Dr. Yasser Elsheshtawy Lecture on Thursday

clippingGreetings all,

I’m happy to announce that we’ve been able to arrange for Dr. Yasser Elsheshtawy to deliver a lecture on campus next Thursday, thanks in part to the generosity of Tarbell Family Endowed Visiting Mentorship Fund. Dr. Elsheshtawy is a colleague and friend of mine, and certainly one of the leading scholars concerned with the junctures between urbanism, migration, architecture, and public space in contemporary Arabia. In my experience, his presentations are aesthetically impressive, methodologically innovative, and topically prescient. You can learn more about his work here, but be sure to join us for the lecture:

Transient Spaces: Home and Belonging in Dubai
Dr. Yasser Elsheshtawy
Thursday, March 1
Rasmussen Rotunda, Wheelock Center
4:30 – 6:00 PM
Yasser Poster 2
We hope to see you there!

Anthropology Takes Center Stage at This Year’s Southeast Asia Symposium

Our third annual Southeast Asia Symposium, which takes place this Friday and Saturday, will incorporate programming of interest to folks from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives, but particularly those interested in anthropology, ethnomusicology, and art. The events are free and open to the public.



The symposium is the centerpiece of our Southeast Asia Program, and provides a forum for undergraduates who have participated in our LIASE fieldschool courses to share their research with the broader campus community, while also serving as a forum for Northwest scholars whose research or pedagogy addresses Southeast Asian environmental and cultural topics to come together and collaborate. This year marks our first faculty panel on Southeast Asia’s role in the liberal arts, which includes three anthropologists discussing topics ranging from gender to music to mediation of distance.

Peter Brosius. Photo by Paul Efland.

Peter Brosius. Photo by Paul Efland.

The symposium takes place this October 28-29, with keynote talks on both evenings: on Friday the 28th, renowned environmental anthropologist Peter Brosius will speak on his pioneering work on cultural approaches to conservation and environmental activism.

On Saturday the 29th, Arahmaiani, an internationally known Indonesian performance artist, women’s rights activist, and political dissident, will discuss her work and career.

We will be having batik workshops on both days as well (sign up in advance), using sustainable, naturally derived dyes.

The symposium concludes Saturday evening with a free performance of Indonesian music by the Northwest’s premiere Javanese music ensemble, Gamelan Pacifica, in Rasmussen Rotunda.

Gamelan Pacifica

Gamelan Pacifica

The full schedule is available online here, with links to more information on each event. We hope to see you there!

Salam hangat,

Dr. Farah Al-Nakib on the Urban History of Kuwait

Farah al-Nakib_0Dr. Farah Al-Nakib, an Assistant Professor of History at the American University of Kuwait and the Director of the Center for Gulf Studies, will visit Puget Sound on Monday evening. Her lecture will encapsulate her new book, Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press).

In this book, Al-Nakib traces how decades of urban planning, suburbanization, and privatization eroded the open and tolerant society that had long existed on the northern shores of the Arabian Gulf, resulting in the insularity, xenophobia, and divisiveness that characterizes social relation in Kuwait today. In her analysis, the story of this tectonic shift is written into the urban landscape of Kuwait City.

Key Information:
Date: Monday, April 25, 2016
Where: Wyatt 109
Time: 6:00 to 7:30 PM

Here’s some additional information. We hope to see you there!

2016 Al Nakib Lecture Puget Sound 2


Warren King George speaks on campus tomorrow evening!

kinggeorgeASUPS Lectures is hosting Warren KingGeorge of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to speak on campus on April, 20th, this Wednesday at 6:30pm in the Tahoma Room.

Warren is the Oral Historian for the Muckleshoot tribe. His talk is titled The Importance of Place, and he will be speaking on issues of sovereignty, resources, and co-management facing Indian tribes today.

We hope you can be there!


Professors Hoffman and Burke on Anthropology and the Environment

Anthropology and the Environment Prelim Poster B-page-001

The SOAN Student Club has organized a pair of lectures for Monday evening. Drs. David Hoffman (Mississippi State) and Brian Burke (Appalachian State) will be describing several of their research projects, and conveying how they sought to address broader environmental concerns with anthropology. Both Hoffman and Burke have a variety of diverse research projects under their belts, many of which are focused on Latin America. After describing a few of them, the lecture will pivot to a student-guided conversation about anthropology, doing anthropology, and the goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable and just world.

Anthropology and the Environment: Balancing Society and Sustainability
Brian Burke (Appalachian State) and David Hoffman (Mississippi State)
Monday, March 28, 2016, 5:00 PM
Murray Boardroom, Wheelock Student Center

We hope to see you there.



Dean Jackson speaks on Food Sovereignty, Justice

On Thursday November 12, students from Devparna Roy’s Connections 335 course, Race & Multiculturalism in the American Context, had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Dean Jackson, local activist and founder of the Hilltop Urban Gardens.  Jackson began Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG) in 2010 in attempt to develop the prospects of food sovereignty and combat racial and economic issues in Tacoma.


Dean Jackson pictured outside Hilltop Urban Gardens

Jackson highlighted six principles that define food sovereignty.  Focus on food for the people, valuation of food providers, localization of food systems, making decisions on the local level, building communities’ knowledge and skill, and working with nature.  According to the World Health Organization, food sovereignty is attained when “all people at all times have access to safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy lifestyle”.

As Jackson explained, there is a devastating food crisis going on in the United States.  In many communities of color issues of food justice and sovereignty are rising concerns.  HUG strives to foster meaningful discussions on these issues, while developing options for residents to pursue.  Jackson posits that, “everyone deserves access and the ability to produce and distribute fresh, affordable, healthy, clean, sustainable, safe, and culturally appropriate food”.

Currently, food charity groups feed approximately 220,000 of the 820,000 residents in Pierce County through food banks and food stamps.  According to Jackson, if the Pacific Northwest were to be cut off from the rest of the US, say by a disaster, it would take grocery stores three days to run out of food.  This is a troubling prospect; one food sovereignty would combat.


Community members gardening at HUG

Our reliance on food charity and national chains makes an alternative hard to imagine, Jackson said.  However, a shift towards alternative models must be implemented to confront the crisis currently faced.  Food sovereignty does not just concern the matter of obtaining food, it also is meant to address the power dynamics within the food industry.

In their five years of operation, HUG has come a long way.  One current focus surrounds the creation of the Black Lives Matter Memorial Gardens.  Jackson is combining efforts with the UPS Black Student Union to commemorate Black lives lost due to police brutality.  In addition, Jackson hopes to expand their gardens in the future.  Soon, HUG will be participating in Tacoma’s “Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods” initiative.

SOAN Brownbag Today!

atwillHi all,

Historian David Atwill, from Pennsylvania State University, is lecturing tonight about his research, but the SOAN Student Club has arranged an informal brownbag conversation earlier today. He’ll be generally speaking about ethnography, the discipline of history, and research more broadly. It promises to be an illuminating conversation.

Where: Northwest Lounge, Commencement Hall
When: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

We hope to see you there!