1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Ethnocentrism, Virginia Style

— from The Huffington Post

The recent firing of University of Virginia (UVA) President Teresa Sullivan is a classic case of what anthropologists call ethnocentrism. It is a clear example of how ethnocentric thinking produces devastating social, political and educational results.

Most anthropologists say that you are ethnocentric when you use your own set of rules, procedures and beliefs to make judgments about other people who don't share your view of the world. I tell my anthropology students that there are two kinds of ethnocentrism. The first kind, which I like to call "my way or the highway" ethnocentrism, is characterized like....(Read more)

Kath Weston Presents 'The Intimacy of Resources' at Cambridge

The Division of Social Anthropology has pleasure in announcing ‘The Intimacy of Resources’, a three-part public lecture series given by Professor Kath Weston, Wyse visiting professor, supported by a Leverhulme Trust visiting professorship.



Work of Ellen Contini-Morava & Eve Danziger to be Presented at Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium

— from Ellen Contini-Morava

Professor Contini-Morava will present a paper jointly written with Eve Danziger at the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium, San Ignacio, Belize on June 26.

The paper, "Introducing referents in Mopan Maya", is a preliminary report on the Mopan language project that they have been working on together since 2011, including a brief field trip to Southern Belize last summer. 


Anthropologist's NSF Project Tracks Gun Control in West Africa

— from UVA Today

With al Qaeda and Latin American drug cartels moving into some parts of Africa, small arms control has become a matter of great concern to those involved with security. Anthropologist Niklas Hultin, who taught in the University of Virginia's Global Development Studies program last year, is researching issues concerning gun control in Gambia on the west coast – a gateway for illegal trafficking.

Hultin, who will be a research professor in the College of Arts & SciencesDepartment of Anthropology, has studied human rights, democracy and African legal institutions. He recently received a National Science Foundation grant to return to Gambia to research small arms use in West Africa, international small arms control and anti-transnational crime initiatives, he said. The Isaac Newton Trust at Cambridge University is also contributing funding for his two-year project....(Read more)


Dissertation Proposal: The New Mammoni: Why the cultural perception of Italy’s ‘mama’s boys’ is changing

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

— 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!




Beth Hart Receives Fellowship from the American Research Center in Egypt

— 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!!!

Todne Thomas Chipumuro Joins Department of Religion, University of Vermont

— 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.

Rose Wellman Wins Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

— 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.

Giving an Endangered Language Back to Its People

— 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)


Subscribe to Department of Anthropology RSS