Sandesara, Utpal Niranjan, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Prenatal Kinship and Selective Reproduction: The Process of Sex Selection in an Indian Community,' supervised by Dr. Philippe Bourgois
Preliminary abstract: Over the past three decades, the selective abortion of female fetuses has emerged as a prominent form of gendered violence in northwestern India. While state institutions have attempted to combat the practice, the number of sex-selective abortions has remained constant or risen in most regions during the past twenty years. I propose to explore this situation by conducting twelve months of multi-sited ethnographic research on the process of sex selection in Mahesana, Gujarat. Tracing the process across household, clinical, and governmental settings will allow me to connect the views, experiences, and practices of reproductive-aged women with those of husbands, senior relatives, clinicians, brokers, and government officials, thereby elucidating the gendered power relations that sustain sex selection despite efforts to combat it. My project will empirically link gender-kinship norms with medicalized reproduction and state governance by exploring three key questions: What norms and practices underlie desires for sons over daughters in the present sociohistorical context? How do biomedical practitioners come to participate in sex selection, and how do different clinical actors manage the technical, economic, and moral ambiguities in the process? And how do state policies construct, engage, and impact sex selection as a social crisis? Through a focus on the simultaneous reproduction of individual bodies and the social order, and using the analytic of gendered violence, my project will generate a framework for exploring gender, kinship, and violence in the prenatal period. (This submission requests funding for the second phase [last six months] of the project.)
Frekko, Susan E., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Policing the Borders: Catalan Language Purism in Barcelona,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
SUSAN E. FREKKO, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2002 to aid research on language purism in spoken Catalan in Barcelona, Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Judith T. Irvine. While some Catalan speakers police their own linguistic practice and avoid Castilian Spanish influences, others do not, even if they claim to espouse the ideology of Catalan purity. This discrepancy between ideology and practice raises some important theoretical questions. Why do language ideology and language practice coincide for some and not for others? If language ideology does not determine language practice, then what social function does it serve? In previous research, Frekko had acted as a participant observer in an adult Catalan language class in Barcelona and had observed Catalan language specialists at newspapers, at a television station, and in the Catalan parliament. In this phase of the project, she spent time with her classmates outside of school, in order to observe their linguistic practices in everyday life. She lived with a family that was part of the extended family of a Catalan newspaper copy editor, which allowed her to observe Catalan speech in a home and to enter the social network of a Catalan language specialist whom she had already observed on the job. This housing arrangement also brought her into social contact with several other language specialists whom she had observed in their professional capacity, thus enabling her to observe contextual differences in their linguistic purism.
Copes, Lynn Erin, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Comparative and Experimental Investigations of Cranial Robusticity in Pleistocene Hominins,' supervised by Dr. William Kimbel
LYNN ERIN COPES, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Comparative and Experimental Investigations of Cranial Robusticity in Pleistocene Hominins,' supervised by Dr. William Kimbel. Homo erectus has skull bones four times thicker than the modern human average. This research investigated how cranial vault thickness (CVT) develops in modem mammals in order to test hypotheses about why some fossil ancestors had such thick vault bones. Both comparative and experimental studies were used to test hypotheses for increased CVT. Measures of CVT were correlated (in over 1100 primates) with several characters preserved in the cranium such as the size of chewing muscles and brain case shape. In the second phase of the project, the effects of artificially increased masticatory strain and variation in growth hormone levels on CVT were investigated in the laboratory mouse, Mus musculus. The research revealed that reducing the amount of chewing in mice (by providing them with soft food) decreased their chewing muscle size and resulted in thinner skulls. No amount of exercise had a measureable effect on growth hormone levels or on CVT in mice. However, the overall lack of variation in CVT across experimental groups indicates that the trait was affected less by the experiments than by the genetic background of the mice. Studies of the correlations between CVT and other morphological features in human and non-human primates are ongoing.
Martinez Abadias, Neus, U. de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain - To aid research on 'Quantitative Genetics of Craniofacial Traits: A Functional Approach to Heritability, 'supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez
NEUS MARTINEZ ABADIAS, then a student at Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain was awarded a grant in May 2004 to aid research on 'Quantitative Genetics of Craniofacial Traits: A Functional Approach to Heritability, 'supervised by Dr. Miguel Hernandez Martinez. The research undertaken consisted in the recording of craniometric and demographical data from the Hallstatt population (Austria). The evidence collected will allow the heritability estimation of both morphological and life-history traits. Hallstatt's skull collection contains more than 400 skulls falling into pedigrees. Genealogies have been reconstructed thanks to Catholic Church records based on baptisms, marriages and deaths from the seventeenth century to present. Craniometric data has been recorded by means of 3D geometric morphometric techniques. The final depurated database contains 353 individuals represented by 58 osteological landmarks. Taking into account the morphological integrated nature of the human skull, functional and developmental modules have been identified. Size and multivariate shape heritabilities upon these structures will be computed following an animal model and by applying restricted maximum likelihood methods (REML). The REML analysis incorporates multigenerational information from unbalanced datasets and provides estimates of the additive genetic variance, and the variance of the residual errors, from which the narrow heritability can be estimated. Fitness traits heritability will be computed following the same procedure, and will be compared to the morphometric ones. This will raise interesting discussion regarding phenotypic selection, heritability, genetic constraints, and trade-offs of both kinds of traits for the human species.
Martinez-Abadías, Neus, Rolando González-José, Antonion González-Martín, et al. 2006. Phenotypic Evolutionof Human Craniofacial Morphology after Admixture: A Geometric Morphometrics Approach. American Journal of Physical
Martinez Abadias, Neus. 2009. Heritability of Human Cranial Dimensions: Comparing the Evolvability of
Different Cranial Regions. Journal of Anatomy 214:19-35.
Martinez Abadias, Neus. 2009. Developmental and Genetic Constraints on Neurocranial Globularity: Insights
from Analyses of Deformed Skulls and Quantitative Genetics. Evolutionary Biology 36:37-56.
Raviele, Maria Elena, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density Through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. William A. Lovis
MARIA ELENA RAVIELE, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Willaim A. Lovis. The goal of this study was twofold: first, to determine if quantification of maize phytoliths, based on density was feasible; and second, to apply those experimental results to archaeological ceramic residues derived from sites located within the Saginaw River Valley of Michigan. Quantification of maize phytoliths was determined through experimental residues utilizing different forms of maize: ground flour, dried whole kernel, dried cracked kernel, green kernel, whole green cob. The experimental results determined that maize phytolith quantification was not possible due to differential inclusion of phytoliths based on the form of maize used. It was found however, that the presence of maize starch and/or phytoliths could potentially indicate if green or dried maize was utilized; use of green maize was more likely to include the incorporation of phytoliths into a residue. The archaeological component resulted in the identification of maize starch and phytoliths from ceramic residues dating to an earlier time period than prior dates on macrobotanical remains. Results from AMS dates are pending but utilizing local ceramic chronology, it appears maize was incorporated at some level by AD 300. In addition to the identification of maize, starch and phytoliths from other economic plants, including aquatic tubers, were identified.
Dudgeon, Matthew R., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Birth after Death: K'iche '-Mayan Men's Influences on Maternal-Infant Health after Guatemalan Civil War,' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman
MATTHEW R. DUDGEON, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in December 2001 to aid research on 'Birth after Death: K'iche '-Mayan Men's Influences on Maternal-Infant Health after Guatemalan Civil War,' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman. This dissertation research conducted 12 months of fieldwork in a K'iche' Mayan- speaking Community of Populations in Resistance in the Ixil region of Guatemala on reproduction and reproductive health problems. The research investigated men's roles in maternal and child health, as well as men's reproductive health problems. Moreover, the research examined the impact of the Guatemalan civil war on patterns of reproduction in the community, which was heavily impacted by counterinsurgent violence. Research consisted of a combination of reproductive and family health surveys, nutrition surveys, anthropometric data, and life history and illness narratives with both men and women, focusing on narratives of reproductive experience and loss. Participant observation was conducted both within the community with a land collective and with groups of midwives and religious specialists, as well as outside the community in the regional ministry of health and with regional non-governmental organizations working in health care.
Cakirlar, Canan, Tubingen U., Tubingen, Germany - To aid research on 'Coastal Adaptations of Troy: The Molluscs,' supervised by Dr. Hans-Peter Uerpmann
CANAN CAKIRLAR, while a student at Tubingen University, Tubingen, Germany, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Coastal Adaptations of Troy: The Molluscs,' supervised by Dr. Hans-Peter Uerpmann. A coastal survey was conducted in the vicinity of Troy, Turkey, between February 2006 and November 2006 in order to establish a modern mollusk collection that could serve as an analogue to delineate the patterns observed in the archaeomalacological record of Troy. The goal of the survey and subsequent laboratory analyses was to elucidate the mode of shellfishing, with special reference to cockle (C. glaucum) gathering at Bronze Age Troy. Archaeological cockle remains were analyzed in the light of ecological data attained from periodical observations of extant local populations. Seasonal patterns of shell growth disclosed by observations on the internal shell increments of modern cockles were correlated with those of the archaeological cockles in order to determine the harvest time of archaeological shells. The results suggest that the annual pattern of cockle gathering shifted from a seasonally balanced mode of collection in the 3rd millennium BC to a mode of procurement emphasizing summer collection during the 2nd millennium BC in Troy. This shift is related to changes in other areas of subsistence economy at Troy and the geomorphological changes that took place in the Trojan Bay during the course of the Bronze Age.
Wells, Eric C., Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at El Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Ben A. Nelson
ERIC C. WELLS, while a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received funding in July 2001 to aid research on 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at El Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Ben A. Nelson. The 2001-2002 Wenner-Gren Individual Research Grant in Archaeology, 'Communal Feasting and the Social Order at EI Coyote, Northwestern Honduras,' contributed financial support to a doctoral research project aimed at exploring the foundations of social power, expressed in the development of hierarchical social and material relations, in prehispanic Honduran chiefdoms. The study focused on the case of EI Coyote, the Classic period (ca. AD 300-1000) capital settlement of the lower Cacaulapa River Valley in northwestern Honduras. With funds from Wenner-Gren, archaeological data were collected from excavations in and around EI Coyote's main civic-ceremonial plaza to provide information on the range and organization of activities carried out in this space. The underlying assumption is that the practices that occurred in this space are directly related to the ways in which local rulers marshaled political and economic forces within their society and forged alliances with peers in neighboring realms. The nature and distribution of material remains in the plaza and in adjacent spaces, combined with chemical data produced from a multi-element analysis of the plaza's component sediments, indicate that craft manufacture, feasting, and ritual activities were carried out in the environs of the main plaza during the seventh through eleventh centuries. These data suggest that EI Coyote's rulers fashioned social hierarchy by centralizing and appropriating surplus labor during community-wide plaza activities in which feasts and other ritual practices served as inducements for individuals to participate in activities calculated to enhance chiefly productivity and to reinforce chiefly legitimacy.
Levitt, Emily Katherine, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY -To aid research on 'Changing the Tax Base Changes Everything: The Fiscal Dimensions of Citizenship and Sovereignty in Upstate New York,' supervised by Dr. Paul Nadasdy
Preliminary abstract: In Seneca Falls, NY, the Cayuga nation is buying property and refusing to pay the associated taxes, thereby attempting to establish a reservation. Many residents of Seneca Falls are organizing in opposition to this move and the associated loss to the municipal tax base. This project examines the financial and non-financial stakes of the struggle from the perspectives of the different players involved. I ask: what understandings of political and economic life are embedded in these controversies surrounding the changes posed to the tax base? Through studying both Cayuga and non-Cayuga discourses about the role of taxes and revenue, this project examines the ways in which these heated debates reflect and constitute different ideas of what citizenship and sovereignty entail. This research will open new space for anthropological enquiry through its focus on taxation's relationship to citizenship and sovereignty, through its synchronic approach to a group of politically highly varied research subjects, and through bridging the traditionally discrete domains of Native American and other North American anthropologies. Through drawing anthropological attention to these contestations about the fiscal dimensions of citizenship and taxation, this project will further academic understanding of a variety of important aspects of American political debates.
Timura, Christopher T., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Negotiating Expertise: The Globalizing Cultures of British and American Peace Negotiators,' supervised by Dr. Conrad P. Kottak
CHRISTOPHER T. TIMURA, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding to aid research on the globalizing cultures of British and American peace negotiators, under the supervision of Dr. Conrad P. Kottak. Timura conducted eleven months of fieldwork with a representative sample of university and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the globalizing field of conflict resolution. He obtained more than 140 interviews with students, trainers, and practitioners, collected oral histories from key informants, and acted as a participant observer in seminars and training workshops. In addition, he used information about practitioners' professional networks and their referrals to arrange interviews with key individuals involved in the conflict management activities of the U.S. and British governments. The data showed that conflict management theories could be traced back to a small but diverse group of North American and European founding figures who used their institutional affiliations to promulgate their understanding of how violent conflict could be prevented, managed, and resolved. Despite considerable demographic diversity in the field today, a common set of concepts and value orientations enabled this transnational group to coalesce around a conflict resolution epistemology and practice. Conflict resolution specialists have used their roles in government, NGOs, and academe to advocate for changes in the ways governments manage and resolve violent conflict, while arguing for the existence of their own specific form of expertise. 'Local' cultural, socioeconomic, religious, and political factors have played varying roles in the globalization of this expertise beyond North America and Europe, offering opportunities for considering how anthropology might constructively analyze and otherwise engage with this and similar phenomena having significant effects on international governance.