Dinah Hannaford (PhD, 2014), Assistant Professor of International Studies at Texas A&M University, has two major accomplishments coming up this year. Her first book, Marriage Without Borders: Transnational Spouses in Neoliberal Senegal, will be published in July, and she will be embarking on a Humboldt Fellowship in Germany in the Fall.
Dr. Hannaford’s book, Marriage Without Borders, is based on ten years of ethnographic research in Senegal and Europe. She examines the dynamics of transnational marriages: Senegalese men living in Europe who are married to Senegalese women back home. Her ethnographic study of these marital relationships shows how they reshape kinship, Islamic piety, and family care. Hannaford argues that “neoliberal globalization and its imperative for mobility extend deep into the family and the heart and stretch relationships across borders.” The book is a revised version of the dissertation research that she conducted while at Emory.
Dr. Hannaford has also been awarded the Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the 2017-18 academic year. She will be hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and will work on a new research project about international development, domestic work, and return migration. We are excited to see her new contribution to these topics!
Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz (Emory Anthropology) and Dr. Aaron Stutz (Emory Anthropology at Oxford), along with Chantel White (Penn Museum) and a team of graduate and undergraduate students are preparing for their second round of excavations at the Mughr el-Hamamah site in Jordan. Dr. Nilsson Stutz talks about the well-preserved paleolithic plant remains at the site and describes the possibilities:
“We hope that the careful recovery of these unique remains and the following analysis of them will allow us to better understand how palaeolithic hunters and gatherers used plants for food, shelter and tool making during the period that coincides with the replacement of neanderthals by Anatomically Modern Humans in Western Eurasia. This is a very rare site, and we really think our work will be able to fill in some gaps in our understanding of palaeolithic hunter gatherer ecology, subsistence, and the demographic changes at this crucial point in human evolution.”
Emory’s eScience Commons reported on Dr. James Rilling’s research at the Laboratory for Darwinian Neuroscience. In order to study the neurological reasons for differing care-giving behaviors, Dr. Rilling administered either oxytocin or a placebo to fathers of toddlers. When shown photos of their child, those fathers who had received the oxytocin showed increased neural activity in areas of the brain that are associated with reward and empathy.
Ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave (BS, Emory Anthropology) and her team identified a refined extract of the Brazilian Peppertree berry that inhibits Quorum sensing in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In effect, this extract blocks the ability of MSRA to communicate thus preventing the production of toxins. The extract does not kill MRSA, rather it disarms the infection providing more time for other treatments and the immune system to fight off an infection. This discovery could lead to sweeping consequences for the treatment of so-called super bugs.
Clara Alfsdotter is a PhD student at Linneaus University in Sweden and an archeologist at the Bohusläns County Museum in Uddevalla.
She is working on the excavation site of Sandby Borg, a ring fort on the Baltic island of Öland in Sweden. Excavation is still in the early stages, but fascinating puzzles are already emerging. It seems that the inhabitants were brutally killed while many valuables such as gold, roman artifacts, and animals were left behind and were not looted afterwards.
“It’s intriguing that no females have been found yet,” says Alfsdotter. This absence ties into the questions of how and why this happened and makes the experts wonder what happened since. On top of these mysteries this site is also an exceptional and rare record of the Migration period life inside a ring fort – since the fort was abandoned after the assault, everything has just been left to decay inside the houses and on the streets after that day. Extraordinary details of the everyday life are found. For example, next to one house hearth, the skeletal remains of half a herring was discovered. Was someone brutally interrupted when preparing the food that day 1500 years ago?
Alfsdotter’s focus for this trip is research on learning and developing methodologies and theories for tracing the original position of the human bodies and why they came to rest in the way they did. What was the original position of the corpse and why? Can the acts of the perpetrators and victims be traced? Alfsdotter is at Emory University visiting Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz, who has a long history of archaeothanatological research into how skeletal remains have been affected by taphonomic processes and mortuary circumstances.
He is the founding director Emory’s Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) program, which combines cross-disciplinary academic study with field experience in global settings. In this role, he has expanded Emory’s network of strategic partnerships with leading international development organizations, including CARE, Oxfam, and Heifer International, as well as federal agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development. Last summer the program sent students abroad for 10-week field practicums with 21 organizations in 25 countries.