Newsletter NOVEMBER 29, 2018

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Congratulations to Amanda Harvey-Sanchez, the 2018 recipient of the Richard B. Lee award for her essay, “Navigating Caste Inequality in Kerala: Caste as Present, Hidden, and Denied” submitted for ANT498H1F (Independent Research) based on her internship in India with Tania Li as her supervisor.
The Awards Committee appreciated the high quality of Amanda’s ethnographic research and the critical review of the pertinent literature. The committee also commended Amanda’s clear and engaging writing style. Amanda's paper examines caste at an educational institution created to improve the employability and social mobility of lower-caste youth in Kerala, India. She probes the varying means through which social, cultural, and economic capital structure experiences with caste, how caste becomes unintentionally and deliberately concealed, and how caste becomes an object of denial.
From January 4th to 9th 2019, Assistant Professor Christopher Krupa will be offering an invited workshop called “Frontiers of State: Displacing the Borders of Political Life” at the Latin American Summer School on Social Issues in Antofagasta, Chile. The workshop is organized by the Centre for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies, the Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology of San Pedro de Atacama, and three national universities of Chile.  

Ancient pathways and geoglyphs in the Sihuas Valley of southern Peru 

Graduate students Peter Bikoulis and Giles Spence-Morrow have co-authored a paper with Justin Jennings (Status-ROM) and alumnus Felipe Gonzalez-Macqueen in the journal Antiquity. Bikoulis and Jennings were interviewed by LiveScience conceding the results of spatial modelling and analysis of ancient geoglyphs in the Sihuas Valley, Southern Peru.

Ph.D. Candidate Omri Grinberg recently published a paper that focuses on faxes as techno-social activity, and on infrastructures of mediation as instruments of power and its undoing, through the case of anti-occupation Israeli NGOs that document human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The paper ethnographically traces the initial transmission of documents to the office from the field (mainly testimonies), and the eventual transmission of legal documents (mainly complaints) from NGO to the state of Israel, practices that constitute symmetries between state and NGO bureaucracies. This odd mirroring raises questions about what we take for granted about a shared infrastructure of communication. The paper is based on Omri's dissertation research.

As the Holidays are just around the corner, and once again Housing Services, the Family Care Office, Varsity Blues and the University of Toronto Students’ Union have organized the annual Food and Toy Drive. Every small contribution makes a big difference and we are grateful for your continued participation in this year’s drive!
All proceeds of the drive will be given to the student families registered with the UofT Food Bank. Please join our efforts and help us to gift a smile! The event will run November 14th – November 30th
The Food and Toy Drive is looking for:
  •          New toys, games, books & gift certificates (for children 16 yrs. & under)
  •          Baby formula, cereal, non-perishable food, diapers and baby wipes
  •          New or gently used clothing, mittens and scarves
A drop off box is located at the Anthropology Office, 19 Russell Street, 2nd Floor

The Reality of Artifacts: An Archaeological Perspective 

Professor Michael Chazan has published a new book. The Reality of Artifacts: An Archaeological Perspective develops an argument for the artifact as a status conferred by human engagement with material. On this basis, artifacts are considered first in terms of their relationship to concepts and cognitive functions, and then to the physical body and sense of self. The book builds on and incorporates the latest developments in archaeological research, particularly from the archaeology of human evolution, and integrates this wealth of new archaeological data with new research in fields such as cognitive science, haptics, and material culture studies.

Making the latest research available for the general reader interested in material culture, while also providing archaeologists with new theoretical perspectives built on a synthesis of interdisciplinary research, this book is suitable for courses taught at both graduate and undergraduate students, and is broadly accessible.

Island in the Stream: An Ethnographic History of Mayotte (Anthropological Horizons)

Professor Michael Lambek has published a new book. Island in the Stream introduces an original genre of ethnographic history as it follows a community on Mayotte, an East African island in the Mozambique Channel, through eleven periods of fieldwork between 1975 and 2015. Over this 40-year span Mayotte shifted from a declining and neglected colonial backwater to a full département of the French state. In a highly unusual postcolonial trajectory, citizens of Mayotte demanded this incorporation within France rather than joining the independent republic of the Comoros. The Malagasy-speaking Muslim villagers Michael Lambek encountered in 1975 practiced subsistence cultivation and lived without roads, schools, electricity, or running water; today they are educated citizens of the EU who travel regularly to metropolitan France and beyond.

Offering a series of ethnographic slices of life across time, Island in the Stream highlights community members' ethical engagement in their own history as they looked to the future, acknowledged the past, and engaged and transformed local forms of sociality, exchange, and ritual performance. This is a unique account of the changing horizons and historical consciousness of an African community and an intimate portrait of the inhabitants and their concerns, as well as a glimpse into the changing perspective of the ethnographer.

Associate Professor Alejandro Paz has published a new book. Latinos in Israel charts the unexpected ways that non-citizen immigrants become potential citizens. In the late 1980s Latin Americans of Christian background started arriving in Israel as labor migrants. Alejandro Paz examines the ways they perceived themselves and were perceived as potential citizens during an unexpected campaign for citizenship in the mid-2000s. This ethnographic account describes the problem of citizenship as it unfolds through language and language use among these Latinos both at home and in public life, and considers the different ways by which Latinos were recognized as having some of the qualities of citizens. Paz explains how unauthorized labor migrants quickly gained certain limited rights, such as the right to attend public schools or the right to work. Ultimately engaging Israelis across many such contexts, Latinos, especially youth, gained recognition as citizens to Israeli public opinion and governing politics. Paz illustrates how language use and mediatized interaction are under-appreciated aspects of the politics of immigration, citizenship, and national belonging.


Nicole Novroski who accepted the position in the Forensic Science Program at UTM. Nicole’s undergraduate appointment is with the Forensic Science Program at UTM and she has a graduate appointment with the Department of Anthropology. Nicole is from the Center for Human Identification (CHI) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Her research focused on identifying novel short tandem repeat markers for enhanced DNA mixture deconvolution. As she develops her research program here at the University of Toronto, her focus will be in using massively parallel sequencing (MPS; also known as next-generation sequencing) coupled with novel approaches and methodologies for advanced forensic human identity testing. She is also interested in improved DNA methodologies that may aid in both criminal and civil human identification investigations, including phenotype, ancestry, and craniofacial determinations using genetic markers. Outside of the field of forensics, Nicole is passionate about molecular genetics, and the study of biomarkers and pharmacogenomics for personalized medicine and molecular autopsy applications.


Elizabeth Sawchuk
(PhD 2017; Supervised by Susan Pfeiffer) 
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology

Stony Brook University (New York)

Affiliated Researcher
Department of Archaeology
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) (Germany)
Elizabeth's doctoral research focused on the excavation and study of human remains from several megalithic “pillar site” cemeteries near Lake Turkana, Kenya, and what they reveal about the spread of food production to eastern Africa. By comparing the dental morphology of herders buried at these sites to earlier foragers and later pastoralists, she was able to test the hypothesis that herding arrived with migrants. The results suggest complex interactions between early herders and foragers in the Turkana Basin, changing narratives on the origins of pastoralism in eastern Africa. Her SSHRC-funded post-doctoral work at Stony Brook University builds on this research to evaluate human social and biological dynamics across Lake Turkana as herding spread along this frontier. She is interested in population interactions involved in the spread of herding and farming, and collaborates on additional projects in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.



November 30th 10:00 AM - 12noon AP 367
SCL Work in Progress Discussion Series: Frank Cody

November 30th 12noon - 2:00 PM SS3130 Sidney Smith Hall
Development Seminar: Ryan Burns

December 5th STG Campus
Undergraduate classes end (for Fall session)

December 6th 1:00 - 5:00 PM AP 246 
Politics and the University: An Ethnographic Inquiry

December 7th STG Campus 
Graduate classes end (for Fall session)

December 7th 2:00 - 4:00 PM AP 246
Colloquium: Stacey Langwick, PhD (Cornell University)

December 24, 2018 - January 4, 2019 
STG Campus University closed for Winter Holidays
December 7, 2018 9:30 AM - 9:00 PM Instructional Building (IB)
Symposium on the Importance of Indigenous Education in Ontario Classrooms 


The Anthropology Graduate Students Union 
December 14th 12noon- 4:00 PM Graduate Loft, 16 Bancroft St.
Winter Winter and Cheese
Join us at the Grad Loft (upstairs from the Grad Pub) for our annual Winter Wine and Cheese! Celebrate the end of the semester with friends, colleagues, faculty, and Department staff for an afternoon lunch and mixer. Similar to previous Wine and Cheese events, we will cover your first drink for the event. In addition, we are providing lunch but also encourage everyone to bring their own lunch dishes and dessert to share potluck style. We hope to see you all there, AGSU Exec.
January 11th 10:00 AM - 12noon AP 246
R Workshop: Part 1; All sub-fields welcome

January 18th 10:00 AM - 12noon AP 246
R Workshop: Part 2; All sub-fields welcome 

January 18th 1:00 - 3:00 PM AP 246
AGSU Mental Health Forum and Workshop


The Anthropology Student Association 

November 29th 4:00 - 6:00 PM AP 140
Undergraduate Research Seminar

Three undergraduate students’ and their research projects have been selected through a blind process:
Heeho Ryu
– Fort York: Site of Cultural Construction and Erasure

James Tavares - Towards an Anthropology of Genitalia: Child Life Success as Determined Through Flesh

Tarini Date - Decolonizing the Syllabus
Presentations will be followed by Q&As.
Joins us and learn something new!

December 5th 12noon - 4:00 PM AP 102 Students' Lounge
Exam Time De-stress Events!

Come visit the Anthropology Students’ Lounge (19 Russell Street) to enjoy some (free) heart-warming beverages, socialize, and relax! Arts supplies will be provided by the ASA for those who want to get their creative energy flow!


Tenure-Stream Position at Mississauga Campus
Closing December 17, 2018


THE PETER K. NEW AWARD The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) announces an annual student research competition in the applied social and behavioral sciences. The first place winner of the Competition will receive a cash prize of $3,000, second place $1,500 and third place $750.

The award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist and former president of the SfAA. The award will be given to the best paper which reports on an applied research project in the social/behavioral sciences. The research question should be in the domain of health care or human services (broadly construed). All submissions must be submitted online by November 30, 2019. 


Have you considered giving back to the Department of Anthropology? Our Alumni Committee welcomes your thoughts on how to connect to our undergraduate and graduate students. 

Donate HERE
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