SOAN Fall Mixer, this Thursday!

Hi all,

The SOAN department, in conjunction with the SOAN student club, will host its Fall mixer this Thursday. Learn more about the SOAN major and minor, hear about research opportunities, meet other students, ask about the courses offered in the Spring, and grab some free food. Here are the details:

What: SOAN Fall Mixer
Where: Tahoma Room
When: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Thursday October 27

We hope to see you there!



SOAN Club Brownbag this Wednesday at 1:00 PM

forestWhat:   Senior Allison Nasson will talk about her AHSS Summer Research Project
When:  Wednesday September 28 from 1:00 to 1:50
Where: MacIntyre Room 303

The SOAN Student Club is happy to announce they’ll be hosting the first in a series of brownbag discussions this Wednesday. Senior Allison Nasson was one of several SOAN students awarded the AHSS Summer Research Awards. Allison’s project explored how nonprofits go about the process of constructing and purveying narratives of victimhood. Here’s her description:

Storytelling has become an invaluable tool for nonprofits as they attempt to garner attention and funding for their causes. Countless choices go into the construction of a narrative, and this begs the question: to whom are nonprofits catering these choices? When building and telling a victim’s story takes place with the goal of maximizing donations, NGOs are accountable to potential donors rather than to the people whose stories are being told. This shift in accountability requires an analysis of how victims’ narratives are constructed, whose stories go unheard, and the ramifications of manipulated portrayals of marginalized identities.

Only in recent years has such analysis begun to be called for in communities of activism. In this vein, my research studies the three processes I found nonprofits most consistently applied to victims’ narratives: simplification, sanitization, and solving. This examination allows insight into how storytelling practices contribute to perceptions of legitimate victimhood, and the attribution or denial of this status. Such analysis is critical to understanding whether nonprofits are serving victims effectively, or if well-intended organizational practices are in fact creating further exploitation and harm.

After a brief presentation about her project and its findings, the brownbag session will turn to an open discussion about her conclusions, her project design, and the AHSS summer research experience. Please join us!


SOAN Club Social on Friday, May 13

Salmon Beach

The SOAN Club invites you to come celebrate the end of a great semester!

On Friday, May 13th we’ll be hosting an informal gathering at Andrew Gardner’s house (cabin 56) at Salmon Beach to wrap up this academic year. Feel free to drift in and out any time between 4 and 8pm. If your family is in town you’re welcome to bring them too! The more the merrier.

Salmon Beach is about fifteen minutes away by car, and at least one SOAN club leader will be driving. If you’d like to come but need a ride email Elena Becker at to coordinate. If you want to drive yourself and you have never been to the Beach before, shoot Andrew ( a quick email for directions and parking instructions. It’s pretty straightforward, but you’ll need a code for the gate. And while we’ll have a few snacks around, you should bring your own food or drink.

Congratulations on making it to May, and we’ll see you on the 13th!

Note from Andrew: Carpool if you can, bring something if you want!

SOAN Senior Research Symposium Today!


A scene from last year’s SOAN Senior Symposium

Hi all,

The SOAN Seniors will be presenting their research on posters today in the Rotunda. Stop by and check out the fascinating and diverse projects of our department’s seniors.

SOAN Senior Research Symposium
Rotunda, 1:00 to 3:00
Thursday, April 28
Some food and drink available

And note that there’s an informal SOAN reception at Engine House 9 (E9) afterwards, from 5 to 7. Please join us!


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!


Elena Becker wins the SfAA Peter New Prize

Hi all,


Elena receiving her award at the Vancouver meeting, 2016.

I’m extremely proud to announce that Elena Becker was recently awarded the second place prize in the Society for Applied Anthropology‘s annual Peter K. New Award. The research/paper competition is named after applied anthropologist Peter Kong-ming New, formerly the president of the Society for Applied Anthropology, as well as chairman of the Medical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association. Elena’s prize includes a $1500 stipend and an invitation to submit her paper to the society’s flagship journal, Human Organization. In competition with numerous graduate students with dissertation-focused social scientists, it’s particularly noteworthy that an undergraduate received this award. She joins a list of previous winners that includes anthropologists and sociologists now on faculty at Harvard, CUNY, UMass, and many other excellent universities. That list of winners also includes anthropologist Brian Burke, who recently visited Puget Sound for a research talk with students.

Elena’s winning paper, Malagasy Cookstove Use and the Potential for Alternative Models: A Case Study in Madagascar’s Vakinankaratra Region, exemplified applied anthropology. Using an ethnographic methodology honed in coursework at Puget Sound, Elena deployed those skills to explore how the adoption of new cooking technology might fit with the cultural and practical norms of rural Madagascar. Notably, research for this project was conducted as part of her semester abroad with the School of International Training.

We’re very proud of you, Elena!