Projects Funded in 2003

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Degree Program
Location Project Title & Abstract
Paul Constantino
Ph.D. Hom Paleo
Kenya (Nairobi), Washington, DC Comparative Evolutionary Ecomorphology of the Hypertrophic Masticatory Functional Complex

Advisors: Bernard Wood and Richard Potts

This study looks at how and why some primates evolve large jaws and teeth. The data will then be used to draw inferences about Paranthropus, an early hominin with a huge oral apparatus.

Pierre L. du Plessis
B.A. Anth
Botswana Indigenous Cultural Identity and the Impact of Development in Botswana

Advisor: Alison Brooks

This study focuses on the displacement of the San from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to a site outside the park called New !Xade, and the effects that the move has had on their society.

Wendy L. Fergusson
M.A. Anth
Israel (Jerusalem) Nation Building and Structures of Representation: The Case of Jerusalem

Advisor: Richard Grinker

Those who work for a large institution (such as a national museum or university) are often unaware of the institution's mission and how their work affects the voice of the structure as a whole. Such is the case in Jerusalem. With terrorism and lack of funding across the region, curators and university advisors are forced to accept funds from sources they would normally avoid and are providing exhibits and courses which promote the State of Israel while forming a link between the Jewish people and the past.

Alison Newman
B.A. Anth
Vermont Vermont's Agricultural Identity in the 21st Century

Advisor: Robert Shepherd

Vermont's family dairy farmers are under pressure to expand or sell out. However, some have found a niche in the market and switched to organic or specialty dairy.

Tyler Neyhart
B.A. Intl Aff/Asian Studies
India (Nashik, Maharashtra State) Further Corruption of the Ascetic Ideal: Popular Perception of Hindu Asceticism in Contemporary India

Advisor: Barbara Miller

This field research seeks to explore popular perceptions in India of Hindu ascetics in hopes of further describing the role of asceticism in contemporary India. The Kumbha Mela, a pan-Indian gathering of hundreds of thousands of ascetics and laypersons being held this summer in Nashik, India, represents the opportune venue for such a study. I will attend the festival and conduct a rapid ethnographic assessment procedures in order to construct a survey of popular perception. In addition, I will conduct a mini-ethnography of the ascetic communities represented at the Mela.

J. Thomas Ordoñez
M.A. Anth
Colombia (Bogotá) Translating Biomedicine: The Interpretation of Local and Western Health Care Systems in an Andean Peasant Community in Colombia

Advisor: Barbara Miller

This project studies the life and practice of an informal healer in a peasant community in the northern Andean highlands of Colombia. A close examination of this healers life history shows that although her knowledge is almost uniquely biomedical in origin, it constitutes an alternate healing system conceptually and in practice. This raises questions about some of the assumptions about plural medical systems.

Douglas Post Park
B.A. Arch
Greece (Crete) Resettlement Archaeology in Crete: Evidence of Refugee Movements 3000 Years Ago

Advisor: Eric Cline

This research focuses on understanding the character, function, and relationships between mountainous, elevated, refugee sites in eastern Crete, in the Early Iron Age (1200-800 B.C.), following the collapse of the Bronze Age palaces. Through on-site analyses (topographical, environmental, and archaeological), I plan to investigate site function and how settlement patterns fit with conflicting historical models of defensibility, processual models of land-use, and published, settlement relationships. The resultant essay addresses how population dynamics of Crete, after the breakdown of a palace-state society, relates to historical, social, and environmental systems, illustrating an important aspect of the Aegean Early Iron Age.

Leonid Sapozhnikov
B.A. Intl Aff
Bolivia (Cochabamba) El Pueblo Unido: Bolivian Social Movements against the Free Trade Area of the Americas

Advisor: Richard Grinker

This research project explores how social movements in Cochabamba, Bolivia, contest the power of the state by engaging in "cultural politics" and pursue alternative blueprints for Bolivian society.

Matthew Skinner
Ph.D. Hom Paleo
UK (London, Newcastle upon Tyne) Assessing Variation in Developmental Processes of Enamel Formation in Hominoid Dentition

Advisor: Bernard Wood

The first portion of this project will outline the methods used gather data on dental microstructure and the wide variety of research questions to which these data are applied. The second will outline an ongoing research program (initiated as a result of this Cotlow project) that investigates at which taxonomic level dental microstructure could be used to identify fossil taxa and determine their phylogenetic relatedness.

Arushi Terway
B.A. Psych
India (Bihar State) A Comparative Study of Life Transition Stages among Residents of Bihar School of Yoga in Northern India

Advisors: Barbara Miller and Robert Weigl

Participant observation in a yoga school in northern India illuminates how people from diverse cultures worldwide seek Eastern spirituality to find their self and meaning in life. The findings shed light on what may be a more culturally evolved way of life for the future.

Ava Therkelsen
B.A. Soc
Mexico (Oaxaca State) The Effects of Globalization on the Nochixtlán Market System

Advisor: Andrew Balkansky

This proposal is for field research to conduct a mini-ethnography of the effects of globalization and NAFTA on the greater Nochixtlan Valley cyclical market system and those involved within it. In addition to the effects on these specific markets and people, my research will advance the knowledge of how Mexican government policy and the idea of globalization is affecting the increasingly ignored consequences of globalization for the inhabitants of this area. The research will serve as a catalyst for future literature on contemporary Mexican regional inequalities and stimulate further analysis and possible governmental policy implementation in the area.

Swathi Veeravalli
B.A. Intl Aff
South Africa (Natal) South African Indians: Striking a Balance between Cultural Identity and Nationalism

Advisor: Mark Edberg

My research focuses on South Africans of Indian descent to see how in the new post-Apartheid non-racial South Africa they establish and create their identity, with special focus on how ethnicity influences such a formation of identity.