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Rose Wellman Wins Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Thursday, 5 April 2012

— from Susan McKinnon

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations appropriate to the Newcombe Fellowship competition might explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature.

Rose Wellman's current research focuses on kinship in urban Iran, specifically, gendered notions of procreation. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in 2005 and also has background in fieldwork among Penobscot Native Americans in Maine.

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Todne Thomas Chipumuro Joins Department of Religion, University of Vermont

Thursday, 5 April 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Dr. Todne Thomas Chipumuro has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Vermont, beginning January 2013.

In 2004,  she received her B.A. in anthropology and Africana Studies from Cornell University, where she cultivated an ongoing interest in Caribbean migration and family studies through qualitative research on West Indian migrant child care businesses in Brooklyn, New York as well as coursework completed at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. Dr. Chipumuro's dissertation research applied her specialization in Anglo-Caribbean kinship to analyze the church relationships of a West Indian evangelical denomination. 

Congratulations from us all, Todne! 

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Giving an Endangered Language Back to Its People

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

— from UVA Today

Most of the people who spoke Arapesh when University of Virginia linguist Lise Dobrin conducted field work in Papua New Guinea about 15 years ago have died of old age. Their children no longer speak the language, and their grandchildren have almost no knowledge of their ancestral tongue, she said.

But Arapesh has a chance to live on through a digital archive Dobrin has created with the help of U.Va.'s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanitiesand an emerging collaboration with some middle-aged and younger Arapesh.

Dobrin, an assistant professor of linguistics in the College of Arts & Sciences'anthropology department, began the archive in 2005 and is focusing on it this year with support from the institute's residential fellowship. The "Arapesh Grammar and Digital Language Archive" also has support from the Documenting Endangered Languages program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Papua New Guinea, half of a Pacific island and slightly larger than California, lies north of Australia. One of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth, it is home to more than 800 languages, none of which traditionally was written down.

What is lost when a language falls into silence? A treasure trove of cultural information that has been passed down from generation to generation, Dobrin said. Endangered languages have properties only the speakers know, such as classifications of the natural world, for example... (Read more)

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Brooks Hall Hosts Language Archiving Workshop

Friday, 30 March 2012

— from Lise Dobrin

Although digital archives are doing their best to ensure that members of source communities can ultimately gain access to the materials produced in language documentation projects, it can be a challenge to involve them in the ongoing curation of those materials, especially when they reside in less-networked communities. On March 26 and 27 the Department of Anthropology hosted a small NEH-sponsored workshop that brought together scholars, technical experts, and community members to think critically about use of technology in language preservation and to explore ways of involving source communities in language archiving. Using the situations of rural Papua New Guinea and Cameroon as models, participants discussed possible bridging technologies to help scholars and archives maintain direct, ongoing relationships with all stakeholders in language documentation work. Participants included Project Director Lise Dobrin, Worthy Martin and Daniel Pitti of IATHDavid Germano and visitors from London, California, New York, Cameroon, and Papua New Guinea.

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Beth Hart Receives Fellowship from the American Research Center in Egypt

Friday, 30 March 2012

— from Pati Wattenmaker

Congratulations to Beth Hart, who received a fellowship from the American Research Center in Egypt.  The fellowship provides funding for Beth's dissertation research, "Stones and Status in Daily Life: Exploring the Development of Inequities through a Comparison of Lithic Assemblages in Nagada Settlements, 4000-3000 BC."

Great job, Beth!!!

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Lydia Rodriguez Receives 2012-2013 Grant Fellowship in the Digital Humanities

Friday, 30 March 2012

— from Eve Danziger

Congratulations to write-up student Lydia Rodriguez, who has been awarded a 2012-13 Graduate Fellowship in the Digital Humanities, in the Scholar's Lab at Alderman Library.

Well done Lydia!

 

 

 

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Obama Nominates Dartmouth President to Head World Bank

Friday, 23 March 2012

— from Science 

President Barack Obama this morning surprised many people with his nomination of Dartmouth College president and global health expert Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency," said Obama in a speech at the White House's Rose Garden.

Kim, a physician and anthropologist who co-founded Partners in Health with Paul Farmer and later headed the HIV/AIDS program at the World Health Organization (WHO), spoke with Science 3 years ago about his decision to move from focusing on global health to the Dartmouth president's office. At the time, Kim headed the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, and was widely expected to take a job within the Obama Administration... (Read more)

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Adam Harr to Join St. Lawrence University Faculty

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Warmest congratulations to Adam Harr (Ph.D. expected 2012), who has accepted a 2012-13 position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at St Lawrence University in Canton NY.

 

 

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David Strohl Accepts Tenure Track in Colby College Anthropology

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

— from Ira Bashkow

Recent graduate David Strohl (Ph.D. 2011) has accepted a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colby College, in Maine.

Congratulations, David!

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Smithsonian Museum Picks 1st Yr. Graduate Alessandro Questa as 2012 Summer Resident

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Congratulations to first-year student Alessandro Questa, who has been selected to participate in the 2012 Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC. Alessandro's 4-week training program-in-residence will focus on Native American masks in the Smithsonian collection, and will be funded by the Smithsonian Institute and the National Science Foundation.

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Carrie Heitman Named ACLS Faculty Fellow

Saturday, 25 February 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Carolyn Heitman, whose dissertation was entitled “Architectures of Inequality: Evaluating Houses, Kinship, and Cosmology in Chaco Canyon, N.M., A.D. 800-1200” was just awarded a ACLS Faculty Fellows awards for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Using archaeological data from masonry house structures and circular communal 'kivas' in conjunction with ethnographic data, Dr. Heitman's dissertation examined the connection between symbolic investment in house construction and the creation of social hierarchies during the Chacoan florescence (A.D. 800-1200). The specific goals of her analysis were to assess the utility of house society models for Chaco Canyon and to determine if the insights enabled by such models help identify if and how social hierarchies were expressed or constructed through the idiom of the house. For over a hundred years, archaeologists have struggled to understand the degree and form of social inequality evident during the prehistoric occupation of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

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New ACLS Faculty Fellow: Jason Hickel

Saturday, 25 February 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

Recent graduate, Dr. Jason Hickel was awarded ACLS Faculty Fellows awards for the 2012-2013 academic year. As an Africanist specializing in the anthropology of democracy, violence, and political conflict, Dr. Hickel has been engaged in ethnographic and archival research in South Africa since 2007, and has successfully completed his dissertation entitiled: “Democracy & Sabotage: Moral Order and Political Conflict in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.” Dr. Hickel's  current research investigates recent episodes of vigilante violence against foreign immigrants in South Africa's informal settlements, looking at "the connections between xenophobia and the notions about witchcraft that inform popular anxieties about employment, marriage, and other tenets of social reproduction." 

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Sesquicentennial Associateship given to George Mentore for 2012-2013

Thursday, 23 February 2012

— from Fred Damon

George Mentore will use his semester off to continue his effort to launch what he calls the anthropology of empathy.  Derived from his long years among the Waiwai in lowland Amazonia, he aims to finish his book about our surrounding intellectual milieu.  It is a cross-cultural study of how, as social beings, humans use empathy to traverse the interval between ourselves and the world.  The ethnographic focus will be primarily upon the Euro-American anthropological subject and its comparison with Amazonian indigenous socialities. While in the social production of subjectivity and the world, all peoples have to negotiate the traversal of the interval between self and other, not all do so understanding selfhood or the world in the same way.  His book will provide evidence not only for “how” but also for “why” different social beings and social worlds gain their diverse cultural meanings from similar empathetic processes.

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Pati Wattenmaker named Sesquicentennial Associate for 2012-2013

Thursday, 23 February 2012

— from Fred Damon

Patricia Wattenmaker plans to complete a book manuscript on the formation of an urban-centered state society in Upper Mesopotamia 4,500 years ago, what is now northern Iraq and eastern Turkey, and specifically the site of Kazane (in Turkey). She and her students have realized that developments there from the 7th to the 3rd millennium BCE do not fit the received models for our understanding of the larger region.  The problems she addresses concern the contexts for the rise of urbanism as a feature of human social organization. Urban centers rose south of her area on the Tigress and Euphrates rivers amidst irrigations systems whose productivity is legendary, so the fact of urbanism seems non-problematic. But in her area there was no irrigation and little need for it—hence why the new centers?

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New Digital Age for Anthropology Department

Thursday, 23 February 2012

— from Fred Damon

As interim chair of the Department of Anthropology, it gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our new website. There is a paradox in this opening. Since we started our first website, it was created and maintained by David Sapir, even after he formally retired from the Department.  As was the case when PCs started making their way into our everyday lives in the 1980s, David, for long one of the elders of the Department, led us into a new age. We thank him for so often pulling us along, some of us never willingly.

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2012-2013 Sesquicentennial Associateship awarded to Ellen Contini Morava

Thursday, 23 February 2012

— from Fred Damon

Professor Contini-Morava, a Bantu language specialist, will take the spring semester of 2013 to pursue her longstanding interest in the cognitive, communicative, and cultural functions of noun classification systems in Mopan, a Mayan language spoken in Belize and Guatemala. She has been planning and conducting this project for several years working with her compatriot in linguistic anthropology, Eve Danziger, an expert on Mopan. The Mopan classification systems have some resemblances to those reported in other languages, but some features seem to be unique. Using collections of transcribed Mopan folktales and recordings, together with consultation with native speakers, she hopes to understand the role of the classification markers in discourse.

This is very important work. As many know...

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Fred Damon awarded 2012-2013 Sesquicentennial Associateship

Thursday, 23 February 2012

— from Dionisios Kavadias

All but done with his work in Papua New Guinea, at long last Fred Damon will head to the region called Quanzhou in Fujian Province, southeastern China for the spring semester and much of the summer of 2013. Although he will be organizing anthropological research in contemporary communities, his project takes an historical problem for its raison d’etre.

Over the last 6000 years, Southeastern China has been the dividing line between what became the Austronesian world on the one hand and East Asia on the other. Over this period southeastern China has been perhaps the region’s most dynamic (at least this is what some of its inhabitants and scholars have told Damon!), generating and exporting people, ideas, and products. Damon hopes to...

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Three Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards go to anthropology students

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards for 2012-'13 were given to three students closely associated with our undergraduate program. One goes jointly to R. Elliot Oakley (Economics and Anthropology and Economics Major) and Caio Setubal (Anthropology and Mathematics Major) for a project titled "Two is One: Understanding Makushi Mathematical Logic" which they hope to carry out under George Mentore’s direction this coming summer in Guyana. They anticipate their summer’s research to lead to Distinguished Major’s Theses. Jose Argueta also received a Harrison Award for his project, “A House of One's Own - The Aftermath of Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff.” Argueta is a History and Philosophy major whose project will be directed by Professor of History and Law, Charles McCurdy.

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UVa Archaeologists at the Society for Historical Archaeology Meetings

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

— from Jeff Hantman

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Nathan Hedges, PhD candidate, wins École Normale Supérieure Fellowship

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

— from Ira Bashkow

Congratulations to 4th year graduate student Nathan Hedges, who has won the University of Virginia École Normale Supérieure Fellowship Competition for 2012-2013. The award allows Nathan to spend a year in Paris at the ENS, working with ENS faculty on his dissertation topic. Nathan's research is focused on the Fon of Benin, and this chance to make contact with the Africanists at the ENS will be a wonderful opportunity for him.

Well done Nathan!

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