1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Pati Wattenmaker

Pati Wattenmaker named Sesquicentennial Associate for 2012-2013

— 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?

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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