Dr. Kristin Phillips wins 2020 Society for Economic Anthropology Book Prize

Anthropology faculty member Dr. Kristin Phillips has been named a co-winner of the 2020 Society for Economic Anthropology Book Prize for her 2018 book: An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun (Indiana University Press).  The award honors the best book in economic anthropology published during the last three years.  Phillips shares this honor with Dr. Kathleen Millar of the University of British Columbia for her 2018 book: Reclaiming the Discarded: Life and Labor on Rio’s Garbage Dump (Duke University Press). 

Three Outstanding Faculty of the Anthropology Department Retire

Professor Barlett received her PhD from Columbia University in 1975 and joined Emory in 1976, where she became a founding member of the Department of Anthropology.

Professor Shore received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1977 and joined Emory University in 1984 as Associate Professor of Anthropology.

Professor Worthman received her PhD from Harvard University in 1978 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Emory in 1986.

Alumni spotlight: Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate at Northwestern University

Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa.Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa.
Since August 2019, Andy has been conducting his dissertation fieldwork on the intergenerational effects of trauma from apartheid. He collaborates with a 30-year longitudinal birth cohort study called Birth to Twenty (also known as “Mandela’s Children) to understand how traumatic experiences that pregnant women faced during the dissolution of apartheid affect the health and biology of subsequent generations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting his data collection short, he took advantage of his existing research infrastructure to evaluate the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify community psychosocial needs, and connect families to critical social services. He writes about these experiences in a forthcoming special issue on COVID-19 in the American Journal of Human Biology
At Northwestern, Andy is currently being advised by fellow Emory Anthropology alumni Christopher Kuzawa (PhD MSPH 2001) and Thomas McDade (PhD 1999). His research has been published in Scientific Reports, Social Science & Medicine, Transcultural Psychiatry, andthe American Journal of Physical Anthropology. His dissertation research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Read and hear more about his work below! 


Op-ed: https://bhekisisa.org/article/2020-08-11-covid19-mental-health-south-africa-telemedicine-depression-anxiety-group/
TV interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02KicFbJp90
Radio interview: https://www.702.co.za/podcasts/196/the-best-of-afternoon-drive-with-joanne-joseph/349175/covid-19-has-changed-the-way-sas-only-toll-free-mental-health-helpline-works-heres-why-it-matters
Original research article: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.13.20130120v1 (in press at Psychological Medicine)

Dr. Rilling’s research on fatherhood is featured in New York Times article

At a time when most parents have to balance work and parenting more than ever, Dr. Rilling’s research on fatherhood is highlighted in a New York Times article. Why Your Brain Short-Circuits When a Kid Cries summarizes the challenges of parents working from home while schools are not in session and explains the physical reactions to a child’s cries from a scientific perspective as well as the authors personal experience.

Dr. Justin Hosbey Co-edits Online Series on Black Ecologies

Dr. Justin Hosbey

The #BlackEcologies series is a digital humanities project that Dr. Hosbey is co-editing on the Black Perspectives blog, the online home of the African American Intellectual History Society. #BlackEcologies brings together research from scholars in the humanities and social sciences that critically address the enduring legacies of racism by exploring the ways that Black diaspora communities experience environmental catastrophe. This multimodal project will feature essays, photo-essays, digital storytelling projects, as well as short documentaries. Our goal is to explore how Afro-descendant people work to resist ecocide – intellectually, politically, and in practice. The introductory page to the series can be found here.

The Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group published a conversation on Mixtape Scholarship with Dr. Kwame M. Phillips (14PhD)

What does it mean to produce scholarship through sound? The Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group just published a conversation on Mixtape Scholarship with Dr. Kwame M. Phillips (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy; Emory Anthropology PhD 2014). Dr. Phillips and co-author Dr. Shana L. 

Redmond’s essay/mixtape “The People Who Keep on Going”: A Listening Party, Vol. I appears in The Futures of Black Radicalism, which is being promoted this Summer as a free e-book by publisher Verso Books. The playlist “is a people’s songbook, a soundtrack to the improvisational life and living of Blackness under the control of white supremacy. This is an effort to pull forward and give a name to what our bodies tell us with every needle drop, to hold tight that which combines individual voice and people’s rebellion . . . ” (Redmond & Phillips, 2017:207). Dr. Debra Vidali (Emory Anthropology; Faculty director for the Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group) took this as an opportunity to talk to Dr. Phillips about multimodal argumentation, ethnographic documentation, listening parties, and a playlist for the Futures of Black Radicalism. “The People Who Keep on Going” mixtape is hosted on Dr. Phillips’ TheDreadstarMovement site. Experimental Ethnography @ Emory

New Experimental Ethnography Undergraduate Blog Publications

Three experimental ethnography pieces by undergraduate students on COVID-19 experiences have been recently published on the Experimental Ethnography at Emory blog. These works were produced for ANT/THEA 377W “Fieldwork into Performance,” taught by Prof. Vidali in Spring 2019. 

“Rush Monologues” by Aditya Jhaveri is a verbatim ethnographic theater script based on interviews with three international students.

“Face-Time during COVID-19” by Katherine Pitts is a creative nonfiction essay aimed to promote awareness of isolation and the importance of staying connected in a highly disrupted world.

“Silent” by Joy Min is a short ethnographic theater piece documenting the experiences of people who are victims of racist/xenophobic sentiments concerning the origins of COVID-19.

Elena Lesley is selected for prestigious Newcombe Fellowship

PhD Candidate Elena Lesley has been selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as one of 23 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2020-2021. The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.

Her dissertation examines Buddhist-influenced mental health interventions in Cambodia. Since first traveling to Cambodia in 2004, Lesley’s work in the country has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, a Fulbright fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Blakemore Foundation, among others. The results of her research have appeared in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, the journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention, the U.K. literary magazine GrantaNecropolitics and Remembering Genocide.

Lesley has a BA from Brown University and an MS from Rutgers University. Before coming to Emory, she worked as a journalist in the U.S. and abroad, and also as a Senior Research Specialist at Princeton University.

The Experimental Ethnography @ Emory Working Group (Dr. Debra Vidali, Emory Anthropology) moves their work online

When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all in-person gatherings this Spring, the Experimental Ethnography at Emory Working Group decided to host a short series of virtual public talks by artists whose work incorporates social inquiry and ethnographic research. The group has been running workshops, showcases, and discussion groups on campus since Spring 2019, with generous support from the Bill & Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. This semester, the group used funds to support artists who had lost income due to Covid-19 cancellations.

On April 10, Chicago-based video and performance artist Cherrie Yu shared recent video works that employ ethnographic methods, collaboration, and literary conventions, such as juxtaposition and translation, to explore the relationships between labor and personhood. On May 1, Atlanta-based designer Carley Rickles spoke about her approach to fieldwork in urban built environments and her concepts of “alternative” and “residual” public space. Over 30 people tuned in to each Zoom talk from places as far as India, Italy, Turkey, and California.

Graduate student Sasha Tycko worked as the organizer and moderator for these two Spring events.