Listen to Dr. Marcela Benítez (@mebenitez85) talk about social comparisons, cooperation, and cognition in nonhuman primates in Episode 5 of The Animal Behavior Podcast. In this episode, host Matthew speaks with Dr. Marcela Benítez, an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology at Emory University and co-director of the Capuchinos de Taboga research project, on her research taking comparative cognition work from the lab to the wild, the overlap between psychology and anthropology, as well as her commitment to make primate fieldwork more accessible for undergraduates.
Goodrich C. White Professor Emerita Peggy Barlett was recently honored during the Emory Office of Sustainability Initiative’s Virtual Earth Day Celebration with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Prof. Barlett has served on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Emory since 1976. In her tribute to Prof. Barlett, who retired in Summer 2020, Prof. Bobbi Patterson highlighted Prof. Barlett’s many contributions to Emory’s national leadership in campus sustainability, her service to students, and her numerous academic accomplishments.
From Professor Barlett’s innumerable contributions to the field and practice of sustainable food, her ignition of long-term commitments to sustainability among Emory faculty through her creation of the Piedmont Project, and her path-breaking leadership on behalf of women faculty at Emory, her impact has been immeasurable.
At the same event, Anthropology staff Eva Stotz was named Outstanding Sustainability Representative. Prof. Bobbi Patterson (Religion) and Prof. Eloise Carter (Biology – Oxford) were also honored with Sustainability Lifetime Achievement Awards. Videos of the event are available online.
Carol Worthman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emerita of the Department of Anthropology, has received the 2021 Society for Psychological Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award. The award “honors career-long contributions to psychological anthropology that have substantially influenced the field and its development. The award seeks to recognize the work of individuals whose sustained involvement in psychological anthropology has had a major impact on research directions, on the wider visibility and relevance of the field, and on the growth of a community of scholarship addressing issues of culture and psychology.“
Professor Worthman integrates anthropology, human development, and neuroscience to investigate the bases of differential well-being with a particular focus on adolescent and global mental health. She has conducted collaborative biocultural and biosocial research in thirteen countries, including Kenya, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and South Africa, as well as in rural, urban, and semi-urban areas of the United States.
Loneliness has been increasingly recognized as a public health issue rather than merely an individual psychological issue, as the appointment of the UK’s very first Minister of Loneliness in 2018 shows. In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our need for social connection. Technology has allowed many of us to connect even when we are physically remote. Our need to connect with others is the very thing that creates the potential for loneliness. For this reason, loneliness should not be pathologized as a disorder, but rather seen as a natural expression of what it means to be a social being, born into and existing within a society. This does not mean that loneliness is experienced in the same way everywhere. As the papers in this special issue, “toward an anthropology of loneliness” amply illustrate, culture shapes expectations, experiences and expressions of loneliness.
Following this publication from 2020 is the Podcast on loneliness and the special issue Toward an Anthropology of Loneliness (Ozawa-de Silva and Parsons, 2020), Transcultural Psychiatry Podcast, 22,February.
While there has been a lot of research about how motherhood affects women, Dr. Rilling has been working to fill the gap by researching the effects of fatherhood on men. In the article he explains the effects of testosterone on the behavior of avian, primate, and human fathers, as well as his research on the effect of fatherhood on testosterone levels in men.
Projects of the Ancient DNA Lab include the analysis of the DNA of indigenous people, which have historically received less attention than people of European ancestry. Dr. Lindo does this work in cooperation with local indigenous people, a departure from traditional archaeological procedures.
Rosseirys “Ro” De La Rosa, an undergraduate student and member of the lab, is working on a project involving the remains of indigenous people from Uruguay, the Charrúa. “Culture matters,” De La Rosa says. “Leaning about your own culture gives you a sense of unity and connection that you can pass down to others.”
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).
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.
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.