The Department of Anthropology, including both faculty members and graduate students, are often in the news. They also frequently lend their expertise to various community organizations. This webpage highlights some of these contributions.
In summer 2018 we will be welcoming two new faculty members, Dr. Greg Beckett (currently at Bowdoin College) and Dr. Lindsay Bell (currently at SUNY Oswego). Greg Beckett (PhD U Chicago, MA Western) has carried out extensive ethnographic and historical research in Haiti, and in particular on the intersecting urban, environmental, and political crises. His book How Crisis Feels: Living and Dying in Port-au-Prince, Haiti will be published in early 2019 by the University of California Press. He has also published on Caribbean intellectual history and the place of disjuncture and crisis in political and social theory. Lindsay Bell (PhD U Toronto, MA Alaska-Fairbanks) studies the lives of women and men in northern Canada, Alaska, and Finland who are confronting large-scale resource developments (such as diamond mining in the NWT). She is currently involved in a large research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on transparency and ethics in the global gemstone trade. She is co-author of Sustaining the Nation: The Making and Moving of Language and Nation (Oxford University Press, 2015), collaborated on the recent SSHRC-funded project Visualizing Canada's Urban North, and is the editor of the AAA's Journal for the Anthropology of North America.
Professor Andrew Nelson & colleague Linda Howie's analysis of the oldest documented hockey stick in Canada is highlighted in a 5 minute Daily Planet segment on the Discovery Channel. The hockey stick, which dates back to the 1770s, was brought to Nelson by the London based company, Material Legacy and is owned by an Ancaster collector of old sports equipment. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever done a CT scan of a hockey stick, much less a micro-CT scan.” Says Nelson. Read the whole article featured in Western News.
Western Adjunct Research Anthropology Professor Jay Stock was part of a recent study that showed the bone strength of prehistoric women exceeded that of today’s female athletes. Stock explains, “The women who lived 6,000 years ago worked so hard at repetitive upper-body labour every day, they developed strong muscles and bones.” Read the whole article in Western News.
Congratulations to all our Anthropology graduate students who successfully defended their thesis in 2017!
PhD: Paulina Johnson, Michael Carter, Lina Johnston, Mathew Teeter, Catherine Villar & Jordon Munizzi
MA: Kelly Gostick, Hannah McGregor, Hannah Cho, Fernando Mercado Malabet, Hana Ahmed, Arwen Johns, Rebecca Parry, Diyin Deng & Daphne Gagnon
Anthropology students at Western University were provided with first-hand opportunities to learn more about refugees, through a new community engagement initiative. Students in ANTH 2283F, Refugees and the Displaced: An Anthropological Approach to Forced Migration, taught by Randa Farah volunteered at programs offered by the South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre, to develop a better understanding of the newcomer experience. Read more...
“What we choose to wear on our feet plays a big role in the injuries and trauma our feet can sustain,” said co-author Andrea Waters-Rist, an associate professor of anthropology at Western University. Professor Waters-Rist has been conducting research on the patterns of bone chips found in the feet of clog-wearing 19th century Dutch farmers. Read more…
Beginning in September, 2017 we are excited to introduce our new "Intensive Option in Applied Archaeology" MA Degree. The Intensive option in the Applied Archaeology MA stream is aimed at professional archaeologists with substantial archaeological experience, general knowledge of the subject matter they wish to study, and a dataset they have collected and/or analyzed as part of their work. The Intensive Applied Archaeology option is intended to be completed in 12 months (3 terms) full-time, or 24 months (6 terms) part-time. Read more...
Congratulations to Professor Lisa Hodgetts who is this year's recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Established in 2016, the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes a full-time faculty member who fosters critical thinking and inspires their students to engage in the quest for knowledge as a value and a skill. Read more...
Lisa Hodgetts has just received 1 of 8 SSHRC Insight Grants awarded to the Faculty of Social Science this year. Her five-year research program will bring together Inuvialuit (Western Canadian Arctic Inuit) knowledge holders, university researchers and heritage professionals to co-create a set of best-practices for Inuvialuit digital heritage and implement them on the Inuvialuit Living History website (http://www.inuvialuitlivinghistory.ca/). Currently, the site showcases objects from the MacFarlane Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
The team will expand the site to better reflect an Inuvialuit worldview, and incorporate additional archaeological collections and more user-generated content. Ultimately, this project aims to contribute to Canada’s reconciliation with its Indigenous Peoples by helping to improve Inuvialuit access to their archaeological heritage and sharing Inuvialuit history and knowledge with non-Inuvialuit. Congratulations to Dr. Hodgetts and her team!
For the past 10 years, Walsh and Ian Colquhoun, Associate Professor in Anthropology, have worked with Alex Totomarovario of Université d’Antsiranana in Madagascar to offer a unique exchange and learning opportunity for students from both universities. Their efforts were recently recognized with the inaugural Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching. Read more...
Professor Chris Ellis has been awarded the Smith-Wintemberg Award by the Canadian Archaeological Association. This award honours Canadian archaeologists "who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the discipline of archaeology and our knowledge of the archaeological past of Canada." Congratulations on this well deserved award Chris! Read more...
Western Anthropology alumnus Chelsey Armstrong’s (MA 2013) research involving archaeology, climate change, and historical ecology is featured in an article in the Vancouver Observer. The article is based on a research paper co-authored by Chelsey which is forthcoming in the Open Access journal PLOS-ONE. Chelsey is currently a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University. Read the article.
After 700 years, bioarchaeologist Andrew Nelson's paleopathological analysis has lifted the stigma of leprosy from one of Scotland's heroes, King Robert the Bruce. Professor Nelson’s research findings on King Robert the Bruce are featured in this week’s issue of Western News. Read the article.
Anthropology PhD students Michael Carter and Beth Compton, along with lead Shawn Graham (Carlton University), Neha Gupta (Memorial University) have been awarded one of eCampusOntario’s 24 Open Content Funding projects this year! eCampus Ontario provides funding to institutions that are developing innovative content for their respective schools in order to better serve the needs of prospective students.
The title of their award winning project is The Open Digital Archaeology Textbook Environment: An Integrated Open Source Approach for Teaching Method and Practice in Digital Archaeology.
Many congratulations to Beth, Michael and the rest of the team on this impressive achievement!
We will be welcoming two new bioarchaeology professors to our department. Dr. Andrea Waters-Rist (currently at Leiden University in the Netherlands) will join the department in the summer of 2017 as Associate Professor. Dr. Waters-Rist's main research interest is the interrelationship of health and diet in past peoples through stable isotope reconstructions of diet, and the assessment of markers of activity, physiological stress, and disease in human skeletal remains. Recent research has focused on the use of synchrotron light technology to reconstruct infant feeding behaviour. Dr. Jay Stock (currently at Cambridge University) will join us as Adjunct Research Professor in summer of 2017 as he finishes up a current multi-year research project, and then in summer of 2019 he will officially join us as Professor. His research primarily concerns understanding the mechanisms which drive the biological diversification of our species, with a particular interest in the relationship between natural selection and the origins of human plasticity.
Congratulations to MA student Arwen Johns who is one of three graduate student winners of the 2017 Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Awards. Arwen’s winning proposal is called "Seeing People in Things: Incorporating Field Interpretations into the Archaeology Classroom." The GIFT Awards are organized by the Teaching Support Centre.
Anthropology MA student Aaron Bengall and his personal creative project, the Brain Library was featured in the Jan. 12, 2017 issue of Western News. Read the article, “Helping Others Tell Their Stories.”
London’s first virtual reality exhibit opened at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology on January 12. The exhibit features a 3D digital recreation of a 16th century Iroquoian longhouse. Visitors to the museum can strap on a pair of 3D goggles and take a virtual tour of the various rooms inside the longhouse. The exhibit, which was developed by Anthropology PhD candidate Michael Carter, has been featured in recent articles by The London Free Press, The Londoner, and Talk Radio AM 640. Visit the Museum of Ontario Archaeology website for more information about this exciting exhibit. January 13, 2017.
Anthropology alumnus Christine Boston (PhD 2012) recently began a tenure track position of Assistant Professor of Anthropology/Sociology at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri. Professor Boston earned her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Nelson. Her research focuses on the cultural motivations and biological effects of artificial cranial modification.