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Published 2/26/2016 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
2-23-2016 It’s been a while since I posted a blog so I thought I’d give you all an update on what’s been going on the last couple of months. I spent my first Christmas and New Year’s here in Yorkín all the while longing for the snow and Christmas trees of Colorado. Christmas was pretty uneventful, although there was a group meal of beans and rice in the Stibrawpa lower kitchen and quite a bit of chicha drinking going on at various houses throughout the community. In the morning I walked up to some friends’ houses to give some small toys to the children. I played guitar for a while and drank some chicha with the adults. At the lower kitchen I gave out some more toys and holiday cards and shared some cheese and crackers, nuts, and Danish cookies. Later on I went out to another friend’s house and learned... read more ❯
Ethnography in Action at TMSE
By Kelly Likos The Anthropology is Elemental class challenges us each week to teach anthropology to elementary school students. This is a unique task because often we were not taught these terms until our own start with anthropology in college. Mostly recently, I was challenged to try to teach a word to third graders that I had not even heard of before my Introduction to Anthropology class. That word was “ethnography”, something so normal in the Anthro-World, yet not anywhere else. And for third graders, it is all brand new. As I explained it to the students, ethnography is the way anthropologists study, document, and teach others about cultures. Lesson: As ethnographers, we must observe other cultures (or in this case, clans) through unbiased eyes. For the ethnography lesson, I encouraged the students to don their own “Anthropologist Glasses” so they could see the world around them a little bit differently. Throughout my lesson, I kept... read more ❯
Culture and Clans - TMSE
By Holly Judge Last week marked the beginning of the outreach program at the Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary. Five other UA students and I will be working with a group of third graders for the next nine weeks teaching them about different aspects of Anthropology, and specifically about the anthropology of Southeast Asia. I think the program started off great! I didn’t realize how many groups taught at TMSE, and how varied the programs were. We all gathered in the gym for the students to be separated into the different classes, and then we followed ours to Mr. Little’s classroom. I didn’t realize the students had chosen to join our class, and that makes it so much easier to stand in front of them and teach. The topic for this past week’s lesson was an introduction to cultural anthropology. I used examples from... read more ❯
Global Health Policy Toward Traditional Healers: A 21st Century Update
Published 2/9/2016 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Kathy Oths
Introduction Much has occurred in the world of traditional medicine since the World Health Organization first appealed for the integration of Bio- and traditional medicines at Alma Ata in 1978. In the interim, while most efforts to include traditional healers’ services in hospitals and clinics foundered on the basis of distrust and unshared epistemology, paradoxically, worldwide interest in ‘alternative’ medicine only continued to grow. An unfortunate result is that while the prestige of some traditional medicines heightened, and bioprospecting “integrated” traditional knowledge in pursuit of profits, concern about the survival of folk healers themselves subsided. Climate change, poverty, hypermobility, and globalization, among other factors, have led many young persons with healing potential to choose other career paths, or if they do enter healing fields, to choose professional paths that relocate them to urban areas far from the places of greatest need. Thus, one wonders whether folk... read more ❯
"Bioculturalism"--An Interview with Jason DeCaro [reposted from Somatosphere]
Published 2/8/2016 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Jason DeCaro
February 8, 2016 By Jason DeCaro This article is part of the series: Bioculturalism “Bioculturalism” resumes this week with the first of three new interviews with self-professed biocultural anthropologists. This series aims to get anthropologists and closely-related others talking seriously, and thinking practically, about how to synergize biological and social scientific approaches to human health and well-being, and to what positive ends. New interviews will be published every other week, followed by a new piece by series organizer Jeffrey G. Snodgrass on Internet gaming, which has progressed in tandem with the series’ publication. In this interview, Jason DeCaro responds to questions posed by Snodgrass. How and why might cultural anthropologists and social scientists interested in health benefit from integrating biological variables/biomarkers into their research and analysis? This is hard to answer in the abstract because it depends so much on the research question, but I will give it a shot. In psychological and medical anthropology, we talk a lot about embodiment. The... read more ❯
Fall 2015 Alumni Updates & Anthros in the News
Published 2/2/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Alumni News In 2015, Dr. Meredith Jackson-de Graffenried (PhD, 2009) became Country Director of Helen Keller International (HKI) for Bangladesh. Dr. Charlan Kroelinger (MA, 1997), Team Leader for the Maternal and child Health Epidemiology Program at the CDC, was recognized with a Superior Leadership Award by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Director. "She has strengthened and expanded the program through innovative staff assignments in 13 states, mentored young professionals who will carry the field into the future, and developed new tools to better understand and communicate the importance of improving quality of care to women and their infants." Kelsey Herndon (MA, 2015)  has been awarded a 2016 DEVELOP Program internship by NASA. They work on remote ecological forecasting and related projects. Daniel R. Turner (BA, 2010; M. Phil Cambridge 2012)... read more ❯
Comings & Goings: Paul Eubanks, LisaMarie Malischke, & Jenna James Defended their Dissertations!
Published 2/1/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Doctoral Students We are pleased with all of the successes of our students, but the defense of a doctoral dissertation is a special achievement. We want to recognize the hard work displayed by three of our students for their landmark achievement this past fall. Jenna James successfully defended her dissertation, "Social Houses at Carson Mounds, 22-CO-518 as Evidenced by Dental Morphological Analysis" on August 14. LisaMarie Malischke successfully defended her dissertation, "The Heterogeneity of Early French and Native Forts and Settlements. A Comparison to Fort St. Pierre (A.D. 1719-1729) in French Colonial Louisiane," on August 28. Jenna and LisaMarie also received their doctorates at the graduation ceremony in December. Paul... read more ❯
10 Things You May Not Know About Dr. Michael Murphy
Published 2/1/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
We are all chagrined by the retirement of Dr. Michael Murphy. Dr. Murphy, who is now Professor Emeritus as of the end of the fall 2015 semester, leaves an indelible stamp on our department. As professor and chair, Michael Murphy provided a firm and friendly rudder in guiding the development of the Anthropology Department over many years. We will write a more in depth piece next issue on Michael's career and legacy and share photos from his January retirement party. Before he could completely leave the world of academic service, behind, we thought we should grab him in parting for a "10 Things You May Not Know" column for the newsletter he edited the first issue of in 2003. Michael regaled us all with many fascinating stories over the years, so coming up with things we might not... read more ❯
Frozen Moments from the Fall
Published 1/27/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Lectures & Workshops
Published 1/27/2016 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
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... read more ❯