Lectures, Film Screenings, Events

April 16

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

Eske Willerslev

University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few specimens to large-scale genome studies of ancient human populations, the diseases they carried, and the environment surrounding them. Increasingly, ancient genetic information is providing a unique means to directly test theories in archaeology, anthropology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Initial results have changed the way we look at long debated topics such as early peopling of the Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

4PM, ANT 303

April 9

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

Justin Pargeter

Emory Anthropology

Technological Miniaturization in Human Evolution

Miniaturization, the systematic production and use of small technologies, is a widespread and pervasive phenomenon in contemporary technology. Only three decades ago launching a satellite into space required room-sized computers. Now, the computational power necessary to perform such a task come standard on devices that fit in the palm of one’s hand. We assemble the many small building blocks that characterize technological miniaturization into larger technologies with the potential to dramatically impacts our lives through biomedical advancements, shifts in agriculture and industry, as well as the harnessing and storage of renewable energy. Miniaturization has also incurred associated costs, for example driving the cost of most consumer electronics down to the point that humans use and discard technology more than ever before. With technological miniaturization so pervasive, one might suppose it is a recent phenomenon, yet it in fact has deep parallels in Stone Age technology. From c. 70,000 years onwards, miniaturized stone tools become essential features of technology on nearly every continent humans inhabited. This talk will explore our evolving relationship with technological miniaturization, its associated costs and benefits, and on the role of small technologies in prehistoric human societies in southernmost Africa.


April 2

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

Ben Twagira

Emory African Studies

Military Rule, Precarity and Urban Resilience: A Social History of Militarized Kampala, 1966-86

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

March 19

Sarah Besky

"Cheap Tea and the Problem of Quality: Mass Markets and Industrial Reform in the Dooars, West Bengal"

The Dooars region of West Bengal produces some of the world's cheapest tea, most of which is sold on the domestic Indian market.  Across the Dooars, however, tea plantations are closing at a high rate.  On these plantations, no formal lock-outs have been declared.  Instead, management has simply stopped paying wages, leaving plantation workers stranded, awaiting a possible re-opening.  Over the last five years, as the number of closed plantations in the Dooars has increased, journalists have reported an alarming increase in starvation deaths across the region.  But cheap tea endures in the Dooars.  Amid the plantation closures, tea industry leaders have been pushing for the expansion of tea cultivation to small farms.  The abandonment of tea plantations and the parallel expansion of smallholder production have raised new questions about the importance of quality here at the bottom end of the global tea market.  This talk uses the case of the Dooars to examine how quality in three senses--quality of life for plantation workers and farmers; the quality of the things they produce; and the quality of the market--inform one another in contemporary capitalism.


4:00pm, ANT 206

February 5

Armelago Lecture in Biocultural Anthropology

Lance Gravlee

University of Florida

Sick of Race: How racism harms and misleads medicine

Social scientists commonly assert that race is a cultural construct, not a biological reality.
This refrain is correct in spirit, but it has proven to be an ineffective response to the persistence of racial-genetic
determinism in medicine, science, and everyday life. What's more, it creates a blind spot, deflecting attention
from the biological consequences of cultural constructs like race. In this talk, I show how hidden assumptions
about race, genes, and biology infect contemporary medicine and how integrating theory and methods from the
social and biological sciences clarifies the health effects of systemic racism.

December 4

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

Bjørn Bertelsen

University of Bergen, Norway

Mozambican dynamics of violence: Statehood, global war and sociality conceived anthropologically

What one may label the Mozambican civil wars of the 20th and 21st century – with particular periods of intensity from 1976 to 1992 and from 2013 until the present – have profoundly shaped the post-independence era’s socio-economic trajectories, political subjectivities, troubling legacies, regional divisions, and much more. What can such a protracted period of recurring instances of violence teach us about statehood, global war and sociality? How can the harrowing experiences of violence and suffering instantiated on Mozambican soil inform our comprehension of war in a global age of permanent violent clashes and omnipresent militarism—as well as an increasingly belligerent state form? Rather than insularizing or exceptionalizing the Mozambican material, through emphasizing local and purely national dynamics or by way of labelling according to macroeconomic or political schemata reflecting preconceived ideas of wars and unrest in the global South, I will in this paper draw on specific own ethnographic material from Manica province to answer such general questions. The overall aim of the paper is, then, to use the available material on various dynamics of violence in Mozambique as a prism for analyzing, understanding and redefining the nature of statehood, global war and sociality more generally.

4 pm, ANT 206


November 13

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

Jenny Chio

From the Stadium to the Screen: Bullfights and their Mediated Afterlife in ‘Minority’ China

Alongside a recent construction boom in bullfighting stadiums, the thriving world of local bullfight video production in ethnic minority regions of Southwest China compels a close-range ethnography of how bullfights move from the stadium to the screen. Animals, videographers, and videos circulate across provincial and ethnic boundaries, forging transperipheral networks, rendering visible a bullfighting public, and enabling the possibility of a subversive cultural politics of entertainment. Examining how bullfights and their videos traffic within and across the periphery yields an approach that critically attends to media practices and emergent social relations not directed at centralized structures of power.

4:00 PM / ANT 206

November 6

Department of Anthropology Colloquium

John Lindo

The Peopling of the Ancient Andes

The peopling of South America was likely an evolutionarily complex process, which included adaptation to various environmental factors—including high altitude, agriculture, and the effects of European contact. Here we present a time series of ancient genomes from the Andes of Peru, dating back to 7,000 years before present (BP), and compare them to unpublished modern genomes from both high and lowland populations. Using composite likelihood modeling methods, we infer a significant population collapse shortly after European contact in the Andes, although not as massive as previously predicted. We also find that the split between high and low altitude populations occurred roughly 9,000 years ago, which may indicate that the hypoxia adaptation was not an instant occurrence, considering that human remains in the Andes date back to 12,000 years BP. Lastly, we find evidence of positive selection in response to the adoption of agriculture and on immune genes after European contact. However, we do not find strong signals of positive selection dealing with hypoxia, which may suggest a polygenic adaptation. 

4PM, ANT 206

October 2

Bayo Holsey

Since the turn of the millennium, there has been a surge in development projects sponsored by African Americans in Ghana. These projects utilize a language of kinship, focusing on the African ancestry of African Americans, which has been the basis of radical Pan-African politics. At the same time however, they are aligned with neoliberal visions of economic development. This talk addresses the complex questions regarding transnational notions of kinship, racial solidarity, and social welfare that emerge in this context.
4PM, ANT 206

Anthropology Co-Sponsored Lectures and Events

February 23rd

"Back to the City: Gentrification and the struggle for food justice on Oakland, CA."

Dr. Alison Alken

Candler School of Theology, Room 252, 4:00pm

Reception to follow

February 15

Jonathan Rosa

From Bad Hombres to Bilingual Education: A raciolinguistic Approach to the learning of Latinidad

This presentation analyzes constructions of U.S. Latinx identities from a
raciolinguistic perspective, which theorizes historical and contemporary conaturalizations
of language and race. Rather than taking for granted existing
categories for parsing and classifying race and language, a raciolinguistic
perspective seeks to understand how and why these categories have been conaturalized,
and to imagine their denaturalization as part of a broader structural
project of contesting racial capitalism and settler colonialism. Drawing on
ethnographic research conducted in predominantly Latinx schools and
communities, I examine borders delimiting Latinx and American identities on the
one hand, and co-naturalizations of language and race on the other. These foci
reflect an investment in developing a careful theorization of various forms of
racial and linguistic hierarchies, as well as a commitment to the imagination and
creation of more just societies.

4:15pm, White Hall 110

February 5

Tim Wise

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance at Emory University

Among the nation’s most prominent antiracist essayists and educators, Tim Wise’s antiracism work traces back to his days as a college activist in the 1980s, fighting for divestment from (and economic sanctions against) apartheid South Africa. After graduation, he threw himself into social justice efforts full-time, as a Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized in the early 1990s to defeat the political candidacies of white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Smith College School of Social Work, in Northampton, MA., and from 1999-2003 was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute in Nashville, TN .

December 1

Curtis Marean

The Transition to Foraging for Dense & Predictable Resources: Impact on the Evolution of Modern Humans

3:00pm, PAIS 290

November 14

Turi King

Finding Richard III

Dr. Turi King is a molecular geneticist in the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology at the University of Leicester whose work bridges fields including archaeology, history, and geography. Dr. King led the international research team’s discovery of the skeletal remains of King Richard III under a car park in Leicester, England more than 500 years after his death. The research team included archeologists with expertise in historical ruins analysis to identify likely burial spots and bone experts to analyze the age, sex, and health of the remains and compare signs of battle injury with the historic record of his death. It also included geneticists to extract useable DNA from the available tissues and historians to conduct the genealogical analysis to identify surviving modern-day descendants to whom Richard’s DNA could be compared. Dr. King’s confirmation of the remains of King Richard III closes what is probably the oldest forensic case to date. Her talk will narrate this process of discovery and the vast public interest that this discovery engendered.

November 13

Lisa Poggiali

MAP IT. Little Dots, Big Ideas. Digital Development: Mapping Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah”.

5:30pm, Woodruff Library, Jones Room

November 7

Jaime Breilh

Critical epidemiology and Sumak Kawsay: an Andean academic-people's approach to stemming climate change

November 6

Gian Antonioa Stella

"Patria, Patrie, Patrimonio"

6:00pm, Oxford Presentation Room, Undergraduate Admissions Building

October 18

Dr. Devaka Premawardhana

Pentecostalism and African Indigenous Religion: A Enthographiy of Existential Mobility

3:00pm - 4:30pm, Callaway Center, Room 319


Class-related Lectures, Panels, and Film Screenings

April 19

Experiments in Scholarly Form

4:30-7:00PM, ANT 206

April 25

Ethnographic Theater Showcase

Please join us to experience the transformation of original ethnographic research into verbatim and devised theater.  Student researcher-performers activate issues of well-being, diversity, inclusion, exclusion, belonging, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and friendship through vivid portrayals and creative modes of ethnographic performance
Researched, created & performed by the students in ANT 385W/THEA 389W Anthropology & Performance (Prof. Debra Vidali)

11:30am 0 12:45pm, Rich 205

February 20

Conversation Cafe

Dr. Liv Stutz

Dr. Peter Brown

Dr. James Rilling

Anth 206, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

November 15

Public Anthropology Showcase. ANT 280 Indigenous Peoples of North America

What is Indigenous Sovereignty? Whose land are we on? What about Columbus Day? Cultural Appropriation? Sports Mascots? Treaties? Erased Histories? Please join us for a lively afternoon learning about projects created by students in ANT 280, Indigenous Peoples of North America (Prof. Debra Vidali). Projects explore public education & social justice applications on a spectrum of topics, including Native American histories, identities & present day controversies.

2:30-5:00 PM, ANT 206

October 11

Awake. A Dream for Standing Rock

Film screening followed by discussion

7:00-9:00 PM, White Hall 206


October 3

Sustainability Minors Information Session

5:00pm, Callaway S423

Graduate Teaching Roundtables

Friday, October 13, 2:30, ANT 206 - Teaching Roundtable 1 - Assignments and Grading

Friday, November 10, 2:30, ANT 206 - Teaching Roundtable 2 - Classroom Communication

Friday, February 16, 2:30, ANT 206 - Teaching Roundtable 3 - Cheating, Plagiarism, and the Honor Code

Friday, April 6, 2:30, ANT 206 - Teaching Roundtable 4 - Teaching in this Political Moment

Graduate Presentations

Friday, September 15, 2:30-4:00 pm, ANT 206 - Sarah Whitaker, Dissertation Prospectus Presentation


Wednesday, October 4, 2:30-4:30 pm, ANT 206 - Tawni Tidwell, Dissertation Presentation, "Imbibing the Text, Transforming the Body, Perceiving the Patient: Cultivating Embodied Knowledge for Tibetan Medical Diagnosis."


Monday, March 5, 3:00-5:00 pm, ANT 206 - Kendra Sirak, Dissertation Presentation: "A Genomic Analysis of Two Early Christian Cemetery Communities from Sudanese Nubia."


Friday, March 30, 2:00-4:00 pm, ANT 206 - Bisan Salhi, Dissertation Presentation: "Diagnosis Homeless: Emergency Department "super-utilizers" and urban poverty in Atlanta, Georgia."


Friday, April 13, 2:30-4:30 pm, ANT 206 - Sydney M. Silverstein, Dissertation Presentation: "What Comes between Coca and Cocaine: Haunting Boundaries in the Peruvian Amazon."


Wednesday, April 25, 3:00-5:00 pm, ANT 206 - Sujit Shrestha, Dissertation Presentation: "Governing sukumbasi: The Politics of Land and Shelter in Nepal."


Monday, May 7, 4:00-6:00 pm, ANT 206 - Anlam Filiz, Dissertation Presentation: The Corner at the Center. Migrant Labor, Difference, Rationality and the Making of Berlin

Graduate Events

September 22, 2:30-3:30, ANT 206 - Presentation by Dr. Jay Hughes on the Laney Graduate School PDS Funding Application

March 23, 3:00, ANT 206 - Conducting Fieldwork while Female. A free-ranging discussion led by Jennifer Barr, doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology

May 4, 2:30, ANT 206 - Introduction to Applying for Grants at Emory, with RAS (Research Administration Services)