Heo, Dr. Angie, Max Planck Institute, Gottingen, Germany - To aid workshop on 'Bordering Religions in (Post-) Cold War Worlds,' 2016, St. Petersburg, Russia, in collaboration with Dr. Jeanne Kormina
Preliminary abstract: This workshop investigates the interconnected linkages between religious and geopolitical worlds to grapple with the Cold War's legacies in the non-West. Current invocations of 'new Cold Wars', in various regions from annexed Crimea to the divided Koreas, indicate the necessity to engage with the transregional complexities of border politics and the intertwining local lives of post-socialism. Our three-day workshop Bordering Religions in (Post-) Cold War Worlds will convene an international, interdisciplinary team of 17 experts to study the geopolitics of religion primarily across Europe (Eastern and Western) and Asia (Central, South and Northeast). The workshop brings ethnographers of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, atheism and secularism into comparative conversation on the roles of religion and anti-religion in crafting frontiers, transgressions, alliances and enmities in (post-) Cold War contexts. By engaging with the empirical and theoretical thematic of 'borders', we aim to advance discussion and debate around the 1) communicative and 2) spatial dimensions of everyday religious and geopolitical life. Examining the border-work done by religions and non-religions will further provide a key entry for anthropologists to understand better their political mobilizations worldwide.
Mitchell, Dr. Peter, U. of Oxford, UK - To aid workshop on 'Advancing Archaeology & Heritage in Lesotho: Lessons from the Metolong Dam Cultural Resource Management Project,' 2014, National U. of Lesotho, Roma, in collaboration with Dr. Rachel King
'Advancing Archaeology & Heritage in Lesotho: Lessons from the Metolong Dam Cultural Resource Management Project'
July 10-12, 2014, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho
Organizers: Peter Mitchell and Rachel King (U. Oxford)
The workshop was convened to discuss the outcomes of the Metolong Cultural Resource Management (MCRM) Project associated with western Lesotho's Metolong Dam, and their relevance for heritage management in Lesotho. With its broad mandate and long tenure (from 2008-2012), the MCRM Project has completed excavations of Middle and Later Stone Age and Iron Age sites, rock art recording and removal, archival and intangible heritage assessments, and has trained ten Basotho archaeologists in a range of field skills. These accomplishments are major improvements on earlier dam-related cultural resource management in Lesotho, and this workshop was held to discuss the applicability of its outcomes to similar future projects. The meeting thus had two aims: 1) to discuss the outcomes of Metolong's heritage program with an audience of Basotho, South African, and international heritage managers, government representatives, and academics; and 2) to identify future directions for similar projects that productively combine archaeological research with local capacity-building initiatives. Importantly, this workshop was partly conducted by graduates of Metolong's training program, who have formed the Lesotho Heritage Network (lesothoheritage.wordpress.com), which allowed them to make valuable professional connections and to draw out those issues that they think are most relevant for their future as Lesotho's largest body of professional heritage managers. Workshop outcomes included specific recommendations with a focus on coupling responsible heritage management protocols with capacity building, applicable to: governmental measures to make heritage consultation compulsory in construction schemes; southern African professional archaeological associations pursuing accreditation schemes for field trainees and technicians; and the potential for training Basotho heritage managers in specific skills as part of modules within the National University of Lesotho or Morija Museum and Archives.
James, Dr. Wilmot G., Africa Genome Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa - To aid conference on genomics and African society: the future health of Africa, 2004, Cairo
'Genomics and African Society: The Future Health of Africa,' March 26-28, 2004, Cairo, Egypt -- Organizer: Wilmot G. James (Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa). Archaeologists, physical anthropologists, geneticists, linguists, and historians with an interest in the long-term history of African people met in Cairo in March 2004 to debate the implications of recent genetic advances for their disciplines. These paleoscientists found much in common but reported many difficulties in probing the meanings of each other's texts and diagrams. Genetic and linguistic analyses of modem communities, combined with analyses of archaeological and fossil materials, promised to reveal many new details of Africa's rich cultural and fossil heritage. The overarching focus of the meeting, alongside the themes of ethics and biotechnology, was the successive diffusions and migrations into and out of Africa that mark the history of the continent. Although each discipline has much to offer individually, it became clear that when successfully and sensitively combined, these paleodisciplines could write a lucid and detailed historical narrative of African history.
Crews, Dr. Douglas Earl, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid conference on 'Evolution Theory, Life History, and Human Longevity,' 2009, Ohio State U.
'Evolution Theory, Life History, and Human Longevity'
February 5-7, 2009, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Organizer: Douglas E. Crews (Ohio State University)
This conference brought together a diverse group of researchers, representing anthropology, medicine and biology, to link their research programs into the broad theme of human life history (LH) evolution. The multi-disciplinary perspective was crucial to examining how LH characteristics link diverse species such as fruit flies and rodents to primate and human
LH evolution. Crosscutting anthropological, biocultural, biomedical, and gerontological interests, this conference focused upon similarities of systems in biology and LH. Papers addressing such issues as reproductive costs, evolutionary pressures, and longevity in fruit flies and humans set the stage for an interdisciplinary exchange of concepts and methodologies. Reports on LH of non-human primates and among fossil hominins explored how modern human life histories and longevities may have developed. Concluding papers examined how modern humans senesce and experience frailty and late-life due to
biocultural forces acting over a 70+-year lifespan. This integrative conference ranged from senescent alterations in fruit flies to the trade-offs encountered by humans as they have evolved.
Abbots, Dr. Emma-Jayne, U. of Wales, Lampeter, Wales, UK - To aid workshop on 'Embodied Encounters: Exploring the Materialities of Food Stuffs,' 2014, U. of Wales, in collaboration with Dr. Louise Steel
'Embodied Encounters: Exploring the Materialities of Food 'Stuffs''
May 20-22, 2014, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Lampeter), UK
Organizers: Emma-Jayne Abbots and Louise Steel (U. Wales TSD)
This workshop examined how people -- in both contemporary and historical contexts -- encounter and experience the materialities of 'foodstuffs,' meaning both food's material components and the objects through which these are produced, exchanged and consumed. The primary aims were to initiate a dialogue about the ways in which changing interactions with the material world (re)produces new bodies, knowledges, and mediators and to examine the translations, transformations and transmissions (re)produced through these processes. It took an innovative approach to its subject; blending experential activities with conceptually framed panels and thematic roundtable discussion. The workshop further aimed to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and participants were drawn from cultural anthropology, archaeology, human geography and history. The workshop's core objectives -- to develop a conceptual toolkit, grounded in ethnographic and archaeological case studies, and develop methodologies for exploring diverse material relations between foods, objects and bodies -- are being delivered through two publications-a special issue of Gastronomica journal and an edited collection with Routledge. The workshop also laid the foundations for a research network on food stuffs which has resulted in a follow-up workshop.
Sjoerslev, Dr. Inger G., Institute of Anthropology, Copenhagen, Denmark - To aid 7th biennial of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), 2002, Copenhagen, in collaboration with Dr. Jon P. Mitchell
Njau, Dr. Jackson, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid conference on 'Fifty Years after Homo Habilis: East African Association for Paleoanthropology & Paleontology (EAAPP),' 2015, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in collaboration with Dr. Charles Saanane
'Fifty Years After Homo habilis: East African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology (EAAPP)'
August 3-6, 3015, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Organizers: Jackson Njau (Indiana U.) and Charles Saanane (U. Dar Es Salaam)
The East African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology (EAAPP) celebrated its 10th anniversary by holding its fifth biennial conference to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the type specimens of Homo habilis (OH 7) by the Leakeys at Olduvai Gorge. The meeting brought together 80 researchers, cultural heritage managers, museum professional and students representing twelve countries -- Austria, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, and U.S.A. -- to present research finds in the fields of paleontology, archaeology and paleoanthropology. More than 50 scholarly papers were presented in three days, many touching on core issues in paleoanthropology and examining major advances in the field fifty years after the discovery of H. habilis. While the current membership has tripled in the last ten years, EAAPP has succeeded in reaching out to the broader scientific community, including scholars, cultural heritage managers and policy makers in Eastern Africa by rotating the conference in the major fossil hub countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia). In addition to Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli sites, Tanzania is also home to the iconic dinosaurs site of Tendaguru. The next meeting will be held in Ethiopia in summer 2017.
Kreinath, Dr. Jens Michael, Wichita State U., Wichita, KS - To aid workshop on 'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression,' 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia, in collaboration with Refika Sarionder Kreinath
'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression'
August 28-29, 2008, Lubljana, Slovenia
Organizers: Jens Kreinath (Wichita State University) and Fefika Sariönder (University of Bielefeld)
The workshop was held during the 2008 meetings of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its attempt was to overcome the dichotomy of thought and action ubiquitous to ritual theory. The ambition was to establish an interdisciplinary forum that is able to reconfigure these commonly assumed parameters of ritual theory and to elaborate on how theoretic discourse and ritual practice can be conceptually interrelated with one another. The objective was to establish more refined theoretical and meta-theoretical parameters that would enable one to transgress the prevailing theoretical assumptions and help to account for the transformative dynamics of ritual reflexivity and to conceptualize these dynamics as part of the theoretical discourse and ritual practice. Taking these thematic configurations as a point of departure, two epistemological issues were of importance: 1) whether and how rituals can be conceptualized as reflecting, or reflecting upon, the dynamics of social relations; and 2) whether and how theoretical accounts of ritual can be facilitated to analyze more adequately the processes of ritual reflexivity.