Spring Colloquium: Dr. Jose Capriles Flores

“Ecological release, paleoenvironmental change and the human peopling of South America: Insights from the Atacama Desert, the Andean highlands, and the Amazonian floodplains”

Recption to outside McMillan G052 immediately following talk.

Spring Colloquium: Sarah Baitzel

"The Politics of Death and Identity in an Early Andean State"

Reception to follow.

Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate of archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. She has been working on various projects in Peru for the last decade, mostly in the Moquegua Valley of Southern Peru where she excavated cemeteries associated with the region's Tiwanaku colonization (AD 600-1000). Her interests include most things archaeological, anthropological, and historical, but particularly mortuary archaeology, the Andes, social organization, ritual, and complex societies.

Spring Colloquium: Dr. Brian Larkin

"Generator Life"

My research focuses on the ethnography and history of media in Nigeria.  Most broadly I examine the introduction of media technologies into Nigeria – cinema, radio, digital media - and the religious, social and cultural changes they bring about.  I explore how media technologies comprise broader networked infrastructures that shape a whole range of actions from forms of political rule, to new urban spaces, to cultural life.  I have also published widely on issues of globalization, piracy and intellectual property, and Nigerian films (Nollywood) in such journals as Public CultureAfricaSocial Text and Cahiers d’Étudesafricaines.

This talk will focus on generators in Nigeria. 

Spring Colloquium: Dr. Leslie Reeder-Myers

"Sea Level Rise, Climate Change, and Human Eco-dynamics: Past, Present, and Future"

Reception to follow.

Leslie Reeder-Myers is a post-doctoral fellow at the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Southern Methodist University in 2012. As an archaeologist and geographer, she studies the impact of sea level rise and climate change on coastal populations in the past. Her current research focuses on Chesapeake Bay and on California’s Channel Islands, working to understand how ecosystems (including people) adapted to local sea level rise from the end of the Pleistocene through to the modern day. She uses GIS and computer modeling to reconstruct ancient shorelines and nearshore ecosystems in collaboration with colleagues at the US Geological Survey. She combines these reconstructions with zooarchaeological research into human subsistence and settlement practices to investigate how people used and adapted to a shifting landscape. Reeder-Myers’ current work in Chesapeake Bay combines the long-term, general environmental data from sediment cores with the detailed, short term data from small oyster middens to gain a multi-scalar understanding of ecological change through time. She also applies this work to modern conservation science, helping to explain how marine ecosystems can adapt to today’s rapidly changing human and environmental context.

Research Funding Resources

Special presentation for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students

Friday Archaeology: Supernova of Complexity: The Paradoxes of Poverty Point, a Late Archaic site in the Mississippi River Valley

Presented by TR Kidder

Friday Archaeology: The origin and spread of Chinese millets: Mixing model estimates of millet consumption in prehistoric China

Presented by Xinyi Liu

The True Cost: Who Pays The Price For Our Clothing

Documentary viewing

Sponsored by the Sam Fox Fashion Design Department. Professor Kedron Thomas will introduce the film and share the latest findings from her research on fair labor and environmental sustainability in the fashion industry.

This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. Directed by Andrew Morgan, The True Cost is a groundbreaking independent documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing.


Food donations will directly benefit local youth
The Department of Anthropology will be taking part in Washington University's PB&Joy food drive event. A bin will be placed outside of the department office (McMillan 112) between April 7th and April 19th where donations can be placed. 
Donations directly benefit St. Louis youth without access to lunch over the summer through Operation Food Search.
Donation items needed include: canned fish, canned meat (chicken or tuna), peanut butter, canned fruit in natural juice, oatmeal packets (no or low-sugar), breakfast cereal, whole grain granola bars, canned soup, chili, pasta, diced tomatoes
Please no: glass, ramen noodles, juice boxes, fruit cups, or junk food



Break before Break

For Anthropology students and faculty

Friday Archaeology: Saltiness and Power: trade, niche economies, and Aksumite (50 BCE-900 CE) social organization

Presented by Helina Woldekiros

POSTPONED: Tea with a Professor

with Carolyn Sargent



Tea with a Professor

with Carolyn Sargent

Friday Archaeology: Prey mortality profiles and two million years of hominid hunting

Presented by Henry Bunn, University of Wisconsin-Madison

N9B SolutionLab

Net Impact and CollaborateUp is hosting an idea-athon

Spring Colloquium: Dr. Bernard Wood

"Homo – what, who, when, where?”

The search for the “origin of Homo” suggests we know what we are looking for. So unless we are clear about that, then how will we know when we have found it? It also conflates several “origins” problems. When did our ancestors and close relatives look the way we expect the earliest members of our genus to have looked? When did our ancestors and close relatives behave in the way we expect the earliest members of our genus to have behaved? The search for the origin of a living genus can be conducted either from the bottom up, or from the top down. Both strategies have their problems. This talk will explain what I am looking for when I look within the fossil record for the origins of our own genus, Homo.


Additional information on Dr. Bernard Wood. 

"American Food Production and Two Slow Motion Ecological Crises"

Tom Philpott, award-winning writer on food politics and correspondent for Mother Jones

Tom Philpott is award-winning food/agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones.  His public talk is entitled "American Food Production and Two Slow Motion Ecological Crises".  He will show how the US food system is highly dependent on two regions—California and the Corn Belt— both of which are in the midst of long-brewing, slow-motion ecological crises.

This talk will be followed by a coffee reception.

Friday Archaeology: Defensive Monumentality and Political Leadership in the late Pre-Columbian Andes

Presented by Professor Elizabeth Arkush, University of Pittsburgh

Friday Archaeology: Investigation of an early Iron Age Irrigated Agricultural Community in Central Asia: New Survey Results at Mohuchahangoukou (MGK), Xinjiang, China

Presented by Yuqi Li

Dissertation Defense: Jennifer Heil Heipp

“I’m trying to do the right thing”: Competing Responsibilities Among Teen Parents in the Context of Neoliberalism

Dissertation Defense: Andrew Flachs

Cultivating Knowledge: The Production and Adaptation of Knowledge on Organic and GM Cotton Farms in Telangana, India

Dissertation Defense: BrieAnna Langlie

Farming during the Auca Runa: Agricultural Strategies and Terraces during the Peruvian Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1100-1450) Altiplano, Peru

Religion in the Public Sphere: Case Studies in Hope and Stress

A forum organized by Washington University in St. Louis and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

April 25, 2016


View Flyer

Over the past three years the Pulitzer Center has commissioned multiple reporting projects on the theme of religion and public policy, working in partnership with major media outlets and with leading universities. The Religion and Power Gateway presents Pulitzer Center reporting on these themes from throughout the world—from the explosive growth of mega churches in Africa and Latin America to intra-Islam schisms of the Middle East, to the self-immolation of Tibetan Buddhist monks and Buddhist soldiers running roughshod over the rights of Burmese Muslims, to the struggles of faith groups everywhere to come to terms with human sexuality.

This work was made possible in part through the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, in a grant that encouraged the Pulitzer Center to forge partnerships with academic specialists and institutions so as to raise the level of its journalism and extend its reach. The Center has worked in tandem with Washington University in St. Louis, American University, Yale University, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California and the Communication University of China. It has presented joint journalism/academic symposia in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, New Haven and Beijing. The daylong conference in St. Louis marks the capstone of this initiative and we hope the launchpad for work to come.

8:30-9:00am Arrival and coffee

Women’s Building Formal Lounge

9:00-9:15am Welcome  

John Bowen, Washington University

Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center

9:15am-10:30pm Panel I:  Religion and Environment

Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment helped shift public opinion—and policy— in the lead-up to the historic climate-change agreement in Paris. Religious and cultural influences are a factor in China’s growing environmental awareness and an emerging theme in inter-faith dialogues on environment in the U.S. and Europe.


Liu Jianqiang, environmental journalist and Buddhist, China Dialogue

Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center

Justin Catanoso, Associate Professor, Journalism, Wake Forest University

Moderator: Tim Townsend, News Editor, Timeline.com; former religion reporter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

10:30-11:00 am Break         

11:00am-12:15pm Panel II:  Religion and Reproductive Rights

How faith shapes public policy—an examination of how religious belief and tradition play a critical role in defining evolving attitudes toward family planning, reproductive health and the global hot-button issue of abortion. Case studies from Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States.


Tom Hundley, senior editor, Pulitzer Center

Laura Bassett, Huffington Post

Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, author of “Articles of Faith”

Lauren Herzog, World Faiths Development Dialogue, Berkley Center, Georgetown University

Moderator: Tim Townsend

12:15-1:45pm Catered Lunch

              1:00 pm Introduction: Holden Thorp, Provost

Speaker:  Marie Griffith, Director, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics

2:00-3:15pm Panel III:  Assimilation or Confrontation? The Muslim Experience in Europe, the United States, and Beyond

Assimilation or Confrontation: How the Muslim experience is expressed in Europe, America and beyond. The radicalized minority and the trickle of recruits to jihadist groups dominate the headlines, but the mainstream of Islam in the United States and Europe is seeking ways to adjust and accommodate itself to societies in which it is not the dominant faith.


John Bowen, Washington University

Geneive Abdo, non-resident fellow, Brookings Institution

Sherria Ayuandini, Washington University

Nick Street, University of Southern California

Maryam Kashani, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University

Moderator: Tom Hundley, Senior Editor, Pulitzer Center

3:15-3:30 pm Break

3:30-4:45 pm Panel: Global Issues, Local Debate

Politicians are calling for the exclusion of Muslim immigrants. Climate-change denial remains for many a touchstone of religious faith. Abortion clinics are the focus of bitter, sometimes violent, protest. In a time of polarization and anger can religious faith be a force for positive dialogue and political consensus?


            Shaun Casey, Special Representative, Religion and Global Affairs, State Department

            Marie Griffith, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University

            Don Belt, University of Richmond, Out of Eden Walk Project

            Ann Peters, Campus Consortium Director, Pulitzer Center

            Moderator: Kem Knapp Sawyer, contributing editor, Pulitzer Center

4:45-5:00 pm Closing Remarks

Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center

John Bowen, Washington University

5:00 – 6:00 pm Reception

6:00pm Public Forum: 

Welcome: James Wertsch, Vice Chancellor, Washington University

Speaker:  Shaun Casey, Special Representative, Religion and Global Affairs, State Department

Title:  What’s Religion Got To Do With Foreign Policy?

Moderator: Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center

The 51th Historia Medica: “Goat Gland Messiah: The Bizarre Rise and Spectacular Fall of Dr. John R. Brinkley”

Presented by Dr. Lewis L. Wall

Anthropology Graduation Ceremony and Reception

Online Anarchaeology Workshop

Join in the conversation with #anarchaeology2016

Dissertation Defense: David Mixter

Surviving Collapse: Collective Memory and Political Reorganization at Actuncan, Belize

Washington University in St. Louis Commencement

Archaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds

Free public event

Dissertation Defense: Sarah Sobonya

Lactating in St. Louis: Attachments, Technologies, and Disparities

Fall Colloquium: A Runaway World? Food and Class in the 2nd Millennium BC

Xinyi Liu, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

Fall Colloquium: Semi-tropical Wetlands to Semi-arid Drylands: From Origins of Agriculture to the Beginning of the Archaic State

Vern Scarborough, Professor of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati

Fall Colloquium: Wounds of Charity, Haitian Immigrants and Corporate Catholicism in Boston

Erica James, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative, MIT

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Legalizing Sin: Moral Reckoning around abortion among Catholic women in Mexico City after recent legalization

Elyse Singer, Graduate Student, Washington University in St. Louis

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Violence and the Logic of Care in Chinese Hospitals

Priscilla Song, Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: The Underground: The Roots of Urbanism in Bucharest

Bruce O'Neill, Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: The Creativity of Grace and Faith: A Somali woman's narrative about violence

Anna Jacobsen, Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Pathologizing Haitian Independence: Race, Stereotypes, and the Biopolitics of Recognition

Erica James, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative, MIT

Dissertation Defense: Jenny Epstein

The Violence of Abstraction: Type-2 Diabetes in Everyday Life

On Africa and "New World" Blackness

Jemima Pierre, African American Studies and Anthropology, UCLA

Friday Archaeology- Silk, Tea, and Golden Mask: Tibetan Plateau and the Silk Route

Presented by: Huo Wei, Sichuan University

Friday Archaeology- Donkey and Cat Domestication: Perspectives from the Margins

Presented by: Fiona Marshall

Photography Contest Submission Deadline

Submission deadline: November 4, 2016


Guidelines for submission:

1. The undergraduate contest is open to all current Washington University in St. Louis students. Anthropology majors and minors, and public health minors, are especially encouraged to participate. The graduate photography contest is only open to Washington University in St. Louis Anthropology graduate students. Each contest will have its own set of winners.
3. We encourage photo submissions that speak to anthropological concerns, such as culture, human history, ritual, place and landscape, and the diversity of human society and experience;
4. By submitting photos you grant permission to the Department of Anthropology to publish them online or in brochures and to display them;
5. You may submit up to 8 photos and they must be in digital form (jpg or tif with resolution of at least 1 megapixel in size). Each photo should be accompanied by a word processing document that includes your name and a short description of when and where the photo was taken, what you were doing there, and what it depicts;
6. Photos will be judged first on artistic merit and secondarily on anthropological content;
7. First prize will be $150; second prize will be $100; and third prize will be $50. The winning photos (and possibly honorable mentions) will be featured on the department website and outside the department office;
7. All participants must have obtained permission to photograph any human subjects in the submitted images;
8. Submit your photos to calin.sterling@wustl.edu by 5pm on November 4, 2016

Friday Archaeology- Recent Investigations at Salinas de Los Nueve Cerros, Guatemala: A Major Economic and Ritual Center throughout Maya History

Presented by: Alexander Rivas

Friday Archaeology- Social Zooarchaeology in Mycenaean Greece: Perspectives from Iklaina in the Kingdom of Pylos

Presented by: Dr. Deborah Cosmopoulos

Fall 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium Registration

Deadline: September 26

Friday Archaeology- Rescue archaeology in eastern Uganda: Middle Holocene fisher-hunter-gatherers or chicken feed?

Presented by: Mica Jones

Local Food Policy Panel Discussion

Learn about food and social justice issues, food policy, and ways we can meet food demands through local networks

Occupational Hazards: Sex, Business, and HIV in Post-Mao China

East Asian Studies program sponsored event
Elanah Uretsky, Assistant Professor of Global Health, Anthropology, and International Affairs at George Washington University, discusses her new book which highlights the interaction of governance and HIV/AIDS in China and raises awareness of the pivotal role that men, especially "mobile men with money," play in the spread of the epidemic.
Doing business in China can be hazardous to your health. Occupational Hazards follows a group of Chinese businessmen and government officials as they conduct business in Beijing and western Yunnan Province, exposing webs of informal networks that help businessmen access political favors. These networks are built over liquor, cigarettes, food, and sex, turning risky behaviors into occupational hazards.
Elanah Uretsky's ethnography follows these powerful men and their vulnerabilities to China's burgeoning epidemics of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Examining the relationship between elite masculine networking practices and vulnerability to HIV infection, Occupational Hazards includes the stories of countless government officials and businessmen who regularly visit commercial sex workers but resist HIV testing for fear of threatening their economic and political status. Their fate is further complicated by a political system that cannot publicly acknowledge such risk and by authoritative international paradigms that limit the reach of public health interventions. Ultimately, Uretsky offers insights into how complex socio-cultural and politico-economic negotiations affect the development and administration of China's HIV epidemic.

GlobeMed Speaker: Barbara Pierce Bush, founder of Global Health Corps

"One Person Can Make A Difference: Confronting Today's Global Health Challenges"
GlobeMed is excited to announce that Barbara Pierce Bush will be speaking at Graham Chapel on November 13th at 5 pm, followed by a Q&A and meet and greet. Her speech will focus on the intersection of health and human rights as well as on her own work. 
Bush founded Global Health Corps, an organization that places fellows around the world to bring change to regions of the world that need it most. Bush’s vision has allowed for young leaders to bring their experience to bear in delivering health solutions to those who do not always have ready access to quality care. Even with limited knowledge regarding health around the world and specific policy, anyone can get involved in the fight for health equity. We believe Bush’s speech will resonate strongly with Anthropology majors, and particularly with those on the GHE track. 

Friday Archaeology- Tianshanbeilu: Isotopic evidence for millet radiation into Xinjiang

Tingting Wang, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Friday Archaeology- Clouds of the Moon, Fires of the Sun, Some Reflections of the Feminine Divine as a Source of Rain

Presented by: David Freidel

New Game in Town: How Chinese Involvement Affects the Governance of Latin America’s Oil Sector

Guest Speaker Barbara Hogenboom, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Adrienne Strong

Jumping the Red Tape: Administrative workarounds, improvisation, and the social world of rumors in a Tanzanian hospital

Adrienne Strong is a sociocultural graduate student with the Department of Anthropology here at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation research focuses on maternal health and mortality in Tanzania. Through her field work, she has looked into the regional hospital's social and bureaucratic environment and how those facotrs influence women's experience as patients. 

For more information on Adrienne Strong, visit her website.

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Lynn Morgan

A Fertile Alliance: Reproductive governance, neoliberal reform, and in-vitro fertilization in Costa Rica

Lynn Morgan is a Professor of Anthropology at Mount holyoke College. Her specializations include medical anthropology, the anthropology of gender and sexualities, reproductive governance in Latin America, Central America, and the Ecuadorian Andes. 

For more information on Lynne Mogran, visit her faculty page at Mount Holyoke.

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Class-based chronicities of suffering and seeking help: Comparing addiction treatment programs in Uganda

Julia Vorholter, Research Fellow, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen

Friday Archaeology- Puzzling Pairs from Pavlov: Mortuary Mores in Ancient Moravia

Presented by: Erik Trinkaus, Piotr Wojtal, Jarosław Wilczyński, Sandra Sázelová, Jiri Svoboda

Dissertation Defense: Monica McDonald

“How do the largest and smallest baboon species compete for reproductive success in a natural hybrid zone?”

Dissertation Defense: Natalie Mueller

"Seeds as Artifacts of Communities of Practice: The Domestication of Erect Knotweed in Eastern North America"

Public Lecture: Samer Frangie, Associate Professor, Political Studies and Public Administration, and Director, Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, American University of Beirut

"Protests in Lebanon: The 'Trash Uprising' and the End of the Post-War Republic"

In August 2015, mounds of garbage piled up in major Lebanese cities, leading to the biggest non-sectarian protest since the end of the civil war (1991). For a couple of weeks in August and September, Beirut witnessed daily demonstrations, often turning violent, protesting against the corruption of the government. What started as a localized protest against the government’s mismanagement of the waste management sector quickly turned into a crisis of legitimacy of the political system. In a context of global uprisings and regional revolutions, the short-lived protest movement signaled the entry of Lebanon in the current global cycle of discontent. The country did not witness a major upheaval similar to what happened in neighboring countries, but similar processes of de-legitimization of the established political orders are taking place. The talk will examine what came to be known as the “trash uprising,” by locating it in its historical trajectory before presenting some of its afterlives. Through an examination of the protest movement, the talk will put the Lebanese ‘trash uprising’ in conversation with the global wave of protests that started in 2011, in order to probe the changing contours of the present and its discontent.

Friday Archaeology- Dental health in terminal Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Northeast Africa: a pilot study at Wadi Halfa

Presented by Grace Apfeld

Before the Flood: WashU Movie Viewing

Movie widely acclaimed for exposing extensive cover-up of the urgency of climate-related issues

Spring Colloquium: Dr. Kylie Quave

"Household, Faction, and Political Economy: Developing the Inka Heartland (Maras, Cuzco, Peru)”

Reception outside McMillan G052 immediately following talk.

Dr. Kylie Quave is currently with Beloit College. Kylie uses archaeology and ethnohistory to reconstruct state development and its impacts on people’s lives. Her interests lie in understanding how states and empires in prehistory and recent history organize their economies and use their constituents to uphold social inequalities. Kylie’s research focuses on ancient domestic economies, how they articulate with larger political economies in states, and what that tells us about community cooperation and resistance to imperial rule. She currently carries out this research in highland Peru, focusing on the pre-Inca to Spanish Colonial periods (c. 1000-1700 CE). Her dissertation was a study of forcibly migrated retainer populations serving Inca nobles near the imperial capital, and sought to understand how labor was coerced through multiple strategies. A recent development of this work has been the excavation of households within a neighboring community allied with the Inca, to contrast migrant experiences with those of cooperative locals.

Kylie applies her research interests to better understanding human prehistory and history in the classroom, with relevant connections drawn to the real world. She challenges students to use the archaeological past as a harbinger of what’s to come and as a critical study of how we interpret our present. Kylie is teaching courses on the overview of human prehistory and quantitative research methods. She emphasizes student training in her Peruvian projects, co-publishes and co-presents work with students, and encourages independent research.

Friday Archaeology- Domestication as a Model for Evolutionary Biology

Presented by: Dr. Melinda Zeder

Terry Lecture: Almost Human- Homo naledi

Speaker: Lee Berger, Research Professor in Human Evolution & the Public Understanding

Historically Hot: Reimagining Beauty from Japan’s Past

Laura Miller, The Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professorship in Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Spring Colloquium: Genomic Insights into the Macaque Adaptive Radiation

Timothy H. Webster, Arizona State University

Spring Colloquium: The Natural Variation of the Chimpanzee and Bonobo MHC: Balancing Disease and Reproduction

Emily Wroblewski, Stanford University School of Medicine

Spring Colloquium: Flexible Social Strategies and Their Fitness Consequences in Primate Societies

Eva Wikberg, University of Calgary

Spring Colloquium: Fruit Syndromes: Do fruit traits match the behavior and sensory adaptations of primate mutualists?

Kim Valenta, McGill University

Spring Colloquium: Red Sea Exchanges, Agricultural Shifts, and Domestic Chickens in Ancient Africa

Helina Woldekiros, Washington University in St. Louis

Helina Woldekiros is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Archaeology with the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work focuses on human adaptations in the Horn of Africa during the beginnings of food production, agricultural diets, pastoralism and mobile responses to climatic change in extreme ecological/environmental settings.

For more information on her research and publications, visit her page

Spring Colloquium: Sacrifice and Utopia in the Anthropocene

Dominic Boyer, Rice University
Dominic Boyer is a Professor of Anthropology at Rice University. His two main lines of research relate to media and knowledge in modern society as well as the contributions of energy systems to modern political culture.
For more information on his research and publications, visit his page at Rice University.

Spring Colloquium: Individual Participation in Collective Group Defense in Black Howler Monkeys (Alouatta pigra)

Sarie Van Belle, University of Texas at Austin

Friday Archaeology- Rediscovering North America’s Lost Crops: Seeds as Artifacts

Presented by: Natalie Mueller

Spring Colloquium: Miss Mexico's Dress and the Backlash against Reproductive Rights in Latin America

Lynn Morgan, Mount Holyoke

Lynn Morgan is a Professor of Anthropology at Mount holyoke College. Her specializations include medical anthropology, the anthropology of gender and sexualities, reproductive governance in Latin America, Central America, and the Ecuadorian Andes. 

For more information on Lynne Mogran, visit her faculty page at Mount Holyoke.

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Heather O'Leary

Where the Pipelines End: Water, Urban Development and Resilience in Delhi

Heather O'Leary is a lecturer for the Department of Anthropology here at Washington University in St. Louis. She is an interdisciplinary environmental anthropologist with deep commitment to teaching students about power disparities, natural resource distribution, and intersectionality.  

For more on her research, visit her page.

PNP Workshop on Decision-Making and Self-Control

This two-day workshop will include a variety of short invited lectures, panel discussions, and working groups.

Global Health Speaker: Linda Garro, UCLA

Hot Breakfast, Salad, and Soul Food: A Health Portrait of an African-American Family Living in a Troubled Los Angeles Community

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Helen Human

Rehabilitated Ruins

Helen Human is the International Scholarship and Fellowship Advisor with the Overseas Programs here at Washington University in St. Louis. 

For more information on the Overseas Program Office, visit their website.

Library Faculty Book Talk Series: Shanti Parikh

“Regulating Romance: Youth Love Letters, Moral Anxiety, and Intervention in Uganda’s Time of Aids”

Spring Colloquium: Human Adaptation to Tropical Rainforest Habitats

George Perry, Pennsylvania State University

Spring Colloquium: Primate Frugivore Loss and Their Impacts on Plant Communities in Madagascar's Rainforest

Onja Razafindratsima, Harvard University

Spring Colloquium: Sexy Sounds: Ecological, energetic, and anthropogenic influences on primate male long calls

Wendy Erb, Rutgers University

Spring Colloquium: Plasticity and its Possibilities: The impact of social and ecological factors on primate behavior and physiology

Krista Milich, University of Texas at Austin

Milk with Altitude: Early Life Exposures in Tibetan Human Milk

Presented by E.A. Quinn

Dr. Jean Hunleth book signing

Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia

Department Spring Party

For Anthropology students and faculty

Department of Anthropology's Commencement and Reception

TEDxGatewayArch BOUNCE

TR Kidder Presents: History, climate change and future flooding of the Mississippi

Fall Colloquium: James Rilling, Emory University

The Biology of Paternal Behavior

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Dominic Boyer

Infrastructure, Potential Energy, Revolution

Dominic Boyer is a Professor of Anthropology at Rice University. His two main lines of research relate to media and knowledge in modern society as well as the contributions of energy systems to modern political culture.


Decentering the West Lecture Presents - ‘There’s a Disco Ball Between Us’

Professor Jafari Allen, University of Miami

CANCELED: Fall Colloquium: Tiffiny Tung, Vanderbilt University

Violence, Food Insecurity, & Body Desecration: A Bioarchaeological & Isotopic Study of Climate Change & Imperial Collapse in the Peruvian Andes

This event has been canceled and postponed until Spring 2018.

Science Matters Lecture Series: Ira Flatow

In conversation with Climatologists Bronwen Konecky and Gavin Schmidt
A conversation on climate change begins with a panel of climatologists discussing how the study of past and present climate conditions can aid in development of strategies to protect Earth.


Flatow: The popular host of the “Science Friday” public radio show will serve as moderator. With a career spanning four decades, Flatow has demonstrated a remarkable deftness for translating scientific concepts and processes in an engaging and accessible way.
Konecky: As a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado, Konecky studies the long shadow of climate change, noting historic changes in tropical climate and ecosystems, from the geologic past to the 21st century.
Schmidt: As a climate scientist, Schmidt studies past and present climate drivers to develop viable scenarios of a future Earth. He is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

Science Matters Lecture Series: Christian Parenti

The Climate Crisis, Political Pessimism, and Realistic Solutions

In his most recent book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, New York University sociologist Christian Parenti examines the deadly fallout of climate disasters in the Global South. The veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker also is a contributing editor for The Nation.

First the Seed, Still the Seed: Breeding and Property Rights from Mass Selection to CRISPR

Assembly Series Lecture with Dr. Jack Kloppenburg

TALK RESCHEDULED: Greg Urban, University of Pennsylvania MOVED TO 11/21

The Enchantment Effect: A Semiotics of Boundary and Profit

This talk has been rescheduled for November 21st at 4PM in McMillan Hall G052. 

Fall Colloquium: Greg Urban, University of Pennsylvania

The Enchantment Effect: A Semiotics of Boundary and Profit

This talk was originally scheduled for October 24th but was rescheduled for November 21st. 

GAFS Future of Food Studies Conference

The Graduate Association for Food Studies will hold their annual The Future of Food Studies Graduate Conference at Washington University in St. Louis between Thursday, October 19th through Saturday, October 21st. 

The keynote speaker will be Professor Krishnendu Ray, acclaimed food studies scholar and chair of the Food Studies department at New York University. Professor Alison Alkon of the University of the Pacific will be delivering the plenary address on food justice. Additionally, a select number of student papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, an open-source, peer-reviewed graduate journal publishing food-related research.

Registration is now closed for this event.

The Graduate Association for Food Studies (GAFS) is the official graduate student caucus of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS). GAFS is an interdisciplinary academic community founded in the spring of 2014 with the goals of connecting graduate students interested in food and promoting their exceptional work. The Association publishes the digital Graduate Journal of Food Studies and hosts the Future of Food Studies conference for graduate students to present, discuss, and network. Our first Conference took place in 2015 at Harvard University.
Rooted in a network of senior graduate students pursuing food studies scholarship in a rigorous fashion, the Graduate Association for Food Studies provides peer-to-peer advice, support, and professional development. Join GAFS to build your CV as well as your knowledge of the pragmatics of peer review and book reviews (apply here to join our peer review board or to review a book), editing, and publishing—and meet other grad students interested in food studies, from all over the world.


Photography Contest 2017

Open to all Washington University in St. Louis undergraduates and Anthropology graduate students

Undergraduate Student Photography Contest Guidelines

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce its 2017 annual undergraduate photography contest. We invite submissions from all Washington University undergraduates.

Submission deadline: November 13, 2017

1. Photos should be related to your research or studies in anthropology and you must have been a Washington University undergraduate in 2017.

2. Anthropology majors and minors, and public health minors, are especially encouraged to apply, although the contest is open to all students;

3. We encourage photo submissions that speak to anthropological concerns, such as culture, human history, ritual, place and landscape, and the diversity of human society and experience;

4. By submitting photos you grant permission to the Department of Anthropology to publish them online or in brochures and to display them;

5. You may submit up to 8 photos and they must be in digital form (jpg or tif with resolution of at least 1 megapixel in size). Each photo should be accompanied by a word processing document that includes your name and a short description of when and where the photo was taken, what you were doing there, and what it depicts;

6. Photos will be judged first on artistic merit and secondarily on anthropological content;

7. First prize will be $150; second prize will be $100; and third prize will be $50. The winning photos (and possibly honorable mentions) will be featured on the department website and outside the department office;

8. All participants must have obtained permission to photograph any human subjects in the submitted images;

9. Submit your photos to calin.sterling@wustl.edu

Anthropology Graduate Student Photography Contest Guidelines

Submission deadline: November 13, 2017

1. Photos should be related to your research or studies in anthropology and you must currently be a student in the Department of Anthropology Graduate Program

2. We encourage photo submissions that speak to anthropological concerns, such as culture, human history, ritual, place and landscape, and the diversity of human society and experience;

3. By submitting photos you grant permission to the Department of Anthropology to publish them online or in brochures and to display them;

4. You may submit up to 8 photos and they must be in digital form (jpg or tif with resolution of at least 1 megapixel in size). Each photo should be accompanied by a word processing document that includes your name and a short description of when and where the photo was taken, what you were doing there, and what it depicts;

5. Photos will be judged first on artistic merit and secondarily on anthropological content;

6. First prize will be $150; second prize will be $100; and third prize will be $50. The winning photos (and possibly honorable mentions) will be featured on the department website and outside the department office;

7. All participants must have obtained permission to photograph any human subjects in the submitted images;

8. Submit your photos to calin.sterling@wustl.edu

For more information, please contact Calin Sterling in the Department of Anthropology at 935-8801

13th Documentary Viewing and Panel Discussion through the Brown School

Anthropology PhD student, Chelsey Carter, joins the panel
The Brown School Committee for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity is sponsoring an upcoming viewing of the documentary 13TH followed by a panel moderated by LaShawnda Fields, student representative of the Committee of Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity. Pizza and popcorn will be provided.
Documentary from 5:30 - 7:10pm
Panel from 7:10 - 8:00pm
Brown Hall, Brown Lounge
Panelists include:
  • Annie Grier, MSW, Project Manager, Smart Decarceration Initiative - Center for Social Development
  • Robert Motley, MSW, PhD Student in Social Work 
  • Chelsey Carter, PhD Student in Sociocultural Anthropology

13TH is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States;" it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). View the trailer for the documentary here.

Please RSVP here using our Qualtrics Survey https://wustl.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4Ji3CiFGUOuUwhn


GlobeMed’s Hilltop Conference: "Daring to believe in your right to lead"

with Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global

Professor Brett Rushforth, "Deep Roots, Long Shadows: Sacagawea, Charbonneau, and the French Empire in Missouri"

2017 Gentry Lecture presented by the History Department

Interior Frontiers: Dangerous Concepts in Our Times

Presented by Ann Laura Stoler Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies, The New School for Social Research


Ann Laura Stoler

Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies

The New School for Social Research

"Interior Frontiers: Dangerous Concepts in Our Times"

Thursday, November 2, 2017

5 p.m. 

Wilson 214

Reception to follow the lecture

Co-sponsored by the Department of History

The lecture is free and open to the public 


This project is part of an extended effort to identify some of the conditions that produce ways of thinking and being about what is rendered inside and outside the circumferences of comfort and the circumscribed parameters of care. It explores how those demarcations, and what Clifford Geertz once called the“delicacies of distinction,” are  drawn. The paper makes a case for thinking about what Etienne Balibar once called the “astonishing” term “interior frontiers,” touching on some chilling features of the relationship between personal and polity, as well as on why closure, confinement, and removal from the “interior” are made to make ‘common sense.’ Professor Stoler looks at the polyvalence of a term “interior frontiers” that both promises comfort and, even in its most seemingly benevolent strains, invests in the distinctions of human kinds and appraisals of inequitable worth.

Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research. Stoler is the director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry. Her research focuses on the politics of knowledge, colonial governance, racial epistemologies, the sexual politics of empire, and ethnography of the archives. Her books include Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra’s Plantation Belt, 1870–1979 (1985; 1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (1995), Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (2002, 2010), Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (2009) and the edited volumes Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (with Frederick Cooper, 1997), Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (2006), Imperial Formations (with Carole McGranahan and Peter Perdue, 2007),  Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (2013), and Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times (2016). 

For more information email: ecocriticalsawyer@wustl.edu or visit:


Free WashU Screening: 'Jane'

On campus screening of documentary on Jane Goodall

The Washington University Libraries’ Student Engagement Committee is pleased to be holding a free campus screening of the new documentary, Jane, on this Thursday, November 2 at 3pm in Brown Hall room 118. Jane, which recounts the early career of Jane Goodall, reveals aspects of the legendary primatologist’s work and relationships, all via Jane Goodall’s own words. The film’s imagery is culled from hundreds of hours of never-before-seen footage of Goodall in Gombe, Tanzania, doing her pioneering work in the 1960s. Jane, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, has received stellar reviews, including these reviews from Indiewire and The Hollywood Reporter:



Jane has yet to premiere in St. Louis, and thus this is the first opportunity to see this extraordinary documentary locally, and it’s available only to the campus community. It is a film that is sure to inspire students, especially those interested in science and anthropology.

The screening will include an introduction by Washington University Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology Crickette Sanz. The screening is made possible through partnership with the St. Louis International Film Festival. A flyer for the event is attached. Please feel free to promote to any faculty, students, or student groups who you think might want to come.


GIS in the Community

Wash U. promotes spatial awareness, geography and geographic information systems (GIS)

GIS Day is an international event, now nearly 20 years old,  which promotes spatial awareness, geography and geographic information systems (GIS). This year our theme of GIS in the Community will include on-campus speakers describing how they use GIS to impact community as well as an off-campus community service learning project.


Agri-Food Research Discussion Group

John Bowen workshop on halal food in Europe,

The Agri-Food research discussion group are open to all undergraduate and graduate students at Washington University in St. Louis. For more information, contact Glenn Stone.

Agri-Food Workshop presentation by Lora Iannotti of the Brown School

"The Nutritional Value of Traditional Diets: Animal source foods in Ecuador and Kenya"

Cross-disciplinary Panel Conversation with artist Thomas Struth

Talia Dan-Cohen will join panel in discussion on the intersection of art, science, and culture

Conversation with the Artist: Thomas Struth

Sunday, November 5, 2 pm
The Farrell Auditorium
Thomas Struth, photographer
$20/$15 Members.
Internationally celebrated photographer Thomas Struth will take part in a cross-disciplinary panel to discuss his images of technological frontiers on view in Nature & Politics. The panelists will bring different perspectives on technology to bear on the work, engaging with broader issues raised at the intersection of art, science, and culture. Panelists include:

  • Thomas Struth
  • Eric Lutz
    Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs
    Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Talia Dan-Cohen
    Assistant Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • James Beacham
    Post-doctoral researcher, The Ohio State University
    ATLAS Experiment at CERN

Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Sherria Ayuandini

Finger Pricks and Blood Vials: How doctors medicalize ‘cultural’ solutions to demedicalize the ‘broken’ hymen in the Netherlands

Sherria Ayuandini is a Sociocultural Graduate Student with the Department of Anthropology here at Washington University in St. Louis. Her focus of study is medical anthropology, specifically a medical procedure called hymenoplasty. Sherria looks at this procedure in the Netherlands in the context of migration issues, women empowerment, and religion.

For more information on her research and publications, visit her page.

Agri-Food Workshop presentation by Tore C. Olsson

Roots of the Green Revolution: How the American South Became the Unlikely Laboratory for New Methods of Food Production

"Sighted Eyes Feeling Heart" free documentary screening

AFAS presents a new documentary about Horraine Hansberry

Colloquium Series: Crystal Biruk, Oberlin College

Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World
Crystal Biruk is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology at Oberlin College. Her forthcoming book, Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World, traces the social lives of quantitative health data in Malawi, showing how research cultures mediate the production of statistics in ways that impact local economies and formulations of power and expertise. Her current project draws on ethnographic research with an LGBT-rights NGO in Malawi’s capital city to explore how the convergence of  human rights activism, “African homophobia,” and the AIDS industry provides LGBT-identifying people novel avenues to capital, health, and social and economic inclusion. The project unsettles normative tropes mobilized by US-centric queer theory to represent and understand queer African projects and identities. 

Colloquium Series: Kimberley D. McKinson, University of Georgia

The Metallurgical Metropolis: Excavating the Aesthetics and Politics of Insecurity in Urban Jamaica
Kimberley D. McKinson is a Post-Doctoral Research and Teaching Associate at the University of Georgia where she is affiliated with the College of Education and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute. Her scholarly interests are situated at the intersections of urban anthropology, security, material culture, critical black historiography and Caribbean and Africana studies. She has conducted anthropological fieldwork in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. 
In Kingston, Jamaica, a middle class residential architectural aesthetics defined by metal has emerged in response to the city's high crime rate and violence - stylized metal burglar bars protect windows, metal gates secure front yards, metal grills enclose verandahs and spiked metal fences surround the periphery of properties. In this talk, I argue that this stylized metal has come to mark Kingston's urban landscape as a security-scape, where security and insecurity and not simply spectacular violence, have come to be important organizing principles. I offer too, a material and historical reading of Kingston’s metal, one attentive to its properties and its attributes which I suggest opens up space for an imagination of Kingston as more than just a fortress city defined by enclosure and exclusion. Through attention to Kingston’s metal security artifacts and the stylized adkinkra patterns that decorate them, I suggest that the Caribbean security-scape must be studied as an archive of black memory and a site of cultural retention, one that gives us insight into forms of citizenship and belonging that predate the trans-Atlantic slave trade and continue to resonate in the cityscapes of the so-called New World. 

Colloquium Series: Saiba Varma, UC San Diego

Bonds of Love: Military and Humanitarian Adventures in Kashmir
Saiba Varma is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. She focuses on health and medicine, as well as politics, inequalities, and violence and has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in psychiatric and military settings. Her research examines the global military-humanitarian complex from the prism of South Asia, specifically Indian-occupied Kashmir, the site of an ongoing conflict between pro-independence forces and the Indian military. Her book manuscript, Life in Pieces: Military and Humanitarian Care in Kashmir, shows how both humanitarian and militaristic practices are both performed in the name of care. 

Colloquium Series: Tiffiny Tung, Vanderbilt University

Violence, Food Insecurity, & Body Desecration: A Bioarchaeological & Isotopic Study of Climate Change & Imperial Collapse in the Peruvian Andes
Tiffiny Tung is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. She is an anthropological bioarchaeologist who studies mummies and skeletons from archaeology sites. In particular, she investigates how ancient imperial policies and practices structure health status, exposure to violence, and lived experience of ruling and subject peoples. Her research on the ‘bioarchaeology of imperialism’ has focused on the Wari Empire of the Peruvian Andes. Her current, NSF-funded research now examines the decline of the Wari Empire, including possible explanations for Wari decline, as well as the health effects of that collapse. 

Colloquium Series: Kwame Edwin Otu, University of Virginia

Normative Collusions, Amphibious Evasions: Sassoi and the Contested Queer Self-Making
Kwame Edwin Otu is an Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies in the Carter G. Woodson Department for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. His ethnographic research focuses on effeminate men and the shifting racialization of sexuality in urban postcolonial Ghana. His work aims to unpack how sexual and racial regimes transect with neoliberal human rights attempts to reclaim and fashion dignity and rights for queer subjects in Ghana. 

Colloquium Series: Ugo Edu, UC Davis

Beauty and the Black: Aesthetic Politics and Black Reproduction in Brazil
Ugo Edu is a University of California Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UC Davis. Her research focuses on the politics of reproduction, reproductive and sexual health, and health disparities in both global and national contexts. In particular, Ugo has conducted research in Brazil to examine the factors that influence women’s decisions and their attempts to access sterilization. Her upcoming work is concerned with mapping and documenting the techniques and technologies of genital modifications globally. This project ethnographically explores the shifting terrain of female genital modification, incorporating visual arts and art installation as a method for generating questions and gathering data.

​Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Speaker Series: Emily Wroblewski

A Tale of Two Pan: MHC Immunogenetic Variation and Disease in Wild Chimpanzee and Bonobo Populations

Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Speaker Series: Krista Milich

Pri-mating: Social and ecological influences on primate sexual behaviors and physiology

Dr. Krista Milich is a primate behavioral ecologist and socioendocrinologist with a particular interest in reproductive physiology and sexual selection. Her work aims to not only understand the proximate and ultimate mechanisms associated with the evolution of primate social systems, but also to use that knowledge to inform primate conservation efforts. 

Science on Tap: EA Quinn and Geoff Childs Discuss Research

Milk with Altitude: At the Intersection of Biology and Culture in the Himalayas

Making Migrants Matter: The Migrant Domestic Workers Movement in Canada

WGSS Presentes Guest Speaker Ethel Tungohan

Anthropology Major & Minor Welcome

Agri-Food Workshop presentation by Jan Salick

The Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative

Open Source Civilization and the Unexpected Origins of the Silk Road

Michael Frachetti presents through The Long Now Foundation

Michael Frachetti will be presenting his talk "Open Source Civilization and the Unexpected Origins of the Silk Road" on Monday, February 26 at 7:30PM (Pacific Standard Time) at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco. The presentation is part of Seminars About Long-Term Thinking through The Long Now Foundation. 

Seminar Introduction

Travel the ancient Silk Road with an archaeologist researching a revolutionary idea.

Nomadic pastoralists, far from being irrelevant outliers, may have helped shape civilizations at continental scale. Drawing on his exciting field work, Michael Frachetti shows how alternative ways of conceptualizing the very essence of the word “civilization” helps us to recast our understanding of regional political economies through time and discover the unexpected roots and formation of one of the world’s most extensive and long-standing social and economic networks – the Silk Road that connected Asia to Europe.
Archaeologist Michael Frachetti is an Associate Professor with the Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis and author of Pastoralist Landscapes and Social Interaction in Bronze Age Eurasia (02008).

The Long Now Foundation

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today's accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

Seminars About Long-Term Thinking Podcast

The Long Now Foundation produces two monthly audio podcasts, one for each of their ongoing lecture series, which you can subscribe to. Long Now podcasts and videos are free for everyone to enjoy thanks to the support of their donors and Long Now members. 

The Long Now Foundation's monthly Seminars were started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking; to help nudge civilization toward our goal of making long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare.

Menstrual Equity: Expanding Women's Rights

Panel discussion with Freweini Mebrahtu and Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

How Oil Makes Ecosystems: The Political Ecology of Ruin and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

Valerie Olson Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine

Wastelands of the Permanent War Machine: the Domestic Ruins of the American Military Industrial Complex

Joshua Reno, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Binghamton University

Colloquium Series: Lothar von Falkenhausen, UCLA

Ritual Reforms in Late Bronze Age China
Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History at UCLA, where he has taught since 1993. His research concerns the archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age, focusing on large interdisciplinary and historical issues on which archaeological materials can provide significant new information. He has published copiously on musical instruments, including a book, Suspended Music: Chime Bells in the Culture of Bronze Age China (1993); Chinese bronzes and their inscriptions; Chinese ritual; regional cultures; trans-Asiatic contacts; the history of archaeology in East Asia; and method and theory in East Asian archaeology. His Chinese Society in the Age of Confucius (1000-250 BC): The Archaeological Evidence (2006) received the Society for American Archaeology Book Award. Falkenhausen was co-Principal Investigator of an international archaeological project on ancient salt production in the Yangzi River basin (1999-2004) and is presently serving as Instructor of Record of the International Archaeological Field School at Yangguanzhai (2010-). He serves on the Scientific Council of the French School of Far Eastern Studies and on President Obama’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee. 

Colloquium Series: Gina Perez, Oberlin College

Latina/o Youth, JROTC, and the American Dream

The Anthropology of Care: A Discussion

Featuring: Dr. Mutale Chileshe, Copperbelt University School of Medicine, Zambia and Dr. Rebecca Lester, Washington University in St. Louis

Anthropology Departmental Graduation & Celebration

Wandering into Global Health

The Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program Seminar Series featuring Professor Lewis Wall

APIDA Recognition Ceremony

Dr. Priscilla Song, Keynote Speaker


Agri-Food Workshop Speaker Judith Carney to deliver "Seeds of Memory: Food Legacies of the Transatlantic Slave Trade"

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Judith Carney, Professor with the Department of Geography at UCLA

The popular image of Africa today is of a hungry continent, a continent chronically unable to feed itself, one that continually requires foods from other lands to keep its citizens from starvation. Yet this was not always so. Africans fully participated in the process of plant and animal domestication that occurred across the globe many thousands of years ago. Even during the period of transatlantic slavery, Africans in the New World actively instigated the cultivation of African food plants such as okra, yams, sorghum, millet, rice, and black-eyed peas. In their food fields, the enslaved Africanized the foodways of plantation societies that today are the celebrated cuisines of the African diaspora.

This talk shifts our usual historical focus from the export crops slaves produced to the foods they planted for their own subsistence. Emphasis is on the role of African foods in provisioning the transatlantic slave trade, the slave ship as a medium for their circulation, and the slave food plots where these foods initially appeared. Slave ships carried African foodstaples and food animals along with enslaved peoples familiar with their cultivation and husbandry. My discussion underscores the significance of the transatlantic slave trade for the circulation of African plants, animals, and natural knowledge in the Atlantic World.

Chris Kirk

Fall 2018 Colloquium Series: Chris Kirk, University of Texas at Austin

"Primate Special Senses—An Evolutionary Perspective"

Integration of Endogenous and Exogenous Agricultural Systems: Domestic Chickens and Biodiversity in Ancient Africa

Join the Living Earth Collaborative/EEPB Biodiversity Seminar Series for a presentation by Helina S. Woldekiros, Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis

Helina S. Woldekiros will discuss the biodiversity of African domestic chickens and their introduction to Africa from their Asian origin. She will also discuss the routes by which they both entered and dispersed across the continent.

For more information about the seminar and the Living Earth Collaborative/EEPB Biodiversity Seminar Series, please click here.

Fall 2018 Colloquium Series: Peter Benson, Washington University in St. Louis

"Open Letters and Open Wounds: An Anthropological Love Story"

Dr. Peter Benson is an Associate Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and the Director of American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Benson’s research looks at cultural politics and contemporary capitalism in the United States, and the racial assemblages and corporate forms that are related to the production of harm. His primary focus has been the history and ethnography of tobacco agriculture and racialized labor in the American South. He is currently writing an artistic autobiography, a medley of campus novel, pop culture compendium, and survival guide for the end of the world and life during wartime.

Fall 2018 Colloquium Series: Jeffrey Fleisher, Rice University

"The Archaeology of Public Space from the Ground Up: The Case of Songo Mnara, Tanzania"

Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: John Bowen, Washington University in St. Louis

"Performativity and Materiality in Halal Certification"

Professor John Bowen’s research explores broad social transformations now taking place in the world-wide Muslim community, including special emphasis on Muslim life in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation.


Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Anita Hardon, University of Amsterdam

“Valuing Supplements in Conditions of Precarity”

For her PhD research Hardon did extensive anthropological fieldwork on self care in urban poor communities in Manila. Since, she has been involved in comparative studies of health care arrangements, focusing on the global diffusion of contraceptive technologies and modern pharmaceuticals in primary health and family planning programs.

Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Monica Eppinger, SLU Law

"Disintegration: Popular Sovereignty, Law, and the Crisis of Representation in Ukraine"

Professor Monica Eppinger teaches and writes in the areas of property, comparative and international law, national security, and anthropology of law. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Bret Gustafson, Washington University in St. Louis

"The Battle Over Excess: Gas, Surplus and Redistribution in Bolivia"

Professor Bret Gustafson's work focuses on the anthropology of politics and the political, with a particular interest in Latin American social movements, state transformation, and the politics of development.

Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Joe Bosco, Washington University in St. Louis

"Birds and Red Beans: Pesticide Use and Misuse in Taiwan"

Joe Bosco is a Cultural anthropologist who has taught for 24 years in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Joe Bosco is currently a Research Associate with the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. His research focuses on the risk of pesticides from villagers’ point of view.

Agri-Food Workshop Speakers Corinna Treitel and Venus Bivar to deliver "Food and Fascism in Germany and France"

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Corinna Treitel, Associate Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis and Venus Bivar, Assistant Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis.

Agri-Food Workshop Speaker Glenn Stone to deliver "Cornmeal and Eugenics in the Blue Ridge"

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Glenn Stone, Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies​ at Washington University in St. Louis.

Fall 2018 Colloquium Series: Elizabeth A. Davis, Princeton University

“ 'The Time of the Cannibals’: Propaganda and 'Conspiracy Theory' in Cyprus and Beyond"

Fall 2018 Ethnographic Theory Workshop: Elizabeth Davis, Princeton University


Agri-Food Workshop Speaker Cassie Adcock to deliver "Engineering the Sacred Cow: Cattle, Food and Politics in North India"

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Cassie Adcock, Associate Professor, Department of History at Washington University in St. Louis.

From Social to Ecological Networks: How Network Structure Influences Disease Transmission Within and Across Species

Charles Nunn, Professor, Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and the Global Health Institute, Duke University

Fossil Capital and Revolutionary Affectation

Bret Gustafson, Associate Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

Sustaining Community, Sustaining State: An Archaeology of Food, Farming, and Power in the Prehispanic Moche Valley of North Coastal Peru

Dana N. Bardolph, Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell Institute of Archaeology & Material Studies, Cornell University


Long before the Inca imperial expansion in the fourteenth century CE, ancient Andean communities had shaped truly anthropogenic environments, which both yielded their staple crops and grounded their deepest cultural values. In this presentation, I explore agricultural intensification and the role of plant foodways—fundamentally embodied in the relationships between people, their environments, and the plants that they carefully managed—in the broader history of social, political, and economic changes that took place during the consolidation of the Southern Moche State of north coastal Peru during the Early Intermediate Period (400 BCE-800 CE). Incorporating archaeobotanical, environmental, and ethnohistorical evidence, I address changes in food production, processing, and consumption over five cultural horizons to critically re-evaluate existing models of Moche sociopolitical development, from a bottom-up perspective of the laborers in rural households whose agricultural production supported the growth and florescence of this complex society. I conclude with a discussion of my current research project, which addresses similar themes in the Mississippian period Central Illinois River Valley of west-central Illinois during the eleventh and twelfth centuries CE.

The Evolution of Agrobiodiversity: Experimental and Archaeological Approaches

Natalie G. Mueller, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University


Agrobiodiversity is a priceless but threatened resource. It took over 10,000 years of evolution under human management and selection to create the many varieties of crops and crop relatives that are available today, and many of these only exist in seed banks. While extant crop diversity is impressive, there is increasing evidence that many more crops and useful variants were lost in antiquity. Moreover, our knowledge of the practices and circumstances that tend to increase agrobiodiversity is limited and there are fewer and fewer living communities where this process can be studied. I use two case studies from my current research in eastern North America and Kenya to illustrate that the archaeological record, coupled with experimental methods, has an untapped potential to reveal lost crops and practices, as well as the social conditions that create and support agrobiodiversity. These are pressing concerns in an era of ecological knowledge loss, global climate change, and population growth.

farm in andes

Shorelines and Seeds: Histories of climate change and sustainable agricultural landscapes on the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia, Lake Titicaca Basin of the Andes (1500 BCE-1000 CE)

Maria C. Bruno, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Dickinson College


Over 3500 years ago human settlement on the shores of Lake Titicaca began and has been sustained into the present through dynamic combinations of farming, herding, and fishing. While the Titicaca Basin is one of the most productive regions of the high, dry Andean altiplano, it is subject to significant changes in rainfall and temperature causing the lake itself to rise and fall, modifying the physical properties in which human communities make a living. I will present new data from the Taraco Archaeological Project on environmental fluctuations in the small lake basin, and shifts in crop management and landuse strategies across the Formative (1500 BCE-500 CE) and Tiwanaku (500-1100 CE) periods on the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia. I argue that Taraco farmers successfully responded to frequent environmental shifts through diverse and flexible cropping strategies. This involved continued cultivation of hardy species such as quinoa while also adding in new varieties and species of tubers and chenopods, and eventually maize. They also maintained flexible landuse strategies that allowed for shifting of economic activities as the lakeshore and rainfall regimes changed. These dynamic interactions between human communities and the environment resulted in sustainable agricultural landscapes, components of which continue into the present day.


alpacas eat in the andes

Environmental Archaeology, Cultural Interaction, and Human Adaptation in the Andes

Sonia Zarrillo, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary


Paleoethnobotany, the specialized analysis of plant remains, can advance archaeological understanding of past lifeways. Methodological advancements, the rigorous application of paleobotanical techniques, the use of multiple lines of evidence, and interdisciplinary research are central to develop robust explanations and continue paleoethnobotany’s growing importance within archaeology. These topics will be highlighted while presenting past, current, and future research from Ecuador, Peru, and beyond – focusing on the unifying themes of the development socio-cultural complexity, cultural interaction, and human adaptation.

Small Fixes: Humanitarian Design in a Broken World

Peter Redfield, Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Partial stories: Maternal Death in Malawi

Claire Wendland, Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Traces of Restraint: Coercive Practice and Nazi Haunting in Contemporary German Psychiatry

Lauren Cubellis, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

Beyond Salafism: A View from Koenigshoffen, Strasbourg

Oguz Alyanak, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

Alternative Food Production: Ferguson and Beyond

Scott Krummenacher; Environmental Studies, Sustainability Exchange and Rachel Levi; Earthdance Farm, Ferguson, MO

Anthropology Ethnographic Theory Workshop

Peter Redfield, Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anthropology Ethnographic Theory Workshop

Amy Cooper, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, St. Louis University

Ethnographic Futures

Washington University in St. Louis is hosting the 2019 Annual Spring Meeting of the American Ethnological Society (AES), oldest professional anthropological organization in the U.S. founded in 1842. The conference theme is Ethnographic Futures.  Five years after protests in Ferguson around racialized police brutality, plenaries, paper sessions, and roundtables reflect and theorize possible unfoldings of the future in specific locales and explore how people with whom we study and collaborate imagine, create, participate, and refuse. The conference is co-hosted by the Association of Latina/o Anthropologists (ALLA) and Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA). The conference will be held Thursday, March 14th to Saturday, March 16th. Registration is open until the end of the conference.

Potters, Weavers and Pastoralists: Durability and Change Among Bronze Age Communities Across Asia

Dr. Paula Doumani Dupuy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

How the West Was Won: State Formation in Greece and the Bronze Age Capital of Iklaina

Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Professor of Archaeology, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Catastrophe and Opportunity During El Niño Disasters: Lessons for the Future

Benjamin Vining, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Preliminary Research at Haimenkou, Yunnan, China

T.R. Kidder, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis Ximena Lemoine, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis Caitlin Rankin, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis

Comparing the tempo of cereal dispersal and the agricultural transition: Trajectories from Africa and West Asia

Dorian Fuller, Professor of Archaeobotany, UCL Institute of Archaeology
agri-food workshop

Cahokian Women: Foods, Fields, and Feasts

Gayle J. Fritz, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Anthropology Friday Archaeology

Of Fire and Stone: Cremation and Secondary Burial Practices at Noomparrua Nkosesia, Southwest Kenya. Presented by Lorraine Hu, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis.

The Archaeothantology of Mummy Bundles at Los Batanes, Sama Valley, Peru. Presented by Abigail Wippel, Undergraduate Student, Washington University in St. Louis.

Investigation of Defensive Perimeter Architecture in the Sama Valley, Peru. Presented by Abby Baka, Undergraduate Student, Washington University in St. Louis.

Monsanto Trials and Monsanto Papers: A Critical Eye on Industry Influence and Pesticide Science

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Carey Gillam, Investigative Journalist, and author of Whitewash: The Story of a WeedKiller, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

Proving halal: Knowledge, networks, and the state across Western Europe

John R. Bowen, Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

Aging and survival in the natural world: insights from wild baboons

Susan Alberts, Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University

Water Histories of Ancient Yemen and the American West

Michael Harrower, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Director of Undergraduate Studies - Archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Crops of the Past and Future

Join the Agri-Food Workshop for a presentation by Natalie Mueller, ​Assistant Professor of Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis, and Allison Miller, Professor of Biology, Saint Louis University.

Fieldnotes on the Future of Food Production

Bradley Jones, Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and James Babbitt, Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis

For more information, click here.

Halal Food: Global Linkages and Controversies

Bahia Munem, Postdoctoral Fellow in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis and Lauren Crossland-Marr, Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis

For more information, click here.

Diet and Indigenous Resilience in South America

Carlos Andres Gallegos, PhD candidate, Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and Emmanuelle Ricaud Oneto, EHESS, Paris

'Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Heartland'

Professor Emerita of Anthropology Gayle J. Fritz will discuss her new work, "Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Heartland.

About the book: “Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Heartland" presents evidence to demonstrate that the emphasis on corn has created a distorted picture of Cahokia’s agricultural practices. Farming at Cahokia was biologically diverse and, as such, less prone to risk than was maize-dominated agriculture. Gayle J. Fritz shows that the division between the so-called elites and commoners simplifies and misrepresents the statuses of farmers—a workforce consisting of adult women and their daughters who belonged to kin groups crosscutting all levels of the Cahokian social order. Many farmers had considerable influence and decision-making authority, and they were valued for their economic contributions, their skills, and their expertise in all matters relating to soils and crops. Fritz examines the possible roles played by farmers in the processes of producing and preparing food and in maintaining cosmological balance."

For more information: https://happenings.wustl.edu/event/faculty_book_talk_gayle_j_fritz#.Xc1vzlVKiUl

How Women's Subsistence Work Shapes Biology: Impacts of Shodagor Women's Work on Health and Development

Kathrine Starkweather, NSF SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of New Mexico

The Energetics of Uniquely Human Subsistence Strategies

Thomas Kraft, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara

Permeability and Precarity: Gut Function, Immune Function, and Tradeoffs in Infant Growth in Highland Peru

Morgan Hoke, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Parasitic Disease Among the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador: Testing Household Infection Patterns and Life History Trade-Offs

​​​​Theresa Gildner, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dartmouth College

The Ritualized Landscapes of the Andean Coast in the 1st millennium BC

Charles Stanish, Professor, University of South Florida

*CANCELED* Legacies of Inclusion: The Immigrant Second Generation from Adolescence to Middle Adulthood

Cynthia Feliciano, Professor of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis

*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19/the coronavirus, this event has been CANCELED until further notice.*

*CANCELED* “Cut and Sew”: Migration, Crisis, and Belonging in an Italian Fast-Fashion Zone

Elizabeth Krause, Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19/the coronavirus, this event has been CANCELED until further notice.*

History as Image: Picturing a Collective Subject Through History

Stephen McIsaac, Lecturer in Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

"Porn feels different than it looks”: Porn Work On Set

Heather Berg, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Contagious Affects: Fear and Biosecurity in the Age of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

Katharina Rynkiewich, Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

*CANCELED* Habilitative Care: Technologies of Potentiality and Disability after Zika in Brazil

Eliza Williamson, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Latin American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19/the coronavirus, this event has been CANCELED until further notice.*

*CANCELED* War, Diasporas, and Un/Re-rooted Familial Geographies

Bahia Munem, Postdoctoral Fellow in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19/the coronavirus, this event has been CANCELED until further notice.*

*CANCELED* With Compliments From the Housewives: Settler Colonialism and Contesting White Public Space in Nairobi

*CANCELED* With Compliments From the Housewives: Settler Colonialism and Contesting White Public Space in Nairobi

Meghan Ference is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Brooklyn College. She teaches undergraduate courses in urban and economic anthropology. Her research interests broadly explore how the built environment impacts social relationships, particularly regarding transportation infrastructure in the urban environment. Professor Ference graduated with a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013.

This talk will explore racial and gendered placemaking practices in colonial Nairobi using archival letters from a group of European settler women who called themselves, ‘The Housewives.’ These letters not only make visible intimate, physical, transgressive interactions that often remain invisible in the colonial record, but they also give us a glimpse of African women and men insisting on their ‘right to the city’ and provide a snapshot of African refusal from both passengers and workers, across gender, ethnicity and neighborhood.


This event is sponsored by the African & African American Studies, History and Anthropology Departments



Faculty Book Talk: Rebecca Lester

Rebecca Lester, associate professor of sociocultural anthropology, will discuss her book "Famished," the culmination of over two decades of anthropological and clinical work, as well as a lifetime of lived experience, presents a profound rethinking of eating disorders and how to treat them.

Through a mix of rich cultural analysis, detailed therapeutic accounts, and raw autobiographical reflections, "Famished" helps make sense of why people develop eating disorders, what the process of recovery is like, and why treatments so often fail. It’s also an unsparing condemnation of the tension between profit and care in American healthcare, demonstrating how a system set up to treat a disease may, in fact, perpetuate it. Read more about the book in this profile from The Source.

Refreshments will be provided, and books will be available for purchase and signing. Free and open to all.


*CANCELED* Guardians of the Body-Territory: A Public Symposium and Exhibit with Mirtha Villanueva and Patricia Schuba

*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19/the coronavirus, this event has been CANCELED until further notice.*


A transnational dialogue on toxic landscapes bringing women together from communities in Peru and Missouri struggling against industrial activities. Mirtha Villanueva, from Cajamarca, Peru, and Patricia Schuba, from Labadie, MO, are grassroots intellectuals speaking and sharing insights on their experiences. The symposium is a space of articulation between local and global struggles for environmental justice.

The symposium will be followed by the opening of the “Guardians of the Body-Territory // Guardianas del Cuerpo Territorio” pop-up exhibit at Olin Library’s lobby. The exhibit features photographs and written and oral testimonials portraying the voices of the women ecoterritorial defenders who participated in PhD Candidate Natalia Guzmán Solano’s ethnographic fieldwork in Peru.

~Light refreshments will be served at the opening reception~


Location: Olin Library Meeting Room 142

Symposium: 4 pm

Exhibit opening reception: 5:45 pm



Anthropology Major-Minor Fair

The Department of Anthropology will be participating in the A&S Major-Minor Fair on 10/28 from 3:00-4:30 pm. A panel of Anthropology majors will be available to talk about the major and answer questions. Contact Kirsten Jacobsen, kjacobsen@wustl.edu, with questions and for Zoom registration.

For more information, click here.

The Criminal Records Complex: Hiring and Job Seeking in the Age of Mass Conviction

Melissa Burch, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

This event will take place virtually on Zoom. Please email Abdul Ursani (a.ursani@wustl.edu) for Zoom registration link.

Divine Fertility: The Continuity in Transformation of an Ideology of Sacred Kinship in Northeast Africa

Sada Mire, Executive Director, Horn Heritage Foundation

This event will take place virtually on Zoom. Please email Abdul Ursani (a.ursani@wustl.edu) for Zoom registration link.

African Experience in the Americas: Genetic Perspectives of Afro-descendants in Puerto Rico

Jada Benn Torres, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University

This event will take place virtually on Zoom. Please email Abdul Ursani (a.ursani@wustl.edu) for Zoom registration link.

Global Perspectives Panel: COVID & Leadership

Join four scholars, scientists, political and community leaders, all of whom are leaders in COVID-related public and community health globally. Moderator: Sammi O’Reilly, Washington University in St. Louis

List of Speakers:

Catherine Hankins, Professor of Public and Population Health, at McGill University

Rana Dajani, Cmalakova Fellow at the Jepson School of Leadership at the University of Richmond

Simone Salem, Community Support Adviser for the UNAIDS Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa

Navid Madani, Senior Scientist in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology


Zoom Webinar Link

The Evolution of Human Uniqueness

Gary Schwartz, School of Human Evolution and Social Change & the Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University

Dr. Gary Schwartz is a paleoanthropologist whose research focuses on the origin and evolution of modern human uniqueness, especially the functional and evolutionary-developmental (“evo-devo”) biology of our teeth and our evolved growth biology, or “life history”. I combine lab research on fossil and modern specimens of both humans and non-human primates, with fieldwork aimed at recovering fossil hominin specimens new to science. My work utilizes the latest advanced visualization technologies and integrates approaches from across diverse disciplines, including mechanical engineering, developmental biology, macroecology, and histology to explore the mechanisms underlying how and when humans evolved our unique suite of dental and life history attributes.



From fossils to machines: 3D imaging and artificial intelligence in paleoanthropology

Tesla Monson, Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology, Director of the Primate Evolution Lab, Western Washington University

Advances in digital imaging have revolutionized paleoanthropology, allowing both internal and external morphometric sampling of skeletal remains in unprecedented fashion. Dr. Tesla Monson is Director of the Primate Evolution Lab at Western Washington University where her research focuses on understanding the evolution of human biological variation within a comparative mammalian framework. She uses 3D morphometrics, machine learning, and phylogenetics to quantify phenotypic patterning in fossil and extant species and investigate the evolutionary forces shaping variation in skeletal morphology. For this talk, the primate cranium will serve as a roadmap to walk through her published and ongoing work 1) using dental variation to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships in the fossil record, 2) investigating primate vision through the lens of cranial modularity, and 3) developing a paleoneurology and reproductive ecology model for understanding the evolution of cognition. Dr. Monson is a member of the Middle Awash Research Team and is currently describing new primate fossil assemblages in Ethiopia. She is also the founder of the Integrative Human Evolution Symposium and was host and producer of The Graduates science radio show for 5 years before starting a new Twitter and radio outreach project called Washington Women. Her ongoing DEIJ work integrates 3D imaging technology into the curriculum at Western Washington University to improve accessibility in the classroom. 



Evolution and variation in Pleistocene Homo

Karen Baab, Department of Anatomy, Midwestern University

Dr. Baab is a paleoanthropologist whose research addresses important questions about human evolution during the Pleistocene. Her scholarship touches on classification and evolutionary relationships among the many extinct species in our own genus, Homo, and how populations evolved across the vast geographic landscape of Homo erectus between 1.9 and 0.1 Ma. Dr. Baab's research talk will focus on the systematics, paleobiology and evolutionary history of extinct Homo species, and how digital approaches to the human fossil record have transformed and enriched the study of human evolution. 



The Evolution of Bipedal Posture and Locomotion in the Human Lineage

Dr. Scott A. Williams, Department of Anthropology, New York University

Dr. Williams is an evolutionary morphologist and paleoanthropologist interested in locomotion, life history, and sexual selection in human evolution. His research has focused on the evolution of upright posture and bipedal locomotion in our lineage, with a special interest in the role of the torso (spine, ribcage, and pelvis). 



Science in Strange Times: A Pandemic Presentation on Primate Obesity and COVID-19

Dr. Christopher Schmitt, Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology, Boston University

Dr. Christopher Schmitt is an Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology, and co-director with Dr. Eva Garrett of the Sensory Morphology and Genomic Anthropology Lab (SMGAL) at Boston University. Dr. Schmitt’s central research questions involve primate development and life history and incor- porate techniques from behavioral ecology, morphology, and genomics in two primate models: New World atelins and Old World vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus spp.).



Amazonian Dark Earths, Polyculture Agroforestry Systems, and their Modern Legacy

Dr. José Iriarte, Professor of Archeology, University of Exeter, UK

The human-made soils of Amazonia, Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs), are arguably one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of the human transformation of tropical environments in the Americas.  Much progress has been made on the genesis and archaeology of these anthrosols. However, until recently, we knew very little about the type of land-use practiced on ADEs. In this presentation, I summarize the results of the PAST project along the Amazon, showing that polyculture agroforestry involving soil fertilization, closed-canopy forest enrichment, limited clearing for crop cultivation and low-severity fire management was practiced on ADEs. These millennial-scale agro-ecosystems had an enduring legacy on persisting patches of highly fertile soil and the modern composition of the forest, including legacy plots of fruit trees. We argue that ADE agro-ecosystems provide evidence of successful, sustainable subsistence strategies while also highlight a millennial rich indigenous cultural-ecological heritage.  



Praxis in Anthropology/Medicine: Liminality in the Clinic and the Field

Dr. Puneet Sahota, MD, Ph.D., National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA); Assistant Professor at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Praxis in clinical and field work settings is at the heart of MD/PhD anthropological perspective. Over two decades of research and policy collaboration with Indigenous communities, and more recent leadership roles in consultation-liaison psychiatry, I have seen liminality come to the fore as a concept which guides me in both my practice as a physician and an anthropologist.

This event will be held in-person in McMillan Hall, G052 with a Zoom option available.

Please note that for all in-person events, attendees must adhere to Washington University’s public health requirements, including the latest events and meetings protocol. Guests will be required to show a successful self-screening result and wear a mask at all times.

Prefer Zoom? Register Here

The Gastronomic Revolution and Other Stories of Race and Coloniality in Peru

Dr. María Elena García, Associate Professor, University of Washington

María Elena García is associate professor in the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington in Seattle. A Peruvian woman of Quechua ancestry, García received her PhD in Anthropology at Brown University and has been a Mellon Fellow at Wesleyan University and Tufts University. Her first book, Making Indigenous Citizens: Identities, Development, and Multicultural Activism in Peru (Stanford, 2005) examined Indigenous and intercultural politics in Peru in the immediate aftermath of the war between Sendero Luminoso and the state. Her work on indigeneity and interspecies politics in the Andes has appeared in multiple edited volumes and journals such as Anthropology Now, Anthropological Quarterly, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Latin American Perspectives, and Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. Her second book, Gastropolitics and the Specter of Race: Stories of Capital, Culture, and Coloniality in Peru (published by the University of California Press and supported by an NEH Fellowship), examines the intersections of race, species, and capital in contemporary Peru. Her next project, Landscapes of Death: Political Violence Beyond the Human in the Peruvian Andes, considers the impact of political violence in Peru on more-than-human lives and bodies. You can learn more about García's teaching and scholarship here.

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2) and the Latinx | Latin American Race & Ethnicity Research Unit.

This event will be held in-person in McMillan Hall, G052 with a Zoom option available.

Please note that for all in-person events, attendees must adhere to Washington University’s public health requirements, including the latest events and meetings protocol. Guests will be required to show a successful self-screening result and wear a mask at all times.

Prefer Zoom? Register Here

Fat and Dirty: Biocultural Studies of Water, Food, and Stigma

Alexandra Brewis, School of Human Evolution and Social Change Center for Global Health, Arizona State University

My research is about understanding how low social position and resource insecurity interact with disease meanings, experiences, and diagnoses to exacerbate the psychosocial stresses that worsen physical and mental health. Put another way, I test empirically potential social and ecological mechanisms for how low power translates into health disparities.

My approach to doing anthropology embraces collaboration, transdisciplinarity, and rigorous data collection using an array of field methods to understand  how culture shapes physical and mental health.  Currently my work coalesces around three primary problems: obesity/weight gain, water insecurity, and stigma in global health.

Learn more about Dr. Brewis here.


Zoom Registration

Intellectual Activism in Anthropology: Translation, Value, and the Politics of Engagement

Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Maryland and Addis Ababa University


Thurka Sangaramoorthy is a cultural and medical anthropologist and public health researcher with 22 years of experience conducting community-engaged ethnographic research, including rapid assessments, among vulnerable populations in the United States, Africa, and Latin America/Caribbean. Her work is broadly concerned with power and subjectivity in global economies of care. She has worked at this intersection on diverse topics, including global health and migration, HIV/STD, and environmental health disparities. She is the author of two books: Rapid Ethnographic Assessments: A Practical Approach and Toolkit for Collaborative Community Research (Routledge, 2020) and Treating AIDS: Politics of Difference, Paradox of Prevention (Rutgers, 2014), and has two books in press: She’s Positive: The Extraordinary Lives of Black Women Living with HIV (Aevo, 2022) and Immigration and the Landscape of Care in Rural America (University of North Carolina Press, 2023). Dr. Sangaramoorthy is Co-Chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Members Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee and a Board member of the Society for Medical Anthropology; she serves as Associate Editor of Public Health Reports, Editorial Board Member of American Anthropologist, and the inaugural Social, Behavioral, and Qualitative Research Section Editor for PLOS Global Public Health. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco, her M.P.H. from Columbia University, and is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland and Addis Ababa University.



Today, more than ever, anthropologists are utilizing their expertise to better inform policy and practice and contribute to social action. They are effectively translating complex issues into stories and ideas that resonate with a variety of audiences, including influential change-makers.

Sangaramoorthy will discuss how her own work contributes to public conversations on some of the most pressing challenges facing us today such as migration, global health, environmental justice, health disparities, social injustice, and gender and racial inequities. She argues that intellectual activism, which places equal value in scholarship and activism, is critical to accelerating the ideas and the impact of anthropology within and beyond academia.

Her current work focuses on improving care for those living with HIV, developing more effective care systems for non-citizen immigrants, amplifying local community expertise as a transformative tool for enacting policies and practices that effectively address disparate environmental risks in communities of color, and advocating for social justice.

Sick of Race: How Racism Harms Health and Misleads Medicine

Clarence C. Gravlee, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida

Dr. Clarence C. Gravlee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, where he also holds affiliate appointments in the Center for Latin American Studies, the African American Studies Program, and the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations. Gravlee is a medical anthropologist who integrates methods and theory from the social and biological sciences. His research seeks to explain and redress the health effects of systemic racism, with an emphasis on hypertension in the African Diaspora. Gravlee is former Editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2013–2016) and co-editor (with H. Russell Bernard) of the Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. His research has appeared in scholarly journals such as American Anthropologist, American Journal of Human Biology, Social Forces, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, and American Journal of Public Health. He has also written for public audiences in venues such as Scientific American and Somatosphere.

Global Mental Health, Stigma, and Health Inequities: Fifteen Years of "Moral Experience"

Lawrence Yang, Vice Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New York University

Dr. Lawrence Yang is Vice Chair and Associate Professor (Pending promotion to Full Professor) of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU- School of Global Public Health. Dr. Yang also is Founding Director of the Global Mental Health and Stigma Program where he administers a generous donor gift from the Li Ka Shing Foundation and is Associate Director for the University-Wide Global Center for Implementation Science at NYU. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University. Dr. Yang received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Boston University and completed his clinical training at Harvard Medical School.  He received a T32 NIMH-sponsored post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University in psychiatric epidemiology. As part of an NIMH-funded K-award, he received training in medical anthropology at the Harvard Department of Social Medicine. Dr. Yang’s research focuses on two main areas: 1) Cognition of Untreated Psychosis, and; 2) Global Mental Health, Implementation Science, and Stigma. Dr. Yang is currently PI of two separate R01’s and a 3-year Supplement in China, which seek to examine the cognition in the ‘natural state’ of psychosis in a large untreated, community sample of individuals with psychosis (n=300), who have not yet received any antipsychotic medications, compared with a treated sample (n=300) and healthy controls (n=300) in China. He also is PI of a third R01 implementing task sharing measures for global mental health which seeks to validate a newly developed multi-dimensional measure that enables rapid assessment of modifiable critical factors that affect the implementation of task sharing mental health strategies. Dr. Yang has also formulated theoretical work on how culture relates to stigma and implementing interventions for culturally diverse groups, including Chinese immigrants with psychosis in New York City.  Dr. Yang utilized this framework via an NIMH-funded R21 intervention to counter culturally-salient aspects of HIV stigma that impede anti-retroviral treatment adherence in Botswana among pregnant women living with HIV. Dr. Yang has over 125 peer-reviewed publications, including publications in JAMA Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychiatry, and The American Journal of Public Health.  Dr. Yang has received seven national awards, most recently the 2021 Maltz Prize for Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research from the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation, for his work.


Dr. Yang will present on his program of research integrating medical anthropology into global mental health and stigma to reduce health inequities. Dr. Yang will first present on the "Cognition of Untreated Psychosis in China," whereby Dr. Yang and his team are completing NIMH R01-funded data collection on a unique cohort of completely untreated, community-dwelling individuals with untreated schizophrenia (n~300) who on average have remain untreated for >20 years. He will describe how this rare cohort may provide new insights about the etiology and course of psychosis and enable important medical anthropological inquiry into how schizophrenia is understood as a disorder and potentially treated in a rural, low-resource setting. Dr. Yang will then trace how this China-based project fits into his larger body of work that utilizes the concept of “moral experience,” or “personhood” as defined in local groups, to elucidate new ways to understand, measure, and intervene against stigma in marginalized communities both locally and globally. He will highlight key projects that have used his novel conceptual formulation on the interrelationship of culture and stigma: i) his investigation of how stigma impacts undocumented Chinese immigrants with psychosis in New York City, funded by an NIMH K-award, and ii) his current application of this concept via efforts to reduce HIV-related stigma among pregnant mothers living with HIV in Botswana. In this latter project, Dr. Yang will explain how he used this theoretical framework to identify how beneficial healthcare policies, when implemented in the context of Botswana, yielded unintended structural consequences that ostracize women with HIV from “what matters most” in their daily lives. This work informed an NIMH-funded R21 intervention to counter culturally-salient aspects of HIV stigma that impede anti-retroviral treatment adherence in Botswana among pregnant women living with HIV. To conclude, Dr. Yang will present new advances in the utilization of the “moral experience” concept to address intersectional forms of stigma, promote equity, and improve global health for marginalized communities domestically and worldwide.


Engineering Ecosystems: The Evolving Role of Hominins in their Environments

Amelia Villaseñor, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas


Dr. Amelia Villaseñor links largescale ecological patterns and processes to human evolution from the Pliocene to the Anthropocene. She seeks to understand the place of hominins in past ecosystems and to elucidate when humans became large-scale ecosystem engineers; she explores the implications of these changes in human ecology for the anthropogenically altered future. She directs the Human Paleoecology lab and has numerous undergraduate mentees from a broad range of academic and life backgrounds.


Like humans, our close ancestors likely had outsized ecological impacts. Today, this culminates in a biodiversity crisis. But when did hominins shift from rare, omnivorous primates to global ecosystems engineers that top the food chain? Using data derived from large ecological databases, I will report on case studies that address two questions: 1) What is the role of the paleoenvironment in early hominin evolution and 2) How deep in time are human impacts and what are the ecological consequences of those impacts? Research from the Pliocene (3.6–3.4 million years ago) Turkana Basin in northern Kenya shows that water-stressed ecosystems may be an important part of the early hominin niche, possibly differentiating hominins from other apes. More recent in time, my research in North America captures the immigration of humans into North America (35 thousand–50 years ago) and shows that mammal community function was substantially altered as human populations increased. The future of paleoanthropological research and the answer to many pressing conservation questions is dependent on the continued use of these digital repositories. 


Race, Justice, and the Ecological Legacy of the Plantation in Southern Louisiana

Justin Hosbey, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Emory University


I am a sociocultural anthropologist, interdisciplinary ethnographer, and Black studies scholar. My ethnographic work explores Black social and cultural life in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mississippi Delta regions, focusing on the ways that southern Black communities articulate modes of citizenship that demand the interruption of racial capitalism and ecocide. My current ethnographic project utilizes research methods from the digital and spatial humanities to understand and visualize how the post-Katrina privatization of neighborhood schools in low-income and working-class Black communities has fractured, but not broken, space and placemaking in Black New Orleans.

Fossil Apes and Human Evolution

Kelsey Pugh, Postdoctoral Fellow, American Museum of Natural History


Kelsey Pugh is Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She has been at the AMNH since 2020 after earning her Ph.D. at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York as part of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP). Kelsey is a paleoanthropologist that studies the evolution of catarrhine primates (hominoids, cercopithecoid monkeys, and their extinct relatives) using phylogenetic and morphometric methods and morphological data drawn from the dentition, skull, and postcranial skeleton. She is particularly interested in apes and early hominins, and how the ape fossil record can inform the early stages of human evolution. 


Living hominoids (apes and humans) represent the remnants of what was once a diverse and broadly distributed clade. Comparisons of fossil apes from the Miocene to extant apes reveal many differences in, for instance, posture, locomotion, and patterns of sexual dimorphism. Compounded by the fragmentary nature of the fossil record, these differences have complicated studies of hominoid evolution and made it difficult to resolve how fossil apes are related to one another and to living apes. A clearer understanding of phylogenetic relationships is necessary to better comprehend other important aspects of ape and human evolution, including morphological transitions, ancestral morphotypes, and the biogeography of the clade. This talk will explore several lines of work aimed at gaining a better understanding of the relationships of fossil apes using cladistic, morphometric, and virtual reconstruction methods, the implications of these relationships for events in hominoid evolution, and the importance of fossil apes in understanding the origins of the human lineage. 

"A Slow Moving Hurricane": Infrastructures of Environmental Racism in the South Carolina Lowcountry

Brian Walter, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz


Brian Walter is a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research and teaching interests bring together environmental anthropology, critical heritage studies, political ecology, and environmental justice. Brian’s current project explores how the impacts of climate-change-driven sea-level rise are compounded and racialized by infrastructure and heritage preservation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. He uses spatial and ethnographic methods to follow how floodwaters from sea-level rise interact with remnants of the plantation, as an ecological and political formation maintained through policy, heritage preservation, and natural conservation. In his multi-sited ethnography, Brian examines how water is channeled by hard and soft infrastructures in neighborhoods, plantation wildlife preserves, and other spaces where global climate change and water infrastructure become entangled with what Saidiya Hartman calls the afterlife of slavery. He conducts this research in collaboration with community groups advocating for equitable flood mitigation with whom he is still actively engaged. His work has been published in The Journal of Rural Studies and Columbia Books on Architecture of the City’s Avery Shorts. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, National Geographic Society, and other organizations.

Martial Matters: Race, Hazard, and Debility in the Suburb

Emma Shaw Crane, Fellow, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University


Emma Shaw Crane received her PhD in American Studies from New York University in 2021. She is a scholar of race, sub/urban space, and U.S. empire in the Americas. Her book manuscript in-progress explores the long afterlives of counterinsurgent war in a peripheral suburb of Miami, Florida, home to a military base, a detention camp for migrant children, and agricultural economies sustained by migrant and refugee labor. Through ethnographic and spatial research, this project explores the routinization of counterinsurgent violence in the American suburb and possibilities for refuge, remediation, and repair in the wake of war. This project builds on earlier work on policing and pacification in Oakland, California, and on ongoing research with former guerrilla and paramilitary combatants in peripheral neighborhoods of Bogotá, Colombia. Emma’s work has been published in Antipode, Society & Space, and Urban Studies. She is the co-editor, with Ananya Roy, of Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South, published by the University of Georgia Press.

New Insights on the Emergence of Human Upright Walking

Thomas Cody Prang, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University


Thomas Cody Prang is a biological anthropologist with research interests in human evolution, functional morphology, and locomotion. His research aims to understand how locomotor behavior has evolved in primates with special emphasis on early humans and apes. He has participated in fieldwork at Laetoli, Tanzania, which is a site best known for the preservation of 3.7 million-year-old fossilized footprints attributed to Australopithecus afarensis, and has studied human fossils at museums in Ethiopia and South Africa. His work on early hominin functional morphology and evolution has been published in journals such as Science Advances, eLife, Journal of Human Evolution, and more. He completed his Ph.D. in biological anthropology in 2019 at New York University after which he spent one year at the University at Albany as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University.


The morphology and positional behavior of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees are critical for understanding the evolution of human upright walking. Early 20th century anatomical research supported the view that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors, but recent work based on early human fossils has challenged this view. The 4.4 million-year-old fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus provide unprecedented insight on the paleobiology of the earliest hominins and the LCA. The study of the earliest human fossils acts as a test of implicit predictions made by comparative anatomists over a century ago. In this talk, I use extensive comparative morphometric data, analyzed in an evolutionary framework, to demonstrate that the Ar. ramidus fossils retain anatomies that provide evidence for a semi-terrestrial, African ape-like precursor to early human bipedalism. Additionally, I interpret these results in light of new fossils that contribute to a cohesive explanation for patterns of human and ape evolution spanning approximately 20 million years. Overall, these analyses reinvigorate debates about the role of African ape morphology and locomotor behavior in the ancestry of humans, and raise questions about the patterns and processes of African ape evolution.

Digital Advancements in Reconstructing Hominin Shoulder Evolution

Stephanie Melillo, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences, Mercyhurst University


I am a paleoanthropologist interested in the australopiths—those fossil species that are undisputedly hominin, but certainly not human. I want to know what these animals looked like, how they moved and how they evolved. I received my PhD from Stanford University and did my post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany). I am currently a visiting assistant professor at Mercyhurst University in the Department of Applied Forensic Sciences. I have conducted paleoanthropological fieldwork at multiple sites in Ethiopia and Djibouti, but my primary involvement is at the site of Woranso-Mille (Afar Region, Ethiopia) where I have worked since 2006. I like being outdoors, bicycles, maps, trying new food, and everything related to bones and fossils.  


Bipedalism is a defining characteristic of the hominins. Paleoanthropologists have documented numerous adaptations that made this novel form of locomotion possible, with particular emphasis on the pelvic girdle and lower limb. However, the evolution of bipedalism also marks a major functional transition for the shoulder girdle and upper limb—from playing a central role in body propulsion in an arboreal ancestor to a non-propulsive and non-weight bearing role in fully terrestrial hominins. The shoulders of living humans differ markedly from other apes, so it is clear that substantial structural and morphological shifts occurred over the course of human evolution. How and when did these differences come to be? And what do they tell us about the ecological and behavioral changes that shaped our lineage?

I will talk about how digital advancements are helping us answer these questions. Fossils discovered in the past two decades, including the 3.6 Ma Australopithecus afarensis partial skeleton from Woranso-Mille (“Kadanuumuu”), allow us to trace the evolutionary history of hominin shoulder in much more detail than previously possible. Virtual models of the human and ape musculoskeletal system provide a new outlook on how differences in skeletal form affect function. Methodological improvements in computer-based fossil reconstruction and skeletal articulation challenge long-held ideas about how we can use fossils to detect shifts in skeletal structure. Expanding these lines of research in the future will allow us to construct data-driven movement simulations for extinct human ancestors, and provide a deeper understanding of their biomechanical capabilities.   


The Origins of Inequality: An Analysis of a Contemporary Myth

David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL)

David Wengrow is Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL), and has been a visiting professor at New York University, the University of Auckland, and the University of Freiburg. Wengrow has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of What Makes Civilization? and co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity.

Eating While Black

Psyche Williams-Forson, Professor and Chair, American Studies, University of Maryland & Rafia Zafar, Professor of English, African and African-American Studies, and American Culture Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

New work by Psyche Williams-Forson (University of Maryland) and Rafia Zafar (Washington University in St. Louis) on African American food, identity, stigma, and respect. 

For more information and upcoming talks, please visit the Agri-Food Workshop Website here: https://sites.wustl.edu/agrifood/agri-food-workshop/.


Zoom Link

Academic Pastoral

Lisa Powell, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Sweet Briar College & Howard Sacks, Kenyon College Founder/Director, Rural Life Center

In 2015 Sweet Brian College announced it was closing, but its alumnae rose and brought in a new president who is remaking the college around sustainable food and farming. Director Lisa Powell tells the remarkable story of what is unfolding. Kenyon College has had its own farm for over 25 years. How has its sustainable agriculture program been sustained? What impact has it had?

For more information and upcoming talks, please visit the Agri-Food Workshop Website here: https://sites.wustl.edu/agrifood/agri-food-workshop/.



Zoom Link

Waterscapes of the Late Archaic Lower Mississippi Valley

Grace Ward, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Crisis in Ukraine: Past, Present and Future

Crisis in Ukraine: Past, Present and Future

The Office of the Provost and Crisis & Conflict in Historical Perspective, Department of History, invite you to join a thoughtful discussion with a panel of distinguished Washington University faculty members.

Panelists include:

  • Andrew Betson, Professor of Military Science, Gateway Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
  • Krister Knapp (moderator), Teaching Professor and Coordinator, Crisis & Conflict in Historical Perspective
  • Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor
  • Janis Skrastins, Assistant Professor of Finance, Olin Business School
  • James Wertsch, David R. Francis Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Global Studies,
    Director Emeritus of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy

This event is sponsored by the History Department and Office of the Provost at Washington University
in St. Louis. 

click here to register for this webinar



What Happened Next? Relatively Few Superhighways Directed the Initial Peopling of Sahul

Stefani A. Crabtree, Assistant Professor, Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University

Disability in Brazil: Experiences, Arts, Activisms

This virtual panel features presentations by disabled Brazilian scholars, artists, and activists working towards disability visibility and justice.

This virtual panel features four presentations by disabled Brazilian scholars, artists, and activists working towards disability visibility and justice. Drawing from their own research and artistic-activist practices, panelists will address the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and disability in Brazilian disability worlds; "disability" as a historical category in the Brazilian context; and the political and aesthetic potentialities of disabled people's self-representations in Brazil's social and cultural diversity. This panel promises to reveal productive points of convergence and divergence in disability studies in Brazil and the United States, and will generate dialogue on how U.S.-based disability scholars, artists, and activists might learn from work being done in the Global South. Panelists and presentations:

  • Anahí Guedes de Mello - "Who Writes on Behalf of Disability in Brazilian Social Thought?"
  • Marco Gavério - "Race and Disability in Brazil in the film White Out, Black In"
  • Bruna Teixeira, Malta Lee, and Olga Aureliano (Retratos Defiças Project) - "Retratos Defiças [Crip Portraits]: the Art and Trajectory of Crip Bodies Portrayed or Described in their Particular Worlds"
  • Fábio Passos - "Disabled People’s Aesthetics of Nudity: Political and Anti-normative Bodies"

This event is open to all WashU faculty, students, and staff and will be recorded and later made publicly available. Presentations will be in Portuguese with simultaneous translation to English. CART captioning in English will be provided. The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session open to all attendees.

This event is presented by the WashU Latin American Studies Program (LASP) and the Brazilian Anthropological Association Disability and Accessibility Committee (CODEA-ABA). It is currently co-sponsored by:

  • WashU Latin American Studies Program
  • WashU Center for the Humanities
  • “Realities of Disability in Brazil” Working Group (Wenner-Gren Foundation)
  • WashU Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
  • WashU Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • WashU Department of Anthropology
  • WashU Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity

For more information, consult https://elizawilliamson.com/events/

Photo by Libellum Amanda Bambu and Gabriela Amorim  Photography | 2021 | Myelomeningocele | Maceió-AL

on Instagram at @amandabambu, @bibi_amorim


Zoom Registration Link

Twenty Years of Excavations at Amheida/Trimithis, a Graeco-Roman Polis in Egypt's Western Desert

Dr. Nicola Aravecchia, WUSTL Department of Classics and Department of Art History and Archaeology

Prof. Aravecchia joined the departments of Classics and Art History and Archaeology in January 2018. He earned his doctorate in art history and master’s degree in ancient and medieval art and archaeology, both from the University of Minnesota. He is the Archaeological Field Director of the excavations at ʿAin el-Gedida, a fourth-century hamlet in Dakhla Oasis (in Egypt's Western Desert), and the Deputy Field Director at Amheida/Trimithis (also in Dakhla). He is also a Research Affiliate of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. In the Spring of 2016, he was the invited Chair of Coptic Studies at The American University in Cairo and in 2020 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Research Center in Egypt. In the Spring of 2021, he was awarded a Research Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.

Prof. Aravecchia's research interests encompass the art and archaeology of Graeco-Roman and late antique Egypt. In particular, they focus on the origins and development of early Christian architecture in Egypt’s Western Desert. He is the main author of ʿAin el-Gedida: 2006–2008 Excavations at a Late Roman Site in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt (New York: ISAW/NYU Press 2018) and a co-author of An Oasis City (New York: ISAW/NYU Press 2015). He has also written articles and essays on related subjects, including early Egyptian monasticism.

At WashU, Prof. Aravecchia teaches courses on ancient art and archaeology and Classical languages. Previously, he taught at New York University, The American University in Cairo (Egypt), and Monash University in Melbourne (Australia).

Finding Your Way in the Field

Kyle G. Olson, Lecturer in Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis

Bio: Kyle G. Olson focuses on archaeological collections divided between museums in different countries to explore not only prehistoric patterns of polity-formation and cross-cultural exchange, but also the past, present, and future conditions of archaeological knowledge production.

Learn more about Professor Olson: https://anthropology.wustl.edu/people/kyle-g-olson

The Hole: An Ethnographic Descent into Mexico City’s Anexos

Angela Garcia, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Abstract: In the past two decades, informal addiction treatment centers called anexos (annexes) have proliferated throughout Mexico. Run and utilized by low-income communities, these centers utilize captivity, coercion, and violence as instruments for recovery. Based on ten years of ethnographic research in Mexico City, this talk examines anexos’ social and therapeutic practices, exploring how they conjure up, amplify, and rework contemporary forms of affliction and violence in Mexico City’s peripheral neighborhoods. In doing so, it challenges the prevailing view of anexos as a punitive or criminal institution and reveals them to be a microcosm that makes visible the profoundly unequal and precarious world that Mexico is today.

Bio: I am an anthropologist working at the intersection of social and political theory, aesthetics, ethics, medicine, literature, postcolonial and feminist thought. I am interested in how history, inequality and violence play out in multiple social and political spheres, including the domestic and therapeutic.

Learn more about Professor Garcia: https://anthropology.stanford.edu/people/angela-garcia.

Tracking a Killer: Using Ancient DNA to Understand The Evolutionary History of Tuberculosis

Anne C. Stone, Regents’ Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Abstract: Tuberculosis (TB) has affected humans, as well as other animals, for millennia. Here, I will discuss how ancient DNA allows us to examine the history of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and related strains in the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) which cause the disease. In particular, I will focus on patterns of pathogen exchange before and after the “Age of Exploration/Colonization” and discuss ways that TB may have adapted to humans and other animals. We initially analyzed MTBC genomes from three 1000-year old skeletal TB cases from coastal Peru and found that they are closely related to strains in sea mammals (specifically Southern Hemisphere pinnipeds). Our subsequent research shows that these pinniped-derived MTBC strains spread to inland parts of South America as well as North America likely by human-to-human transmission and suggests multiple jumps from pinnipeds. After contact, colonists introduced European TB strains, replacing pre-contact strains but the timing and extent of this is poorly known. Our data suggest that these post-contact strain distributions reflect the introduction of strains commonly circulating in the source areas of colonists. 

Bio: Anne Stone is a Regents Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at the Arizona State University. Her specialization and main area of interest is anthropological genetics. Currently, her research focuses on population history and understanding how humans and the great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments. This has three main strands: (a) population history, particularly in the Americas (b) the evolutionary history of the Great Apes, and (c) understanding the co-evolutionary history of mycobacteria (specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. leprae, the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy, respectively) with human and non-human primates. She has been a Fulbright Fellow (1992-93) and a Kavli Scholar (2007), and, in 2011, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016, she was elected as a member of the Naitonal Academy of Sciences. She has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the Journal of Human Evolution, Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health, and Molecular Biology and Evolution. She is currently a member of the editorial board of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, series B.

Learn more about Prof. Anne C. Stone here: https://search.asu.edu/profile/627984.

From Garden Cities to Isolated Households: Multi-level Settlement Scaling and Ancient Maya Urbanism

Adrian Chase, Mansueto Institute Postdoctoral Fellow and Department of Anthropology Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

Climb High and Dig Deep: Geoarchaeological Investigations at Haimenkou

Su Kai, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis

What I Learned about Plants Last Summer: Reflections on Fieldwork in Tacna, Peru

Megan Belcher, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis

Archaeology in Kazakhstan: My Research, Personal Experoence, Methods, and Challenges

Zhuldyz Tashmanbetova, Graduate Student of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis
Omar Dewachi Portrait

Chronicles of War Biology East of the Mediterranean

Omar Dewachi, Associate Professor, SAS, Medical Anthropology, Rutgers University

As the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, America seems to have moved on as the War on Terror becomes relegated to the past. I pose a question: how should we reckon with the afterlife of empire? As part of a book manuscript, in this talk, I build on close to two decades of ethnographic research on war injury and medical and public health practice in the Middle East to explore what I call “war biology”– how the wounding of war is registered in human and non-human life. The legacies of war linger, from the collapse and reconfiguration of healthcare infrastructures to the movement of refugees and patients across the region, to the rise of environmental toxicity and superbugs. Focusing on the uneasy nexus of militarism, environment, and the body, I propose “war biology” as a window into the aftermath of violence and the precarious futures of our planetary and global health.

K. Eliza Williamson Portrait

“The Brain is a Box of Surprises”: Habilitating Bodyminds and Caring for Potential After Zika in Bahia, Brazil

Eliza Williamson, Lecturer, Latin American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

This talk traces how Brazilian mothers raising children diagnosed with congenital Zika syndrome mobilize diverse therapeutic technologies to cultivate the optimal development of their children’s bodyminds—what I call habilitative care. Drawing on several years of ethnographic engagement with Afro-Brazilian families affected by the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic in Bahia, Brazil, I show how discourses of plasticity and potential animate investments in habilitative care. I argue that mothers’ care practices enact disabled children’s potential, insisting that they are worthy of therapeutic investment. Through habilitative care, mothers contest dominant narratives that cast their children, and Black and disabled children generally, as disposable and future-less.

Subaltern Epistemologies of Health: Collaborative Ethnographies from Colombia

Cesar Abadia-Barrero, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Connecticut

In the first part I will present the results of over 10-years of collaborative work conducted at the oldest child and maternity hospital in Colombia. Along with powerful photography, this works highlights how subaltern epistemologies of medical care were created, advanced, practiced and thought at the most important medical school in Colombia and how workers, university professors, and students experienced, confronted, and resisted the privatization of the country’s health care system. The second part deals with ongoing efforts to support initiatives that promote peace building and healing in Colombia’s southwest region of Caquetá. Importantly, this research considers the role of medicinal plants not only in supporting new community relationships between displaced farmers and indigenous communities, but also in strengthening ancestral knowledge and practices and inter-species forms of care that are fundamental for Colombia’s post-peace accord times.

The Next Generation of Therapists: Migration, Belonging, and Mental Health Care in France

David Ansari, Bridge to the Faculty Scholar, Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

In France, transcultural psychiatry is a leading approach in supporting the mental health needs of immigrant and minority patient populations. The goal of transcultural psychiatry is to provide access to language interpretation and recognize the socio-cultural dimensions of mental illness. Transcultural psychiatry is also an important training site for budding psychiatrists and psychologists who wish to support individuals whose mental health conditions have been exacerbated by displacement and discrimination. Crucial to this training is a structure of apprenticeship, where apprentice therapists develop clinical and caring skills under the guidance of supervising therapists. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in four mental health clinics for immigrants and their descendants in Paris, I examine the affective and embodied dimensions of becoming a transcultural therapist. I attend to the smoothness and friction between apprentice therapists, many of whom identify as second or third-generation descendants of immigrants, and their supervisors, many of whom came to France as immigrants. Apprentice therapists found it affirming to reflect on their own experiences and forms of belonging in therapy. They also identified how supervising therapists policed their speech and instrumentalized these forms of belonging. I argue that transcultural psychiatry, which is meant to be inclusive of ways of belonging that have been devalued in France, may inadvertently produce exclusion. My analysis reveals how the tensions between apprentice and supervising therapists parallel evolving conceptualizations of belonging—in terms of race and religion—in France.

Elena Lesley Portrait

Testimony as Transformation: Culturally- and Spiritually-Adapted Narrative Therapy among Cambodian Genocide Survivors

Elena Lesley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Science, Technology, and International Affairs; Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; Georgetown University

Lesley will be presenting her research about mental health treatment for survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. From 1975-1979, the communist regime was responsible for the deaths of roughly two million people, or a quarter of the country’s population.
Her project focused on Testimonial Therapy, which was introduced to the country in 2009 in the context of transitional justice efforts, and adapted by Cambodian NGO workers. Although the therapy at first seemed to conflict with local ethno-psychological and spiritual beliefs that encourage forgetting and emotional detachment from past trauma, Lesley found the therapy proved surprisingly effective in several respects. Drawing on Cambodian Buddhist concepts, therapy participants were able to create narratives that they believed “had usefulness” for current society and offered regenerative effects for both individual wellbeing and social networks.

Syndemics: Meditations on theory, practice, and politics

Emily Mendenhall; Professor; Science, Technology, and International Affairs; Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; Georgetown University

Emily Mendenhall will lecture on the history, practice, and politics of syndemic theory. Of anthropological origins, the syndemic idiom has become a central way of thinking about health and inequity in medicine and public health. In 2020, The Lancet said COVID-19 is not pandemic; rather, syndemic. Yet, in translation often anthropological ways of knowing can both inform and become misconstrued; and this has been a central contention for work on syndemic praxis. The examples discussed will center not only the social and intellectual life of syndemic theory but also on the author's fieldwork in Chicago, Delhi, Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Dire Dawa. Constructive ways of translating ethnographic knowledge into different methods, scales, and ways of thinking will be a focus.

The Experience: Cathartic Writing, Collectivity, and Care Among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants

Angela Garcia, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

This talk draws from an ethnography of a little-known therapeutic community of undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the United States. The foundation of this community is a grueling three-day healing ritual called an experience (la experiencia). This talk describes one such experience that took place in the Northern California forest in 2019, focusing on its novel practice of cathartic writing. I argue that this writing practice is far more than a tool for self-care or self-expression; it is also a medium for collectivity and political critique, one that helps us examine the limits of the biomedical self. By writing a “self” that is never alone, the experience provides a mode of care and healing that enables immigrants to collectively weather and represent the myriad forms of violence that accompany undocumented life.

Strangelove or: I had to do it and learn to love Hanford

Benjamin J. Deans, Department of Anthropology

Not the Body, Not the Mind: Functional Disorders, Unexplained Symptoms and the Ubiquity of Social Distress

Dr. Maddalena Canna; Postdoctoral Fellow; Northwestern University

In the US, one patient on three seen in an epileptology clinic is diagnosed with a Functional Neurological
Disorder (FND). Nevertheless, their seizures look and feel exactly like epilepsy. FNDS are disorders
manifesting like well-known conditions, such as epilepsy or Parkinson disease, but lacking any of the
medical evidence required for such diagnoses. FND patients test negative to all examinations; they seem
biologically healthy, but they are severely impaired. Many of them are unable to work, and develop
depression and social withdrawal related to their condition. After a controversial history of dismissal,
accusations of malingering and stigma, and a long series of different labels, such as conversion,
psychosomatic disorder and even hysteria, FNDS are now gaining a growing interest from different
disciplines. This talk will present the preliminary results of a mixed-method project supported by the
National Science Foundation, the first project exploring FNDS from an anthropological perspective. It will
focus on the sociocultural factors impacting FNDS, in particular trauma (1), over-achiever and/or over-
burdened personalities (2) and other social stressors such as repeated miscommunication and/or exposure
to disorienting transitions (3). FNDS offer a unique observatory on the sociocultural scaffolding of health,
requiring to rethink deeply engrained assumptions about mind/body and individual/society divides. In this
line, the talk will explore the relationship between FNDS and migration, with a focus on the recent stream
of Miskitu people, and Afro-Indigenous population of Central America migrating to the US to escape
political persecution in Nicaragua.

Friday Archaeology: Building a Regional Narrative in the Bronze Age Country of Towns

This week, Jack Berner will be discussing his research during his talk entitled, "Building a Regional Narrative in the Bronze Age Country of Towns."
Please note that the location has been moved to Wrighton Hall 300 just for this meeting, so please allow yourself some extra time to navigate to the room. We will still be meeting from 4-5pm with refreshments and conversation beforehand. All are welcome!

Friday Archaeology: Effects of Food Preparation and Labor Organizations on Domesticated Millet in Ancient China (8000-1000 B.P.)

Presented by Yufeng Sun
This week, Yufeng Sun will be presenting his research in his talk entitled, "Effects of Food Preparation and Labor Organizations on Domesticated Millet in Ancient China (8000-1000 B.P.)."
We will once again be meeting in room G052 of McMillan Hall from 4-5pm! All are welcome.
The Anthropology of Anxiety

The Anthropology of Anxiety

Nutsa Batiashvili, Free University of Tbilisi Katie Hejtmanek, Brooklyn College Susan Lepselter, Indiana University Rebecca Lester, Washington University in St. Louis

The event will feature 4 scholars who have been working collaboratively over the past few years on this topic: Professors Nutsa Batiashvili, Katie Hejtmanek, Susan Lepselter, and Rebecca Lester.  They will each give papers (about 20 min each), followed by Q&A.  A reception will follow.

Friday Archeology: "Peopling the Tibetan Plateau: What do we know and how do we know it?"

Dr. Mark Aldenderfer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of UC-Merced
This Friday, Dr. Mark Aldenderfer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of UC-Merced, will be sharing his research on, "Peopling the Tibetan Plateau: What do we know and how do we know it?"
We will be meeting in McMillan room G052 from 4-5pm with refreshments. All are welcome!

CANCELLED Friday Archaeology: Cultural Pluralism in Domestication: A long view from the east.

Dr. Xinyi Liu, Washington University in St. Louis

This week, Dr. Xinyi Liu will be giving his talk entitled, "Cultural Pluralism in Domestication: A long view from the east." We will be meeting in G052 from 4-5pm. All are welcome!

Land Use and Use Rights: Archaeological Perspectives of Cultural Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest

Chelsey Geralda Armstrong, Simon Fraser University

Please join us on April 4 at 4pm as Dr. Chelsey Geralda Armstrong talks about Land Use and Use Rights:  Archaeological Perspectives of Cultural Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest!  Reception to follow!

Spring Party

We're just having fun before the semester ends.

Come party like an anthropologist as we enjoy sandwiches, and yard games, and just relax before the semester ends.  It's free food and free fun.  Bring a friend or meet a new one while you're here!

Undergraduate Research Poster Session

Cool People Are Going to Present Cool Research on Anthropology!

Our undergraduate scholars are ready to present their research!  Come by to see what they've learned while studying with professors at Washington University.  If you're interested in an Anthropology major or in our honors program this is a great place to see what it's all about.

Friday Archaeology: Open Often and Early

A conversation on consultation between Tribal Nations and archaeologists in eastern North America.

Presented by:

Everett Bandy
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer: Quapaw Nation
Director: Quapaw Nation Historic Preservation Program


Elizabeth Horton
Paleoethnobotanist: Rattlesnake Master LLC
Cultural Resources Reviewer: Cultural Heritage Partners PLLC

Khiara Bridges Keynote Address

Join us for a keynote address from Khiara Bridges,Anthropologist and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley

Khiara M. Bridges is a professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law. She has written many articles concerning race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the NYU Law Review, and the Virginia Law Review, among others. She is also the author of three books: Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization (2011), The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017), and Critical Race Theory: A Primer (2019). She is a coeditor of a reproductive justice book series that is published under the imprint of the University of California Press.

Anthropology Open House

Come meet the Anthropology Department at Wash U! As part of the Bear Beginnings departmental welcomes for incoming students, the Anthropology is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, August 23, from 11:15am-12:30pm. You will be able to learn about our program, meet professors, and discover some of the cool research that's happing right here on campus. We are excited to meet you!

Friday Archaeology Social!

Our first Friday Archaeology of the new school year.  Come say "hi", see old friends, and meet new ones.  Cool people, interesting lectures, FREE FOOD.  Whether you're an experienced archaeologist or just getting started you are welcome to learn more at Friday Archaeology!

Every Friday, 4-5pm, McMillan G052

Fall Kickoff Party

Come and say hi to your friends, professors, and favorite department support staff at the Anthropology Department's Fall Kickoff Party!  We're having pizza and other glorious foods in the McMillan Cafe at 11:30am on Thursday, Sept. 7th.

Friday Archaeology

This Friday, Mirae Jo from the anthropology department will be giving a talk entitled, "Archaeological Fieldwork at the Salbir Site, Azerbaijan". Mark your calendars!
We will be meeting in McMillan G052 from 4-5pm with snacks and beverages. All are welcome. 

Friday Archaeology presents: An Archaeological “Polycrisis”?

Friday Archaeology

This Friday, TR Kidder from the anthropology department will be giving his talk:  Circles, Cycles and Explanation in Archaeology: Trying to Make Sense of Poverty Point 


We will be meeting in McMillan G052 from 4-5pm with snacks and beverages. Mark your calendars! All are welcome. 


Embodied Inequality & Gender/Sex Diversity: Challenging Binary Concepts as Social Determinants of Health

Dr. Zachary Dubois specializes in resilience, social determinants of health, embodied stigma and inequality, and expanding and adding nuance to current conceptualizations of gender and sex. His research applies community-based, intersectional, mixed-methods approaches centering on the lived experience and health of transgender and gender-diverse people. Projects include pioneering work elaborating understandings of stigma and gender minority stress experiences of transgender and gender diverse people through life history and ethnographic interviews and mapping these onto the body as embodied stressors through the integration of minimally invasive biomarker measures with an aim of addressing health disparities in these populations.

Humanitarian Danger and Palestinian Life in Gaza

Ilana Feldman, Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs, George Washington University

The Anthropology Department; Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies Department; and Center for the Humanities invite you to join us for a talk presented by anthropologist and historian Ilana Feldman.

Ilana Feldman is Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her research has focused on the Palestinian experience, both inside and outside of historic Palestine, examining practices of government, humanitarianism, policing, displacement, and citizenship. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67 (2008), Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule (2015), Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics (2018) and numerous related articles, for which she has conducted ethnographic and archival research in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

This talk will explore the multiple forms of humanitarian danger that are confronting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The massive humanitarian crisis caused by Israeli bombardment and siege of Gaza is a clear danger. The healthcare system has been decimated by attack, starvation is looming as a product of the restriction on entry of food and fuel, the vast majority of the population has been displaced, and a significant portion of its buildings (both public buildings and homes) are destroyed or damaged. It is only possible to understand, and respond to, this overwhelming threat by also understanding how “humanitarianization” is repeatedly used as a weapon against Palestinians. The talk will situate today’s humanitarian dangers within a longer historical context in which Gazans have repeatedly confronted such dynamics.  This talk will be co-hosted with the Center for the Humanities and the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies.

The End of Çatalhöyük and Archaeology in the Time of Climate Change

Presented by Dr. Peter Biehl, Vice Provost & Professor of Archaeology University of California Santa Cruz

This talk summarizes 20 years of excavation and research at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey, featuring rapid environmental events and long-term social changes in the Near East, 9000-7500 years ago.

Reception to Follow