Congratulations to PhD Candidate Letha Victor! She has won a H.F. Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship for her dissertation, “Dirty Things: violence, spirit forces, and social change in Acholi, northern Uganda.” Letha is supervised by Profs. Michael Lambek and Todd Sanders.
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation awards fellowships to graduate students during their dissertation-writing year for work that concerns violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects. Further information can be found at http://www.hfg.org/index.html
Congratulations to Laura Sikstrom, recipient of a Killam Postdoctoral Award to work with Prof. Amy Kaler at the University of Alberta. As part of her fellowship she will return to Malawi this Fall for preliminary research to ask: “why do so many children and youth on antiretroviral treatment (ART) fail to survive into adulthood?” This research will build on her doctoral research, which examined barriers to treatment uptake for infants and young children infected with HIV. Laura defended her dissertation in September 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Holly Wardlow.
Congratulations to PhD Candidate Jacob Nerenberg! He is one of three Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellows in the Humanities for 2016-17, on the theme of Time, Rhythm, and Pace.
Temporalities of Circulation and Contested Theologies in Highlands West Papua
Jacob’s dissertation investigates the ways that religious rhythms inflect the politics of infrastructure in the highlands of West Papua. Global agencies sponsor infrastructure programs geared toward national autonomy, and in response, Christian leaders draw on millennial discourses to campaign for new projects. His analysis leads to a reformulation of political theology that proposes the notion of “theologistics” to address the ways that global demands for acceleration are entangled in oscillating temporalities of promise, threat, and transcendence.
Congratulations to Ornella Bertrand! Not only has she recently defended her PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Mary Silcox, but she also won the Robert Lynn Carroll Prize for an outstanding scientific contribution in Vertebrate Palaeontology by a PhD student or recent graduate at the annual Canadian Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meetings held this past week at UTM. The prize is in recognition of her talk entitled “Brain evolution in Rodentia and a deeper understanding of the ancestral condition of the brain for Euarchontoglires.”
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream — Sociocultural Anthropology (Contractually Limited Term Appointment) Job Posting ID: 1600620 Job Field: Limited Term (Teaching Stream) Faculty/Division: Faculty of Arts & Science Department: Anthropology Campus: St. George (downtown Toronto) Job Posting: May 12, 2016 Closing Date: June 16, 2016
Description: The Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, invites applications for a three-year contractually-limited term appointment. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and will begin July 1, 2016 and end June 30, 2019.
Applicants must have a PhD in Anthropology or a closely related discipline by the time of appointment or shortly thereafter, with a geographical focus that complements existing faculty expertise. The successful applicant must have a record of excellence in teaching, in both small and large class settings, and teaching-related activities such as curriculum development and student mentoring, and demonstrated evidence of expertise in the social side of medical anthropology. Excellence in teaching can be demonstrated by endorsements from referees, teaching accomplishments highlighted as part of the application, teaching evaluations, or syllabi.
The successful candidate will be expected to teach a suite of undergraduate courses that could include a large, second year course on Social Anthropology of the Contemporary World or Core Concepts in Social and Cultural Anthropology, third-year courses on an Introduction to Social Anthropological Theory, Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health, Social Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of Religion, or other thematic courses that complement faculty expertise, and fourth-year courses on Love, Sex and Marriage, or a topic related to her or his research focus. Experience at graduate teaching would also be an asset.
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The University of Toronto is a large, three-campus institution in a vibrant, multiethnic region and has a very diverse student population. The Department of Anthropology is a multi-field unit with diverse research and teaching. It has 26 full-time faculty at the St. George campus and 49 graduate faculty across the three campuses. For more information about the Department of Anthropology, please see our home page at http://anthropology.utoronto.ca/.
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others who may contribute to further diversification of ideas.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
When University of Toronto Professor Bonnie McElhinny and six of her anthropology students think about Hawaii, it’s not the lovely beaches, the surfers or the volcanoes that first come to mind. Instead, they picture the indigenous Hawaiian culture and activities such as taro farming, mulberry harvesting and clearing mangrove swamps.
During Reading Week, McElhinny was one of a number of Arts & Science professors who led an International Course Module (ICM) – intensive hands-on learning experiences for undergraduate students in international settings. The goal of the trip was to study a multicultural society – other than Canada – up close and in person as part of their course Critical Perspectives on Multiculturalism and Settler Colonialism.
Hawaii and Canada say they address multiculturalism better than the mainland US — do they?
“The ICM offered students a comparative perspective,” McElhinny said. “In Hawaii, no one group is a numerical majority, and there is significant migration from the same Asian countries as there is in Canada, as well as a significant indigenous presence.
“Both Hawaii and Canada say they address multiculturalism better than the mainland United States, and this was an opportunity to compare ourselves.”
A three-way undergraduate conference with students from UHM and from Sweden focusing on indigenous and multicultural issues;
Visits to a number of sites that offered the public history of multiculturalism, such as museums; and
Participation in a series of civic engagement activities with UHM that addressed various social problems in Hawaii.
Enriching experiences exploring indigenous issues and multiculturalism
The community activities, which included the aforementioned taro farming and mulberry harvesting, helped “build community in ways that were attentive to indigenous issues and to the multicultural nature of Hawaii,” McElhinny said.
The students found the experience both memorable and enriching.
“Through participant observation, we learned the viewpoints of the indigenous Hawaiians,” said Christopher Tsuji, a fourth-year specialist in socio-cultural anthropology. “We were actually getting to understand how they see themselves and their community’s relationship with the land.”
Mirae Lee, a third-year double major in socio-cultural anthropology and art history, said it was fascinating to find that whenever Hawaiians saw the multi-ethnic group from Toronto, they just assumed the students were locals, since Hawaii has such multicultural diversity.
“I’m a settler, not just an immigrant”
“For me, this experience gave me awareness that although I’m an Asian immigrant to Canada, I’m still a settler on indigenous land,” she said. “I’m a settler, not just an immigrant.”
Crystal Gao, a third-year student in socio-cultural anthropology and urban studies, said the experience “made course material come to life.”
“We were able to see issues particular to Canada in a new way and make a sober assessment of multicultural issues. Before we left we did some readings by the scholars we would meet at UHM. Then we got to engage and see them in action which allowed us to draw on new possibilities and find new ways of thinking.”
Upon their return to Canada, the students made a poster presentation at the Arts & Science Undergraduate Research Fair and will also be making a presentation to their classmates. The students who did not take part in the ICM, had opportunities to visit community organizations and sites in Toronto to complement their classroom experiences.
“My goal was to ensure an enriched experience for both groups of students,” McElhinny said.
She is eager to offer the ICM experience to her class again next year.
“I could see how engaged the ICM students were,” McElhinny said. “I saw them thinking deeply about Canada. They always had an interest, but I could see them engaging intensely with these questions.”
“Home always means something different when you return from an experience of this type,” McElhinny said.
Congratulations to PhD candidate Amber Walker-Bolton for receiving the Juan Comas Prize! This award for Exemplary Student Research was given to Amber in recognition of her fabulous podium presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta, Georgia. Her presentation was titled: Operational sex ratio (OSR), dominance rank, and mating success of group and non-group male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Amber is supervised by Prof. Mary Silcox.