At our Honors and Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 27, the Anthropology department recognized our six Anthropology undergraduate students who successfully defended honors theses this year. These students are scheduled to graduate with honors on May 14. Please join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment!
2018 Honors Students
Soukaina Akdim – Tattooed Bodies: Embodying and Expressing Identity
Advised by Liv Nilsson Stutz
Gordon Hong – From the Horn of Africa to Clarkston, Georgia: Subjective Well-Being of East African Immigrants and Refugees
Advised by Peter Little
Amelia Howell – Booty Hop and the Snake: Race, Gender, and Identity in an Atlanta Strip Club
Advised by Liv Nilsson Stutz
Sharon Hsieh – Treatment Adherence Patterns in Rural Georgian Veterans with Sleep Apnea: An Anthropological Approach
Advised by Carol Worthman
Rebecca Lebeaux – 100 Years Later: Modeling Why a Modern-Day Influenza Pandemic Would Still Disproportionately Affect Low and Middle-Income Countries
Advised by Craig Hadley
Rashika Verma – Just What the Doctor Ordered? Exploring Doctors’ Perspectives on Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes in an Urban Georgia Food Desert
Advised by Mel Konner
What does the research-to-stage process look like? And why does it matter? Last week the students in Prof. Debra Vidali’s “Anthropology & Performance” class presented a dynamic showcase of ethnographic theater projects, based on original research. Students transformed over 100 hours of research interviews and extensive participant-observation research into verbatim documentary theater performances that examined issues of well-being, diversity, belonging, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and birth control. The vivid portrayals brought to light issues and voices that are less well understood and represented, and sparked a lively audience discussion about future applications and interventions.
Graduate student Andrea Rissing publishes article in Anthropology News describing the approach to her research on Iowa farms, which includes letting the farmers contribute questions they feel are worth asking.
“I always found that farmers had insightful opinions on what questions merited investigation. People know what is important in their own lives, and creating space for them to flip the interview made for more interesting, dynamic research.”
“What do giant rats and tiny ‘Hobbits’ have in common? They both lived on a tiny island in Indonesia and form an important piece of the puzzle for uncovering what it means to be human.”
This is the focus of Grace Veatch’s dissertation research, as she analyzes thousands of tiny and giant sized rat bones that were recovered in a cave site along with a human ancestor named Homo floresiensis.
“I hope to understand how these ‘Hobbit’s’ incorporated small mammals into their diet, and how this might compare to how modern humans also use this vital resource on an island depauperate of large game. Check out my research showcased in an online article through Sapiens.org for more information about this exciting research happening here in the Anthropology Department at Emory University.”
Andrea Rissing (PhD candidate) won the 2017 Robert M. Netting Award, a graduate student paper prize awarded by the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association. The award recognizes original research related to agrarian systems from a holistic, social-scientific perspective. It provides a cash award of $750 and a consultation with the editors of the journal Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment with the goal of revising the paper for publication.
Her paper, “‘Profitability’ vs. ‘Making it’: The Agrarian Realms of Market and Community,” argues that the success of beginning farmers depends on more than just profitability. Drawing on her ethnographic fieldwork with farmers in Iowa, she shows how “making it” in farming within the first five years is contingent upon economic and social factors in the market realm and the community realm.
Congratulations to Andrea!
[Photo credit: Andrea Rissing. Assorted organic produce at the Mason City farmers market, Mason City, Iowa.]
Gabriela Sheets receives the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Dissertation Award for her 2017 dissertation on “The Developmental Ecology of the Infant Microbiome”.
The Committee describes Sheets’ work as “novel meshing of anthropology and biology to explore an emerging area of general interest,” and thought it was likely to “make important contributions well beyond the medical anthropology community.” One member called it an “exemplar in where science should go.”
“Recognition begs reflection, and reflection begs gratitude. The beast that this dissertation was to become invited me on a marvelous journey through the lives, stories and biologies of many Salvadoran families, for which I am forever grateful. Before my observing eye, life spilled out. She sometimes clumsily, but always excitedly, tripped over herself to whisper her secrets and to weave her tales through the human body. Even under and around the long shadows of death where meaning was mute, her whispers sounded. Thank you Emory for the opportunity to research questions that excite me, always supported by frameworks rooted in our anthropological and biological heritage. I hope to make even a small difference with the tools and drive that you provided for me.” Gabriela Sheets
Greetings from Jordan where Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology) and Dr. Aaron Stutz (Associate Professor in Anthropology at Oxford College) are excavating at the cave site Mughr el-Hamamah, where they located archaeological contexts from the early upper Palaeolithic in 2010. This year they return to the cave to finish the excavations. In addition to excavating lithics and animal remains, their work this season aims at recovering the remains of plants (in the form of charcoal, seeds, nuts, etc) which will help them reconstruct the paleoenvironment and to better understand how palaeolithic hunters and gatherers used resources in the landscape. To help them they are joined by archaeobotanist Dr. Chantel White of the University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate assistant Fabian Toro. They are also benefiting from the invaluable help of John Murray (incoming PhD student at Arizona State University), Emma Hanlon, Neharika Penmetcha, Hazel Sima, and José Amador (undergraduate students at Oxford College and Emory College).