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Fall 2015 Faculty Research Updates
Published 1/26/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
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... read more ❯
In Memoriam: John Cottier & Ruby Howard
Published 1/25/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
It is with much sadness that, in addition to sharing the accomplishments of our department over the past months, we also say goodbye to friends. In June 2015, we received news that Dr. John Cottier had passed away. In addition to being a wonderful person and a fine archaeologist, he was a good friend to all of us in Alabama and was a standard feature at the DeJarnette barbecue. He established the Auburn Archaeology Lab and provided the initial training for many students who made their way to UA. He was in fact a student of David DeJarnette's, having received his M.A. with us in 1970. Our condolences to his family, students, colleagues, and friends. In December, we were also saddened to lose Ruby Howard, a dear friend and our department's longtime Graduate Secretary and receptionist. Several of our faculty and students who knew her... read more ❯
10 Things You May Not Know about Dr. John Blitz
Published 1/21/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Every semester we profile a faculty or staff member from the Anthropology Department who you may see every day but know less about than you realize. In fact, many of us became interested in anthropology because of the interesting adventures it presents. Dr. John Blitz (, Professor of Anthropology and Curator at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, is a classic example. He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research has focused mostly on precolumbian Mississippian societies of the American Southeast, but his experiences are much more diverse. Here are 10 things about Dr. Blitz and his interesting life you may not already know: He has had two completely different first and last names during his life. In Ethiopia, he entered Emperor Haile Selassie’s lion’s den and petted a lion. He has fished with dynamite. He participated in a shaman’s curing ceremony in the Ecuadorian rain forest but fell asleep because... read more ❯
Conferences, Panels, & Invited Talks
Published 1/20/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
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... read more ❯
Memory in Fragments: Reassembling Jewish Life in Poland
Published 1/16/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Marysia Galbraith
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... read more ❯
Grants & Awards
Published 1/12/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Several students and faculty received grants, awards, and other honors this past fall. Congratulations to all. You make us very proud! Students Doctoral student Courtney Andrews placed fourth in the 3rd annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. The Alabama Center for Public Television is working on stories about the finalists and the 3MT that should air in the spring. The College of Arts & Sciences selected Johnna Dominguez's (MA, 2015) thesis entitled "'Nice Ink, Man': A Biocultural, Mixed Methods Approach to Tattooing as Costly Honest Signaling among Southern Women" for the 2015 Outstanding Thesis Award and Paul Eubank's dissertation "Salt Production in the Southeastern Caddo Homeland" for Outstanding Dissertation Research Award. She will be recognized at Honors Day in the spring. Congratulations to Johnna, Paul, and their advisers, Drs.... read more ❯
Fall 2015 Department Publications
Published 1/11/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Blair, EH.“Glass Beads and Global Itineraries.” In Things in Motion: Object Itineraries in Archaeological Practice, edited by R Joyce and S Gillespie, pp. 81-99. School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe. Blitz, JH and LE Downs*, eds. Graveline: A Late Woodland Platform Mound on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Archaeological Report No. 34. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi. 39 figures, 27 tables, 156 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0-938896-00-5. Brown, IW. Plaquemine Culture Pottery from the Great Ravine at the Anna Site (22AD500), Adams County, Mississippi. In Exploring Southeastern Archaeology, edited by P Galloway and E Peacock. Oxford, MS: University Press of Mississippi. DeCaro, J. Beyond catecholamines: Measuring autonomic responses to psychosocial context. American Journal of Human Biology. Epub ahead of print, doi/10.1002/ajhb.22815/. DeCaro, J, M Manyama, and W Wilson. Household-level predictors of maternal mental health and systemic inflammation among infants in Mwanza, Tanzania. American Journal of Human Biology Epub ahead of print, doi/10.1002/ajhb.22807/. Eubanks, P, and IW Brown. Certain Trends... read more ❯
December 2016 UA Graduation
Published 12/14/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Ian W. Brown
Happy Holidays from the UA Department of Anthropology!
Published 12/11/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Anthropology Showcase - TMSE
By Molly Jaworski and Olivia Davis Saying goodbye is almost always difficult, but it's especially hard when there is an entire semester of memories and laughs to make you question why you're doing it in the first place. I think that I speak for myself and all of my fellow instructors when I say that there is nothing that  one would trade for the experiences had while teaching the students at TMSE. From the enthusiastic, "I literally can't sit still because I'm so excited" hand raises during review times to the surprisingly advanced and "anthropological" comments that were made during activities, each of the students brought something special to the classroom and I think the argument could be made that their unique qualities made teaching a holistic understanding of human life much more successful than could have even been anticipated. For our showcase presentation, Molly and I compiled a list of things that... read more ❯
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