I’ve just read on Savage Minds about the rebirth of the University of Chicago’s anthropology journal Exchange. Exchange is a student-run journal not unlike Text, Practice, Performance from the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (For those of you who are not critical readers, that’s a shameless plug for the TPP journal as I was fortunate enough to serve on its editorial board while I was at Texas).
At any rate, I understand that repeated reincarnation has been the hallmark of the Exchange‘s fifty-odd year history (it even ran briefly in the 1960s under the title Anthropology Tomorrow…gotta love that)…Let’s hope this on-line version sticks.
In this new issue of Exchange:
The Semiotics of ‘Straight Thuggin By Laurence Ralph
The Right to Beauty Cosmetic Citizenship and Medical Modernity in Brazil By Alvaro Jarrin
Notes from the Field Excerpts from Post-Katrina Louisiana By Shannon Dawdy
Of particular interest may be an interview with Marshall Sahlins (picture above) entitled “In the Absence of the Metaphysical Field.”
This snippet is from The History of the Arkansas Archeological Survey by Charles R. McGimsey III and Hester A. Davis (1992), page 44… It chronicles the founding of the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s research station at Southern Arkansas University…at least according to Hester Davis.
Meanwhile, Bob was recruiting four other archaeologists and negotiating the contracts and space on the four additional campuses (Arkansas A&M, now the University of Arkansas at Monticello; Southern State College, now Southern Arkansas University; Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas Polytechnic College, now the Arkansas Tech University…Frank Schambach had been in Arkansas in 1966 for a short time because his dissertation was on material excavated by the WPA and Phil Phillips in the central Ouachita River Valley. Correspondence had been initiated with him, and when he came to the Caddo Conference in Arkadelphia in April, he was taken to Magnolia for his final interview with the college officials and accepted the Station Archeologist’s position there. So, by the spring of 1968, there was a commitment for cooperative agreements with all of the state-supported institutions of higher education, just as had been envisioned in the enabling legislation.
Arkansas Archeological Survey Archeologists on steps of Vol Walker Hall, U of A campus, April 13, 1969. Frank Schambach (far left), Hester Davis, Burney McClurkan, Jim Scholtz, Martha Rolingson, Bob McGimsey, Ken Cole, Dan Morse, and John Huner.
Well, TJV & I have returned from a two week trip to visit the families….A long road trip to Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. I had a good time & as I haven’t seen most of relatives in over a year…it was long overdue.
At any rate, upon my return I find that one of my dearest friends and colleagues from the University of Texas–Peggy Brunache–has begun a great adventure and roadtrip of her own. Peggy is a Miami native Haitian-American who does historical archaeology of the African Diaspora with a twist…she is intensely interested in food and identity. Most recently Peggy has been doing work on the island of Guadalupe looking at creole foodways, slavery, gender and identity. Good stuff…
So what is her “great adventure”? She has just moved to the town of Perth in Scotland! Why? Love…of course. She met and fell in love with a highlander at Austin’s SXSW music festival.
If you are a friend or acquaintance of Peggy, have no fear…she has provided us with an ongoing blog so we can follow her through the process of getting to know an entirely different home and, more importantly for Peggy, a interesting food culture with deep roots and a lot of dynamics.
Check her out at Adventures in Negroshire ….
We all wish you the best, Peg….
hmmm….Peggy in Scotland, Apen in Spain, John in Morocco…
I feel a big road trip of my own coming on.
If you haven’t yet heard through the grapevine, I have accepted a position…really two positions in one. I will be an Assistant Professor at Southern Arkansas University and the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Research Station Archeologist in Magnolia, Arkansas.
When I was doing my “homework” before going to the interview at SAU, I found out that the university mascot was a mulerider! This, of course, peaked my curiosity. What exactly was this mascot referring to and how did it become the symbol of SAU?
Thankfully, the SAU website was nice enough to provide some answers (yeah…I love to get into institutional histories wherever I go).
Southern Arkansas University started out as the Third District Agricultural School (TDAS) and was founded in 1909 “to educate rural youth of the region and to promote better agriculture practices”…Also referred to as “Magnolia A&M,” they were known originally as “Aggies” (Thank God, for the change….I think they’d revoke my membership to the Texas Exes if I became an Aggie).
But Magnolia was not at a railhead and (at least on a few occasions) the players rode the livestock to the railroad in order to ride to games with other schools (it WAS, after all, an agricultural school). Thus, the team was proclaimed “the Muleriders.” The mascot was officially adopted in the 1920s.
A mascot with a class chip on its shoulder…turning what could be a mark of shame into a badge of honor….
Now, that’s my kinda mascot!
Tags: mascot, history
Denise Carter’s brand new anthropology blog Deep Thoughts started out with a post that made me smile…..some ‘Shallow Thoughts’ of what to do after your Ph.D. in Anthropology:
Reaquaint yourself with your family, but be especially careful of partners/spouses/parents/friends/children who have aged five years since you last noticed them.
Get drunk (it doesn’t matter if you have a headache tomorrow)
Clean the fridge
Clean the house
Have sex (not necessarily in this order!)
Read something NOT published by Routledge, Sage, Berg, etc.
Change your email signature to include ‘Dr.’
Switch the computer off before 5pm every day
Lie in every Sunday
Give birthday/Christmas presents WITHOUT lecturing people about ‘gift exchange’
Move textbooks into spare bedroom
Accidentally leave your latest published article on the coffee table for when your mother-in-law visits
I’ve certainly gotten around to some of these since my “rights of passage” in Austin, TX…Esp. #8, #9, #7 & #2. I hope to do get heavily into #1 this May when I visit my folks for the first time in a year or so (I do miss them…things just stay busy). I’d like to find time for #6…but no luck yet. However, I don’t anticipate #11 or #10 EVER happening.
Kudos to Mike Wesch on his stint as a guest blogger on Savage Minds. Particularly entertaining (and right on target) was his last post–criticisms of PowerPoint class lectures (i.e., it locks you into a linear “slide-show” format, it mandates hierarchical bullet points, it promotes “top down” lectures where the professor provides the “key” points, it encourages the use of ridiculous icons that distract the audience–like bouncing angel smiley-faces–and so on).
Mike calls our attention to Peter Norvig’s great PowerPoint version of the Gettysburg Address which well illustrates the problem–”rather than learning to write a report using sentences, students are being taught how to formulate client pitches and infomercials.” YOU HAVE TO CHECK THIS PPT OUT!
I like his suggestion of creating self-contained interactive websites for each class topic & I plan on implementing it ASAP. Finally, I am also interested in Mike’s “anti-teacher” philosophy, but I haven’t quite figured out how I can fully implement it in the classroom yet.
I was surprised, however, by the number of Savage Mind readers & bloggers that did not see the same problems with PowerPoint technology (see the comments section).
Tags: powerpoint, teaching, technology
If you are interested in Southern culture, places, and landscapes from an analytical perspective and haven’t found Southern Spaces on the web…check it out.
What I like about the site more than its content is its format…Southern Spaces is an on-line, peer reviewed journal and much more…it was created out of Emory University with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and it is really one of the best attempts at an on-line journal that I have come across (with apologies to our own African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter).
Southern Spaces not only contains essays, annotated web resources and a conference calendar, but it also includes quite a number of interviews, photo essays, video clips of panel discussions, and much more. They even tell you how to cite all their on-line material with a hyperlink at the beginning of each article!
My only regret is that the web style is a bit high band width…not something good for those of us who want to make our work accessible to folks who might not have access to the latest technology (remember there is still a digital divide out there)…
Nevertheless, I’d love to see more on-line journals like this out there….
BTW: the image above is Building Facade, Louisville, KY by Tom Rankin, Published: 16 August 2005 in Southern Spaces.
Nancy over at Savage Minds has followed up on an earlier post regarding her frustration with the four-field approach to “Introduction to Anthropology” courses (see my post on “Must I Side With or Against My Section?” for a bit about tensions between our subdisciplines).
At any rate, Nancy has found a way to make the course work and it hits along the same lines as my own approach to integrating subdisciplines in anthropology courses…Nancy is integrating the four fields at every step. Instead of spending chunks of the course focusing on one field at a time, she goes through the course focusing on topics. In each topic she examines the contributions of the various subfields.
This is not unlike the way I have described my work which integrates elements of historical archaeology, prehistoric archaeology, cultural anthropology, bioarchaeology and cultural studies to colleagues when they ask about my teaching style. I’d like to develop topical courses on race, gender, households, landscapes, or whatever… and examine sources that cross-cut the traditional “pidgin holes” of our discipline. When taught in this way students will be able to see the interconnections (and disjunctures) between different subdisciplines (and even sub-subdisciplines) of our field.
This, of course, is not an original idea….I’ll credit my version to some of the writings of Critical Theorists (Horkhiemer, Adorno, etc.) who took as a part of their project to build a superdisciplinary understanding of culture…
“Superdisciplinary” is not merely “interdisciplinary”…”interdisciplinary” implies that groups of individuals from various disciplines work together collectively to develop theories… “Superdisciplinary” work, on the other hand, does its best to traverse and undermine the traditional boundaries between disciplines (and, instead, stresses the interconnections between philosophy, economics, politics, biology, etc.)…
That’s my credo & I’m sticking to it….
Here’s a question that I’ve wanted to ask since the last couple of conferences.
Several papers in the “Personal is Political: Archaeological Studies of and in Activist Contexts” session at the last Society for Historical Archaeology meeting asserted that archaeologists working on the African Diaspora needed more (some) training in African and/or African-American studies. I heard similar calls in papers at the last American Anthropological Assocation meetings in the “Can Archaeologists Be Activists?” and “Dialogues in Context: Perspectives on Applied Work in African Diaspora Archaeology” sessions.
So my question(s) is/are: What training do folks who are working out there have now? What would you recommend to students coming into African Diaspora archaeology? Are there programs out there which already cross-train students well?
If you are not an archaeologist but work in the African Diaspora, what training would you expect an archaeologist to have…or better, what training do you WISH archaeologists would get?
On a side note: To me this sounds a lot like the issue of historical archaeologists getting training in historical methods (which gets rehashed every so often on HISTARCH).
If we still haven’t resolved that one, is there hope for tackling this one?
Send me some feedback or leave a comment….
Congrats to John Schaefer who has just successfully defended his prospectus today at the University of Texas at Austin. John & I go way back….aside from James Davidson, he’s the only other person who I went through 2 graduate programs with–one at the University of Arkansas & one at the University of Texas….check out John’s blog Just Wanna Know for updates & information about his ( & Rachel’s) next 9 months which will be spent conducting field work in Morocco….Good luck, Johnny Boy!!!…..Salam aleikum.