Spring 2018

Are women getting (more) justice?
Malaysia's Sharia courts in Ethnographic and Historical Perspective

Professor Michael Peletz, Department of Anthropology, Emory University
4pm, Friday, April 23 in Hale 230

In the last 20 years, Malaysia has witnessed a dramatic increase in visible forms of Islamic public culture. In tandem, what had been family jurisprudence in local religious courts has undergone dramatic bureaucratization. Charged with adjudicating shariah compliance, national Islamic courts now regulate complex transnational financial instruments, food safety, and other corporate forms, in addition to personal cases. In this talk, anthropologist Michael Peletz asks how these changes impact female claimants. What happens when religious courts go (trans)national? How can a historical and cultural perspective intersect to answer the question, “Do women get justice?”

Professor Michael Peletz is the author of Islamic Modern: Religious Courts and Cultural Politics in Malaysia, Princeton University Press (2002) and Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times, Routledge (2009)

For more information, please contact: carla.jones@colorado.edu

Are women getting (more) justice

Resisting conquest through environmental practice: Indigenous responses to Spanish colonialism in Ifugao, Phillipines
Dr. Stephen B. Acabado, Department of Anthropology, UCLA
4pm, Friday, March 23 in Hale 230

Resistance to Spanish conquest of highland Southeast Asian groups such as the Ifugao of the Phillipines has long been credited to environmental marginality and agricultural systems of upland locations. In this talk, Dr. Acabado provides a complementary explanation that focuses on Ifugao wet-rice production, a practice that promoted community solidarity and cohesion, past and present. The archaeological record implies that economic intensication and political consolidation occurred in Ifugao soon after the appearance of the Spanish empire in the northern Philippines (ca. 1575 CE). Research conducted during the Ifugao Archaeological Project indicates that the subsistence shift was precipitated by colonial pressures, which in turn facilitated local political integration.

Dr. Acabado received his BA in anthropology from the University of the Phillipines-Diliman and his MA and PhD from the University of Hawai’i. Currently, he is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles and director of the Ifugao Archaeological Project.

Dr. Stephen B. Acabado

The George Armelagos, Jack Kelso and Dennis Van Gerven Distinguished Lectures in Biocultural Anthropology

Biocultural Perspectives: How George Armelagos and the University of Colorado helped shape a career (mine), a paradigm, and a field of anthropology.
Dr. Alan C. Swedlund, Professor Emeritus, of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts
4pm, Friday, March 16 in Hale 230

In this talk I track how one of the predominant approaches to biocultural anthropology had its roots in anthropology at CU in the 1960s, and how it grew and expanded subsequently at the University of Massachusetts. There is not one, singular biocultural paradigm in physical/bio- anthropology, and I point out some distinctions in theoretical approaches, and types of questions addressed in these variations on the biocultural theme. Using examples from my own research and that of others, I illustrate how this approach has been applied to differing questions and populations, and what I believe we gain from this particular biocultural perspective.

Alan swedlund march 16

Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on Illness, Death and Loss: A Case Study from New England
Dr. Alan C. Swedlund, Professor Emeritus, of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts
4pm, Saturday, March 17 in Hale 270

While anthropologists who study historical populations share manysimilarities in approach and subject matter with their historian counterparts,what distinctions and differences might there be? Some have observed that wheremedical history and medical anthropology are concerned, historians tend tofocus on doctors, and anthropologists on patients. Historians tend to study theinstitutions of medical practice, while anthropologists are more likely tostudy medicine in the context of community. Are these distinctions valid? And,how do they play out in practice? In this talk I focus on a small area ofnineteenth century Massachusetts and discuss the cycle of illness, death, andloss as it manifested in a New England town between 1820-1910. The emphasis ison age, family and community, but takes into account larger trends in thepractice of medicine over the long nineteenth century.

Alan swedlund

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Schedule, 1:00pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Thursday, March 9 Oliver Paine (PhD candidate)
“The mechanical and nutritional properties of African savanna vegetation and their implications for early hominin evolution”

This Brown Bag serves as a practice round for Oliver's talk at the upcoming AAPA meeting, and his dissertation defense in the near future. He will also share other aspects of his dissertation research with us. He welcomes constructive feedback and questions related to his research. This will be a great opportunity to learn about Oliver's research on hominins  before he graduates and enters the job market.

Paine BB

The Pursuit of Happiness Book Release Event
Bianca Williams, Associate Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center
3.30pm, Tuesday, March 6 in Hale 450

Join us as we welcome back Professor Bianca C. Williams for a discussion of her new book. In The Pursuit of Happiness Bianca C. Williams traces the experiences of African American women as they travel to Jamaica, where they address the perils and disappointments of American racism by looking for intimacy, happiness, and a connection to their racial identities. Through a theorization of "emotional transnationalism",  Williams attends to how affective relationships mark nationalized and gendered power differentials within the African diaspora.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Schedule, 12:00pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Tuesday, March 6 Dr. Michael Mathiowetz
The Amapa Project and “Project A” in West Mexico (1959-1962): Contributions to Mesoamerican and U.S. Southwestern Archaeology
A Presentation in Honor of Dr. Jack E. Smith

The UCLA Department of Anthropology engaged in a program of archaeological research in far west Mexico from 1956 to 1970. The Postclassic-period Aztatlán political center of Amapa—a major site on the Nayarit coastal plain—was excavated by UCLA archaeologists in 1959 and data derived from this work remains central to current understandings of social, political, and religious organization in the Aztatlán heartland. Following this excavation, UCLA’s field survey work from 1960-1962 ranged from central coastal Nayarit south to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and beyond, which marked the earliest archaeological research in this important zone. This presentation examines the significance of these two projects for current conceptions of the Aztatlán world from the viewpoint of data derived from this work, particularly as it relates to west Mexico’s place in both Mesoamerican and U.S. Southwestern prehispanic cultural developments and long-distance interactions including with Chaco Canyon, Mimbres, and Paquimé. Dr. Jack E. Smith of Boulder, CO was a UCLA graduate student leader on both projects, and this talk pays tribute to his and the UCLA team’s legacy of research in the region.

Brown Bag March 6

Dispossessed: How Predatory Bureaucracy Foreclosed on the American Middle Class
Noelle Stout, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New York University
4.30pm, Friday, February 23 in Hale 230

More than 14 million U.S. homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure since the 2008 mortgage crash. In this talk, Stout reveals an enduring yet undetectable form of violence endemic during the decade following the crisis: homeowners’ confrontations with the bureaucracies of corporate lenders. Lenders executed mass bank seizures through seemingly benign administrative mishaps—lost paperwork, campaigns of misinformation, and hours spent on hold. Drawing on research in California’s hard-hit Sacramento Valley, Stout ventures into the homes of families on the brink of eviction and the byzantine call centers of corporate lenders processing their appeals. Here, Stout uncovers the rise of predatory bureaucracies—publicly funded but privately administered Kafkaesque mortgage assistance programs, through which corporate lenders pilfered billions of taxpayers’ dollars while denying assistance to over 70 percent of homeowner applicants. But just as predatory bureaucracies dispossessed Americans, they also gave rise to discourses of financial reciprocity, as foreclosed-upon Americans and low-level lending employees debated the social contracts implicit in financial ties. Trapped in an endless maze of mortgage modifications, borrowers began to view debt refusal as a moral response to lenders, in ways that advance longstanding anthropological claims regarding credit-debt ties and redefine the meaning of dispossession after the crash. 

Noelle Stout is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University. Professor Stout’s scholarship shows how economic inequalities shape social realms typically viewed as being outside capitalist markets and, conversely, argues that economic imaginaries are constructed in and through intimate social milieus. Applying emerging insights in queer and feminist anthropology to longstanding anthropological debates about the contradictions and coherences of markets and moral value, her research has shifted from an analysis of gender and sexuality to more recently focus on class and inequality.

Colloquium Noelle Stout

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Schedule, 4:30pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Thursday, February 22 Willi Lempert (PhD candidate)

Willi will give a brief talk about his research, and then lead us through a discussion about navigating grad school, applying for grants, and procuring a job in academia. Willi Lempert's dissertation, Broadcasting Indigenous Futures: The Social Life of Kimberley Aboriginal Media, is based on 26 months of ethnographic research in the Kimberley region of Northwestern Australia since 2006. He followed the social lifecycles of dozens of film projects through daily collaboration within production teams to understand the stakes of Aboriginal self-representation embedded within the process of filmmaking. His research interrogates the paradoxical relationship between the production of films that vividly imagine hopeful and diverse Indigenous futures, and the current widespread defunding of Aboriginal communities and organizations. He will be starting as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College this fall.

Willi Lempert

Spring 2018 Ethnography in Progress Series

February 16: "Paper Magic, Or How Bureaucrats Conjure Criminals in Compiling Inmate Case Files" | 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Hale 450

by Dr. Kristen Drybread (Post-doctoral Fellow, Latin American Studies Center, University of Colorado at Boulder)

Discussant: Ben Joffe (PhD Candidate, Cultural Anthropology) 

Like identity cards, school evaluations, and medical reports, inmate case files are frequently regarded by the people they represent as objects with force of their own. In part, this is because official records obscure the social relations, discourses, and practices that contribute to their content and to their form. But documentary artifacts of institutional (and state) power cannot only be regarded as magical because of their fetish-like properties. Official records also have magical efficacy because, in some circumstances, institutional professionals are able to transform their clients via interventions that take place solely through paperwork. In this respect, practices of institutional documentation are akin to the practice of sympathetic magic.

March 2: Impossible, Unknowable, Accountable: Dramas and Dilemmas of Data Law | 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Hale 450

by Alison Cool (Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology)

Discussant: Lauren Barrett (MA Student, Cultural Anthropology)

Legal frameworks and ethical guidelines for data use often assume a tension between realizing the potential value of data and addressing concerns about security, privacy, and property glossed as data protection. These guidelines, rather than resolving the implied conflict between data protection and value creation, reallocate responsibility onto data users in the form of simultaneously open-ended and strict demands for accountability. The European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come into force in 2018, is no exception, setting forth an accountability principle to guide data processing throughout the region. However, accountability is a vague and shifting concept. As a result, the GDPR and other legal and ethical calls for accountability often multiply rather than resolve researchers' and data managers' anxieties about appropriate data practices and uncertainties about legal requirements. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with researchers, data managers, IT lawyers, and legal scholars working with population data and data protection regulation in Sweden, this article examines legal and ethical demands for accountability as they play out through and against the improvisational processes by which data users seek to take account of themselves as ethical actors. Dismissing Swedish and EU data protection regulation as ultimately unknowable and interpretable, the researchers and data managers I interviewed sought to alleviate their ethical anxieties and legal uncertainties by situating themselves in relation to those whom they imagined as the "real and alive" persons "behind the data." In this way, I argue, researchers and data managers counter what they perceive as the impossible demands of accountability with other creative possibilities for enacting ethical responsibility.

March 16: Title TBA: Draft for the Routledge Handbook of Medical Humanities | 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., IBS 390

by Kathryn Goldfarb (Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology)

Discussant: Kevin Darcy (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology)

This piece is a draft for the Routledge Handbook of Medical Humanities, which is an interesting and super open-ended project. The description sent to me by the editor asks for a piece between 4,000 and 5,000 words, and the editor writes: "All chapters will refer to medical culture and/ or medical practice, or healthcare practices in relationship to medicine. Most chapters will be academic, based on scholarship or field research, but some will be illness auto-ethnographies. The content will include literary and graphics pieces." My piece will be a short discussion of the core ideas in the first half of my book manuscript, focused on how the absence of social relationships are perceived and embodied by people connected to the Japanese child welfare system. While I've told the editor it will not be about medical practice per se, the objective will be to provide an ethnographic perspective on the surprising, subtle, and politically charged ways that relationships themselves shape embodiment. I also hope that this piece will double as part of my book prospectus.

April 13: "Admiral Othon's 'Radioactive' Bribes: Nuclear Industry Corruption, Politics and White-Collar Crime in Brazil" | 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Hale 450

by Donna Goldstein (Professor, Cultural Anthropology)

Discussant: Arielle Milkman (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology)

The symbolic father of Brazil’s nuclear energy program since the 1970s, Vice-Admiral Othon Luiz Pinheiro, was released in October of 2017 to his home in an upscale neighborhood on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, freed by habeus corpus and an ‘act of humanity’ to await an appeal from a prison sentence issued in 2016. Admiral Othon had been sentenced to 43 years in prison for taking bribes in a corruption case related to the construction of Brazil’s third nuclear energy plant, Angra 3. His case coincided in part with Congressional impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party. Dilma’s case, which resulted in an impeachment that many on the political left felt was unjustified, laid a kind of corruption groundwork and lens for how the Othon case would be approached in the media, tried in the courts, and understood by a good proportion of political elites and the electorate. Yet Othon’s case broadens the usual features of corruption in contemporary Brazil. In the Dilma case, many commentators viewed corruption as an accusation exploited by conservative elites to diminish center-left political power and programs. In the Othon case, however, commentators reimagined corruption as an accusation exploited by foreign interests to prevent Brazil from taking its proper place as a powerful international player possessing nuclear energy. While Dilma’s impeachment told a story of political distancing from a tainted politician from the center left, Othon’s release told a story of political embrace of a military and national treasure, an icon of Brazil’s technical prowess. In addition, his release highlights the ongoing leniency given to white-collar crime and criminality in Brazil, in spite of the many changes visible in the contemporary judicial pursuit of political and corporate corruption schemes. In sum, the Othon case has created new mediatized narratives of corruption’s utility in Brazil, while maintaining a familiar white-collar outcome for a privileged actor.

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Schedule, 12pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Friday, February 2 Jennifer Leichliter (PhD candidate)
"Early hominin environments in southern Africa: A micromammalian perspective"

Brown Bag Jenn Leichliter

Volcanoes, the Failures of the Gods, and the Collapses of Empires—Symposium
The Symposium will be held on the CU campus on February 9-10, 2018 in the Benson Earth Sciences Building (Rm 180). Our keynote speaker, Dr. Clive Oppenheimer, will kick off our symposium with a talk on The Long-range Consequences of Volcanic Eruptions on Friday evening Feb. 9. The symposium is free and open to the interested public. Payson Sheets, presiding. Please email Simon Pendleton (originsinfo@colorado.edu) with any questions. Payson Sheets will be the keynote speaker at the biennial meeting of the Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society in Tucson AZ, 12-15 January. The meeting involves the top volcanologists in the world. Sheets will speak on detecting religious motivation in ancient egalitarian societies affected by explosive volcanic eruptions.

CU Boulder Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology, two distinguished speakers Friday and Saturday
The Beginnings of Social Inequality at the Preclassic Maya Center of Ceibal, Guatemala
Daniela Triadan, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona
4pm, Friday, January 26 in Hale 230, Reception to follow

Since archaeologists from Harvard University explored it in the 1960s, the site of Ceibal in the southwestern Petén region of Guatemala has been important in the study of Maya origins. That research has shown that Ceibal was one of the earliest inhabited sites in the Maya lowlands. Our investigations at Ceibal have provided new data about the nature of this earliest occupation and how it developed through time. Communal efforts in building ritual structures and residential platforms set the stage for incipient elite leadership and social stratification. In addition, a complicated web of interactions led to new forms of social interactions and architectural space. The overall architectural layout of the site emulates the Middle Formative Chiapas Pattern found at sites in the Grijalva Basin. Caches that contain greenstone axes and Olmec-style objects were deposited in similar patterns to caches found at sites in the Chiapas region and on the Gulf Coast. On the other hand, people at the Ceibal may have built the first ritual architectural complex that we now call an E-Group assemblage. The first sedentary residents at Ceibal were probably emerging elites, who from the start emphasized a profound sense of place as they continued to build new versions of their houses in the same locations for several centuries. Although the focus of interregional interactions shifted through time, the social memory of these places and objects continued to play a role in in the legitimization of power for the elites of Ceibal until the Terminal Classic.

Daniela Triadan - Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology

Scientific Techniques Reveal Clues to the Origins of Maya Civilization
Takeshi Inomata, University of Arizona
7pm, Saturday, January 27 in Hale 270, Reception to follow

The application of new technologies, including high-precision radiocarbon dating and airborne laser mapping, is providing exciting data on the origins of Maya civilization. Our research at Ceibal, Guatemala, revealed a formal ceremonial complex built at the onset of this community around 1000 BC, before the Olmec capital of La Venta, Mexico, became a dominant political power. Multiple ceremonial buildings in similar configurations were also found in our new project in southern Mexico. The emergence of Maya civilization was stimulated, not by direct influence from Olmec civilization, but by more complex interactions with various regions.

Takeshi Inomata - Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology

Fall 2017

Fall 2017 Brown Bag Schedule, 11:30am Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Thursday, December 7 Kaitlyn Davis, Sam Linford and Griëtte VanDerHeide

Brown Bag Dec8

Fall 2017 Brown Bag Schedule, 4:00pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Friday, November 17 Bailey Duhe and Emily Hite
Anthropology Matters! AAA Practice Session & Brownbag

Brown Bag AAA Session

Oppidum cadaver: Assessing the Impact of Ancient Urbanism on Modern Europe and Beyond
November 15 at 7:00 pm in the CU Musuem.
Presented by John W. Hanson, a CU Research Associate, in partnership with the CU Museum and the Archaeological Institute of America. Free and open to the public.

John Hanson AIA Talk

Fall 2017 Brown Bag Schedule, 12pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Friday, November 3 Heather Seltzer
“Changes in Pueblo Symbols During Contact”

Seltzer Brown Bag

Fall 2017 Brown Bag Schedule, 12pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Friday, October 27: Jenny Washabaugh and Katie McGuire
"Double" Brown Bag event

Bron Bag 102717

Fall 2017 Ethnography in Progress Series

October 27: Contentious Bodies: The Place, Race, and Gender of Victimhood | 3 p.m., Hale 450
by Dani Merriman (PhD Candidate, Cultural Anthropology)
Discussant: Bailey Duhé (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology)

This is the third chapter of my dissertation. I address the ways in which Afro-Colombians in the region of María la Baja, Colombia re-signify their “contentious bodies” amidst parallel peace and war efforts. In the context of over 60 years of war, the government and armed paramilitary forces continue to frame Afro-Colombian campesinos (rural farmers) as both “innocent victims” and “guerrilla combatants." Given legacies of racialized marginalization, how do Afro-Colombian communities stake claims to lost land and violent pasts when their very bodies are presumed to challenge their innocence? I illustrate how individuals use their “contentious bodies” to resist militant and bureaucratic attempts to label them as perpetrators of violence. Afro-Colombian farmers enact embodied evidence, such as calloused farming hands, dark complexions, and scars, to assert their dignity and victimization. Through these corporeal and visual self-assertions, I examine the ways in which intersectional signifiers, are simultaneously read and performed within the context of war and peacetime violence.

November 10: Workshopping Successful NSF Grants | 2 p.m., Hale 450
Jerry Jacka (Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology)

What makes a successful NSF grant work? In this session we will read two grants for projects in cultural anthropology that were successfully funded by the National Science Foundation. We will analyze how and why these grants were compelling and steps that students and faculty can take to create funded research proposals.


Fall 2017 Brown Bag Schedule, 12pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Wednesday, October 18: Lauren Barrett
“On Borders, Boundaries, and Transgression in Anthropology” REDUX for the AAA
Brown Bag - Barrett

Please join us for a brown bag meeting to discuss the conference that was held in September. The goal of the brown bag is to help students further workshop and professionalize their presentations as they look forward to conferences such as the AAA’s.  If you are a student who gave a presentation, please come ready to discuss two things that you did well, as well as one thing that you would like to improve upon. Similarly, if you are a graduate student or faculty member who attended the conference, please come with constructive feedback in mind.  If you have any questions please contact Lauren Barrett at lauren.barrett@colorado.edu


Local "Theory" of mind and why it matters
Professor Tanya Luhrmann, Watkins University Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
4pm, Friday, October 13 in Hale 230

Tanya Lurhmann

Coffee & Donuts with Anthropology Professor Douglas Bamforth
ANTH Majors & Minors are invited to drop by for some coffee talk.  Everyone welcome!
Tuesday, October 10 from 9:00-10:30am in Hale 450

Coffee with Faculty

From the Flatirons to the Yellow Border: a primatologist's path outside academia
Dr. Catherine Workman, Senior Director of Wildlife and Wild Places for the National Geographic Society
4pm, Friday, October 6 in Hale 230

Catherine Workman

The Center for Documentary and Ethnographic Media Presents: An Art and Anthropology Colloquium
Thursday and Friday, October 5 - 6 in Hale 450

October 5
Curatorial Workshop* with members of the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, Craig Campbell and Fiona P. McDonald
2:00pm-5:00pm in Hale 450

Film screening and Q&A with filmmaker and anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki
J.P. Sniadecki will then screen his new film El mar la mar (2017)
7:30pm in Muenzinger Auditorium

October 6
Presentations and Discussions
Ethnographic Terminalia Collective: Collaborative Curating, presented by Craig Campbell and Fiona P. McDonald

Discussion with Craig Campbell, Fiona P. McDonald, J.P. Sniadecki and Stephanie Spray
2:00pm-4:00pm in Hale 450

*Space in the workshop is limited. Email Christian Hammons to insure participation, or if you have any questions.

Ethnographic Terminalia Event


Borders: a conference on boundaries, barriers ​and transgression in anthropology (2017)
Cultural anthropology graduate students, Anthropology Department, University of Colorado Boulder
Friday and Saturday, September 29 - 30 in Hale 450

Graduate Conference 2017

Soldiers & Kings: Photoethnographic Practice in the Context of Smuggling across Mexico
Dr. Jason de León Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
4pm, Friday, September 29 in Hale 230

Jason de Leon

The cultural anthropology graduate students at the University of Colorado, Boulder are pleased to announce our seventh annual graduate student conference, titled Borders: On Boundaries, Barriers, and Transgression in Anthropology. We look forward to building connections across universities - come join us!
Borders is a two-day conference organized by graduate students in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Events are free and open to the public. The conference will be held Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30, 2017 and will include panels moderated by University of Colorado faculty. Dr. Jason de León (Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) will give the keynote address in Hale 230 4pm, Friday, September 29.
Graduate student conferences are planned, organized, and presented by graduate students in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They are two-day interdisciplinary conferences with a wide range of global topics. They are attended by professionals and students from both inside and outside the university.


Paramilitary Politics in Colombia
Dr. Winifred Tate, Department of Anthropology, Colby College
4pm, Friday, September 22 in Hale 230

Winifred Tate

Abstract: “The judgment of history will recognize the goodness and nobility of our cause,” indicted drug trafficker and paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso told assembled legislators in the Colombian Congress in 2004. This talk examines the social life of this claim, considering the origins of paramilitary violence, the production of history about this violence, and its legacies in contemporary Colombian politics. Rather than being the result of state absence, I argue contemporary forms of Colombian paramilitarism emerged from settler colonialism throughout the early years of the 20th century. Popular histories of these groups, including elite oral histories and narconovela television dramas, portray paramilitaries as heroic saviors who won the country’s counterinsurgency war. I conclude by tracing the resonance of these claims in emergent violence in opposition to state-sponsored land restitution programs and current peace talks with the guerrillas.


Mimbres at the Museum: Earl, Hugo, Anna and Me
Dr. Steve Lekson, Curator and Professor of Archaeology, University of Colorado Boulder
7pm, Tuesday, September 19 in Hale 270

Mibres bowl

The 11th century Mimbres culture of New Mexico is famous for its ceramic art: black-and-white images of animals and people painted on simple earthenware pots.  In 1925, the CU Museum acquired a large collection of Mimbres pottery when Junius Henderson (the first Director of the Museum) asked archaeologist Earl Morris to excavate Mimbres sites.  Anna Shepard was a ceramic analyst who worked with Earl Morris.  She was fascinated by the formal symmetries of Mimbres art, and the Museum has her papers and laboratory notes.  Hugo Rodeck (who followed Henderson as Director) was smitten with Mimbres art.  In the 1960s he assembled an incredible archive of Mimbres images – now part of the CU Museum's holdings.  Steve Lekson (Curator of Archaeology) has done extensive fieldwork in the Mimbres region.  In the CU Museum's collections, he discovered many strange and wonderful Mimbres things.  This talk tells the stories of Mimbres at the Museum – along with insights and ideas about the ancient Mimbres people and their pottery.

Steve Lekson (Ph.D. University of New Mexico) is Curator of Archaeology and Professor of Anthropology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. He held research, curatorial, and administrative positions with University of Tennessee, Eastern New Mexico University, National Park Service, Arizona State Museum, Museum of New Mexico, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Lekson directed more than 20 archaeological projects throughout the Southwest. Recent projects include excavations at Pinnacle Ruin in central New Mexico (2000-2008), excavations at Chimney Rock in southern Colorado (2009), and excavations at Black Mountain and Woodrow ruins in southwestern New Mexico (2010-13). He is currently Contributing Editor for Archaeology magazine.


Ancient Settlement Pattern Changes in Coastal Oaxaca, Mexico
Jessica D. Hedgepeth Balkin – Anthropology PhD student, University of Colorado Boulder
7pm,Thursday, September 14 at the CU Museum, Dinosaur Room
(RVSP) to Indian Peaks Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society

Abstract: Between the Early and Late Formative periods (1800-150 BCE), major landscape changes occurred in the lower Río Verde Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Highly productive ecological niches developed due to floodplain expansion and the formation of resource-rich estuaries. To investigate how prehispanic settlement pattering in the lower Verde region was affected by shifts in resource availability, I conducted an interdisciplinary dissertation study from January-June of 2016. The Río Verde Settlement Project (RVSP) included a continuation of the regional archaeological survey as well as a systematic soil sampling program to examine variation in soil fertility. This presentation provides details on the project methodology and presents preliminary conclusions on changes in settlement ecology after the environmental changes took place (c.a. 150 BCE). The project results include promising information for answering two major research questions. First, did settlement concentrate around the floodplain and estuaries after they formed? Second, if people did indeed congregate in these resource-rich areas, was there a time lag between the ecological changes and settlement shifts?

The final portion of the presentation will discuss promising future research applications of my dissertation data related to settlement scaling theory. Ortman and colleagues argue that settled area and population density are linked mathematically in settlements around the world (e.g., the ancient Andes and the Basin of Mexico) Do lower Verde settlements exhibit similar properties?


Dispossession and Disappearance in the Post Sovereign Pacific: Climate, Change, and our Anthropocentric Future, Department Colloquim
Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University
4pm, Friday, September 8 in Hale 230

Paige West
Abstract: On July 19, 2013 the Prime Ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea agreed to the Regional Resettlement Arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea (colloquially known as “The Papua New Guinea Solution” or the RRA) an international agreement that diverts asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat to Papua New Guinea, for immediate detention and processing, and then eventual resettlement in Papua New Guinea - a country that did not have a national refugee policy until October 2015. In this talk, the author will describe the lives of the people who have been affected by the RRA ethnographically, placing their lives within the larger story of the RRA. The talk will end with some questions for all of us, as anthropologists, about how we are to approach the socio-ecological present today as scholars and as humans, and about the value of ethnographic anthropology, something that has recently been loudly critiqued and roundly discounted by some of the more irritating members of our discipline.

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