NSF Grant Funds Anthro Research Experience for Students
The National Science Foundation has awarded $149,500 to the Department of Anthropology for implementation of "Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS)." Principle Investigators Krista Harper and Jacqueline Urla will direct this three-year International Research Experience for Students (IRES) project that will allow fifteen undergraduate and graduate students from UMass Amherst and the Five Colleges consortium to participate. Three cohorts of students, selected by Harper and Urla, will conduct systematic, comparative research around the theme of critical heritage anthropology in collaboration with the graduate program in Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona in Spain.
In each year of the training program, a faculty supervisor will lead five students through the design and execution of field research projects organized around one of three central research streams: memory, monuments, and commemoration" (2010–11); multicultural heritage in Europe (2011–12); and producing localities (2012–13). Students will contribute to three key areas of inquiry for global, comparative investigation of cultural heritage as a site of conflict and cooperation. The program will provide an integrative framework for an ethnographic field school, drawing from the four subfields of anthropology (cultural, linguistic, archaeological, and biological) and serving as a model for interdisciplinary teambuilding in applied heritage anthropology.
The three-semester course series includes an ethnographic research design and methods seminar in the fall, field research in Europe and workshops at the University of Barcelona in the spring, and a capstone seminar on the management, analysis, presentation, and write up of field research the following fall. The NSF grant provides travel funding, workshop expenses, and stipends for students' fieldwork. Professor Elizabeth Krause (anthropology), an expert on historical anthropology and memory in Italy, will be field supervisor for the first cohort this fall. Applications for the 2010–11 round of the program will be solicited in April.
This NSF-funded project builds upon the strengths of the UMass Department of Anthropology's European Field Studies Program, which this year celebrates its 40th year of preparing students for successful anthropological field research experiences in Europe. The UMass Center for Heritage and Society, directed by Professor Elizabeth Chilton, chair of the Anthropology Department, collaborated closely with Harper and Urla to build the international institutional partnership and to develop the project's focus on international heritage studies. Participating students will draw from a team of twelve faculty mentors at UMass and in Barcelona, as well as the institutional resources of the UMass Amherst Libraries and the Five Colleges, Inc.
Harper, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, serves as director of the European Field Studies Program. Urla is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and director of the UMass Modern European Studies Program.
For more information, please contact Krista Harper.
March 9, 2010