Prof. Alexia Smith Honored for her Work With Students

May 8, 2022

Alexia receiving her award
Alexia Smith (right) receives the award from Honors Program Director Jennifer Lease Butts (left)

We are very proud to announce that Prof Alexia Smith has been awarded the Honors Faculty Member of the Year Award by UConn’s Honors Program. She  is pictured receiving her award from Honors Program Director Jennifer Lease Butts at the Honors Medal Ceremony. The award is given to a faculty member who “has made outstanding contributions to the Honors Program and has provided exceptional educational experiences to Honors students”.

Rebecca Kraus Finishes BA Thesis

Rebecca and her advisor
Rebecca Kraus (right) and advisor Christian Tryon (left)

Congratulations to graduating senior Rebecca Kraus who recently completed her Anthropology honors thesis (advisor: Christian Tryon, left) “Obsidian and Ostrich Eggshell: An Archaeological Study of Social Technologies from Mumba Rockshelter, Tanzania during the Upper Pleistocene and Holocene” and will begin her research towards a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in the Fall.

Urvi Kaul Receives NSF Fellowship

Picture of four fellowship recipients
Urvi Kaul on the far left. Photo Credit: UConn Photo

We are delighted to announce that graduate student Uriv Kaul (far left) has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship! Urvi, a student of Deborah Bolnick’s, will focus on ” contemporary human population genetics and exploring the impact of politics on human population structures” in her dissertation research. Congratulations to Urvi!

Archaeological Society of Connecticut Meeting

April 19, 2022

On May 7th the Archaeological Society of Connecticut is having their in-person Spring meeting at the Wood Memorial Library in Windsor.  The event will host a number of excellent speakers and we encourage everyone to attend! Check out the full schedule here.

Sarah Willen and Colleagues awarded NSF Grant

February 7, 2022

Congratulations to Sarah Willen and her colleagues at Brown University on being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to address the impact of COVID-19 on first-generation college students and their families in the U.S. as part of their impactful Pandemic Journaling Project.

The new study is led by Dr. Katherine A. Mason (Brown University) with Dr. Andrea Flores (Brown University), and Dr. Sarah Willen (UConn) as Co-Principal Investigators. The study abstract, which is posted on the NSF website, reads as follows:

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Educational and Career Outcomes of First-Generation College Students and their Families

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted the education of first-generation college students—those whose parents did not complete a college degree. These students and their parents are often low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, and/or of an immigrant background. Compared to other families, they have fewer resources to absorb the impact of the educational and social crises stemming from the pandemic, but also have more at stake in completing a college degree. In families of first-generation college students, parents and children strive together for individual and collective success based on the belief that higher education will advance the family’s economic mobility, improve their social status, and help them fulfill their obligations to each other. This research examines how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the educational and life goals of first-generation college student families and the actions taken in support of these goals. The project findings, to be shared in public-facing documents and web-based formats including a public archive, informs university supports and social services for vulnerable learners and families. This project is jointly funded by Cultural Anthropology and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

The project hypothesizes that the Covid-19 pandemic has led first-generation college students and their families to prioritize caretaking actions aimed at immediate practical needs over the longer- term goals of better lives enabled by education. This hypothesis will be investigated through three years of data collection and analysis. Sixty parent-student pairs will each participate in: 1) two years of monthly journaling on the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) platform, created by two of the PIs in May 2020; 2) two one-on-one interviews with researchers; and 3) two interviews conducted between parent and student. These varied methods will capture families’ shifting thinking, goals, and actions in relation to education and well-being. Understanding these perspectives and choices will advance theories of how families seek to create meaningful lives through both education and caregiving in the wake of crisis.

 

New Book

February 1, 2022

Hot off the presses, a new book co-edited by Françoise Dussart.

Contemporary Indigenous Cosmologies and Pragmatics. University of Alberta Press, 2022

Edited by Françoise Dussart and Sylvie Poirier

In this timely collection, the authors examine Indigenous peoples’ negotiations with different cosmologies in a globalized world. Dussart and Poirier outline a sophisticated theory of change that accounts for the complexity of Indigenous peoples’ engagement with Christianity and other cosmologies, their own colonial experiences, as well as their ongoing relationships to place and kin. The contributors offer fine-grained ethnographic studies that highlight the complex and pragmatic ways in which Indigenous peoples enact their cosmologies and articulate their identity as forms of affirmation. This collection is a major contribution to the anthropology of religion, religious studies, and Indigenous studies worldwide.

Contributors: Anne-Marie Colpron, Robert R. Crépeau, Françoise Dussart, Ingrid Hall, Laurent Jérôme, Frédéric Laugrand, C. James MacKenzie, Caroline Nepton Hotte, Ksenia Pimenova, Sylvie Poirier, Kathryn Rountree, Antonella Tassinari, Petronella Vaarzon-Morel

For more information click here.

Archaeological Site in CT Older than 10,000 Years!

January 18, 2022

Check out this excellent article on the Brian D. Jones site in Avon, CT, dated to 12,5000 years old, and read what some of our UConn Anthropology Alumni working on the site have to say. The CT Insider article can be found here.

Exciting Courses On Offer

January 14, 2022

We have a host of exciting courses on offer for 2022, including some new ones;

ANTH 3098 – The Archaeology of Resistance – explores how radical challenges to power structures are made through the perspectives, experiences, and material practices of activists, revolutionaries, and subaltern insurgent movements. Click here for more information.

ANTH 3095 – Technology and Society: Archaeological Perspectives – examines the concept of technology and in archaeological and more recent contexts, looking at relationships between ‘technology’ and ‘nature, and some of the ways that technologies are incorporated into our daily rituals, practice, and identity. Click here for more information.

ANTH 3720 – Archaeological and Forensic Science Lab Methods – Four different modules taking place over four different weekends. Each module is worth one credit, and you can take up to three. Module 1 is on R-statistics, module 2 is on Botany and Microscopy, module 3 is on Stable Isotopes, and module 4 is on Arch GIS. Click here for more information.

 

Medical Anthropology Conference Recording Available

December 14, 2021

On May 17 2021 Françoise Dussart co-organized, alongside Sohyun Park, an interdisciplinary conference entitled Design and Research for Healthy Communities and Healthcare Facilities. The record of this conference is still available and will be until next year, and can be found here.