news and announcements
A team led by Dr. Janet Monge has found evidence of the earliest known benign bone tumor in a Neandertal rib from Croatia. Approximately 120,000 year old, the bone is significantly more ancient than prior discoveries of this kind, the oldest of which date back some 1,000-4,000 years. As Monge explains, “This tumor may provide another link between Neandertals and modern peoples...we grow the same way in our bones and teeth and share the same diseases.”
Penn Anthropology congratulates the class of 2013! Six of our graduate students and forty-one of our undergraduates will be awarded degrees this May. We also congratulate all of our students, past and present, who have received awards and honors this past year.
Click for more information about the various honorees (graduate awards can be found on the graduate student website, and undergraduate awards can be found here) or click here for a full list of our 2013 graduates.
Senior anthropology major Paul Mitchell has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award for 2013-2014 to conduct research in skeletal biology and paleoanthropology at the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi. Through the support of the Department of Anthropology, the Penn Museum, and his advisor, Dr. Janet Monge, Paul has participated in multiple research projects in Africa, including bioarchaeological research on the arrival and expansion of pastoralist economies and the origins and affiliations of the Swahili East African people. In conjunction with his Fulbright research, beginning in the fall of 2013, Paul will be pursuing a PhD in Integrative Biology, at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Philippe Bourgois, Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine, has been awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship for his ethnographic research on urban poverty, segregation, and drug use from the vantage point of an inner-city drug corner. Findings and photographs from the research will be published in a new book, tentatively titled Cornered. According to Bourgois, the book will "analyze the emergence of increasingly distressed new subjectivities among vulnerable, inner-city, immigrant populations under the specific conditions of 21st-century poverty."
To read more about Dr Bourgois' project, click here.
Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, has received funding to support BAD FRIDAY IN AFRICA: ROOTS, RIGHTS, REPARATIONS. With this support, Thomas, John L. Jackson, Jr., and Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn will be screening their documentary film, BAD FRIDAY: RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, in South Africa, and conducting media ethnography workshops in a variety of settings. BAD FRIDAY, which has been featured at international film festivals and screened across the country, focuses on state violence against Rastafari in Jamaica, and specifically on what is called the “Coral Gardens incident” of 1963. Click to read more.
Dr. Janet Monge has had several projects featured in the news recently. The New York Times reported on Duffy's Cut, site of a mass burial of 19th-century Irish laborers, including forensic analysis conducted by Monge and Samantha Cox, who received her BA in Anthropology from Penn. Monge, as well as Cox and others, also published an article in the March issue of The Lancet describing the results of a study examining Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in ancient mummies. Monge also gave a talk April 3rd on the famous Scopes Trial- the talk was reported on in the Philadelphia citypaper and can be viewed here.
The Spring 2013 colloquia series is underway, and the theme for this year is 'Crossroads'. Recent developments have made the internal and external boundaries of anthropology increasingly nebulous. The growing specialization of subfield niches raises questions about what holds together anthropology’s “sacred bundle”, while interdisciplinary collaboration poses questions about what constitutes the essence of the discipline.
Join us on Mondays at noon throughout the semester for a variety of engaging discussions by scholars who negotiate intersections in their work. The full schedule can be downloaded here.
Dr. Kamari Maxine Clarke, a professor of Anthropology at Yale and visiting scholar here at Penn for the 2012-2013 academic year, has published an editorial in the New York Times entitled “Treat Greed in Africa as a War Crime.” Recently, Dr. Clarke was awarded a highly competitive NSF grant for her research on the controversies over the International Criminal Court in Africa. She spoke about her work as part of the anthropology colloquium series this past fall, and also taught a course here at Penn entitled In Search of Freedom: Religion and the Limits of the Law.
To learn more about Dr. Clarke's project, click here.