1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Department Speakers Series

Anthropology Beyond the Academy

As one of the increasing number of anthropology Ph.D.'s who by choice or necessity find employment outside of academia, in this talk I draw on my own career path to explore the practice of anthropology both inside and outside of the academy. I discuss why I left a tenured faculty position and describe my attempts to bring an ethnographic sensibility to my work with USAID as a AAAS Fellow and contractor. Please join me for what I hope will be a lively discussion about academia, anthropology, international development, ethics, and intellectual growth.

The Phoenix Factor in Community Archaeology, NW Tanzania: Disease, Revitalization, and Heritage for the Future

If there is a common thread that weaves together different yet successful genres of community archaeology, it is an understanding by community members of archaeological principles and the capacity of archaeology to impact identity and historical representations. Communities without prior comprehension of archaeology or heritage research require the development of trust and reciprocal relationships as well as patient mentoring and exposure to the practices of archaeology.

So Long Asleep, Waking the Ghosts of a War

Graduate Student Career Design Workshop with Amy Clobes and Julia Lapan

Little Earth: Housing Policy, Indian Policy, and ‘Responsibility’ in Minneapolis

When the Little Earth housing complex first opened its doors in Minneapolis in 1973 its goal was to house and serve the urban American Indian community, providing human services, education, and economic opportunities and programs for its residents. Initially funded and managed by the Minnesota Council of Churches and the St.

Peter Van Dommelen

Migration has long been a major topic in archaeology and as long as culture history has framed archaeological understandings of material culture and past societies, migrations have been seen as the stuff that (pre)history was made of. With the advent of the New, Processual and Post-Processual archaeologies, archaeological explanations and theoretical interests have shied away from migration, but a lack of interest among contemporary archaeologists does not mean that people in the past did not migrate.

A Social History of Natural History: Structural Tensions in the Lewis Brooks Museum at the University of Virginia

The Brooks Museum of Natural History was among the most impressive museums in the nation when it opened in 1878.  In this paper I examine one compelling aspect of the building that remains curious today: the enshrinement of the names of 18 natural historians on the walls of the building when almost half were still alive and engaged in contentious social debates.

Talking about Food: Continuity and Change in Creole Foodways and Language in Dominica

This presentation explores ways in which language and food are intertwined in social life, and how their joint study can give insights into identity construction, nationalism, and cultural and linguistic change over time. It investigates a case study of changing discourses and ideologies about creole foodways and language on the Caribbean island of Dominica, where distinctions between local/non-local and traditional/modern pervade talk about language and food in the home, community, and nation.

American Death, and Being

In the U.S. today, death practices are changing rapidly and creatively. Not only did the cremation rate double between 2000 and 2015, but there has been a proliferation of new things to do with ashes – incorporating them into artificial reefs, making them into synthetic diamonds, or blending them into vinyl records. What do these new styles of death tell us about U.S. cosmology and values? What is the status of the subject/object divide in daily life? What is a ‘person’ before and after death? What does the secular afterlife look like?

Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World


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