Colloquium

Anthropology Colloquium Series / Anthropology 612

The colloquium is a lecture series which presents current research in anthropology. The speakers are local and international researchers as well as the department's current PhD candidates. Attendance is mandatory for Anthropology PhD students. All students, faculty and the public are very welcome to attend any of the colloquiums.

Spring 2017 term colloquium room change to: Cornett A225 - Mondays from 1130-1250

Upcoming colloquiums

Spring 2017

March 27: Dr. Sarah Marie Wiebe, UVic, Political Science. Bodies Exposed: Environmental In/Justice in Canada's Chemical Valley.

April 3: Anthropology Honours Students present their research projects.

Please join us as the 2016-17 honours students present their research.

~ 11:30 Introductory Remarks ~

The order of presenters to be confirmed closer to the date:

  • Suzanne Kroeger: "Perceptions of Repatriation in Anthropological Literature” 
  • John McIver: "The Migrant Other: A Visual and Textual Analysis of Migration in UK Media” 
  • Anna Lorraine Thompson: “'The INS Cannot Simply Send Them Off into the Night': The Legal Language of Child Detention in the United States"


Papers will be 10 minutes each, with discussion after each presentation.

April 3 is the last colloquium of this academic year. Please check back in  September 2017  for a list of the Fall colloquiums.

Past colloquiums

Spring 2017

January 9: No colloquium

January 16: Dr. Lori Sheeran, Washington State University. Duan Wei Hou Research Project: Fieldwork with Tibetan Macaques

January 23: No colloquium

January 30: 12:00-1:00 in Cornett B239 - Graduate Students mail room. Richard Myers, Recruiter, UVic Career Services: Job prospects for Anthropologists

February 6: Dr. Andrew Martindale, UBC,  Archaeology, Oral Tradition, and the Law

February 13: Reading break - no colloquium

February 20: Dr. Eleonora Diamanti, SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, UVic. Nocturnal Explorations: Rhythmanalysis and Chrono-Urbanism

February 27: Dr. Francesco Berna, Archaeology, SFU

March 6: Lansdowne Lecturer: Dr. Robert Hogg, Alumnus. Growing Old with HIV

March 8:  2017 Lansdowne Lecturer,  Dr. Robert Hogg, Anthropology Alumnus. Emergence of HIV in Africa and Beyond

March 13: Dr. Pamela Downe, University of Saskatchewan, Dichotomies of Consequence: Mothering and HIV/AIDS.

March 20: Dr. James B. Waldram, University of Saskatchewan. Not Quite Hollywood: Participatory Ethnographic Film, Local Aesthetics, No Budget

Fall 2016

Starting September 2016 on Mondays from 1130-1250. Dates and speakers to be announced early September.

Location: Cornett A229

September 26: Dr. Erin McGuire, Assistant Teaching Professor, Anthropology Department, UVic - Burning the Midnight Oil: Archaeological Experiments with Viking lamps

October 3: No colloquium - SSHRC workshop for Anthropology graduate students - Dr. April Nowell, Anthropology Graduate Advisor

October 10: Thanksgiving - UVic closed - no colloquium

October 17: Dr. Paul Walde, Visual Arts - Fine Arts, UVic

October 24: Dr. Katherine Cook, Assistant Teaching Professor, Anthropology, UVic

October 31: No colloquium

November 7: Reading break - no colloquium

November 14: Ms. Cassandre Bouthillier, PhD student, Anthropology, UVic.  Chiropractic Care and Yoga.

November 21: Dr. Ben Raffield, Post Doctoral Fellow, SFU. Male-Biased Operational Sex Ratios and the Origins of Viking Raiding.

Last Colloquium of the term: November 28: Dr. Eric Roth, Anthropology, UVic. Sero-Adaptive Strategies of Vancouver Gay and Bisexual Men in a Treatment As Prevention Environment.

2016 Spring

January 4:  Dr. Natalie Vasey, Professor, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Portland State University. Breeding Large: Forest Canopy Use and Cooperative Breeding in Variegated Lemurs (Varecia rubra) of Masoala, Madagascar.

January 11: Dr. Helen Kurki, Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Victoria. Adventures with the Obstetric Dilemma.

January 18: Dr. Dongya Yang, Professor, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University. Title: "Ancient DNA for Archaeology"

January 25: Jennifer Robinson, PhD student, University of Victoria. The Exhibition Landscape of Human Rights in Canada

February 1: Dr. Jie Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University. “Officials’ Heartache”:
Depression, Bureaucracy, and Psychologization in China.

February 15: Workshop for Anthropology graduate students: Presenting at conferences, facilitators will be Anthopology faculty members, Dr. April Nowell and Dr. Lisa Mitchell.

February 22: Dr. Jentery Sayers, Assistant Professor, English, University of Victoria. Prototyping the Past.

February 29: Betsy Hagestedt, PhD student, University of Victoria. La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE) Online: Representational Choices and the Building of a National Organization.

February 7 and 14: No colloquium

March 21:  Miss Tatiana Degai, Youth coordinator, Council of the Itelmens of Kamchatka, Russia.  Presentation: Bringing Academia and Indigenous Activism to the needs of the Itelmen community: Language Revitalization.  Miss Degai will also be participating in a CAPI Lunch and Learn talk. Here is a link to her recent presentation to the UN:  Preservation and revitalization of indigenous languages in the Russian Far East.

April 4: Dr. Richard Fox, University of Heidelberg, Institut für Ethnologie, at Ruprecht-Karls, Germany. Presentation: The Girl with Two Souls: Moments of Translational Indeterminacy on an Indonesian Island.

2015 Fall

September 14: Workshop for Anth graduate students 

September 21: Grant application workshop.  Presented by the Graduate student committee  (Anthropology faculty)

September 28: Library workshop. Presented by Facutly of Social Sciences librarian, Justin Harrison in the McPherson Library, room 130.

Meeting graduate colloquium ANTH 612, introduction, expectations, presentation of the schedule and selection of responsibility for the academic year.

Teaching Assistant Consultant (Betsy Hagestedt) (TAC) workshop: Running classes, tutorials and guest lecturing.  Open to new TAs and all Anthropology graduate students.

October 5: Dr. Danya Fast, Postdocoral Research Fellow, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV / AIDS.

October 19: Dr. Naomi McPherson, Associate Professor, Emerita Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan

October 26: Dr. Monika Winarnita, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Anthropology, University of Victoria

November 2: Dr. Rob Hancock, LE,NONET Academic Coordinator - Office of Indigenous Affairs,  Adjunct Professor - Anthropology, University of Victoria. Read more about Dr. Rob Hancock's talk.

November 16: Dr.Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Anthropology - University of Victoria. Above the Rooftops In Cuba: Aerial Imagination and the Aesthetics of Circulation.

November 23: Dr. Thomas Heyd, Philosophy and Environment Sciences, University of Victoria, The concept of 'heterotopia' in the interpretation of rock art

2015 Spring

March 23: Topic: Technologies of Global Health: Big Data, Drones, Mobile Phones, and the Case of Ebola in Sierra Leone

Dr. Susan L. Erikson, Faculty, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, SFU

Dr. Susan Erikson was in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in February 2014 when news of Ebola infections in neighboring Guinea reached the capital city.  She was there leading a research team studying health statistics ‘travel’ between and within local sectors and global domains.  Her UVic research colloquium presentation is about the several health governance technologies – statistics, phones, Big Data, and drones – that were made relevant to the fight against Ebola. Human health is a particularly susceptible social sector to the kinds of promises that come with new innovations and technologies, even when they do not work to improve health. Personal, familial, and community vulnerability increases when people are sick, and oft-accompanying desperation can prompt people to try new things. Big Data, for example, inspires big hopes the world over; its problem-solving capacities can appear infinite, evoking a pleasing sense of affective potentiality. Dr. Erikson’s research shows how global health technologies are constituted by global networks, circulations, and politiks. As such, global health technologies such as Big Data, drones, and mobile phones work well as entry points for better understanding global systems, including new forms of global health investment and militarization.

March 16 : Topic: Who Are We Suzie Wong?: Chinese Women in Search of Identity

Grace Wong Sneddon, PhD Student, Interdisciplinary Academic Programs, University of Victoria

The children born following the repeal of the Canadian Chinese Immigration Act (1923) were the first Chinese Canadians to be born with full citizenship rights. After decades of legislatively assisted isolation and segregation, the 1946 Canadian Citizenship Act transformed the discriminatory citizenship of Chinese immigrants to full citizenship. Whether their parents were Canadian, having suffered the discrimination of imposed segregation or had just arrived as approved spouses of Canadian citizens, they could offer their children little in the way of what it meant to be a full Canadian citizen.

The participants in this study are unique in that they are Canadian-born women, descendants from the four counties of Sun Wui, Hoi Ping, Toi San and Yin Ping of the Pearl Delta District of Quangdong, China and united by their family region, dialect, class, gender, age and ethnicity. The numbers of these Canadian-born Chinese were small from the time of the repeal until 1967 when Canada changed its immigration policy to a more equitable point system not based on race.

The questions this study explored examine the strategies that these participants used to balance the co-occurrence of developmental and cultural changes given their unique place and time in Canadian history.  I wanted to examine the markers they used to fashion their identity, looking at the themes of beauty, behaviour, language, culture, values and expectations with the influence of the portray of Chinese women in Hollywood film. I used the iconic representation of Suzie Wong in the World of Suzie Wong, as a vehicle to initiate the discussion leading to their identity development. This film with Nancy Kwan in the title role was the first time that an Asian actor was given a title role in a Hollywood film, a film that Peter Feng describes as one that “Asians love and love to hate.” 

March 9: Topic: Modelling Relative Sea Level Change, Dynamic Coastal Landscapes, and Human Settlement in Prince Rupert Harbour, BC

Bryn Letham, PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

This talk reports ongoing research working to reconstruct the history of relative sea level change in Prince Rupert Harbour in order to model ancient landscapes on which earlier peoples may have lived, the prospects for recovery of an as-yet unidentified late Pleistocene or early Holocene archaeological record there, and mounting evidence for later Holocene relative sea level change that the previously well archaeologically recorded Indigenous populations occupying the area at this time would have experienced. Thinking about the dynamism of coastal landscapes is not only necessary for locating early archaeological remains on the Northwest Coast, but also for considering the nature of the world that the fisher-hunter-gatherers experienced and understanding human-landscape interactions in the past.

March 2: Topic: 1491: Adapting Charles C. Mann's Book for a Television Mini-series

Barbara Hager, Producer, Co-Director & Writer, Aarrow Productions, Inc.

Can a book change history? If it establishes a bold new way for the past to be understood, perceived or valued, then Charles C. Mann’s best-selling book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, has achieved this distinction. Mann’s book reinforces the often overlooked facts that the Americas were populated by sophisticated societies of people who were highly advanced in the areas of agriculture, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, resource management, governance, trade and art. If a book can bring about a profound paradigm shift in how we acknowledge the history of a people, then by association, can a television series based on that book be history-changing as well? The aspiration of the docu-drama series 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas before Columbus is to investigate, celebrate and reveal the accomplishments of Indigenous people prior to 1491. Producing a television series that lives up to the expectations of the author, the readers and the people whose history is being told, is a formidable challenge. It’s critical that the producers, writers, directors, and indeed the broadcasters, be willing and prepared to embark on such a television project with a commitment to respect and honour the collective stories and histories of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. We embarked on this television project knowing that in addition to relying on the research in Mann’s book, we would need to conduct extensive research into a wide range of topics related to Indigenous history. The time has come for Indigenous people to take a leadership role in the research and interpretation of their individual and collective histories. This includes writing, producing and directing documentary and dramatic television series and films about the Indigenous history of the Americas.

February 23: Topic - How to build an identified skeletal reference collection?  The case of the BoneMedLeg research project

Dr. Hugo Cardoso, Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University

Identified skeletal reference collections play a crucial role in the development and testing of various methods and techniques used by skeletal biologists, whether they work primarily in a forensic, archaeological or paleontological context. Specifically, these collections have been used in developing sex-determination criteria and methods; in developing techniques for age at death estimation; for paleopathological identification and interpretation; as a comparative modern human reference in human evolutionary studies; and as the basis for medical and dental training and research in normal skeletal variation for biomedical implants. This presentation will focus on the recent efforts to build a new skeletal reference collection in Portugal under a research project funded by the Portuguese government (BoneMedLeg), where human remains have been collected from local cemeteries in the city of Porto. A brief history and description of similar collections in Portugal, Europe and the western hemisphere will be given and their particularities will be discussed considering differing cultural attitudes towards death and burial.

February 16: Topic - Reconciliation through Repatriation? The story of the return of paintings created by children in the Alberni Indian Residential School.​​

Dr. Andrea Walsh,  Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria

Between 1958-1964 children who attended the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island created paintings with artist Robert Aller as part of extracurricular art classes. 50 years later, these paintings resurfaced through a donation to the University of Victoria. An intensive search for the people who created the 75 paintings began in 2012 and focused on their repatriation to Survivors and their families. From this multiyear collaboration between the university and Survivors, the paintings have been exhibited in two exhibitions and brought out twice to the public through Truth and Reconciliation Commission regional and national events. This talk considers the unique approach to curating this material culture, and witnessing of the legacy of residential schools in Canada through art.

February 2: Cancelled

Apologies, the Colloquium for today has had to be cancelled.

January 26: Topic - BORORO FUNERALS: IMAGES OF THE REFACEMENT OF THE WORLD

Dr. Sylvia Caiuby Novaes, Professor, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Director of Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

In this talk I analyze Bororo funerals as moments of defacement and refacement (Taussig, 1999). Death triggers a series of transformations that involve the dead person, the corpse itself, the soul, the making of the deceased’s representative, and the relationships among the living. All these transformations –which are the object of public secrecy - take place along the various rituals that compose the funerary ritual cycle. The text is accompanied by a selection of photographs taken by myself during 30 years of field research among the Bororo Indians of Mato Grosso, Brazil, in order to illustrate Bororo funerals as moments of recreation of the world, following the theoretical perspectives of Taussig (1990) and Overing (1989, 1990).

January 19: Topic - Implicating Ancestors: Making and Unmaking Difficult Histories on the Northwest Coast

Dr. Leslie Robertson, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

This talk is grounded in a collaborative research project initiated by the Kwagu’ł Gixsam clan of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations. Together we produced an inter- generational history of their ancestor Ga’ax̱sta’las / Jane Constance Cook (1870-1951) whose stance in support of the potlatch ban, and narrowly reified by scholars, has rendered invisible her role in the struggle for aboriginal rights – to land, commercial and food fishing, adequate health care, and the benefits of citizenship. Her eventual criticism of the potlatch concerned the material needs of women and children in the context of shifting potlatch practices. While her descendants sought to contextualize her actions and clarify their “place in history,” I ask how our disciplinary ancestors and our academic memory practices are implicated in their story, contributing to the de-legitimation of other histories.

January 12: Topic - The Zooarchaeology of Human-Animal Relationships

Dr. Robert Losey, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta and Research Associate, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

I plan on discussing my work on several ongoing projects involving the social and emotional interactions betwee humans and animals in Siberia. Much of my talk will involve recent projects on dog domestication, focusing on dog life histories, and how these are interwoven with those of peopole whol live with them.

2014

December 1: Topic - The Clam Garden Network: Cross-Disciplinary and Cross-Community Explorations into Traditional Mariculture on the Northwest Coast

Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University with Nathan Cardinal, Parks Canada and Nicole Smith, Independent Archaeologist

This talk summarizes the work of the “Clam Garden Network” — a research collective focused on documenting ancient mariculture practices and situating these practices within current contexts.  Working with several Coastal First Nations communities, we combine ecological experiments and archaeological survey and excavations with traditional ecological knowledge to understand these management systems.  We focus our research on “clam gardens” — rock-walled terraces built at the lower intertidal zone to increase the area in which clams thrive.  Our archaeological investigations yielded details on wall construction, the placement of walls relative to changing sea levels, and the age of clam gardens.  Collectively, these findings expand conceptions of how Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples interacted with their land and seascapes.  This in turn has implications for the way we conceive of peoples typically classified as hunter-gatherers and the “wild” landscapes they inhabit.

November 24: Topic - Innovations in Ethnographic Mapping and Indigenous Cartography

Dr. Brian Thom, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria

In this colloquium, Brian Thom will discuss how UVic’s Ethnographic Mapping Lab is working towards implementing socially and politically powerful mapping initiatives with indigenous communities.  The talk will elaborate a on the history of maps produced by anthropologists working in Coast Salish territories, which have frequently reduced and essentialized elegantly relational indigenous ontologies. The challenge moving forward is to re-evaluate how anthropologists collaborate with indigenous communities to co-create and mobilize knowledge about land-based cultural practices using leading edge mapping technologies. This talk will highlight new approaches – both proposed and underway – to effectively visualizing and communicating indigenous peoples’ knowledge and experience of land in the contexts of inter-generational knowledge transfer, public education, indigenous rights assertions, and in land and resource consultations.

November 17: Topic - Sex industry: Oppression or empowerment?

Dr. Cecilia Benoit, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, Centre for Addictions Research of BC

In 2013 a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada declared three laws regulating adult prostitution in Canada unconstitutional. In its decision the Court used the term “work” close to 50 times to describe the activity of people who provide sexual services. In the spring of 2014 the Government of Canada advanced Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The preamble states, “Whereas the Parliament of Canada has grave concerns about the exploitation that is inherent in prostitution and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it.” The explicit objective of the Bill is to eradicate the sex industry by “prohibit[ing] the purchase of sexual services” and encouraging those currently selling services to stop. So what about the sex industry: is it a site of oppression or empowerment? Findings from a recent study on the health and well-being of people involved in the Canadian industry support a polymorphous perspective, calling attention to a continuum of occupational arrangements, power relations, and worker experiences. The presentation concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results in light of Bill C-36.

November 3: Topic - Resistors

Dr. Alejandra Bronfman, Department of History, University of British Columbia

This paper relies on Anna Tsing’s suggestion that global phenomena are underwritten by the “sticky materiality of practical encounters” to refer both to the increased presence of wires, cables and radios in the 20th century Caribbean and the ways those materials animated certain repertoires of political action. The paper opens with a consideration of the perceived dangers of Haiti’s sonic environment in the context of the U.S. Occupation (1915-1934). It moves on to consider the “sticky materiality” and fractious nature of listening publics in urban settings such as those in 1930s, Port au Prince, Haiti and Santiago, Cuba. As the power of telegraphs, telephones and wireless became increasingly evident, historical actors from all sides of the ideological spectrum came to comprehend electronically transmitted sound as the idiom through which politics could be conducted. I suggest that attention to technology underwrites an alternative to narratives of political polarization, attuned to transnational networks and with emphasis on shared political practices rather than radical ruptures.

This is the third chapter of my book project tentatively entitled Entangled Islands: Media and Publics in the Caribbean. The book records the unwritten histories of radio and related sonic technologies in the early twentieth century. It rewrites Caribbean history to stress the centrality of sound, media and listening publics, rather than texts, ideologies and reading publics in the unfolding politics of the era.

October 27: Topic - Environmental risk, population size, and technological evolution in small-scale societies.

Dr. Mark Collard, Canada Research Chair and Professor, Human Evolutionary Studies Program and Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Canada, and Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, UK

It has long been recognized that culture is central to the adaptive success of humans, yet it is only in the last few decades have substantive efforts been made to develop an explicitly Darwinian approach to the study of culture. Not surprisingly, therefore, a number of important questions remain unanswered. In this paper, I outline the results of a series of studies my colleagues and I have carried out over the last few years in which we have tried to shed light on one of these questions—namely, what factors influence technological evolution in non-industrial populations? These studies indicate that at a global level the number and intricacy of the tools that hunter-gatherers employ are strongly influenced by environmental variables, especially ones related to risk of resource failure. In contrast, we have found no evidence that risk influences technological evolution among small-scale food-producing populations. Instead, technological richness and complexity among such populations appears to be influenced primarily by population size. We are still trying to figure out why the drivers of technological evolution should be so strikingly different in hunter-gatherers and food-producers. But, whatever the reason, the fact that they are different has important implications for interpretation of the archaeological record. In particular, recent attempts to explain patterns in the Palaeolithic archaeological record in relation to demographic processes need to be treated with skepticism.

October 20: Topic - Subjects of Debt?: Neoliberalism, Indigeneity and Islamic Financialization in Malaysia

Dr. Daromir Rudnyckyj, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria

This paper argues that the Malaysian state has developed Islamic finance in conjunction with two distinct strategies of subject formation. In its initial phase, beginning in the early 1980s, a central goal was the financial inclusion of Malays: incorporating this disadvantaged indigenous majority into the modern economy. By the 2000s the state’s goal of fostering an indigenous Malay Muslim middle class had been largely achieved through aggressive affirmative action policies. Today Islamic finance is being recast as a technique for the neoliberal entrepreneurialization of the indigenous Malay population. Empirically this shift is evident in recent efforts by experts seeking to move Islamic finance away from a reliance on what they call “debt-based” instruments to the use of ones that they refer to as “equity-based.” In brief, this entails a move away from instruments and structures that reformers assert “replicate” the loan instruments characteristic of “conventional finance” and toward instruments based on partnership, “profit sharing,” and “risk sharing” that they contend are more true to Islamic history and discourse. The paper concludes that efforts to reformulate Islamic finance around equity rather than debt offers an alternative solution to the way the predicament of finance recently has been characterized in the human sciences.

October 13: Thanksgiving Holiday - UVic Closed

October 6: Evolutionary perspectives on aging: thrifty telomeres and intergenerational plasticity

Dr. Dan T. A. Eisenberg, Department of Anthropology Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, University of Washington

Telomeres are repeating DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that protect and buffer genes from nucleotide loss as cells divide. Telomere length (TL) shortens with age in most proliferating tissues, limiting cell division and thereby contributing to senescence. However, TL increases with age in sperm and, correspondingly, offspring of older fathers inherit longer telomeres. Using a large longitudinal study from the Philippines, we show that the effect of paternal age on offspring TL is cumulative across multiple generations: in this sample, grandchildren of older paternal grandfathers at the birth of fathers have longer telomeres, independent of, and additive to, the effect of their father’s age at birth on TL. The lengthening of telomeres predicted by each year that the father’s or grandfather’s reproduction are delayed is equal to the yearly shortening of TL seen in middle-age to elderly adults, pointing to potentially important impacts on health and the pace of senescent decline. This finding suggests an adaptive mechanism by which organisms could extend late life function as average age at reproduction is delayed within a lineage. However, if longer telomeres promote a longer and healthier lifespan, then this begs the question of why natural selection has not resulted in longer telomeres. I suggest that long telomeres are energetically expensive, and that shorter telomeres, while limiting cell repair and replacement abilities to maintain the soma, are metabolically thriftier.

September 29: Anthropology Graduate Students Workshop

Dr. Yin-Man Lam, Anthropology Graduate Advisor will present a workshop on SSHRCC applications.

September 12: Library Workshop for Anthropology Graduate Students

Aditi Gupta M.Sc., M.L.I.S. Information Services Librarian, Anthropology Librarian, UVic

McPherson Library: 3:00 – 4:30

Please note the different day, time & location!
Only for Anthropology Graduate Students!

Workshop:
RefWorks and RefShare, key databases for social sciences, Summon, DSpace, VPN,
Zotero/Mendaley/Endnote and more…

September 8: Play, Learn, Grow: Infant Development in the Two Largest Lemurs

Jody Weir, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria

The successful development of a mammalian infant is a critical yet complex behavioural process. Mammals take time to acquire the motor skills to forage and to feed independently and to move through their environment effectively and efficiently. They depend on their mother's milk for nourishment, and her energy to carry them, while they develop the necessary skills to feed and to locomote on their own. Similarly, developing the social skills to be assimilated into a social group, takes observation, practice and experience. In this presentation, I will detail a large section of my Ph.D. research that examined infant development in the two largest lemurs, the Indri (Indri indri) and the Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema). This research entailed over 12 months of field work in the eastern montane rainforest of Madagascar. I will present some of the most interesting results from my study and discuss the ZAZA Project, a Local Monitoring Program and Scholarship Program, established to promote science-based community conservation in this area of exceptional biodiversity.

March 31: Hips don't lie: Childbirth scarring and human body and pelvic size.

Sarah-Louise Decrausaz, MA Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria

Biological anthropologists first identified childbirth (or parturition) scarring on female skeletons in the 1950s. Since then, anthropological literature has demonstrated that neither do these scars represent the number of children a woman has had in her lifetime, nor that these scars are even limited to females. If these scars are not caused by childbirth, what could they be caused by in both females and males? When it comes to parturition scarring, do the hips in fact lie? In this presentation, I will detail a large section of my M.A. thesis research that examines the association between body size, pelvic size and parturition scarring in one modern and one archaeological skeletal collection. I will highlight the complexity of studying the obstetric components of the bony pelvis, as well as key elements of the theoretical background in examining parturition scarring. I will also present some of my results from my thesis, and discuss how these results contribute a new perspective on a much-talked-about, though relatively understudied, osteological occurrence.

March 3: Applied Anthropology and Disaster Emergency Management: Opportunities and Barriers

Karen-Marie Elah Perry, Phd Student UVic Department of Anthropology

Pursuing applied anthropology in Disaster Emergency Management poses unique challenges and opportunities. On one hand, anthropologists can draw attention to socio-cultural factors that both foster and amplify the impacts of disasters as they unfold; on the other hand, engaging as a practitioner sometimes requires anthropologists to adopt the very structures, terms of reference and language historically critiqued by anthropology. Is the trade-off worth it? Drawing from four years of applied research in Disaster Emergency Management, this lecture underscores the value of anthropology in Disaster Emergency Management today, including: qualitative approaches to historically quantitative paradigms, holistic planning and response frameworks, community engagement, the efficacy of informal or ‘off the record’ knowledge, and critiques of taken-for-granted assumptions governing Disaster Emergency Management. Ultimately anthropology brings an unconventional view to the field, a view that can foster more effective disaster planning and response efforts and help save lives.

February 24: Ancient Land Use and the Politics of Landscape Production: Investigating Social Change in Late Prehistoric South India

Dr. Peter Johnansen, Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, UBC

Previous archaeological investigations of the South Indian Iron Age (1200-300 BC) and Early Historic Period (300 BC - AD 300) have characterized each as times of developing social rank and stratification during which forms of increasingly more ‘complex’ political organization were created. Yet very little analytical attention has been given to understanding how underlying social relations of difference and inequality were constructed and maintained, in other words how South Indian communities actually lived their social lives. To address this problem I am investigating how social relations of difference and their embedded relations of power produced very particular places, and how these places were configured at multiple scales into cultural landscapes.

In this talk I will discuss how Iron Age and Early Historic communities in South India constructed their social worlds by instrumentally ordering their spatial relations, political strategies that inscribed social differences within landscapes of everyday experience; the consequences of which included differential access to materials, technology and knowledge, as well as control and contestation over spatial access and meaning. My investigation of the politics of landscape production focuses on the relationship between three interconnected land-use practices¬settlement, agropastoralism and metallugy¬and the development and maintenance of social distinctions, inequalities and institutions during the Iron Age and Early Historic Periods. I will discuss data from several years of research in northern Karnataka including some preliminary results from my current field project, the Maski Archaeological Research Project (MARP).

February 17: Particapatory Virtual Exhibit Production and Emergent Digital Hybrid Spaces

Dr. Kate Hennessy, Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, SFU

In this talk I will present the collaborative production of virtual museum exhibits as a form of ethnographic and scholarly praxis. More than mere re-presentations of museum collections in digital form, virtual museum exhibits that are produced in collaboration with source communities create spaces for applied ethnographic media design and engagement with theoretical and methodological questions.

Drawing on virtual projects that I have co-produced in the last decade with Aboriginal communities, academic partners, and multimedia designers, I argue that collaboratively produced virtual museum exhibits create significant opportunities for the co-curation of collections and their representation by communities of origin. I explore how software toolkits facilitate access to digital collections and the republishing of data, while digitization and circulation of collections have generated new possibilities for relationship building and Indigenous media production.

I discuss these projects through the conceptual lens of emergent digital hybrid spaces, which we define as the virtual sites of representation and real world places that are interconnected through digital practices. I frame community based media production, virtual exhibit design, and investigation of the sociotechnical systems that support the archiving and circulation of digital cultural heritage as generative sites of anthropological insight into ownership and repatriation, the relationship between tangible, intangible, and natural forms of heritage, and the politics of cultural representation.

February 10: University Closed - Family Day

February 3: No Colloquium

January 27: The Black Movement of Brazil Repatriation Practices: Thinking About Slavery and Citizenship

Dr. Francine Saillant, RSC, Director, International Forum of Anthropologists (FIA), Professor, Department of Anthropology, Universite

Renowned anthropologist, Doctor Francine Saillant, is the principal investigator of various SSHRCC and FQRSC research projects, and author of more than twenty books and eighty articles. In the 1990s she studied the black movement of Brazil, interviewing more than 150 leaders. At the heart of her work were these questions: How can we make sense of reparation practices after four centuries of slavery? Can we repair history?

January 20: Decolonizing the academy one discipline at a time - 4 Bs: Boas, Bourdieu, Baudrillard and Bhabha.

Dr. Marlene Atleo, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
?eh ?eh naa tuu kwiss, House of Klaaq ish peethl, Ahousaht First Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth

This presentation will look at how the meaning making of the academy for western society on the west coast and in particular how such meaning making has stripped First Nations of their own humanity (skulls, whalers shrine) by alienation of values in terms of resources and culturally re-shaped society, their signs and symbols and relegated Indigenous peoples as objects to an outsider position.

This is a product of formal meaning making in the highest levels of western society and in particular: the academy as the meaning making engine of society. This kind of engagement with First Nations needs to be exposed for what it is: continuing colonization of the life world of Indigenous people.

As a settler society Canada is absorbing all the trappings of the Indigenous into itself and spits out the actual human being. How it has happened and continues to happen when the materialization of First Nations through recognition and respect is what is needed on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and beyond will be explored in this presentation.


January 13: Misy Maki? Lemurs, forest fragments, ancestral Betsileo tombs, and community conservation in south-central Madagascar

Dr. Lisa Gould, UVic Department of Anthropology

The south-central highland region of Madagascar is primarily deforested, except for small forest fragments dotting the landscape. In some of these, small populations of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) persist, but the future of many of these populations is precarious, as habitats continue to be compromised.

Some fragments are now being managed by local community conservation associations, after village residents have seen, first hand, how decades of deforestation and more recent climate change in the region have affected their agricultural crops. Ecotourism is becoming more common in this region, and the two largest fragments have become successful attractions, largely due to the resident lemur populations.

In Aug./Sept. 2013, my team and I surveyed nine fragments in south-central Madagascar, and met with representatives of six local associations. Our aims were:

  1. to evaluate Lemur catta population viability within each fragment using a number of ecological measures, and
  2. to discuss, with association representatives, their goals regarding fragment conservation and benefits to local residents.

In this presentation, I will present some preliminary results and discuss the likelihood of lemur population persistence in the fragments. I will also outline some of the conservation initiatives that we discussed with village association representatives, and how some associations have subsequently followed up in relation to these goals. Lastly, I will describe the contents of some "secret caves" inside these small forests, which the local people were eager for me to see (not part of the project, but fascinating nonetheless).


January 6: Ancestral presence, power, and ritualizing the dead at Rocky Point

Darcy Mathews, PhD candidate, UVic Department of Anthropology

A millennia ago, the Coast Salish peoples of southern Vancouver Island built distinctive funerary petroforms for their ancestral dead. Rocky Point is one of the largest recorded mortuary landscapes on the Northwest Coast, with more than five hundred visible burial features distributed between two neighbouring cemeteries.

Using a novel suite of morphological and spatial analyses, I have identified a patterned use of stone and soil in the making of these burials. Despite this patterning, these burials are hidden in the landscape, or built at the threshold of perception. This anti-monumentality is seemingly paradoxical, but when considered within Coast Salish frames of reference, there is power in the unseen. Visible yet hidden, the dead exist as inherently liminal and dangerous but retain a posthumous social, economic, and political life among the living.

These burials are active and powerful agents constituting ancestral places, yet concealing them is a ritualized process that is also revealing. Existing at the peripheries of the living and situated outside of everyday discourse, the Rocky Point dead are invested with power that is central to a process of history and place making that transcends the cemetery.


2013

December 2: Free trade? FAYUCA! The cross-border trade of used clothing along the Mexico-US Border

Dr. Melissa Gauthier, UVic Department of Anthropology

A great deal of government and media chatter is focused on the US-Mexico trade in drugs, arms and narco-dollars. Yet much less attention is paid to the flow of other contraband goods, perhaps less sexy to the mass media, but arguably having an equal or greater impact on the economy of the border region and far beyond.

Around all Mexico’s border-crossing points, there is an impressive system of smuggling from the United States called fayuca hormiga which means “ant trade.” Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez border region, this presentation focuses on Mexican fayuqueros or “ant traders” whose livelihood involves the smuggling of used clothing across the Mexican border for resale on the other side.


November 25: Negotiating Tourism and Gender in Highland Peru: A Research Proposal

Karoline Guelke, doctoral student, UVic Department of Anthropology

Tourism has now become one of the largest global industries, and gender is an important factor that shapes the often highly differential distribution of its costs and benefits.

This presentation will provide an overview of my proposed dissertation research examining gender variables in the interactions of locals and visitors in a small Peruvian tourist destination. While working in tourism can conflict with more traditional gender roles, it also brings the potential for women and men to improve their status in various ways.

Rather than understanding gender norms and inequalities simply as causal factors, my goal is to analyze the specific processes through which these roles and power structures are created, performed, and challenged in the context of tourism. In addition to outlining my topic area, I will also discuss my proposed research methodology which combines ethnographic methods with visual approaches, particularly photography and drawing.


November 18: "Our ways will continue on: Re-envisioning Indigenous governance, leadership and resurgence"

Dr. Jeff Corntassel, UVic Indigenous governance program

How are Indigenous nations mobilizing to promote resurgence and sustainable self-determination on their homelands today? Drawing on comparative Indigenous land-based and water-based movements across Turtle Island and other parts of the world, this talk discusses how Indigenous peoples are re-envisioning community leadership and governance.


November 4: “Not just any old place”: Importance of ecological diversity in Indigenous peoples’ resource use and management in British Columbia

Dr. Nancy Turner, UVic School of Environmental Studies

Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America are often referred to as “Hunter-Gatherers.” Yet, they hold sophisticated knowledge, built up over hundreds of generations, around maintaining, enhancing and cultivating the resources that they have relied on for their sustenance and cultural practices. This knowledge is also spatially situated, and reflects complex interactions between resource species, habitats and social systems.


October 28: Hunting treasure hunting in Ecuadorian archaeology

Dr. Peter W. Stahl, UVic Department of Anthropology

The use and display of pre-Columbian archaeological materials is ubiquitous for wide ranging public consumption in local and national contexts of contemporary Ecuador. Despite their public prominence, usually little is known about the original provenience of even the most renowned items.

The reasons for this are complex and manifold. They can involve both casual and highly organized huaquerismo (looting of cultural patrimony) and counterfeiting, both of which are prompted by a decidedly lucrative international art trade that also directs archaeological research priorities within the country. Although this is not necessarily unique to Ecuadorian archaeology, it is particularly prominent and the product of a history involving both local and national initiatives.


October 21: Novel ecosystems, anthromes and turbulence

Dr. Eric Higgs (and Dr. Peter Stephenson), UVic School of Environmental Studies

Novel ecosystems have developed during the Anthropocene and differ in many important ways from past ecosystems. Their structure and function stems from human agency. When these biomes are intentionally anthropogenic (anthromes) contemporary anthropology might help us to better understand them. Yet anthropological perspectives have received scant attention in the emerging debates on novel ecosystems. In recognizing this lacuna, there is a significant opening for using novel ecosystems to engage questions about human agency and natural process, commitments to place, and collisions in worldview and value formation.


October 7: Evolutionary consequences of the reproduction-locomotion nexus on human sexual dimorphism

Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Biology, Seattle Pacific University

Among sexually dimorphic features of the human skeleton, a few are particularly important for locomotion, namely: overall size, the shape of the pelvic girdle, and the proportions and lengths of the lower limbs. Across populations, males are absolutely larger in terms of mass, stature and lower limb length, whereas females have wider pelves relative to size. Variation between the sexes in these traits has consequences for the energetic cost of transport (CoT) and the speed of travel; these morphological differences should lead to sex-specific energetic costs and strategies of mobility. Furthermore, sex differences in form, combined with reproduction-related physiological and behavioral differences, represent an adaptive suite of characters resulting from sex-specific selection pressures linked to locomotion.

I present data on the energetic and thermoregulatory differences between males and females walking with and without loads across a range of speeds and substrates. Without loads, males have significantly faster optimal walking speeds, higher costs at their optimal (minimal CoT) speed, and a more acute optimal walking curve (thus an increased penalty for walking at sub-optimal speeds). People with relatively wider bi-trochanteric breadths (for their mass; generally females) have lower costs at their optimal speed. Additionally, during loaded walking, a relatively wider pelvis increases both stride length and speed flexibility, providing a morphological offset for load-related costs. Without loads, walking females build up less of a heat load than males; however, with loads this pattern is reversed and females choose to walk at slower speeds. This suggests a behavioral compromise that modulates heat load.

As minimizing both heat gain and energy consumption are essential for successful reproduction, these data suggest that females’ small size promotes heat loss, their slow speeds prevent excessive heat gain, and their wide pelves provide energetic benefits during loaded and unloaded walking.


September 30: Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, UVic Department of Anthropology

Sharing Music, Weaving the Social: A Spectrum from Monteal to Havana


September 23: Emergent Earls: Norse identities in the graves of Orkney and Shetland

Dr. Erin Halstad McGuire, UVic Department of Anthropology

The Northern Isles of Scotland have long produced rich archaeological evidence for Viking settlement. Much attention has been given to the nature of the settlement of Scotland and to the relationship between Norse and native populations. The Viking-Age furnished burials have tended to be treated as one form of evidence within these lines of enquiry.

This paper attempts to move beyond these traditional questions to examine the funerary remains in relation to the display and performance of Norse social identities. Particular emphasis is placed on intersection of migrant identities, gender, religion and power. It will be argued that the funerary rituals of Scandinavian Scotland connected the settlers with both homeland and new land, simultaneously linking social memories of an idealised past and staking claim to the contested landscapes of the Northern Isles. Gendered burial is a notable feature of the Scandinavian funerary record in Scotland, especially with regards to weapons burials. Building on the work of Hadley, Williams and others, the paper ultimately proposes that the emphasis on the weapons burial tradition in Viking-Age Scotland emerged from the need to establish and strengthen the territorial claims of some families in opposition to both local populations and other in-coming Norse families.


September 16: Examining sexual and gender minorities in drug use and sex work environments: Youth, violence, and addiction treatment

Speaker: Dr. Tara Lyons, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, UBC & the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Women who belong to a sexual minority group have been historically under studied, particularly in HIV/AIDS and sex work research, and while certain populations of gender minorities have been the focus of research, gaps persist in the literature. Thus, in this presentation I will outline two research projects with unique populations of sex workers and individuals who use drugs.

The first study qualitatively investigates the experiences of transgender, transsexual and two-spirit individuals in drug use and street and hidden off-street sex work environments (e.g., massage parlors, hotels). The second study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the health and socio-structural experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in the same environments.

I will focus on the overrepresentation of sexual minority youth and women in sex work as well as findings from both studies demonstrating the extraordinary rates of physical and sexual violence faced by participants. Findings concerning access to drug treatment programs will also be discussed. Policy recommendations will be presented along with recommendations from participants regarding what changes can be made to improve their health, safety and well-being.


March 25: Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute Oral History Research 1994-present

Speaker: Ms. Alestine Andre (Gwichya Gwich'in), Anthropology and Women Studies Alumna, MA Ethnobotany

See Alestine Andre's profile for more information.


March 18: "We think through our marwat (paintbrush)" – reflections on the Yolngu conceptualisation of mind

Speaker: Professor Howard Morphy (Anthropology's Lansdowne Speaker 2013), Professor and Director of the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University and Frances Morphy, Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University

Yolngu when talking about sacred paintings routinely give priority to thought. They paint with a marwat, a brush of human hair and explicitly draw a connection between the brush, the head and the creative process. Yet there is also a sense in which mind is equally or perhaps fundamentally placed in the land – not everywhere but in particular locations.

In this paper we first consider Yolngu body-part metaphors that illuminate their conceptualization of mind, and then move away from the human body towards a consideration of the ancestral dimension and the embodiment of the ancestral domain in the landscape. We will explore the ways in which thought and knowledge are located in focal points in the land which have an association with the frontal region of the head (buku) and the enduring footprint (djalkiri) of the ancestor.

We will conclude that the Yolngu conceptualisation of mind is grounded in the ancestral determination of the world yet creates a space for human creativity.


March 11: Made to Matter: Bodies, Sex Work, and the Politics of Representation

Speaker: Dr. Leah Shumka, Post-Doctoral Fellow to Cecilia Benoit, Centre for Addictions Research of BC, Alumna Anthropology

The purpose of this paper is to question the ideological reification of the body that has become the norm within sociocultural theory in recent decades. Using the public imaginings and academic renderings of people who work in the sex industry as my case study, I show how the materiality of bodies are oftentimes subject to erasure or deemed inconsequential in contemporary theorizing.

My intention is not to dismiss the symbolic importance of the body for thinking through social and cultural processes and political formations, but to draw attention to the idea that the quotidian material body is an important site for gaining a rich understanding of what motivates individuals and helps explain complex social behaviour.

Drawing on ethnographic research, I provide examples of what can be learned when we envision sex workers as embodied-selves rather than disembodied-subjects. From there I sketch one possible methodology, or theoretical set of principles, that can productively guide the study of topics relating to the body while still engaging with social theory.


February 4: Litigating Tradition: Indigenous Rights to "Traditional" Fisheries in the Pacific Northwest

Speaker: Dr. Daniel L. Boxberger, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University

Two landmark court cases in the late 20th century upheld indigenous rights to fisheries resources in the Pacific Northwest. United States v. Washington (1974) and Delgamuukx v. British Columbia (1992) have become precedence for indigenous rights in their respective countries. Both of these cases have spawned dozens of subsequent cases seeking to clarify indigenous rights to resources.

My work is primarily with American Indians and First Nations whose traditional territories straddle the USA/Canada border, offering an instructional perspective on the broader questions of indigenous rights in colonized nations.

A common thread in government’s defense in both nation states is that indigenous rights only extend to traditional harvesting practices, an argument that has been refuted numerous times but which legal counsel continues to invoke. Drawing on case studies from two recent proceedings I participated in as expert witness, I discuss how the USA and Canada interpret the facts at issue and how these events have influenced the course of ethnohistorical research in the Pacific Northwest.


January 28: A View from the Watchman’s Pole: Salmon and the Kwakwaka’wakw Summer Ceremonial

Speaker: Dee Sanders Cullon, PhD student, Anthropology Department, UVic

In the literature, much emphasis has been placed on the Kwakwaka’wakw winter ceremonial with its lore of cannibalism, the taming of a man gone wild, its intriguing dances, vibrant and intricately carved masks, its art, drama, and its interaction with the spirit world.

Many of these writings attempt to re-interpret the Boas and Boas-Hunt materials in an effort to gain an understanding of the winter ceremonial’s fundamental meaning. But what about the summer ceremonial? By considering the Kwakwaka’wakw summer ceremonial, its connection to salmon, and the traditional animistic beliefs of Kwakwaka’wakw people, it is possible to view traditional stewardship in a different light.

I argue that the Kwakwaka’wakw summer ceremonial was religious in nature and not only promoted resource stewardship but that it was upon this belief system and the corresponding practices that the success of the famous winter ceremonial relied.


January 21: Anthropological Genetics in the study of evolution

Speaker: Dr. M.J. Mosher, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University

Anthropological geneticists seek to identify and quantify environmental factors affecting gene expression. They combine the methods of genetic studies with knowledge of cultural and environmental factors to further understand human variation, adaptation and ultimately, evolution. For example, dietary nutrients provide ongoing environmental determinants which underlie human physiological variation, gene expression and reproductive success.

Adaptation to nutritional signals begins in utero, creating effects which mediate the trajectory of fetal and neonatal growth and development in response to the maternal nutrient environment. Recent research now suggests that epigenetic mechanisms may, in fact, provide the crosstalk between genes and the environment. We hypothesize how modern migrant populations, which have experienced rapid, dramatic nutritional and environmental changes, may provide a window through which to observe epigenetic variation, subsequent effects on phenotypic variation and the significance to evolution.


January 14: Telling Pictures' Stories: Photography, Heritage, and Memory at ch’átlich

Speaker: Adam Solomonian, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, UBC, IPinCH Graduate Student Fellow

In October 2010 the “Sechelt Image” (since renamed “Our Grieving Mother”), an ancient stone carving, was reclaimed from the Museum of Vancouver by the shíshálh Nation on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. Then shíshálh Councilor Robert Joe commented that the reclamation “helps us identify who we are as a Sechelt Nation. It brings back a lot of pride, honour and dignity” (Coast Reporter 2010).

This moment embodied shíshálh rights to self-determination and cultural identity that are, along with the stewardship of their traditional territory, directly linked to objects and sites of cultural importance. The term shíshálh itself designates not only people, but the landscape, material things, and associated ways of knowing.

My discussion will focus on in-progress dissertation research that attempts to engage this entanglement of people, places, things, and knowledge through an ethnography of shíshálh visual/material culture, specifically the “social life” of community photograph collections (Appadurai 1988), and their place within local memoryscapes.

This encompasses an examination of the ways photographs operate as vibrant and radiant “things” (Bennett 2009) with and through which human actors communicate cultural knowledge in a variety of settings. Furthermore, it addresses the broader processes and practices that transform photographs from familial objects into heritage materials in need of preservation, and back again.


January 7: Archaeology in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Speaker: Dr. Peter Stahl, Department of Anthropology, UVic

This presentation explores issues involving conservation biology, the emergence of novel ecosystems, and the historic production of humanized landscapes in Ecuador’s Galápagos National Park.

It considers the development of a unique and internationally renowned biota and the inevitable materialization of a “Galápagos Paradox” in which human interest undermines those features of the ecosystem which originally attracted human interest.

The image of a people-free natural laboratory for seeing and understanding evolution is essential to the existence of a lucrative ecotourism industry, but in the process it obscures a temporally deeper and more complex association with humans.


2012

November 26: IBM and the Smarter Planet Paradox: A Political Ecology of Corporate Responsibility

Speaker: Dr. Peter C. Little, Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

Drawing on ethnographic work in the birthplace community of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), this lecture explores the paradox of IBM corporate responsibility amid a microelectronic disaster that has left a New York community with significant environmental, public health, and property devaluation challenges.

Dr. Little discusses how IBM and the State took aggressive mitigation efforts to safeguard the community from toxic chemical spills that first emerged in the late 1970s, and how tracking discourses of “responsible” mitigation in general and corporate responsibility fueled by IBM’s recent “Smart Planet” agenda in particular, informs contemporary anthropologies and political ecologies of corporate power and high-tech disaster.


November 19: Archaeology and Ancient Landscapes of the Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy Region on the Central Northwest Coast

Speaker: Dr. Duncan McLaren, Department of Anthropology Faculty, UVic

Dr. McLaren will present recent research results from an environmental archaeological program based out of the Hakai Beach Institute on Calvert Island.  This area is located in Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv territories.

One of the primary goals of this research is to consider multiple diachronic forms of knowledge in order build a comprehensive understanding of the regions historical landscape. Archaeological, palaeo-environmental, and oral historical data sources are all considered in the construction of this historical mosaic.


November 5: Archival Theatre: Place and Performance in Early 20th Century London

Speaker: Jennifer Robinson, PhD Student, UVic Anthropology Department

This lecture debates the role of performance in London at the turn of the 20th century using a collection of archival photographs from London’s National Portrait Gallery. Taken by photographer Cavendish Morton, these images depict a variety of artists and performers associated with London’s artistic community between the years 1900-1930. Performance as it is mobilized through out this presentation, is both the topic of historical inquiry and the methodological approach for investigating this history.

An analysis of the broader social circumstances surrounding the production of these images illuminates how performance in the early twentieth century had become an integral mode of cultural exchange in British society. The liminial or transitional space created through acts of performance gave entertainers of various genders, ethnicities and class the ability to exert their own agency, manipulate dominant stereotypes and influence British audiences.

On space of the stage, the medium of performance had the capability to cross the borders of difference between people, culture and place. As a mode of anthropological inquiry, performance provides a method for conceptualizing the production of these intercultural artistic spaces in the present as well as a unique analytical tool for examining the performative aspects of the practice of photography, archival research and the history-making process.


October 29: A Stranger Comes to Town, or, On Dwelling, Access and Exclusion

Speaker: Dr. Jaime Yard, Department of Anthropology Faculty, University of Victoria

This paper examines the landscape of the Sechelt Peninsula, British Columbia from a dwelling perspective (Ingold 2000) in concert with writings in political ecology on the politics of exclusionary and privileged access to land. I examine local homes and recreational and retirement real estate construction projects as both embedded relational nodes in more-than-human webs of significance and as positioned within regulatory frameworks that have rendered some local claims to belonging and property more publicly credible than others.

In this tour we will move sometimes over land and sometimes by water around my field site. The focus of our tour will be to investigate how complicity with the long history of accumulation by dispossession in British Columbia is understood and naturalized in the landscape by "strangers" who have come to this place to make a home, make a living, recreate and retire.


October 22: Four Tales of an Overtaxed Indian

Speaker: Celeste Pedri, PhD Student, UVic Department of Anthropology, (with special guest Janet Marie Rogers, Independent Artist & Victoria's Poet Laureate)

CONSUMER’S WARNING: This is a performance text drawing together the tradition of Anishinabe storysharing, Indigenous (performance) autoethnography and poetic narrative. Based on personal, excavated memories, in four performed vignettes, Four Tales of an Overtaxed Indian presents an evocative, intimate account of the narrator’s (Celeste’s) lived experience as a Status First Nation Indian shopper who chooses to exercise her rights with respect to certain tax exemptions on goods purchased.

Through various interactions mediated by her Indian Status Card, Celeste reveals both inner and outer conflict as she engages in critical self-reflection of her ‘Indianness’, and how others accept and negotiate her identity and Indian rights.

Her hope in sharing her stories is to foster critical thought and dialogue around issues related to Canada’s Indian Act with respect to the inventorying of Status First Nation individuals, public misconceptions and reactions to tax exemption provisions entrenched in Treaty Rights, and the treatment of Status Indians.


October 15: My Co-op Experience: Jasper National Park and The Changing Relationships Project - The People of the Upper Athabasca Valley

Speaker: Julie-Anne Weaver, MA Student, UVic Department of Anthropology

Over the last eight months I have been a student researcher for Jasper National Park working on a project entitled: Changing Relationships – The people of the Upper Athabasca Valley. This project was initiated by the Aboriginal Liaison Office of Jasper National Park as a means of strengthening their relationship with the families whose ancestors lived in the Jasper Valley prior to the park’s creation in 1907.

In this colloquium presentation I will talk about my co-op experience as it relates to anthropology. My historical investigation through archival research and conversations with Elders drew out significant historical themes which guided the project and led to my own reflexive thinking. I quickly learned that the ‘community’ that I worked with was divided over issues of who they were as a group. This contributed to the complexity of the cooperative/collaborative project because of diverging expectations and concerns. I address the challenges that came up and the strategies that I used to overcome them.


October 1: Respondent Driven Sampling, Formative Research and Concept Maps of Vancouver’s Gay Community

Speaker: Dr. Eric Abella Roth, UVic Anthropology Faculty, Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia

Respondent driven sampling (RDS) is a form of chain sampling increasingly used to recruit hidden populations. At present there is debate concerning the necessity of formative research before implementing RDS. 

To begin a longitudinal study of HIV risk behaviour, substance use, and anti-retroviral therapy among Vancouver Men Who Have Sex with Men, the Momentum study used formative research resulting in concept maps created in focus groups to generate emic perspectives of Vancouver’s gay community and identify “bridges” linking social sub-networks and potential ‘bottlenecks’ separating them.

Results are presented in terms of gay/bisexual men’s view of Vancouver’s gay community and as input for subsequent RDS planning.


September 24: Shell Middens, Social Memory, and Inland Coast Salish Landscapes in the Salish Sea

Speaker: Eric McLay, PhD Student, UVic Department of Anthropology

Discovered atop mountain hilltops and valleys distant from present shorelines, “inland shell middens” are a rare, unexplained, and increasingly threatened type of archaeological site in the Salish Sea. Why past Coast Salish peoples chose to locate these inland sites and transport whole shellfish, other marine foods, aesthetic artifacts and exotic materials to distant upland locations is presently unknown.

In this Ph.D. dissertation proposal, I propose that current archaeological research studying how depositional practices embody social memory that link peoples, places, things and other non-human agents may be a productive approach to explore this archaeological problem, combined with the active engagement of local Coast Salish peoples as equal partners in archaeological research and interpretation of inland landscapes.