Did You Ask About the Grad Program's Mental and Emotional Support?
A potential grad student I met with a few weeks ago said, I'm a first generation college student, so I know there are probably a lot of questions I'm not thinking to ask. Maybe you can tell me the answer to one of them without me asking it. Did you ask us about our mental and emotional support of grad students? We don't believe in lone ethnographer pull yourself up by the bootstraps anthropology. It's dangerous for your health, and it's bad for scholarship. Grad school can be a very lonely place. Most students go from being the smartest kid in their class without even trying to being completely average. We don't pit our students against each other, but it is still very hard to ramp up your game that fast, especially at such a young, vulnerable, and largely untested age. Furthermore, college inculcates or at least perpetuates anxiety and depression in those... read more ❯
NEW DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS IN BIOCULTURAL HEALTH PROMOTION!
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Just a few hours ago, the Graduate School Committee unanimously approved our proposal for two dual-degree programs (MA/MPH and MPH/PhD) in Biocultural Health Promotion. These programs will be available as of Spring 2020. Need & Rationale for Dual Degree Programs Current knowledge and practice affirm that health is a multi-dimensional phenomenon with a variety of determinants. Public health researchers and anthropologists have traditionally studied population health issues from within their respective disciplinary silos. While the siloed approach has enjoyed some success, the current consensus is that combining methods and theories from both disciplines will expand the reach and efficacy of either approach in benefiting population health. Anthropology is concerned with human beings and their biological and cultural diversity in context. This means that anthropologists develop expertise with particular... read more ❯
Getting Rid of the GRE Requirement
If I were more pragmatic, I'd wait until after November 12 to write on this topic. But then two weeks of recruiting potential grad students would be gone without them having the benefit of this watershed information (and two weeks of considering paying for the GRE). I personally have never been a fan of the GREs, ever since I took all sorts of courses to do well on them to get myself into graduate school and still did poorly on the math portion. It was so frustrating to pay for and take all those GRE prep courses and still do poorly. When I was applying to grad school, I visited my dream program and was told I was a good prospect but would need a better math score to get into their program. The problem was that I was leaving for a month-long study abroad in Ecuador in a few days and... read more ❯
Why Consider Coming to Alabama for Graduate Study in Anthropology?
I am speaking only for myself, but if I'm being honest, Alabama was not my first choice location to move to teach anthropology. The State of Alabama has a reputation for political conservatism and football. Both of them are well earned. When I was looking for jobs, I was concerned about where I would raise my kids and was not particularly interested in football (that has changed, big time). And that is not a knock on Alabama really---it is simply that I grew up in Indiana, which is also pretty conservative, and I am not. I am pretty liberal. I lived in New York City for 15 years and love the cosmopolitan diversity of that place. Then my wife and I lived right outside of New Paltz, NY during my graduate school years, which I often refer to as Portlandia East. It's about a liberal a place as can be. But... read more ❯
Focusing on the "Environment" in Gene-Environment Interactions
The lead author of the chapter, Cultural Consonance, Consciousness, and Depression: Genetic Moderating Effects on the Psychological Mediators of Culture, is Dr. William W. Dressler, a professor of Anthropology at The University of Alabama. His work on culture and health has taken place in many settings including urban Great Britain, the Southeast U.S., and, in particular, Brazil where he has conducted research for over 30 years. Two of his main collaborators in Brazil are Dr. Mauro C. Balieiro and Dr. José Ernesto dos Santos, the co-authors of this piece. Dr. Mauro C. Balieiro is a professor in the Psychology department at The Paulista University (UNIP), a Brazilian university based in São Paulo. His research topics include clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and depression. Dr. José Ernesto dos Santos is a professor of Internal Medicine at the University... read more ❯
Suicide Prevention: Insert Culture Here
Authors This article, Applying Nepali Ethnopscyhology to Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Mental Illness and Prevention of Suicide Among Bhutanese Refugees, was co-written by two MDs, a photographer, and a medical anthropologist with a PhD and an MD. Brandon Kohrt and James L. Griffith both currently hold positions as medical doctors at the George Washington University School of Medicine and this is likely where their decision to collaborate on this study stemmed from. Brandon Kohrt has both an MD and a PhD. He earned both of these degrees at Emory University in 2009 and has been working in Nepal since 1996. His work in Nepal has included conducting research and aiding victims of war. He is a medical anthropologist and a psychiatrist. Since 2006, Kohrt has worked with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization and in 2010 he became a consultant to The Carter Center Mental Health Program Liberia Initiative. He currently holds an... read more ❯
Breaking Down Addiction Into Its Constituent Parts: Neuroscience, Incentive Salience, Environment, and Habits
Dr. Daniel H. Lende Daniel Lende is an associate professor from the department of anthropology at The University of South Florida. He was trained in medical, psychological, and biological anthropology and public health at Emory University in Georgia. His research interests revolve around substance use and abuse, behavioral health, stress, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, embodiment, interventions in behavioral health, and risk-factor epidemiology. He has done fieldwork research in both Colombia and the United States. Dr. Lende and Dr. Downey (the other author of our class book) started Neuroanthropology, which is one of The Public Library of Science (PLOS) Blogs. Addiction and Neuroanthropology “Addiction and Neuroanthropology” by Daniel H. Lende is a multifaceted explanation of the neural and cultural processes intertwined in drug seeking behavior and addiction. A difference between Colombian ideologies of addiction and North American ideologies is that in Columbia, the problem of addiction doesn’t revolve around pleasure. In Columbia, addiction defies... read more ❯
This Is Your Brain on Art
The Dance of the Scientist Lennon Hayes About Paul Howard Mason is an anthropologist at Macquarie University in Australia. He has fieldwork experience in ethnomusicology and medical anthropology. His area of expertise includes neuroanthropology, dance anthropology, and the anthropology of martial arts. In his article, “Brain, Dance and Culture: The choreographer, the dancing scientist and interdisciplinary collaboration” he draws on his experience in these fields and makes the argument that dance provides a unique area of interest for anthropology. Dance in Relation to the Brain, Culture, and Environment Dance is shaped by culture and gives researchers an insight into how people perceive and interpret the world around them by the way they express themselves through dance. Dance is influenced by the embodied brain, culture, and the environment. These three categories overlap among themselves as well. These influences shape how the dancers speak to one another and how they begin to... read more ❯
A New Kind of Participation Trophy
What's New in the World of Sports? In this article, Heywood argues that current research in sports sociology and kinesiology focuses too much on the macro- and micro-level details of how sports affect human emotions, but neither delves into an "embodied theory of the emotions." She suggests that using an evolutionary perspective appropriately includes how the autonomic nervous system (ANS) responds to the psychological atmosphere of sports. Heywood also promotes a new model of sports, called "immersive sports" which combine the benefits of competitive athletics and recreational play and could integrate sports psychology into the field of neuroanthropology and improve coaching methods to push for greater emotional and public health. Affect and Evolution The author introduces Panksepp, a leading affective neurobiologist who researches the organization of affect in the brain. Where in our brains do we process and embody certain emotions? Panksepp proposes seven core emotional systems... read more ❯