Prof John Collins' Anthropology 397 "Fieldwork in Flushing" poses for a group picture while conducting ethnography in the Willets Point "Iron Triangle"
Anthropology -- from the Greek roots ανθρωπο-ς, "man" or "human" and λογος, "word," "speech," "discourse," or "reason"--refers to the study of human beings and humankind in the broadest sense. Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) used the term ανθρωπολογος in reference to the science of the nature of man, particularly human physiology and psychology. The term Anthropologia, in its more recognizably modern form, was apparently first used in 1594 by Otto Casmann (1562 - 1607), a priest and rector in Stade, Germany, in his book "Psychologia anthropologica".
While many other disciplines, such as psychology and sociology, have people as their primary objects of study, Anthropology approaches its subject from a more holistic perspective. Anthropology treats all aspects of human existence and experience as complementary phenomena within an integrated whole, including both human biology and culture. These elements are seen as far less coherent when the linkages among them are not explicitly taken into account. Anthropology is also holistic because of its concern with the entire temporal range of human existence and experience, beginning with the appearance of our earliest human ancestors in the fossil record and onward through the emergence of modern life in industrialized and globalized societies. Contrary to a popular belief that the primary focus of Anthropology is on life in preindustrial communities, the discipline gives no special emphasis to any particular peoples, group of cultures, or geographic area. The student population of Queens College is as much of interest to anthropologists as are the Neolithic farmers of Europe, India, or China. Therefore, Anthropology is holistic in three senses: its focus of study is on all of humanity, on all aspects of humanity, and at all time periods.
In North America, Anthropology traditionally encompasses four subdisciplines:
Biological or Physical Anthropology
Congratulations to our graduating seniors
who have been accepted to graduate programs:
Anthropology Honors and Awards 2013
Hortense Powdermaker Award: Cecilia Vega Britez and Joanna Lund-Pops
Faculty Award: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Joanna Lund-Pops, Elizabeth Evangelou
Paul Mahler Memorial Award: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Elizabeth Evangelou, and Steven Esposito
Lynn Ceci Archaeology Award: Aldo Foe
Most Promising Student Award: Rebecca Wojsnis
Frank Spencer Memorial Scholarship Award: Alissa Penn and Xu Shan
Service Award: Arianna Stimpfl
SENIOR MAJORS HONORS: Raquel Lamela Lopez, Joanna Lund-Pops, Elizabeth Evangelou, Caitlin Locurto, Richa Nayyar, Steven Esposito, Aldo Foe, Charlotte Greenbaum, Elizabeth Staszewski, Lois Song, Nina Lazerow, Vivian Xu, Nia Bert, Ester Park, Patricia Miranda, Jasleen Chandhoke, Cecilia Vega Britez, Ximena Gallego, Brigid Dolan, Melissa Pena, Khealzaree Ahmedzay, Yojeiry Corona, Carolina Carvajal, Elyssa Nucero, Michelle Ammons, Erez Klein, Karen Shum, Sotaro Trenholm, Jean Kapkanoff, Elyssa Hirmes, Arianna Stimpfl, Silvia Carpio, Daniel Michel
News from our alumni:
Professor Larissa Swedell received a $20,000 research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for her fieldwork project on sociality and social bonds in baboons.
A new book by Professor Kevin Birth "Objects of Time: How Things Shape Temporality" was published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. This book looks at how the objects we use to think about time shape our thoughts. Such objects empower us to think about time certain ways, but they also contain hidden assumptions about time that deflect our awareness away from the complicated rhythms of our lives and our world. Because time ties together so many aspects of our lives, this book is able to explore the nexus of objects, cognition, culture, and even biology, and to do so in relationship to globalization. By using ethnographic and historical data, Birth argues that we must recognize the cognitive effects of our timekeeping devices, and that we must also recognize that they do not adequately capture many important aspects of time or life.
Timothy Pugh received a two year grant from the National Science Foundation supporting his archaeological project (Factionalism, Trade Goods, and the Colonial Process in Petén, Guatemala) in Petén, Guatemala. His article Contact and Missionization at Tayasal, Petén, Guatemala appeared in Journal of Field Archaeology.
Professor John Collins has been appointed as the director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program.
Professor Tom Plummer published a new article "The Hard Stuff of Culture: Oldowan Archaeology at Kanjera South, Kenya" in the June issue of Popular Archaeology.
Kate Pechenkina has a chapter entitled "From Morphometrics to Holistics: The Emergence of Paleopathology in China" in the new edited volume by Jane Buikstra and Charlotte Roberts, "The Global History of Paleopathology: Pioneers and Prospects" published by Oxford University Press in June 2012.
A new paper by Professors Larissa Swedell and Tom Plummer, entitled "A Papionin Multilevel Society as a Model for Hominin Social Evolution" appeared in the May issue of the International Journal of Primatology.
In April 2012, Sara Stinson's volume (co-edited with Barry Bogin and Dennis O’Rourke), "Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective" was published by Wiley-Blackwell. This comprehensive introduction to the field of human biology covers all the major areas of the field: genetic variation, variation related to climate, infectious and non-infectious diseases, aging, growth, nutrition, and demography. Written by four expert authors working in close collaboration, this second edition has been thoroughly updated to provide undergraduate and graduate students with two new chapters: one on race and culture and their ties to human biology, and the other a concluding summary chapter highlighting the integration and intersection of the topics covered in the book.
Mandana Limbert was awarded a mid-career faculty fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, directed through the Graduate Center. The fellowship allows her to participate in a faculty seminar with the Committee on Religion at the GC and to pursue work on her next book project.
In July of 2011, Omri Elisha's book "Moral Ambition: Mobilization and Social Outreach in Evangelical Megachurches" was published by California University Press.
In this evocative ethnography, Omri Elisha examines the hopes, frustrations, and activist strategies of American evangelical Christians as they engage socially with local communities. Focusing on two Tennessee megachurches, Moral Ambition reaches beyond political controversies over issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and public prayer to highlight the ways that evangelicals at the grassroots of the Christian Right promote faith-based causes intended to improve the state of social welfare. The book shows how these ministries both help churchgoers embody religious virtues and create provocative new opportunities for evangelism on a public scale. Elisha challenges conventional views of U.S. evangelicalism as narrowly individualistic, elucidating instead the inherent contradictions that activists face in their efforts to reconcile religious conservatism with a renewed interest in compassion, poverty, racial justice, and urban revivalism.
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