Spring 2021 Events
Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS)
The Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS) is a year-long seminar that meets most Fridays at 2:00. The series includes anthropology colloquia presented by invited guests and Brandeis anthropology faculty, alternating with workshops, reading groups and presentations by graduate students. Often we will close the seminar with an opportunity for socializing with the invited speaker and each other. For more information contact Laura Woolf.
February 5, 2021
Featuring Matthew Bernius, UX Researcher, Code for America; Rachel Flemming, Design Researcher, Idea Couture; and Giles Harrison-Conwill, US Researcher, Google
February 12, 2021Museums and related cultural and scientific institutions offer important potential career trajectories and opportunities for anthropologists and those deeply interested in anthropological thought. For generations, the relationship between anthropology and museums was deeply embedded in colonial structures of expropriation, extraction, and power/knowledge. Yet, in recent years, persons trained in anthropological theory and methods have increasingly played critical roles, in close partnership with indigenous and other subaltern activists and advocates, in helping reimagine museums and their roles in societies around the world. Collaborative co-curatorship with impacted stakeholders can and must reshape collection management, exhibition development, public programs, and museum research initiatives. Today, on the 212th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birthday, our discussion will take particular stock of anthropological interventions in rethinking the field of natural history, including critiques of dominant epistemes that emphasize competition and rivalry in natural and social systems, while considering anthropological insights into the dynamics of reciprocity and collaboration across time and space. We will also explore career strategies in and around museums in the era of COVID-19 and related crises of the Anthropocene.
Mark Auslander, founding director of the former graduate program in Cultural Production at Brandeis, has directed cultural and scientific museums in Washington state and Michigan. He currently serves as Director for Special Projects at the Natural History Museum, an organization that critically and creatively engages new publics in ref ecting on science in the public interest.
February 26, 2021
Featuring Rachel Caesar, Research, Culture of Health and Tech; Astrid Countee, Chief of Staff, Cemvita Factory, Alex Hanna, Senior Research Scientist, Ethical AI at Google
March 5, 2021
“Off-animals,” as they are called by some managers of North American pork production, are the biological refuse of agribusiness efforts to realize standardized life and death. Ranging from aged boars to misshapen pigs, evolving attempts to industrially slaughter these creatures for meat has led to a shadow infrastructure of killing that, in turn, underpins some of the world’s largest factory farms. This talks arches through Alex Blanchette’s recent book, Porkopolis, and into research on the remains of Chicago’s Union Stockyards to examine off-animals as icons of the waning state of labor and value in the United States today.
Alex Blanchette is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Porkopolis: American Animality, Standardized Life, and the Factory Farm (2020, Duke University Press) and the co-editor of How Nature Works: Rethinking Labor on a Troubled Planet (2019, SAR Press).
March 12, 2021Featuring Lara Kuhn, Brandeis Human Research Protection Program and Pascal Menoret, Renée and Lester Crown Professor of Modern Middle East Studies
March 26, 2021
April 9, 2021Dr. Ryzewski is an a historical and contemporary archaeologist whose scholarship focuses on social and environmental upheavals, systemic inequalities, and creative responses to them in the modern world.
April 30, 2021Dr. Smalls studies the semiosis of race in young people's lives by conducting ethnographic research in different locations of the "African diaspora" (mostly digital or urban). This work specifically concerns the discourses and practices that constitute Blackness, anti-Blackness, and anti-anti-Blackness.