Vaughan, Charles L., London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch
CHARLES L. VAUGHAN, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in February 2004 to aid research on 'Remaking People, Places, and Pasts: Maya Chorti Cultural Activism in Western Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Maurice E. Bloch. Since 1994, the Copan Valley in western Honduras, internationally famous for the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan, has borne witness to the growth of an indigenous movement: the National Council of Indigenous Maya Chorti of Honduras (CONIMCHH). Recognized by the Honduran state, CONIMCHH has fought aggressively for land titles for its membership while pursuing projects aimed at the revival of the Chorti Mayan language and Chorti cultural practices. Surrounding the membership of CONIMCHH, however, has been a pervasive complex of criticism, which argues that 'Chorti' only exist in Guatemala and not in Honduras. Over the course of twenty months of fieldwork, this research sought to probe the underlying history and assumptions of this complex and to explore in what ways CONIMCHH may have provided its members with a new language for describing themselves, and their pasts, in terms of 'being Chorti' in Honduras. While the lives of the men and women who form the membership of CONIMCHH are lived in a social landscape where the name 'Chorti' holds contradictory meanings, histories, and referents, this fieldwork showed that service and sacrifice for CONIMCHH are humble daily actions which speak for 'being Chorti' where words may not.
Grabiner Keinan, Adi, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Producing Change on the Ground: Israeli Leftist Groups against the Occupation,' supervised by Dr. Magnus Fiskesjo
ADI GRABINER KEINAN, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Producing Change on the Ground: Israeli Leftist Groups against the Occupation,' supervised by Dr. Magnus Fiskesjo. In the last few years, several Israeli leftist groups opposing Israel's occupation in the Palestinian Territories have introduced new forms of protest, aiming to address rapid transformations that enable Israel's regime of occupation. Their members oppose the perception of the occupation as a merely political issue that should be solved through negotiations, and attempt to challenge both the conditions and the effects of the occupation on the ground. Focusing on an ongoing process of protest in East Jerusalem, in which different political movements and activists took part, this study seeks to understand the dialectical relationships between human agency, subjectivity, and socio-cultural structures. Engaging with studies of social movements, broader debates on agency and subjectivity, and scholarship on state formation processes, the first line of inquiry of this research investigates the conditions produced within the framework of the occupation that enable such activism and the forms of agency and subjectivity associated with it; the second focuses on the complex, sometimes contradicting, effects of these forms of activism. Data collected through ethnographic, online, and archival research has the capacity to open new ways for understanding the relationship between political agency, subjectivity, and socio-cultural frameworks, in the case of Israel, and beyond.
Bernstein, Alissa Shira, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Making Health Reform Policy in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Biggs
ALISSA S. BERNSTEIN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Making Health Reform Policy in Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Charles Biggs. Recent studies in the medical anthropology of global health have noted a shift away from a public health model focused on local communities towards the globalization and privatization of healthcare. In Latin America, major moves have been made in the area of health reform that explicitly react to health privatization. Health policy being developed in Bolivia seeks not only to socialize the country's strained health care system, but also to incorporate indigenous models of health into public health policy, while still negotiating reliance on remnants of health privatization of the previous 'neoliberal' government. While scholars in the anthropology of public policy have generally viewed the making and implementation of health policies as distinct phases, this research in Bolivia suggests that these processes are closely intertwined in the form of a circuit. This project suggests that the policy making process in Bolivia involved a uniquely collaborative approach to the planning, making, revising, and implementation of the policy, and pays attention to what debates, revisions, and attempts at conciliation of different ideas amongst actors in the process were involved in negotiating both local ideas and global health shifts in the process. The research also argues that health policy in Bolivia did not emerge as a singular, static document but rather proliferated both in its process of design and as it circulated, taking different forms in order to fit within different communities and sectors of the Bolivian health care system. This study thus looks not just at the impacts of a policy in practice, but also how specific practices that are important to governing are formed and debated at times of political reform. This project will advance understandings of the contingent processes of the making and circulation of health policy, and will contribute to scholarship in the anthropology of Latin America with an approach that turns upstream to understand how health reform policy is situated, engaged, and fraught along political and cultural lines.
Onsuwan, Chureekamol, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Metal Age Complexity in Thailand: Socio-Political Development and Landscape Use in the Upper Chaophraya Basin,' supervised by Dr. Joyce C. White
CHUREEKAMOL ONSUWAN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in December 2001 to aid research on Metal Age sociopolitical development and landscape use in the upper Chao Phraya basin, Thailand, under the supervision of Dr. Joyce C. White. Onsuwan's overall goal was to test a heterarchy framework, as opposed to a hierarchical model, to account for variability in complex societies in Thailand during its Metal Age (ca. 2000 B.C.E.-500 C.E.). An intensive survey was conducted of about fifty-five square kilometers on the eastern side of the upper Chao Phraya River, a region important for understanding the long-term habitation of central Thailand. The region extends from the river's alluvial plain across its middle terrace to its high terrace. Data were collected on the distribution of settlements, the attributes of each site, and environmental variation. Preliminary evaluation showed variation in site sizes across the three environmental zones during the Metal Age, with a large density of Bronze Age communities situated on the high terrace and smaller Iron Age communities in the lowlands. Ceramic analysis showed that the Metal Age communities shared some ceramic patterns along with using their own local designs. Additional analysis was planned in order to determine the relationship between environmental and ceramic variation.
Craig, Sienna R., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Identity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg
SIENNA R. CRAIG, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in January 2004 to aid research on 'Himalayan Healers in Transition: Professionalization, Efficacy, and Ideentity among Tibetan Medicine Practitioners,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg. This project has aimed to trace and theorize the processes of professionalization of Tibetan medical practitioners - paths through history, identity, and medical epistemology manifest in the work of amchi, practitioners of Tibetan medicine, in Nepal and in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The grantee conducted research among individual practitioners and members of the Himalayan Amchi Association in Nepal, and among private practitioners as well as doctors at the Mentsikhang (Traditional Tibetan Medicine Hospital) and the Tibetan Medical College, Lhasa. Additional research was conducted at private and state-run factories of Tibetan medicine in the TAR, and among private clinics and factories in Nepal, as well as through contacts made with amchi from India, Bhutan, and Mongolia who participated in a Kathmandu-based international conference on Tibetan medicine. Through the process of fieldwork, as well as preliminary analysis of data, three primary themes emerged: 1) knowledge transmission and changes in Tibetan medical education; 2) access to raw and ready-made medicinals by practitioners, and to medicines and practitioners by patients, as well as production of medicines, including state and international policies that legislate and attempt to standardize production, often according to biomedical models; 3) globalization of Tibetan medicine and its impact on health care options for rural Tibetan communities in Nepal and Tibet. Theoretically, these themes involve explorations into efficacy, professionalization, and globalization.
Sunseri, Jun Ueno, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Historic Archaeology of a Spanish Colonial Buffer Settlement in Northern New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Judith A. Habicht-Mauche
JUN UENO SUNSERI, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Historic Archaeology of a Spanish Colonial Buffer Settlement in Northern New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Judith A. Habicht-Mauche. This case study of a historic buffer settlement (LA 917) on the northern frontier of Colonial New Mexico uses multiple. complementary lines of evidence of varied types and spatial scales including: 1) analyses of archaeological ceramic and faunal assemblages related to domestic foodways; and 2) GIS analysis of remote sensing, survey, and excavation data to recognize patterning of the tactical and engineered landscapes of the study site The nexus of traditions evidenced by the syncretic foodways and landscape practices of the buffer village at LA 917 defies description by the timeworn dichotomy of Spanish and Indian designation. The organic hybridity of routinized practice exhibited in multiple stages of the operational sequence in the production, consumption, and disposal of foodway-related materials resonates with the intentional hybridity of landscape creation and management. In this dangerously located buffer village, the complexities at both the inter-household and landscape levels reveal tensions that people were negotiating on a daily basis. The foodway remains suggest that access to ingredients and tools may have been linked to class-based constraints, while the administrative land grant requirements and tactical necessities reveal the tensions between a role as both neighbor citizens and warriors.
Allison, Jill D., Memorial U., St. John's, Canada - To aid research on '(In) Fertile Ground: Contradictory Conceptions in Assisted Reproduction in Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Robin G. Whitaker
JILL D. ALLISON, then a student at Memorial University, St. John's, Canada, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on '(In) Fertile Ground: Contradictory Conceptions in Assisted Reproduction in Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Robin G. Whitaker. This research examined the social challenges and paradoxes that surround infertility and its treatment in relation to rapid and recent social and economic change in the Republic of Ireland. Recent changes include economic growth, new economic and political links with the European Union, and declining public confidence in social power of the Roman Catholic Church within Ireland. Less overt factors in the infertility experience emerge from debates around the traditional definition of family and its significance to Irish political identity, the long-standing issue of abortion politics, and the meaning of the constitutionally protected 'right to life of the unborn' in relation to increasingly available assisted reproduction technologies (ART) in Ireland. Based on in-depth interviews with people who have experienced difficulty conceiving, the researcher explored the way they contend with moral and ethical challenges posed by technological innovations in infertility treatment, how they make decisions between medical or social options that may or may not be available, and the impact of infertility itself in a climate of changing social values. In spite of continuing emphasis on the traditional family as the site of social, moral, and political stability in Ireland, the research suggests that women dealing with infertility are challenging the institutionally and discursively constituted meanings of motherhood, conception, and fertility that have been the cornerstones of their subjective identities.
Moore, Deborah Lynn, U. of Texas, San Antonio, TX - To aid research on 'Investigation of Adaptations of Chimpanzee Social Structure to a Savanna-Woodland Habitat through Genetic Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Ehardt
DEBORAH L. MOORE, then a student at University of Texas. San Antonio, Texas, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Investigation of Adaptations of Chimpanzee Social Structure to a Savanna-Woodland Habitat through Genetic Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Ehardt. The goal of this project was to determine whether large home-range sizes -- which are likely to characterize those of chimpanzees living under the resource constraints of a savanna-woodland habitat -- decrease the benefits of male philopatry such that the genetic structure of the population looks different than that of forested sites. DNA from 237 genetic samples collected from a 624 km-sq area of Ugalla were extracted, amplified, and analyzed. The 197 samples yielded reliable genotypes and were found to represent 113 individuals (69 males and 44 females). A population density estimate of 0.47 (CI 0.30-0.77) individuals/km-sq was obtained using a spatially explicit capture-recapture (SEeR) method, confirming the necessity of large home ranges in this region. Sample extracts of the 69 males were amplified at 13 Y-chromosome loci, resulting in the identification of four haplotypes. Of these four, one V-chromosome haplotype was shared by 52 males and found throughout the surveyed area. The remaining three occurred rarely, and each formed a geographic cluster distinct from the others. This pattern suggests several possibilities including the maintenance of male philopatric communities in this challenging environment, and supports the premise that this social structure is a shared trait among chimpanzees, bonobos, and early hominins.
Can, Samil, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Indebted: Cultures of Obligation and Economies of Informality among Muslims in New Delhi,' supervised by Dr. Thomas B. Hansen
Preliminary abstract: Informality in India is a celebrated cultural frame of economic growth, comprising diverse commercial, legal, financial and industrial networks and practices. However, preliminary study on debt disputes among Muslims in Delhi suggests that urban informality have varying moral, ethical and religious framings, or 'cultures of obligation' among different communities of India. Providing a powerful lens on informality in India, debt relations (networks of finding loans/debts and practices of resolving debt disputes) are a classic medium for utilizing and negotiating 'cultures of obligation' and 'narratives of authority'. Inspired by the critical call to 'post-colonialize' economies of urban informality in the global South (Varley 2013), this study on debt and 'cultures of obligation' affirms the dynamic agency of marginalized or subaltern populations in everyday framings of informality, making and re-making markets, rationalities, liberalisms and capitalisms. It questions the conceptual separation of the informal from the formal for maintaining colonial fantasies of an intriguing, flexible, vital, yet continuously 'lacking,' dysfunctional and devastated 'other'. By focusing on how Muslims establish social networks across the city to find debts and how they resolve debt disputes through a range of 'formal' and 'informal' sources and authorities, the project aims to shed light on how dynamic moral framings of economic action within debt networks continuously assemble and disassemble informality and authority through active everyday negotiations of 'obligation' and 'authority.'
Kocamaner, Hikmet, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Governing the Family through Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Television Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein
HIKMET KOCAMANER, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Governing the Family through Islamic Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein. Turkey has witnessed a proliferation of Islamic television channels since the liberalization of television broadcasting in the 1990s. Initially, these Islamic TV channels produced shows in which divinity professors and men of religion educated viewers in the culture of scriptural Islam. Recently, however, most of these channels have started producing what they call 'morally and socially appropriate' entertainment programs to provide a safe haven for the Turkish family in what they deem to be a degenerate media scene. An overview of the programs aired on these Islamic channels reveals that the family -- more than the ritualistic and scriptural aspects of Islam -- has become their main focus. This project examines the relationship between the increasing prominence placed by Islamic television channels on the family and changing constellations of religion and secularism as well as emerging forms of governance in contemporary Turkey. Through an ethnographic investigation of media professionals involved in Islamic television production, viewers of Islamic television stations, and state institutions and officials taking part in the regulation of broadcasting in Turkey, this dissertation explores how Islamic television channels in Turkey establish the family as the generator of a neoliberal idea of citizenship and of a modern yet Islamically appropriate lifestyle.