Anthropology Department News 2013

Anthropology Department News 2013


Students present research at Women's Consortium Conference

Anthropology Undergraduate Research

Anthropology students in Faith Warner’s Methods in Cultural Anthropology course presented original ethnographic research at the 2013 PASSHE Women's Consortium Conference at Mansfield University this past fall semester. The theme of this year’s conference was “Women as Heroes." #CollaborativeLearning

  • Katelyn Shoemaker presented the poster "Women and Politics in the United States" based on research addressing American college student attitudes towards women political leaders, and in particular, the possibility of woman president of the United States.
  • Laurel Downs presented "Women and Fracking in Pennsylvania: Risks, Perception, and Power," revealing data that demonstrates how women and men differ in their attitudes relating to energy use and the environment in terms of risk, perception and power, with an emphasis on differences of opinion on fracking, climate change, and conservation.
  • Michelle Mattar presented "The Future of Women Who Define Our Past" based on an investigation of the gender distribution among today’s archaeologists and an exploration of the reasons for the gender gap in this subfield of anthropology.
    • Students present research at PASSHE STEM Conference

      PASSHE STEM Conference

      A group of BU students were among the select students who presented research at the first-ever PASSHE Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Conference, held this year at Slippery Rock University. The inaugural conference is a product of the Council on Undergraduate Research and PASSHE Workshops on undergraduate research in state systems and consortia. The workshops were funded by the National Science Foundation to bring faculty together and promote undergraduate research and scholarship by PASSHE students.

      Anthropology majors Michelle Mattar, Jared McAlexander and Katelyn Shoemaker, along with Renee Risalti, a biological and allied health sciences major, participated in this initiative by networking with students and faculty from all 14 PASSHE universities. Students participated in a student presentation competition. Risalti was honored with a Third Place Award for her poster, “Integrative Responses to Heat Stress in Lubriculus variegatus.” #CollaborativeLearning

      Anthropology welcome new faculty member

      Fethi Keles

      BU’s Department of Anthropology welcomes Fethi Keles from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University for the 2013-14 academic year. Fethi discovered his passion for anthropology through various influences and experiences over the course his undergraduate and graduate training. His formal education began in translation and interpreting in his native Turkey, and continued with either degrees in or substantial exposure to history, political science, international relations, and sociology. Fethi kept looking for a disciplinary home that includes a concern for “the human element” by default and combines it with scientific rigor. Shortly after he began his graduate studies in an interdisciplinary program, he ended up taking various anthropology courses and was instantly drawn to them, finally finding that “human touch” that he had been seeking. He then transferred to the Anthropology Department at the Maxwell School. Fethi was particularly drawn to the personable aspects of culture, language, and ethnography, fundamentals which he believes bridges the humanities and the sciences. His switch to anthropology generated a full-circle when he noticed that anthropological practice was a form of translation. In his own words, “…he found a home in this discipline.”

      Fethi is particularly interested in the anthropology of displacement, refugee studies, peace and conflict, and the study of memory as a social phenomenon. His doctoral research involved an ethnographic study of Bosnian immigrant communities in the Central New York region. His topical interests have been broad and varied. Fethi presented papers on globalization, immigrant religious practices, and displacement and adaptation. He published journal articles, encyclopedic entries, brief commentaries and columns on refugee resettlement in the U.S., ethnic and forced migration and refugees in the 20th century, the relevance of critical anthropology to global phenomena, conflict analysis, war in Former Yugoslavia, and modernization theory. As a member of the inaugural cohort of online columnists for the Anthropology News, he writes a monthly column seeking to enhance the visibility of refugee and immigrant issues to scholarly and practitioner audiences. He is currently the Chair-elect of the Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (CORI) under the Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Fethi comes to Bloomsburg with nearly fifteen years of teaching experience, including his time teaching English in his native country and the courses he taught at Syracuse University, Colgate University and Cazenovia College.

      A hands-on exploration of the Northern Great Basin

      Archaeological Field School

      This summer I attended the University of Oregon archaeological field school, directed by Patrick O’Grady and Dennis Jenkins of the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. This six-week program was part of the Northern Great Basin Prehistory Project, an ongoing archaeological field school that focus’s its research within the Northern Great Basin area.

      The site we excavated during the 2013 summer field season was Rim Rock Draw Rockshelter, located outside the town of Riley, Oregon. The field school consisted of approximately 25 students from all over the country, and was also partnered with a geoarchaeology field school of eight students. My experience at Rim Rock Draw Rockshelter is one that I will never forget.

          — Michelle Mattar, anthropology major

      Interns teach archaeology to local children during summer camp program

      Quest Anthropology Camp

      Elementary and middle school students recently learned how to do archaeology and enjoyed outdoor adventure, combining outdoor adventure with archaeology, through the annual Quest Anthropology Camp — BU’s collaborative summer camp experience.

      The camp, coordinated by anthropology faculty member Susan Dauria, Ph.D., anthropology student- interns (Shannon Sursely, Shelly Fought and James Nuss) and local high school assistance (Quest LITs) taught campers how to do archaeological fieldwork, cultural resource management and anthropological analysis through hands-on experience.

      In partnership with Quest, the camp also featured several outdoor activities. Among the artifacts found included several lithic cores, arrowheads (lithic biface tools) and many flakes left from someone making stone tools thousands of years ago. Photo below: Luke, 8 years old, and Coen , 8 years old hold an arrowhead and sinkerey found.

      Students awarded URSCA grant

      URSCA

      Shannon Sursely and Shelly Fought created a summer field-school internship-project with Susan R. Dauria, Ph.D. They presented the results of their summer project at the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Award Final Presentations on Aug. 9 in Kehr Union.

      They were among 26 students who awarded URSCA grants from the Sciences and Liberal Arts.

      Alumna awarded Fulbright to study in Brazil

      Liesl Driver says that the GIE program fueled her desire to travel and live abroad. In researching options, she came across the Fulbright ETA program; it sounded like the perfect fit. The program is designed for individuals who have less than two years of previous teaching experience and are looking to share their culture and language abroad. Participants in the program teach for 20-25 hours per week, and use the rest of their time to conduct research in the local community. In mid-June, she was awarded the Fulbright ETA program in Brazil. While all details are not yet finalized, Driver does know that she will be assigned to a location somewhere in Brazil. “I’m not worried about the placement,” Driver says. “I’m just so thrilled to get this opportunity!”

      Liesl Driver

      She departs in March 2014 for a nine-month stay. She’ll work as a language assistant in a local university, and her research will focus on assisting local, homegrown businesses and artisans with English language skills. As an added perk, she’ll be there for the 2014 World Cup, and will get to experience all that excitement and energy. “I feel that with the boom of tourists going to Brazil [for the World Cup], my research will serve as a valuable asset and ensure that local communities can benefit,” Driver says.

      Driver’s path to the Fulbright weaved through Mexico and Spain, and is rooted in indigenous languages. She has always had a passion for languages and cultures. While attending Bloomsburg University, she studied abroad in Spain for five weeks, and in Mexico for six months. In Mexico, she learned the basics of Nahuatl, an indigenous language. Her lessons in Nahuatl piqued her interest in studying indigenous cultures and languages.

      After graduating from Bloomsburg in 2010 with a double major in Anthropology and Spanish and a double minor in Latin American Studies and Ethnic Studies in the U.S., Driver obtained a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship through San Diego State University to study the indigenous language Zapotec. For six weeks, she moved to Mexico to live and study in an indigenous community in Juchitan, Oaxaca. Zapotec is only spoken in certain areas of Mexico, and there are various dialects within the language. But for Driver, it illustrated the influence that language has on culture.

      After finishing her studies in Juchitan, Driver moved to Michoacan, Mexico, where she taught English for six months to second-graders at a private bilingual school in a small town. After that, she moved to West Chester, Pa., and started looking at graduate programs. “I was not positive about what I wanted to study until I found the GIE program at Drexel,” Driver says. “It sounded like the perfect way to combine my passion for languages, culture, education and travel.”

      She’s now in her fifth quarter of the GIE program. She says that her experiences with indigenous cultures in Mexico have really shaped her research interests. Through the Fulbright ETA in Brazil, she’ll be able to further explore those interests while contributing to the local community. “I’m really looking forward to going to Brazil and learning another language,” Driver says. “I’m excited for the challenge.”

      Anthropology honors graduates, new Lambda Alpha members

      Anthropology Awards

      Along with celebrating student and faculty accomplishments over the past academic year, BU’s Department of Anthropology honored its 16 graduating seniors and celebrated the induction of 20 new members to the Lambda Alpha National Honor Society's Zeta Chapter of Pennsylvania.

      Graduating Seniors — Tristan Adrian, Sarah Blackwell, Sarah Gray, Frank Hickman, Elizabeth Kinder, Kayla Maciorkoski, Jimmy Muwombi, Samantha Nowka, Natalie Wagner, John Barrett, Janelle Derr, Shelly Fought, Kahlil Little, Krysta Shaffer, Katelyn McMichael and Kristin Stauffer.

      Lambda Alpha Inductees — Gabrielle A. Ferrara, Teresa M. Robbins, Rachel Lillian Harris, Andrew Ostrowsky, Matthew Vincent Kenny, Katelyn Shoemaker, Jared McAlexander, Amanda Shott, Emily R. Prisuta, Amber M. Weaver, Shayna Lee Stella, Tamara Sellers, Shannon Faye Sursely, Chelsea Meagan Myers, Gabrielle Vielhauer, Laurel K. Downs, Katrina S. Taylor, Michelle Mattar, Lindsay C. George and Gessica Barry.

      Anthropology majors present at PASSHE Conference

      PASSHE Undergraduate Anthropology Research ConferenceFaith Warner, associate professor of anthroplogy, and Deeanne Wymer, professor of anthropology, mentored 15 students who presented research at the 28th Annual PASSHE Undergraduate Anthropology Research Conference, April 28 to 29, at Kutztown University on topics ranging from Ohio Hopewell archaeology to topics such as industrial archeology, fracking, horse domestication, sexuality, religion, and deconstructing canons of disciplinary knowledge.

      • Excavating Gender in American Archeology — Michelle Mattar
      • The Perceived Costs and Benefits of Fracking in Central Pennsylvania — Julie A. Steffen
      • The Perceptions of Regional Communities: An Ethnographic Study — Tristan Adrian
      • Implications for Hopewell Sedentism: An Analysis of the Brown's Bottom and Lady's Run Sites — Gessica J. Barry
      • The Impact of Fracking on Rural Communities in Central Pennsylvania — Krysta Shaffer
      • Industrial Archaeology within the Forest: A Study Regarding the Documentation of Archaeological Sites at the State Historic Preservation Office — Gabrielle Vielhauer
      • Micro Contextual Analysis of a Possible Hopewell Ceremonial Work Camp — Jared McAlexander
      • Revisiting the Hopewell: An Investigation of Datum H — Rebecca Kestel
      • Horse Culture- I'm a Survivor — Teresa M. Robbins
      • Duality: An Analysis of the BDSM (Bondage/Dominance/Sadomasochism) Subculture and Its Assimilation into Modern American Society — Gabrielle Ferrara
      • Excavating Canons of Anthropology — Shelley Fought, Gabrielle Ferrara, Shannon Sursely, Faisal Muhammad, Tamara Sellers
      • Diverse Religions: Why Can't We All Get Along? — Beverly Hendricks

      Anthropology majors shine at Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings

      Society for Applied Anthropology Ten anthropology students recently showcased their research on a national stage ranging from cost benefits of fracking to time budgeting to disaster perception and preparedness. Students participated at the 73rd Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings in Denver, from March 19 to 25, under the theme — Natural Resource Distribution and Development in the 21st Century. Students presented posters on research, internship, and applied projects. They also attended a roundtable organized by Faith Warner and with DeeAnne Wymer and Gabrielle Vielhauer as discussants where they learned more about preparing for graduate school from representatives of the leading graduate programs in applied anthropology in the U.S.

      Faculty research showcased at Applied Anthropology meetings in Colorado

      Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings Faith Warner, associate professor of anthropology, presented a paper, "An Inconvenient Anthropologist: Ethical Collisions in Advocacy, Activist, and Feminist Anthropology in Refugee Research," at the 73rd Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado March 19-25, 2013. Additionally, she co-organized a roundtable on preparing for graduate school with representatives of the leading graduate programs in applied anthropology in the U.S.-Preparation for Admission to M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in Applied Anthropology: A Roundtable Discussion with Graduate Faculty Members. She also chaired a session entitled, Resolving Conflicts and Contradictions in Anthropological and Archaeological Research.

      Fracking research presented on national stage

      Fracking Research Julie Steffen, a December 2012 anthropology graduate, along with Faith Warner, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, presented their research, “The Perceived Costs and Benefits of Fracking in Central Pennsylvania,” at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings in Denver, March 2013. The ethnographic research presented in this poster documents perceptions of local residents towards the impact of fracking on the region’s environment, economy, laws, and culture. Central foci of the research include the disagreement over the risks associated with fracking, conflict over the distribution of its benefits, and the resulting community tensions over changes in socioeconomic relations, the social and natural environment, laws, policies, and regulations relating to the fracking boom. The central goal of the research project was to document the often volatile and divisive attitudes of people who live within 30 miles of a fracking well in the Marcellus Shale Region in the vicinity of Williamsport in order to develop a clearer understanding of the degree to which community members perceive both the costs and benefits of fracking to themselves and their community at large.