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.
Willen, associate professor at UConn, established the Pandemic Journaling Project along with Katherine Mason, Assistant Professor at Brown University. In addition to giving a voice to people from different areas and backgrounds, this project will create records of how people felt throughout this historic event. In the New York Times article Willen and Mason voice some of their early analysis.
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.”
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.
Most national, mandatory flour fortification standards do not align with international recommendations for iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 levels was published in Food Policy and can be viewed on Science Direct.
“Above all, I’m so grateful for the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Helena Pachón. I’m so excited to see that the results of our work are now available to be shared with others.”
Co-authors are Britt Broedersen, Nancy J. Aburto, Aashima Garg, Mary Serdula, Filiberto Beltrán Velázquez, Eugene C. Wong and Helena Pachón.
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.
What does it mean to produce scholarship through sound? The Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group just published a conversation on Mixtape Scholarshipwith 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
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.