Spring 2021 Events

three women

The Anthropology UDRS presents Standing Above the Clouds, a film screening and Q&A with the filmmakers and activists.

April 6, 7 PM - register here

Standing Above the Clouds is a documentary that follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world's largest telescope.

Sponsored by the Brandeis UDR Program, the Department of Anthropology, the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) Program,  the Department of Women's, the Gender, aand Sexuality Studies, and the Environmental Studies Program

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.

Professional Development Seminar: Translating a Qualitative PhD to a User Experience Job

February 5, 2021

Featuring Matthew Bernius, UX Researcher, Code for America; Rachel Flemming, Design Researcher, Idea Couture; and Giles Harrison-Conwill, US Researcher, Google

Mark Auslander
Mark Auslander: Decolonizing the Museum World: Anthropological Interventions and Career Prospects

February 12, 2021

Museums 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.

Professional Development Seminar: Social Justice-Oriented Qualitative Research Jobs

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

Alex Blanchette

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, 2021

Featuring Lara Kuhn, Brandeis Human Research Protection Program and Pascal Menoret, Renée and Lester Crown Professor of Modern Middle East Studies
Graduate Student Research Roundtable

March 19, 2021

photo of Krysta Ryzewski

April 9, 2021

This presentation highlights the power of collaborative grassroots preservation efforts in Detroit by recounting the recovery, analysis, and afterlives of materials collected from the legendary mid-20th-century Blue Bird Inn jazz club. In the 1940s and 1950s the Blue Bird Inn was an incubator for modern (bebop) jazz music among Detroit's Great Migration-era African American communities. Over the past three decades the club has fallen into a state of blight and neglect. These conditions have inspired a place-keeping preservation movement in which historical archaeology plays an important part.


Krysta Ryzewski is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is a historical and contemporary archaeologist with over 20 years of experience conducting archaeological research in the United States and Caribbean.

Photo of Krystal Smalls

April 30, 2021

Dr. 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.