NEH Funds Research on Collaboration of Indigenous, Western Medicine Ways

Clifford E. Trafzer

Clifford E. Trafzer

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Clifford E. Trafzer, distinguished professor of history and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, a $50,400 grant to finish research and complete a book manuscript about this collaboration between 29 tribes in Southern California and public nurses to eradicate diseases in the 20th century.

Although some authors have written about Indian medicine in Southern California, no scholar has conducted historical medical research that integrates tribal and white cultures in the region in the 20th century, Trafzer said.

The one-year project, “Indigenous and Western Medicine Ways Among Southern California Indians, 1900-1955,” will begin July 1, and will enable Trafzer to wrap up a decade of research on the role of white public health nurses in particular in helping tribes eradicate infectious diseases in the 1930s and 1940s.

The grant will enable Trafzer to complete oral interviews and analyze thousands of pages of birth and death records needed to complete his book, which has its working title “Changing Medicine: Intersection of Native American and Western Medicine Ways in Southern California, 1900-1955.”

Read more here.

Future of Small Farms Examined

Steven Helfand

Steven Helfand

UCR economist Steven M. Helfand is part of an international team that examines how productivity growth in agriculture has differed for small and large farms on five continents. Their findings may help policymakers around the world determine how best to support smaller farms that may have higher land productivity but lack the resources to be competitive in the marketplace.

Helfand has been awarded a $100,000 grant under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to analyze farm productivity in Brazil. Other researchers – from the University of Connecticut, USDA’s Economic Research Service, the World Bank, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Australia’s Bureau of Agricultural Economics – will examine conditions in the U.S., Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Australia and Ukraine.

In the first phase of the two-year project, researchers will analyze farm productivity data in 10 countries by measuring total factor productivity (TFP) rather than land productivity. The second phase will examine agriculture policies that enable productivity to grow.

Read more about the project here.

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