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Digging Up the Dead: Human Skulls as Scientific Fact and Cultural Artifact

The Myth of Ownership: An Anthropologist Looks at the Corporate Share

Virginia Busby ('09) Wins Wilcomb Washburn Award

— from Eve Danziger

Congratulations to recent graduate Virginia Busby (Ph.D. 2009) who has been named the recipient of the Wilcomb Washburn Award for her dissertation “Transformation and Persistence: The Nanticoke Indians and Chicone Indian Town in the Context of European Contact and Colonization.”

Karenne Wood Present American Indian View of Jamestown at International Festival

— from Eve Danziger

UVa Anthropology graduate student Karenne Wood recently published an article on "Jamestown’s Cultural Legacies: An American Indian Perspective," presented at the 22nd International poetry festival of Medellin (Colombia) - Tribute to the Spirit of the Aboriginal Peoples. 

Click here to read the article.


Joseph Hellweg (2001) Launches Côte d'Ivoire Hot Spot for JSCA

— from Fred Damon

*Cultural Anthropology* has just launched its fifth Hot Spot --- Côte d'Ivoire Is Cooling Down? Reflections a Year after the Battle for Abidjan. The collection is guest edited by Joseph Hellweg, 2011 Ph.D. alum, and includes 17 essays. Visit the Hot Spot here.


Two Undergrads Start with Chaco Canyon, Move on to Graduate School

— from Stephen Plog

Kudos to two of our undergraduates, Kate Bishop and Carrie Mongle, who have received five-year financial packages to begin their graduate studies next fall. Kate will be attending UCLA where she will focus on the archaeology of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest. Kate received her B.A. in 2011 from UVa after writing a senior honors thesis and working for the Chaco Archive for two years. This year she has continued to work for the Chaco Archive while also serving as an intern at the Smithsonian. Carrie will be attending SUNY-Stony Brook where she will pursue her interest in hominid evolution, particularly Neanderthals. She is currently writing a senior honors thesis and will graduate next month. Like Kate, she has worked for the Chaco Archive for the last few years. Kate and Carrie are now the 5th and 6th undergraduates in the last five years who have helped us build the Chaco Archive and then have headed to graduate school.

Amy Nichols-Belo to Teach at Randolph-Macon College

— from Eve Danziger

Congratulations to dissertating Ph.D. student Amy Nichols-Belo, who has been appointed Visiting Instructor of Sociology and Anthropology at Randolph-Macon College for the 2012-2013 academic year. In addition to teaching Anthropology courses, Amy will also be teaching in the Women's Studies program at Randolph-Macon.


U.Va. Class Looks at Nature to Reveal Our Past and Future

— from UVA Today

Archaeology doesn't just live behind glass in museums. Case in point: the research of University of Virginia anthropology lecturer Jack Stoetzel and his summer-school course, "Archaeology of Human Habitat," in which he emphasizes the notion that "we imprint our habitats with our culture" – not just in the past, but every day.

Stoetzel and his students are "looking for ways we have manufactured environments we have occupied" and thus "what it means for ourselves and future selves," since there is a cyclical relationship in the way that "we change something and the act of changing brings about new changes we respond to," said Stoetzel, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

As an example, Stoetzel said, "If a group of people decided to....(Read more)

Often Misunderstood Today, Mayans Did Not Predict 2012 Apocalypse

— from UVA Today

The rock band REM may have sung, "It's the end of the world as we know it," but not according to the Mayans, despite some popular misconceptions about their ancient calendar.

Students in a University of Virginia summer course on "The Maya Today: Fiction and Reality" learned why the notion that pre-Columbian Mayans predicted the end of the world would happen Dec. 12, 2012, is all wrong. They learned not only the facts behind this misinterpretation, but also the basics of the complicated calendar system the Maya developed....(Read more)

"Reset the relationship with President Sullivan"- Communication from UVA Deans to the BOV

— from Fred Damon

Please see attached the letter from deans of the schools at the University of Virginia, requesting that the BOV reconsider the decision of June 8, 2012, and restore Teresa A. Sullivan to the position of President of the University of Virginia.


TO:          Board of Visitors, University of Virginia 

FROM:    Deans of the Colleges, University of Virginia 

DATE:     June 21, 2012 

RE:          Reinstatement of Teresa Sullivan, PhD
                 as President of the University of Virginia

We, the deans of the Colleges of the University of Virginia, respectfully request that the Board of Visitors (BOV) reconsider their decision of June 8, 2012 and restore Teresa A. Sullivan to the position of President of the University of Virginia. 

The Deans do not make this suggestion lightly. We are aware of both the dedication and responsibility that the BOV has for the University, and the fact that the Board has acted in what they believe are the best interests of the University despite a substantial amount of discord evoked by the decision in the faculty, the student body, and many members of the staff. 

Among the reasons for the BOV’s decision were concern for the fiscal status of the University and more rapid action on fiscal and other issues, such as the role of on-line learning in our educational models and proactive approaches to the demographic changes that will occur in the faculty (retirements, etc.) in the next 5-8 years....



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