BARS: Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar


All events will be held in Schwartz 103.

The Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS) is a year-long seminar that meets most Friday afternoons at 3 pm. The seminar series includes our anthropology colloquia presented by invited guests as well as presentations by Brandeis anthropology faculty and graduate students. Moises Lino e Silva, curator of the Anthropology Research Seminar for the coming year, describes the seminar as “a venue for rigorous and creative intellectual engagement with current anthropological research.” Often we will close the Friday afternoon seminar with an opportunity for socializing with the invited speaker and each other, sometimes off campus at a nearby pub or other gathering place.

auslanderFriday, March 27 at 3:00 pm

Mark Auslander, Central Washington University

Mark Auslander is the author of The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of the American South (University of Georgia Press, 2011), winner of the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Book Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of North America, and the second book prize of the 2012 Victor Turner Ethnographic Writing Award from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. His research and areas of expertise include sociocultural anthropology, museum anthropology, art and aesthetics, meaning in the material world, symbolic mediation, ritual and performance theory, historical anthropology, race and class, engaged anthropology, slavery studies, contemporary African and Diasporic art. Ethnographic areas: Sub-saharan Africa, Zambia and South Africa; African Diaspora, United States; African American communities; U.S. South

cantonFriday, April 17 at 3:00 pm

Steve Caton, Harvard University

Caton is Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies and author of Peaks of Yemen (1990), Lawrence of Arabia: A Film's Anthropology (1999) and Yemen Chronicle (2005).

Since the beginning of his career, Caton has been a specialist of Arabic and the Middle East, with an emphasis on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. His earliest work was in anthropological linguistics and poetics which culminated in his first book, an ethnography of Arabic, oral poetry and political culture of a Yemeni highland tribe.

When Caton returned to Yemen in 2001 for the first time in twenty years after his fieldwork on oral poetry, he was shocked to see how dire the water situation had become and wondered what he, a social anthropologist, could do about it. This represented a significant departure from his earlier interests and has required a good deal of re-education in the fields of environmentalism, political ecology, hydrology and science studies. He is currently collaborating with a colleague, anthropologist Ben Orlov (University of California, Davis), on an article reviewing anthropological work on problems of water use and sustainability and is beginning new fieldwork in the Gulf with another colleague, architect Nader Ardalan, on burgeoning cities and their impacts on the environment (including water sustainability). Caton foresees research on water sustainability to take up most of his future research and writing in anthropology, and is planning to teach a course on the anthropology of water sustainability in the near future.  For additional information, please see Professor Caton's website.

Friday, April 24 at 3:00 pm

Holly Walters Proposal Defense

Walters will present on her dissertation research proposal focused on issues of nation-building, identity, and religious syncretism at the Hindu-Buddhist pilgrimage site of Muktinath, Nepal.


Past Events:

Friday, March 20 at 3:00 pm

Frederick Klaits, Buffalo University, Saler Lecture in Religious Studies

Friday, March 13 at 3:00 pm

Anita Hannig, Brandeis University

Friday, March 6 at 3:00 pm

Pascal Menoret, New York University Abu Dhabi

Friday, February 27 at 3:00 pm

George Paul Meiu, Harvard University

Friday, January 30 at 3:00 pm

"Localized Integration of Olmec and Maya Traditions at Rancho Búfalo, Chiapas, Mexico"

Jeff Dobereiner '09, Harvard University Archaeology Doctoral Student

Friday, January 23 at 3:00 pm

Mandana Limpert, Queens College

Friday, January 16 at 3:00 pm

Hikmet Kocamaner, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Brandeis University

Friday, November 21 at 3:00 pm

AAA Practice Talks

Friday, November 14 at 3:00 pm

"Japan’s Debt as an Anthropological Problem"

Hiro Miyazaki, Hunt Lecture in Economic Anthropology, Cornell University

Friday, November 7 at 3:00 pm

"Posters, Banners, and Scribbles: Urban Inscription and the Public Sphere in Indonesia"

Karen Strassler, Queens College

Friday, October 31 at 3:00 pm

Fieldwork workshop: Moises Lino e Silva, Brandeis University

Friday, October 24 at 3:00 pm

"Brandeis Vinography of Israel Project: Rediscovering the sublime wines of old"

Andrew Koh, Brandeis University

Friday, October 17 at 3:00 pm

Graduate Student Fieldwork Presentations Part 2

Ryan Collins will speak on archaeological fieldwork at Yaxuná in Yucatan, Mexico, Jessica Bray will discuss queer activism in Mumbai, and Paige Henderson will cover cyberstalking in India.

Friday, October 10 at 3:00 pm

"The Life of Cheese: Negotiating the Values of American Artisanal Production"

Heather Paxson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Friday, October 3 at 3:00 pm 

"Christianity, curative ritual, and newly emergent Kalinga traditions in highland Luzon, Philippines"

Rikardo Shedden, Brandeis University

Friday, September 19 at 3:00 pm

Graduate Student Fieldwork Presentations Part 1

Doug Bafford will speak on discourse of creationism among Kentuckian evangelical Christians, Lauren Bader will discuss folk narrative in Dresden, Germany, and Holly Doerflinger will cover undocumented immigrants in Providence, RI.

Friday, September 12 at 3:00 pm

"Linguistic reconciliation? Moral nationalism and language essentialisms from post-apartheid South Africa"

Janet McIntosh, Brandeis University