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Article an adaptation of introduction to SEAC symposium in honor of Jim Knight by Amanda Regnier

After over 24 years of the service to the Department, Dr. Vernon James "Jim" Knight, Jr. became Professor Emeritus in May 2014. Jim Knight's history with UA is much more extensive, however, as his legacy stretches over the past 40+ years.

Working with Mr. DeJarnette (on far right) in 1975 at LaGrange bluff shelter
Figure 1. Working with Mr. DeJarnette (on far right) in 1975 at LaGrange bluff shelter

Dr. Knight’s first field experience in Alabama occurred working alongside the father of Alabama Archaeology, David DeJarnette, north of Mound R at Moundville in 1973 (Figure 1). After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1975, he went to work for the early incarnation of the Office of Archaeological Research at Moundville (OAR). In that same year, Dr. Knight published “Some Observations Concerning Plant Materials and Aboriginal Smoking in Eastern North America” in the Journal of Alabama Archaeology. We wonder how many archaeologists can say that an article they wrote just might have inspired numerous unofficial experimental studies among the archaeologists of the 1970s, and probably beyond? Or more seriously, how many archaeologists can say that their first published work in a state journal is still being cited?

Figure 2

In 1977, Dr. Knight completed his MA at the University of Toronto. His thesis was based on materials from survey work done in the Rother L. Harris reservoir (Figure 2) along the Tallapoosa River of east central Alabama in 1974, where he worked with John O’Hear. His thesis resulted in an initial culture historical sequence for this portion of the Alabama Piedmont. Dr. Knight continued to work in the Coosa and Tallapoosa drainages of eastern Alabama in the 1980s and authored a number of reports detailing surveys in east Alabama.

Figure 3
Figure 3

Dr. Knight’s long tradition of research into Mississippian ritual dates back at least as far as his work along the Lower Chattahoochee, particularly at Cemochechobee, where he worked alongside Frank and Gail Schnell for the Columbus Museum of Arts and Sciences. (Figure 3) Whispered graduate student legends state that he may have been thrown from the mound by an angry crewmember during that field project. Dr. Knight’s work in the Chattahoochee followed in the footsteps of Mr. DeJarnette, who worked in the Lower Chattahoochee in the mid-20th century. Anyone who has worked in that region has consulted his work on chronology at Cemochechobee and Singer-Moye, as well as his later Walter F. George survey and excavation reports to familiarize him/herself with the lower Chattahoochee culture historical sequence.  In the past several years, he has worked with Karen Smith, who received her MA with Dr. Knight in 1999, on Swift Creek paddle designs and Woodland period chronology in the Chattahoochee and Lower Appalachicola.

Figure 4
Figure 4

Dr. Knight returned to OAR in 1981 after completing his doctoral research at the University of Florida in just three years and rose to the level of Senior Research Archaeologist. Dr. Knight directed or contributed to several studies of Woodland ceremonialism in Florida and Alabama during this time, (Figure 4) including his dissertation advisor Jerry Milanich’s work on McKeithen Weeden Island culture in north Florida and the OAR excavations of the Copena mound at the Walling site in the Tennessee Valley of northern Alabama. Based on these and other excavations at Woodland sites, Dr. Knight created a model of Woodland platform mound symbolism focused on feasting and gift exchange with an emphasis on world renewal ceremonialism. These are intriguingly linked to historic Green Corn ceremonialism.

Figure 5
Figure 5

Dr. Knight’s work on Upper Creek archaeology goes back to his MA work in the Tallapoosa (Figure 5). His first Creek publication was in conjunction with Marvin Smith in 1980 and focused on ceramic changes at the Big Tallassee site between A.D. 1550-1800. His mid-1980s report of excavations at the Tukabatchee site in Elmore County established a chronology of Late Mississippian through Removal-period occupation in the lower Tallapoosa. His study of the importance of European goods and political leadership during the Early Historic period laid the groundwork for subsequent research on leadership in the Creek confederacy. Dr. Knight continued his work on the emergence of the historic Creeks, Creek ceramics, and the role of Creek clanship and political organization into the 1990s.

Figure 6
Figure 6

In the mid-1980s, as the 450th anniversary of the Hernando de Soto expedition approached, Dr. Knight served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Alabama De Soto Commission (Figure 6). The goal of the commission was to evaluate new evidence for the route of the expedition through Alabama in 1540 and revise Swanton’s map created for the 400th anniversary. Working closely with geographical, historic, and archaeological scholars, notably Alabama geologist Douglas Jones and esteemed southeastern ethnohistorian Charles Hudson, the Commission tackled the thorny issue of the location of major Alabama sites along the route. The central focus in Alabama was the location of Chief Tascalusa’s attack at Mabila; arguments over its location proved as heated as the battle itself. The work of the commission ultimately resulted in the publication of the updated translations of the expedition narratives, a pair of volumes that sit on the shelves of countless archaeologists, historians, and amateur enthusiasts. In 2006, working with Dr. Jones, Dr. Knight once again convened a group of archaeologists, historians, and geographers to evaluate new evidence and reconsider old evidence. The end result was an edited volume that synthesizes the work of scholars from multiple disciplines and narrows down a location for Mabila.

Figure 7
Figure 7

Dr. Knight is probably best known for his work on Mississippian cultures, where he has published seminal works on Mississippian religion and ritual, symbolism and iconography, and social hierarchy. His dissertation and resulting publications explored Mississippian ritual, religion, and symbolism via structural theory, Muskogean ethnographic data, and archaeological evidence. This study described the symbolism in the Mississippian platform mound and identified three distinct branches of Mississippian religion.

In 1988, Dr. Knight joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama. He promptly set to work developing a research plan to work at Moundville (Figure 7). His decade-long NSF-funded excavations at Moundville began in 1993. In the 1990s and 2000s, his work researchers from other institutions and numerous projects by his graduate students turned the previous interpretation of the site onto its head (Figure 8). Working with Vin Steponaitis, Dr. Knight created a new site history that demonstrated the site reached peak population early in its history and later became a vacant center used for burials. His work comparing Moundville to a Chickasaw camp square provided a new way of looking at the arrangement of mounds around the plaza. The mound excavations at Moundville trained a decade’s worth of UA undergraduates in basic field methodology and resulted in an award-winning monograph (Figure 9).

Figure 8
Figure 8

Dr. Knight’s research into Mississippian iconography and the methodology of iconographic research has led to some a series discoveries on the nature of Mississippian religion. In 2001, along with James Brown, George Lankford, and the rest of the Iconography Working Group, Dr. Knight put forth the notion that so-called “Southeastern Ceremonial Complex art” depicted mythological heroes engaged in acts detailed in legends, many of which can be attributed via ethnographic research (Figure 10). Dr. Knight bade the term “Southeastern Ceremonial Complex” farewell a few years later and then proclaimed we shouldn’t refer to these representational images as “art” either. Regardless of what you call this corpus of representational images found on artifacts from southeastern Mississippian sites, this realization about southeastern iconography opened up a whole new world of iconographic studies, and allowed archaeologists to tie motifs to particular site histories (Figure 11). Dr. Knight’s work with Vin Steponaitis on the iconographic style of Moundville demonstrated a preponderance of death or Beneath World images, according well with the use of the site as a burial place for residents of the surrounding Black Warrior Valley for much of its history. After years of teaching the intense graduate Iconography seminar at the University of Alabama, Dr. Knight really did write the book on New World iconographic methodology (Figure 12). It is a clear, concise summary of how to go about this research with the most rigorous methodology and avoid traps into which many other researchers have fallen.

Figure 9
Figure 9

In the early 2000s, Dr. Knight began branching into the Caribbean, working in Cuba (Figure 13). At the El Convento site, a large Late Ceramic Age village with a post-contact component, he reinterpreted ceramic chronologies and provided a basic occupational sequence. He then correlated the revised site history with existing ethnohistoric accounts to provide evidence that El Convento was the site of the encomienda of Bartolomé de Las Casas. Las Casas was the first person to argue on behalf of the rights of the indigenous peoples of the New World. In multiple years of fieldwork at El Chorro de Maíta, Dr. Knight and his research team sought to identify correlates of sociopolitical complexity in residential contexts at a large Late Ceramic Age chiefly center. These excavations provided new data regarding the production of highly crafted ritual items, the extent of post-contact material throughout the site, and offered a new model for the occupational history of the site. Artifacts and dates indicate the site had no early component and was very likely to have been established as a chiefly center. These data have implications for emergent complexity in Eastern Cuba and for the archaeology of the Late Ceramic Age. Knight has also conducted a formal analysis of ceramics from Chorro, resulting in a new interpretation of ceramic vessel shape and data regarding potential foodways of the peoples who lived in the Caribbean.

Figure 10
Figure 10

More recently, Dr. Knight has started an iconographic analysis of ceremonial gear from Cuba, including engraved shell gorgets, carved stone idols, and engraved shell beads. When this study is completed, this will be the first time someone has assembled the corpus of such items from Cuba. This will be critical for understanding the relationship of Late Ceramic Age Cuba to contemporaneous peoples throughout the Caribbean, addressing questions of rapidly adopted religious constructs, population movement, and new cultural practices.

Figure 11
Figure 11

Dr. Knight has influenced many careers in archaeology. His attention to the details of training students extends to lessons not evident in his publications but is obvious in the ways other working archaeologists now conduct fieldwork.

Lessons Learned from Dr. Knight

Figure 12
Figure 12

When working in the field:

  1. Keep your field equipment clean, organized, and in working order at ALL times!
  1.  Seriously, no, I mean it.  Keep your field equipment clean, organized, and in working order at ALL times!
  1.  Don't be the guy with a trowel holster.  In fact, why do you even need to have your own trowel?  Just use one from the field desk.
  1. Keep your field skills sharp, so when you occasionally jump into a unit to show your students how it’s done, they are in awe of your ability to flatten a floor or straighten a wall.
Figure 13
Figure 13

When working in the lab:

  1.  Field rules 1 & 2 also apply to the lab.
  1. Leaving a tray of anything out on the lab table and walking away is asking for a disaster.

When dealing with students:

  1.  Never underestimate the power of a raised eyebrow and uncomfortable silence to bring a wayward graduate student into line.
  1.  If that doesn't get the message across, lean back in your chair and press your fingertips together.
  1.  If that fails, take off your glasses.Hawsey quote
  1. When a graduate student is hiding from you, call them and ominously say, "This is your conscience calling," whenever they answer the phone. Maintain an uncomfortable silence while they inform you of their progress. Repeat on a weekly basis until they finally turn something in.

Knight’s rules for writing:

  1. If it is obvious, then you should never have to state it.Wix quote
  1. Be intentional and decisive in your writing, and choose sides. Remind your students, following Marvin Harris, YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE!!!
  1. Don't worry about following theoretical trends. Do what you are interested in, and do it well. Regardless of whether someone notices down the line, you will still have made a good effort doing what interests you.
  1. “In regards” is NOT to be used. There is always something else you can use.
  1. Good writers do not use the phrase “in terms of…”.
  1. Avoid words like “important” and “valuable.” One assumes so.
  1. Nothing is ever unique—so don’t use that word!
  1. Never say “interesting” in formal writing.
  1. “Great” is a word widely used by sportscasters. Please discard it forever.
  1. “As well” is never a good way to start a sentence.
  1. “Drastically” is a word much misused. Means an extreme or radical effect, almost violent, not simply unsuitable. Make sure this is what you mean.
  2. For emphasis, use italics. All caps is shouting in prose.
  3. Good writers never say “looked at,” as in someone looked at something in their research. Instead, good writers use words that are not as vague.

Professor Emeritus Jim Knight with presenters honoring his retirement in session" From Mound Ritual to Iconography to Spanish Conquistadors: Papers in Honor of Vernon  James Knight, Jr." at the 71st Annual Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Greenville, South Carolina.
Professor Emeritus Jim Knight with presenters honoring his retirement in session" From Mound Ritual to Iconography to Spanish Conquistadors: Papers in Honor of Vernon James Knight, Jr." at the 71st Annual Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Greenville, South Carolina.

Briggs, Rachel V.
The Hominy Foodway in the Historic Native Eastern Woodlands. Presented at the 71st Annual Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Greenville, South Carolina, November 12-15.

Dressler, William W.
Cultural consonance as a mediator of health disparities. Abstracts of the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Washington, DC, December 3-7.

Galbraith, Marysia H.
Przeszłość, teraźniejszość i pryszłość: zmienne orientacje czasowe w Polsce od 1989 (Past, Present, and Future: Changing Temporal Orientations in Poland since 1989), University of Rzeszów,Rzeszów, Poland, November 4.

Galbraith, Marysia H.
Being and Becoming European in Poland: European Integration and Self-Identity, at the conference Political Culture: European Norms and Polish Reality, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, December 17.

Herndon, Kelsey E., B.A. Houk, and D.S. Sandrock
The 2014 Excavations at Chan Chich, Belize. Presented at the 2014 Belize Anthropology and Archaeology Symposium; San Ignacio, Belize, July 4.

Knight, Vernon James
The Archaeology of Moundville’s Sociogram. Invited lecture for the Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. September 29.

Lynn, Christopher D., Virgil Roy Beasley, III, Kelsey E. Herndon, H. Francois Dengah, II, A. Brooke Persons
Anthropology is Elementary and can be Taught There: Teaching Four-Field Anthropology to 3rd and 4th Grade Students. Talk at presented at the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, December 3­-7.

Lynn, Christopher D., and Baba Brinkman
“Rap Guide to Evolution” Influences on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Emotions. Talk at the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, October 17-18.

Meek, David
Producing Places: Politics of Mapping Technologies and Cartographic Production. American Anthropological Association annual conference. Washington, D.C., December 3rd-7th.

Nelson, Ted Clay
Mortuary Practices, Social Status, and Wealth at the Rhodes Site in Moundville, Alabama. Paper presented at the 71st annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Greenville, SC, November 13.

Oths, Kathryn
Global Health Policy toward Traditional Healers: A 21st Century Update (poster).  American Anthropological Association, Abstracts of the 113th Annual Meetings, Washington, DC, Dec. 3-7.

Regnier, Amanda, Erin Phillips, and Rachel V. Briggs
From Mound Ritual to Iconography to Spanish Conquistadors: Papers in Honor of Vernon  James Knight, Jr. 71st Annual Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Greenville, South Carolina, November 12-15.

Simova, Borislava, David W. Mixter, and Lisa J. LeCount
The Social Lives of Structures: Veneration Rituals and Changing Cultural Landscapes at Actuncan, Belize. A paper presented at the 12th annual Belize Archaeology symposium, San Ignacio, Belize, July 2.

Weaver, Lesley Jo
“My mind is a little different": Suffering and Resilience among Women with Type 2 Diabetes in North India. American Anthropological Association annual conference, Washington, DC, December 3-7.


Blitz, John H., C. Fred Andrus, and Lauren E. Downs
Schlerochronological Detection of Seasonality at a Late Woodland Mound. American Antiquity 79(4):697-711.

Brown, Ian W.
Time Travelers in England: Americans in Search of Salt. Tuscaloosa, AL: Borgo Publishing.

Dressler, William W. and Kathryn S. Oths
Social Survey Methods in Anthropological Fieldwork. In: Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. 2nd Ed., H. Russell Bernard and Clarence C. Gravlee, Eds., Altamira Press.

González Faraco, Juan Carlos and Michael D. Murphy
El Rocío de Antoine de Latour. Exvoto 4(3): 253-281.

Herndon, Kelsey E., G. Zaro, B.A. Houk, S. Mitchell, and E. Gallis
The 2014 Excavations of the Chan Chich Dynastic Architecture Project. In The 2014 Season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by B.A. Houk, pp. 31-68. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, Number 8. Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Knight, Vernon James
Taking Stock of Social Theory in Southeastern Archaeology. Southeastern Archaeology 33(2):206-207.

Kosiba, Steve and Andrew M. Bauer
Mapeando el paisaje politico: hacia una análisis SIG de las diferencias medioambientales y sociales. Cuadernos de Qhapaq Ñan 2(1):120-160.

Lynn, Christopher D.
Hearth and Campfire Influences on Arterial Blood Pressure: Defraying the Costs of the Social Brain through Fireside Relaxation. Evolutionary Psychology 12(5):983-1003,

Meek, David
Sustainability Education: What’s Politics Got to Do With It? Journal of Sustainability Education 7(December):

Meek, David
Agroecology and Rural Grassroots Movements’ Evolving Moral Economies. Environment and Society: Advances in Research. 5: 47–65

Meek, David
Climate change and the political ecology of education. Anthropology News. August 11th.

Mixter, David, Kara Fulton, Lauren Bussiere, and Lisa LeCount
Living through Collapse: An Analysis of Maya Residential Modifications during the Terminal Classic Period at Actuncan, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 11:55-66.

Weaver, Lesley Jo and Bonnie Kaiser.
Developing Locally-Validated Mental Health Measurement Tools: Examples from India and Haiti. Field Methods epub ahead of print, 25 Sept 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1525822X14547191.

Weaver, Lesley Jo
Review of Reconstructing Obesity: The Meaning of Measures and the Measure of Meanings. Medical Anthropology Quarterly epub ahead of print, 31 July 2014, DOI: 10.1111/maq.12133.

Willis, M.D., B.A. Houk, Kelsey E. Herndon, and C. Walker
Structure from Motion Mapping of Structure A-15 at Chan Chich. In The 2014 Season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by B.A. Houk, pp. 21-30. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, Number 8, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Dr. Kathryn Oths
Dr. Kathryn Oths

Dr. Kathy Oths has been selected by the College of Arts and Sciences as an A&S Distinguished Teaching Fellow for 2014-2017. This is such a wonderful honor and so richly deserved. It serves as a fabulous bookend for Prof. Oths having recently been selected as an NAA 2014 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award recipient.

Drs. Jim Knight and Brooke Persons were part of a multi-national team recognized by a National Award of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba 2013. The team interpreted excavations at El Chorro de Maita in Cuba and identified it as a post-colonial contact indigenous community and cemetery. It is the first site of this type and has been recognized as one of the most important Cuban social sciences achievements of 2013.

Dr. Christopher Lynn was the recipient of an Arts and Sciences CARSCA (College Academy for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity) grant for a project entitled "Retention and Emotional Salience of Evolution Education via Comedy and Hip Hop." In collaboration with Dr. William Evans of Telecommunication and Film, this project will use survey and skin conductance methods to test the impact of evolution education when delivered via hip hop playwright Baba Brinkman's award-winning "Rap Guide to Evolution" show versus a stand lecture format.

Dr. Marysia Galbraith
Dr. Marysia Galbraith

Drs. Jason DeCaro and Marysia Galbraith were awarded Research Grants Committee support for their projects "The Culture of Child Caregiving in Mwanza, Tanzania" and "Jewish Heritage in Poland: Remembered Pasts and Imagined Futures," respectively.

Dr. Galbraith also has the rare honor of receiving a third Fulbright award to conduct her Jewish-Polish heritage project, which will also involve documenting and recovering her own Polish heritage. There is little precedent in anthropology for projects like Dr. Galbraith's, which document changes in self-identity and views of life from teen to adult. As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Galbraith will also be affiliated with Adam Mickiewicz University, which will enable her to connect and collaborate with Polish scholars.

Alabama Anthropology research was well represented at regional and national conferences this past fall!

Armine Goertz, Jolynn. Fragments and Field Notebooks. Franz Boas and the Chehalis Oral Tradition. Paper presentation at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Davis, Jera R. Moundville’s Defining Moment: Plazas, Architecture, and Collective Vision in Polity Formation. Paper presented at the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Tampa, FL, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Dengah II, H.J.F. Blessings of the Holy Spirit: How Religious Cultural Consonance Shapes Well-being among Brazilian Pentecostals. Paper presented at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24.

Dengah II, H.J.F. Blessings of the Holy Spirit: How Religious Cultural Consonance Shapes Psychological Well-being among Brazilian Pentecostals. Invited lecture given for the Colorado State University Alumni Lecture Series, Fort Collins, CO.

DeCaro, Jason, and Warren Wilson. Maternal Mental Health as a Mediator of the Impact Food Insecurity on Child Health in a Peri-Urban Region of Tanzania. Oral presentation at the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropologists, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 17-20, 2013.

DeCaro, Jason, and Warren Wilson. Untangling the Knot of Correlated Adversities: Food Insecurity, Maternal Depression, and Maternal & Child Health in Mwanza, Tanzania. Oral presentation at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Dressler, William W. Stability and Change in the Cognitive Structure of Four Cultural Domains after Ten Years.  Abstracts of the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Eubanks, Paul N. The Timing and Distribution of Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana. Paper presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Tampa, Florida, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Funkhouser, Lynn. An Analysis of Near-Mound Cemeteries at Moundville. Paper presentation at the Southeastern Archaeology Conference annual meeting, Tampa, FL, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Galbraith, Marysia. Engagements with Past, Present, and Future through Cultural Heritage. Poster session organized for the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Galbraith, Marysia. Selective Memories and Contested Futures: Temporality and Collective Representations. Poster presentation at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Herndon, KE, BA Houk, M Willis, CP Walker, and A Booher. Structure from Motion Mapping and Remote Sensing at the Maya Site of Chan Chich, Belize. Presented at the South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica; Houston, Texas. November 2, 2013.

Knight, Vernon James. Discussant: Remembering Charlie: A Roundtable Discussion on the Life and Work of Charles Hudson. Southeastern Archaeology Conference annual meeting, Tampa, FL, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Kosiba, Steve. “Construyendo un paisaje inka: La constitución de la autoridad durante la formación del Estado inkaiko (Cuzco, Perú).” Invited lecture, Paper presented at the Programa de Estudios Andinos, Facultad de Letras y Ciencias Humanas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Peru, 2013.

Kowalski, Jessica. Mississippian-Period Settlement Size and Soil Productivity in the Southern Yazoo Basin, Mississippi. Paper presentation at the Southeastern Archaeology Conference annual meeting, Tampa, FL, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

LaDu, Daniel. The 2013 Excavations at the Mazique Mounds. Paper presentation at the Southeastern Archaeology Conference annual meeting, Tampa, FL, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Lazo, Rodrigo, Kathy Oths, and Max Stein Assessing Change and Continuity in an Andean Medical System American Anthropological Association, 112th Annual Meetings, Chicago, IL. Nov.20-24, 2013.

LeCount, Lisa J., David W. Mixter, and Borislava Simova.  All the King’s Men: Investigating the Nature of Preclassic Maya Elite Households and Kingship at Actuncan, Belize. A paper presented at the 11th annual Belize Archaeology symposium, San Ignacio, Belize, July 4, 2013.

LeCount, Lisa J.  At the Intersections of Powers: Markets and Commodities in Classic Maya Society.  A paper presented at the 78th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in the symposium Households, Markets, World-Systems, and Political Economy: Alternative Pathways to Complexity, organized by Lane Fargher and Verenice Y. Heredia Espinoza.  Honolulu, Hawaii, April 5, 2013.

Lynn, Christopher D. Defraying the Costs of “Analysis Paralysis”: A Neuroanthropological Model of Dissociation, Deafferentation, and Trance. Invited talk for the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Chicago, IL, November 20—24, 2013.

Lynn, Christopher D. The Ecological Diversity of Transcendence. Invited talk for the Tuscaloosa Secular Humanists. Tuscaloosa, AL, September 25, 2013.

Mixter, David W., and Lisa J. LeCount.  Building History through Households: Contextualizing Social and Political Transitions at Actuncan.  A paper presented at the 11th annual Belize Archaeology symposium, San Ignacio, Belize, July 4, 2013.

Oths, Kathy. Discussant: When the Doctor Is Not In: Emergent Practices of Care in Patient/Nonphysician Provider Interactions. American Anthropological Association, 111th Annual Meetings, San Francisco, CA. Nov.20-24, 2013.   

Oths, Kathy. Roundtable Presenter: The Inextricability of Environment and Culture in the Emergence of 21st Century Maladies: Potential Contributions of Anthropology. American Anthropological Association, 111th Annual Meetings, San Francisco, CA. Nov.20-24, 2013.

Read-Wahidi, Mary Rebecca.  Poor and Living in a Foreign Land: Mexican Immigrants Coping with Life in Mississippi.  112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Chicago IL. Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Smith, Karen Y., and Vernon James KnightThe Role of Primitive Geometric Elements in Swift Creek Art. Poster presentation at Southeastern Archaeological Conference annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, Nov. 6-9, 2013.

Steel, Meghan, and Christopher D. Lynn. Fireside Meditations: The Induction of a Relaxation Response by Focused Attention on a Flickering Light and Novel Sound Phenomenon. Oral presentation at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Stein, Max J. and  Christopher D. LynnReligion as Resilience: Evaluating the Intersections of Religious Collectivity and Disease in Limón Province, Costa Rica.  Paper presented at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL, Nov. 20-24, 2013.

Alibali, Martha, Mitchell Nathan, Matthew Wolfgram, Breckie Church, Steve Jacobs, Chelsea Johnson, and Eric Knuth
How Teachers Link Representations in Mathematics Instruction Using Speech and Gesture: A Corpus Analysis. Cognition and Instruction 32(1):65-100.

Dressler, William W.
Race and Public Health. In: The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society. William W. Cockerham, Robert Dingall, and Stella Quah, Eds., Pp. 2017-2021. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Galbraith book coverGalbraith, Marysia
Being and Becoming European: Self-Identity and European Integration in Poland. London: Anthem Press.

Galbraith, Marysia
Review of Patrons of History: Nobility, Capital and Political Transitions in Poland by Longina Jakubowska. American Ethnologist. 41 (1):204-5.

Houk, B.A., K. Kelley, D. Sandrock, and Kelsey E. Herndon
The Chan Chich Archaeological Project and the Belize Estates Archaeological Survey Team, 2013 Season. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 11.

Lynn, Christopher D., R. Nathan Pipitone, and Julian P. Keenan
To Thine Own Self Be False: Self-Deceptive Enhancement and Sexual Awareness Influences on Mating Success. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 8(2):109-122, DOI: 10.1037/h0097255.

Lynn, Christopher D., Max J. Stein, Andrew P.C. Bishop
Engaging Undergraduates through Neuroanthropological Research. Anthropology Now 6(1):92-103.

Lynn, Christopher D., Virgil R. Beasley, III, Anna S. Cohen, H. Francois Dengah, II, J. Lynn Funkhouser, Kelsey Herndon, and A. Brooke Persons. Anthropology is Elementary and can be Taught There: Teaching Four-Field Anthropology to 3rd and 4th Grade Students. Anthropology News. June/July.

Murphy, Michael D.
Review of Looking for Mary Magdalene, by Anna Fedele. Journal of Anthropological Research 70:330-331.

Smith, Karen Y., and Vernon J. Knight, Jr.
Core Elements and Layout Classes in Swift Creek Paddle Art. Southeastern Archaeology 33(1):42-54.

Spaulding, Kristina, Rebecca Burch, and Christopher D. Lynn 
Evolutionary Studies Reproductive Successes and Failures: Knowing Your Institutional Ecology. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium 6(1):18-38.

As evidence of the transparency of the Talladega Study & socioeconomic disparities, in 1951, when the study was conducted, only 1% of "colored" families received sanitation services.
As evidence of the transparency of the Talladega Study & socioeconomic disparities, in 1951, when the study was conducted, only 1% of "colored" families received sanitation services.

Image (35)As part of our new "Extemporaneous Talks" lecture series, Dr. James Hall from New College gave a talk about a particular history of segregation in Alabama.  His talk reviewed a period of UA & Anthropology Department history that resonates to this day but about which we are scarcely aware.  Solon Kimball, who received in Ph.D. from Harvard in 1936, was hired at UA as professor & chair in 1948 to inaugurate UA's new dual program in Sociology & Anthropology & sociology. He remained here until 1953, when he moved on to Columbia University's Teachers' College.

While at UA, Kimball was instrumental in developing & administering the Talladega Study, which was a study of community morale that led to the establishment of the town's public health program.  Among the aspects of the study that made it unique was that it was what we today call "participatory action research," wherein the community has an investment in the study, helps develop the methodology, & administered the study itself with the assistance of outside experts.

What was also important about the Talladega Study is that it highlighted a painful aspect of academia at that period of time with regard to segregation.  Dr. Hall spoke of how Kimball & his collaborators appear to have been anti-segregationists but could not convince the Talladega community to allow African-Americans, who constituted 1/3 of the town's population, to participate in the study. Kimball made arrangements for the African-American community to conduct their own separate study, but volunteers declined to come forward.

The methodological shortcoming of biasing the sample toward the white demographic of the community & representing it as The Talladega Story: A Study of Community Process, in retrospect, calls into question the findings of that study.  What Hall finds remarkable is the attitude of Kimball & others of the period, who, just 18 months shy of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, did not understand why African-Americans would utilize passivity, silence, & non-action as a form of resistance. Nonetheless, Kimball's work in Alabama earned him the label of "academic radical," & may have had something to do with his departure before The Talladega Story had even been published.

Of note, Kimball was also a founding member of the Society for Applied Anthropology, created in 1940, president of the American Ethnological Association, & was instrumental in the formation of the Council on Anthropology & Education. In 1978, he helped establish the Zora Neale Hurston Fellowship Award Fund to honor outstanding African-American graduates in anthropology. The Kimball Award is issued every other year by the American Anthropological Association to an anthropologist who effects change in public policy.

Though Kimball's presence in our department is not part of the living memory of any current faculty members, Dr. Jim Knight, who grew up in the Talladega area, recalled taking an undergraduate course with Dr. Kimball when he had moved on from Columbia to the University of Florida. For better & worse, this is a fascinating chapter in Alabama, UA, & our department's history.  We appreciate Dr. Hall stopping by & look forward to learning more.

Read our department history for information about Solomon Kimball & other UA anthropologists from years past.

Alibali, Martha W., Nathan, Mitchell J., Church, R. Breckie, Wolfgram, Matthew S., Kim, S., & Knuth, Eric J. (2013). Gesture and speech in mathematics lessons: Forging common ground by resolving trouble spots. ZDM – International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45, 425-440.

Bingham, Paul M., Joanne Souza, and John H. Blitz (2013) Introduction: Social Complexity and the Bow in the Prehistoric North American Record. Evolutionary Anthropology 22(3):81-88. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21353.Above & Beyond the Pale by Ian Brown

Blitz, John H., and Erik S. Porth (2013) Social Complexity and the Bow in the Eastern  Woodlands. Evolutionary Anthropology 22(3):89-95. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21349.

Blitz, John H., and Lauren E. Downs (2013) An Integrated Geoarchaeology of a Late Woodland Sand Mound. American Antiquity 78(2):344-358. DOI: 10.7183/0002-7316.78.2.344.

Brown, Ian W. (2013) Above and Beyond the Pale: A Portrait of Life and Death in Ireland. Tuscaloosa, AL: Borgo.

Brown, Ian W. (2013) The Red Hills of Essex: Studying Salt in England. Tuscaloosa, AL: Borgo.

Dengah II, H.J.François (2013). The Contract with God: Patterns of Cultural Consensus across Two Brazilian Religious Communities. Journal of Anthropological Research 69(3):347-372.

Dressler, William W., H.J. François Dengah II, Mauro C. Balieiro, and José Ernesto dos Santos. (2013) Cultural Consonance, Religion, and Psychological The Red Hills of Essex by Ian BrownDistress in Urban Brazil. Paidéia: Cadernos de Psicologia e Educação 23: 151-160.

Knight, Vernon James, Jr. (2013) Iconographic Method in New World Prehistory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Knight, Vernon James, Jr. (2013) Style and Configuration in Prehistoric Iconography. In The Art of Anthropology/The Anthropology of Art. Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings, No. 42, edited by Brandon D. Lundy, pp. 223-238. Newfound Press, Knoxville, TN.

Lynn, Christopher D. (2013) “The Wrong Holy Ghost”: Discerning the Apostolic Gift of Discernment. Ethos 41(2):223-247.

Mixter, David W., Thomas R. Jamison, and Lisa J. LeCount (2013) Actuncan’s Noble Court: New Insights into Political Strategies of an Enduring Center in the Upper Belize River Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10:91-104. PDF.Iconographic Method in New World Prehistory by Jim Knight

Murphy, Michael D., and J. Carlos González Faraco (2013) Intensificación cultural en El Rocío: una breve aproximación comparada a la devoción rociera. ExVoto 3(2):99-119.

Nathan, Mitchell J. Srisurichan, R., Walkington, C., Wolfgram, Matthew S., Williams, C. & Alibali, Martha W. (2013) “Building Cohesion Across Representations: A Mechanism for STEM Integration.”Journal of Engineering Education 102(1):77–116.

Shults, Sara C., and Lisa J. LeCount (2013) Obsidian Form and Distribution at Actuncan, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10:115-126. PDF.

Snodgrass, J.G., H.J. François Dengah II, M.G. Lacy, and J. Fagan (2013). A Formal Anthropological View of ‘‘Motivation’’ Models of Problematic MMO Play: Achievement, Social, and Immersion Factors in the Context of Culture. Transcultural Psychiatry 50(2):235-262. DOI: 10.1177/1363461513487666.