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Anthropology Department Blog

Forthcoming Book by Jonah Steinberg!

Posted: February 6th, 2016 by tmares

It’s official — Jonah Steinberg’s second book, A Garland of Bones, is under contract with Yale University Press. A Garland of Bones considers child runaways in postcolonial context from spatial, ethnographic, and historical vantage points, with emphases on relationships between rural change and children’s departures and on the place of runways as undesirable subjects in campaigns of urban cleansing. Jonah’s book is concerned with the balance of well-patterned cultural pathways, on the one hand, and the intimate experience of historical crisis, on the other, in children’s autonomous decisions to leave home for the city. The book, currently forecast for Yale’s Fall 2017 catalog, is to be published in the Agrarian Studies series edited by James C. Scott.

Geneva Morley on “Why Anthropology?”

Posted: February 3rd, 2016 by tmares

Geneva Morley (Anthropology, Class of 2016)

Geneva Morley headshotI was initially drawn to Anthropology because I am extremely interested how people function within the world.  I was previously interested in Psychology, and have always had a knack for being able to understand and empathize with people very easily, and I entered into college believing that I was destined to become a therapist or help people in a very individualistic way.  I was then lucky enough to take a cultural anthropology course at the beginning of my sophomore year, where I realized that although the individual and the issues within the conscious and unconscious of one’s mind are extremely relevant and pertinent to their wellbeing, the society around them is arguably just as pertinent, and this is what anthropology aims to address as a discipline.





Avery Lavalley on “Why Anthropology?”

Posted: January 27th, 2016 by tmares

Avery Lavalley (Anthropology, Class of 2016)

AveryLavalleyEntering college, I had no idea what anthropology was. I knew that studying people was what I wanted to do, but no other subject seemed to truly integrate all aspects of the human experience to create a comprehensive understanding of it: history, biology, sociology, psychology, linguistics. An understanding of all of these fields and how they interact with each other is anthropology, and that is where I found my passion. We as anthropologists are trained to really look at moments, situations, people, and objects from a point of view that takes into account all of which that makes it up.  We do our best to accept and understand our own biases enough to see some kind of reality, then learn from that reality. Having always been fascinated by history, and the historical processes that shape our lives in the present, I found my calling in archaeology. Being able to interact with history itself is an incredible experience and working to preserve the cultural history of the world’s societies is becoming more and more necessary as humanity expands and globalizes.




Catherine Lang on “Why Anthropology?”

Posted: January 20th, 2016 by tmares

Catherine Lang (Anthropology, Class of 2016)

CathyLangI study Anthropology because I am a natural-born observer. I am fascinated with how the relation of space and place influence human interaction. Anthropology and Geospatial Technologies act as a way to visually understand modern human and environmental interaction. Material culture and archaeology allow for the study of the modern human providing critical observation and analysis of why we are the way we are.

My four-field training in Anthropology at UVM has prepared me well for a position in which I am asked to think critically and closely examine the nuances of human culture. I am particularly interested in engaging with material culture to better understand how consumers make decisions to purchase certain commodities. My training in both GIS techniques and in archaeology gives me a special perspective on the way in which humans interact with objects in their environment. I believe this is vital in understanding the societal impacts and inherent cultural beliefs surrounding human consumer motivations. I am interested in better understanding the relationship between lived and material culture. Specifically, I would like to examine human relationships with their built environments and how material goods are pivotal in influencing everyday interactions and contribute to establishing a sense of space, place, and identity.


Why Anthropology?

Posted: January 13th, 2016 by tmares

Last fall, Dr. Emily Manetta asked the advanced Anthropology majors who were taking ANTH 205 Senior Proseminar why they majored in Anthropology and what it meant to them. Many of them wrote about the way in which they learned about the major, and where they hoped to take it in the future. Some addressed why Anthropology speaks to them, or what questions about the human experience they find important. We hope that by sharing a few of these excerpts with you over the next few weeks, you too will be able to think more deeply about the discipline and why you find its approaches useful.


Lauren Porell (Anthropology, Class of 2017)Lauren Porell

In my freshman year of high school, I stayed after class one day to talk to my World Civilizations history teacher, Ms. Antonio. I was doing well in the class, but I expressed to her that I was frustrated with our history classes because they seemed to focus on the wars and battles of the past rather than the daily lives of the people. I wanted to know more about the people holding down the forts at home while the soldiers were away. She suggested I look into anthropology, and from that moment on, I have made it my mission to explore the lives of people from all over the world, both near and far. I’m able to combine anthropology with my other love for storytelling. I plan to use the communication and exploration skills I’ve learned from studying anthropology to listen to as many people’s stories as possible. My favorite stories are those that are about family histories and traditions. As of right now, I am still unsure what my future looks like career-wise, but I know that I intend to study and work with families. Whether my future leads me to nonprofit work, social work, or service work, I plan on listening to and learning from the stories of people from all walks of life, especially those who are often left out of high school history lessons.


Special Issue of Pragmatics edited by Jennifer Dickinson!

Posted: December 1st, 2015 by tmares

Professor Jennifer Dickinson served as the editor of a new special issue of Pragmatics (25:4 December 2015) published today, entitled “Language ideologies and writing systems”. The volume brings together a collection of articles by linguistic anthropologists studying the interplay between the production and interpretation of written language on one hand, and the language ideologies that organize that production and interpretation on the other. It includes Professor Dickinson’s own article “Plastic letters: Alphabet mixing and ideologies of print in Ukrainian shop signs”.

UVM Anthropology Faculty and Students featured in local exhibit

Posted: November 23rd, 2015 by tmares

Feel like a really quick local field trip? A brief study break during finals period?

The UVM Dana Medical Library lobby is hosting an exhibit “Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health” with a slide show on global health activities at UVM.  It is up from this week until mid December and includes two photos from our very own Department of Anthropology:

Professor Jeanne Shea doing ethnographic research on community-based support for aging in place at a senior center in China.

Professor Jeanne Shea doing ethnographic research on community-based support for aging in place at a senior center in China.

alum Camille Clancy defending her thesis on Ayurveda and integrative medicine in India this past spring.

Camille Clancy defending her thesis on Ayurveda and integrative medicine in India this past spring.

Scott VanKeuren’s TAP Class Featured by UVM Communications

Posted: November 23rd, 2015 by tmares

Dr. Scott VanKeuren’s TAP Class on Ruins was recently featured in an article by UVM Communications! See the full story here.

Fall 2015 Departmental Newsletter Now Online!

Posted: October 14th, 2015 by tmares

Our Fall 2015 Newsletter is now online! To see what our students and faculty have been up to over the last year, please take a look!


New Publication by Dr. Jonah Steinberg

Posted: October 13th, 2015 by tmares

Jonah Steinberg’s paper “Writing Transnationality: Locating Citizenship in Fluid Cartographies.” is featured in a new volume on the meaning of citizenship recently released by Wayne State University Press.

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