Projects Funded in 2002

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Degree Program
Location Project Title & Abstract
Morgan Edwards
M.A. Anth
Nepal (Sirubari and surrounding areas) Low-Caste Participation in Nepalese Cultural Tourism: The Effects of Rural Developmentt

Advisor: David Gow

The Gurungs, a high-caste ethnic group living in rural Sirubari, Nepal, have designed and implemented a cultural tourism program in their community. This local development effort seems to be consonant with the cultural preservation rhetoric popular among development projects in Nepal. However, an important component to its functioning is the contribution of low-caste Damaais, who benefit little from the development venture. This paper explores how anthropology is being used to evaluate the cultural tourism program as a development project.

Francis Candler Hallman
B.A. Anth/Intl Aff
Ireland (Dublin, Coolock, Dundalk) Vilification of the "Other" and Images of Identity in the Educational Discourse of the Republic of Ireland

Advisor: Richard Grinker

The teaching of history in Ireland is important to the creation and negotiation of national identity. This importance exists because the history, in texts and teaching, is largely understood through a metaphor that links national identity to economic class. Using this model to understand the Great Famine (1847-1852), individuals react emotionally to historically traumatic events, and these emotions influence individual and collective action in present-day political situations.

Rachel Harvey
M.A. Anth
South Africa (Cape Province) Negotiating "Authenticity" in South African Tourist Art

Advisor: Richard Grinker

This paper describes the township art scene and production processes in Cape Town, South Africa. Due to the lingering effects of oppression and a high unemployment rate, black artists are often forced to choose between what they want to create and what will sell in the marketplace. In post-apartheid South Africa, however, authenticity is taking on a new definition as artists work toward community and self-empowerment.

Roli Khare
B.A. Econ, Intl Pol
Ecuador (Quito) Mujeres en Acción: The Effect of Non-Governmental Initiatives on Women's Attitudes of Empowerment

Advisor: Robert Winthrop

After the financial crisis of 1999, the Ecuadorian economy was in shambles. Over 40% of the population fell into poverty almost overnight. As a result, the Ecuadorian government and civil society supported microcredit initiatives for women in rural and urban areas as a means to encourage poverty reduction. This paper is an attempt to study one such institution, Las Huellas de Grameen, and its effect on gender empowerment by analyzing the role of savings and the Grameen methodology.

Sheila Larkin
M.A. Anth
Detroit, New Haven, France (Paris) Digging Deep for the Abri des Merveilles Once More: Continuing the Effort to Expose and Promote the Current Research Value of Old French Paleolithic Collections in American Museums

Advisor: Alison Brooks

This presentation reports on a study of lithic collections at the University of Michigan, Yale University, and the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, all derived from the Abri des Merveilles site, with particular reference to Levallois technology.

Erica Tubbs
M.A. IDS, M.P.H. Intl Pub Health
Armenia Women's Reproductive Health Perceptions in Armenia

Advisor: David Gow

The countries of the former Soviet Union have the highest abortion rates in the world due to the nearly exclusive dependence on abortion as a means of birth control. This paper explores the experience of Armenian women in relation to the contraceptive choices now available, and the position they hold in a traditional, poverty-stricken society. It places abortion in the broader context of societal disarray and rigid gender roles within a rapidly changing and uncertain environment.

Christopher Wyrod
Guinea, Mali N'ko and the Semiotics of Identity: The Resurgence of Maninka Language Literacy and Education in Guinea and Mali

Advisor: David Gow

This paper explores the N'ko literacy movement in Guinea and Mali through the recent formalization of N'ko literacy education. By exploring top-down and bottom-up perspectives, the author argues that the promotion of formal schooling represents an ontological shift in this grassroots movement and identity discourse.