Extemporaneous Talks and Other Guest Lectures

On September 24, 2013, we inaugurated a new departmental lecture series entitled “Extemporaneous Talks.” The ET series consists of “spur-of-the-moment” talks designed to take advantage of visiting scholars.

Dr. Gad Saad meeting with Biology, Culture & Evolution students
Dr. Gad Saad meeting with Biology, Culture & Evolution students

Our first presenter (ET #1) was Melissa Rosenzweig, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. The title of her presentation was “Excavations and Research at Ziyaret Tepe, the late Assyrian Capital of Tushan in Southeastern Turkey.” Ziyaret Tepe is a Late (Neo-) Assyrian provincial center in the present-day region of southeastern Turkey. Between 900 and 600 BCE Ziyaret Tepe was the site of Tushan, a regional capital of the Assyrian empire that housed provincial governors and garrisoned military units headed north and west into contested territories. The 32 hectare settlement included a city fortification wall, upper and lower towns, and a large administrative complex and granary, which stockpiled and redistributed agricultural produce generated by Assyrian subjects living in the fertile Tigris River Valley. Rosenzweig discussed her research at Ziyaret Tepe, an archaeobotanic study of the social and environmental impact of Assyrian imperialism on the people & lands of Tushan.

Our second ET was by Dr. Chris Kyle, Professor and Chair of Anthropology at UAB. He held an informal discussion on the subject of violence in contemporary Guerrero, Mexico.

In addition to the Extemporaneous Talks, we had several other auspicious visitors to the department this past fall, including Drs. Lori Cormier and Gad Saad. Dr. Cormier is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at UAB and was kind enough to drive to Tuscaloosa during her sabbatical to give a guest lecture in ethnoprimatology for students in the Non-Human Primates (ANT 312) course. Dr. Saad is a Professor of Marketing and Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption in Montreal, Canada, who was visiting UA as part of the ALLELE (Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution) series hosted by the Evolution Working Group. ALLELE guests frequently visit courses in UA’s Evolutionary Studies minor, which is housed in Anthropology, and Dr. Saad met with students in the “Biology, Culture and Evolution” (ANT 475/575) course to discuss his book, The Consuming Instinct.

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