Lectures & Workshops

ALLELE speaker Becky Burch interviewed on Capstone Radio.
Dr. Abrams meets Dr. Bindon, who helped develop our Biocultural Medical program and in whose honor the lecture series was started.
Dr. Abrams meets Dr. Jim Bindon, who helped develop our Biocultural Medical program and in whose honor the lecture series was started.

In the fall, we hosted several in-house lectures and workshops and were graced by talks by a few visiting scholars.

On October 8, we were able to take advantage of a visit to Tuscaloosa by Dr. Natilee A. McGruder, Director of the River Region Food Policy Council (RRFPC), who graced us with an Extemporaneous Talk called “The Local Food System: Getting to Know Your Neighbor.” On November 6, we inaugurated our new “Biocultural Anthropology and Health Lecture Series” with a talk by UAB Professor of Philosophy Marshall Abrams entitled “Modeling the Development of Sustainable Rice Production and Religious Practice in Bali.”

Lynn Funkhouser presented on the history, archaeology, and bioarchaeology of the nations first VA hospital, located outside of Pascagoula, MS for the falls first FABBL.
Lynn Funkhouser presented on the history, archaeology, and bioarchaeology of the nations first VA hospital, located outside of Pascagoula, MS for the falls first FABBL.

Several speakers participated in the FABBL (Friday Afternoon Brown Bag Lunch) series, hosted by the Anthropology Club. On September 25, doctoral candidate Lynn Funkhouser presented “The Mexican Soldiers of Greenwood Island, Mississippi.” On October 9, doctoral student Courtney Andrews presented “Finding Culture in Acculturation: Does Cultural Consonance Mediate the Relationship between Acculturative Stress and Health Outcomes among Mexican Immigrants?” On October 23, doctoral candidate Rachel Briggs presented “Public Archaeology in Western North Carolina: Recent Excavations at Spanish Fort San Juan de Joara.” On November 6, doctoral candidate Daniel LaDu presented “Interaction Spheres and ‘Circle-Maps’: Considering the Role that Extra-Regional Exchange Plays in the Process of Culture Change.”

On December 4, Dr. David Meek was kind enough to give a department workshop on spatial ethnographic research design.

The line for Bill Nye tickets, day 1.
The line for Bill Nye tickets, day 1.

Finally, the Department of Anthropology is affiliated with the Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE) speaker series, which hosted four lectures in the fall. On September 28, ALLELE co-hosted a talk by science personality Bill Nye the Science Guy called “The Importance of Teaching Evolution.” This was the biggest ALLELE talk to date, with thousands of people turning out for three successive giveaways for roughly 5,000 tickets. Dr. Lynn wrote a summary of the event for the EvoS Consortium (http://evostudies.org/2015/10/how-exactly-is-evolution-a-crosscutting-concept-enter-bill-nye-the-science-guy/). Geologist Linda Ivany (Syracuse University) gave a talk on October 15 called “The Pace of Life—The (Often) Missing Element in Studies of Evolution Using Fossils.” On November 12, historian Ron Numbers (University of Wisconsin-Madison) gave a talk called “Baptizing Dinosaurs: How Once-Suspect Evidence of Evolution Came to Support the Biblical Narrative.” And on December 3, evolutionary psychologist Rebecca Burch (SUNY Oswego) gave a lecture rescheduled from the spring entitled “Semen Chemistry: Implications, Innovations, and Controversy.”

Our students and faculty also gave talks around the University. Dr. Marysia Galbraith gave a talk about her experience in Poznan, Poland for the Fulbright Scholar Program on September 3 entitled “Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland.” On December 4, undergraduate Lauren Pratt presented “Status and Stature in Two Prehistoric Burial Populations” in the Computer-Based Honors Program. (faculty advisors, Drs. Blitz and Jacobi).

Fall 2015 Faculty Research Updates

Department of Anthropology promotional video

Elliot Blair has continued his research constructing social network visualizations of aggregated mission communities in 17th century La Florida. He has also continued working on two collaborative projects using compositional analyses to examine the sourcing and circulation of glass beads in the 16th to 18th century Southeast.

John Blitz published a study of the relationship between skeuomorphs and technological change with evidence from archaeology, ethnography, and psychology. What is a skeuomorph? Look it up! Dr. Blitz co-authored a preliminary report with graduate students Jessica Kowalski and Grace Riehm on the results of the undergraduate field school investigation of Mounds A and B at Moundville Archaeological Park. The goal of the project was to date the final construction stages of the two mounds. Preliminary results suggest that Mound A construction ended by A.D. 1350, but evidence from Mound B was inconclusive.

Ian Brown has been preparing for an archaeological investigation at the site of Vergina (burial place of Phillip II of Macedonia) in Greece. He is the new editor of Teocentli, a journal that has been going since 1926 that provides a unique perspective to the history of archaeology through the use of autobiography. Dr. Brown published one book on the archaeology of coastal Louisiana and a couple of book chapters, one dealing with Plaquemine culture pottery from the Anna site in Mississippi and another on the Mangum site, a late prehistoric site in Mississippi and, with Paul Eubanks, published an article in the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology about the archaeology of salt in eastern North America. Dr. Brown has also been working on a longtime study of the connections between prehistoric Indian mounds and historic cemeteries.

Jason DeCaro advanced two ongoing research projects, regarding the effects of food security and maternal mental health on child outcomes in Mwanza, Tanzania, and the psychobiology of school adjustment in West and Central Alabama. For the first of these projects, funded by the University of Alabama Research Grants Committee, he spent a month and a half in Tanzania collecting interview data regarding childcare practices and the social settings in which children develop – a follow-up on previous work where he and collaborators found subtle biological impacts of maternal depression. For the second of these projects, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and done in collaboration with three psychology faculty, his team measured physiological stress responses in over 300 children attending Head Start programs to see how individual differences in the stress response relate to social and emotional learning during the transition into kindergarten.

Bill Dressler is continuing work on his National Science Foundation-funded research on gene-environment interactions and depression in Brazil. Currently he is in the process of writing manuscripts for publication based on those data, two of which have been submitted (one to the American Journal of Human Biology and one to Journal of Anthropological Research; one paper based on the research was published in Field Methods in January of 2015).

Marysia Galbraith developed a new research project “Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland” which explores the resurgence of interest in Jewish culture in Poland, and in particular local-level projects that preserve and commemorate tangible and intangible heritage even in the absence of Jews. She spent the 2014-2015 academic year in Poznan, Poland, funded by a sabbatical leave, Fulbright Fellowship, and UA’s Research Grants Committee Award. She will return to Poland in summer 2016 to continue research.

Keith Jacobi continued his bioarchaeological research of warfare and violence in the prehistoric Southeastern U.S. in general and northern Alabama in particular. He is also assessing the reliability of cadaver dogs for a forthcoming article.

Lisa LeCount directed the Actuncan Archaeological Project in Belize Central America for the seventh year from May 19 until July 19, 2015. Research focused on the site’s E-group, a type of mound complex known to be the earliest public architecture on many ancient Maya sites. Goals of the excavations were to determine the types of activities performed on the mounds and the date of construction episodes. The work was funded by the National Geographic Society: Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE 9658-15) and UA’s College Academy for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

Chris Lynn continued data collection for a study of fireside relaxation, began new data collection and analysis for the tattooing and immune response study, started a new study of the influence a career in anthropology has on family life, and initiated a collaboration to investigate the relationship between psychological absorption and the genetic polymorphism COMT.

Steve Kosiba continued his research on the religious and ritual practices that constituted Inca authority in the capital of their empire (Cuzco, Peru). He is preparing a manuscript on how the construction of the Inca temple at Huanacauri manifested Inca notions of time and divine rulership (for Latin American Antiquity). Kosiba recently submitted a co-authored article (with Andrew Bauer, Stanford University) to the Journal of Social Archaeology and two grant proposals (National Geographic Society and National Science Foundation) for archaeological and historical research at Rumiqolqa, a quarry and colony where the Inca and Spanish Empire forcibly relocated hundreds of workers to cut stone for the construction of the city of Cuzco.

David Meek is currently developing several new research projects. The first is a geostatistical analysis of rural school closings in Brazil. This study seeks to assess whether race and the development of agroindustrial capital are factors behind the massive wave of school closures. The second is a study of learning in transnational social movement exchanges. This project explores how social movement activists learn through becoming embedded in communities of practice.

Kathy Oths continues to work up her new data on treatment choice from her restudy of the northern Peruvian Andes hamlet of Chugurpampa, where she worked over 25 years ago.  Topics include changes and continuities in medical beliefs and practices, secular trends in child growth, and the demographic transition, all in the context of modernization and climate change.  She has been aided in her analyses by three incredible Emerging Scholars, Hannah Smith, Rachel Madey, and Fatima Becerra.  She has also finished two ethnographic films on a highland huesero (bonesetter) this past fall, in collaboration with Adam Booher.

Sonya Pritzker joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama in August 2015. She has continued to publish on the translation of Chinese medicine in various venues, including the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Translation and the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine. Her recent research has been focused on an ongoing project examining the development of integrative psychologically oriented Chinese medicine (IPOCM) in China, funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. This research documents, through close ethnographic study of everyday clinical encounters, the emergence of IPOCM through interactive practice in various clinical settings.

Jo Weaver returned to rural Brazil for the 2015 field season, where she conducted preliminary research on eating habits, common recipes, and prestige and non-prestige foods in the community. This research was supported by a grant from UA’s Research Grants Committee. Future phases of the work, which will also include research sites in Haiti and Ethiopia, will be funded by a National Science Foundation senior award.

Conferences, Panels, & Invited Talks

Department of Anthropology promotional video

Invited Lectures

Several of our faculty were invited to give lectures around the country this past fall. Dr. Lesley Jo Weaver flew to Arizona State University on October 23 to give a talk for their School of Human Evolution and Social change entitled “Chronic Diseases in India: A Biocultural Approach” and another for Smith College’s South Asian Studies Concentration (Connecticut) entitled “Studying Illness in India: The Case of Type 2 Diabetes and Mental Health.” Dr. Marysia Galbraith was invited to give a guest lecture at UA called “Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland” and to provide information about Fulbright opportunities for students and faculty on September 3. She gave a version of this lecture called “The Holocaust in Historical Perspective” on October 15 for Dr. Steve Jacobs’ Religious Studies class (REL 223). Dr. Jason DeCaro was invited to give a lecture as part of the William W. Winternitz Conference for the College of Community Health Science at UA in September entitled “Culture gets under the skin: The implications of everyday experience for human biology and health.” Dr. Sonya Pritzer was also invited to give a Winternitz Lecture (December 1) entitled “Conducting Research in Integrative Medicine.” Dr. Kathy Oths was invited to give a lecture for the UAB Honors Program on September 28 entitled “Farmers Markets and Foodies: Conflict, Change, and Resolution in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.” Dr. Lisa LeCount was invited to give a Spark Talk for the Gulf Coast Exploreum on November 5th entitled “Like Water for Chocolate: The Importance of Ka’Kaw in Domestic and Political Rituals among the Ancient Maya of Central America.”

Conference Panels and Presentations

Our students and faculty are always well-represented at conferences, both in terms of session organizing and presenting, and this past fall was no exception.

American Anthropological Association (AAA), 114th Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 17-22

  • DeCaro JA. What Constitutes a ‘Constitution?’ Biological Sensitivity, Canalization, and the Biocultural Substrates of Differential Resilience. In the symposium, Stress and Health from Genes to Culture: Genetic, Epigenetic, Developmental and Biocultural Interactions.
  • Dressler WW, and JA DeCaro. Organized symposium Stress and Health from Genes to Culture: Genetic, Epigenetic, Developmental and Biocultural Interactions.
  • Dressler WW. Culture as a Mediator of Gene-Environment Interaction. In the symposium, Stress and Health from Genes to Culture: Genetic, Epigenetic, Developmental and Biocultural Interactions.
  • Kosiba, S. Animism and Authority in the Indigenous Americas. In the symposium, Sacred Matter: Animism and Authority in the Indigenous Americas.
  • LeCount, LJ, J Yaeger, B Cap, and B Simova (MA former). Tangled Web: Classic-period Political Pragmatics on Naranjo’s Eastern Frontier in the Mopan River Valley. In the symposium, Beyond the Familiar: Towards a Pragmatic Model for Classic Maya Political Organization.
  • Lynn, CD , and M Howells. Anthropologists, Kids, and Careers: When Family is Strange and the Field Familiar. In the symposium, Hidden Motivations and Glossed Justifications: Problems and Priorities in Biocultural Field Research.
  • Meek, D. Organized symposium Educating for Food Sovereignty (two sessions; invited by the Culture & Agriculture section).
  • Oths, KS, & HN Smith (BA current). Ecological, Social, and Cultural Contributions to Rapid Secular Change in Child Growth in Andean Peru.
  • Pritzker, S. Making the Strange Familiar and the Familiar Strange: Reinventing Classical Theories of Chinese Medical Psychology in Contemporary Beijing. In the symposium, Making Strange Traditions Familiar in Conventional and Complementary Therapeutic Settings.
  • Pritzker, S. Organized symposium Making strange traditions familiar in conventional and complementary therapeutic settings.
  • Pritzker, S. Organized open business meeting Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Integrative Medicine (IM) Group.
  • Thomas, M (PhD current). The Social Ecology of HIV Risk Among Southern African American Female Youth. In the symposium, “Anthropology and HIV/AIDS: Has the Strange Become Too Familiar?”
  • Weaver, LJ. Raced Encounters in Fieldwork: Reflections and Questions. In the symposium, “Hidden Motivations and Glossed Justifications: Problems and Priorities in Biocultural Field Research.
  • Weaver, LJ, and CD Lynn. Organized symposium Hidden Motivations and Glossed Justifications: Problems and Priorities in Biocultural Field Research (Invited session sponsored by the Biological Anthropology Section and the General Anthropology Division).

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management, 37th Annual Fall Research Conference, Miami, FL, November 12-14

  • Boxmeyer C, Gilpin A, DeCaro JA, Lochman J, Mitchell Q. Power PATH: Integrated Two-Generation Social Emotional Intervention for Head Start Preschoolers and their Parents.

Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP), 7th Annual Meeting, Greenville, SC, September 24-27

  • Galbraith, M. “Do Not Open: Heritage in Embodied Silences.”

Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS), 13th Annual Conference, San Ignacio, Belize, June 29-July 3

  • LJ LeCount. Founding Families, Collective Action and Urban Settlement Patterns at Actuncan, Belize.

Cognitive Development Society, 9th Biennial Meeting, Columbus, OH, October 9-10

  • Nancarrow A, Gilpin A, Boxmeyer C, DeCaro JA, Lochman J. Roles of Self-Regulation and Familial Economic Stress on Head Start School Readiness.
  • Thibodeau RB, Brown MM, Gilpin AT, Boxmeyer C, DeCaro JA, Lochman J. Relations between Executive Functions in Childhood across Multiple Informants.

Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), 75th Annual Meeting, Pittsburg, PA, March 24-28

  • Oths, KS, & HN Smith (BA current). Rapid Ecological, Social, and Cultural Change in the Northern Peruvian Andes and Its Effects on Child Growth.

Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA), Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA, April 9-12

  • DeCaro JA. Enculturing the Brain: Toward a Neuroanthropology of Childhood.

Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC), 72nd Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, November 20

  • De Vore, W (Adjunct), and K Jacobi. Facial Mutilations Associated with Scalpings from the Middle Tennessee River Valley. Invited participant Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Eubank, P (PhD current). Salt Production in the Southeastern Caddo Homeland.
  • Funkhouser, JL (PhD current). Preliminary Investigations of an Early Moundville Cemetery. Invited participant Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Gordon, F and W De Vore (Adjunct). Surviving Childhood: Evidence of Violence in Children from the Middle Tennessee River Valley. Invited participant Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Hawsey, K (PhD current). White Oak Creek Archaeology in Dallas County, Alabama.
  • Ide, J (Moundville). Juvenile Identities, Communal Burials, and their Cultural Implications. Invited participant Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Morgan, C (PhD current). Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Warfare Really Hurts Me. Invited participant Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Nelson, TC (PhD current). Debates on Group Identity: Revisiting the McKee Island Phase in Guntersville Basin, Alabama. Invited participant for Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Stewart, A (PhD current). Does Infection in Life Trump Treatment in Death? Burial Differences and Treponemal  Infection. Invited participant for Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Thompson, B (MA former). Bioarchaeological Analysis of Prehistoric Skeletal Populations from the Middle Tennessee River Valley in North Alabama. Invited participant for Middle Tennessee Valley Excavations Revisited: Bioarchaeological Research on Personal and Communal Identities.
  • Thompson, VD, AD Roberts Thompson, J Speakman, EH Blair, and A Hunt. All that Glitters Is Not Gold: pXRF Analysis of Gilded Beads from Spanish Period Sites in the Southeast.

Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland

My grandmother's family (in about 1918)
My grandmother's family (in about 1918)
My grandmother’s family (in about 1918)

My research on Jewish heritage asks: what can be done with the fragments of Jewish culture that remain in Poland, sometimes hidden and sometimes in plain sight? And what value does such memory work have? I explore these questions on two levels: the social level where I focus on what is actually being done with physical traces of Jewish culture in the absence of living Jewish communities, and on the personal level via the archeology of my own hidden Jewish ancestry. These fragments can reveal something about the past, even if it is just in an incomplete and shattered form. And they can point toward the future—the possibilities that might emerge out of traces of memory.

A pool in the ground of a Jewish cemetery. Most of the gravestones were destroyed by the Nazis, and then the pool was built during the Communist period (Photo: M. Galbraith).
A pool in the ground of a Jewish cemetery. Most of the gravestones were destroyed by the Nazis, and then the pool was built during the Communist period (Photo: M. Galbraith).

For 1000 years, until World War II, Jewish culture flourished in the Polish lands, increasing to 10% of the population of the country (3 million people). Most were murdered in the Holocaust, and even the 300,000 who survived faced prejudice and persecution after the war. By 1968, nearly no Jews remained in Poland, and in the oppressive environment imposed by communist leadership, there was very little space to even talk about Jews, leaving the physical traces of their culture to be forgotten and destroyed.

I was fortunate to receive a sabbatical leave and a Fulbright Research Fellowship to spend the 2014-2015 academic year in Poland seeking out the fragments of Jewish life that still remain. I was affiliated with the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, where I taught one class per semester and participated in the Institute’s academic life. I travelled throughout Poland and beyond, visiting archives, conducting interviews and acting as a participant-observer at festivals, commemorations, and sites associated with Jewish communities and their brutal destruction. I also gave 10 guest lectures and conference presentations, half of which were in Polish (a real accomplishment for me—Polish is a challenging language).

The opening of the commemorative rock garden (lapidarium) for recovered fragments of Jewish gravestones, December 2014 (Photo: M. Galbraith).
The opening of the commemorative rock garden (lapidarium) for recovered fragments of Jewish gravestones, December 2014 (Photo: M. Galbraith).

Over the course of the year, I documented the profound contrasts between places characterized by what Iwona Irwin-Zarecka calls the “absence of memory,” and others dominated by an exuberant revival of interest in Jewish culture. These contrasting and often competing orientations are exemplified by one site in which a swimming pool was dug into the Jewish cemetery leaving no visible trace of its former use, and another in which the fragments of headstones were recovered and returned to the town’s physical and contemplative space in a commemorative stone garden. I witnessed the profound efforts many Poles, most of whom are not Jewish, have made to discover, uncover, celebrate, and reanimate the fragments of once thriving Jewish communities. These efforts hint at the possibility of redefining the often contentious relations between Poles and Jews and offer a pathway toward reconciliation.

Visiting my cousins in Israel, February 2015 (descendants of my grandmother's sister) (Photo: M.Galbraith).
Visiting my cousins in Israel, February 2015 (descendants of my grandmother’s sister) (Photo: M.Galbraith).

My more personal journey has led me to archival records of my ancestors, but more importantly to my living relatives, descendants of my grandmother’s siblings, and the possibility of another level of reconciliation. Significantly, I have no relatives left in Poland itself. I can’t even visit my family’s graves, or look at the houses where they used to live or the places where they used to worship. Nearly everything was destroyed. But I have reunited branches of the family that were lost to each other when my grandmother converted to Catholicism, and then were further dispersed in the US, Israel, and elsewhere after evading death in World War II.

This is not easy research because I am perpetually confronted with unimaginable acts of destruction and mass murder. What used to be will never return; there are no more Jews in most communities in Poland. And yet finally, 70 years after the worst offenses were committed, new life is emerging out of the ashes. I have been documenting this process of reassembly of the fragments of Jewish life in Poland.

Find out more about my research on my blog Uncovering Jewish Heritage (uncoveringjewishheritage.wordpress.com) and in a video of a lecture I gave in September 2015: “Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland” (https://vimeo.com/146044703).

Fall 2014 Conferences and Presentations

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.
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.

UA Anthropologists in the News

Paul Eubanks (Photo: A&S Desktop News).
Peruvian bonesetter Don Felipe Llaro with Dr. Kathy Oths
Peruvian bonesetter Don Felipe Llaro with Dr. Kathy Oths

On October 10, the University of West Alabama at Livingston hosted an “Afternoon of Anthropology” with Dr. Kathy Oths, who gave two talks on her work for our department. She gave a talk about her study of Tuscaloosa farmers markets entitled “Farmers Markets and Foodies: Conflict, Change, and Resolution” and another regarding her project in Peru called “Medical Tradition in the Peruvian Highlands: What Time and Climate Change Have Wrought.”

Chris Lynn on Fox 6 News.
Chris Lynn on Fox 6 News.

Just in time for the holidays, Dr. Chris Lynn published initial results of his study of fireside relaxation in the open access journal Evolutionary Psychology, which has received attention from Huffington Post, Discover Magazine, Men’s Health, Fox 4/WBRC in Birmingham, Mail Online, Paleo (in Spanish), and UA A&S Desktop News. In the experimental study, Lynn found that even watching a fire simulation (e.g., a Yule log DVD) for as little as 15 minutes can reduce blood pressure when it simulates some of the naturalistic conditions of a real fire, such as the crackling sounds. He speculates that this capacity may have played an important role in human cognitive evolution, given the long history of humans and controlled fire.

Dr. David Meek and students in his "Anthropology of Food" course enjoy the pleasant weather outside recently.Several students have been involved in Dr. Lynn’s fireside relaxation study over the past few years, and last year undergraduate Meghan Steel gave a presentation about it at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting that was blogged about by Sydney Yeager for the Anthropology of Consciousness. Meghan introduced a prosociality measure to the third iteration of the project, and Lynn found that participants who scored higher on the prosociality scale achieved greater relaxation benefits.

The Fall 2014 issue of the College of Arts and Sciences Collegian (Vol. 23, No. 1) features three articles on research in our department. Dr. Marysia Galbraith is recognized for the receipt of a third Fulbright Grant to extend her study of Polish identity. Along with collaborators in the Department of Psychology, Dr. Jason DeCaro is recognized as a recipient of a $2.2 million grant to assess the efficacy of local Head Start programs. The Collegian also details doctoral student Paul Eubanks‘ NSF-supported study of Caddo Indian salt production in what is today Northwest Louisiana.

Eubanks was also a finalist for the “Three-Minute Thesis” competition hosted by the UA Graduate School, as highlighted in the UA News.

Marysia Galbraith and Clay Nelson in the News

Dr. Marysia Galbraith

Galbraith book coverAs covered in The Crimson White and A&S Desktop News, Dr. Marysia Galbraith has received a third Fulbright award to continue her longitudinal study of identity in Poland. Dr. Galbraith, who has worked in Poland for over 20 years, was awarded the Fulbright to investigate whether Jews in Poland self-identify as Jewish and Polish. This study expands on ideas outlined in her recent book, Being and Becoming European in Poland: European Integration and Self-Identity, which examines Polish self-identity as part of the European Union.

As highlighted in the Tuscaloosa News and UA News, PhD student Clay Nelson has received a graduate research assistantship from the Office of Archaeological Research (OAR) and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to look at Creek homeland sites. The goal of the project is to finds links between the archaeological record of the Tennessee Valley and sites in Alabama and Georgia. Nelson will be advised by Dr. Ian Brown and Eugene Futato, deputy director of OAR. Nelson’s goal is to better understand what was happening in the Southeastern U.S. after European contact.

Oths, Knight, Persons, Lynn, DeCaro, and Galbraith Receive Awards

Department of Anthropology promotional video
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.

Spring 2014 Publications

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. http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2014/05/29/anthropology-is-elementary-and-can-be-taught-there/

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.

Potlatch 2013

The UA Anthropology Department kicks off the academic year and welcomes new members to the department with an annual potlatch. A potlatch involves, ideally, the garnering of prestige thru the gifting of valued objects. These objects obtain their values through the histories of their transfers through the years. Following are some of the highlights of the 2013 potlatch, held in Smith Hall on Friday, August 30.

Dr. John Blitz, Master of Ceremony
Dr. John Blitz, Master of Ceremony
New grad students
Our new meat–er, grad students! Welcome!
The old gang
The old gang
More of our high-achieving grad students
More of our high-achieving grad students

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Front office goddess, Missy Sartain
Front office goddess, Missy Sartain
Our new front office finance goddess, Teri Kirkendoll
Our new front office finance goddess, Teri Kirkendoll & her husband
It means nothing to me
It means nothing to me
Our new fearless leader & chair, Dr. Ian Brown
Our new fearless leader & chair, Dr. Ian Brown
Dr. Marysia Galbraith
Dr. Marysia Galbraith

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Loretta Lynn passing the ritual armadillo on to Dr. Steve Kosiba
Loretta Lynn passing the ritual armadillo on to Dr. Steve Kosiba
The valuable "shot-ski" relic has entered the ring
The valuable “shot-ski” relic enters the ring
This lunchbox is a very fine thing
This lunchbox is a very fine thing

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Thank you for the two-year-old cheese puffs, Elizabeth. They are a very fine thing & apparently still edible.
Thank you for the two-year-old cheese puffs, Elizabeth. They are a very fine thing & apparently still edible.

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Steve passes on the ceremonial shin guards on to newly minted Dr. Francois Dengah
Steve passes on the ceremonial shin guards on to newly minted Dr. Francois Dengah
Greg Batchelder thanks LisaMarie Malischke for her warm welcome to the department
Greg Batchelder thanks LisaMarie Malischke for her warm welcome to the department

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Dr. Dick Diehl passes on the booty of a long & exciting career!
Dr. Dick Diehl passes on the booty of a long & exciting career!
Who will receive the ceremonial ____ shoveler? Hmm...
Who will receive the ceremonial ____ shoveler? Hmm…
Rebecca Bria upset that she didn't get the deity statue or bag of Zapps
Rebecca Bria upset that she didn’t get the deity statue or bag of Zapps

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