Events & Speakers

The Department is pleased to offer an exciting and diverse series of speakers and other events during the school year, with scholars from around the world giving talks from all the fields Anthropology encompasses. Below you will find our current schedule. Information will be updated on a regular basis as new speakers and events are added to our line-up. Check this page often.

Upcoming Events 2018-19

Spence Lecture - Dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten, Leiden University, Netherlands - Friday, November 23. 2018

Wooden Spears and broken bones: Lower Palaeolithic hominin subsistence at Schöningen (Germany)

The famous archaeological site of Schöningen, Germany, is most well-known for the discovery of wooden spears made around 300,000 years old. These are the world's oldest human-made wooden artifacts ever found. The recovery of other wooden artifacts, stone tools, and the bones of butchered animals like horses, speaks to the repeated presence of pre-modern humans along this ancient lakeside in the Lower Paleolithic period. Professor Dr. Thijs van Kolfschoren, a zooarchaeologist at Leiden University, The Netherlands, has been working at this site since 1992, and has analysed tens of thousands of ancient animal bones, including those from saber-tooth cats, wolves, and many herbivores. Through detailed analyses of animal remains and other artifacts, he reconstructs what the ancient environment was like and what past people were eating. His work shows that these early humans were active hunters with specialized tool kits.

2:30pm, SSC 2257. Reception at The Wave to follow.


Graduate Research Seminar Series - 2018-19

This series is held on Fridays and features graduate students (and sometimes faculty) speakers presenting their research results on a wide variety of topics. On some Fridays, other kinds of workshops or sessions may also be held in this time slot. The Research Seminars are held in room SSC 2257 at 2:30.

2018-19 Research Seminar Schedule

Past Events

  • March 29, 2018 - Dr. Scott MacEachern - Bowdoin College, “The Landscapes of Boko Haram" - Co-sponsored by Western's Africa Institute and the Dept. of History.
  • March 16, 2018 - Gehman Lecture - Dr. Jason de León - University of Michigan, “Soldiers and Kings: Photoethnographic Practice in the Context of Smuggling across Mexico"
  • March 9-10, 2018 - WAGS 6th Annual Graduate Conference
  • February 27, 2018 - Inaugural Regna Darnell Distinguished Lecture - Dr. Joshua Smith, "Boas Died for our Sins: An Anthropologist Manifesto"
  • November 29, 2017 - Spence Lecture - Dr. James Conolly, Trent University, "It's about time: Radiocarbon modelling and the absolute chronology of Ontario's archaeological culture history"
  • November 22, 2017 - Graduate Program Open House
  • October 23, 2017 - Gehman Lecture - Dr. Katja Neves - Concordia University, “Post-Normal Conservation: Reordering Biodiversity Governance”
  • February 24, 2017 - The Franz Boas Speakers' Series - Dr. Mark Turin - University of British Columbia, "Collaborations in Language: From Documentation to Resurgence"
  • December 7, 2016 - Dr. Andrea Waters-Rist - Leiden University "Novel Biorachaeological Research on Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices in Past Populations"
  • November 23, 2016 - Dr. Jay Stock - University of Cambridge "Skeletal variation, behaviour, and ecology: Interpreting human adaptability and resilience in the past"
  • October 13 & 14, 2016 - Spence Lecture -- Professor Michael E. Smith - Arizona State University "A New View of Teotihuacan Society" (Oct. 13), "At Home with The Aztecs" (Oct. 14)
  • October 12, 2016 - Lecture -- Professor Sahar Saleem, University of Cairo, Egypt "Scanning the Pharaohs" -
  • March 7, 2016 - Gehman Lecture --Heather Paxson, Massachesetts Institute of Technology "The Life of Cheese: Negotiating the Values of an Unfinished Commodity"
  • January 8, 2016 - Spence Lecture --Professor Peter Dawson, University of Calgary "Smart Heritage and the Future of Digital Archaeology in northern Canada"
  • October 9, 2015 - Symposium: Will the Real Franz Boas Stand Up?
  • September 19 & 20, 2015 -- Museum of Archaeology Annual Harvest Festival & Pow Wow
  • March 3, 2015 -- Historian Greg Smithers - Virginia Commonwealth University
    "The Elimination of the Negro Type": Franz Boas, Anthropology and the Plasticity of Humankind".
  • Dec 2 & 3, 2014 -- Dr. Carl Knappett, University of Toronto
    "Modelling Belief in Minoan Art" (Dec 2);
    "Dysfunctional Design and Poor Substitutes - A seminar on Material Culture" (Dec 3)
  • November 14, 2014 -- Spence Lecture: Dr. Andrew Roddick, McMaster University
    "From Ethnography to Radiography: Constellations of Potting Practice in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia"
    Sponsored by the Social Science Student Donation Fund.
  • November 6, 2014 -- Gehman Lecture: Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, Marshall University, West Virginia
    "Doing Ethnography Today"
  • October 9, 2014 - Alex Golub - Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    "Cause and Effect: Responsibility for Social Disorder at the Porgera Gold Mine"
  • October 2, 2014 - MER presents Professor Dan Jorgensen - Chair, Department of Anthropology
    “First Phones in Last Places: Mobility and Cell Phone Use in Papua New Guinea”