Smith, Nicholas Russell, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Spatial Conceptions in the Transformation of China's Rapidly Urbanizing Villages,' supervised by Dr. Eve Blau
NICHOLAS R. SMITH, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Spatial Conceptions in the Transformation of China's Rapidly Urbanizing Villages,' supervised by Dr. Eva Blau. This project explores the rapid transformation of Hailong, a peri-urban village on the outskirts of Chongqing, a booming municipality in China's west. Through a combination of ethnography and spatial analysis, this research has investigated how actors conceive of the village's transformation, how these conceptions are actualized through socio-spatial practices, and how these practices intersect to produce transformation. Preliminary findings have revealed a variety of socio-spatial ontologies used to theorize Hailong's transformation. The dominant ontology, subscribed to by a majority of urban planners and policy makers, defines Hailong in terms of fixed urban and rural categories. By reifying these categories, planners and policy makers limit their options for intervention, leading to practices that fragment and simplify the village. Other actors employ alternatives, such as an ontology of uncertainty, which drives practices that minimize risk through diversity, hybridity, integration, and mobility. These alternative practices thus subvert planners' efforts to create fixity and simplicity, resulting in contestations that erupt with particular intensity in Hailong's village square, at the site of a new residential compound, and in neighborhood common spaces. The contingency and indeterminacy of these spaces makes them crucial nodes in the production of Hailong's still unsettled future.
Gokariksel, Saygun, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Of Truths, Secrets, and Loyalties: Politics of Purification of the State in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery
SAYGUN GOKARIKSEL, then a student at City University of New York - Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Of Truths, Secrets, and Loyalties: Politics of Purification of the State in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Katherine Verdery. The recent opening of Communist security service archives in Eastern Europe has ignited contentious questions concerning the secrets of the Second World War and the Cold War, of resistance and collaboration, as well as a radical interrogation of the loyalties, values, and practices acquired under state socialism. This research explores the judicial uses of the security files compiled by the Communist security service in Poland. Through archival and ethnographic research it examines lustration -- a screening process implemented throughout Eastern Europe, which uses these files to ban security service officers and civilian collaborators from holding public office. It investigates how this judicial process reorganizes the state apparatus, redefines the relationship between the new state and the citizen-subject by reinterpreting and disqualifying loyalties and practices acquired under state socialism, and produces a new normative framework through which the socialist past is reevaluated and individual life trajectories retrospectively given form. The research focuses on the contentious questions that lustration raises, which interrogate the limits of liberal notions of public and private (sector) accountability, state secrecy and transparency, national sovereignty and international human rights, collective and individual responsibility, and freedom of speech and individual privacy.
McCoy, Jack T., Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Ecological & Behavioral Implications of New Archaeological Occurrences from Koobi Fora, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris
JACK T. MCCOY, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in December 2005 to aid research on 'Ecological and Behavioral Implications of New Archaeological Occurrences from Koobi Fora, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. John W.K. Harris. Decades of investigations in Upper Burgi Member exposures (2.2 to 1.9 Ma) by many prominent paleoanthropologists have produced more than three dozen hominin body fossils but virtually no stone tools or other evidence of behavior has been reported. These exposed sediments preserve an archive of fossils that can reveal a great deal about the ecology, environment, and changing foraging behaviors of the earliest members of the genus Homo. Through the collection and analysis of the fossils of terrestrial vertebrates, it is possible to reconstruct ancient animal communities and offer hypotheses about the changing ecological niche that early human ancestors occupied. The addition of significant quantities of meat and marrow into the diet of early hominins is also visible in the fossil record. Cut marks and percussion marks are preserved on fossil bones and this evidence of hominin presence and behavior was collected during this field research along with the oldest stone tools yet discovered at Koobi Fora. This research makes it possible to construct testable hypotheses about hominin habitat and changing foraging behaviors at this critical juncture in human evolution.
Sargent, Adam Carl, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Building Capitalism: The Cultural Politics of Construction in North India,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
ADAM C. SARGENT, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Building Capitalism: The Cultural Politics of Construction in North India,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. Research was conducted for seven months on a residential condominium construction project in Gurgaon, India. The construction industry is held out, by industry organizations, as having the potential to not only develop the necessary infrastructure for India but also to bring a largely rural workforce into modern forms of capitalist employment. That this has not happened is often blamed on an incomplete process of modernization. The persistence of recruitment along kinship, caste and village networks is pointed to as evidence of this failure to modernize. Close observation of work practices and interactions between managers and workers on the site produced a more nuanced approach. Rather than posing a barrier to developing modern workers, kinship and village networks were mobilized to provide the necessary social structure to support modes of flexible employment. Thus family members were preferred hired because their extra-economic relationships meant that they could be more easily put to work when needed and sent home when work on the site was slow. In this way seemingly 'traditional' forms of work organization were actually supporting what are taken to be 'modern' forms of work organization (piece-rate contracts, etc.).
Franklin, Kathryn Jane, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Poltiical Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Authority in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500- 1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam Thomas Smith
KATHRYN J. FRANKLIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Political Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Economy in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500-1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. This project investigated the intersection of local political life along the mountain highways of Armenia with regional trade during the late medieval period (AD 900-1400). The project aims to discover how people living in the Armenian highlands at this time imagined themselves in relation to both local history and wider cultural and political phenomena, and how they put such imagined relationships into action through architectural projects that engaged with the material objects carried through the landscape by donkey caravans. To achieve these aims, the project investigated a caravanatun ('caravan house') built by a local merchant-prince in the early 13th century at the site of Arai-Bazarjugh. The excavations revealed the caravanatun to be a rectangular hall divided into vaulted galleries by rows of arches. This large and secure space provided accommodation for human travelers as well as their beasts, which were kept in specially built stable-galleries at the sides of the building. A second phase of the project focused on categorizing the material artifacts found within this building, which includes metal objects, animal bones, and pottery. The ceramic assemblage from the Arai-Bazarjugh caravanatun floors includes cookwares and small bowls, as well as glazed dishes that may have been trade goods on their way to the next town.
Lofink, Hayley Elizabeth, U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents, in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek
HAYLEY ELIZABETH LOFINK, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek. Research on the health behavior of low-income, ethnic minorities has assumed that the poor are uneducated, and that if delivered the necessary knowledge, behavior will change. If poor nutrition and low levels of activity are attributed solely to individual-level decision making, it is unlikely that broader social and structural influences will be acknowledged. This research employed a biocultural framework to examine socio-cultural and political-economic factors influencing dietary and activity patterns and resulting underweight, overweight and obesity among British Bangladeshi adolescents (aged 11-14 years old) from low-income families in East London. Quantitative (anthropometry and survey data) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews and participant observation) methods were integrated to develop a nuanced understanding of adolescent weight, dietary and activity patterns, and the local level and larger scale processes influencing those patterns. Quantitative analysis will include multinomial logistic regression and other techniques to test the relative importance of a range of factors affecting weight status. Narrative analysis will be used to explain statistical results in order to move beyond a mere documentation of a relationship between poverty and obesity, and offer explanations of how local and broader level factors influence health inequalities in this context.
Kikon, Dolly, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Blurred Borders: Unsettling the Hill/Valley Divide in Northeast India,' supervised by Dr. James G. Ferguson
DOLLY KIKON, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Blurred Borders: Unsettling the Hill/Valley Divide in Northeast India,' supervised by Dr. James G. Ferguson. Hill and valley occupy a critical place in the development of anthropological theory of societies in the eastern Himalayan region. Constructions of social histories and political identities have followed colonially created categories of hill and valley since the nineteenth century, and differences between the topographic locations have been the basis of organizing territorial borders in the region. This is most pronounced in Northeast India, where federal units often have internal borders that mime practices of international borders and where postcolonial legislation has been grafted onto colonial systems of governance. The research objective is to study how hill/valley spatial categories continue to influence and sustain historically contentious borders, laws, and citizenship regimes in Nagaland and Assam in Northeast India.
Razon, Na'amah, U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Mediating Citizenship: The Role of Health Professionals in Israel's National Health Reform,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman
NA'AMAH RAZON, then a student at University of California, San Francisco, California, received a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Mediating Citizenship: The Role of Health Professionals in Israel's National Health Reform,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman. In 1994 Israel passed the National Health Insurance Law, guaranteeing universal and equal healthcare services to all citizens. The NHIL transformed Bedouin-Arab citizens' access to medical services, increasing their insurance coverage from 60 to 100 percent and changing the patient demographic in the regional hospital. Israel's healthcare reform took place within a geo-political landscape that continues to marginalize its Arab citizens. Thus the paradigm of equality of healthcare intersects with national policies that create a differential citizenship. The study examined how health professionals translate healthcare reform into practice and act as intermediaries who create links between medicine and citizenship. Based on participant observations within the single regional hospital and interviews with healthcare providers, this research highlights how providers create boundaries around the scope of meaning of equality in medicine in order to negotiate conflicting state policies towards citizens.
Dua, Jatin, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot
JATIN DUA, then a student at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Policing Sovereignty in the Western Indian Ocean,' supervised by Dr. Charles D. Piot. Since 2008, a number of high profile incidents of piracy off the coast of East Africa have resulted in increased global attention to this region, including the deployment of a multi-national naval patrol and attempts to prosecute suspected pirates. Policy makers have attributed this phenomenon to the lack of a strong centralized government in Somalia and called for various forms of intervention on-shore to address piracy's root causes. However, this interpretation of the conflict obscures a longer history of regulation and transgression and piracy's long pedigree in the Western Indian Ocean. This research resituates piracy within histories of the Indian Ocean and longstanding attempts to redefine sovereignty and legality within this oceanic space. This work suggests that maritime piracy may be better understood as a form of capital-intensive armed entrepreneurship and an attempt to secure protection from global poaching, waste dumping, and from the surveillance of regulators. As such, piracy as a system of protection competes with a variety of state and non-state forms of protection in this area. This project investigates the encounters between these overlapping regimes of protection and regulation in the Western Indian Ocean.
Wentzell, Emily, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on'Sexual Dysfunction and Changing Masculinities in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Inhorn
EMILY WENTZELL, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Sexual Dysfunction and Changing Masculinities in Mexico City,' supervised by Dr. Marcia Inhorn. Understandings of decreased erectile function as the medical pathology 'erectile dysfunction' (ED) have become dominant worldwide. However, 'sufficient' erection is not a biological norm, but a cultural standard co-produced with social ideals of manly sexuality and health. This study examined working class Mexican men's use of the experiences of erectile function change and ED treatment to 'act like men' in new and different ways. Data from over 250 ethnographic interviews with urology patients and staff at a Cuernavaca hospital revealed that men enfolded these experiences into their styles of 'being men' in a variety of ways. Older men resisted ED treatment, viewing diminishing sexual function as a 'natural' change enabling a new, family-oriented style of masculinity as they became unable to perform extramarital sex. Younger men seeking ED treatment viewed their sexual changes as the embodiment of social changes that hurt their sense of manliness, understanding ED drugs as a medical solution to a social problem. Including findings on the roles that chronic illness and men's ideas about 'Mexicanness' play in their experiences of their health, sexuality, and masculinity, this study demonstrates the processes through which men relate physical, social and psychological events into new enactments of masculinity.
Wentzell, Emily. 2013. Change and the Construction of Gendered Selfhood among Mexican Men Experiencing Erectile Difficulty. Ethos 41(1):24-45.
Wentzell, Emily. 2013. Aging Respectably by Rejecting Medicalization: Mexican Men's Reasons for Not Using Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Medical Anthropology Quarterly 27(1):3-22.
Wentzell, Emily. 2006. 'You?ll ?Get Viagraed:' Mexican Men?s Preference for Alternative Erectile Dysfunction Treatment. Social Science & Medicine (68):1759-1765.
Wentzell, Emily. 2006. Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction and Its Treatment in a Mexican Population: Distinguishing between Erectile Function Change and Dysfunction. Journal of Men?s Health 6 (1): 56-62.