Grine, Dr. Frederick, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid conference on 'What Is Homo? The origin of our genus,' 2006, Stony Brook, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Leakey
'Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium.' October 3-7, 2006, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York. Organizers: Frederick Grine and Dr. Richard Leakey, Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University has recently begun sponsoring a series of Workshops in Human Evolution. These are modeled along the lines of the Wenner-Gren conferences that were held at Burg Wartenstein, Austria, bringing together small groups of scholars to meet in an informal setting for several days. These workshops seek to address major issues in palaeoanthropology. The first two workshops, held in 2004 and 2005, focused on the topics 'African Origin of Modern Humans' and 'Out of Africa I: Who, Where and When?' This third workshop addressed 'The Origin of the Genus Homo.' The goal of the workshop was to bring together the researchers who have contributed most influentially to the interpretation of the palaeontological, archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence pertaining to the origin and early evolution of our own genus. The opening day was held on the Stony Brook University campus, and consisted of a public symposium with lectures by seven of the participants. These lectures were followed by panel discussions involving the other workshop participants. Following the one-day, public symposium, the workshop was convened at a private retreat where the participants engaged in informal, round-table discussion of different topics addressing several themes that are relevant to the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. General themes included: Alpha taxonomy, Phylogeny, Ancestry, Archaeology, Behavior, Diet, Bodies, Development, Energetics, Geochronology, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology. The individual papers that were contributed and discussed will be brought together in an edited volume to be published by Springer.
Bonanno, Dr. Anthony, U. of Malta, Msida, Malta - To aid 14th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), 2008, U. of Malta, in collaboration with Dr. Anthony F. Harding
'The 14th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)'
September 16-21, 2008, Malta
Organizers: Anthony Bonanno (University of Malta) and Anthony Harding (University of Exeter)
Approximately 600 archaeologists from 30 countries attended the EAA Meeting in Malta. Several hundreds of papers and posters, organized into 55 sessions and round tables, were delivered. The main themes were 'Managing the Archaeological Record and Cultural Heritage,' 'Archaeology and Material Culture - Interpreting the Material Record,' and 'Archaeology in the Modern World: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives.' Chronologically, the contributions ranged from early Palaeolithic to the modernity and included current matters related with archaeology in Europe. The printed program contained abstracts of all the papers and posters, the same as a directory of the participants. Thirty-three archaeologists from Eastern and Central Europe were able to attend the meeting thanks to support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, which partly covered their travel and accommodation expenses or conference fees. This year's academic sessions and roundtable discussions were complemented by a variety of conference-sponsored social events and excursions to the most important Maltese archaeological sites as well as by an exhibition of archaeological literature.
Shankland, Dr. David P., U. of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom - To aid conference of Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) on 'Anthropological and Archaeological Imaginations: Past, Present, and Future,' 2009, U. of Bristol
'ASA09: Anthropological and Archaeological Imaginations: Past, Present and Future'
April 6-9, 2009, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Organizer: David Shankland, University of Bristol
The aim of the 2009 conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists was to bring together anthropologists and archaeologists to create a sustained dialogue between the two disciplines. In particular, conference participants were asked to note that though archaeologists have long taken notice of social anthropologists and the work that they have done, anthropologists have been much less ready to repay the complement. The call for papers yielded a substantial response. Ultimately there were some 400 delegates, most of whom also offered papers. An opening address by Professor Herzfeld (Harvard) was followed by three plenary sessions. These plenary sessions, with some supplementary chapters, will be published by Berg as part of the ASA monograph series, while individual presenters have been invited to publish their articles electronically on the ASA site. The theme of the conference clearly attracted considerable interest, which participants hope to build upon with continuing efforts to foster links between the two disciplines.
Mitchell, Dr. Jon P., U. of Sussex, Brighton, UK - To aid workshop on 'Cognition, Performance, and the Senses,' 2011, U. of Sussex, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Bull
Preliminary abstract: This workshop aims to shed new light on the anthropology of religious transmission by bringing together cognitive theories of ritual with the anthropology of the senses, and performance studies. It points towards key omissions in the cognitive understanding of religious ritual, suggesting that these omissions can be rectified through the confrontation of theories coming from cognitive anthropology, the anthropology of the senses and performance studies. The workshop will bring together scholars from this cognitivist theoretical tradition, and those from the anthropology of the senses on the one hand and performance studies on the other hand, in order to confront these short-comings with the cognitive account, and explore the potential of bringing these three analytical frameworks together, for improving our understanding of religious transmission.
Hinsley, Dr. Curtis, Northern Arizona U., Flagstaff, AZ - To aid conference on the naturalization of the past: nation-building and the development of anthropology and natural history in the Americas, 2002, Flagstaff, in collaboration with Dr. P. Kohl
Capo-Zmegac, Dr. Jasna, U. of Zagreb, Croatia - To aid 12th SIEF congress (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) on 'Utopias, Realities, Heritages: Ethnographies for the 21st Century,' 2015, Zagreb, in collaboration with Dr. Maria Saraiva
Preliminary abstract: The Congress theme takes the triad of utopias, realities, and heritages as a challenge and seeks to relate it to the ethnographic study of expressive culture and everyday practices in European ethnology, cultural anthropology and folklore studies. The Congress theme thus aims at analysing the contemporary moment in the production of imaginaries, projections, wishes, frustrations and anxieties that people have with regard to the the past and future and at the same time it proposes to throw a self-reflexive stance at our disciplines' own role in defininig the future and imagining the past. While the topic of utopias has recently surged as an iconic term in other academic conferences, ours gives it a special twist by linking it to specifically anthropological and ethnological approaches to everyday realities which are the context of both utopian visions of the future and reinterpretations of the past as heritage. The biennial SIEF Congress, held for the first time in the SIEF history in a Southeast European country, Croatia, aims at involving more intensely colleagues from Europe's margins and beyond in international scholarly exchange in cultural anthropology, European Ethnology, folklore studies and adjoining fields.
Staniforth, Dr. Mark, Flinders U., Adelaide, Australia - To aid 'Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage,' 2011, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
'Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage'
November 8-12, 2011, National Museum of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
Organizer: Dr. Mark Staniforth (U. Adelaide)
The five-day Inaugural Asian Academy for Heritage Management Asia-Pacific conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage was sponsored by UNESCO, with additional support provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation to assist with travel expenses so scholars from Asia, Oceania, and the Pacific could attend. Presented papers were published in a hard copy of the conference proceedings. In total 144 abstracts were submitted; these included 117 paper abstracts for the twelve organized sessions, two panel discussions and fifteen posters. Prooceedings are also available at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology Online (MUA): http://www.themua.org/collections/items/browse?collection=2
Nkwi, Dr. Paul N., U. of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon (for Pan African Anthropology Assn.) - To aid conference on the science of man and the emerging issues of the 21st century in Africa, 2005, Yaounde, in collaboration with Dr. Antoine Socpa
The Pan African Anthropological Association (PAAA) organized its 15th Annual Conference from August 8 to 12, 2005 in Yaounde, Cameroon under the theme 'The Science of Man and the emerging issues of the 21 st Century' Defined as the science of humankind par excellence, Anthropology encompasses both the biological and the social aspects of humankind. It aspires for a global discourse on man. It seeks answers to questions such as 'the real contribution of the discipline in providing sustainable solutions to human problems in general and to the myriad of problems facing Africa today in particular. The conference which was attended by more than 100 participants from 25 countries around the world debated the issues tabled for discussion as well as reviewing the teaching and practice of anthropology in African universities. Held under the auspices of the Cameroon Minister of Higher Education, the participants from 25 countries debated some of the emerging issues and discussed the positioning of anthropology in a fast changing Africa. In his address, Prof. Beban Chumbow, Vice Chancellor of the University of Yaounde I, provided a lucid background to the history of anthropology at his university, hinting that anthropology had come of age and should enjoy a pride of place in African universities while the Minister of Higher Education expressed his hope that anthropology will continue to be taught in many African universities and was particularly delighted that man was at the centre of our deliberations and reflection. 'It is our task as social scientists, he declared, 'to address the challenges we face in view of resolving them drawing on our methodological and theoretical skills'.
Jillani, Mr. Ngalla Edward, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya - To aid conference on 'Towards Understanding Palaeoenvironment during the First 'Out of Africa,' ' 2006, National Museums, in collaboration with Dr. Fredrick Kyala Manthi
Geo-environmental conditions may have triggered migrations at various times in the last 3 million years ago. Physical human factors and the environment can also trigger movement both at local and continental scale. Ecology and behaviour of a dispersing species becomes more variable as novel environments are settled and no close competitors are encountered. Adaptability, key factor to an organism's ability to endure change, thrive and spread to new environments rather than climatic shift and expansion of grasslands may explain success of early Homo in its novel environments. Ubeidiya, with Mediterranean-type of environmental setting contrary to woody savannahs earlier interpreted for the initial stages of exodus, may mean that ecological success of hominins dispersing out of Africa should be sought in intrinsic characters rather than their adaptation to Savanna grasslands. Migration to another continent represents a radical departure into the unknown and usually follows easiest routes to regain known conditions. Foreign environments are colonized only if known habitats are completely destroyed till there is nothing to live on. Considerable changes in faunas during early Pleistocene in East Africa saw Primates and Carnivores experiencing increase in speciation and extinction rates. Ecosystems re-organization in the region's basins potentially encouraged dispersion through search of new resources and increased inter and intra specific population competition. Anatomical and behavioural evidences point to first migration by Homo into Eurasia from Africa about 1.7 million years ago (ma) at 3 km per generation. This quick successful dispersal and colonization possibly took place via the Levant, Sinai Peninsula, Afar triangle into the Arabian peninsular or the strait of Bab al Mandab. Brain size and specialized technology seem to have conferred less advantage despite the latter's considered significance in hominid evolution. High hominid variability evident in Dmanisi and Turkana basin imply that those penetrating new environments and colonizing new lands were experiencing ecological release, key to behavioural changes. An endemic species, Homo australis, colonized South Africa and highly probably Homo erectus/ergaster never did. To create a clearer out of Africa picture, more field research works be directed to areas not extensively worked, combining theoretical and methodological themes in the field, tease out stress driven markers in teeth to decipher environmental/ecological stresses, consider exodus as a process therefore work towards predictive models by considering short time intervals and finally encourage active collaborative data exchange among researchers in all regions.