Professor Chikako Ozawa-de Silva awarded 2023 Stirling Book Prize for her book The Anatomy of Loneliness.

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva was honored with the 2023 Stirling Book Prize from the Society for Psychological Anthropology for her most recent book, The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan during the Biennial Society for Psychological Anthropology Conference in San Diego. This is her third book prize this academic year for The Anatomy of Loneliness.

One of the two nominators for this book referred to it aptly as a “beautiful and haunting look at the human need for connection, purpose and the consequences of living in a society that increasingly silos us from each other.” The committee found her book theoretically and empirically rich, carefully analyzed, and beautifully written. The contribution to psychological anthropology is clear and profound, and it also touches on a highly relevant subject of our time with cross-disciplinary implications and implications for society at large: namely, young adults’ experiences of loneliness. Professor Ozawa-De Silva explores the concept of the “lonely society” to analyze and convey the power that societies can have in making “people feel uncared for, unseen, and unimportant” – an issue of global relevance and an innovative contribution to contemporary studies in psychological anthropology on the loss of self and suicide.

Despite the book’s focus on a particular field and particular actors (young adults in Japan), the book’s major asset is to link the analysis of this particular case to wider discourses about the interconnections between inter/subjectivity, empathy, and society. The book thus has a huge potential to help us think through interlinkages between societies in general and the phenomenon of loneliness. The last chapter “What loneliness can teach us” is masterful: the author uses her ethnographic knowledge in a critical and socially committed way to shows what might be taken from this study to improve the well-being of people in general who severely suffer from the current and rising “lonely society”.

Congratulations to Chikako for this outstanding contribution!

Obtain your copy of The Anatomy of Loneliness here!

Laney Graduate School PhD Candidate, William Boose, Wins a Fulbright

William Boose, Laney Graduate School PhD candidate in Anthropology, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the 2023-2024 academic year to study in Peru.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the U.S. and partner countries around the world. More than 2,000 diverse U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards annually to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas.

In his Fulbright-funded dissertation research in Peru, titled “Motorcycle Taxis and Urban Modernity: A Comparative Study in Lima and Iquitos,” Boose will critically study the governance of mototaxis (motorcycle taxis) as situated within broader notions of urban “modernity” and “development” in two cities.

Read the full article here!

Anthropology Honors Students 2023

Congratulations to our 2023 Anthropology honors students! We wish you all the absolute best in your future endeavors!

You can read more about this year’s honors students and their projects on our 2023 Honor Students page.

Hunter Akridge
Thesis Title:
 Contesting the Cultural Politics of Care: How Equitable Digital Care Platforms Reimagine the Future of Work

Rachel Broun
Thesis Title:
 Enacting Solidarity and Negotiating Fictive Kinship: The Legal Consciousness of Black Women Working in the Criminal Legal System

Pamela Chopra Beniwal
Thesis Title:
 The Effect of Commercialization, Militarization, and Stigmatization of the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement on Breast Cancer Patients

Lucia Buscemi
Thesis Title:
 Footprints of the Roof of the World: Navigating the Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities in the Everest Region

Naomi Gonzalez-Garcia
Thesis Title:
Constellations of Un-Matter(ing) & Matter(ing) through Atlanta’s Black Spaces: Anthropological Perspectives on Housing and Relationality

Ruth Korder
Thesis Title:
Detecting Human Adaptations in Populations of the Andean Highlands

Danielle Mangabat
Thesis Title:
 Confronting Colonial Legacies: Imagining a Decolonial Future in the Philippines through Reproductive Health

Natalie McGrath
Thesis Title:
 Recentering the Voices of Pregnant-People and Birth Workers; Narratives of Childbirth

Atlas Moss
Thesis Title:
 Vocal Recognition and Social Knowledge in captive Tufted Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus apella)

Alvaro Perez Daisson
Thesis Title:
 Race-related Health Disparities in the Context of COVID-19

Tanvi Shah
Thesis Title:
 (Re)constructing Postpartum Depression (PPD) via Cross-Specialty Analysis and an Anthropological Lens of Subjectivity 

Krithika Shrinivas
Thesis Title:
Stone Tools and Sociality: Potential Effects of Conversation and Hobbies on Lithic Quality

Lizzy Wagman
Thesis Title:
 Genome-wide patterns of selection in pre- and post-European contact Caribbean populations

Amy Wang
Thesis Title: 
The Impacts of Social Media on Young Adults’ Body Images in the United States

Sam Weinstein
Thesis Title:
 Vocal Clues to Diabetes Mellitus: Exploring the Ethics and Tech of AI in Clinical Practice

Gracie Wilson
Thesis Title:
 The Culture of College Mental Health: Narratives of Stress, Value, and Belonging 

Christopher Zeuthen
Thesis Title:
 Qualitative Examination of Veteran Perspectives on Moral Injury

Anthropology Student Awards 2023

2023 Undergraduate Student Awards

The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2023 student award winners! For award descriptions and past winners, visit our Departmental Awards webpage. We are so proud of our many impressive students!

Outstanding Senior Award: Hunter Akridge, Rachel Broun

Outstanding Junior Award: Elizabeth Whiteside

Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography:

  • Pamela Beniwal  for her honors thesis “The Effect of Commercialization, Militarization, and Stigmatization of the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement on Breast Cancer Patients”, advised by Mel Konner.
  • Audrey Lu for her ANT 372W class project “The Lives of Charting: An Emergency Room Scribe’s Perspective (ANT 372W project)”, advised by Anna Grimshaw.
  • Alvaro Perez Daisson for his honors thesis “Race-related Health Disparities in Cuba in the Context of COVID-19”, advised by Mel Konner and Kristin Phillips.
  • Christopher Zeuthen for his honors thesis “Veteran Perspectives on Moral Injury”, advised by Mel Konner.

Photo from left to right: Professor Robert Paul, Christopher Zeuthen, Professor Melvin Konner, Audrey Lu, Alvaro Perez Daisson, and Pamela Beniwal.

Trevor E. Stokol Scholarship for Undergraduate Research:

  • 1st Place: Eric Li
  • Maddie Hasson
  • Raya Islam (not pictured)

2023 Graduate Student Awards

The George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: AJ Jones, Caroline Owens

Delores P. Aldridge Award: Adrian Cato

New Center for Native and Indigenous Studies set to launch in Fall 2023

Emory College of Arts and Sciences is set to launch a new Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies this fall to advance and inspire research, scholarship, teaching and learning rooted in and related to Indigenous studies.

In conjunction with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and through seven years of ongoing work by an interdisciplinary group involving dozens of faculty, students and staff including Dr. Craig Womack (emeritus, English), Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery (History), Associate Dean Beth Michel (OUA), Anthropology alumna Klamath Henry (C19), current Anthropology seniors Iliyah Bruffett (C23) and Sierra Talavera Brown (C23), and Anthropology faculty member Dr. Debra Vidali, Emory University is launching a Center for Native and Indigenous Studies in Fall 2023.  

Check out the full article here!

Anthropology major Maddie Hasson, along with three Emory juniors win elite Goldwater Scholarships.

Four extraordinary Emory College juniors — Jojo Liu, Yingrong “Momo” Chen, Maddie Hasson, and Tamecka Marcheau-Miller — have won the Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s top scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering. This year’s winners, who have made major contributions in labs and authored or co-authored papers on their research, all plan to pursue doctoral degrees in their respective fields. They join 45 previous Emory recipients of the award, which was endowed by Congress in 1986 to honor the late Sen. Barry Goldwater.

Maddie Hasson is an Anthropology major and rising senior honors student who also won the Trevor E. Stokol scholarship for her undergraduate research.

Congratulations Maddie and to everyone on outstanding academic achievements!

Read the full article and winners’ biographies here!

Anthropology major Andrea Lopez and classmates create The Emory 1836 Project, highlighting Emory origins and history of the deportation of the Muscogee and Cherokee peoples.

The Emory 1836 Project is a dynamic digital humanities website, created by students in the Reparative History at Emory course, that re-centers the university’s origins within the historical context of the forced deportation of the Muscogee and Cherokee peoples from Georgia and the national expansion of slavery. Student archival research, place-based study, ethnographic research, and community storytelling for the Emory 1836 Project investigate how the legacies of slavery and dispossession structured institutional culture and practices from the university’s founding through the present-day. This reparative history project recognizes the active presence and contributions of Black and Indigenous peoples throughout Emory University’s history. The project is a living document that will expand as other students add to it in future semesters.

Check out the website for stories, archival documents, interview clips, and maps of significant events in the history of Emory’s main campus and Oxford campus.

This project was a product of the HIST-488RW/AMST-489: Reparative History at Emory course taught in Spring 2023 by Dr. Michael Mortimer.

Klamath Henry featured in Carlos Museum wing for Art of the Americas: 3/SISTERS/RESILIENCY/PROJECT

One of our undergraduate students, Klamath Henry, has her work featured in the wing for Art of the Americas within the Carlos Museum. A touch screen there connects to 3 / S I S T E R S / R E S I L I E N C Y / P R O J E C T which was developed in Fall 2017 as part of an project for an independent research course taught by Dr. Debra Vidali. This project presents photography, poetry, and ethnographic documentation of Tuscarora Nation resiliency and relations to land.

Please take the time to visit this outstanding project and congratulations to Klamath Henry!

Graduate Sophie Joseph and Professor John Lindo reveal results of genomic study of ancient Andeans.

The Lindo lab specializes in mapping little-explored human lineages of the Americas. 

Previously published research found evidence of the tuberculosis bacterium in the skeletal material of 1,400-year-old Andean mummies, contradicting some theories that TB did not exist in South America until the arrival of Europeans 500 years ago. 

The current paper provides the first evidence for a human immune-system response to TB in ancient Andeans and gives clues to when and how their genomes may have adapted to that exposure.

Among the strongest signals detected were for biomarkers that are switched on in modern humans during an active TB infection. The researchers modeled the timing of selection for several of the genes involved in the TB-response pathways. Although they were not as strong as for exposure to TB, some signals were also detected for biomarkers related to adaptation to hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen in the blood that result from living at high altitude.

“Human-pathogen co-evolution is an understudied area that has a huge bearing on modern-day public health,” Sophie Joseph says. “Understanding how pathogens and humans have been linked and affecting each other over time may give insights into novel treatments for any number of infectious diseases.”

Read the full article here.

Chikako and Brendan Ozawa-de Silva’s piece “A Vaccine for the Loneliness Epidemic” was featured in the Special Issue of Diplomatic Courier for the World Economic Forum

In 2018, then UK Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time,” and appointed the country’s first minister for loneliness. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic,” stating that social isolation is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

What do the following have in common? Rising rates of social anxiety and social withdrawal, alarming rates of suicide (up 51% among teenage girls in the U.S. in just a two-year period from 2019-2021, and up over 300% over a ten-year period), the increasing number of mass shootings, the epidemic of burnout in healthcare and other sectors, eating disorders. All too often, at the heart of each of these is a lack of social connection and the feeling of being loved, accepted, and understood. This is loneliness. Education is the most powerful tool we have for bringing about this change. Recent research in psychology and neuroscience shows that young children and even infants have a natural orientation towards kindness and helping over cruelty.

Read the full article here!

Check out Chikako’s interview about her book, The Anatomy of Loneliness.