Van Deusen Phillips, Sarah B., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Cultural Bodies: Language, Enactment and Performance of Value in Linguistically Isolated Deaf Children,' supervised by Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow
SARAH B. VAN DEUSEN PHILLIPS, while a student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in December 2001 to aid research on language, enactment, and performance of value in linguistically isolated deaf children, under the supervision of Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow. It is widely accepted that engagement in narrative activities plays a key role in the socialization and maintenance of beliefs, values, and morality from one generation to the next. Therefore, telling stories is an important means by which children enter local meaning systems and encounter local versions of personhood. But an unspoken assumption in language socialization research is that children must share a language with their community in order to engage in and benefit from the socializing influence of narrative. Phillips's research represented one side of a comparative study focusing on populations of orally educated deaf children of hearing parents in the United States and Spain. Five Spanish deaf children, ages two to four years, and their families were the focus of ten months of interaction and observation using both ethnographic and experimental research methods. Phillips explore the ways in which these children learned to construct their contributions to local narrative discourse despite sharing no language in common with the hearing members of their communities. These profoundly deaf children had not been exposed to conventional sign language and instead communicated with the hearing members of their families using home sign, an idiosyncratic system of regularly ordered spontaneous gestures.
Gaikwad, Namrata, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Men against Matrilineage: Contestations Around Gender Politics in Shillong, India,' supervised by Dr. Jean Langford
NAMRATA GAIKWAD, then a student at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Men against Matrilineage: Contestations around Gender Politics in Shillong, India,' supervised by Dr. Jean Langford. During Summer 2011, a second-phase of research was conducted (through participant observation, discussions and interviews) both in the urban center of Shillong but also extended to semi-urban and rural settings in the state of Meghalaya. The data collected provided unique insights into the ways in which dynamics around gender and kinship intersect with conceptualizations of modernity, futurity, and personhood among Khasi village-folk. These discussions threw new light on the research previously conducted in Shillong and enabled a reframing of problems as had been articulated by more educated and well-to-do people. Consequently, it facilitated a sharpening of research questions and a fresh approach to the same theoretical problems encountered in the city. The research also followed relatives of people from the village, who now live in Shillong, in order to track their continued, yet somewhat realigned kinship relations and responsibilities (in all their gendered dimensions). It highlighted an interesting urban-rural schism with the 'nongkyndongs' (Khasi for 'villagers' or 'country bumpkins') both reflecting on what they felt was a false divide created by urbanites but also simultaneously owning their difference and purported lack of class and cultural capital in the name of something more genuinely Khasi.
Murphy, Daniel Joseph, U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Communal Resource Management and Rural Inequality in Post-Socialist Mongolia,' supervised by Dr. Peter Deal Little
DANIEL J. MURPHY, then a student at University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Communal Resource Management and Rural Inequality in Post-Socialist Mongolia,' supervised by Dr. Peter Deal Little. This project investigated the ways in which increasing rural inequality in post-socialist Mongolia has altered common-property resource management institutions, access to pastoral resources, and resources use patterns. The researcher carried out this project in the third bag (Uguumur district) of Bayankhutag soum (county), Khentii aimag (province) in eastern Mongolia and employed a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies (including participant observation, surveying, semi-structured and unstructured interviewing, and case-study analysis) to investigate the research questions. The project found that general socio-economic inequality and commercialization in pastoral society, rather than solely absentee herd-ownership as hypothesized, has fostered divergent herd management practices and resource use strategies. Moreover, the research has found that these changes, in combination with neo-liberal governance reforms such as decentralization, have altered community dynamics and the effectiveness of community level institutions to regulate resource use. This research will contribute to: 1) new understandings of common property systems and theories of 'community;' 2) expansion of anthropological investigations of property relations under post-socialism to common-property systems; and 3) anthropological studies of pastoral inequality.
Koga, Yukiko, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Modernity and Urban Space in the Cities of Manchuria,' supervised by Dr. Marilyn J. Ivy
YUKIKO KOGA, while a student at Columbia University in New York, New York, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on modernity and urban space in the cities of Manchuria, under the supervision of Dr. Marilyn J. Ivy. This research into China's post-coloniality and Japan's post-imperiality-erased or silenced during the countries' respective postwar eras-took place in Harbin, Changchun, and Dalian, three major cities in northeast China, as well as in Japan, the former metropole of 'Manchukuo.' In each city, Koga examined the aftereffects of colonial modernity in the construction of post-1945 China and Japan. The focus of the research in Harbin was the intricate play between memories of the colonial past and those of the Cultural Revolution, both of which were triggered by the (re)presentation of colonial-era structures through a recent government decision to renovate and protect them. The main findings in Changchun concerned the ways in which local Chinese and Japanese visitors experienced and interpreted the architectural remainders of 'Manchukuo'-specifically, Japanese visitors' reactions to their encounters with these historical artifacts, Chinese locals' views of them, and the content of history education at schools in Changchun. The research in Dalian highlighted the Chinese and Japanese encounter in the present as a result of their deepening economic relations in a city where 60 percent of foreign investment is Japanese. What it meant to work for Japanese corporations in a city that had once experienced Japanese occupation was explored through interviews, in conjunction with an examination of how the Dalian city government located and presented the presence of the Japanese within the image and future of the city.
Styles, Megan Anne, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Global Production in a Contested Local Landscape: The Conflict Surrounding Cut Flower Farming in Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
MEGAN A. STYLES, then a student at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Global Production in a Contested Local Landscape: The Conflict Surrounding Cut Flower Farming in Kenya,' supervised byDr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan. Cut flower exports play a critical role in the Kenyan economy. Roses, carnations, and other familiar flower varieties are now the nation's second largest foreign exchange earner, and an estimated 50,000 workers and their dependents rely on jobs within the industry. However, the success of floriculture is often tempered by allegations of environmental degradation at sites of production. The vast majority of Kenyan flowers are grown along the shores of Lake Naivasha, a critical freshwater body located in the Rift Valley that provides a lifeline for local communities and habitat for an impressive number of species. Because of the sensitive and contested nature of the landscape surrounding Lake Naivasha, the potential environmental effects of floriculture are particularly controversial in this locale. This project explores the ways that people living and working in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha view the environmental effects of floriculture and the strategies that they use to address these perceived effects. Although consumer (or buyer-driven) activism has played a vital role in reforming labor conditions and environmental practices in the flower industry, local actors are also a driving force in developing regulatory pathways and conceptualizing new forms of environmental governance in the lake area.
Mauxion, Aurelien, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'From Irrigation to Elections: Agricultural Intensification and Local-level Politics in Gabero, Northern Mali, supervised by Dr. Robert G. Launay
AURELIEN MAUXION, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'From Irrigation to Elections: Agricultural Intensification and Local-level Politics in Gabero, Northern Mali,' supervised by Dr. Robert G. Launay. This research investigates local-level mechanisms of democratization in northern Mali, West Africa. In the 1990s, a vast reform of administrative decentralization created hundreds of locally elected municipal councils to which the government transferred much of its prerogatives and power. The goal of this reform was to promote better governance and the accountability of local officials. Ethnographic research in northern Mali reveals a sharp contrast between these principles and the actual functioning of decentralized administration. Patron-client networks heavily influence municipal politics, corruption practices are widespread, and historically marginalized social groups are under-represented in the local councils. This research explores the gap between the theoretical model of decentralization and the way it is practiced by the local populations. It suggests that the local governance that results from the decentralization reform is best understood as the collective production of an original political and regulatory framework. Clarifying this production requires situating the democratization process in broader historical perspective and analyzing how local socioeconomic and political factors shaped democratic practices and public affairs management. By providing detailed ethnographic investigations of democratization processes, this dissertation offers empirical foundations for a comprehensive conceptual approach to postcolonial states and their institutions.
Eisenberg, Daniel Thomas Abraham, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Ecological Predictors of Telomere Lengths: A Longitudinal and Cross-population Analysis of Human Biological Diversity,' supervised by Dr. Christopher W. Kuzawa
DAN EISENBERG, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received a grant in May 2010 to research on 'Ecological Predictors of Telomere Lengths: a Longitudinal and Cross-Population Analysis of Human Biological Diversity,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Kuzawa . Telomeres are DNA sequences at chromosome ends that shorten with age and are required for proper cell division. Telomere shortening is associated with diminished cell proliferation capacity, which is believed to be a cause of senescence. Given the importance of cell proliferation to blood telomere length (BTL), it has been hypothesized that BTL reflects previous immune system activation and indicates current immune function. Thus BTL could provide a new biomarker of life history allocations and of developmental exposures to infection. Contrary to the shortening of BTL that occurs with age, previous studies have shown that children of older fathers have longer telomeres. By analyzing BTL data from the Philippines, Eisenberg and colleagues showed for the first time that this happens across at least two generations: older fathers not only have offspring with longer telomeres, but their sons also have offspring with longer telomeres. Analyses of how early life infection and growth predicts later BTL are ongoing.
Eisenberg, Dan. 2012. Delayed Paternal Age of Reproduction in Humans is Associated with Longer Telomeres across Two Generations of Descendants. PNAS Early Edition (published online).
Jian, Ge, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'The Impact of Global English in Xinjiang, China: Linguistic Capital and Identity Negotiation among the Han and Ethnic Minority Students,' supervised by Dr. Laada Bilaniuk
Preliminary abstrat: This research will investigate the power dynamics between the international lingua franca English, the national dominant language Mandarin Chinese and the local ethnic minority language Uyghur (a Turkic language) in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China, a geopolitically contested area at the crossroads of Eurasia. This research explores two set of questions: 1)How do ethnicity, regional difference, class and gender factor into the uneven and unequal processes of linguistic capital acquisition among the ethnic minority and Han young people in Xinjiang, China? 2) What existing ideologies and identities does the English language disrupt? How do Han and minority ethnic groups negotiate their linguistic and cultural identities during the acquisition of English? The proposed research that requests for Wenner-Gren funding is the last phase (Phase III) of a seventeen-month fieldwork project. In the last phase I will be carried out in smaller cities (Gulja, Aksu, and Kashgar) in Xinjiang to find out the regional difference in English education in comparison to the capital city Urumqi, which is the focus of the ongoing Phase II research.
Samet, Robert Nathan, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ROBERT N. SAMET, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on Writing Crime: Journalism, Insecurity, and Narratives of Violence in Caracas, Venezuela,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako. The overarching objective of the dissertation research is to describe the social processes through which violent events are framed as journalistic narratives by focusing on the everyday practices of crime reporters in Caracas. While there is a wealth of social scientific material that refers to news coverage of crime and violence, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand the processes of cultural production from the inside out. This project set out to accomplish four specific goals: 1) examine the culture of crime reporters; 2) describe the key factors shaping the day-to-day practices of journalists who cover the crime beat; 3) explain what influences the selection and composition of images and stories of crime; and 4) show the larger context in which these images and stories circulate. Together, these strands of inquiry will provide a nuanced understanding of how journalist and journalism have helped to shape 'the politics of security' in Venezuela during the Hugo Chavez era.
Seshia Galvin, Shaila, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'State of Nature: Agriculture, Development and the Making of Organic Uttarakhand,' supervised by Dr. Michael R. Dove
SHAILA SESHIA GALVIN, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'State of Nature: Agriculture, Development and the Making of Organic Uttarakhand,' supervised by Dr. Michael Dove. On 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the newest state of the Indian Union. Shortly after its formation, the government of this Himalayan state actively strategized to develop organic agriculture as a key component of rural development. The promotion of organic agriculture in Uttarakhand expresses an agrarian utopianism that initially appears counter-intuitive in relation to the modernist projects of India's Green and 'gene' revolutions. Yet, as architects of the policy claim that agriculture in Uttarakhand is 'organic by default' and emphasize the persistence of indigenous traditions and seed varieties, systems of contract farming, agricultural extension, and organic certification are put in place to integrate the region's mountain farmers into domestic and global supply chains. This project examines changes wrought in the agrarian landscape of Uttarakhand by exploring the bureaucratic, regulatory and agrarian practices called into being in the process of becoming organic. By asking why organic agriculture has become important for Uttarakhand, it aims to unravel the tensions and paradoxes forged at the juncture of locally situated yet globally ambitious processes of place-making and agrarian practice.