University of Massachusetts Amherst

Anthropology

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Faculty

 

 

 

 

Faculty

 

Sonya Atalay, Assistant Professor (Off Fall 2014-Spring 2015)
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My work is in engage (public) anthropology, focused on research partnerships with indigenous and local communities. I work across the disciplinary boundaries of cultural anthropology, archaeology, heritage studies, and Native American & Indigenous studies. For me, research is at its best when everyday people are engaged in studying, protecting and teaching about their own cultural heritage. I am working to understand and bring about the institutional changes required to support engaged, activist, and transformative scholarships through ethics principles, grant agency frameworks, tenure promotion guidelines, etc.

Geographic Area: Turkey, Great Lakes/Native North America
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Felicity Aulino, Mellon Post-Doc/Lecturer
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Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in global Health with the Five College Consortium's culture Health, and Science (CHS) Program. I am a medical anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker, with primary area specialization in Thailand and a research focus on care for the elderly-particularly in relation to public health related statecraft, internatinal humanitarian intervention, critical phenomenology, and caregiver subjectivity.

 

Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Assistant Professor (Sabbatical Fall 2014)
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Archaeology: African Diaspora theory, Black Feminist Theory, African American expressive and material culture, Historical Archaeology, African Diaspora archaeology, North America.
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Elizabeth Chilton, Professor,
Director, Center for Heritage and Society

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CHS website:
Cultural heritage, archaeology, hunter-gatherers, the origins of agriculture, origins of social complexity, technological organization, ceramic ecology, geoarchaeology, and cultural resource management, Native peoples of northeastern North America.

click here for Professor Chilton's website

 

Emiliana Cruz, Assistant Professor (Off Fall 2014)
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I am a linguistic anthropologist interested in language and landscape, and in the documentation and preservation of the many languages now approaching extinction, with a focus on the Chatino languages of Oaxaca, Mexico.  I am interested in applying anthropological methods to the documentation of naturally occurring discourse in indigenous languages.  This recognizes the crucial role to be played by native speaker linguists in all phases of the work.  My linguistic work centers on the complex tonal structure of Chatino languages, and I developed the San Juan Quiahije variety's alphabet.  Another interest has been in creating pedagogical materials that will enable members of the Chatino community to preserve their language and cultural integrity.  I am a native speaker of Chatino and founder of The Chatino Language Documentation Project, a team of linguists which aims to document and revitalize Chatino languages.

 

Jean Forward, Senior Lecturer
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Cultural anthropological interests with a focus on colonialism, especially in North America and Scotland. I am also interested and active in environmental and human rights issues, especially Native American Indians, public education; community service and the teaching of history.
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Krista Harper, Associate Professor
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Cultural Anthropology: Culture and the politics of social movements; political cology; medical anthropology; science and technology studies (STS); race, ethnicity, and human rights; area specializations in Eastern Europe (Hungary), Roma (Gypsy) diaspora, and the European Union.
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Julie Hemment, Associate Professor
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Cultural Anthropology: Post-socialism, gender and transition, feminist anthropology, Participatory Action Research Methodology, applied anthropology. Russia.
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Matthew Hill, Lecturer
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I am a cultural anthropologist with a research focus on cities and cultural heritage, and the Associate Director of the UMass Center for Heritage and Society. I work at the intersection of urban heritage, tourism and economic development, and have expertise in the urban and tourism related aspects of heritage in Latin America and the Global South. I have conducted extensive research on UNESCO World Heritage cities in Cuba and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and teach courses on the history of heritage studies, urban heritage and historic urban landscapes. In addition, I also conduct research on the anthropology of risk, with a focus on financial and market risk, natural disasters and catastrophes. Specific research topics include: Urban and cultural heritage; heritage and development; historic urban landscapes; collective memory; globalization and cities; urban theory; comparative urbanism; applied anthropology; socialism/post-socialism; Caribbean and Latin America; anthropology of risk.
Website: http://www.umass.edu/chs/

 

Brigitte Holt, Associate Professor
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I am a biological anthropologist interested in human evolution in general, and in the ways humans adapt, biologically and culturally, to their environment. One of my research interests has been on the relationship between physical activity and postcranial skeletal robusticity as a means of inferring behavior in past populations. I was able to show, for instance, that in Upper Paleolithic populations from Europe, there is a marked decline in lower limb robusticity in the latter part of the Upper Paleolithic, after the Last Glacial Maximum (around 18,000 years ago). This confirms archeological evidence of decreased mobility during that period. An ongoing project (the European Project) focuses on the evolution of postcranial robusticity in Europe from Upper Paleolithic to the present, in an effort to answer questions such as: Why do Europeans have such high rates of osteoporosis and fractures? What role does decreased physical activity play in this? When did the major changes occur? What role did factors such as agriculture, social inequality, division of labor, mechanization and industrialization play?   Another research interest centers around the origins of modern humans. Since 2002, I, along with colleagues from Duke University, University of Pisa (Italy) and Arizona State University, have been excavating the site of Riparo Bombrini (Liguria, Italy, a rockshelter  that preserves Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) and Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian) layers. The main of this project has been to clarify the transition between Neandertals and modern humans.
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Eric Johnson , Lecturer
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Archaeology

 

Howard Kimewon, Visiting Lecturer
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Howard Kimewon is a fluent first-language speaker of Anishinabemowin. His teaching and research interests include: Ojibwe language instruction, Native American food traditions and plant medicines, language revitalization in indigenous communities. His work includes efforts to produce digital (audio and video) resources for second language learners of Anishinabemowin (Ojibwe).

 

Steven King, Lecturer
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I am a biological anthropologist broadly interested in ontogeny and the evolved life history strategies of primates, particularly Malagasy lemurs, both living and extinct. My current research centers primarily on late ontogeny-on old age and senescence-in wild populations of nonhuman primates.

 

Elizabeth Krause, Professor, Graduate Program Director
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Sociocultural anthropology: political economy of low fertility; cultural politics of race, gender and class; social memory and historical anthropology; ethnographic writing; economic anthropology; equity and education; Italy and the U.S.

Elizabeth Krause's Blog
http://blogs.umass.edu/ekrause/

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Thomas Leatherman , Professor, Department Chair
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Biocultural theory and practice; political economy of health; biology of poverty; political ecology; health and nutrition; ecology and adaptability; coping with marginal conditions; seasonality; growth and development; Latin America (Andes, Yucatan). Southeast U.S.

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Lynnette Leidy Sievert, Professor, Undergraduate Program Director
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As a biological anthropologist I have focused on age at menopause and symptom experience at menopause as two aspects of human variation. I am also interested in the evolution of menopause and post-reproductive aging as a human trait. Fieldwork on the topic of menopause has taken me from western Massachusetts to Mexico, Slovenia, Paraguay, Hawaii, Bangladesh, and the UK.
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Milena Marchesi , Lecturer and Chief Undergraduate Advisor
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Cultural Anthropology: Reproductive, migration, and family politics in Italy, medical anthropology, social welfare and neoliberalism. Areas of specialization: Italy and Europe.

 

Robert Paynter, Professor
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Archaeology: political economy, stratified societies, historical archaeology, quantitative methods. Northeast North America.

 

Ventura Perez, Associate Professor, Graduate Admission Director
Editor-n-Chief Landscapes of Violence
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Bio-archaeology: My primary area of interest is interpersonal and institutional forms of violence.  My work focuses on cultural representations of violence using an interdisciplinary inquiry that includes social science and behavioral and biological research (specifically skeletal trauma), along with the analysis of artifacts and ethnohistoric research.  I view the use of violence as a cultural performance and argue that in order to understand its use we must strive to recognize the culturally specific circumstances under which it is produced and maintained.  My other interests include skeletal biology, taphonomy, forensic anthropology, paleopathology, and the etiology of diseases affecting the human skeleton. My research is currently in Zacatecas, Mexico at the site of La Quemada (AD 900) and in the greater Southwest.

Violence & Conflict Research Lab

 

Jonathan Rosa, Assistant Professor
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Linguistic and Sociocultural Anthropology: multilingual and multimodal communication; language ideologies and standardization; ethnolinguistic formations; semiotics; race and racialization; embodiment; (im)migration, citizenship, and diaspora; politics of multiculturalism; neoliberalism; youth socialization; education; structural inequality; Latin@s; Urban U.S. and Latin America.

My work theorizes the co-naturalization of language and race as a way of apprehending modes of societal exclusion and inclusion across institutional domains. Specifically, I analyze the interplay between linguistic discrimination, racial marginalization, and educational inequality in urban contexts. I collaborate with local communities to track these phenomena and develop tools for understanding and eradicating the forms of disparity to which they correspond. My community-based approach to research, teaching, and service reflects a vision of scholarship as a platform for imagining and enacting more just societies.


 

Jennifer Sandler, Director, UMass Alliance for Community Transformation (UACT) and Lecturer
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My research focuses on the knowledge practices of social change movements and coalitions. I have conducted ethnographic research in several U.S. cities as well as in Mexico with diverse activists, including community organizers, popular educators, policy activists, urban education activists, science advocates, and grant makers. I develop an understanding of activist coalitions by following the stories they tell about themselves and about their struggles, unfolding the layers of narrative and event that form the basis for collective epistemic identity and vision.  My own activism revolves around working with marginalized communities to build critical consciousness and political power to shape the institutions and policies that affect them. However, I find that great intellectual grist comes from engaging in ethnographic relationship with activists in different social positions and of wildly diverse political and ideological stripes. Other research interests include social theory, critical pedagogy, neoliberalism, immigration, sense of place/community, social movements, social policy, and meetings as research sites. 
UACT web site:  http://www.umass.edu/uact/

 

Michael Sugerman, Senior Lecturer
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I am an archaeologist interested in inter-cultural contact, exchange, and power relations in ancient complex societies. Throughout my career I have investigated Bronze and Iron Age economic structures in the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean through the use of stylistic, elemental, and microstructural studies of plain ceramics and other non-elite, Œordinary¹ goods. Over the course of the past fifteen years, I have carried out field research in many of the countries of the east Mediterranean littoral: Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece. At present I am beginning a project on Cyprus in which I will investigate archaeological markers of ethnic identity as well as the ways contemporary researchers assign ethnic identities and boundaries to the ancient populations of the island. I am also interested in the ways we can use ancient texts together with archaeological data to investigate ancient societies. In order to follow through on this interest I regularly teach classes in the departments of Classics and of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies here at UMass.
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Jacqueline Urla, Professor
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Gender and Sexuality, Language Politics, Youth and Popular Culture, Nationalism & cultural Identitites, The Ethnography of Resistance, Basques of Western Europe, Visual anthropology. I've done long term ethnographic research on the Basque language revival movement examining such issues as language standarsization, youth community media projects, music, and the political uses of language censuses. At the same time, I also teach and write about gender, sexuality and the body; the anthropology of Europe; ethnographic theory and method. I teach courses in the politics and poetics of visual anthropology and have experimented with creating a digital ethnographic video production lab.
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Amanda Walker Johnson, Associate Professor (Off Fall 2014)
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Cultural Anthropology: I am a cultural anthropologist interested in the intersection of critical race theory, anthropology of science, and critical educational theory, and I am committed to conducting research and pedagogy as work for social justice. My research examines the ways in which systems of standardized testing and the production of "scientific" knowledge about race, segregation, failure, and risk, particularly as products of standardized testing, impact education in the US, particularly for African Americans and Latino/as. Additionally, I teach courses related to education and race; critical race theory and political economy of race in the US; feminist theories of race, body, and nation; and cultural and identity politics in the African Diaspora.

 

Emeritus and Retired Faculty:

George J. Armelagos , Professor Emeritus
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Physical Anthropology, skeletal biology, race and racism, demography, evolution of diet and disease; Mediterranean Africa.

John Cole, Professor Emeritus
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My dedication to the "Pig's Eye Perspective" means that I try to understand the world from the bottom up. So, I'm interested in how the masses of humanity cope with each other, with their habitat, and with those who hold economic, political, and ideological power. Beginning in high school and continuing through most of my intellectual life, my choices have been within the context of the Cold War. Early on in my studies, I abandoned the tribesman for the peasant and the worker and focused on the development of capitalism and the forms of accommodation and resistance it inspired. Since the "fall of the wall" I've been concerned with the expansion of United States militarism and its impact at home and abroad. I have also struggled to understand and resist the threats to intellectual curiosity and critical thinking in Europe and America that seem to be endemic to academic life.

My particular ethnographic beat has been Europe, mainly on the Germanic-Romance frontier in the Alps and in the ethnic stew of Transylvania . But following UMass students around I've also become familiar with many other locals and peoples all over Europe . I will also confess to an addiction to "Intellectual Jet-Setting." The colleagues I've met and the places I've visited in the process have also contributed to my understanding.

I continue to pursue these interests, but freed of professional and administrative constants by retirement, I've becoming a true dilettante. I've also been struggling to grow a satisfactory tomato at 2000 feet altitude in the green hills of Vermont


Dena Ferran Dincauze , Professor Emeritus
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Ralph Faulkingham, Professor Emeritus
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I am a cultural anthropologist with interests in theories of rural development, especially in Africa. My field work, spanning four decades has been in Hausa-speaking Niger in West Africa, and my research interests there have ranged from local level politics to cultural ecology, to political economy, and more recently to writing an ethnography of local discourses about love, life, and death. I currently co-edit the principal journal of the African Studies Association, the African Studies Review.
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Laurie Godfrey, Professor Emeritus
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I am a biological anthropologist and paleontologist with interests in nonhuman primate anatomy and evolution. I study how individual development provides clues to behavior and to the "life history strategies" of extinct species. I use a variety of techniques to reconstruct the behavior and "lifeways" of extinct animals, with the ultimate goal of being able to reconstruct whole communities of primates in the past, and their transitions to the present. My particular expertise is the lemurs of Madagascar, where I have worked in the field for several decades. On this great island, I have worked with colleagues to better understand the recent extinctions of the "megafauna" (including the giant lemurs).
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Joel Martin Halpern , Professor Emeritus
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Cultural anthropology, photography, historical demography, history of anthropology, temporal perspectives as methodologies, foreign policies and societal impacts, digitization of archival materials. Research in Southeast Europe, Southeast Asia, Arctic and with immigrant groups in U.S. and Canada. For photo collections and archives, see:
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/SEAiT/subcollections/LaosAbout.html
http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/galleries/halpern.htm
http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/umarmot/?tag=h


Alfred B. Hudson , Professor Emeritus
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Borneo language classification. Historian, Randolph (NH) History Project. Archivist, Randolph Mountain Club. http://www.randolphmountainclub.org

Arthur Keene, Professor Emeritus
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Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology: Community cooperation, Grassroots community development. Community Service Learning. Kibbutz, Israel and North America.


Mitchell T. Mulholland, Research Professor Emeritus
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Archaeology: cultural resource management, applied archaeology, archaeology and the law. Northeast North America.

 

Enoch H. Page, Retired Associate Professor
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As a cultural anthropologist my interest lies mainly in theories of race and racism in the United States, but also in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. My field work - in Zimbabwe, Jamaica, the American South and in urban America

Oriol Pi-Sunyer , Professor Emeritus
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Cultural Anthropology, political and economic anthropology, the modern state, minority nationalism, tourism, maritime anthropology. Europe, Mesoamerica.


Donald A. Proulx , Professor Emeritus
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Archaeology, Andes, Peru, ancient civilizations, ceramics, iconography, settlement patterns. Since my retirement in 2002 I have continued my research on the Nasca Culture of Peru, especially my analysis of the complex iconography painted on their polychrome pottery, in an attempt to interpret and better understand this pre-literate society. For biographical information, research summaries, and on-line papers: http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~proulx/


Alan C. Swedlund , Professor Emeritus
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Demography and health in historical New England; population dynamics, demography, and health in the prehistoric Southwestern U.S. Recent research includes a book on medical anthropological approaches to understanding the processes of illness, death, and loss in historical populations. Secondly, I am collaborating with a group doing agent-based computer simulations of population transitions in the prehistoric Pueblo people. I am also conducting research on the health and fitness movements of the American Progressive Era. For biographical information, research summaries, and on-line papers: http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~swedlund/


R. Brooke Thomas , Professor Emeritus
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Biocultural anthropology, human adaptability, environmental anthropology, and political ecology. His research has included adaptation and exploitation in high Peruvian Andes, tourism on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and community reforestation in India.


H. Martin Wobst, Professor Emeritus
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Archaeology: theory and method. Old World prehistory, ecology and demography of egalitarian societies, Pleistocene ecology. Europe.

Adjunct Faculty

Aulino, Felicity
DiGiacomo, Susan
Goodman, Alan
Heyward-Rotimi, Kamela
Jacobson, Ken
Keough, Leyla
Labrador, Angela
Lass, Andrew
Root, Dolores
Shah, Svati
Silberman, Neil
Waters, Margaret

 
Journalism Program, 108 Bartlett Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 phone: 413.545.1376 fax: 413.545.3349 email: info@journ.umass.edu
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