Colloquium: Pre-Dissertation Research presentations

Graduate Student Pre-dissertation award Research presentations:
Wed. October 11. 2017
Machmer E24

2017 Presenters:

Castriela Hernandez-Reyes: Black Women Survivors: The Materiality of Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality, and Body in Memory-building and Peacemaking in Colombia
Abstract: This study aims to capture the intersectionality of race, gender, class, body, and sexuality in the framework of the Colombian armed conflict and the current Colombian political transition. By collecting and examining testimonies of Black women survivors (both victims and 'ex-combatants') my dissertation will address how the lived experiences of Afro-Colombian women survivors contribute to building collective memories; and interrogate how race and gender intersect in the context of war and memory-building. During preliminary fieldwork in Montes de Maria, in the Colombian Caribbean region, this presentation mainly focuses on personal interview to Black women and participant observation in the Village of Mampujan. My research seeks to challenge what we have learned about the armed conflict and the often forgetting of Black women within the national imaginary.

Ying Li: Displacement: Post-disaster reconstruction and Ethnic Heritage of Rural China
Abstract: This project aims to contribute to the field of alternative/subaltern discourses of heritage. I explore how one of ethnic groups in China, named Qiang People experienced the devastating 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, and the post-disaster displacement and reconstruction. During four weeks of preliminary fieldwork in Xige Village(夕格) in Wenchuan and their Muti Village(木梯) in Qionglai, I focus on three major aspects: 1) Qiang people’s experience and memory of earthquake and post-disaster relocation and reconstruction; 2) transformation of Qiang communities’ conceptualization of heritage through displacement and reconstruction; 3) difficulties, conflicts and power issued underlying  “heritage from below” (Robertson 2008).

Marc Lorenc:  A People's Archaeology: A Summer in the Trenches
Abstract: This presentation summarizes my use of pre-dissertation grant money to develop a new methodology that combines ethnographic inquiry with archaeological craft. Based in a CBPR/CRT methodology, the Dr. James Still Community Archaeology project (DJSCAP), in Medford, NJ, explores ways in which volunteers and community partners engage with the authorized heritage discourse concerning meritocracy at the site. Specifically, I will explore how the archaeological test unit, when part of a broader CBPR project, allows specific data extraction to occur that otherwise is muted traditional ethnographic and archaeological approaches.

Sarah Mathena-Allen:
Abstract: The rise of public health in the U.S. was characterized by contradictory discourses regarding the responsibility of the state to care for their populations, and social anxiety regarding the management of the working class women’s bodies. Historical research on the role of public health has only addressed these dynamics from a historical or biomedical perspective; consequently, direct evidence of the biological impacts of the management of women’s bodies remains understudied. Consequently, this presentation discusses the overall health and lived experiences of women in an urban, industrial city in late 19th century Cleveland though both archival and osteological data collection

Jena McLaurin: A Window into the Web: Indigenous Understandings of the Internet in the Northeast
Abstract: A mix of surveys, personal interviews, and participant observation from summer pre-dissertation field research yielded interesting results concerning how Indigenous Northeastern people view the internet and the wider world of allyship and public interest. Age, and possibly tribal affiliation, have been noted as having a direct and unexpected effect on internet use and perceptions of openness to outside interests. Furthermore, changes in social dynamics and even the physical landscape are both affected by and, at times, affect the digital and social media habits of Indigenous people and non-Indigenous acquaintances. These findings lead to further research questions concerning our understandings of the internet and ideas around the desirability of such a completely open forum as it relates to the politics of community-based identity.

Priscilla Mollard:
This presentation will summarize five and a half weeks of predissertation work on the Piata Cetatii skeletal collection in Baia Mare, Romania. This visit was intended to assess the collection for dissertation feasibility, and to prepare for further analysis during a proposed Fulbright year. Preliminary cleaning of the collection continued and was concentrated on Complex 66, a mass grave containing a minimum of approximately 50 individuals. Also, Complex 761, containing the commingled remains of one adult male and another individual of unknown age and sex, was cleaned and photographed for a proposed poster submission for the AAPA’s 2018 annual meeting.