Department of Anthropology


For the Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS) schedule, visit the BARS webpage.

Out There Without Fear: Jamaica's Dancehall

March 5, 2024

event flyer including photos of speakers

Time: See schedule below
Location: Liberman Lecture Hall, Women's Studies Research Center, 515 South Street

2:00 - 3:45 pm:

  • Out There Without Fear documentary screening
  • Open discussion with filmmaker Joelle Simone Powe and Jamaican choreographer Latonya Style

5:30 - 6:30 pm:

  • Dancehall dance lesson for all levels

Art . . . Dance . . . Classism . . . Violence . . . Sexuality . . . Homophobia . . . The Church . . . The Empowerment of Women . . . Blackness. The documentary Out There Without Fear explores the cultural impact of Jamaica's Dancehall dancers. This 45-minute documentary features different perspectives on Dancehall from Jamaican academics, street dancers, cultural advocates, Christian leaders, and the Rastafari community.


Latonya Style is a world-renowned Dancehall choreographer, performer, and instructor. She has been a prominent fixture on the Dancehall scene since 1999 when she started choreographing and touring with top Dancehall artists. Her illustrious career includes visits to more than 40 countries, teaching Dancehall workshops, and judging international Dancehall battles. Latonya is the founder and CEO of Dance Jamaica Academy, an umbrella agency that pushes Dancehall dancers to international festivals and brings foreigners to Jamaica to learn from local experts. She has certified more than 30 women worldwide to teach her licensed dance style, Stylish Moves. Style has been featured in many films related to Jamaican culture. 

Joelle Simone Powe is an accomplished documentary film director, writer, and researcher from Jamaica. Her work explores controversial personalities and topics in Caribbean history and culture. Her debut documentary, Out There Without Fear, explores Jamaica's Dancehall dance and the role of class, race, and gender in the dancehall scene. Her subsequent work, Beverley Manley Uncensored, a four-part docu-series on the former First Lady of Jamaica, created a national storm by exploring a very vexing time in Jamaican history. Powe's documentaries have been screened in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas, with significant presentations at notable academic and cultural institutions. Joelle is also the producer of ButSeeYa, a mini-documentary series that explores provocative opinions on Caribbean society. Recognized as a "30 Under 30 Changemaker" by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in 2021, Powe holds a BA in Anthropology from Bard College. Her work strives to illuminate the complexities of Caribbean culture for international audiences through a multi-media approach. 

This event is sponsored by AAAS and LACLS and cosponsored by anthropology, WGSS, DAS Co-curricular Fund, Samuels Center, Brandeis Latinx Students Organization, and Brandeis Femmes of Color Alliance.

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Care as Literature, Care as Praxis - Brandeis English Department Conference

March 18, 2024

Time: See schedule notes and link below
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)
Registration and more information.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
—Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light

Literature, as a vehicle of care, has often been undervalued and neglected. “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” Audre Lorde’s biomythography Zami: A New Spelling of My Name manifests care as the basis for survival and formulates the self in a way that foregrounds the work of literature itself as care work. In her collection of essays, A Burst of Light, Lorde explicates this care into the concept of radical care, emphasizing the importance of self-care for the Black body as an imperative to self-preservation, one that is necessary to be part of a collective and reach eventual liberation. If we take Lorde’s approach to self-care to radically turn towards decolonial praxis, we can situate care itself in a realm of imagination and “the making of” collectivity and vulnerability that acknowledge the historical, bodily, and aesthetic differences. In these mechanics of care, BIPOC, queer, and women writers have used literature to insert care into their work. But, the complexity of “literary care work” falls into the wider scope of the humanities and sciences.

Anthropology doctoral students Sargam Sharma and Hui Wen will be conference panelists:

10:25 - 10:40 am: Sargam Sharma, "Care at its Limits: Autobiography as Narrative Self-Making in I Want to Destroy Myself by Malika Amar Sheikh
1:30 - 1:45 pm: Hui Wen, "Care Beyond Profit: Relationships in China's Senior Supplements Market"

Full conference schedule (attend all or part).

Brian Horton

Brian Horton (Anthropology)

Get Curious! Trans Justice

March 20, 2024

Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

Speakers: Brian Horton and AJ Murphy

Get Curious! is a new speaker series organized and co-sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities and the Department of Sociology. The series aims to offer brief, one-hour introductions to important current topics that students and community members might be interested in but haven’t had the opportunity to take a class on. Covering a range of topics, both national and global, and led by two faculty presenters from different fields, the idea is to both pique and satisfy students’ curiosity.

Dr. Hinton in a suit and glasses

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lerner

Global Community Engagement presents Dr. Alexander Hinton speaking about "Perpetrators: Genocide and the Dark Side of Humanity"

March 20, 2024

Time: 2:30 - 3:45 pm
Location: Zinner Forum, Heller

Part of the Global Community Engagement Program’s Spring 2024 “Focus on Cambodia,” marking the 45th anniversary of the end of the Cambodian genocide.

Perpetrators of mass violence are commonly regarded as evil. Their violent nature is believed to make them commit heinous crimes as members of state agencies, insurgencies, terrorist organizations, or racist and supremacist groups. Upon close examination, however, perpetrators are contradictory human beings who usually lead unsettlingly ordinary lives. Drawing on his co-authored book Perpetrators: Encountering Humanity’s Dark Side (Stanford, 2023), and decades of on-the-ground research with perpetrators of genocide and mass violence in Cambodia, and more recent research on white power extremism in the U.S., Professor Alex Hinton's talk will discuss what his research reveals about the dark side of humanity.

Dr. Alexander Hinton is director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers. Read more

Coordinated by COMPACT's Global Community Engagement Program Assistant Director and Anthropology Cooperating Faculty member Toni Shapiro-Phim. Sponsored by COMPACT's Global Community Engagement Program, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Anthropology, English, and Asian American Pacific Islander Studies.

Strolling in the Ruins - Afterimage: Theorizing the Image

March 25, 2024

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Time: 12:00 - 1:15 pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

Speakers: Patricia Alvarez Astacio, Elizabeth Bradfield, Aida Wong

This panel asks how visual images operate in different kinds of scholarly and creative production... Read more

Sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities. 

Sarah Han
Law, Legality & Social Identity, with Anthropology Department doctoral student Sarah Han

April 2, 2024

Mandel Center for the Humanities Presents:
Lunchtime Talk: Law, Legality & Social Identity

Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

How does law and legality shape people's perceptions of themselves and their social identities? In this lunchtime talk, Jessica Brewer (English) and Sarah Han (Anthropology, pictured), winners of Mandel's 2023 Graduate Dissertation Innovation grants, discuss their research.

From Jessica Brewer's project description: "As the turn of the 19th century saw a shift in prison architecture and reform, the emergence of solitary confinement and increasing incarceration of the poor, I aim to examine mainstream authors and alternative/street literatures to map how social narratives develop around incarceration. My research asks: how did Victorian narratives create social others and how did these narratives affirm/challenge public opinion and policy? How do dominant narratives continue to shape social attitudes about specific groups? And can narratives be reshaped for social good? What tools do the Victorians offer us for modern social, political and/or police reform?"

From Sarah Han's project description: "Originating from the Balochistan region spanning Western Pakistan, Eastern Iran, and Southern Afghanistan, some Baloch have obtained Emirati citizenship, while other Baloch have passports from their "country of origin," as part of the nearly 90% of non-citizen workers living in the UAE on temporary visas, and still others remain document-less and stateless. Across all the three documentary categories, Baloch women share in the experience of being perceived as Arab and assumed to be Emirati citizens because they wear the unofficial national dress of the abaya [a long black robe] and shayla [a loose black headscarf] in many public spaces. As a result, they are treated with respect as presumably high class, socially advantaged women with social power, regardless of the reality of their legal ambiguity."

Jessica Basile
Work Myself Out of a Job: The Importance of Language in Campus Sexual Violence Prevention - Jessica Basile Dissertation Defense

April 17, 2024

Time: 9:30 - 11:00 am
Location: Brown 316

Jessica Basile will defend her dissertation. Her dissertation examining committee members are Professors Sarah Lamb, Elizabeth Ferry, Janet McIntosh, and Anita Hill. This event is open to all. A copy of the dissertation is available upon request.