Spring 2018

Distinguished Lecture in Biological Anthropology
Human parasite evolution and human evolutionary medicine

Dr. George (PJ) Perry, Associate Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Biology and the HarryJ. and Elissa M. Sichi Early Career Professor of Anthropology, Penn State University
4pm, Friday, April 27 in Hale 230

Studies of our parasites and how they are affected by and have adapted to our biology,behavior, and anthropogenic environments can inform our understanding of human evolutionary history while simultaneously advancing our knowledge of human health and disease, especially when also considering how these factors may influence vector competence for parasite-transmitted human diseases. This seminar will detail the series of experimental, functional, and evolutionary genomic studies of human parasites the are now underway in the Perry lab at Penn State, including of how our tapeworms may have evolved to withstand heat stresses associated with meat cooking, a uniquely human behavior

For more information contact joanna.lambert@colorado.edu

Perry Poster

Drawing on a Shared Past: Comics, Storytelling, and Anthropology
John Swogger, Archaeologist and Comic Artist
5pm, Tuesday, April 24 in Hale 270

Visual narrative – comics – can be used in anthropology and archaeology to present information about complex subjects in an engaging and accessible way though the combination of image and text. But it is their unique ability to make visible the storytelling within anthropological research and practice which makes comics such a powerful and versatile communications tool. Archaeological illustrator and comics creator John Swogger will draw on his experience making a wide range of comics about anthropology, history, archaeology and archaeological science to show how the medium can enable new kinds of anthropological conversations – and connect with new communities of audiences.

John Swogger graduated in 1992 with a degree in the Archaeology the Eastern Mediterranean from the University of Liverpool and has worked ever since as an archaeological illustrator. He was project illustrator for the Çatalhöyük Research Project for twelve years, and has worked on field excavation projects in the UK, Serbia, the West Indies and the Pacific. He also makes comics about archaeology, history and anthropology (The Oswestry Heritage Comics, Archaeology on Palau, NAGPRA: Journeys to Complete the Work, etc.). He is currently illustrating his first graphic biography – about the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain – and has a graphic textbook – Comics in Archaeology - coming out later this year from Berghahn Books.

For more information, please contact: Jenn Shannon jshannon@colorado.edu

Swogger Brown Bag 042418

Distinguished Lecture in Cultural Anthropology
Objectivity and Trained Judgment: Toward an Ehnography of Experimental Psychology

Emily Martin, Professor Emerita, New York University
4pm, Friday, April 20 in Hale 230

The findings of experimental psychology play a major role in mass media accounts of human behavior today. Some scholars have argued that psychological research enhances a view of humans as isolated, asocial individuals. Historians of psychology have traced this view to the mid 20th century eradication of what was called “introspection” in early German psychology, in pursuit of ‘objective’ methods. In this talk I take a fresh look at the years before this process was complete -- from the vantage point of early ethnographic and psychological field expeditions. Focusing on the psychological research conducted during and after the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits Islands (CAETS) in 1898, I will discuss the importance of the CAETS in the history of anthropology and psychology and explore some ways psychology and anthropology shared methods early in their development. I will ask whether there are hidden spaces in contemporary experimental psychology where its older concerns for “Introspection” --the experience of experimental subjects -- dovetail with the concerns of ethnographic approaches in anthropology.

Emily Martin April 20 2018

Biological Anthropology Graduate Colloquium
Saturday, April 7 in Institute of Behavioral Science 155
Talks 11am and 1:30pm, Coffee before and Lunch in Between

Orangutan Nutrition and Health: Insights into the Human Obesity Epidemic
Dr. Erin Vogel, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University

New Insights into the Nutritional Ecology of Rainforest Primates
Dr. Jessica Rothman, Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College - CUNY

Bio Anth Colloquium

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 6 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

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Schedule, 12:00pm Hale Science Building Reading Room 450.
Thursday, March 22 Zach Cooper (MA candidate)
The Origin of the Initial Farming Population of the Northeren Rio Grande

My thesis research uses a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate two competing hypotheses on the origin of the initial farming population of the Northern Rio Grande. The first hypothesis, which I called the ‘Southern Origin’ hypothesis, proposes that the most likely source were Early Developmental agricultural communities within the Middle Rio Grande. The second hypothesis, which I called the ‘Northern Origin’ hypothesis, posits that Late Pueblo I/early Pueblo II agricultural communities within the Navajo Reservoir/Fruitland District of northwestern New Mexico were the most likely source. I conclude that based on the paleodemographic, linguistic, and archaeological evidence, the Northern Origin hypothesis provides the most compelling, coherent explanation.

Brown Bag March 22 2018

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