Category: Anthropologists in the News


Jamie Arjona accepts 2014 award from SHA President Paul Mullins.

Jamie Arjona accepts 2014 award from SHA President Paul Mullins.

Congratulations to Anthropology department alumna Annelise Morris in receiving the first-place award for the Society for Historical Archaeology‘s Diversity Field School Award, and to graduate students Jamie Arjona and Tatiana Niculescu for the second-place award. These awards recognized their excellent work as collaborative archaeology project managers and their successes through research designs and public participation in enhancing the diversity of our field of science. The SHA congratulates them for excellence in “making the field of historical archaeology more inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and socio-economic background” and showing “a commitment to increasing diversity in the field.” Annelise’s field school focused on her dissertation site at Lawrenceville, Illinois, and Jamie and Tatiana’s contribution focused on the 2013 field school at the Pottersville site in Edgefield, South Carolina.

Jamie Arjona and Steve Szynal of UIUC excavate at Pottersville

Jamie Arjona and Steve Szynal of UIUC excavate at Pottersville

Unearthing the Past: Edgefield Pottery Excavations Reveal New, Surprising Information

June 30, 2012, by DeDe Biles, Aiken Standard News

Archaeological excavations are uncovering new and surprising information about the potteries that thrived in Aiken and Edgefield counties in the first half of the 1800s.

“There is a sparse documentary record of this area that is maddening, and what we’ve found has been a complete revelation,” said Dr. Christopher Fennell, an associate professor and the associate head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Fennell and a team of graduate and undergraduate students, along with some volunteers, have been working at Pottersville, a site not far from downtown Edgefield, since just after Memorial Day. They are scheduled to wrap up this year’s efforts on Friday. Their focus in 2013 has been to add to the knowledge gained during a series of digs at the same location in 2011.

Before then, much of what was known about local potteries in the past suggested that a groundhog kiln about 25 to 30 feet in length and 9 to 10 feet wide would be found at Pottersville. Instead, the researchers discovered a kiln that was more than 105 feet long and had a sloping floor similar to the dragon kilns used in China.

“It gave us quite a new view of Edgefield,” Fennell said. “There had been a working historical theory before then that this had started out as smaller scale crafts industry. But what was found was a much bigger industrial-scale pottery.”

Read the full article online.

gottlieb_grahamMay 7, 2013 event, 7pm, at Common Good Books. “Anthropology and narrative nonfiction come together in a fascinating look at life in West Africa. In a compelling mix of braidedworldsliterary narrative and ethnography, anthropologist Alma Gottlieb and writer Philip Graham continue the long journey of cultural engagement with the Beng people of Côte d’Ivoire that they first recounted in their award-winning memoir Parallel Worlds. Their commitment over the span of several decades has lent them a rare insight. Weaving their own stories with those of the villagers of Asagbé and Kosangbé, Gottlieb and Graham take turns recounting a host of unexpected dramas with these West African villages, prompting serious questions about the fraught nature of cultural contact.” Read the full event announcement online at Common Good Books.

Prof. Kathryn ClancyFrom Science magazine online, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science — “Fieldwork is a rite of passage for anthropologists. It gives the initiate firsthand knowledge of a culture, along with a feeling of camaraderie with colleagues, often in remote and rugged locations. But for women there is also a dark side — a risk of sexual harassment and rape, according to a survey of fieldwork experiences released today. Anthropologist Kathryn Clancy, who authored the study, found a disturbingly high incidence of physical sexual harassment among respondents: More than 20% of female bioanthropologists who took part said that they had experienced ‘physical sexual harassment or unwanted sexual contact.’ Most of these victims are female, and most of the perpetrators were colleagues of superior professional status, sometimes the victim’s own fieldwork mentor.” Read the full article online (by John Bohannon, Science, April 13, 2013), and another article by the UIUC News Bureau, both with links to Prof. Clancy’s Context and Variation blog for Scientific American.

Dr. Stanley HylandDr. Stanley Hyland will visit with us on Thursday, March 28, as a speaker in our 2012-2013 Colloquium on Engaged and Applied Anthropology. These colloquium events feature an afternoon keynote presentation to the Department and also small-group discussions among our graduate students and Dr. Hyland over lunch and dinner.

Thursday, March 28, 3:00pm, 109A Davenport Hall, Examining the Impact of Three Anthropological Figures in the Reformulation of Anthropology for the 21st Century: Developing New Approaches to Poverty Policy and Social Justice in Memphis and the Mid-South Regionkeynote presentation by Prof. Hyland.

Dr. Hyland is Professor and Head of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy and a member of the Department of Anthropology faculty at the University of Memphis. He received his PhD in 1977 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and joined the faculty at the University of Memphis in 1976. Dr. Hyland has over 25 years of experience as an applied and urban anthropologist. He has focused his research on community building, particularly in its relation to grassroots economic activities. On a local level, his anthropological studies have included housing, neighborhood revitalization, new urbanism, evaluation, philanthropy, voluntary associations, and policy. On a national level, during 1989-1990, Dr. Hyland served as director of research for the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission, a federal commission to develop a strategic plan for economic development of the Delta for the year 2000. In addition to his research in community development, he has published numerous articles and monographs regarding neighborhood revitalization and public policy and has served on both local and national community-based advisory boards. Dr. Hyland received the 2012 Solon T. Kimball Award by the American Anthropological Association in recognition of his outstanding work in engaged and applied anthropology.

Marshall SahlinsMarshall Sahlins Resigns from the National Academy of Sciences

Inside Higher Ed

A Protest Resignation
February 25, 2013 – 3:00am

The eminent University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences on Friday, citing his objections to its military partnerships and to its electing as a member Napoleon Chagnon, a long-controversial anthropologist who is back in the news thanks to the publication of his new book, Noble Savages.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/25/prominent-anthropologist-resigns-protest-national-academy-sciences#ixzz2MWKzx05K

Paul StollerAnthropologist Paul Stoller Weighs in on the New Napoleon Chagnon Book

Read Paul Stoller’s thoughts on the controversy in his new Huffington Post piece here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stoller/the-real-news-of-anthropo_b_2744551.html

Godesses-small2013-Conference-HeaderCultural Anthropologist and Emeritus Professor David Plath has been selected to receive the 2013 Association for Asian Studies award for Distinguished Contributions to Asian Studies. The presentation will be made at the annual AAS meeting in San Diego, March 21-24, 2013. The AAS web site states that the award “is intended to honor both outstanding scholarship and service to the field. It is the highest honor the AAS can bestow.”

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist

New York Times

By 
Published: February 13, 2013

. . . Among the hazards Napoleon Chagnon encountered in the Venezuelan jungle were a jaguar that would have mauled him had it not become confused by his mosquito net and a 15-foot anaconda that lunged from a stream over which he bent to drink. There were also hairy black spiders, rats that clambered up and down his hammock ropes and a trio of Yanomami tribesmen who tried to smash his skull with an ax while he slept. (The men abandoned their plan when they realized that Chagnon, a light sleeper, kept a loaded shotgun within arm’s reach.) These are impressive adversaries — “Indiana Jones had nothing on me,” is how Chagnon puts it — but by far his most tenacious foes have been members of his own profession. . . He spent much of the past decade working on a memoir instead, “Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists” . . .

Read the rest of the article here!  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/magazine/napoleon-chagnon-americas-most-controversial-anthropologist.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&emc=eta1N Chagnon

RipanMalhi2Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics (SING) Workshop at Institute for Genomic Biology

The Institute for Genomic Biology will once again be hosting the Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics (SING) Workshop. The workshop will take place from August 4-10, 2013, at the IGB to discuss genomics as a tool for Native American communities and assist in the training of Native Americans in the concepts and methods currently used in genomics.

The aims of the workshop are to facilitate discussions on indigenous values and whether scientific methods can be beneficially incorporated with these values, and to provide awareness of how genomics is currently used as a tool to assist in projects focused on natural resources, history and biomedicine. Additional instruction in fundamental concepts and methods in genomics and bioinformatics, including both theoretical aspects and practical laboratory- and computer-based training, will take place.

“The SING workshop fosters a new generation of intellectual leaders with the tools to address the expanding frontiers of genomic science and interactions with indigenous communities,” says Ripan Malhi, Director of the SING program.

Combining ethical, legal, and social discussions surrounding historical Native American encounters with science and hands-on training in the latest genomics techniques and analytical programs, the goal of the workshop is to help prepare participants for future leadership positions in science research and teaching careers.

The SING workshop was first held at the IGB in 2011, with 12 attendees and several faculty advisors participating from universities across North America. The upcoming workshop looks to double the number of participants.

Tallbear“The SING workshop is an important resource for Native American students who often engage genomics out of a commitment to their tribal communities. SING offers a multi-disciplinary curriculum that recognizes that ‘science’ and ‘society’ are not separate, but entangled,” says Kim TallBear, SING faculty and assistant professor at UC Berkeley.

The workshop is open to tribal college students, community college students, university undergraduate students and graduate students, and individuals who would like to continue their education in the sciences. Registration is now open, and full details can be found at http://conferences.igb.illinois.edu/sing/.

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