Many communities across the globe are threatened by food shortages and variability because of physical constraints and natural opportunities such as presence of fertile soil, good weather, and access to the sea and mountain ranges. Although populations are struggling, there are many cases where communities do have access to these resources, but have lost a sense of connection to the space they inhabit. The following thesis analyzes the agroecology and local food system of a specific area in Southern Mexico. I research the role of cultural colonialism in the evolution of Pre-Columbian food ways and how communities can return to and promote new, more sustainable agricultural methods through culinary tourism.
From its earliest stages, the rhetoric of India’s HIV/AIDS discourse has maintained an explicit focus on transmission through contact with high-risk groups (i.e. migrant workers, sex workers, homosexuals, and intravenous drug users). India's intense focus on high-risk groups, and primary focus on the commercial sex work industry in HIV/AIDS research and prevention strategies exhibits critical voids in the academic literature, scholarship, and discourse surrounding the subject. Over the course of this research study I spent several months interviewing sex workers in Pune, India to gain a better understanding of the circumstances and social factors that contribute to women's involvement and participation in sex work and the sex work industry. Using my interviews, experiences in the red light district, and academic research on India's HIV/AIDS discourse I have attempted to highlight the uncritical use of the term “high-risk” in the rhetoric of India's HIV/AIDS discourse and to bring attention to the underlying social factors that create, maintain, and perpetuate entry into the sex work industry in India. The central focus of this research study is to displace female sex workers as the “vectors”, in epidemiological terms, of HIV/AIDS (Kadiyala and Barnett 2004: 1888) and highlight India’s patriarchal social structures that result in gender inequality and economic vulnerability for women as the social forces that lead women to participate in the commercial sex work industry, and hence to participate in high-risk behaviors and a high-risk industry that is significant in the spread of HIV/AIDS in India.
The following research concerning Chicana/o identity formation and self-representation was conducted at The Colorado College throughout November and December of 2011, and January and February of 2012. Not only are established theories on identity and culture utilized but research case studies and other ethnographies on the subject of Chicana/o language and culture are also examined in the following project. Along with this review of existing frameworks I examine Chicana/o culture and language through the analysis of various works of Chicana/o literature. Using these assorted resources, I show how Chicana/o language, culture, and history give structure to the identities of Mexican-Americans living in the United States. Research on this specific topic is important because immigration from Mexico is on the forefront of the political arena in the United States. The prevalence of Mexican-Americans living in the United States is encouraging important changes in economic and institutional policies. In order to make these changes, there must be knowledge of the Chicana/o language, culture, and history. How these concepts shape the identities of Mexican Americans is integral in understanding the specific policies that have been, and will continue to affect Chicanas/os all over the United States. My research will help bring this information into the public and academic spheres as well as demonstrate the roles that language, culture, and history play in shaping identity and creating a representation of oneself.
In humans, a species-wide right hand bias is well documented but hand preference is not as well understood in other primate species. Although many studies have examined handedness within individual primate populations, few have compared the levels of handedness between species. This study explores whether there is a spectrum of handedness in primate species; a spectrum that mirrors the neural development of symbolic language comprehension. Similar to Peter MacNeilage’s (1987) “postural origins” theory, this study investigates the hypothesis that handedness developed alongside neurological capabilities. As the left side of the brain grew to accommodate the neurons needed for speech, the right side of the body became dominant. I hypothesize that the degree of right handedness will increase in species that rely heavily on kinship and communication for survival. For this reason, it was hypothesized that gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and ring-tail lemurs (Lemur catta) should show a higher degree of handedness than siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus), whose brains are more specialized for locomotion. This hypothesis was not fully supported and reasons underlying the unexpected results are explored. Data were collected on captive gorillas and siamangs at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Wild ring-tail lemurs were observed over a period of 1.5 months at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar. All of these populations were observed for hand preference using continuous focal sampling. Population-wide handedness trends were found. Gorillas demonstrated the most pronounced right handed bias using their right hand for 55.6% of hand usages. Siamangs did not show a handedness bias and used both of their hands for 38.6% of actions. The wild ring-tailed lemur population showed a left hand biases, using their left hand for 39.1% of actions. The implications and reasons behind handedness theories are discussed.