Category Archives: News

Max Friesen’s Project to Preserve Traditional Knowledge

In late July, a group of 10 people with ties to Bathurst Inlet travelled there to collect oral history stories, traditional knowledge, myths, legends, and Inuinnaqtun phrases. This is part of a five-year traditional knowledge preservation project spearheaded by the Kitikmeot Heritage Society and Professor Max Friesen.

Read the full article in the CBC News.

Diverse Exchanges: Osaka Respect Summer School in Multicultural Studies

Earlier this spring, the Osaka University RESPECT (Revitalizing And Enriching Society Through Pluralism, Equity And Cultural Transformation) Summer School in Multicultural Studies was held in Toronto, sponsored by the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Department of Anthropology.

This year, the fifth and final year, twelve graduate students came for the intensive week-long program from April 26th to May 4th. While the program evolved over the five years, its core focus was on teaching the visiting students the possibilities, challenges, and realities of multiculturalism as a national policy in Canada and an everyday practice of living in Toronto. It was divided into three core clusters combining seminars and field trips around the city. The program culminated each year in a joint-graduate student workshop, which brought together presentations from the Osaka University graduate students with students from the University of Toronto. While the program in Toronto has come to an end, there are plans for Osaka University to invite UofT students in 2019.

Read the full report.

Susan Pfeiffer Receives JJ Berry Smith Supervision Award

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, Susan!

Victoria Sheldon & Aleksa Alaica receive 2017-18 TA Award

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.

Students of Anthropology: Hazel Stuart and the Indigenous Peoples of Papua New Guinea

 

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.

Madison Laurin Wins Richard B. Lee Award

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.

Max Friesen & Bence Viola Awarded SSHRC Insight Grants

Richard B. Lee Named to Order of Canada

Irv and Richard at SAfA in Toronto June 2012

Richard B Lee (right) with Irv DeVore at the Kalahari Reflections Event held at U of T in June 2012. Photo is courtesy Alison Brooks.

Congratulations to Prof. Emeritus Richard B. Lee! He was recently named as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of science. For a list of the other 100 appointees, see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/scientists-playwrights-among-new-order-of-canada-appointments/article33456832/

Mehran Shamit Wins Richard B. Lee Award

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.