Anthropology Colloquium: David Meltzer 13 Nov 3:30 Bunnell 302

Folsom adaptations and Younger Dryas environments in the Rocky Mountains

Dr. David Meltzer (SMU), Thursday, Nov 13, 3:30-5 PM at Bunnell Rm 302.

Folsom adaptations and Younger Dryas environments in the Rocky Mountains. The Upper Gunnison Basin on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains is, today, one of the coldest regions in the continental United States. It was surely just as cold at the tail end of the Pleistocene. Yet, there is now evidence Folsom Paleoindian groups, whose geographic range was long thought to have been largely restricted to the Great Plains, occupied the Upper Gunnison Basin during the Younger Dryas. Excavations in the last dozen years at several high elevation localities in the basin, particularly the Mountaineer site, coupled with paleo-ecological investigations at cave and lake sites in the basin, provide insight into Folsom adaptations
and environments. Not least, these results yield a rare glimpse into what these otherwise highly mobile hunter-gatherers did when they stopped

URSA Research Showcase: Joshua Reuther

Prehistoric Landscapes and Humans in Alaska
Joshua Reuther, Curator of Archaeology at UA Museum of the North, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Wed, October 8, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, UAF Schaible Auditorium

Anthropology Society

The Anthropology Society meets Mondays at 4:40 in the Nook, 319 Bunnell. 

PhD Prospectus Defense: Shiaki Kondo

Time: September 26th (Fri) 10 am. Place: Bunnell 402. Prospectus Title: Hunters, Christians and Native Americans in Alaska: An Ethnography of Spirituality in the Upper Kuskokwim Region

Anthropology Department Orientation

For all new and returning graduate students, please attend the Anthropology Department Orientation at 3pm on 5 September in Bunnell 302.

Tenure-track position in Social/Cultural Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks is soliciting applications for a full-time tenure-track faculty position in Social/Cultural Anthropology at the Assistant Professor level. Applicants must have earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology or a closely related field of social science. The successful applicant will be expected to establish an independent externally funded research program and will have a reduced teaching load of two courses per year during the first three years. During the first three years at UAF, the successful applicant will serve as a social science member of the interdisciplinary Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Northern Test Case research team, which is examining the adaptive capacity of human communities in changing Alaskan environments. Applicants are encouraged to consult the Alaska EPSCoR website at www.alaska.edu/epscor. The University of Alaska is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
 
Please see the full description for details and how to apply.
 

Anthropology PhD Students receive Artic Social Sciences DDRIs

Congratulations to our PhD students for successful dissertation improvement grants on Northern Adaptations in Kamchatka (Russia): Fishing for Dogs or Fishing for Snow (Lisa Strecker) and Reindeer and Dogs in Modern Tozhu Mixed Economy of the Republic of Tyva (Russia) (Tayana Arakchaa).

MA Thesis Defense: Fawn Carter

May 8, 10:30 am (402 Bunnell)

Josh Reuther, research talk at Center for Applied Isotope Studies, University of Georgia (May 13th)

Josh Reuther is giving an invited research talk entitled Human Occupation and Paleoecology of Late Glacial and Early Holocene Interior Alaska on  May 13th  at the Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the University of Georgia. The talk will focus on the archaeology and changes in ecology in the Tanana Valley between 16,000 and 8,000 years ago. Visit the Center for Applied Isotope Studies facebook page for more information.

Undergraduate Research Day, Tuesday April 29

Stop by the Wood Center Multi-level Lounge between 10am-2pm to see research posters by anthropology majors Ana Fochesatto and Meaghan Trevena. Ana's poster is about catcalls and street compliments in Latin America and Meaghan's is about verbal aggression among girls.

Public lectures by candidates for the Ethnology Curator position at the Museum of the North and Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Megan Smetzer
Monday April 7: 3:30 pm  – Public lecture, 302 Bunnell  (Co-opting the Cooperative: Tlingit Women's Beadwork at Mid-Century)

Amy Phillips-Chan
Friday April 11: 3:30 pm   – Public Lecture, Bunnell 302 (Inupiaq Narratives Reanimate Objects of Cultural Heritage and Beauty: A Community-based Approach to Knowledge Production) 

Katrin Simon-Sakurai
Wednesday April 23: 3:30 pm   – Public lecture, Bunnell 302 (Noise and the Thickening Earth: The Power of Stories in an Alaskan Yup'ik Community)

Amber Lincoln
Tuesday April 29: 4:00 pm  – Public lecture, Bunnell 302 (Mementos [Paisat], Museums and Meanings: Restoring relations among Inupiaq ethnographic collections in Great Britain)

Anthropology Society Triva/Pizza night: May 3 at 5pm (302 Bunnell)

The Anthropology Society is having a Trivia/Pizza Night to celebrate the end of the semester.  The Trivia Night will be on Saturday May 3rd at 5pm in Bunnell 302.  Pizza will be provided and we encourage all of you to come take part! We hope to see you all there to help us celebrate in the semester ending!

These defense: Dental caries prevalence in ancient Egyptians and Nubians

Konstantine Triambelas. Please see abstract here.

Anthropology Open House

Please join us 27 February all day for open house activities in our new space in Bunnell Building. For a map of campus, see here. For parking information, see hereTaku & Nenana lots have kiosks for ticketing as well as regular shuttle service to Wood Center and Eielson, respectively. Bunnell is a short walk from our old building (Eielson) and a slight longer walk from Wood Center.

Anthropology Brown Bag!

March 4 in Bunnell 301A from 1-2

Lisa Strecker and Tayana Arakchaa will be presenting dry runs of their Alaska Anthropological Association meetings presentations on Tuesday March 4 in 301A from 1-2. 

Fellowship! Geist fund

The Otto William Geist Fund was established by Otto Geist in 1963 to support:

-Acquisition and conservation of archeological or paleontological material for the University.
-Financing in whole or in part expeditions for archeological or paleontological field research.
-Scholarships or fellowship grants for undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology or paleontology. Proposals from other fields are considered if strongly tied into these disciplines.

Application Deadline: March 29, 2013

Anthropology Brown Bag!

February 20 in Bunnell 301A from 1-2

Cecelie Ebsen will be presenting a dry run of her Alaska Anthropological Association meetings presentations on Tuesday March 4 in 301A from 1-2. 

Graduate School Travel awards

To apply for a travel grant, travel must begin before July 1 of this year. There will be another competition for travel after July 1 later.

Anthropology Coloquium: February 21st, 3:30 PM in Room 302 Bunnell

Current Upper Paleolithic & Mesolithic Research in Cis-Baikalia, Russia, Dr. Alekesi Teten'kin

Cis-Baikalia, Russia Anthropology Colloquium Several sites dating to the final Pleistocene/Early Holocene (12,500-6,000 14C BP) have recently been discovered in the lower Vitim River Valley (Cis-Baikalia, Russia). The artifacts recovered from these sites are assigned to three assemblage types.  Two resemble the Paleolithic Dyuktai, while the third features microblade production using prismatic cores of high-quality chert, which is indicative of the Mesolithic. Recent evidence suggests the origin of prismatic microblade core technology may have occurred within Dyuktai-like Paleolithic assemblages, but wedge-shaped microcore manufacture was also present in the Mesolithic assemblage. These data permit the formulation of new hypotheses that consider function and adaptation as driving forces of variability during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

Anthropology Coloquium: February 7th, 3:30 PM in Room 302 Bunnell

Babylonian Astronomy Under Arctic Skies, Dr. Wayne Horowitz

This presentation takes a look at an ethno-astronomy project on the traditions of  the First Peoples of northern Canada and the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia. An expert in reading cuneiform astronomical tablets dating as early as 3000 BC, Professor Horowitz is searching for links with oral traditions in northern Canada. For more information, contact Brian Hemphill at bhemphill@alaska.edu or call 474 - 6755

David Koester co-organizes Symposium on Comparative Studies of Indigenous Cultures around the North Pacific Rim

David Koester is co-organizer of a “Symposium on Comparative Studies of Indigenous Cultures around the North Pacific Rim” at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan, January 11-13, 2014.  He is speaking at the symposium on January 12.

Funded Master’s Degree Positions to Study the Gender and Change at University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking to recruit a graduate student interested in pursuing a Master’s (or Ph.D.) degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a research focus on gender and change in Arctic Alaska. Student funding is provided by a research grant from the National Science Foundation. Successful applicants will be offered two years of funding, including a stipend of approximately $28,000/year, field research, tuition, benefits, and research expenses.

We are particularly interested in students with backgrounds in the human dimensions of environmental systems or environmental anthropology. Please click here for more details and information on how to apply.

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 schoolclick here.

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.

Kara Hoover interviewed for Scientific American blog on pheromones and mating

Kara Hoover interviewed for Scientific American Mind blog post by Julia Calderone on human pheromones and pheromone parties.

Ben Potter gives three talks in China on Beringian archaeology

2013 GIS Modeling and Intersite Variability in Eastern Beringia. Special Lecture to Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Prehistory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. December 20, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China. 

2013 Site Structure and Organization in Eastern Beringia. Special Lecture to Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Prehistory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. December 11, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China. 

2013 Traces from Northern Forests: An Emerging Synthesis of Beringian Prehistory. Special Lecture to Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology and Ethnic Minority Study Center of China. December 5, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China.

Ben Potter gives a talk at the Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference

2013 Technology and Economy Among the Earliest Prehistoric Foragers in Interior Eastern Beringia. Paper presented at the Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference. October 17, 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (with Charles E. Holmes, and David R. Yesner) 

David Koester participates in an Indigenous Mapping Workshop

December 5-8 David Koester participated in an Indigenous Mapping Workshop jointly sponsored by Google Earth Outreach and the University of Arizona through a National Science Foundation grant, Ben Colombi, PI.  The workshop brought indigenous students and scholars from Kamchatka, Russia both to learn about creating maps using Google Earth tools and techniques and to work with researchers to plan indigenous mapping projects over the next year.  

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.

Kara 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.

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.

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