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The study of Anthropology promotes an understanding of self and of all humanity by exploring human nature from its beginnings to the present. There is perhaps no single field of study that can better prepare students to cope with the challenges of the 21st century than anthropology. Confronted with increasing global population, rapid technological change, rising tides of nationalism, and economic globalization, many look to the future with uncertainty. Anthropology provides understanding and answers based on a century of exploring the development of human nature, society, and culture. It is the only social science that seeks to understand both human biological and cultural variation in the past and in the present.

Anthropology Forums

   

It’s Never too Late to Seek Pride

Dr. Turhon Murad

Professor Emeritus, Anthropology Department, CSU, Chico

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Dr. Turhon Murad was instrumental in beginning and growing the highly-respected Forensic Anthropology program at CSU, Chico. In this presentation, however, he journeys to his roots in the village of Lakavica in Albania. This leads to a story intertwining Dr. Murad’s family history with the centuries-long struggle of the people there for their independence and identity. This region of the Balkans was traditionally called Macedonia and was part of Greece, but due to political differences, the Greeks have not let the people there use that name – thus, their country is called Albania. The region’s people have been subjected to the rule of many outsiders, from the Ottoman Empire to the communist takeover of Macedonia in the 1940s, which was then incorporated into Yugoslavia. However, the people have managed to maintain their customs and their identity.

Presentation Time:  52 minutes

Earth First” or Anti-oppression? Ritual & Conflict Within Radical Environmentalism

Dr. Sarah Pike

Faculty, Comparative Religion and Humanities Department, CSU, Chico

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During several years of conducting research about radical environmental groups such as “Earth First!”, Dr. Sarah Pike has been seeking the answers to two questions: (1) What is the relationship between ritual and social change – that is, are there cultural conditions underlying social change that include ritualizing? (2) What motivates young people to risk arrest, and sometimes their lives, in dangerous protests? She shares some of her observations of these groups, including a trend in radical environmentalism of linking the devastation of the natural world to other forms of abuse and oppression. Dr. Pike also talks about how the label “eco-terrorist” sparked her interest in this research.

Presentation Time:  43 minutes

Above and Beyond: The Eighth Field Season at Betty’s Hope Plantation, Antigua, West Indies

Dr. Georgia Fox

Faculty, CSU, Chico Anthropology Department

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For eight summers, Dr. Georgia Fox has accompanied her CSU, Chico anthropology students to the West Indies island of Antigua to participate in an ongoing excavation of a 17th-Century sugar plantation. Each “dig” has revealed more about what life was like on such a plantation – and has provided Chico State students with first-hand experience in archaeological mapping and surveying, field excavation, and other aspects of archaeological field work. During the three summers of 2007-2009, remains of the Great House were revealed; in 2010, more of the Great House and the Kitchen; in 2011-2012, the rest of the Kitchen; in 2013, the Rum Distillery; and in 2014, the rest of the Rum Distillery and part of the Slave Quarters area. Plans have been made for another trip in 2015. There is a visitor’s center/museum on the site, and the discoveries by Dr. Fox’s students have contributed to visitors’ understanding of the site’s history.

Presentation Time:  50 minutes

Beyond the Binary: Gender Dysphoria & Gender Identity

Dr. Thomas W. Johnson

Professor Emeritus, CSU, Chico Department of Anthropology

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Since retiring from teaching cultural anthropology at CSU, Chico, Dr. Thomas Johnson has surveyed over 3,000 eunuchs – with eunuch defined as a biological male whose testicles have been removed or destroyed. He notes that some of these people have been castrated voluntarily, and they do not fall into the male or female binary dichotomy.  Some have what is known as extreme gender dysphoria, which is not the same as male-to-female transgender. This group desires to not be male but does not wish to be female, either. Dr. Johnson also discusses the presence of eunuchs throughout history. Some were castrated to become castrati – opera singers who could reach unusually high notes, with a different tone quality from female-born sopranos. He also notes that, centuries ago, court eunuchs were common in China, Vietnam, Assyria, Turkey, and other countries.

Presentation Time:  52 minutes

 

Maritime Navigation and the Archaeology of Shipwrecks

Dr. Thomas Layton

Faculty, San Jose State University

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Dr. Layton tells a fascinating story about how his study of Pomo Indian settlements in Mendocino County in California led to research about the story of Americans involved in the opium trade with China in the mid-19th century. While excavating a Pomo Indian site, he and his crew began to find pieces of Chinese porcelain and bottle glass. This led to the site of an 1850 shipwreck off the coast. The ship was The Frolic, a clipper ship that traveled to Bombay and China, trading opium. Dr. Layton ended up at Harvard University, researching boxes of files about The Frolic and the opium trade. Dr. Layton’s presentation on campus was in conjunction with his serving as guest curator for the exhibit, “Maritime Navigation and the Archaeology of Shipwrecks,” at the CSU, Chico Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology.

Presentation Time:  44 minutes

 

Regional Regulatory Regimes and the Political Ecology of Critical Mining Development in the Rural American West

Jeffrey Jenkins

PhD Student, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

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Jeffrey Jenkins, who earned his Master’s Degree at CSU, Chico, is writing his doctoral dissertation on the subject of this presentation. He begins by providing background about economic restructuring and the mining legacy in the Western United States. He goes on to put this in the current context of the political-economic drivers of critical minerals classification: policy, innovation, and geopolitics. Jenkins then provides theoretical frameworks for this issue. He finishes with comparative studies for currently proposed mines on United States Forest Service lands.

Presentation Time:  49 minutes

 

Historic Preservation of Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base

Lisa Westwood

Faculty, Anthropology Department, California State University, Chico

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The subtitle of this presentation is “An Archaeological Site Representing the First Human Lunar Landing.” Ms. Westwood has been working with historic preservation officials, NASA, members of the U.S. Congress, and the international community to designate Tranquility Base – where, in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon—a World Heritage Site. She brings the point of view of a professional archaeologist to this effort to preserve a historically-significant site. Along with Dr. Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University, Ms. Westwood co-founded the Apollo 11 Preservation Task Force. She describes the site and presents an artifact inventory.

Presentation Time:  52 minutes

The 2007 Electoral Crisis in Kenya: Ethnography of an International Response

Ariane Belanger-Vincent,

Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada

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Ms. Belanger-Vincent’s paper draws largely from ethnographic research on the notion of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) that is slowly becoming the new intervention doctrine in international circles. The main objective is to show why and how the 2007 and 2008 Kenyan crisis is important vis-a-vis R2P and its implementation as a norm of action within the practice of international politics.

Presentation time: 50 minutes

Taphonomic Signatures of Animal Scavenging

Lisa Bright,

Anthropology Department Graduate Student

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Graduate student Lisa Bright, whose specialty is forensic anthropology, presents her research regarding wildlife scavenging. The research is in the area of taphonomy, which is what happens to a body from the point of death until discovery. She arranged to have several dead pigs placed in various areas in the mountains above Chico, with a video camera focused on each. She then recorded the daytime and nocturnal approaches of various animals to the pig carcasses. The result is some fascinating video footage, including visits by bears and other predators. She used the videos along with analysis of the carcass bones to determine scavenging patterns.

Presentation time: 49 minutes

From Chico to Sharjah: Emerging Cross Cultural Dialogues and Opportunities

Dr. Gayle Hutchinson,

Dean, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, CSU, Chico

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Dr. Gayle Hutchinson shares highlights from two recent trips to Sharjah, the third largest Emirate in the United Arab Emerites. Dr. Hutchinson shared stories about her visit with Her Highness Sheikha Jameela Al-Qasimi who is the Director General of the Sharjah City Humanitarian Services - a non-profit organization providing services to children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. Ms. Al-Qasimi graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology from CSU, Chico and was honored as the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumnae 2009/2010. Dr. Hutchinson shares pictures of the University of Sharjah and the American University of Sharjah.

Presentation time: 50 minutes

Monastic Archaeology at the Cistercian Abbey of Ourscamp

Dr. Kyle Killian,

Anthropology Department Faculty

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Dr. Killian shares some results from his recent excavations at the Cistercian Abbey in Ourscamp, France. He briefly describes monastic life and traces its history, starting with St. Anthony in the Third Century A.D. Dr. Killian shows how the artifacts excavated from the site of the ruined abbey can provide insights into monastery life many centuries ago.

Presentation time: 50 minutes

The Paleo Solution

Robb Wolf,

CSU, Chico graduate & author, “The Paleo Solution”

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Robb Wolf graduated from CSU, Chico with a BS degree in Biochemistry. He went on to write a New York Times bestselling book, “The Paleo Solution - Maybe there is something to this ‘Evolution’ thing.” Wolf believes that humans should revert to a paleolithic diet, which he defines as gluten-free, dariy-free and low-carb,with an emphasis on meat and vegetables. He considers this “the original human diet.”

Presentation time: 44 minutes 

The Archaeology of Antigua and Barbuda

Dr. Reg Murphy


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Dr. Murphy lives and works on the Caribbean island of Antigua, located approximately 300 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. In this presentation he shows artifacts, many of them quite beautiful and detailed, and explains the information they provide about the thriving culture on the island many centuries ago. Dr. Murphy is well known to CSU, Chico anthropology students who travel to Antigua each summer with CSU, Chico Professor Georgia Fox to participate in the Betty’s Hope archeological project.

Presentation time: 50 minutes

Daily Bread: Prehistoric Cooking Features in the Northern Sacamento Valley

Kristina Crawford,

M.A. Anthropology CSU, Chico graduate

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Ms. Crawford shares some interesting highlights from her master’s thesis, illustrating how the food and cooking methods used by Indians in the Northern Sacramento Valley reflected on land use, population changes, and other events in prehistoric times. She outlines the different ways the indigenous people cooked in an area that includes what are now Butte, Glenn, Shasta, and Tehama counties. Included is information about what was cooked, from acorns to fish to root vegetables. Ms. Crawford studied the cooking methods of six tribes.

Presentation time: 46 minutes

Clean Water and Sanitation near Mt. Kilimanjaro: A Story of Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Dr. Walt Schafer

CSU, Chico Sociology Professor Emeritus

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Dr. Schafer’s presentation describes a program begun in 2008 through which Chico Rotary Club and 15 other Rotary clubs in Northern California have partnered with the Rotary Club of Moshi, Tanzania, and with Rotary International to bring clean water and sanitation to villages in the Mt. Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania. This multi-year, sustainable collaboration has become a model of community development. The presentation highlights needs assessments, opportunities, challenges, successes, individual stories, and future plans.

Presentation time: 47 minutes

More Potholes, Goats, and Questions than Answers: The 2011 Field Season at Betty’s Hope, Antigua

Dr. Georgia Fox

CSU, Chico Anthropology Department Faculty


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Every summer since 2008, CSU, Chico students have traveled to the Caribbean island of Antigua to participate in an ongoing archaeological excavation there. Chico State Anthropology Professor Georgia Fox has led these trips, during which students gain valuable field experience. In this presentation, Dr. Fox describes the work of excavating the buried ruins of a colonial sugar plantation. The building foundations and artifacts that have been unearthed by the students reveal much about the history of early European settlers in Antigua. Other groups of students continue to travel to Antigua with Dr. Fox each summer.

Presentation time: 47 minutes

Before the “Mouse” the Travel Agent was Your Dealer in Dreams

Dr. Valene L Smith

CSU, Chico Anthropology Professor Emeritus

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Dr. Smith is a pioneer in the field of anthropological tourism, as well as a distinguished CSU, Chico Professor Emeritus. The anthropology museum on campus is named for her. Her studies have focused on the economic and social impacts of the tourism industry around the globe. In this presentation, Dr. Smith gives an historical perspective of anthropological tourism, from the late 1950s (when she co-owned a travel agency) to the present. She shows how tourism patterns have changed due to changes in world population distribution and other factors. She also discusses changes in the travel industry due to the rise of the personal computer.

Presentation time: 47 minutes

Diet and Health in Prehistoric California - Lifeways of the Ancestral Ohlone

Karen Smith Gardner

CSU, Chico Anthropology Graduate Student


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The subtitle of this presentation is “Insights from Stable Isotope Analysis of Human Bone from the Yukisma Mound.” Karen Smith Gardner presents her research from studying an Ohlone native tribal burial site unearthed in Santa Clara County, near Milpitas, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. She discusses dietary patterns of the tribe that were discovered by analysis of the bones at the site, such as what the Ohlone of that area ate and how it compares with other tribes. She also presents an analysis of individual dietary patterns by sex, age, and markers of status/social roles.

This presentation was co-authored by Rosemary Cambra, the Chair of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, who conducted the excavations at the site. Permission was granted to post this study for educational and research purposes.

Presentation time: 44 minutes

Community Archaeology and Optimal Foraging Theory: A Journey from Eagle Lake to Paris, France

Kevin Dalton

M.A. Anthropology, CSU, Chico

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Kevin Dalton’s talk is actually two presentations.  The first is about a report he made at a zooarcheology conference held at Eagle Lake, near Susanville, in Lassen County, California.  In the report, he outlines a community Archaeology project in Talus, New Mexico.  The second part of the presentation is a report from the 11th conference of the International Council for Archaeozoology, held in Paris, France in 2010. In this report, Mr. Dalton looks at group size and hunting landscapes in the prehistoric western great basin.  Zooarchaeology (or Archaeozoology, as it is known in Eurasia and Africa) is the study of animal bones from archaeological sites.

Presentation time: 48 minutes