The students of ANT 385/ THEA 389 delivered their mid-semester performance, reflecting on life at Emory.
The students of ANT 385/ THEA 389 delivered their mid-semester performance, reflecting on life at Emory.
We are thrilled to announce that Rashika Verma, a recent Anthropology graduate, won first place in the Lambda Alpha National Honor Society Student Paper Competition for her paper, “Climate Refugees: Redefining Refugee Status and the Implications for Cultural Identities.”
Lambda Alpha is a national honor society recognizing academic excellence in the study of Anthropology, and is open to students who meet Anthropology credit and GPA requirements. Each school chapter is invited to submit one entry to the annual paper competition, and despite many strong submissions to our internal competition, Rashika’s paper stood out. The paper was originally written for her Anthropology of Humanitarianism class, taught by Dr. Aubrey Graham (16PhD and current Interdisciplinary Teaching Fellow at Emory’s Institute for the Liberal Arts).
“This paper is a reflection of my combined interest in climate change and humanitarianism,” says Rashika. “Dr. Graham’s Anthropology of Humanitarianism class was a powerful experience for me because medicine in many ways is a form of humanitarianism, and critically analyzing it’s successes and shortcomings through anthropological theory was eye-opening as I hadn’t really considered that angle before … The idea of climate refugees is still relatively new and I feel that as a society we haven’t had the difficult conversations about what we can/will do about the fact that people will be displaced from their homes because those homes are underwater and completely uninhabitable. Overall, it was a challenging and nuanced topic to explore, but it was fascinating to research and is something I know I’ll be thinking about moving forward in my personal and professional life.”
Rashika graduated from Emory College of Arts and Sciences this spring with a degree in Anthropology and Human Biology, and completed an honors thesis exploring doctors’ perspectives on food insecurity in an urban food desert. She is currently working as a Clinical Assistant at a Neurosurgery practice and plans to attend medical school next year.
At our Honors and Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 27, the Anthropology department recognized 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
A list of all previously completed Anthropology honors theses is available at http://anthropology.emory.edu/home/undergraduate/opportunities/honors.html.
The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce the 2018 student award winners! Undergraduate awards were distributed at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 27. Full award descriptions are included below. We are so proud of our many impressive and engaged students!
Left to right: Becky Lebeaux, Diana Cagliero, Klamath Henry, Aditi Majoe, Amelia Howell
2018 Anthropology Student Awards
Left to Right: Ioulia Fenton, Bisan Salhi, Syndey Silverstein
For an Anthropology senior who has shown significant achievement in their undergraduate career, both academically as well as through extraordinary engagement and/or service relevant to their study in Anthropology.
For an Anthropology junior who shows great promise at this stage in their undergraduate career, both academically as well as through extraordinary engagement and/or service relevant to their study in Anthropology.
Trevor E. Stokol Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research
Funded by multiple donors, the Trevor E. Stokol award honors the life of Trevor Stokol, an Emory anthropology undergraduate who was preparing to enter medical school when he went missing on Mt. Everest in July 2005. The Stokol award is made annually to an Emory undergraduate student with the best senior research project that may include a Senior Honors Thesis. A memorial for Trevor stated: “Trevor Eric Stokol died “living his dream” with camera in hand near Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Tenacious and resilient, strong physically, emotionally and in truth, he lived an impassioned and full life. Trevor was a graduate of RMA and Emory University and was about to start medical school, no doubt to serve the disadvantaged. He lived his 25 years with gusto, knew no stranger and died at peace with himself and the world around him.”
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing
In 1999 The Department of Anthropology announced the establishment of the “Marjorie Shostak Prize” to be awarded each year to an Emory student whose paper reflects original research on some aspect of human life experience. The prize commemorates the life and work of Marjorie Shostak, author of Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1981, republished 2000) and the sequel Return to Nisa (Harvard, 2000). These works were highly praised for the immediacy of the writing, the personal character of the ethnographic encounters, and the complete absence of jargon, without any sacrifice of anthropological accuracy or validity. The presence of the ethnographer as an individual in these writings gave the reader an opportunity to take her perspective and biases into account in evaluating the descriptions and interviews.
The award is bestowed on papers/theses that take a direct, personal approach to ethnography, without sacrificing validity or analysis, in keeping with the spirit of Shostak’s work. In the best submissions, human beings will come alive on the page, giving the reader a strong experience of the culture those people belong to. The writer will also attempt to analyze or interpret the experience, but with a minimum of jargon.
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
This annual award is to recognize graduate students in Anthropology who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching during their time at Emory. One goal of our graduate program is to develop the teaching skills of all doctoral students. This is part of our requirements for the PhD and is actualized through the LGS TATOO program, required teaching assistantships and the teaching roundtables. This award is given based on a student’s record in teaching and contributions to the undergraduate program over the entire span of their career at Emory. The award is funded through an endowment set up by the late Professor George Armelagos – a distinguished scholar, teacher, and mentor. It was his desire that the department recognize graduate students who are exceptional teachers, and that this recognition might help them on the job market.
Congratulations to the winners of the Anthropology Photography contest!
First Prize: Amelia Howell
Amelia is a graduating senior and an Anthropology major. This year, she wrote an honors thesis called, “Booty Hop and the Snake: Race, Gender, and Identity in an Atlanta Strip Club,” for which she also won the Undergraduate Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing. The award winning photograph is called “Everything in Excess.”
Everything in Excess
This photo is of my family’s Great Dane, Yeagar, blocking the flat screen television in our game room. Behind the dog is a wall of photos from family trips all over the world from when we were children. This photo emphasizes an aspect of the culture of wealth in the United States. Everything in this photo is in excess. The size of the dog, the size of the television, and the size of the wall covered in photographs from around the world. The irony of this image is that the excessiveness of the size and wealth in the foreground is contrasted with the images on the wall which display family trips to predominantly less affluent areas of the world in Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, Mexico, and Israel. The wall offers a glimpse of other realities of the world while being displayed among the comfort of an upper middle class family in the U.S. This image speaks to the culture of wealth in the United States where people often display said wealth through conspicuous consumption but also through displaying mementos representing the contrast in economic status of the reality of majority of the world.
Second Prize: Aiman Mustafa
Aiman has recently returned from fieldwork in India for his dissertation, “The Elusive Community: The Making and Unmaking of Muslim Minority Voices in Mumbai, India: An Ethnographic Account.” The second place photo was taken in Mumbai.
Who – The owner and his watch shop What – Waiting for customers When – 24 December 2016 Where – Opposite the bustling CST terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) a World Heritage site and tourist hotspot, Mumbai, India
The picture captures a moment in this watch shop owner’s tiring wait for customers amidst the bustling environs of the World Heritage site. With the availability of cheap mobile phones mostly made in China most people have stopped using watches and clocks to keep time and small businesses such as this one are struggling to stay afloat.
Third Prize: Sarah Whitaker
Sarah is currently conducting fieldwork in the Italian Alps for her dissertation, “Climate Change and Well-being in the Italian Alps.” Her third prize photo similarly displays her interests in climate and human interactions with the environment.
The photo captures a bike in the middle of the 4000 square mile Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest salt flat in the world. The photo suggests the presence and activity of humans in an otherwise empty and seemingly inhospitable landscape. People from nearby towns arrive by bike, foot, or truck to harvest the salt, which they collect into small piles and then transport out of the flats. The Salar is an important international source of salt and the mineral lithium, used to treat bipolar and to make electric car batteries, smartphones, and fertilizers. Bolivian president Evo Morales has promised to develop the extraction of minerals from the flats to meet worldwide demand. While increased extraction would bring more jobs and much needed economic growth to the area around the Salar, local residents worry about the environmental impact and the impact on tourism. The flats are a major tourist destination, a stop on the “gringo trail” through South America. The future of the flats remains uncertain as international, national, and local political, social, and economic interests and opinions continue to clash, some people wanting to push forward, others not wanting the Salar to change. In the meantime, local residents continue to ride their bikes into the flats, harvest its salt and show tourists its beauty, and make a living off a harsh landscape that has remained unchanged for centuries.
People’s Choice: Kaitlin Banfill
Kaitlin is currently conducting fieldwork in China, for her dissertation, “Clans and Classmates: Kinship, Migration, and Education in Southwest China.” Her photo was chosen by those who visited the exhibit and voted for their favorite.
Sichuan Province, China , 35mm black and white film
A Nuosu funeral in Dechang County. In Nuosu culture, funerals are more important than births or weddings, and they bring relatives and community members together. In this photo, women prepare fireworks to guide the funeral procession and the deceased’s soul down the “road of spirits.” This photo is “anthropological” because it shows the relationships between the living and the dead, who continue to live through constant cultivation and reinvention of the community.
Thank you to everybody who participated!
Klamath Henry, a junior anthropology major (B.A.), published a website in the fall of 2017 on her ANT497R research, advised by Dr. Debra Vidali. This research looks at the resiliency of the Iroquois Three Sisters food system and its impact on the Tuscarora Indian community. The website showcased findings in her research, and includes self produced poetry, photography, resources, quotations and a short video.
“The resiliency of North American Indigenous food groups through forced assimilation and colonization is incredible. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to take research credit to investigate my tribe’s traditional ways of producing food, and produce a website to showcase my findings for both my tribal community and the greater public. It is important that universities take the time to decolonize their ways of thinking about research, because in doing so, they allow for the erased voices of Indigenous peoples to be heard,” says Henry.
In Anthropology 385: The Migrant and Refugee Crisis Isabella Alexander combines classroom learning with creation of real-life solutions. Students interacted with people affected by the migrant crisis and created final projects that are aimed at having genuine impact, such as a mentoring program for young refugees.
“To the students, it was a heady experience, steeped in the thrill of identifying a problem and actually doing something about it. For their professor, it was an affirming case study in the power of engaged learning.” Emory News Center