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Archaeology of West Africa - TMSE
By Rob Barlow For the third week of the Anthropology Outreach Program at TMSE, Annakate and I taught a class on the archaeology of West Africa. Archaeology is a passion for both of us and we were eager to instruct on a topic we care so much about. Our shared goal was to make sure that we really informed the class about archaeology and why it is a vital part of anthropology. Archaeology is important because it can tell us much about past cultures that we don’t have the ability to observe, and we do this by by analyzing their material remains. The students were engaging during the lecture part of the lesson and we thought that was wonderful. They had so many questions that we were actually taken aback by their eagerness. They were so intrigued that the lecture ended up taking much longer than intended, but, happily, it all worked... read more ❯
Landscapes at Arcadia
Published 10/4/2015 in UA Outreach: Anthropology Partnership
Author jmfriel
Week 4: Landscapes Lecture Cultural landscapes are created by people’s interaction with the world around them. These landscapes provide a sense of place and identity, they map our relationship with the land over time, and they are part of our national heritage and each of our lives. West Africa has many important landscapes. For example, Sukur is ancient settlement with a history of iron technology, wide-spread trade, and a vast political system. The landscape is characterized by terraces on the farmlands, dry stone structures and stone paved walkways. The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali represents more than just a religion temple. It is the center of the entire city and is where the people of Mali congregate to eat, shop, and build community. Activity The students broke off into their clans and each studied a different area in West Africa. They focused on major cultural landscapes. The information was then complied and turned into brochures. The "Burger... read more ❯
Ethnography of West Africa - TMSE
By: Melinda Carr For our second lesson at the Anthropology Outreach program at Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary, I led the class in teaching about the Ethnography of West Africa. Since ethnography is  a word that even us Anthropology folks stumble over, I broke it down into ethno (the tribe and people) and graph (to write) and through repetition made sure that the students got this word down. I was really very surprised and happy to see how involved the students were when it came to answering and asking questions! We brainstormed together different questions that an ethnographer would ask someone from another culture and I got so many responses! I learned that it really helps to remember the students’ names and to remember their hobbies and jokes that they told the week before and found it helpful to maintain an easy going and laid back personality. The students were super interested in learning... read more ❯
Biography: Cynthia Beall
  Dr. Cynthia Beall began her education with a B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. As an undergraduate she was interested in evolution and ecology. In a 2004 interview with the National Academy of Sciences, she indicated that she became interested in human adaptation during her senior year while taking Physiological Adaptability in the Department of Anthropology as a distribution requirement, saying she’d “found [her] calling” by happenstance. In 1972 she completed her M.A. and in 1976 her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University under Paul Baker, one of the founders of the field of Human Adaptability. Her dissertation was entitled “The Effects of High Altitude on Growth, Morbidity and Mortality of Peruvian Infants.” In 1976 she began teaching at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and has remained there ever since. In 1982 she was promoted to Associate Professor, and became full Professor in 1987.... read more ❯
Archaeology at Arcadia
Published 9/25/2015 in UA Outreach: Anthropology Partnership
Author jmfriel
Week 3: Archaeology Lecture Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that studies humans who lived in the past through their material remains. They dig for human bones and material culture. (Students were very disappointed to find out archaeologists do NOT dig for dinosaurs.) Artifacts are anything made or changed by humans. By studying artifacts, we can reconstruct different aspects of culture and learn about the lives of humans in the past.    Excavation is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. When archaeological finds are discovered, the identification of the context of each find is vital to enable the archaeologist to make conclusions about the people who inhabited the site and the date of its occupation. There are two main problems that occur while digging: Under and over cutting. Under-cutting occurs where contexts are not excavated fully and some remainder of the context is left. Over-cutting occurs when contexts are unintentionally removed along with material from other... read more ❯
Fridays In The New Academic Paradigm
Published 9/25/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
Twenty years ago I was finishing up a 2-year deal as a Student Assistant Editor of The Journal of Planning Literature in the Department of City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University. It wasn't a paid Graduate Assistantship and how I wound up on the editorial staff is the topic of another blog. The academic paradigm of the early to mid 1990s was vastly different than the one of today. The Internet as we knew it was perhaps 3-5% of what it is in 2015. In fact, the Internet in 1995 was still mostly an academic venture based on what used to be called the Bitnet (dust clouds encountered here). As a Student Assistant Editor, it was my job to write up to 45 journal abstracts and 90 journal listings per quarter. It was a tedious job that required a lot of... read more ❯
Sociobiology and Anorexia
As an aspirant anthropologist of a biocultural bent, I often analyze behaviors from an evolutionary framework; so when we started ANT 670 with an introduction to the concepts of cultural primatology and ethnoprimatology, it was right up my alley. One of my interests is the relationship between biological realities and social capital. Smuts (1987) wrote about baboons’ evolutionary fitness in relation to their social network; Blaffer Hrdy (1988) wrote about the potential adaptability of skewed sex-ratios among mammals; and Small (1989) wrote about a female Barbary macaque’s dramatic rise in power in her troupe through the formation of alliances. The three articles suggest that, among social animals, one’s social rank is tied to one’s biological fitness, and vice versa. I have many interests in anthropology that are not entirely disparate, yet their interrelatedness is not obvious: autism, sexuality, and body image are my broad topics of interest.  However, for this... read more ❯
Culture and Clans - TMSE
WEEK 1: Cultures and Clans By Annakate Faulk Last week we started our outreach program at the Tuscaloosa Magnet School. This semester I and fellow UA students are working with an awesome group of third grade students whom we will be teaching about the anthropology of West Africa. Our first day went great! We were welcomed to the school by all of the students who had assembled in the gymnasium, I was definitely surprised by how many different outreach groups there were involved with the program. Once each of the outreach classes were dismissed we moved into our home for the semester, Mr. Little’s classroom. Each of the students had the opportunity to tell us why they had chosen to take the anthropology course, with the majority response being “because we get to eat bugs!” I do have to admit, I was glad to see the students so excited about this, because... read more ❯
My View of Anthropology: Five Fields!
Published 9/22/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
I see Anthropology as the study of human potential. By the term “human potential,” I mean the vicarious expressions of life as experienced by real human beings in their physical, linguistic, cultural and historical environments. These vicarious expressions are based in cognition, which provides the backdrop for the entire field of Anthropology. Anthropology is classically defined as an integrated social science based in four fields: Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology. Anthropology is a meta-social science precisely because it studies all things human. But Anthropology, the study of human potential, has the much more potential than that. I say that there is much more potential in Anthropology because I believe that the four field model is somewhat of a dated paradigm: Arguably there is a 5th field of Anthropology: Ecological Anthropology, which is defined as cultural adaptations to the environment. Ecological Anthropology is growing in importance and is a reflection... read more ❯
Short Pre-Season
Published 9/21/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
Greetings and welcome to my blog.  Like professional hockey, there will be only a short preseason.  Look for some more postings in the near future. Tonight the New York Islanders move into Manhattan for the first-time ever with their first preseason game of the 2015-2016 season. Just like this blog: Here we go! read more ❯
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