Douglas Falen (92C) publishes new book on African Science

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Douglas Falen (C’92) is a cultural anthropologist at nearby Agnes Scott College in Decatur. His new ethnography, African Science: Witchcraft, Vodun, and Healing in Southern Benin (University of Wisconsin Press) examines the ways that Benin’s occult world blends notions of magic, science, and religion. In emphasizing the moral ambivalence of human acts, Beninois people compare African witchcraft to western technology, known as “white people’s witchcraft.” The books explains how “witchcraft”  becomes a universal, all-encompassing term that allows Beninois people to incorporate foreign religions and esoteric traditions, including Hindu mysticism and Freemasonry, into a single category.Falen.AfricanScience.c.jpg

Dr. Justin Pargeter publishes research on prehistoric toolmaking

Dr. Justin Pargeter publishes research on prehistoric toolmaking

In a recent publication in the journal AntiquityJustin Pargeter (a Postdoctoral researcher with Emory University’s Anthropology Department) argues the motivations of prehistoric hunter-gatherers for selecting particular rocks for toolmaking are often explained in too rigidly functional or symbolic terms. By examining the exploitation of crystal quartz at two archaeological sites (Ntloana Tšoana and Sehonghong) in Lesotho, southern Africa, he and his co-author Jamie Hampson (University of Exeter) reveal that stone tool production required a form of engagement unique to crystal quartz’s specific properties (including possibly quartz crystal’s piezoelectric effects). The prefered use of quartz crystals—irrespective of the availability of other rocks for tool production—demonstrates agency and variability in the prehistoric technologies.

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Erik Ringen is awarded H. Russel Bernard Graduate Student Paper Prize

Erik Ringen is awarded H. Russel Bernard Graduate Student Paper Prize

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

Peter Little’s research is spotlighted in the Chronicle

Dr. Little participated in the Happiness and Well-being Project based at Saint Luis University along with over 150 other researchers from 20 nation and spanning multiple fields. The Chronicle Article spotlighted the work done by Dr. Little in collaboration with Workneh Negatu (Agricultural Economics, Addis Ababa University) and Mark Risjord (Philosophy, Emory University), which focused on life satisfaction and well-being in northern Kenya and Ethiopia.

 

 

 

Shreyas Sreenath reflects on his fieldwork in a piece titled “Sharing, tasting, and wasting food in our mother tongue”

Shreyas Sreenath reflects on his fieldwork in a piece titled “Sharing, tasting, and wasting food in our mother tongue”

His contribution published on the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association explores the role our mother tongues play in wasting and sharing food. It reflects on morning municipal sweeping routes and daily garbage hauls in Bangalore, India, occasions when residents interact with sanitation workers by discarding food and sharing leftovers.

“How do our tongues–organs of speech and taste–weave charity into promiscuous expenditure? How might they archive the embodiment and routinization of power?”

Shreyas Sreenath is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology.

Tsering Bum publishes article on “Translating Ecological Migration Policy”

Tsering Bum, graduate student in the Department of Anthropology, publishes his article on “Translating Ecological Migration Policy”.

“This paper analyzes the transmission of China’s environmental policies from the central government down to villages and townships for implementation. It examines the specific ways through which policies are translated from Chinese to other ethnic languages, and communicated to the members of concerned communities. Employing anthropology of policy as an analytical framework, the paper suggests that policies take social life of their own as they are translated into different languages and passed down for implementation through the state bureaucratic apparatus.” Tsering Bum, Emory University

Jessica Thompson co-authors article in “Trends in Ecology and Evolution”

While it has long been believed that humans evolved from one population in Africa, genetic evidence is pointing towards several interlinked groups in Africa instead. Dr. Jessica Thompson collaborated in an article for the Journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution along with 22 other authors. eScienceCommons interviewed Dr. Thompson about her research.