Archive for October, 2012

Lambda Alpha Beta Visual Anthropology Exhibition

We are now asking for both submissions, and volunteers who would wish to be a part of the selection committee.

Deadline: November 9th

Submit your photos, to be displayed in the hallway outside of the anthropology department,  falling under one of the three categories: Archaeology, Physical Anthropology, and Sociocultural/Linguistic Anthropology.

Examples of subjects in each of these categories include:
Archaeology: Field work, Community Archaeology, Lab work, artifacts
Physical/Biological: primates, field work, genetics, lab work, ethnobiology
Linguistic/Sociocultural*: Depictions of different cultures including the “West” using themes like, food, ritual, art, language, music

*Photos that confront human subject permissions will not be considered for display.*

Please send submissions (limit of 6 per person) or volunteer interest statements to by Nov 9.

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Dr. Dennis Jenkins presents on Paisley Caves

The Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Sigma Xi is hosting a speaker on PSU campus this Tuesday, October 30. Dr. Dennis Jenkins (University of Oregon) will be giving an overview about his work at Paisley Caves, one of the best documented pre-Clovis sites in the Americas, located in eastern Oregon.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Smith Center 294, 7:30, Tue, Oct 30.

For additional info:

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“Traditional Cultural Properties and Sacred Sites”

You are invited to attend our Archaeology First Thursday event this coming Thursday, Nov 1, 4:00 pm, Cramer 41 (PSU Campus), to hear Eirik Thorsgard (Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde) present,
“Traditional Cultural Properties and Sacred Sites”

Important places for indigenous people exist throughout the landscape.  The definition and meaning of these places varies greatly among indigenous groups. These important places have come to be referred to as Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP).  Federal legislation and heritage management has struggled in defining, documenting, and delineating important places to indigenous people. One of the most successful tools created for the identification of TCP’ is Bulletin 38. This guideline has assisted in the identification, documentation, and protection of vitally important cultural landscapes for indigenous people.

Federal legislation including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) as well as others require that project proponents identify, document, avoid and when necessary mitigate for Cultural Resource impacts, such as impacts to TCP’s. Federal legislation also requires that project proponents consult with federally recognized tribes. Understanding TCP’s and how to engage local Tribes is intrinsically necessary to ensure that projects fulfill their legal obligations while being completed on time and on budget.

Eirik Thorsgard is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and a direct descendant of the people at Willamette Falls.  He works in the Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department as the Cultural Protection Coordinator and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.  He received his Masters Degree in anthropology from Oregon State University and is a PhD candidate at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia.  He regularly participates in cultural events, and is an active participant in national and international archaeology conferences.  He is the proud father of four children, and the husband of Misty Thorsgard. 
The presentation is free and open to the public.

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“The Strange and Curious History of the Label ‘Illegal Alien'”


Dr. Hu-DeHart examines how Asians and Mexicans were racialized as “illegal immigrants,” with Asians the first to be tagged as illegal after passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. Her analysis weaves together the linked fate of Asian and Mexican immigrants stigmatized at different times with the “illegal alien” label.

Dr. Evelyn Hu-DeHart is Professor of History and Ethnic Studies at Brown University and Director of Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. She is co-editor of Asians in the Americas: Transculturations and Power and Latino Politics en Ciencia Política: The Search for Latino Identity and Racial Consciousness. She is also the author of “Rethinking America: the Practice and Politics of Multiculturalism in Higher Education.”

Monday, November 5
2-3:30 pm
Multicultural Center
Smith Memorial Student Union 228
Portland State University

1825 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201

The School of Gender, Race, and Nation Initiative
CLAS Dean’s Office
The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion
Department of Cultural Centers

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Dig Hokkaido 2013 Paleolithic Fieldschool

Dig Hokkaido 2013 Paleolithic Fieldschool

Credit Granting Institution: Central Washington University

Courses: ANTH 493 (undergraduate), or REM 593 (graduate)
Credits: 6
Duration: August 12-September 13, 2013
Location: Shimaki Site, Kamishihoro-cho, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
Educational and Project Leaders: Ian Buvit, Karisa Terry, Masami Izuho, Jeff Rasic
Cost: <$5000 total


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You’re invited: Jason Damron Thesis Defense

October 29, 2012
Cramer Hall 41

This thesis presentation fulfills part of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts: Interdisciplinary Study of Anthropology, Economics, and English:

Transgressing Sexuality: An Interdisciplinary Study of Economic History, Anthropology, and Queer Theory

Jason G. Damron


This interdisciplinary thesis examines the concept of sexuality through lenses provided by economics, anthropology, and queer theory. A close reading reveals historical parallels from the late 1800s between concepts of a desiring, utility-maximizing economic subject on the one hand and a desiring, judicious sexological subject on the other. Social constructionists have persuasively argued that social and economic elites deploy the discourse of sexuality as a technique of discipline and social control in class- and gender-based struggles. Although prior scholarship discusses how contemporary ideas of sexuality reflect this origin, many anthropologists and queer theorists continue to use “sexuality” uncritically when crafting local, material accounts of sex, pleasure, and affection. In this thesis, I show that other economic, political, and intellectual pathways emerge when sexuality is deliberately dis-ordered. I argued that contemporary research aspires to formulate ideas about sex, pleasure, materiality, and human agency. It fails to do so adequately when relying on sexuality as a master narrative.

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Seventh Annual Northwest Indian Storytelling Festival

You are invited to the Seventh Annual Northwest Indian Storytelling Festival
October 26-28, 2012
Our annual Northwest Indian Storytelling Festivals have been a warm and welcoming place since 2005 for our regional community to gather and learn more about Native American storytelling and cultural arts. We welcome you to join us again this weekend as we celebrate the greatness of Native American heritage. Our theme is Honoring the Salmon And Animals So They Will Return.
Public events are scheduled Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, October 26-28, 2012 at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon:
• Friday 7:30 PM at PSU’s Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC) (purchase tickets)
• Saturday 5:30 PM salmon dinner with the NISA Storytellers at PSU NASCC (purchase tickets)
• Saturday 7:00 PM festival event at PSU’s Hoffmann Hall (purchase tickets)
• Sunday 12:00 noon Emerging Tribal Storytellers Matinee at PSU’s NASCC (purchase tickets)
There will be a silent auction of Native American cultural and other items at all three public events.
For more information, please click here.
The storytelling festival is sponsored by the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association, Portland State University’s Indigenous Nations Studies Program and Native American Student and Community Center, National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts and Culture Council, and Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. The Northwest Indian Storytellers Association (NISA) was formed in 2005 to encourage, preserve and strengthen traditional storytelling among tribes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and to share tribal oral cultural arts with our entire regional community. We hold storytelling festivals in Portland each fall with plans to hold a festival annually in Seattle, Washington every November.
Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) was formed in 1993. Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom), founded April 19, 1993, is committed to Native American cultural sustainability, multimedia education and race reconciliation. We record and preserve oral history, cultural arts, language concepts, and traditional ecological knowledge of exemplary American Indian historians, cultural leaders and environmentalists in collaboration with arts and cultural organizations, as well as scientific and educational institutions. It especially seeks to correct misconceptions, end prejudice, bring health and wellness to Native people, and demonstrate how our culture has and is continuing to enrich our worlds.
The NISA Emerging Tribal Storytellers Workshop will be Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28 and is for Native people only. More info and registration form here. Contact Rebecca for more info at (503) 775-4014 or e-mail

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PSU’s Dr. Sarah Sterling featured on NPR

Dr. Sarah Sterling’s work on the Olympic Peninsula was recently featured on NPR:

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PSU Anthropology Field School featured in the Columbian

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Lake Atitlán, Guatemala Ethnographic Field School

NC State University Announces the Twentieth Annual Ethnographic Field School, Summer 2013
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
May 24 – July 15, 2013

Environment, Change and Globalization in Guatemalan Maya Communities

Field school website: or through the NCSU Study Abroad Office website:

Objectives: Learn how to design, conduct and write-up qualitative, ethnographic research while on the shores of a crystal lake framed by volcanoes! During the 7 ½ week program, live and work with an indigenous Guatemalan family in the Lake Atitlán area of the Western Highlands. This is a hands-on, experiential-driven program where students design a research program, and plan and implement an independent, individualized, project. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, training in ethnographic and qualitative research methods can prove to be beneficial for your career, whether it be in anthropology, sociology, international affairs, history, education, textiles, natural resource management business and management, political science, psychology, bio-medical engineering and public health. All students are encouraged to apply, especially students interested in topics concerning the environment, globalization, social justice, tourism, conservation, language, development, poverty and health. Not sure how your interests may fit into the topics listed? Contact us. The program is tailored individually to maximize the participant’s potential for understanding and developing the skills needed for ethnographic, qualitative research.  Students also will have opportunities to pursue an applied, service-learning project in lieu of a research project.  Contact the Program Directors (; to discuss potential opportunities for your areas of interest.

If you would like to contact past participants, let us know. Some of them have written recently to offer their endorsement of the program.
“Tim Wallace’s fieldschool stretched the limits of what I thought I could do. I emerged more confident as a researcher, Spanish speaker, and student, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking to build character, resume, or research portfolio.” – D. Carr (2012)

“Studying anthropology in Guatemala not only allowed me to try something academically outside my comfort zone but my time there also culturally enriched me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Living with a host family in a foreign country and culture changed my life forever and I feel like a more well-rounded  and confident individual because of it. No matter your major or your interests there is something that will speak to you in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and give you an experience that you’ll never forget.”  T. Wells (2012)

“Not only was the EFS program in Guatemala a phenomenally engaging and enjoyable experience, but it also provided me with the tangible skills that I will use as an anthropologist in any region of the world – absolutely irreplaceable as I apply for a Fulbright to conduct ethnographic research in China next year!”  – B. Reynolds (2012)
The Ethnographic Field School is a great way to gain practical field experience in anthropology.  Students in the field school come from a variety of backgrounds and by the end of the summer I felt more confident in undertaking a research project and living/travelling independently in a foreign country.  I do not speak fluent Spanish and I was still able to complete a project I could be proud of! – J. Bunch (2010)
“The field school was one of the most rewarding learning experiences in my entire life. Not only did my Spanish improve, but I also learned a lot more about what it takes to do quality ethnographic work. I think this is a must for anyone looking to do graduate or professional work in anthropology but lacks field experience.” – M. Stern (2012)

The program and eligibility:
Within the supportive framework of the NC State Guatemala Program students learn the fundamentals of ethnographic fieldwork, including project design and management, data collection and report writing. Students also quickly improve their Spanish language skills through intensive, daily interaction with their home stay families and other community members. Guatemalans are friendly and outgoing with an ancient and rich, Mayan cultural heritage. The program is designed for about 16 participants who may be undergraduates, graduate students or post-baccalaureate students.  Students will also learn about the contemporary Maya of the Lake Atitlán area and how they are adapting to changing demographics, globalization, economic and political insecurities, and environmental change. The program is not limited to students of NC State University and many previous participants have come from all over the US, Canada, Chile, the UK, and Guatemala.  Some Spanish language skills and some course work or familiarity with anthropology are desirable.

The Fieldwork Site
Lake Atitlán
 is one of the most majestic and scenic spots in all of Latin America. Ringed by active and extinct volcanoes and about a mile in elevation, the 55 sq. mi. lake was formed out of an ancient volcanic basin (crater). Dotting the shores of the lake are about a dozen small villages inhabited by the contemporary descendants of the ancient Maya. Panajachel (pop. 10,000), one of the largest towns, will be the headquarters for the program. Students will be located in home stays in one of the ten other towns surrounding the lake shores. The view of the lake from Panajachel and the other towns is magnificent, and the attractive sunsets and views daily lure many tourists over the years. Yet, the region has retained much of their traditional Maya heritage. Guatemala has the largest indigenous population in Mexico and Central America. There are approximately 23 different languages spoken in Guatemala and three of them are spoken around Lake Atitlán (Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil and K’iche’). Despite conquests and civil wars, the Maya have survived for nearly two millennia. Lake Atitlán is one of the best places in Central America to learn about this amazingly durable and vibrant culture.

Six Course Credits (graduate or undergraduate):
Students receive six credits for completing the program. The program emphasizes practical training in ethnographic fieldwork and ethics as it relates to Guatemala. In addition to learning research design, systematic observation, interviewing, fieldnote-taking, coding, ethics, data analysis, report writing, etc., students also learn about contemporary Guatemalan society and culture, particular the key issues of environment, heritage, identity, politics, and globalization in Mayan Communities, especially around Lake Atitlán.  Students learn through seminar discussions and field work the problems associated with first fieldwork in an international setting.  Note: English is the language of instruction, but Spanish is an invaluable tool for a full experience. The focus of all course work is the design, implementation and write- up of an independent research project with an applied focus.

In concert with each student’s research needs and personal preferences, participants will be housed with a local family, in one of thirteen Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan. Each student will receive room, breakfast, lunch and dinner and laundry services. Families also help students learn Spanish and establish networks in the community.

Program Costs
The cost of the seven-week program is only $3300. The single fee covers all expenses (except airfare) including:
•room, board (three meals/day), laundry
•tuition for six credits
•full coverage health insurance during stay abroad
•program fees and instruction
•local transportation costs and transfer fees
•national park entrance fees
•research supplies
•free rental of a cellphone (works both in-country and for inexpensive, international calls), and
•in-country excursions (Colonial Antigua, Indigenous markets at Chichicastenango, rituals in Patzún, the Nature Reserve of Atitlán, and the Mayan ruins of Iximché among others)

Airfare from most US cities is approximately $600. Students will need to bring a laptop with them to them field. Each town around the lake has Internet access. Other than a valid passport, US and Canadian citizens need no other documents to enter Guatemala for a stay of up to 90 days.

Students from any university or country, regardless of major – graduate, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or post-graduate – may apply.  Applications may be accessed through the field school website: or through the NC State University Study Abroad Office website: .  Please feel free to contact Dr. Tim Wallace, the program director (, or Sarah Taylor ( for additional information or any type of inquiry about the program at 919-815-6388 (m) or 919-515-9025 (o). Fax no: 919-515-2610; E-mail: .  The applications are submitted online, but if you have any problems, please contact Ms. Rebecca Denton at the NCSU Study Abroad Office, Box 7344, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7344, 919-515-2087. The official deadline is February 8, 2013. Applications received after that date will be considered only if there are spaces still available.

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