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George Mentore

Sesquicentennial Associateship given to George Mentore for 2012-2013

— 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.

2012-2013 Sesquicentennial Associateship awarded to Ellen Contini Morava

— 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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