Favela at the entrance to the New Science Building.
Anthropology -- from the Greek roots ανθρωπο-ς, "man" or "human" and λογος, "word," "speech," "discourse," or "reason"--refers to the study of human beings and humankind in the broadest sense. Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) used the term ανθρωπολογος in reference to the science of the nature of man, particularly human physiology and psychology. The term Anthropologia, in its more recognizably modern form, was apparently first used in 1594 by Otto Casmann (1562 - 1607), a priest and rector in Stade, Germany, in his book "Psychologia anthropologica".
In North America, Anthropology traditionally encompasses four subdisciplines:
• Cultural Anthropology
• Biological or Physical Anthropology
• Anthropological Linguistics
The principal strengths of the Queens College Department of Anthropology stem from bringing together scholars who study human diversity from an interdisciplinary perspective that integrate methodologies from both the social and biological sciences. This interdisciplinary approach produces cutting edge research on all aspects of the human condition, ranging from the origin of our species, through the rise of varied human cultures in different parts of the world, to the issues of modern poverty, power, and conflict during the more recent past, in the present, and--prospectively--in the future. Members of the Anthropology Department faculty are actively involved in fieldwork being carried out in regions both near and far, including New York City, Indonesia, East Asia, East and South Africa, Turkey, Central and South America, and Easter Island.
Professor Kevin Birth has had a busy few months! His article "The Vindolanda Timepiece: Time and Calendar Reckoning in Roman Britain" was recently published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology 33(4):395-411. (link to abstract)
Another article by Professor Birth "The Remarkable Clocks of the Magdalen Chapel" which is about some old clocks in a metalworkers' guild chapel in Edinburgh was just published in The Bulwark: The Magazine of the Scottish Reformation Society 4(4):14-17.
Professor Birth also found time to give a colloquium this past October about forgotten systems of clock time called "Failed, Forgotten, Discarded, or Marginalized" to the scientific staff of the United States Naval Observatory.
Recently, Professor Murphy Halliburton, made an appearance on a television show in India, discussing his research on the role of society and culture on mental health. This fascinating interview (in English) can be seen here: Mind Watch
Professor Felicia Madimenos recently published a short report in the American Journal of Human Biology entitled "Determing osteoporosis risk in older Colono adults from rural Amazonian Ecuador using calcaneal ultrasonometry". Click here to view the abstract: (link to abstract)
In the Fall of 2014, our department will welcome a new faculty member:
Juan Luis Rodriguez is a linguistic and cultural anthropologist interested in the semiotic relationship between language, materiality, and political gifts in Venezuela. He has conducted fieldwork among the Warao of the Orinoco Delta. His research addresses the multiple ways in which politicians and their indigenous constituents interact through discourse and objects. He is also interested in issues of intertextuality, and the shifting meanings of traditional genres of discourse as they are mobilized in new political contexts in and out of Amazonia. This fall, Professor Rodriguez will teach two sections of Anth 104: Language and Culture.
This summer, Professor Tim Pugh made several stunning discoveries excavating Nixtun-Ch'ich' in Petén, Guatemala. His findings have been featured on NBC News.
Student Awards 2014:
Lynn CeciArchaeology Award
Hortence Powdermaker Award
Paul Mahler Memorial Award
Laleh L. Simani
Frank Spencer Memorial Scholarship Award
Most Promising Student Award
Majors Graduating with Honors: Taraneh Azin, Shaileen Berlas, Charlene Best, Rebecca Birnbaum, Christine Castiblanco, Danny Chen, Shannon M. Chiarel, Jennifer Deleon, Lauren Esposito, Juliana Frenkel, Lawrence Gaier, Galit Gopin, Yehuda Hamaoui, Rebecca Honig, Laura Isherwood, Fatema Jabeen, Seth Kaminsky, Peter Kramer, Mukti Nayyar, Amanda Ognibene, Joana Paula Palomar, Melissa Pena, Alissa Penn, Janine-Marie Rafio, Laleh Simani, Silvia Uriarte, Chloe' Skye B. Weiser, Shan Xu
Minors Graduating with Honors: Joanna Lee Beck, Saqif Choudhury, Orpa Chowdhury, Andrea Dellal, Lisa Diodato, Tova Gilbert, Jesse Harchack, Peter Himmelman, Megan Juran, Umar Khan, Jacky Lam, Aliza Lennon, Danielle Maiforth, Alexia Papigiotis, James Paulson, Saidan Qi, Nicole Rizzo, Andrea Russo, Alan Sheinfil, Shira Storz, Henna Warman
Junior Honors: Aisha Ali, Danica Barilla, Mirwan Beydoun, Samantha N. Buergermeister, Rivka Chasan, Katie Cruz, Nina M. Delgado, Dominique Encarnacion, Charlotte E. Isaac, Sheena R. John, Davneet Kaur, Nadene Kotz, Monique Nicotra, Karen Paltoo
While conducting fieldwork in India, Professor Halliburton was interviewed by Kairali People for a show called Mindwatch.
Prof. John Collins' 'From Protests to Potato Chips,' an essay which analyzes the recent urban protests in Brazil, appeared recently in the Society of Cultural Anthropology's "hotspot" series. See here
Professor Kevin Birth gave a talk "Clocks, Politics, and Changing Times" in the Frick Collection. During his lecture Dr. Birth discussed the relevance of the clocks on view to our understanding of some of the great historic changes in timekeeping, including the Gregorian calendar and the Counter-Reformation, the Copernican revolution, the replacement of solar time with mean time, and the French Revolution's failed experiment with decimal time.
You may view the lecture by following this link.
Professor Collins and Project Morrinho, the Rio de Janeiro favela arts group that Dr. Collins and his former CUNY graduate student Dr. Alessandro Angelini helped bring to the QC campus has been featured in New York Times. Dr. Collins was cited saying “It’s about giving the space for people to develop alternate ways to read the city,” and that “CUNY has always been a place for working class students who are struggling but brilliant. By putting them into dialogue, it can show the visitors from Rio a more complex picture of what the U.S. really is. And it opens to our students discussions about places that can be tied together.”
Here's a great new segment up on Youtube of the interactions between QC student volunteers and Morrinho artists.
In the Fall of 2013, our department welcomed two new faculty members:
Professor Felicia Madimenos was recently awarded a PhD at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on the influence of human reproductive ecology, skeletal health, and energetics and is strongly rooted in life history theory. Specifically, her research uses an integrative, biocultural approach to explore the physiological and behavioral strategies that Indigenous Ecuadorian Shuar women adopt to meet the elevated costs of reproduction.
In the Fall of 2013, Professor Madimenos will offer two sections of Anth 102: Introduction to Human Evolution, on M, W, at 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM and 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM.
Professor Karine Tache was awarded a PhD in Archaeology at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada). Her doctoral dissertation, entitled Structure and Regional Diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere, focused one of the earliest and largest interaction spheres established in Northeastern North America and highlighted the important relationship, under certain ecological conditions, between the creation of interaction spheres, the development of prestige technologies, and the emergence of socioeconomic inequalities. Her research combines archaeological and environmental data with organic residue analysis in order to investigate early pottery uses in Northeastern North America.
In the Fall of 2013, Professor Tache will offer two sections of Anth 103: Introduction to Archaeology, on T, TH at 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM and 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM.
Professor Plummer has been awarded an NSF grant ($377,510.00) for the project for his research on early human behavior.
Professor Strassler's book "Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java," was awarded the Collier Prize from the Society for Visual Anthropology.
Larissa Swedell received a grant from the National Science Foundation ($185,401.00) for a project on the social behavior and physiology of chacma baboons in South Africa conducted in collaboration with Drs. Steffen Foerster (Barnard College) and Steve Monfort (Smithsonian).
In July of 2013, a new volume edited by Kate Pechenkina and Mark Oxenham, entitled Bioarchaeology of East Asia: Movement, Contact, Health was published by the University Press of Florida. This volume integrates research on migration, diet, and diverse aspects of health through the study of human skeletal collections in a region that developed varying forms of agriculture. East Asia’s complex population movements and cultural practices provide biological markers that allow for testing of multiple hypotheses about interactions in past communities. Exploring the interplay between humans and their environments, papers in this volume millet agriculture, mobile pastoralism with limited cereal farming, and rice farming in combination with reliance on marine resources, Many of these subsistence strategies that are more or less exclusive to East Asia.
A new paper by Professor Alex Bauer, entitled "Multivocality and 'Wikiality': the Epistemology and Ethics of a Pragmatic Archaeology," came out in a volume edited by G. Scarre and R. Coningham "Appropriating the Past: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology," published by Cambridge University Press.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors
who have been accepted to graduate programs:
Anthropology Honors and Awards 2013
Hortense Powdermaker Award: Cecilia Vega Britez and Joanna Lund-Pops
Faculty Award: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Joanna Lund-Pops, Elizabeth Evangelou
Paul Mahler Memorial Award: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Elizabeth Evangelou, and Steven Esposito
Lynn Ceci Archaeology Award: Aldo Foe
Most Promising Student Award: Rebecca Wojsnis
Frank Spencer Memorial Scholarship Award: Alissa Penn and Xu Shan
Service Award: Arianna Stimpfl
SENIOR MAJORS HONORS: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Joanna Lund-Pops, Elizabeth Evangelou, Caitlin Locurto, Richa Nayyar, Steven Esposito, Aldo Foe, Charlotte Greenbaum, Elizabeth Staszewski, Lois Song, Nina Lazerow, Vivian Xu, Nia Bert, Ester Park, Patricia Miranda, Jasleen Chandhoke, Cecilia Vega Britez, Ximena Gallego, Brigid Dolan, Melissa Pena, Khealzaree Ahmedzay, Yojeiry Corona, Carolina Carvajal, Elyssa Nucero, Michelle Ammons, Erez Klein, Karen Shum, Sotaro Trenholm, Jean Kapkanoff, Elyssa Hirmes, Arianna Stimpfl, Silvia Carpio, Daniel Michel
News from our alumni:
Professor Larissa Swedell received a $20,000 research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for her fieldwork project on sociality and social bonds in baboons.
A new book by Professor Kevin Birth "Objects of Time: How Things Shape Temporality" was published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. This book looks at how the objects we use to think about time shape our thoughts. Such objects empower us to think about time certain ways, but they also contain hidden assumptions about time that deflect our awareness away from the complicated rhythms of our lives and our world. Because time ties together so many aspects of our lives, this book is able to explore the nexus of objects, cognition, culture, and even biology, and to do so in relationship to globalization. By using ethnographic and historical data, Birth argues that we must recognize the cognitive effects of our timekeeping devices, and that we must also recognize that they do not adequately capture many important aspects of time or life.
Timothy Pugh received a two year grant from the National Science Foundation supporting his archaeological project (Factionalism, Trade Goods, and the Colonial Process in Petén, Guatemala) in Petén, Guatemala. His article Contact and Missionization at Tayasal, Petén, Guatemala appeared in Journal of Field Archaeology.
Professor John Collins has been appointed as the director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program.
Professor Tom Plummer published a new article "The Hard Stuff of Culture: Oldowan Archaeology at Kanjera South, Kenya" in the June issue of Popular Archaeology.
Kate Pechenkina has a chapter entitled "From Morphometrics to Holistics: The Emergence of Paleopathology in China" in the new edited volume by Jane Buikstra and Charlotte Roberts, "The Global History of Paleopathology: Pioneers and Prospects" published by Oxford University Press in June 2012.
A new paper by Professors Larissa Swedell and Tom Plummer, entitled "A Papionin Multilevel Society as a Model for Hominin Social Evolution" appeared in the May issue of the International Journal of Primatology.
In April 2012, Sara Stinson's volume (co-edited with Barry Bogin and Dennis O’Rourke), "Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective" was published by Wiley-Blackwell. This comprehensive introduction to the field of human biology covers all the major areas of the field: genetic variation, variation related to climate, infectious and non-infectious diseases, aging, growth, nutrition, and demography. Written by four expert authors working in close collaboration, this second edition has been thoroughly updated to provide undergraduate and graduate students with two new chapters: one on race and culture and their ties to human biology, and the other a concluding summary chapter highlighting the integration and intersection of the topics covered in the book.
Mandana Limbert was awarded a mid-career faculty fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, directed through the Graduate Center. The fellowship allows her to participate in a faculty seminar with the Committee on Religion at the GC and to pursue work on her next book project.
In July of 2011, Omri Elisha's book "Moral Ambition: Mobilization and Social Outreach in Evangelical Megachurches" was published by California University Press.
In this evocative ethnography, Omri Elisha examines the hopes, frustrations, and activist strategies of American evangelical Christians as they engage socially with local communities. Focusing on two Tennessee megachurches, Moral Ambition reaches beyond political controversies over issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and public prayer to highlight the ways that evangelicals at the grassroots of the Christian Right promote faith-based causes intended to improve the state of social welfare. The book shows how these ministries both help churchgoers embody religious virtues and create provocative new opportunities for evangelism on a public scale. Elisha challenges conventional views of U.S. evangelicalism as narrowly individualistic, elucidating instead the inherent contradictions that activists face in their efforts to reconcile religious conservatism with a renewed interest in compassion, poverty, racial justice, and urban revivalism.
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