40th Anniversary Celebration Wraps Up With NAS Symposium

Keith Chapman

Dartmouth will host a group of distinguished academic and tribal scholars and elders for two panel discussions next week as part of a symposium on the “Collaborative Research in the Study of Native American Cultures.” The symposium serves as the final event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the College’s Native American Studies Program.

“To showcase some of the best collaborative research in ethnography, archaeology, and the study of oral traditions and hear from several of its outstanding practitioners, our two-day symposium brings together Native and non-Native scholars and their collaborators,” says Sergei Kan, professor of anthropology and of Native American studies, and the symposium’s main organizer.

Kes Schroer's takes her "Your Inner Chimpanzee's" class climbing

Joseph Blumberg

Students Go Climbing in the Footsteps of Chimpanzee

Dartmouth’s Kes Schroer has taken her students on an unusual adventure “in order to put themselves into the mind of a chimpanzee,” she says. “Chimpanzees provide a critical counterpoint for understanding the potential uniqueness of human behaviors.

Taking experiential learning to new heights, Schroer shepherded her class into the Daniels Climbing Gym. Enrolled in her course “Your Inner Chimpanzee,” they sought to emulate the experience of our cousins, with whom we share 98.8 percent of our DNA.

Student Studies Prehistoric Canals in a Mexican Metropolis

Joseph Blumberg

Adventures in Archaeology

Professor of Anthropology Deborah Nichols’ approach to education transcends the classroom. “For most students, college offers the first opportunity to take courses about archaeology,” she says. “For some, doing archaeology in the field will be a transformative experience. They learn to dig with trowels, toothbrushes, and lasers while having a legitimate excuse to get dirty.”

Nichols recently facilitated adventures in archaeology for four Dartmouth undergraduates. The students are profiled in this four-part Dartmouth Now series.

Andres Mejia-Ramon ’16 was born in Mexico, and considers Naucalpan, Mexico, and East Longmeadow, Mass., his hometowns. He says the main reason he became interested in archaeology is that he has been surrounded by the ancient Mesoamerican cultures for most of his life.

Undergraduate Searches for ‘Cultures Lost to Time’

Joseph Blumberg

Adventures in Archaeology

Professor of Anthropology Deborah Nichols’ approach to education transcends the classroom. “For most students, college offers the first opportunity to take courses about archaeology,” she says. “For some, doing archaeology in the field will be a transformative experience. They learn to dig with trowels, toothbrushes, and lasers while having a legitimate excuse to get dirty.”

Nichols recently facilitated adventures in archaeology for four Dartmouth undergraduates. The students are profiled in this four-part Dartmouth Now series.

Her first taste of archaeology came from a National Geographic article on Peru. By the time Genevieve Mifflin ’14 of Greenwich, Conn., had reached the tenth grade, she’d decided to major in anthropology in college.

“I must have been a senior in high school when I thought how amazing it must be to unveil cultures lost to time,” Mifflin says. “There was something about the mystery and intrigue of discovery that captivated me.”

Colin Quinn ’15 Digs for Clues About Ancient Nicaraguans

Joseph Blumberg

Adventures in Archaeology

Professor of Anthropology Deborah Nichols’ approach to education transcends the classroom. “For most students, college offers the first opportunity to take courses about archaeology,” she says. “For some, doing archaeology in the field will be a transformative experience. They learn to dig with trowels, toothbrushes, and lasers, while having a legitimate excuse to get dirty.”

Nichols recently facilitated adventures in archaeology for four Dartmouth undergraduates. The students are profiled in this four-part Dartmouth Now series.

It was his high school track and field coach who first got Colin Quinn ’15 hooked on archaeology. Conversations with Coach Jason Paling at Nashua (N.H.) High School South revealed the athlete’s archaeological avocation. Paling is co-principal investigator on the Chiquilistagua archaeological project with Justin Lowry, an instructor at George Mason University. The site, southwest of the Nicaragua capital city of Managua, is located on land owned by Paling’s in-laws.

Emily Fletcher '13 Works as Presidential Fellow

For a group of recent graduates, the transition from college to the workforce means moving from the ranks of Dartmouth undergraduates to Dartmouth staff members.

Eight alumni began work last month as Presidential Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Presidential Fellows Program, run by the Office of the President, was launched in 2009 and provides graduates with the opportunity to play key roles in Dartmouth’s administration.

One of the Presidential Fellows, Emily Fletcher '13, double majored in anthropology and neuroscience. See her profile below, and read about the other seven fellows on Dartmouth Now.

NY Times Features Work of Dartmouth's Sergei A. Kan

The New York Times highlights the work of Dartmouth’s Sergei A. Kan in a story about amateur photographer Vincent Soboleff, a Russian-American who captured images of the Tlingit community of Alaska during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Kan, a professor anthropology and of Native American studies, is the author of the new book A Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country: Vincent Soboleff in Alaska. “Mr. Kan’s rigorous study focuses on the pictures of people, particularly scenes of work, celebration, and play, as well as of the interface between Native and non-Native populations,” writes the Times.

Read the full story, published 7/17/13 by The New York Times.

‘White Noses’ and Self-Esteem (New York Daily News)

New York Daily News reports on a study by Dartmouth’s Lauren Gulbas that found the increase of cosmetic surgery in Venezuela had a lot to do with women’s desire to look “white.”

“The presumed ‘gold standard in rhinoplasty’ is a nose that is associated with being ‘Caucasian,’ meaning white: a tall, slender nose with a narrow nasal base,” Gulbas writes in her study, according to the Daily News.

Gulbas, a research assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, surveyed 63 women—white, black or racially mixed—in the capital city of Caracas. All were 39, and all wanted a nose job. But Gulbas questions how well the procedure really works to improve women’s self-esteem, the Daily News reports.

Read the full story, published 7/10/13 by New York Daily News.

Hood Museum of Art: Much to See and Much to Learn

Anita Warren

For almost three decades, the Hood Museum of Art has been a destination for visitors to quietly appreciate and reflect on the art and artifacts it has collected—from ancient to new, lovely to unsettling, commonplace to rare.

Today, the museum boasts more than 70,000 objects. But it has never been just a larger-than-life-sized jewel box. Ever since Dartmouth consolidated its centuries-old collections under one roof in the mid-1980s, the museum has endeavored to fulfill a more active purpose—that of a teaching facility.

“Our mission is to create an ideal learning environment that fosters transformative encounters with works of art,” says Amelia Kahl, coordinator of academic programming at the Hood. The Hood is among the leaders of museums working toward this goal, drawing 140 academic programmers and museum educators from across the United States and three other countries to Dartmouth this past spring for a conference titled “Teaching Museums in the 21st Century: Moving Our Practice Forward.”

Dartmouth Anthropologist Speaks at Kuwait Commencement

A distinguished Dartmouth anthropologist delivered the commencement address at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) on June 13, 2013. The speaker, Dale Eickelman ’64, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations and department chair, has had a long connection with the university.

In 2003, a link was forged between Dartmouth and AUK, through which Dartmouth serves as an advisory partner to the Kuwaiti school. Since the program’s inception, Dartmouth and AUK faculty and students have traveled between campuses to participate in cross-cultural internships, fellowships, and research.

Eickelman is one of the founders of the partnership and has coordinated the relationship since AUK was founded in 2003. “This partnership is an opportunity for Dartmouth to help shape a liberal arts university in a very different, diverse environment,” he says. “The partnership not only provides mutual student and faculty enrichment, it helps us expand our academic imaginations.”

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