Department of Anthropology

Welcome 2014 Graduate Students

The first day of autumn brought a new chohort of graduate students to the Social Sciences Quad on Tuesday morning for the Division's 2014 Welcome Breakfast. Dean Nirenberg delivered a short address during which he offered context and some wisdom as they begin this transformative period of their lives. He reminded them, "We are known as the teacher of teachers but we are also the leader of leaders."

Breakfast was followed by a march where the students participated in a convocation on the main Quad. Classes begin Friday, September 29th. 

Negotiating the Politics of Construction in Luanda, Angola

If the government would agree to move them to Kilamba (a new Chinese-built satellite city for the middle class), Miguel[1] explained that I would come back to the neighbourhood to find everyone had already voluntarily relocated. He and others were facing forced removal to a poorly built set of matchbox houses in Zango, a resettlement area on the edge of Luanda province. Having launched a protest against the removal, they were waiting for what the response to their demands would be.

Social Conditioning: The Politics of Transracial Adoption and White Care for Black Hair

I am writing a dissertation on private agency adoption in Chicago, which involves the circulation of predominantly black infants and children from the South and West sides of the city (as well as international “sending countries” such as Haiti and Liberia) to primarily white adoptive families.

Asymmetries in Semantics and Ontology: When Doctors Speak to Patients

Patients often have different understandings of medical practice from those of their healthcare providers. Such asymmetries can have significant implications for decision-making. How, then, do patients manage to give what counts as ‘informed consent’ to participate in medical treatment and research? This is not meant as a rhetorical question. Communication does take place in spite of the incomplete sharedness of concepts. In fact, it must take place; the stakes for both parties can be very high.

Tradition and Community During the Easter Service at St. Giragos Armenian Church, Diyarbakır

Almost immediately after our group of three deacons and a priest were picked up from the airport in Diyarbakır in the southeast of Turkey, the conversation turned to preparations for the second Easter celebration at the recently renovated St. Giragos Armenian Church in almost thirty years. Der Hayr (the Armenian term for a married priest) turned to the driver and asked, “Were you able to make choreg?” Choreg is an Armenian sweet pastry made especially for Easter.

Institutionalizing Incorporation: Foodways, Sectarian Pluralism, and Royal Authority at the Capital Āśramas of Angkor, Cambodia

Through the generous support of a Division of the Social Sciences Short-Term Research Grant, I was able to successfully complete the last phase of my dissertation fieldwork at archaeological sites in northwestern Cambodia.  Centered in the ancient royal capital of Angkor, my research consists in the use of archaeological and paleoethnobotanical analyses to investigate the dynamics of religious institutionalization and the politics of kingly patronage through the medium of foodways at royal hermitages, or āśramas, during the incipient phase of the Khmer Empire dating to the late 9th

Mindfulness and Happiness in America

During the past twenty years, there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the topic of “happiness” in the form of research on what is called “subjective well-being” (or SWB for short). Not only has the turn of the century seen the development of hedonomics, positive psychology and the neuroscience of happiness, but it has also witnessed the emergence of various statistical measures of well-being, or “gross national happiness” indices as they are also called.

NSF Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines. It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science. 

NSF Science of Organizations (SoO)

SoO funds research that advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form and operate. Successful SoO research proposals use scientific methods to develop and refine theories, to empirically test theories and frameworks, and to develop new measures and methods. Funded research is aimed at yielding generalizable insights that are of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker and research communities.

SoO welcomes any and all rigorous, scientific approaches that illuminate aspects of organizations as systems of coordination, management and governance.