We are thrilled to announce that Rashika Verma, a recent Anthropology graduate, won first place in the Lambda Alpha National Honor Society Student Paper Competition for her paper, “Climate Refugees: Redefining Refugee Status and the Implications for Cultural Identities.”
Lambda Alpha is a national honor society recognizing academic excellence in the study of Anthropology, and is open to students who meet Anthropology credit and GPA requirements. Each school chapter is invited to submit one entry to the annual paper competition, and despite many strong submissions to our internal competition, Rashika’s paper stood out. The paper was originally written for her Anthropology of Humanitarianism class, taught by Dr. Aubrey Graham (16PhD and current Interdisciplinary Teaching Fellow at Emory’s Institute for the Liberal Arts).
“This paper is a reflection of my combined interest in climate change and humanitarianism,” says Rashika. “Dr. Graham’s Anthropology of Humanitarianism class was a powerful experience for me because medicine in many ways is a form of humanitarianism, and critically analyzing it’s successes and shortcomings through anthropological theory was eye-opening as I hadn’t really considered that angle before … The idea of climate refugees is still relatively new and I feel that as a society we haven’t had the difficult conversations about what we can/will do about the fact that people will be displaced from their homes because those homes are underwater and completely uninhabitable. Overall, it was a challenging and nuanced topic to explore, but it was fascinating to research and is something I know I’ll be thinking about moving forward in my personal and professional life.”
Rashika graduated from Emory College of Arts and Sciences this spring with a degree in Anthropology and Human Biology, and completed an honors thesis exploring doctors’ perspectives on food insecurity in an urban food desert. She is currently working as a Clinical Assistant at a Neurosurgery practice and plans to attend medical school next year.
Kwame Phillips (14PhD and faculty member at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy) and Emory Department of Anthropology Professor Debra Vidali are presenting and installing experimental ethnographic work at the British Museum in London on June 2. Their project “Kabusha Radio Remix,” is an ethnographic sound installation that turns the tables on colonial soft power and creates a tribute to the late David Yumba, wise man of the Zambian airwaves. The installation re-purposes archived audio recordings from Yumba’s popular Radio Zambia program, Kabusha Takolelwe Bowa (a Bemba proverb meaning “The Person Who Inquires First, Is Not Poisoned by a Mushroom” or “The One Who Asks Questions, Never Goes Wrong”). Learn more about the remix project on the Bemba Online Project. Phillips and Vidali’s presentation Collisions of Memory, Voice, Sound, and Physicality though a Multi-sensorial Radio Remix Installation will be at the Art, Materiality and Representation conference, hosted by The Royal Anthropological Institute, The British Museum, and University of London SOAS.
“The Society for Psychological Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award honors career-long contributions to psychological anthropology that have substantially influenced the field and its development.” Dr. Shore Specializes in symbolic and psychological anthropology, ritual, Oceania, Polynesia, and the United States. Congratulations!
At our Honors and Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 27, the Anthropology department recognized six Anthropology undergraduate students who successfully defended honors theses this year. These students are scheduled to graduate with honors on May 14. Please join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment!
2018 Honors Students
Soukaina Akdim – Tattooed Bodies: Embodying and Expressing Identity
Advised by Liv Nilsson Stutz
Gordon Hong – From the Horn of Africa to Clarkston, Georgia: Subjective Well-Being of East African Immigrants and Refugees
Advised by Peter Little
Amelia Howell – Booty Hop and the Snake: Race, Gender, and Identity in an Atlanta Strip Club
Advised by Liv Nilsson Stutz
Sharon Hsieh – Treatment Adherence Patterns in Rural Georgian Veterans with Sleep Apnea: An Anthropological Approach
Advised by Carol Worthman
Rebecca Lebeaux – 100 Years Later: Modeling Why a Modern-Day Influenza Pandemic Would Still Disproportionately Affect Low and Middle-Income Countries
Advised by Craig Hadley
Rashika Verma – Just What the Doctor Ordered? Exploring Doctors’ Perspectives on Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes in an Urban Georgia Food Desert
Advised by Mel Konner
What does the research-to-stage process look like? And why does it matter? Last week the students in Prof. Debra Vidali’s “Anthropology & Performance” class presented a dynamic showcase of ethnographic theater projects, based on original research. Students transformed over 100 hours of research interviews and extensive participant-observation research into verbatim documentary theater performances that examined issues of well-being, diversity, belonging, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and birth control. The vivid portrayals brought to light issues and voices that are less well understood and represented, and sparked a lively audience discussion about future applications and interventions.
Klamath Henry, a junior anthropology major (B.A.), published a website in the fall of 2017 on her ANT497R research, advised by Dr. Debra Vidali. This research looks at the resiliency of the Iroquois Three Sisters food system and its impact on the Tuscarora Indian community. The website showcased findings in her research, and includes self produced poetry, photography, resources, quotations and a short video.
“The resiliency of North American Indigenous food groups through forced assimilation and colonization is incredible. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to take research credit to investigate my tribe’s traditional ways of producing food, and produce a website to showcase my findings for both my tribal community and the greater public. It is important that universities take the time to decolonize their ways of thinking about research, because in doing so, they allow for the erased voices of Indigenous peoples to be heard,” says Henry.
“What if we started reporting tragedies in the Mediterranean like we do any others – with names and not numbers? There were forty-seven humans lost in a single shipwreck. This isn’t the story of their shipwreck. It’s the story of them,” says Isabella Alexander (PhD 2016) .