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.”
President Fenves of Emory University recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
Dear members of the Emory community,
On October 12, we will join communities throughout the nation to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day and honor the resilience, history, traditions, and cultures of Indigenous and Native American peoples.
Emory’s recognition includes consideration of the first inhabitants of the land that our campus now calls home — a land whose history can be traced to the Muscogee Creek Nation. As the Muscogee Creek community continues to confront systemic racism, and as our university acknowledges its own difficult histories, we believe it is important to honor those faculty, staff, and students who create vibrant spaces of inclusion on our campus for Native and Indigenous voices. Their work is defining a new legacy at Emory — one that empowers those whose talents and gifts were overlooked and marginalized for generations.
We are proud that, for the first time at Emory, we are formally recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day and acknowledging its significance within our community and beyond.
When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all in-person gatherings this Spring, the Experimental Ethnography at Emory Working Group decided to host a short series of virtual public talks by artists whose work incorporates social inquiry and ethnographic research. The group has been running workshops, showcases, and discussion groups on campus since Spring 2019, with generous support from the Bill & Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. This semester, the group used funds to support artists who had lost income due to Covid-19 cancellations.
On April 10, Chicago-based video and performance artist Cherrie Yu shared recent video works that employ ethnographic methods, collaboration, and literary conventions, such as juxtaposition and translation, to explore the relationships between labor and personhood. On May 1, Atlanta-based designer Carley Rickles spoke about her approach to fieldwork in urban built environments and her concepts of “alternative” and “residual” public space. Over 30 people tuned in to each Zoom talk from places as far as India, Italy, Turkey, and California.
Graduate student Sasha Tycko worked as the organizer and moderator for these two Spring events.
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
The Anthropology department is proud to recognize eleven seniors who successfully defended honors theses, most of them holding defenses remotely and completing their projects from home after the University closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Their projects, the culmination of a year (or more!) of independent research and writing, were completed under the supervision of faculty advisors and committee members from within and outside of Anthropology, with support from faculty honors coordinator Dr. Kristin Phillips. These students were honored in a virtual Anthropology Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 24th. One student, Rachel Kim, graduated from Emory in December, and the others are scheduled to graduate with honors on May 11.
Please see below for a full list of theses, and join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment!
Claire Biffl – Experiences of Aging, Kinship, Death, and Independence in an Independent Living Facility
Advised by Kristin Phillips
Elisabeth Crusey – “Does anybody have ibuprofen?”: An Investigation of Emory Undergraduates’ Over-the-Counter Analgesic Use
Advised by Bisan Salhi (School of Medicine)
Emma Hanlon – Spiritual Community, Sacred Congregation: Ritual, Discourse, and Space in the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Sarena Ho – Father Absence and Young Adult Romantic Relationship Ideals
Advised by Craig Hadley
Jahnvi Jain – Effects of a Brief Breath Focused Mindfulness Meditation Intervention on Heart Rate Variability and Dissociation in Patients with PTSD and Dissociation
Advised by Negar Fani (School of Medicine)
Adama Kamara – The Politics of Empowerment and Black Female Sexuality: Perceptions Through the Lens of Atlanta’s Trafficking Networks
Advised by Bayo Holsey
Nora Keathley – Latinx Women and Labor in the Digital Age: Exploring Childbirth and Medical Authority Through the Use of YouTube
Advised by John Lindo
Rachel Kim – Representation Matters: Changing Portrayals of Asian-Americans in Hollywood Films from 1993-2019
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Riana Peskopos – The Queer Female Medical Narratives
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Ruhika Prasad – Mental Illness and Pregnancy among Women in Mysore, India: Health Provider and Women’s Perspectives
Advised by Joyce Flueckiger (Religion)
Naomi Tesema – Mobile Phone Apps for HIV Prevention Among College-Aged Black Women in Atlanta: Preferences and Prototype
Advised by Rasheeta Chandler (Nursing) and John Lindo
A list of all previously completed Anthropology honors theses is available at
In his interview with the BBC Dr. James Rilling presents his research on hormonal and neural changes men experience during fatherhood, including lower testosterone and higher oxytocin during early fatherhood.
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) designates the 3rd Thursday of February as Anthropology Day, a day to “celebrate what Anthropology is and what it can achieve” while “sharing it with the world around us.” Emory Anthropology students stopped by today to share what they love about Anthropology, which included things like:
“It focuses on concepts I have always thought about but have never been able to articulate. Anthro promotes understanding and acceptance for/of differences!”
“It allows me to apply cultural competence to the social justice issues that I am passionate about.”
“I love anthro because it opens my mind into thinking in new ways and broadens my world view!”
“It connects us to our ROOTS!”
“Because it’s teaching me how to be a more empathetic doctor and human.”
“It provides multi-dimensional perspectives that apply to many disciplines.”
“Anthropology has taught be how to be in the world in a meaningful way.”
We love to see how studying anthropology allows our students to feel more connected to each other and the world, while focusing on a broad range of interests and applications. Whatever our specific goals and inspirations, we all believe in the power of anthropology to help make the world a better place! #AnthroDay
Since 2007, Emory University has partnered in the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist community, to realize their vision to incorporate science into the monastic curriculum. Emory Anthropology Department professor Carol Worthman has spearheaded the neuroscience track from its inception, orchestrating a 6-year curricular development and pilot phase, and then implementing it at the 3 biggest monastic universities in south India. “In December, 2019, we celebrated the successful roll-out of the entire 6-year ETSI curriculum in the monasteries at a gathering with His Holiness, the monastic community, and ETSI leaders in Mundgod, India. We also graduated the first cohort of monastics to complete the 6-year program. These were historic undertakings for the monastic community, and especially for monastic students and the many senior monastics who work to realize the goal of monastic science education and already are productively exploring fresh ideas and insights from these distinctive perspectives.” (Carol Worthman)
The events not only celebrated ETSI milestones, but also inaugurated a new debating hall at one of the big monasteries and, most importantly, marked a 600th anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of a major school of Tibetan Buddhism to which His Holiness belongs. Photos show the interior of the vast new debate hall, celebration of graduating classes, and presentations by Worthman of reflections and the neuroscience books ETSI has produced. Also included is a view of Drepung Loseling prayer hall (the Dalai Lama’s home monastery), where ETSI were held for the first 3 years until a large science center was built. The photo of illuminations at Drepung honoring the anniversary show that monastics really know how to celebrate!