UMass Amherst Graduate School to Honor Anthro Alum at 100th Anniversary Gala
Marking its 100th anniversary, the UMass Amherst Graduate School will honor a graduate alumnus from each of UMass Amherst's schools and colleges at a gala on April 9. For the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Michael Blakey '85 PhD, '80 MA (anthropology), a National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary, has been selected. Earlier that day, from 10-11:30 in Campus Center 904-908, Blakey will present a lecture,"The Idea of Race and the Nature Politic," that is free and open to the public.
Blakey's area of specialization includes biological anthropology, biohistory, skeletal biology of North American and African diaspora. "I have been working on the interface of human biology and culture in a variety of ways," says Blakey. "These include an examination of the social history of theories that connect biology, 'nature,' social inequality, and behavior; the articulation between human biology, racial ideology, and public policy; the political economy of health in industrial society; the bioarchaeology of the African diaspora; and the ethics and epistemology of publicly engaged research. I also have a long standing interest in how museum interpretations demonstrate ideology and in the development of methods in dental paleopathology. My research on the 17th- and 18th-century African Burial Ground in New York City and the comparative database on the bioarchaeology of the African Diaspora are being developed at William and Mary's Institute for Historical Biology which I direct."
Blakey also is the director of the New York African Burial Ground Project and serves on the Scholarly Advisory Committee of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. A former professor of anthropology and anatomy at Howard University, Blakey was the curator of the W. Montague Cobb Human Skeletal Collection there and served as a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution for nine years. A former president of the Association of Black Anthropologists (1987-89), Blakey recently was honored by the American Slaves Foundation with its highest award, "The Enlightenment Award," at its Black History Month celebration.
Blakey's scholarly publications concern the history and philosophy of science, paleopathology, historical demography, medical anthropology, racism, museums, and anthropological ethics. His papers appear in journals such as American Anthropologist, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, International Journal of Anthropology, and Critique of Anthropology. Blakey is a focal point in the PBS Special "Slavery's Buried Past," originally aired in 1996, that is part of the Peabody Award-winning series "The New Explorers."
In addition to his PhD and MA from UMass Amherst, Blakey holds a B.A. (1978) in anthropology from Howard University. He received an honory D.Sc. from York College, City University of New York in 1995.
March 3, 2008
Read more about the Graduate School Centennial.