The University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters will launch a doctoral program in the Department of Anthropology, with the first cohort of students due to enroll in fall 2014. The new program, says Susan Blum, professor and chair of the department, will focus its curriculum and training on integrative anthropology.
Rahul Oka, Ford Family Assistant Professor of anthropology at Notre Dame, has conducted five seasons of ethnographic research in the 90,000-person Kakuma Refugee Camp, in the Turkana District in northwest Kenya, where refugees from war—from southern Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo and Uganda—co-exist.
Here is the grant report I wrote for Nanovic for my summer experience doing research in Bulgaria:
When Catherine Bolten first considered studying the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, many people—government officials, professors, the U.S. ambassador—warned her to stay away. It’s a dangerous and immoral place, they told her, infamous because residents refused to fight the rebels who occupied Makeni for three years (1998-2002) during the decade-long civil war.
Mothers aren’t the only ones who are biologically adapted to respond to children. New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that dads who sleep near their children experience a drop in testosterone. Previous research from humans and other species suggests this decrease might make men more responsive to their children’s needs and help them focus on the demands of parenthood. In a recent study, Notre Dame Anthropologist Lee Gettler shows that close sleep proximity between fathers and their children (on the same sleeping surface) results in lower testosterone compared to fathers who sleep alone.
A two-day working conference titled Learning In and Out of School: Education Across the Globe will bring a dozen researchers to the Notre Dame campus May 22–23 to share and discuss a broad range of perspectives on the nature of learning. “We’re taking a critical look at conventional schooling and bringing insights from other domains to understand human learning and to improve schooling—which is one of my goals as a teacher and researcher,” says organizer Susan Blum, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology.
A new book by University of Notre Dame Anthropology Professor Agustín Fuentes titled Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature counters these pernicious myths and tackles misconceptions about what race, aggression, and sex really mean for humans. Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology, and psychology, Fuentes incorporates an accessible understanding of culture, genetics, and evolution, requiring us to dispose of notions of “nature or nurture.”
Anthropology majors at the University of Notre Dame took their studies from the theoretical to the practical last summer, completing internships that had them doing archaeological fieldwork in Mongolia, cataloging artifacts in Chicago’s Field Museum, and collecting the oral histories of Irish immigrants on Beaver Island, Mich. Through these internships, students did more than gain experience in the field; they also had invaluable opportunities to work alongside experts and get insider looks at a variety of careers paths.
Biological anthropologist Lee Gettler ’05 made national news last year with his research on the linkage between fatherhood and testosterone, reporting that the hormone decreases in men once they have children and drops even more in dads who are very active in caring for their children. Currently completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, Gettler will bring his attention-getting work to Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an assistant research professor in the Department of Anthropology.
Notre Dame Associate Professor Meredith S. Chesson investigates the extensive looting—mostly by economically struggling local residents—that for decades has affected the area in and around the Jordanian cemetery at Fifa. Her work questions traditional ways of thinking about both archaeologists and looters.
By Neva Lundy ’11
Four years ago, I was a nervous freshman in flip-flops and a sundress trying desperately to find a seat in Professor [James] McKenna’s crowded Introduction to Anthropology class at Notre Dame. Still breathless from my circuitous journey from Lyons to Haggar Hall, I was unaware that such a hapless beginning had irrevocably set my feet upon the winding path toward a future in anthropology.…
The extensive research opportunities available to undergraduates in Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology played a key role in helping two recent graduates win fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The oldest and arguably most competitive of its kind in the United States, the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides three years of funding, international research and professional development opportunities, and the freedom to study at any accredited graduate institution in the United States.…
If practiced safely, co-sleeping with your baby is safe and beneficial, according to James McKenna, University of Notre Dame biological anthropologist and world-renowned expert on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Erin Jelm ’10 can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in Latin American studies. “I’ve always had an interest in cultures,” says the anthropology and marketing alumna, currently working as a marketing specialist at Santiago Adventures, a tour operator in Santiago, Chile.
After years of neglect and collecting dust, Native American artifacts at the Morristown National Historical Park have finally been rediscovered because of the work of Carleigh Moore, a senior anthropology major at the University of Notre Dame.
Vania Smith-Oka, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the Center for Public Anthropology’s Ruth Benedict Global Citizenship Award—an honor granted to just one percent of faculty teaching introductory anthropology courses across the United States.