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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

2015 Faculty Grants—Sociology and Anthropology

Johnson, J., primary investigator

Geophysical Survey in Search of Unmarked Graves Near SR 7 South of Oxford

Sponsor: Mississippi State University/Mississippi State Department of Transportation
Award Amount: $14,652.53

The unmarked graves along SR 7 made up the pauper cemetery associated with the Lafayette County Poor Farm that was scheduled to be moved during the planned four lane expansion of the road.  Using geophysical survey instruments, we located 32 probable burials. A contract with the Mississippi Department of Transportation for excavation had been approved when the Federal Highways stepped in to recommend that the road construction be redesigned in order to miss the cemetery.

Combs, B., primary investigator

Place Attachment and Collective Action: The Changing Sociopolitical Landscape of Black Urban Neighborhoods

Sponsor: University of South Carolina/NSF
Award Amount: $12,064.00

No right of citizenship is more fundamental than the right to participate in the civic process. We seek to understand the political behavior of the geographically dispersed African American Diaspora residing in and around two historically black neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia. Has an individual’s conception of what constitutes her “community” become increasingly independent of the geographic neighborhood in which she resides; and, if so, how might such shifts affect her social capital and political behavior?

Centellas, K., primary investigator

Mississippi Health Houses: Health Equity, Social Justice, and Community Development

Sponsor: Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation
Award Amount: $11,537.50

This pilot project investigates the Mississippi health house model from an ethnographic and community engagement perspective. The research will be conducted in the summer 2015 at the health house in Bolivar County, MS and the Mississippi Medical Mall in Jackson, MS. Interviews will be conducted in both locations with staff and community members. A community preferences survey will be designed and implemented in both locations in order to gauge community members’ perspective on health care access, economic development and social justice,and to determine if these institutions have provided more equitable and economically sustainable access to care in the eyes of community members.

Johnson, W., primary investigator

“Building Bridges” Lecture Series

Sponsor: Association for Jewish Studies
Award Amount: $11,000.00

This grant supportd a campus-wide lecture series and a symposium titled Semiotics of Race and Religion in Public Spaces during the academic year.

Freiwald, C., primary investigator

Mapping Maya Migration Networks in the Central Lowlands: La Carona, El Peru-Waka and Lady K’abel

Sponsor: SDE/GWIS
Award Amount: $8,525.00

Isotopic analysis can provide unique information about past populations. This project will use strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotope analysis to identify ancient migration patterns in the Maya lowlands of Guatemala AD 600-900. The origins of historic figures, including Maya kings and queens from La Corona and El Perú-Waka’, will be interpreted in the context of broader patterns of population movement.

Freiwald, C. & Johnson, J., primary investigators

Faunal Analysis of a Sample of Material from the Hurricane Landing Mounds

Sponsor: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Award Amount: $2,491.00

The pits at Hurricane Landing contained a remarkable amount of well-preserved animal bone.  The Corps has funds for radiocarbon dates and the analysis of the charred plant remains that the pits contained in abundance.  Although the lab work is ongoing, we have already identified a single glass trade bead that came from one of the pits, suggesting that the site was occupied during the late 16th or early 17th centuries, a very late date for Indian mound building in Mississippi.  Now that we’re looking for them, additional late markers are showing up.

Johnson, J., primary investigator

Salvage Excavations at the Hurricane Landing Mound

Sponsor: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Award Amount: $2,490.00

The Hurricane Landing Mound is located on the bank a small stream a few hundred feet from the junction with the Little Tallahatchie River about half a mile north of the Hurricane Creek boat launch in Sardis Reservoir.  It is exposed every winter when the Corps of Engineers draws down the lake to make room for spring rainwater.  Each year when the lake receded, the village area next to the mound showed the increasing effects of erosion.  The Corps asked us to put together a research plan to recovere what we could from the village site before it was completely destroyed.