Congratulations to Tania Li who is one of five to be appointed University Professor for 2018. The title “University Professor” is the University’s highest and most distinguished academic rank. The complete listing is available online.
We are thrilled to announce Dr. Susan Pfeiffer is the recipient of the JJ Berry Smith Supervision Award. Susan has taught in the Department of Anthropology since 1999. During that time, she has supervised 12 PhD and 21 Master’s students. A “strong advocate for graduate students,” Susan has been praised for being an academic “known for her integrity” whose own work with human remains and the sensitive intersections between history and identity affirm “her commitment to the interwoven concerns of both science and humanism.” In the words of twelve former students, “Susan has had a profound impact on her advisees by fostering a strong, collaborative, and challenging academic community; setting high standards and pushing [her students] to address important questions; and demonstrating impeccable ethics in a field fraught with political implications.”
Recipients received a JJ Berry Smith Supervisory Award Certificate, their name on a plaque housed at the School of Graduate Studies, as well as a SGS Conference or Travel Grant to be awarded by the recipient to support a current doctoral student.
Congratulations to Victoria Sheldon and Aleksa Alaica, whose nominations for the 2017-18 departmental TA Award were both successful.
In recognition of her contributions to the STEP program, Aleksa helped undergraduate students pursue their academic and career goals, connecting them with professional archaeologists and anthropologists.
Victoria designed realizable goals, provided superior feedback on essays and assignments, and nurtured enthusiasm to try new things in the classroom. She achieved high standards while being a TA in an astonishing six courses.
A new artifact display was unveiled at the Department of Anthropology building on the St. George Campus this month. Students of Anthropology: Hazel Stuart and the Indigenous Peoples of Papua New Guinea, located on the third floor of building, presents a selection of artifacts and travel ephemera recently donated to the Department by Hazel Stuart. Stuart, at the time a recent anthropology graduate of the University of Western Ontario, volunteered at a Papua New Guinea high school from 1973 to 1975. She donated her collection to the University of Toronto for it to be used by students and publicly displayed.
The display explores the social, economic, and spiritual climates of Papua New Guinea in the 1970s, as well as the process of collecting and the work of anthropologists, through the Indigenous cultural objects and travel ephemera collected by Stuart with assistance from her friend Donna Chowder.
The display was curated and constructed by graduate students Madison Stirling and Emily Welsh of the University of Toronto’s Master of Museum Studies Program in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology. The project was funded by the Faculty of Information and the Department of Anthropology.
Congratulations to Madison Laurin, the 2017 recipient of the Richard B. Lee award for her essay, “The Everyday Study of Resource Politics,” written for ANT 486H1S: Special Topics: Socio-Cultural Research Seminar: Politics of Resources: Accumulation, Agency and Nature under Contemporary Capitalism. The Awards Committee appreciated the critical review of the pertinent literature, and the ethnographic case-studies (Ontario, Hawai’i and Standing Rock) demonstrated the politics of refusal demands consideration in interpreting indigenous responses to corporate policies and resource extraction. The Committee also commended the clear and engaging writing style.
Congratulations to Mehran Shamit, winner of the 2016 Richard B. Lee Award for her essay “Rethinking Microcredit and Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.” The Awards Committee felt that this essay, written for ANT 374H (Rethinking Development or the Improvement of the World) stood out as a rigorously researched review of the politics of microcredit and development in Bangladesh. The committee also commended the clear writing style and cited it as a fine example of the best undergraduate research in anthropology.
Honourable Mention was awarded to Anna Shortly for her essay “Board Proposals, Bingo, and a Band: Strength in Numbers at the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s Annual General Meeting.” This paper was written for Prof. Tania Li’s course, ANT473H (Ethnographic Practicum: The University).
The Awards Committee felt that this essay stood out as a lively and original ethnographic analysis of university student politics.