Sarah Kovalaskas joined the Department of Anthropology as a graduate student in 2018 and recently published a paper titled “Comparative analyses of the Pan lineage reveal selection on gene pathways associated with diet and sociality in bonobos” in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior. Second and third authors are Jim Rilling, professor and department chair at Emory’s Department of Anthropology, and John Lindo, assistant professor at Emory’s Department of Anthropology.
“I feel like this paper was a great example of seizing an idea and making use of already existing data in that all the genomes are all publicly available online and we just needed the storage space and computational know-how to carry it out. The idea of ‘self domestication’ is something that I’ve been interested in and thinking about for a while, and I was hoping to work on similar topics for my dissertation. Even though I’m going in a different direction now it was a really nice way for me to build relationships with professors in the department after Adrian Jaeggi left Emory to continue his research at the University of Zurich. It also allowed me to dip my toes into other fields (genomics) and see how I could incorporate those techniques with my own interests and background working in the field with bonobos.”
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 Granta, Necropolitics 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 Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2020 student award winners! Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabel Slingerland, Claire Biffl, Emma Hanlon, Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak, and graduate students Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath. Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Friday, April 24. See below for detailed award descriptions. We are so proud of our many impressive students!
2020 Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Senior Award: Isabel Slingerland
Outstanding Junior Award: Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing:
Claire Biffl for her honors thesis “Experiences of Aging, Kinship, Death, and Independence in an Independent Living Facility”
Emma Hanlon for her honors thesis “Negotiating Spirituality: Ritual, Language, and Space in the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta”
2020 Graduate Student Awards:
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Shreyas Sreenath for his dissertation “Black Spot: An Account of Caste and Discards in 21st Century Bangalore”
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath
Scott Schnur sits down with Dr. Elizabeth Emma Ferry (Brandeis University) to discuss how to creatively teach anthropological theory in graduate school. They discuss how course design can help students better engage with theory in order to reform the discipline and think creatively. Read the publication on the website of the Society for Cultural Anthropology.
Paul Dallaghan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology. His research project entitled “Breath, stress, and health: a biocultural study of hatha yoga” involves a controlled multicultural subject intervention, registered with clinicaltrials.gov, to assess the effects of engaged practice with breath focus on markers of stress, aging, and mental wellbeing. Paul will teach The Anthropology of Yoga this fall semester at Emory.
On March 21st at the Brownwood Park Pavilion, the Department of Anthropology brought archaeology out of the university and into the community as part of the annual Atlanta Science Festival. In “Become an Archaeologist,” children and parents learned about archaeological science, including how to extract DNA, perform chemical residue analysis, and put together artifacts and bones.
Veatch, a graduate student who researches the environmental context of the Late Pleistocene archaeological site Liang Bua in Indonesia, specifically focuses on the rodent remains found in the cave. She remarks on their diversity as a group of mammals helped by the continuity of bones in the cave sequence, which persist over the 190,000-year stretch preserved in the cave.
In this short piece on tasting and speaking with the mother tongue, PhD candidate Shreyas Sreenath explores how organs of social power might inhabit spaces more intimate than we would like to acknowledge. Published in Anthropology news.
At the 2018 American Anthropological Association meeting, graduate student Erik Ringen won the Society for Anthropological Science’s ‘H. Russel Bernard Graduate Student Paper Prize’ for his paper (co-authored with Pavel Duda and Adrian Jaegi) “Daily food sharing in non-industrial societies: effects of subsistence, socioecology, and phylogeny”. Congratulations!
Photo, left to right: Erik Ringen, Stephen Chrisomalis and H. Russell Bernard