Tanana Valley chiefs press conference
UAF faculty (Drs. Joel Irish, Jamie Clark, and Carrin Halffman) contributed their research expertise to TCC for the analysis of ancient human remains discovered at McGrath.
Alaska Anthropological Association Meetings in Fairbanks
Call for papers
The 2014 meeting will be held at the Wedgewood Resort, 212 Wedgewood Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 (452-1442). Workshops will be held on Wednesday, March 5 and the conference will begin that evening with an opening reception at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum (located on the conference grounds).
Call for Sessions, Papers, Posters, and Workshops Anthropology and art are diverse subjects in their own right but are closely intertwined on many levels. Anthropology and Art--the theme of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association--is intentionally broad and was chosen to explore the multiple interconnections of Anthropology and Art. The theme may be applied to the past or the present, and to Native or Non-Native topics.Presenters, as well as workshop and session organizers are encouraged to develop sessions, papers, posters, and workshops that incorporate the theme of the interface of anthropology and art; however, as always submissions that relate to any of the four fields of anthropology are welcome. In keeping with the conference theme, the use of a range of media is encouraged for all presentations.
The deadline for submissions for sessions, papers, posters and workshops is January 1st, 2014. Abstracts are limited to 100 words or less.
For more information, please visit the annual meeting website.
2014 Symposium on Comparative and Collaborative Studies of Indigenous Cultures along the North Pacific Rim
National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka Japan (12 January 2014)
“Historical Trajectories and Contemporary Issues: Comparative Studies of Kamchatka Peninsula” David Koester (University of Alaska Fairbanks)
Despite differences in culture and language and vast differences in political histories in the 20th century, there are many similarities in the fates of indigenous peoples on both sides of the North Pacific. Some of the similarities are based on parallels in the surrounding environment at corresponding latitudes. Some occurred as a result of political resemblances of 18th to 20th century colonial practices. Others occurred because of shared technological and economic legacies of the industrial revolution. This presentation outlines the history and contemporary position of the peoples of Kamchatka in relation to developments and issues on the eastern side of the North Pacific.
Dr. Hoover gives two research talks on human olfactory evolution
Univeristy of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Cincinnatti
My olfactory population genetics research engages with the long-standing assumption that the sense of smell has little to no functional significance in primate (and particularly) human evolution. Yet, there is tremendous genetic, geographic, and cultural variation in olfactory perception. The field of olfactory science is young—the receptors were discovered in 1991—and there are currently few known genotype-phenotype relationships established. Of the ones that are known, most of them are related to diet and food preference. My research on allelic frequency variation OR7D4 serves as the first link between perceptual/cultural and microevolutionary factors shaping the distribution and diversity of human olfactory receptor genes. OR7D4 is an olfactory receptor associated with sex pheromone detection and pig meat preference. I found significant differences in human populations with more variant alleles occurring in Eurasia: 34% of Europeans and 47% of Asians are not sensitive to androstenone. Less sensitivity to androstenone is correlated with increased preference for pig meat. An interpretative narrative to this analysis is the long prehistory of pig hunting and domestication in Asia, where pork is a stock food item today.
2014 Field School in Subarctic Archaeology: Mead Site
Dates: May 19 to June 21
Mead site is a multicomponent site consisting of at least 4 components dating from 14,000 to 1,400 years ago in deeply buried stratified contexts in the mid Tanana Basin, near Delta Junction, Alaska. This site has received little investigation given its importance in the early prehistory of northwest North America, but initial excavations have yielded lithic tools, organic tools, and faunal remains from multiple components. Along with Broken Mammoth and Swan Point, this is one of the oldest sites in northwest North America, and indeed in the Western Hemisphere. The presence of faunal remains and lithic artifacts within stratified contexts provides an opportunity to document patterning in site use and test hypotheses about technology, subsistence, and settlement of ancient populations in Interior Alaska.
For more informationon the 2014 field school: click here.
UAF Anthropologists at the AAAs in Chicago
David Fazzino, session co-chair with Ethan Sinsabaugh (UAF)
The Occupy Movement Is Dead, Long Live the Occupy Movement!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013: 9:15 PM Conference Room 4L (Chicago Hilton)
The Occupy Movement in the United States started as a response to economic policies that exacerbated disparities between social classes. The Occupy Movement was propelled by rational actors who demanded economic equality through a variety of means, most notably the physical occupation of public land. During this, the Occupiers were being portrayed in the media accounts as upper-class urban campers who had a vague notion about what they were protesting. Whereas this might have been an accurate portrayal of some I encountered in my two years as a participant of the Occupy Movement, in reality there were a variety of reasons fellow “campers” shared with me for their participation. In addition to my two years as a participant observer, I conducted semi-structured interviews with ten of the most active occupiers in three different settings (Phoenix, Arizona, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Rochester, New York). This paper explores four facets of the Occupy Movement's inner-workings: 1. The physical layout of the protest sites, 2. The internal economy within the Occupy Movement, 3. The informal political infrastructures within Occupy, and 4. The role social media had in regards to the distribution of information and ideas.
David Koester, paper
To Speak Or Not to Speak, and Other Existential Questions: Discussions On the Itelmen Language By the Few Who Speak It
Thursday, November 21, 2013: 3:15 PM, Chicago Hilton, 5E
When the number of speakers of a language dwindles and speech events in that language become socially marked occasions, the waning language and even ‘language’ as an abstract concept can become objects of discussion. At the same time, practitioners of an ‘endangered language’ can be steadfastly resistant to seeing their means of speaking as ‘language’, that is, as an abstract system that enables humans to communicate. There are now less than 10 fluent, confident speakers of the Itelmen language of Kamchatka, Russia. In the summer of 2012, the healthy and able among the confident speakers were brought together for eight days of discussions and documentation. This paper examines the metalinguistic and metadiscursive aspects of those discussions. In questions ranging from orthography to linguistic authority to language variation, participants in the workshop expressed a range of views. They mentioned the power of language transmission over time, the nostalgia associated with childhood use of the language and its association with ancestors, the social and personal value of song, the authority of linguists and a series of other revealing pronouncements about the status of ‘the language’ as fewer and fewer people speak Itelmen.
Robin Shoaps, paper
K’iche’ formal pronouns at the crossroads of theological tension, linguistic anxiety and cross-linguistic discursive circulation in Sakapultek evangelical discourse
In the past decade, use of K'iche'-derived formal pronouns (lal/lanh and alaq/laq) has gained traction in the diminishing realm of Sakapultek-language evangelical Christian radio broadcasts and sermons. Formal pronouns, which are not native to the Sakapultek language (Du Bois 1981), have conventionally appeared in traditionalist oratory and prayers directed at Maya deities and in ritualized greetings between married people and their godparents and in-laws. In this paper, I approach the evangelical embrace of lal as a window into contemporary theological, linguistic and ethnic difference which become prominent only in local Maya, not Spanish-language, evangelical prayer. I demonstrate that linguistic ideologies about respect erase the seeming incongruity between Spanish language Christian prayer practices (which involve the informal pronoun in addressing God) and apparently “necessitate” the (clumsy) incorporation of K'iche' formal address forms in Sakapultek. I draw from my research among K'iche' Pentecostals to suggest that increasingly emphatic K'iche' discourses about the importance of lal use in divine address reflect anxiety about linguistic and cultural change, and play into long-standing Sakapultek ideologies of linguistic inferiority. These K'iche' and Sakapultek linguistic ideologies, coupled with increased intercommunity contact between K'iche' and Sakapultek-speaking evangelicals and widespread circulation of K'iche' evangelical discourse have set the scene for Sakapultek evangelicals to adapt formal pronouns in prayer. Lal use has gone hand-in-hand with valorization of a once-despised immigrant K'iche' population and the elevation of a hybrid K'iche'-Sakapultek-Spanish register into a communicative ecology that once condemned salient code-switching.