Category: UIUC Alumnae/i Updates

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.

Dr. Woodrow ClarkWoodrow (“Woody”) Clark has been very busy employing the skills from his UIUC anthropology masters degree, along with his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and other advanced degrees, as an advocate for the environment, renewable energy, and sustainable communities.

Dr. Clark was one of the contributing scientists to the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which as an organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2007. In 2004, he founded, and now manages, Clark Strategic Partners (CSP), an environmental and renewable energy consulting firm using his political and economic expertise in order to guide, advice and implements public and private clients worldwide – specifically on sustainable smart green communities of all kinds ranging from colleges and universities to shopping malls, office buildings and film studios.

Woodrow Clark Book CoverDr. Clarks’ five books and numerous peer-reviewed articles reflect that concern for global sustainable communities. His last book is Global Energy Innovations (Praeger Press, November 2011), which addresses the “green industrial revolution.” He explains his work as being the solutions to climate change through public policy, science and technologies, economics and finance. He also teaches graduate courses in these areas throughout the USA and internationally. Currently, Woody also serves as Academic Specialist, UCLA Provost Office and Cross-Disciplinary Scholars in Science and Technology.

Please visit the CSP website to learn more about these excellent initiatives in sustainability.


Our PhD alumni Alison Goebel and Kok (Chris) Tan have been praised for authoring dissertations in the top 40 ranking by the Anthroworks web site. Congratulations to Alison and Chris!

Here are their dissertation titles and abstracts —

Small City Neighbors: Race, Space, and Class in Mansfield, Ohio, by Alison Goebel. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Advisors: Alejandro Lugo, Brenda Farnell, Ellen Moodie, David R. Roediger. This dissertation investigates social relations in a small deindustrializing city in the United States to analyze the specificities of class, “race relations,” and small city “cityness.” I conducted ethnographic research in Mansfield, Ohio, a multiracial, class-stratified city of about 50,000 residents. My work contributes to studies of whiteness and U.S. race relations by examining how whiteness hierarchically structures social relationships among neighbors. In analyzing how middle class white dominance responds to pressures that seek to undermine its privileges, my dissertation offers a small city view of U.S. race relations. My findings capture particularities of the field site as well as the consequences of global neoliberal capitalism and white racial privilege common throughout the United States.

Stand up for Singapore? Gay Men and the Cultural Politics of National Belonging in the Lion City, by Kok Tan. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Advisors: Martin Manalansan IV, F. K. Lehman, Janet D. Keller, Alejandro Lugo. This dissertation examines how Chinese-Singaporean gay men articulate their aspirations for national belonging within a recalcitrant state and its nation-building programs. These men expose the artificiality of the nation and its categories of belonging. Even as the state compels them to submit to its call for economic and biological (re)productivity, it also chastises them for their allegedly excessive individualism. In everyday life, they navigate a social landscape structured by the very real practices of an authoritarian state that criminalizes their sexuality. I argue that the illiberal state achieves its political legitimacy by convincing citizens that only it can secure Singapore’s continuous economic growth.

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Jon Zilberg (Ph.D., 1996) has a new position as an Affiliate Research Scholar in the Graduate School of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (in Jakarta, Indonesia). Jon will lecture, run research and writing workshops, work with graduate students and faculty conducting research on Islam, promote academic research in museums (including continuing his prior work with the Museum Istiqlal, which is effectively the National Islamic Museum), assist in grant writing with the campus Center for Advanced Studies, and build links with foreign institutions.  He will also assist in editing university publications, as the University publishes two journals (with a third underway), and all theses produced by students at the university are published as a book and online (in Indonesian). More broadly, Jon’s intellectual mandate will be to conduct and promote long-term ethnographic research on the issue of religious pluralism and the crisis of liberalism in Indonesia. Jon joins another UIUC Dept. of Anth. alum, Moeslim Abdurrahman (Ph.D., 2000), who is also on the faculty at the university.

Jon also has another new position, teaching English in the International Baccalaureate program in Grades 6 and 7 in Jakarta. Of this position, Jon writes: “I am excited for the opportunity to put into practice interdisciplinary teaching towards the next generation of Indonesian scholars.” If you’d like to get in touch with Jon about any of these projects, his e-mail address is:


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