Inside this Issue - University of Michigan

Inside this Issue - University of Michigan

Inside this IssueAnthropology NewsletterLetter from theChair..................... 2Faculty Spotlight...... 3Marshall Sahlins........ 5Faculty Retirements.. 6UndergraduateStudents in Cuba...... 7Undergraduate StudentSpotlights............... 9New UndergraduateAdvisor................. 14Graduate StudentActivities.............. 15Graduate Students inthe Field............... 17Faculty Awards andPublications........... 21Upcoming Events..... 23Connect with theDepartment........... 24Donate................. 25Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Michigan101 West Hall1085 S UniversityAnn Arbor, MI 2011

Letter From the ChairThis is one of my favorite times of theyear at Michigan. The busy study halls in thelibrary and here in the department have alighter feel to them. Winter break is comingand everybody is looking forward to thewell-earned chance to rest up for the last halfof the semester. It’s that Michigan rhythm:Reading and learning from some of the bestfaculty in the world, but always that chanceto balance things with the play and rest thatputs it all in perspective.You may already know that theNational Research Council review ofuniversity programs came out last fall. I’mpleased to report that our Department ofAnthropology was ranked again in the topthree departments in the country -- whichis as good as saying in the world! MichiganAnthropology is tied for number one alongwith Harvard and Chicago. If we’re known bythe company we keep, then this isn’t a badgroup of friends.But we’re there for more thanresearch. The University has always beenknown as a place where undergraduateeducation and field-changing research gohand in hand. Our students continue to getthe best from the best. You remember them,people like Ruth Behar, Gillian Feeley-Harnik,John Mitani, Holly Peters-Golden, JenniferRobertson, Andrew Shryock, John Speth,and Milford Wolpoff -- all of them celebratedundergraduate professors. You can fill in yourown favorites.Here, we highlight the work our newfaculty member, Jason De León. Jason isa celebrated undergraduate professor andresearcher into the dilemmas of cross-borderlife in the American Southwest. He is also amedia celebrity. You’ll be able to join him inhis co-hosted weekly show on the DiscoveryChannel: American Treasures. The showairs on Tuesdays at 10PM (Eastern & PacificTime). Take a moment and renew your tasteof Michigan forthose half hourbroadcasts!Finally, Iwant to announcea major gift thispast year fromthe Robert H.Thompson Estate.Significant byitself, we are using it as the foundation fora new fellowship program in honor of allAnthropology Alumni and have thereforeestablished the “Michigan AnthropologyAlumni Fellowship for Excellence inUndergraduate Education” to be usedfor support of graduate students whohave demonstrated their commitmentto undergraduate education throughteaching. In keeping with tradition,this award will encourage that union ofscholarship and teaching that has beenour mark.All the gifts we receive fromour alumni are what keep us strong.We ask your help in continuing thetradition. As always, we are grateful toyou for all you do. Your contributionswhen you were students were inkeeping us versatile and reminding usthat anthropology is relevant in thisworld. Your continuing gifts help usto pass that on to a new generation.Please consider us again in your giftplans. You can designate your giftfor the new “Michigan AnthropologyAlumni Fellowship for Excellence inUndergraduate Education” or for thegeneral uses of the department if youprefer. We assure you that whateveryou give, we are grateful. And in allcases, your support will go to enhancingthe education experience in MichiganAnthropology.Michigan Anthropology Winter 20112

Faculty Spotlight: Jason De LeónJason De León is a new assistantprofessor in the Departmentof Anthropology. His researchinterests include political economy,migration, archaeology of thecontemporary, and material culture.Currently, he is directing theUndocumented Migration Project(UMP), a long-term analysis of clandestine bordercrossing that employs a combination of archaeologyand ethnography to understand this phenomenon ina variety of geographic contexts. His research areasinclude the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona,Northern Mexican border towns such as Nogales,and the southern Mexico/Guatemala border. Thelong-term goals of the UMP include: 1) developinga better understanding of the complex processof undocumented Latin American migration; 2)examining and elucidating the political economicstructure of human smuggling both across Mexicoand into the United States; 3) documenting theexperiences of under-studied sub-populations ofmigrants including women, children, members ofthe LGBTQ community, and Non-Mexican Nationals;4) developing new ethnographic and archaeologicalmethods to better understand crossing experiences.This NSF sponsored research project has beenrecently featured on National Public Radio and inArchaeology Magazine.Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan, Jasonwas at the University of Washington in Seattle wherehe taught a wide range of courses in archaeologyand cultural anthropology. As a former touringmusician (and punk rocker) Jason tries to bringto the classroom the same type of intensity,emotion, humor, and creativity as the rock androll shows he has been playing for over fifteenyears. He describes his teaching style as amixture of performance art, popular culturereferences, and social commentary packagedwithin the frameworks of anthropologicalmethod and theory. One of his favoritecourses to teach is his “anthropology of rockand roll.” This course uses the lens of popularmusic—everything from punk rock to countryto hip hop—to give students an in-depthexposure to some of the most serious issuesstudied by socio-cultural anthropologistsincluding racism, class conflict, homophobia,sexual violence, and drug abuse. In the fall of2011, Jason will be teaching Anthropology 101and he anticipates incorporating Americanamusic and culture into this course curriculum.While at Michigan, Jason plans to continuehis research on immigration and borderissues and he also hopes to begin workingwith local Latino communities. In addition,he plans to develop several new courses onmigration and he hopes to teach a summerfield school in Arizona that trains students inethnoarchaeological and(Continued on next page)Michigan Anthropology Winter 20113

Jason De León(Continued from previous page)ethnographic field methods. While onteaching leave this year, Jason has beenin the field and he has also been busyfilming a full season of educationalshows about American culture andarchaeology for the Discovery Channelthat is set to air sometime in the springof 2011.Jason is an army brat whospent his early childhood growing upon military bases across the U.S. andaround the world. His parents finallysettled in Long Beach, California whenhe was twelve years old. He earnedhis B.A. in anthropology from UCLA(2001) where he received his firstarchaeological lab and field trainingfrom two former Michigan students,Jeanne Arnold and Richard Lesure.Jason earned his Ph.D. from Penn StateUniversity (2008) where he wrote hisdissertation on lithic technology andpolitical economy among the ancientOlmec of lowland, Veracruz, Mexico. Asan anthropologist, Jason has conductedarchaeological and ethnographicresearch in Mexico (including thestates of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tlaxacala,Guerrero, and Jalisco), Panama, andthe United States.Jason is married to Abigail(Abby) Bigham, a biologicalanthropologist who will be joining thedepartment of anthropology in thefall of 2011. Jason and Abby are theproud parents of a red-coated beaglenamed Wilhelmina (Willy) Nelson whois looking forward to living in Ann Arborand playfully chasing squirrels acrosscampus.(Above: Jason De León with hiswife, Abigail Bigham, in MexicoCity)Interested in archaeology atMichigan? Please visit theUniversity of Michigan Museumof Archaeology (UMMA)newsletter by clicking here!Michigan Anthropology Winter 20114

On November 5th, 2010, the Department of Anthropologywelcomed Marshall Sahlins, Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus,University of Chicago, to speak on the topic “What Kinship Is.” It’s a big question, andone that is of interest to anthropologists from all subfields, students and colleaguesfrom other disciplines, as well as the curious public. Two hundred people squeezedinto 411 West Hall, a beautiful seminar room being rennovated by LSA. We couldn’thave chosen a more auspicious inaugural event. It was by far the largest gatheringfor a department lecture in recent memory.With humor, wit, and the benefit of years of accumulated knowledge,Professor Sahlins presented “a modest proposal for solving the 150 year oldproblem of what kinship is: the specific quality that covers its constitution byprocreation or social construction and explains the mysterious effectivenessof relationality- how it is that relatives live each other’s lives and die eachother’s deaths. Involving such transpersonal relations of being andexperience, kinship takes its place in the same ontological regime asmagic, gift exchange, sorcery, and witchcraft.” Well-received by all inattendance, his presentation and the stimulating conversations itsparked will be remembered for a long timeProfessor Sahlins is one of the most prominent graduatesof our Department. He earned his undergraduate degree inAnthropology as well as a Master’s degree before returningto join our faculty between 1957 and 1973. In 2001, he wasawarded an honorary degree from the University of Michigan.He is an avid Michigan football fan, and it could be said thatthe football team thanked him for his visit with a heartpounding,67-65 triple-overtime victory against Illinois thenext day. Even if that’s not the true story, we’ll rememberit that way. Professor Sahlins was in attendance, ofcourse.Marshall Sahlins and 200 FriendsCelebrate KinshipMichigan Anthropology Winter 20115

Faculty RetirementsIn more bittersweet news, we would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the service of three members of ourcommunity who retire this year:Janet Hart, associate professor of Anthropology, retired on May 31st, 2010.Professor Hart received her B.A degree from Swarthmore College, Departmentof Sociology and Anthropology in 1974 and her Ph.D. from Cornell University,Government Department, Comparative Politics in 1991. She joined the Universityof Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in sociology and women’s studiesin 1988. Professor Hart’s research focused on cross-generational “fieldwork inthe family” among several extended families, using participant observation,family gatherings, individual meetings, oral histories, study of lexiconic andlanguage ideological habits, living quarters and bought or collected objects,and also political prisons and prisoners, focusing in both population on issues ofnationalisms and transnationalisms.Thomas Trautmann, professor of History and professor of Anthropology,retired on December 31st, 2010. Professor Trautmann received his from Beloit College in 1962, and his Ph.D. in history from theUniversity of London in 1968. He joined the University of Michiganfaculty as an assistant professor in 1968. A historian of ancient India, healso contributed to the historiography of colonial India and the historyof anthropology and of kinship, and his work revising the authorshipof a canonical Sanskrit text, the Arthashastra, created a foundationfor further study of Dravidian kinship. His more recent studies ofBritish Orientalism in India have had great impact on the history ofanthropology as a discipline.Norman Yoffee, professor of Near Eastern Studies, professor ofAnthropology, and curator of the Museum of Anthropology, retired onDecember 31st, 2010. Professor Yoffee received his B.A. degree fromNorthwestern University in 1966, and his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studiesfrom Yale University in 1973. He joined the faculty of the Universityof Michigan as a professor in 1993. His work has covered the rise anddecline of early civilizations, centering on the ancient Babyloniancity of Kish. Most recently he has co-edited (with Patricia McAnany)Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability,and the Aftermath of Empire, which discusses how susceptible aresocieties, including ours, to collapse. There was a session in his honor atthe New Orleans meetings of the American Anthropological Association inNovember, 2010.Michigan Anthropology Winter 20116

Undergraduatesin CubaRuth BeharFor the past two years, Professor RuthBehar has taken teaching beyondthe classroom by guiding a group ofundergraduate students to Cuba. They earnacademic credit while experiencing theculture, politics, and landscape first-hand inone of the most innovative and memorableexperiences our department has to offer.Over the course of the trip, students areencouraged to contribute to a group blog,and we’re proud to highlight one student’sexperience here.Jozi Zwerdling was a senior AmericanCulture concentrator when she travelled toCuba with Professor Behar last year. Hereare some of her reflections.For more entries by Jozi and herclassmates, please check out:’s Post: Start HereI am good company for myself thesedaysfull of fantasies and desiresbut not lonelyfacetingling redthese walls are glaring yellow-It’s almost like sunshine and I’mstarting to wishfor the smell ofHavana.I wrote this a few days ago, froma small bedroom in my friend’shouse. I’m visiting her in Toronto.It’s hard to talk about Cuba withmost people right now. Eventhough I took the class (Cuba andIts Diaspora) with Ruth- eventhough she’s the one who builtthis program, even thoughshe’ll be arriving in two weeksifanything her class taughtme to pull apart my fantasiesand myths. To break down myideas of what Cuba means, howthey are attached to a collectiveAmerican imagination of socialismand its effects. To look critically at themultiplicity of cultures, politics, opinions,histories, experiences that the people wholive there and who have left there hold.(Continued on next page)7Michigan Anthropology Winter 20117

Undergraduatesin CubaVisit the blog to readstudents’ perspectives ontheir trip!’s Post: Continued(Continued from previous page)To know that Cuba is not singular, thatits people are not singular, just as it isimpossible to generalize about Americans.I cannot generalize anymore, not evenin my expectations. What I can expectfor sure is beautiful weather, an oceanand sunshine that I’m sure I will growattached to, a melange of neighborhoodsand accents and communities that I willrespect, that will teach me about myself,this white-American-Jewish- 21 year oldqueergirl-woman, as all of these identities,as outside all of these identities, as insidethem, all the time, every day; That willteach me more about how to work insidecommunities I am not from, even though Ican never be fully inside them.So here I am, listening to Cubanmusic on a mix CD that somefriends made me, trying tounderstand what it means thatI am going to be in Havanatomorrow. I’ve been doing alot of observing and reflectingin Toronto. Thinking aboutwhiteness and community andfamily and career choices andwealth and purpose. Purposeinside myself, purpose outsidemyself.All these insides and outsides.Finding where they link up, that’swhat I’m all about right now.Lost boy in a landWhere the people grow up andthe buildings fall down.Despite the murals “Venceremos!”La lucha.But that one little boy holds a tornblack nylon on a stringAnd the wind tells him it’s a kite.Michigan Anthropology Winter 20118

Community in DetroitNick CaverlyI recently began my project, “Researchingthe Implications of Community in Post-Industrial Detroit.” At its inception, my goalwas to determine how Detroit residents definecommunity and how these conceptions ofcommunity are enacted through and interactwith non-profit organizations, neighborhoodgroups, government agencies, etc. My hopewas to show how even though the assumedpositive nature of community can be true in somecases, it can also be used and constructed in waysthat promote devious agendas. I accomplished this.However, over the course of four months of fieldwork andfifty-eight in-depth interviews, I arrived at a much largerand more complex research question.This question, upon which I will base myAnthropology honors thesis, investigates whypeople choose to live in the city of Detroit. Iwas led to this idea when every city resident Iinterviewed said they continued to live in thecity because of the feeling of community.As this research is ongoing, I don’t want tospeculate yet on what other reasons I will uncoverfor people’s attraction to the city. Detroit is notjust a post-industrial wasteland dotted with burnedouthouses and shells of former factories (though itcertainly has plenty of those, too). Instead, it is a place thatexists in contrast with itself- where hipster hangouts sit nextto soul food joints and vibrant neighborhoods juxtaposeblocks of open fields.This project would never have happened were it notfor the generous support of the Anthropology Departmentand its donors. The fieldwork I was able to accomplish hasprovided me with invaluable experience that I will use inwriting my honors thesis and in the future when I hope topursue a graduate degree in Anthropology.Michigan Anthropology Winter 20119

A Closer Look - Nick Caverlyin DetroitWe liked Nick’s project so much that weasked him a few more questions about it.Here is what he said!What was your initial research question and how did it change?I’d actually been thinking about this topic for two years. At first, I wanted to explore what makespeople feel like they’re part of a community and the normative processes that contribute to it.Detroit seemed like the ideal place to conduct research because there are so many communitybasedorganizations here.But my current question actually evolved out of my research. I noticed that when I asked peoplewhy they lived in a certain place, they frequently talked about the materials used to build theirhouses, like dry wall and plaster, rather than the city itself. I also noticed that everyone sharesdriveways. Garages are built facing each other, so neighbors are constantly interacting in theirdriveways. All this struck me as unusual, and I thought there must be something to it.So now, my question is how people identify with their built environment – like architecture andspatial features – when making an anti-suburban identity, and how thinking about space createscommunity and identity. Everyone I interviewed constructed an identity of Detroit vs. the world,the city vs. the suburbs.How did you study this question?I was pretty set on this question, but the department’s funding was key because itallowed me to live in Detroit, which was hugely important to my research. Commutingfrom my apartment in Ann Arbor wouldn’t have worked – people who live in the city don’thave that commuting kind of mindset. I would’ve been more of an outsider and missedout on a lot. I had some contacts with people involved in community-based projects,so I started by interviewing them, and it grew from there. The people I lived with weremy “key informants” through most of my research – they seemed to know everyone.Basically, I just talked with tons and tons and tons of people.What was the most interesting thing thathappened during your research?I didn’t expect to fall in love with Detroit as a place. I didn’t think Iwould have the anthropological experience of going somewhereand feeling out-of-place when I came back to Ann Arbor. I left to visitToronto once, and it was almost overwhelming - I was like, why are allthese people around? That was very surprising to me, since I normallylike crowded cities, but Detroit is emptier than most and I got so usedto the environment that leaving it felt strange.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201110

UndergraduateSpotlight: Erin GagerThis summer, I was able to travel to Ghana aspart of a research team thanks to the generous fundingprovided by the Muriel & David Derrow and RichardGoodman Fund. I am interested in issues of health, andhow anthropology can contribute to the improvementof global health through public health initiatives. Ourproject fit this multi-faceted approach, involving issuesof public health, environment and anthropology.As a part of this research team, I conductedinterviews and collected samples from a remotesmall-scale mining settlement in northern Ghana. Theinterviews explored questions of household structure,sources of water and fish, diet and nutrition, andmaternal and child health. Surveys also touched onhealth issues such as availability of potable drinkingwater and access to prenatal care. This informationwill be used to discover more about the healthand environmental effects of mercury on the localpopulation and habitat. Data analysis will addressquestions such as levels of mercury in the community,sources of mercury, amount of mercury consumedthrough fish, and notable health effects among thecommunity, with a special focus on women andchildren.I will use the information from this researchin my senior honors thesis, which focuses on howchanges in food distribution systems I observed inthis community relate to the larger processes ofglobalization. We were not only able to research, butalso to engage the community in safety and healthoutreach by providing needed equipment, such asmercury and dust masks and mosquito nets.I am currently working on assembling acookbook of Ghanaian recipes I collected while inthe field to be sold in the US to raise funds for morenecessary safety equipment. This was a powerfulexperience for me, and I will certainly use the skills andknowledge I gained in my future pursuit of public healthand anthropology.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201111

Undergraduate spotlightGeorgia EnnisGeorgia Ennis in Quito, Ecuador.My current research project is a sociolinguistic study of thepronoun vos in Ecuadorian Spanish. In Ecuadorian Spanish, vosis used in conjunction with the pronouns tú and usted. However,in Ecuador vos is not a dominant form and its use is confined forthe most part to the highland region. One of the main goals of myresearch is to investigate in what situations and with whom vos maybe used to address a conversational partner. I am also investigatingits place within Ecuadorian language ideology, as well as the socialmarkers assigned to its use. To answer these questions, I spent sevenweeks this summer in Quito, Ecuador.I had initially thought that the use of vos is largely confined- or believed to be confined - to rural areas and indigenouscommunities, which can create linguistic tensions when ruralspeakers migrate into urban areas such as Quito. Although manyof my initial thoughts and research questions were confirmed bymy time in Quito, I also came to realize that voseo is a much morecomplex linguistic and social practice than I had originally thought.Personally, one of the greatest outcomes of this opportunityto conduct fieldwork was to show me how much I love this workand the experience of being in the field. Although it can be verychallenging, I don’t think I have ever been happier than when I wasconducting interviews. The people I met and the things they sharedwith me have been invaluable in helping me to understand the manydifferent ways my informants see their social landscape.Michigan Anthropology Winter Fall 2010 201112

Undergraduate SpotlightGabii Project: Cynthia KazanisThis summer, I was accepted as a volunteeron the Gabii Project, an excavation of a pre-Romanarchaeological site located several kilometers Eastof Rome, near Frascati, Italy. It was an invaluableexperience for me and contained many firsts. Iexcavated my first human burial, helped preparesome of the faunal remains for shipping to theUniversity of Michigan for further study, and wasoccasionally put in charge of a small group of myfellow students.The excavation this year was also a fantasticexperience because, previously, my excavationexperience was at a smaller excavation in BritishColumbia, where each student excavated theirown trench in 50cm x 50cm blocks. As part ofthe Gabii Project, I learned how to excavate on alarger scale, using a pickaxe and shovel. At first,this was disconcerting, given how detail-orientedexcavators are told to be, but it got the job doneand I was soon accustomed to this new technique.Another interesting part of this excavation wasthat each feature or layer was shot using anadvanced technique, so the records were uploadedand stored electronically, which was a far cry fromthe notebook I was given to use as a dig diary lastyear.Up until this summer, my experience withfaunal remains was all in the laboratory at theRuthven Museum. This experience gave me thechance to work with faunal remains in the field. Iwas called on to sort and identify materials froma previous excavation and help some of the firsttimeexcavators identify and decide whether thebones we encountered were human or animal. Ialso gained a passing familiarity with the legalrequirements of importing faunal remains into theUnited States, which will be helpful as I continueworking in my chosen field.Cynthia Kazanis at dig site in ItalyMichigan Anthropology Winter Fall 2010 201113

Undergraduate SpotlightThom Chivens, new undergraduate advisorNew Advisor!Thom Chivens“Afrah RazaI spent two months in Rawalpindi,Pakistan conducting ethnographicresearch on medical pluralism and therelationships between health providersin Pakistan. I explored why and howthe largely modern colonial projectof biomedicine had usurped powerand access over the ancient culturalpractice of Hikmat, or traditionalhealing. I observed the interactions andexchanges of biomedical physicians,homeopathic doctors, and traditionalhealers (Hakeems) with their patients.Using the data I collected this summer, Iwill pursue my questions in the form ofa senior honor’s thesis in Anthropology.This trip has fundamentally altered myunderstanding of alternative healing.I was surprised to find Hakeemoffices organized and operated in avery similar fashion to a biomedicaldoctor’s office ... I also found storiesof biomedical doctors consultinghakeems for treatment (and viceversa).”“I received my PhD in Anthropology from theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2004),and spent two years as an Andrew W. Mellonpostdoctoral fellow at Rice University before comingto the University of Michigan in 2006. My researchhas ranged from facilitating court ordered angermanagement classes in North Carolina, to participatingin programs to train police officers led by women’srights organizations in Poland. By following thecirculation and translation of disciplinary models, I findmyself considering questions about how post-socialistpolicing and human rights activism work to craft anddepict expertise about gender, violence, and domesticspace. During the past four years I have taughtIntroduction to Anthropology here at the Universityof Michigan, and I have been affiliated with the Centerfor Russian East European and Eurasian Studies. InSeptember, I began working as undergraduate advisorfor the Department of Anthropology.”Michigan Anthropology Winter 201114

Graduate NewsMAGA(Michigan Anthropology Graduate Association)Mentoring ProgramAnthro JamsAnthropology DiversityInitiativeStudents meet bimonthly to take abreak from reading and writing toplay some music together. Thesejam sessions bring together studentsfrom all disciplines, with a variety ofmusical talents- percussion, voice,guitar, harmonica, flute, etc. Studentsoften share music from their fieldworkregions or from areas where they havelived for several years - jammers singin many different languages!MAGA created a Mentoring program in January2010 for incoming graduate students. They havehosted a variety of events, from potlucks togrant-writing workshops, to bring together oldand new students and continue strengtheningthe graduate student community. Thesementors are assigned the summer beforeincoming students’ first year and buildlasting relationships with their mentees.The Anthropology DiversityInitiative has organized a readinggroup and a Faculty Mentor Seriesin which professors speak to thisgroup of graduate students abouttheir experiences and challenges inacademia. These informal sessionsare opportunities for students toseek advice and guidance from thefaculty both within and outside ofthe Anthropology Department. Thisterm, Ruth Behar is kicking off thementoring series.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201115

Is Boas Dead Yet?Following the success of last year’sinaugural four-field Anthropology GraduateConference, the Anthropology graduatestudents are pleased to announce “Is BoasDead? Old Roots, New Branches,” aninterdisciplinary conference at the Universityof Michigan on March 12, 2011. In their ownwords,“Franz Boas is well-known asthe father of the American school ofanthropology. His ‘four-field’ approach tothe study of human biological and culturaldiversity brought together contributionsfrom archaeology, biology, linguistics,and ethnography. In many ways, the birthof anthropology as we know it today wasinherently interdisciplinary.The inspiration for this conferencestems from this early spirit of collaboration.We aim to consider new directions andopportunities for anthropology today, bothfrom within and outside the discipline.Change and growth are characteristic ofhuman beings and the cultures in which theylive, and, as such, are crucial to our researchmethodology and pedagogy. How exactlydo conversations within the field change,and incorporate new viewpoints, both acrossthe subfields and beyond them? Has thisprocess already begun? Has it always beenhappening? Is it time to branch out beyondthe four-field approach, or simply bring morebranches within?The conference seeks to generatesubstantive conversations about the future ofour interdisciplinary discipline, and welcomesmethodological and theoretical approachesfrom anthropology itself and beyond.”Last year’s conference broughttogether anthropology students fromacross the country, with nearly ten differentuniversities represented.Graduate NewsInterested in the conference?Click here for moreinformation or emailBoasConference@umich.eduMichigan Anthropology Winter 201116

Graduates in the FieldStuart StrangeUsing the Margaret Wray Frenchtravel grant, I spent two months this pastsummer doing research in Suriname. Themajority of my time was spent in Wanicadistrict outside of Paramaribo where Ilived with an Indo-Surinamese familyin the predominantly Afro-Surinamesesquatter settlement of Sunny Point.While in Wanica, I spent my time trackingdown and interviewing shamans andtheir clienteles so as to build the solidcontacts I will need for my long termPh.D fieldwork.I was able to clarify the project’spotential and build a firm pragmatic andconceptual foundation for more criticallyunderstanding Surinamese society. Imade substantial connections with theAfro-Surinamese shamans and theirHindu and Muslim clients, allowing me tounderstand how different understandingsof fate and misfortune influence broaderinterethnic social interactions in multireligioussocieties.I also spent three weeks in theinterior in the Ndyuka village of GodoOlo. In Godo Olo, I spent my timeinterviewing people about notionsof morality, personhood, kinship andpolitics, while participating in the dailyroutines of the village, in hopes of betterunderstanding the transformationswrought by Ndyuka migration tocoastal Suriname. I recorded extensiveethnographic data and established thekinds of durable relationships necessaryfor successful future research.This is important work, andwould have been impossible withoutour donors’ firm commitment toAnthropological research.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201117

Graduates in the FieldAshley LemkePaleolithic Excavations in EuropeFrom May toAugust 2010, I partookin four archaeologicalexcavations and visited twoadditional archaeologicalsites. These archaeologicalsites are revolutionizingour understanding ofhuman evolution andmodern human culture.My participation in theseunique prehistoric researchprojects allowed me to gainpersonal experience witha large sample of artifactsand data only found inEurope.This projectbegan in Germany,where I participated in Upper Paleolithicarchaeological excavations at two localities.Both cave sites, modern humans occupiedthese areas 40,000 years ago and left stonetools and food remains, as well as a numberof the oldest mammoth ivory carved figurinesin the world. I then continued on to Spain towork on two projects. The first excavationhas produced the oldest known pre-modernhumans in Europe, around 800,000 years old,and the second was a Neanderthal living area.Lastly, I attended the annual InternationalCouncil of Zooarchaeology conference inParis, during which I visited two additionalarchaeological sites, both of which are 14,000years old and contemporaneous with myprevious research in the United States. Thus,throughout my time in Europe, I was exposedto the entire Paleolithic archaeologicalsequence, and its unique Europeanexpression.This project explored the socialand economic life of pre-modernhumans, the tool-making behavior ofNeanderthals, and the first appearanceof modern human culture, topics ofgreat anthropological significance. Iam interested in the peopling of theAmericas, but have only recently beenable to put my research questions inproper context and perspective byparticipating in these internationalexcavations. The colonization ofNorth and South American needsto be understood in terms of ourglobal human expansion, from Africa,through Europe, and then the restof the continents. My future goalsare to continue my internationalresearch in southwest Germany and tomaintain my personal and professionalcontact with international researchers,therefore incorporating archaeologicaltheory and method from Europe into myresearch in the Americas.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201118

Graduates in the FieldThis past summer I was ableto expand my research in NortheastArgentina due to generous departmentfunding from the Margaret Wray FrenchFund and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.My research concerns the problem of ruralexodus in the province of Misiones. I aminterested in how rural citizens manageto stay in the countryside, rather thanmigrating to cities where they are likelyto join the ranks of the urban poor whobattle alarming social violence and thestructural unemployment that stalkscontemporary Argentina.In two previous trips to Misiones,I documented a variety of problems thatcontribute to rural exodus: environmentaldegradation caused by unrestraineddeforestation, systemic corruption thatkeeps money from getting to hospitals andschools, and intense class and race-baseddiscrimination that marginalizes certainsections of the rural citizenry. This time, Ispent two months traveling deeper into thecountryside in order to reach those who livefurthest off the grid. In particular, I conductedmore ethnographic inquiry into the plightof the agricultural workers called tareferoswho work hand-harvesting yerba mate, thegreen tea which is the most widely consumedbeverage in Argentina. These workersface both intense stigma and exploitation;they are the poorest of the poor and manyare landless. They often fall victim to theunscrupulous practices of the middlemenwho manage them; this means that they arecheated out of their wages, not protectedfrom workplace injury, and are exposed toagrochemicals without protection.Through open-ended interviews andJennifer Bowlesparticipant observation, I learned about thedilemmas tareferos face as I accompaniedthem during harvests and spent time inworkers’ homes. I learned more about theireveryday culture and the impressive ways inwhich they resist exploitation and constructtheir own unique personhood, in spite ofcontinuing poverty. These families have verylow rates of education and literacy, and theirhomes often have no electricity or plumbing.For this reason, I have come to characterizethem as living off the grid and intend to framemy dissertation research in this way.I determined that much is left toexplore about everyday life both during andafter the yerba mate harvests, for workingfamilies strive to find other employment forthe five or six months of the year when thereis no harvest. I look forward to returning tolearn much more about the maneuvers theseworkers perform as they attempt to dodgethe unrelenting stigma they face even as theytry to build fulfilling lives in one of the mostneglected regions of Argentina.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201119

Graduates in the FieldGeoffrey HughesThis past summer, I conducted seventy five days of preliminary fieldwork in Jordan thatwill aid my dissertation research. I collected a fair amount of data for my project aboutmarriage and kinship in contemporary Jordan, gleaned from interviews, participantobservation, pictures, and over 80 pages of typed field notes.These involved every step in the process of getting married: the proposal, thebridewealth payment, building the house, organizing the wedding, getting testedfor genetic risk-factors, registering with the ministry of the interior, and finallythe wedding itself. I was able to attend eleven weddings, and I participated inpreparations for three of them.Jordan provides an excellent opportunity to study the ways in which kinship istransformed by urbanization, the cash economy and government-led developmentschemes. Based on my preliminary research, it seems clear that extended kinshipnetworks are being weakened as people are forced to abandon their patrilocalsettlements, three-day weddings, familial modes of financing, and substantialbridewealth payments for economic reasons. In many instances, this has coincidedwith new institutions stepping in to provide the kinds of assistance that peoplehave tended to receive from their extended kin in the past. This provokes twoimportant questions. First, what kinds of relationships are replacing these specifickin ties? Second, if institutional actors are replacing ties of kinship, how separateare they really from kin ties?Michigan Anthropology Winter 201120

Four of the archaeological sites that Kent Flannery excavatedin Oaxaca - all of which relate to the origins of agriculture -have been declared World Patrimony Sites by UNESCO.These sites will therefore be protected in perpetuityunder international law. The designation ofthese sites is testimony to the impact - inscholarship and in contributions tohuman understanding - of Kent’sJudithT. Irvinewashonored atthe EdwardSapir CollegiateProfessorshipin LinguisticAnthropologyinaugural lecture. Shespoke on “Mentioningthe Unmentionable:Avoidance and Ideology inDiscursive Practice.”work. We congratulate Kent forthis recognition and delight inhis role in extending thescope of knowledgeof our commonheritage.Wearepleasedto recognizeElisha Renne, forher well-deservedpromotion to Professorof Anthropology and theCenter for Afroamerican andAfrican Studies.Faculty Awardsand HonorsCongratulations to Ruth Behar, appointed as theVictor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor ofAnthropology. Collegiate Professorshipsare a distinct and special honorconferred on UM faculty ofAnthropologyextraordinary scholarly meritwould also likeboth within the Universityto welcome Anyaand within the largerBernstein, who joins uscommunity.and Asian Languages andCultures as a Michigan Societyof Fellows fellow for the nextthree years. Anya received her Ph.D.from New York University in 2010, and herresearch focuses on religion, postsocialism,(trans)nationalism, secularism, sovereignty,gender and sexuality, visual ethnography, histories ofanthropology, in Russia, Eurasia, and India.Welcome!Milford Wolpoff was named 2011recipient of the Charles DarwinLifetime AchievementAward. The prize willbe awarded at theAAPA meeting inMinneapolisthis spring.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201121

Faculty PublicationsThe Politics of Polio in Northern Nigera“A remarkable exploration of ordinary Muslims’ often skepticalresponse to polio and other vaccinations promoted by theirgovernment and WHO. Renne may not persuade you thatMuslims’ fears were justified, but she ensures you will understandtheir rationale. An invaluable, provocative text for all thoseinvolved in promoting ‘global’ health.”—Murray Last, University College LondonThe Politicsof Polio inNorthern NigeriaElisha P. RenneIn 2008, Northern Nigeria had the greatest number of confirmedcases of polio in the world and was the source of outbreaks inseveral West African countries. Elisha P. Renne explores thepolitics and social dynamics of the Northern Nigerian responseto the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which has beenmet with extreme skepticism, subversion, and the refusal ofsome parents to immunize their children. Renne explains thisresistance by situating the eradication effort within the social,political, cultural, and historical context of the experience ofpolio in Northern Nigeria. Questions of vaccine safety, the abilityof the government to provide basic health care, and the roleof the international community are factored into this sensitiveand complex treatment of the ethics of global polio eradicationefforts.For more information, visit:“Islamophobia/Islamophilia is a spirited volume that takesaim at the confining but dominant debate on Islam, ‘for oragainst.’ Its eye-opening cases demonstrate just how muchopposed sides share, and reveal surprising alignments andcrossovers that happen beyond the binary. Politically astute,analytically acute, and pervasively humanistic, this is a rarecontribution that brings clarity to an ideologically chargedand muddied field.”—Enseng Ho, Duke UniversityMichigan Anthropology Winter 201122

EventsJanuaryStudents, faculty, and parents atthe 2008 Undergraduate Reception.FebruaryAprilMarchMarch 21st, 4 PMSCL Colloquium411 West HallSpeaker: Tom BoellstorffApril 4thSCL Colloquium411 West HallSpeaker: Nancy Scheper-HughesApril 29th, 12 - 2 PMUndergraduate ReceptionUnion Study LoungeWe will celeberate the achievementsof our graduating concentrators andminors with a lunch in their honor. It’sa great time for faculty, seniors, andtheir families to come together for afew hours of fun and recognition forthe hard work our undergraduateshave accomplished. Posters ofHonors senior thesis projects will beon display.MayMichigan Anthropology Winter 201123

Get Connected!Meet the EditorsAyn Reineke graduated from the Universityof Michigan with a degree in English in2007, and she’s been a friendly face in theAnthropology department ever since. Contentwriter and wrangler, Ayn is the editor of theannual newsletter. When not serving as thedepartment’s office services coordinator, Aynwrites young adult novels. Her dream is to be apublished author someday.Find us on facebook.U Mich AnthropologyMary Birkett is a junior concentrating in Anthropology, with a minor in Community Action and SocialChange. She designs the layouts for the newsletter, and otherwise works with Ayn in the department.She hopes to write a thesis on “cuteness” in Japan, and keep up with her interests in anthropology,activism, and graphic design after she graduates.Michigan Anthropology Winter 201124

Here’s HowYou Can Help!Like WhatWe Do?Anthropology is committed to strengthening ourprogram in many areas. For more information aboutAnthropology priorities, see “The Vision” at the extraordinary generosity of a bequestfrom the Robert H. Thomas Trust, the departmentannounces the creation of the Michigan AnthropologyAlumni Graduate Fellowship for Excellence inUndergraduate Education. We have not yet been ableto determine the precise spark that motivates thisgenerous gift to the department. We neverthelesstake it as our charge to responsibly use this gift forthe future benefit of our department’s teaching andcontributions to the discipline.Mr. Thomas’s generosity will allow us, throughsubsequent donations from throughout the Michigancommunity, alumni and others, to award a graduatefellowship for a meritorious student who has shownexemplary commitment and ability in undergraduateteaching as a Graduate Student Instructor. We hopeyou will help us build on Mr. Thomas’ gift.Donations may be made by credit card or checkpayable to the University of Michigan. Please feel freeto use the donation card provided at the end of thenewsletter.The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer,complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscriminationand affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 andSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committedto a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless ofrace, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexualorientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or Vietnamera veteran status inemployment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaintsmay be addressed to the SeniorDirector for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office of InstitutionalEquity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.Regents of the University Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor; Laurence B. Deitch, BinghamFarms; Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich; Rebecca McGowan, Ann Arbor; Andrea FischerNewman, Ann Arbor; Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park; S. Martin Taylor, GrossePointe Farms; Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor; Mary Sue Coleman, ex officioHelp Build Our FutureMichigan Anthropology Winter 201125

Please send to:Michigan Anthropology GivingDepartment of AnthropologyUniversity of Michigan101 West Hall1085 S UniversityAnn Arbor, MI 48109-1107Enclosed is my gift of:□ $1,000 □ $500 □ $250 □ $100 □ $50 □ $$ Anthropology Research and Scholarship Fund (300924)$ MI Anthro Alumni Grad Fellowship In Excellence* (732038)$ Other(please specify: underdraduates, graduates, field research, etc)NameAddressAddressAddressPhoneE-mail(Street)(City) (State) (Zip)Check One:□ My check is made payable to the University ofMichigan.□ I have enclosed a Matching Gift Form.□ Charge my gift to:□ MasterCard □ Visa □ AMEX□ DiscoverAccount numberExpiration date rSignatureDate signeds(Required)(Required)I/We pledge $_______________ and will make gift payments:□ Monthly □ Quarterly □ Semi-Annually □ Annuallyover a period of _______ years beginning _______________________.Month/Day/YearSignature:___________________________(Required)Date:__________________(Required)EID# 999999 AGG ZDA11 LS01

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines