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Anthropology

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Virtual Lucidity: A Media Archaeology Of Dream Hacking Wearables, Aleena Chia Mar 2019

Virtual Lucidity: A Media Archaeology Of Dream Hacking Wearables, Aleena Chia

communication +1

In 2014, engineers and entrepreneurs began meeting up in San Francisco to explore how virtual reality and lucid dreaming headsets using electroencephalography and other kinds of biofeedback could stimulate altered mental states. They called these practices “consciousness hacking” and referred to research, financing, and design efforts around these wearables as a movement. Unlike Quantified Self practitioners who combine bodily self-tracking and population analytics to optimize health and productivity, these hackers prod their bodies to gain immediacy to their consciousness. By turning perception inward, they attempt to displace the mediation of technologies. They believe hacking the mind through data-driven stimulation can ...


Modeling The Local Political Economy Of Adulis: 1000 Bce-700 Ace, Daniel Habtemichael Jan 2019

Modeling The Local Political Economy Of Adulis: 1000 Bce-700 Ace, Daniel Habtemichael

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation models the local political economy of Adulis, during Africa’s Classical Age (1000 BCE-700 ACE), by evaluating the materiality of Adulis (built forms and artifacts). Thirty-nine built forms are 3D modeled, and their energetics values (labor and time) are inferred to estimate the social power and wealth that was necessary for the construction of such a built-forms. Two political economy models are used to critically evaluate the energetics data from the built-forms combined to another set of data of essential artifacts from the site. The traditional political economy perspective holds that Adulis is a periphery, a port in ...


The Political Work Of Memory In Collaborative Caribbean Archaeology, Elena Sesma Jan 2019

The Political Work Of Memory In Collaborative Caribbean Archaeology, Elena Sesma

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is the product of a community-based research project that sought to understand how descendants of the 19th century Millars Plantation on the southern end of Eleuthera, Bahamas continue to use and reinterpret the landscape that they have called home for over a century and a half. In 1871, the last owner of the Millars Plantation left the estate in her will to the descendants of her former slaves and servants. That descendant community still upholds their right to this land today, although in recent years, a Bahamian developer has attempted to gain title to the acreage through the ...


What Will You Do Here? Dignified Work And The Politics Of Mobility In Serbia, Dana N. Johnson, Dana N. Johnson Jan 2019

What Will You Do Here? Dignified Work And The Politics Of Mobility In Serbia, Dana N. Johnson, Dana N. Johnson

Doctoral Dissertations

Serbia is said to have one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world. For the generation glossed as the “children of the 1990s,” stances toward mobility and migration have shifted along with geopolitics. Following nearly two decades of wartime entrapment, in 2009 the conditions of possibility for mobility fundamentally changed for Serbian citizens. Of both symbolic and material consequence, the country’s return to respectable geopolitical standing also marked a shift toward more nuanced stancetaking in relation to mobility and migration. Namely, by the time of my research, the expectations of youth—not only of “normal mobility ...


Production And Power At Idalion, Cyprus In The First Millennium Bce, Rebecca Bartusewich Jan 2019

Production And Power At Idalion, Cyprus In The First Millennium Bce, Rebecca Bartusewich

Doctoral Dissertations

In archaeology, the analysis of ordinary things does not often lead to assessments of power. Political systems are difficult to trace materially because today they seem separate from our lives, but yet are involved in most everything we do. In this case study of first millennium BCE Idalion, Cyprus, I have found that the producers of undecorated, or utilitarian, pottery are impacted by political behavior and social relationships, which both impact their economic stability. When discussing the political economy, archaeologists describe elites as the controllers of wealth including the consumption and sometimes production of high value goods. However, I argue ...


Recollections: Memory, Materiality, And Meritocracy At The Dr. James Still Historic Office And Homestead, Marc Lorenc Jan 2019

Recollections: Memory, Materiality, And Meritocracy At The Dr. James Still Historic Office And Homestead, Marc Lorenc

Doctoral Dissertations

The dissertation explores how memory, materiality, and meritocracy articulate together to create a meritocratic subjectivity at the Dr. James Still Historic Office and Homestead. This subjectivity frames how we experience and promote the history of Dr. James Still through an authorized heritage discourse (AHD) (Smith 2006) that promotes and re-ingrains American meritocracy, specifically the “bootstrap myth”, as a “common sense”. Using a combination of archaeological excavations, documentary analysis, and ethnography conducted under the Dr. James Still Community Archaeology Project (DJSCAP), I explore how cultural artifacts shape and influence our subjectivities at the site and more broadly in everyday interactions with ...


Memory And History In South Eleuthera: A Report To The People Of South Eleuthera, Elena Sesma Jan 2018

Memory And History In South Eleuthera: A Report To The People Of South Eleuthera, Elena Sesma

Archaeological Project Reports

Over the past 5 years, archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have made several short-term trips to South Eleuthera to research the history of this portion of the island. Our main interests have been in understanding how the landscape has changed over the past 150 years, and especially in the past few decades as tourism has fallen off in the south. Through a combination of ethnographic research and pedestrian survey of the South Eleuthera landscape, we have gained a clearer understanding of the history of this region, and of contemporary life today. This report offers a summary of findings ...


Who Ate The Subfossil Lemurs? A Taphonomic And Community Study Of Raptor, Crocodylian And Carnivoran Predation Of The Extinct Quaternary Lemurs Of Madagascar., Lindsay Meador Jan 2018

Who Ate The Subfossil Lemurs? A Taphonomic And Community Study Of Raptor, Crocodylian And Carnivoran Predation Of The Extinct Quaternary Lemurs Of Madagascar., Lindsay Meador

Doctoral Dissertations

Madagascar’s Quaternary predator-primate guild included seventeen species of relatively large extinct lemurs. Sharing the landscape with the lemurs, were several relatively large now-extinct predators, including three raptors (two species of Aquila and Stephanoaetus mahery), a euplerid (Cryptoprocta spelea), and a crocodile (Voay robustus). This is the first research to systematically study predator-prey relationships among these extinct animals. Here I examine the bones of the extinct lemurs at six subfossil localities (Ampasambazimba, Ankarana, Grotte d’Ankazoabo, Beloha Anavoha, Manombo Toliara, and Tsirave) for evidence of and also collected metric data on these bones. I examined 1141 specimens (crania, mandibles, humeri ...


Labor Migration And Intangible Cultural Heritage In Postsocialist Rural Romania, Alin Rus Jan 2018

Labor Migration And Intangible Cultural Heritage In Postsocialist Rural Romania, Alin Rus

Doctoral Dissertations

The processes of industrialization and modernization, as well as those emerging from them, have produced radical changes in the lifestyle of the peasantry. These transformations went hand in hand with the degradation of community lifestyle and of the customs it contained. Among the many rituals performed by rural communities, this dissertation focuses on mummers' plays. The present paper is an attempt to outline a brief history of mummers' plays beginning with an age when they were simple community rituals and going to the recent decades when they entered a rapid decline, and when state institutions together with international organizations such ...


The Negritude Movements In Colombia, Carlos Valderrama Jan 2018

The Negritude Movements In Colombia, Carlos Valderrama

Doctoral Dissertations

Black politics is a diverse range of social practices, actions, and thoughts through which subordinate groups, political figures, activists and artists negotiate power relations and propose alternatives to their forms of oppression. Negritude was the framework which facilitated the emergence of sites and forms of black politics in Colombia during the 70s. While the founders and leaders of the negritude movements -among them, Étiene Léro, Jules Monnerot, René Menil, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, Léonard Sainville, Aristide Maungée, the Achille brothers, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Osmane Sosé and Dirago Diop, from French colonies-, were thinking of “It is time for good Cuban ...


Seguimos Luchando: Women Educators’ Trajectories In Social Movement Based Popular Education Projects In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jennifer Lee O'Donnell Jan 2017

Seguimos Luchando: Women Educators’ Trajectories In Social Movement Based Popular Education Projects In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jennifer Lee O'Donnell

Doctoral Dissertations

Through a multisite ethnographic investigation, I provide a look at the vision and practices of women teaching in the popular education sector, particularly those who impact social, economic, and political public spaces in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an alternative to Freirean based education theory, which may overshadow the collective work of women in popular projects, this work highlights women’s commitments to education that contests neoliberal reform, transforming not only curriculum and pedagogies, social practices, and discourses inside classrooms, but the communities where they live as well.


Effects Of Terrain On Reconstructions Of Mobility In Past Populations, Erin M. Whittey Jan 2017

Effects Of Terrain On Reconstructions Of Mobility In Past Populations, Erin M. Whittey

Masters Theses

Femoral and tibial diaphyseal geometry has frequently been used to evaluate mobility and other patterns of physical activity in past populations. The high antero-posterior (A-P) to medio-lateral (M-L) bending rigidity ratio (IX/IY) typical of many hunter-gatherer femora, for instance, may reflect mechanical loads associated with long distance travel. The possible confounding effect of physical terrain on lower limb diaphyseal morphology is rarely evaluated. This study investigated the possible effect of terrain on lower limb shape ratios (IX/IY) and bending and torsional strength (ZP) in adult skeletons from Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia ...


Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott Jan 2017

Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott

Doctoral Dissertations

Over the past forty-years, neoliberal education reform policies in the U.S. have spurred significant resistance, often galvanized by claims that such policies undermine public education as a vital institution of U.S. democracy. Within this narrative, many activists call to “save our schools” and return them to a time when public schools served the common good. With these narratives in mind, I explore the foundational and persistent power structures that characterize the U.S. as a means to reveal the fundamental purpose of its public education system. The questions that guide my research include: (1) With an understanding that ...


On The Landscape For A Very, Very Long Time: African American Resistance And Resilience In 19th And Early 20th Century Massachusetts, Anthony Martin Jan 2017

On The Landscape For A Very, Very Long Time: African American Resistance And Resilience In 19th And Early 20th Century Massachusetts, Anthony Martin

Doctoral Dissertations

Massachusetts is an ideal place to study Africans in New England during the 19th and early 20th century because the state abolished slavery in 1783, while surrounding states and the federal government did not. Although Massachusetts Blacks had certain rights and freedoms and the state became a haven for escaped captive Africans from surrounding states, it remained segregated White space and had racialized social, political, and economic structures to regulate and control the Black population. Yet, within adversity, the African Americans established their own communities and agitated for full citizenship, equality, and the end to African captivity. Their daily life ...


The Effects Of Industrialization And Urbanization On Growth And Development: A Comparison Of Boys And Girls From Three Industrial European Skeletal Collections, Sarah Reedy Jan 2017

The Effects Of Industrialization And Urbanization On Growth And Development: A Comparison Of Boys And Girls From Three Industrial European Skeletal Collections, Sarah Reedy

Doctoral Dissertations

Exposure to poor environments, malnutrition, and labor during childhood can lead to stunted height and increased mortality. Studies of skeletal samples from Industrial Era Europe show height is stunted when compared to Medieval samples, suggesting harsher conditions. While poor conditions can negatively impact all children, boys may be particularly disadvantaged, because girls can reserve nutritional components buffering them during times of stress. This study examines the environmental effects on growth in three Industrial European skeletal samples. Juveniles (0-18 years) from varied SES backgrounds were used to test three hypotheses.

H1) Industrial Era children will exhibit shorter femora relative to a ...


The Process To Political Mobilization In Five College Capitalism: Forms Of Antiracism, Personal Reflection And Community-Building, Caitlin B. Homrich Jan 2017

The Process To Political Mobilization In Five College Capitalism: Forms Of Antiracism, Personal Reflection And Community-Building, Caitlin B. Homrich

Masters Theses

The town of Amherst, Massachusetts is home to the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College, institutions that have greatly influenced the town’s prolific history of political activism as well as the high educational attainment and economic status of the majority of its residents. Often hailed as a liberal utopia, research on the political mobilization occurring in this town provides insight into the process and limitations of ally politics: when most of the residents of Amherst are White, how do they engage in racial justice activism? When most of the residents are wealthy and ...


Can Long Bone Structural Variability Detect Among-Population Relationships?, Gina Agostini Jan 2017

Can Long Bone Structural Variability Detect Among-Population Relationships?, Gina Agostini

Doctoral Dissertations

Phenotypic traits develop and are maintained by complex interactions between intrinsic (molecular) and extrinsic (environmental) factors. While the influence of intrinsic factors on adult craniomandibular variation has been intensively studied, less is known about limb bones, in part because it is assumed that their plasticity obscures intrinsic signals, especially those fixed early in life. While diaphyseal regions are plastic in response to activity, the extent to which they also reflect (phylo)genetic autocorrelation has not been sufficiently addressed, particularly given the common practice of comparing long bones across populations unevenly dispersed in space and time.

Here I investigate the degree ...


A List Of Racialized Black Dolls: 1850-1940, Anthony F. Martin Jan 2016

A List Of Racialized Black Dolls: 1850-1940, Anthony F. Martin

African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter

Between 1850 and 1940 Black racialized dolls made in Europe and the northern United States saturated the marketplace with the peak years in the 1920s. These dolls were advertised with pejorative names and descriptions that typed cast African Americans as domestics and labors on mythical antebellum landscapes assisted White children in shaping Black people as inferior to Whites. Data mining doll encyclopedias, websites, and catalogs, I have compiled a list of Black racialized dolls. Additionally, I have provided advertisements of positive imagine Black dolls from The Crisis and The Negro World that provided a counterweight to the stereotyped dolls.


Terracotta Pipes With Triangular Engravings, Flavia Zorzi, Daniel G. Schávelzon Jan 2016

Terracotta Pipes With Triangular Engravings, Flavia Zorzi, Daniel G. Schávelzon

African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter

The discovery of two smoking pipes from seventeenth-century contexts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is used to suggest the presence in colonial times of a new set of stylistic norms derived from African traditions that are expressed at a regional scale not only in smoking pipes, but in a variety of items of material culture. These terracotta pipes, recovered at Bolívar 373 and the Liniers House sites, are characterized by their particular geometric decorative pattern, achieved by engravings and incisions. Similar specimens were found elsewhere in Buenos Aires, as well as in Cayastá (province of Santa Fe, Argentina) and Brazil.


“Race Talk” In Organizational Discourse: A Comparative Study Of Two Texas Chambers Of Commerce, Natasha Shrikant Jan 2016

“Race Talk” In Organizational Discourse: A Comparative Study Of Two Texas Chambers Of Commerce, Natasha Shrikant

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation takes an interpretive, discursive approach to understanding how organizational members create meanings about race, and other identities, through their everyday communication practices in the workplace. This dissertation also explores how these everyday discourses about race might reproduce, negotiate, or challenge ideologies that maintain the dominant position of Whiteness in United States racial hierarchies. I draw from data collected during eight months of ethnographic fieldwork (from Jan-Aug 2014) with two chambers of commerce in a large Texas city: an Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and what I call the “North City” Chamber of Commerce (NCC). The AACC explicitly ...


Privatizing Creativity, Catherine Tebaldi Jan 2016

Privatizing Creativity, Catherine Tebaldi

Presentations based on CHESS-sponsored Research

No abstract provided.


Caring Off The Clock: Cape Verdean Home Care Workers In Lisbon, Portugal, Celeste Curington Jan 2016

Caring Off The Clock: Cape Verdean Home Care Workers In Lisbon, Portugal, Celeste Curington

CHESS Student Research Reports

No abstract provided.


Antwerp’S Appetite For Congolese Hands, Jenny Folsom Jan 2016

Antwerp’S Appetite For Congolese Hands, Jenny Folsom

CHESS Student Research Reports

No abstract provided.


Vietnam Without Guarantees: Consumer Attitudes In An Emergent Market Economy, Kylie R. Lanthorn Jan 2016

Vietnam Without Guarantees: Consumer Attitudes In An Emergent Market Economy, Kylie R. Lanthorn

Masters Theses

This research explores how Vietnam’s embrace of capitalism and global markets has impacted consumer culture. Through ethnographic research conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam in June-August 2015, this study seeks to interrogate how the political atmosphere in Vietnam coexists with market freedoms in a country which opened its economy to the world during the 1986 Doi Moi (renovation) reforms. Vietnam now conducts a considerable amount of foreign trade with major foreign investment from countries including Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. This study emphasizes the role international relations have played in these developments as Vietnam has embraced partnerships with countries with which ...


Of Wolves, Hunters, And Words: A Comparative Study Of Cultural Discourses In The Western Great Lakes Region, Tovar Cerulli Jan 2016

Of Wolves, Hunters, And Words: A Comparative Study Of Cultural Discourses In The Western Great Lakes Region, Tovar Cerulli

Doctoral Dissertations

This study is a description, interpretation, and comparison of talk about wolves. The study is based on diverse data—including in-depth interviews, instances of public talk, government documents, and letters to the editor—gathered over three years. An overarching research question guides the study: How do hunting communities create and use discourses concerning wolves? The study is situated within the ethnography of communication and, more specifically, the framework of cultural discourse analysis. The study employs cultural discourse analysis methods and concepts to describe and develop interpretations of how participants render wolves symbolically meaningful, and of beliefs and values underpinning such ...


A Conflict Of Interest? Negotiating Agendas, Ethics, And Consequences Regarding The Heritage Value Of Human Remains, Heidi J. Bauer-Clapp Jan 2016

A Conflict Of Interest? Negotiating Agendas, Ethics, And Consequences Regarding The Heritage Value Of Human Remains, Heidi J. Bauer-Clapp

Doctoral Dissertations

Since the mid-twentieth century growing public fascination with a heritage of violence has spurred an increase in sites of conscience and dark tourism. While scholars have demonstrated how this heritage can draw attention to events that may have been marginalized or ignored, little attention has been paid to complex ethical dilemmas involved in the commodification of violence through tourism. Even less attention has been paid to ethical treatment of the remains of victims whose suffering is central to dark tourism.

This dissertation demonstrates how heritage policies and codes of ethics can be strengthened to promote ethical treatment of the dead ...


Ideological Conflict Embedded In Anthropology And The Road To Restructuring The Discipline, Donna L. Moody Jan 2016

Ideological Conflict Embedded In Anthropology And The Road To Restructuring The Discipline, Donna L. Moody

Doctoral Dissertations

Indigenous people have long-held perceptions of the existence of ideological conflicts between indigenous worldview and Western worldview. Western worldview is understood by indigenous people to be embodied in American Anthropology as a discipline and, by extension, in American anthropologists. These conflicts may be considered the genesis of a divide that began with the colonization of the indigenous world and one which continues to sustain the on-going marginalization and oppression of Native populations by a colonizing society; a society which considers indigenous worldview to be an unsubstantiated belief system, while not recognizing that the science upon which anthropological thought is built ...


Clay Pot Cookery: Dairy, Diet And Class During The South Levantine Iron Age Ii Period, Mary K. Larkum Jan 2016

Clay Pot Cookery: Dairy, Diet And Class During The South Levantine Iron Age Ii Period, Mary K. Larkum

Doctoral Dissertations

Goody’s (1982) model of cooking and its relation to hierarchy posits a correlation between class and cuisine that is typical of societies practicing intensive agriculture and creating storable surpluses. This archaeological case study tests his model using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses to investigate ancient food remains (fatty acids) preserved in unglazed clay cooking ceramics from archaeological sites across the Iron Age II period (1000-586 BCE) kingdoms of the southern Levant. These kingdoms are known historically as Ammon, Aram (Aram-Damascus), Edom, Israel, Judah, Moab and Philistia. Samples from this time period and region are suitable for use ...


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: An Ethnographic Analysis Of The Development, Implementation, And Sustainability Of A Safe Infant Sleep Education Campaign In Springfield, Ma, Julie Skogsbergh Jan 2016

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: An Ethnographic Analysis Of The Development, Implementation, And Sustainability Of A Safe Infant Sleep Education Campaign In Springfield, Ma, Julie Skogsbergh

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation was a collaborative, community-engaged research project with a local community based organization, Project Baby Springfield, specifically addressing a two-year period from 2012-2013 when the organization designed, developed, and implemented a bilingual safe infant sleep education campaign in the City of Springfield, MA.

This dissertation draws upon two theoretical perspectives: Critical Medical Anthropology and Critical Race Theory. It also employs a mixed methods approach drawing upon quantitative and qualitative data including: state and citywide statistics provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, anonymous safe infant sleep surveys and focus groups among parents and grandparents, individual interviews, and participant ...


Fragile Balance: Human Mediums And Technical Media In Oliver Lodge's Presidential Address Of 1891, Erhard Schuettpelz, Ehler Voss Sep 2015

Fragile Balance: Human Mediums And Technical Media In Oliver Lodge's Presidential Address Of 1891, Erhard Schuettpelz, Ehler Voss

communication +1

In this paper we discuss the work of the Victorian physicist and radio pioneer Oliver Lodge (1851–1940) in the context of what we call the mediumistic trial of the long 19th century. We are focusing on a short moment in the early 1890s when Lodge’s radio experiments were part of a common expansion into physical and psychical research. By rigorously applying David Bloor's heuristic "principle of symmetry", we demonstrate how Oliver Lodge lived in a world of systems-building and Empire-building that enabled him to categorize human mediums, electromagnetic entities and technical media as parts of an indeterminate ...