Talks by Finalists in Anthropology Faculty Search | Anthropology and Education | International & Transcultural Studies

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In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies

Past Announcements


Professor Lesley Bartlett
Thursday, January 28
140 Horace Mann

"Notes on the Anthropology of Education"

As a discipline, the Anthropology of Education is dedicated to how humans instruct each other through cultural deliberations. In this talk, Professor Bartlett provides an overview of her work in the field, before focusing more specifically on two current projects: one related to early grade reading in developing country contexts, and one related to the influence of Dominican maternal migration on the education and migration aspirations of the children left home.

Following the talk will be a meeting with Anthropology students from 3:30-4:30pm in 541 Grace Dodge Hall.

Professor Stanton Wortham
Monday, February 1
285 Grace Dodge Hall

“Heterogeneous Networks in the New Latino Diaspora”

This talk describes individual and community trajectories in a New Latino Diaspora community, drawing on a decade-long project with newcomers and longstanding residents. I argue that experiences and trajectories in this town rely on heterogeneous networks, with different focal phenomena depending on different configurations of resources. The talk sketches two empirical patterns in more detail: the 35 year history of the first Mexican immigrant to settle in the town, together with associated trajectories traveled by her extended family; and Mexican adolescents’ use of youth culture images as one important resource in developing identities. The talk also includes and reflects on film as a medium for representing ethnographic research.

Professor Wortham met with Anthropology students on Thursday, Jan 21, from 4:00-5:00pm in 541 Grace Dodge Hall.

Professor Shalini Shankar

Thursday, February 4
179 Grace Dodge Hall

"From Spellbound to Spellebrity: Brain Sports, Spelling Careers, and the Competitive Lives of Generation Z."

Focusing on the school-age competition of spelling bees in America, this talk will examine how members of Generation Z, the “Selfie Generation” (b. 2001-present), manage their childhoods.  It will discuss the most prestigious “brain sport” in which children today compete—The National Spelling Bee—with an eye toward how new definitions and characteristics of childhood may impact American society more broadly. The talk will especially investigate the role that post-1965 professional immigrants from South Asia have played in heightening the level of this competition, as well as the role that broadcast and social media play in complicating these trends. Ethnographic examples drawn from fieldwork at spelling bees and with children and families will illustrate how, in a neoliberal era, children and parents collaborate in particular types of pre-professional socialization that enable competitors to become “elite spellers.” The “spelling careers” children may develop between the ages of 6-14 provide an intimate look at why these young people dedicate their younger years to intense competition in ways that socialize and professionalize them at levels not common in previous generations. The implications of these phenomena will be explored, especially in as much as they offer new understandings of contemporary childhood, as well as immigration, race, and ethnicity for Generation Z.

Following the talk will be a meeting with Anthropology students from 3:30-4:30pm in 541 Grace Dodge Hall.