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Summer 2019 Newsletter from Anthropology

June 12, 2019

Dear Alumni and Friends,

We had a busy 2018-19 academic year in the Department of Anthropology, continuing to serve our community, break new ground in research, and prepare students for life after college.  

Our Graduate Students

Nine students successfully defended their PhD dissertations and graduated, going on to jobs and post-doctoral fellowships. Many of our continuing graduate students were awarded prestigious competitive fellowships, including the Interdisciplinary Dissertation Fellowship, the Hella Mears Fellowship, the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) Fellowship, and the Wadsworth International Fellowship awarded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Eighteen of our undergraduate majors were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor for students graduating in the top 10% of their class.

Our Undergraduate Students

Our undergraduate club, led this year by Kate Tegart has continued to impress us with their energy and activity. The students are active all year hosting events for undergraduates and organizing a spring conference. This year the students celebrated the 40th year of the undergraduate conference, organizing a full day of presentations on the topic of the Anthropology of Science Fiction. In addition to three keynote speakers, four students presented papers based on original research. Dana Queen, whose undergraduate experiences are featured in this newsletter, presented an intriguing paper based on her ethnographic analysis of University of Minnesota students’ experiences at the Weismann and Bell museums.

Field Schools

We continue to run archaeological field schools to provide students from the University of Minnesota and elsewhere the opportunity to work with faculty and conduct original archaeological field research in North America, Kenya, and Peru. For many students these unique opportunities are also their first international experience. In this newsletter you can read about the field school Rebecca Bria is running in Peru.

Our Faculty

Our faculty actively publish, sharing their findings from research from across the globe, including Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States. Over the course of a career, our faculty may stretch in new directions. Gloria Raheja, internationally known for her deeply insightful work in India, for example, is completing a new US-based project examining music in Appalachian coal mining communities.

Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture

Our lectures and colloquia enrich the intellectual community in the department. In April, with continued support from Daphne Berdahl’s family and friends, we hosted Professor Lisa Stevenson from McGill University. Professor Stevenson delivered the 11th annual Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture, illuminating the theoretical and methodological challenges in grappling with the experiences of Canadian Inuit coping with separation and dislocation in the face of tuberculosis.

We look forward to holding the 12th annual Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture as well as the second Gudeman Lecture which will be given by Professor Chris Hann on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Warm regards,

Karen-Sue Taussig
Department Chair