephen
MAURICE R. MAGAÑA, then a student at University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, was awarded a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Contentious Walls: The Cultural Politics of Social Movement Street Art in Southern Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Stephen. This dissertation explores the nature of contemporary struggles for social change, through ethnographic analysis of the practices, norms and organization of urban youth activists in Oaxaca, Mexico. While this research emphasizes the uniqueness of the Mexican context, such as the influence that centuries of indigenous organizing have had on the current generation of activists, as well as the impact that the violent militarization of society has had; it also considers the implications of commonalities that these youth activists share with their global counterparts (#Occupy Movement, Arab Spring, recent anti-austerity protests) such as their interaction with urban space, their use of cultural forms such as graffiti, and networking technologies, and the privileging of process over ideology.
Natarajan, Venkatesan, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Power of Memory: Transitional Justice and the Aftermath of Argentina's Dirty War,' supervised by Dr. Sally Engle Merry
RAM NATARAJAN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'The Power of Memory: Transitional Justice and the Aftermath of Argentina's Dirty War,' supervised by Dr. Sally Merry. This project is a study of human rights movements, law, and military soldiers in the context of contemporary Argentine dictatorship trials, one of the most lionized, discussed, and circulated forms of judicial responses to Latin American authoritarian regimes. It is about how efforts to prosecute violence committed during the 1976-1983 Argentine military rule become implicated with and generate new forms of violence, and about how the legal construction of categories of perpetrators is so shaped by social forces that such construction is never simply about identifying who is responsible for a crime. It draws from twenty months of fieldwork with retired and convicted military men; women and men affiliated with human rights' victim groups; and employees of the Argentine state judiciary system to ask what happens to these individuals' senses of self, social relationships, and national belonging, once the Argentine executive, legislative, and judicial branches began enforcing and instituting a new understanding of the past. This research helps shed light on why closure in the aftermath of political violence becomes, in the context of Argentina, a national impossibility.
Abraham, Sarah Jane, U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Provincial Life in the Inca Empire: Continuity and Change at Hatun Lucanas, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Katharina Jeanne Schreiber
SARAH J. ABRAHAM, then a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Provincial Life in the Inca Empire: Continuity and Change at Hatun Lucanas, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Katharina J. Schreiber. This project investigates the imperial-provincial relationship between the Inca empire (AD 1438-1532) and the people of Hatun Lucanas in the southern highlands of Peru. Funding supported excavation, detailed mapping, and architectural analysis, and laboratory analysis were conducted to better understand the transition from autonomous polity to subjugated population. Excavations at Hatun Lucanas targeted residential compounds to expose domestic contexts and their associated artifacts and architectural elements. Those data were then used to identify changes in local political, economic, and social organization after Inca conquest. Preliminary observations suggest that this project provides the first documentation of Lucanas material culture including pottery styles, architectural canons, and mortuary practices. Additionally, data reveal a shift in local political organization with the emergence of local elites after Inca conquest. Finally, changes were detected in the local economy during the Late Horizon. Excavations uncovered evidence of textile production and metalworking at Hatun Lucanas as well as an intensification in processing, likely of food, metals, or pigments. Ongoing analysis will provide additional lines of evidence with which to reconstruct the nature and magnitude of imperialism at the local level.
Soler Cruz, Carmin M., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Religious Commitment and Cooperation in Candomble Terreiros, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk
CARMIN M. SOLER CRUZ, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received funding in May 2005 to aid research on 'Religious Commitment and Cooperation in Candomble Terreiros, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk. The objective of the study was to explore religious commitment and cooperation in communities of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion. During one year of fieldwork in the city of Salvador, Brazil, the grantee tested the hypothesis that expressions of religiosity that are costly in terms of effort, time or money are signals that promote cooperation towards the actor by other members of the group. The research consisted of three phases: in the first phase, informal interviews and participant observation in Candomblé temples, called terreiros, were used to construct individual questionnaires, interview protocols and a commitment scale. Secondly, a descriptive database of 61 randomly chosen Candomblé terreiros was constructed to assess the variability present across these communities. Finally, a sub-sample of 14 terreiros from the database was chosen to conduct informal and semi-structured interviews with members and to participate in an economic game, which served as an independent measure of cooperation. Statistical and text analysis of the data collected will reveal the relationship between the religious commitment displayed by adherents of Candomblé and the cooperation they give and receive within the social network that each terreiro represents, as well as shed light on the sociological motivations of religious belief and practice.