2014-15 Student News

The Anthropology Department welcomes Kait Tracy 

Kait Tracy

Kait Tracy is thrilled to be joining the Anthropology Department as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator! Originally from Birmingham, AL, Kait graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Minor in Political Science. While at BSC, Kait served as the Hall Director for the campus apartments where she oversaw 300 students and promoted their success in almost every aspect of college life, from community building to academic advising. For the past few years, Kait worked primarily in the non-profit sector with organizations dedicated to advocating for an end to domestic and sexual violence. While these positions were very rewarding, Kait craved to be back on a college campus and is so excited to focus her energy on fostering a healthy and fulfilling undergraduate experience for Emory’s Anthropology majors.   In her spare time, Kait enjoys cooking, volunteering, and traveling with friends and family. She is in the Anthropology office every week day from 8:30-5 and very much looks forward to meeting all of the Anthropology students and faculty—please feel welcome to come by and say hello!

Graduate student Aubrey Graham's exhibit at the Emory Center for Ethics

The Laney Graduate School's website currently features an interview with Aubrey Graham regarding her "Artist in Residence" status in the Ethics & Arts program within the Emory Center for Ethics.  Excerpted from the exhibit description: 

‘Disneyland’ is an exhibition of portraits created in collaboration with the residents of Mugunga III. Located near the humanitarian hub of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mugunga III has become the region’s most popular internally displaced people (IDP) camp. It has been visited and photographed by nearly every errant aid worker, VIP, celebrity, and journalist who arrives in the region - to the degree that it’s frustrated coordinators casually dubbed it ‘Disneyland’.These portraits are the product of 8 months of photographic encounters between residents in Mugunga III and the photographer.

The exhibit Portraits in Disneyland: Stories of Mugunga III will be on display through May 2015.

Naomi Maisel recognized as founder, student president of Emory's Campus Kitchens Project

An article in the Emory Report details the lengthy process that junior Anthropology and Human Health major Naomi Maisel undertook to establish a Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) at Emory.  CKP is a national program that supports student efforts to recover and repurpose food that would otherwise be wasted, supplying local hunger-combatting organizations with prepared meals.  Read the full story of how Naomi's idea became reality here

Isabella Alexander named emerging leader in Anthropology by the National Association of Student Anthropologists

Isabella Alexander, a doctoral student in the Anthropology program, has been named an Emerging Leader in Anthropology by the National Association of Student Anthropologists. What brought Isabella to Emory? How does this award further her research? What are her plans beyond Emory? Click here to find out!

Howard Chiou delivers Stanford MedicineX ePatient Ignite Talk,
"Why is changing the culture of healthcare so hard?"

Film by Sydney Silverstein featured at Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center

Silverstein-film stillDocumentary film La Mamá de los Pollitos (The Mother Hen), by third year PhD student Sydney Silverstein, will be screened on Friday, November 7th, at 7:00 PM at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. It centers on a Peruvian woman who raises chickens; the chickens and their eggs become a conduit for viewing the many rituals of motherhood, courtship, flirtation, and sexuality in the community. The film is being screened as part of Through the Image, Recent Documentary Work from the Visual Scholarship Initiative.

For more information, check online at:

"China: Tradition and Transformation" Conference at Emory and Agnes Scott, October 30-November 1, 2014

Ph.D. Candidate Shunyuan Zhang and Assistant Professor Jenny Chio will present papers at a conference titled "China: Tradition and Transformation," which is jointly organized by Emory University and Agnes Scott College from October 30-November 1, 2014. This conference brings together China scholars from across Georgia, the US, and Nanjing University to discuss current issues in historical, social, and cultural research on contemporary China.

Shunyuan Zhang's paper is titled "Debris and Desire: Negotiating Erotic Spaces in Kunming, China" and is based off her recently completed fieldwork. Professor Chio's paper addresses the consequences of rural tourism development in an ethnic Miao village in Guizhou, titled "'Using Tourism to Help Peasants' (以游助农) in the New Socialist Countryside: The Case of Upper Jidao, Guizhou."

A full conference program is available here:

Anthropology Faculty and Students Presenting at Imagining America National Conference

"Organizing. Culture. Change." is the focus of the 2014 Imagining America National Conference, hosted by Emory University on Oct. 9-11. The conference explored the roles of the arts, humanities, design, and higher education in community development and the future of our society.

Professors Debra Vidali and Peggy Barlett as well as PhD student Josh Robinson presented at this conference.

RegenerationDr. Vidali created and directed an ethnographic performance about our relations to higher education, performed downtown at the closing plenary on Saturday at 3:30 pm. Dr. Vidali said of the event, "Our Re-Generation Initiative ethnographic and generative theater workshop at the Imagining America conference last week was a huge success (25 participants on Friday Oct 10), as was our 8 person performance at the closing plenary on Saturday, titled Higher Education, Democracy, and Well-Being." In the photo here, workshop participants are deep in thought with an ethnographic writing exercise—writing prompt: Documentation of a scene where a shift really happened."

Dr. Barlett and Mr. Robinson were on the conference program with sustainability projects. (Full Emory News story here.)

Ioulia Fenton, Andrea Rissing Honored for Sustainability Achievements

Congratulations to second year PhD student Ioulia Fenton for receiving a Sustainability Innovator Award from the Emory Sustainability Initiative. Ioulia earned this award for her efforts as the founder and president of the Graduate Sustainability Group, which she initiated last year. The award was presented at Emory’s Sustainable Food Fair on October 3.

Ioulia and Andrea Rissing, a third year PhD student, were awarded a Sustainability Incentives Fund grant during a luncheon on November 3 in support of their research project, "Mapping Emory's sustainability social network".  See the full article here.

Re-Generation Initiative "Slices of Time" by Professor Debra Vidali's Ethnography, Theater, and Performance Class Now Available on YouTube

A new video of Slices of Time, a dynamic ethnographic theater performance project by the students in Prof. Debra Vidali's Fall 2013 "Ethnography, Theater, and Performance" class at Emory University, is now available on YouTube. All dialogue and scenes come directly from ethnographic field notes and interviews. Lines are verbatim from research transcripts and field note books. Each student in the class designed an original research project to investigate how time matters and is experienced in everyday life.