Past Events

Past Events

To foster community, the Department of Anthropology sponsors lectures throughout the academic year, as well as the Graduate School Lunch Series, which gives graduate students a chance to present their research.

Lectures from the 2013-2014 academic year include:

    • Professor John Marston (Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Boston University), “How to Write a Winning NSF GRFP”
    • Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good (Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School), “Aceh’s Women Warriors: Narratives on Defending Children, Houses, Land, and Men”
    • Andrea Chiovenda (BU PhD Candidate), “Framing Masculine Selves: Multiplicity and Continuity among Afghan Pashtun Men”
    • Professor Mary Steady (Professor, Social Anthropology, Harvard University), “Eating an Elephant, Imagining a Community:  Culinary Nationalism and the Memory of the Senses”
    • Dr. Byron Good (Professor of Medical Anthropology, Harvard University), “On the ‘Subject’ of Medical Anthropology:  Subjectivity, Violence, and Haunting in Indonesia”
    • Huwy-min “Lucia” Liu (BU PhD candidate), “Death Ritual as a Site of Subject Formation: Religious Variations on Socialist Funeral Ritual in Shanghai, China”
    • Robert LeVine (Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Harvard University), “Anthropology and Public Health: The ‘Mystery’ of Women’s Education”
    • Tsypylma Darieva (Caucasus Studies Department, Friedrich Schiller University), “Long-Distance Nationalism, ‘Rooted’ Mobility and Production of a New Diasporic Identity (Armenian Case)”
    • Adam Kuper (Visiting Professor of Anthropology, BU), “Anthropologists and the Bible”
    • Carolyn Hodges-Simeon (Academic Researcher, Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara), “Energetics, Androgens, and Adolescence: Developmental Variation in Sexually Dimorphic Voice Characteristics Among the Tsimane of Bolivia”
    • Siobhan M. Mattison (Assistant Professor, Rutgers University), “Social Norms, Market Integration, and Behavioral Variability Among the Mosuo (NA) of Southwest China: Insights from Evolutionary Anthropology”
    • Christina Moya (Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), “The Co-Evolution of Genes and Culture, and Its Consequences for Social Behavior: Cross-Cultural Research on Intergroup Reasoning and Kin Interactions”

Lectures from the 2012-2013 academic year include:

      • Professor John Marston (Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Boston University), “Agricultural Sustainability and Cultural Resilience in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean”
      • Professor Robert Weller (Professor and Chair, Anthropology),“Religious Resurgences Compared: Taiwan and the PRC — a Tea Talk with Professor Robert Weller”
      • Dr. Katherine Wander, “Children’s Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from Evolutionary Medicine and Bio-cultural Anthropology”
      • Dr. Alexandra Rosati (postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Yale), “The ecology and evolution of foraging cognition in chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans”
      • Michelle A. Kline (doctoral candidate, UCLA), “Human adaptations for teaching: A new theoretical framework and empirical tests from Fiji”
      • Christopher von Rueden, (Post-Doctoral Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara), “The Behavioral Ecology of Male Status Hierarchy Among The Tsimane Forager-Horticulturalists Of Bolivia”
      • Professor Robert Weller (Professor and Chair, Anthropology), “Hanging a Sheep’s Head and Selling Dog Meat: Religion and Governance in China”
      • Professor Kevin Lewis O’Neill (Assistant Professor in the Department and Center for the Study of Religion and the Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto), “On Liberation: Crack, Christianity, and Containment in Postwar Guatemala City”
      • Jeremy DeSilva (Assistant Professor Bio-Anthropology, BU), “Australopithecus sediba: A 2 million-year-old surprise from South Africa”
      • Doreen Lee (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Northeastern University), “Pemuda Fever: Structures of Memory and Political Life among Indonesian Student Activists”
      • Frank Korom (Professor of Religion and Anthropology, BU), “‘We Speak, But No One Listens': The Problems and Prospects of Local/Global Flows in a Bengali Village”
      • Alanna Cooper (GRS, Anthropology, 2000), “Global Judaism in Focus: Central Asia’s Bukharan Jews”
      • Matthew West (PhD Candidate, Columbia University), “Enlightenment: Patents and Embedded Knowledge in a Taiwanese LED Company”
      • Professor Shahla Haeri (Associate Professor of Anthropology), “Invitation to ‘Proper Sex’:  Temporary Marriage, State & Society in Iran”
      • Amalia Sa’ar (GRS, Anthropology, 2000; Sr. Lecturer, Dept of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa), “Community Economic Development in Israel as a Field of Cultural Production”
      • Ayse Gul Altinay (Assistant Professor, Sabanci University, Istanbul), “Who is a Survivor in a Genocide? The Gendered Silencing of Islamized Armenian Survivors in Turkey”
      • Chris Taylor (BU Anthropology Grad Student), “Islamic Charity, Reformism, and the Welfare State in India”
      • Ana Mariella Bacigulupo (Radcliffe Fellow, Harvard University), “The Potency of Bibles and Biography: Mapuche Historical Consciousness in Shamanic Rebirth”
      • INITIMATE LENS, a Festival of Visual Ethnography, intending to promote documentary films with particular attention to anthropological topics and methodologies.

Lectures from the 2011-2012 academic year include:

      • Professor Wang Tingzhi (Dean of Tourism School, Sichuan University), “Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development——A Case Study of Qionglin Village in Milin County, Tibet
      • Professor Lisa Messersmith (Associate Professor of Anthropology), “Understanding the types and magnitude of discrimination experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam
      • Khiara Bridges (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Professor of Law), “Writing an Ethnography of Life” Grad Lunch Series


Rachel Black (Assistant Professor and Coordinator of BU Gastronomy Program), “Taste Memory: Coherence, tradition, and the politics of memory in wine” Grad Lunch Series
      • Elizabeth Crocker (Anthropology Grad Candidate), “Haiti Today: Problems and Promises” Grad Lunch Series
      • Nancy Smith-Hefner (Associate Professor of Anthropology), “Islamic Authentication and Projects of Individuality: Moderate Islamists and the Politics of the Personal in Indonesia.” Part of Muslim Women and the Challenge of Authority series at CURA.
      • Adam Kuper (Visiting Professor of Anthropology), “Darwin’s Marriage and the private life of bourgeois England”
      • M. Chloe Mulderig (PhD Candidate, Anthropology), “Adulthood Denied: Youth Dissatisfaction and the Arab Spring” Part of the SSRN “Works in Progress” Series, CURA
      • Marie Abe (Assistant Professor of Music, Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, BU College of Fine Arts), “Resonances of Chindon-ya: Sound, Affect, and Money on the Streets of Osaka, Japan”
      • Christopher Lehrich (Assistant Professor of Religion, BU), “Overture and Finale: Levi-Strauss, Music, and Religion”
      • Dale Eickelman (Professor, Dartmouth College), Lunch discussion with grad students
      • Dr. Zhu Hua (Professor, School of Tourism, Sichuan Normal University), “Lost Memory of the Ancient Shu Kingdom: Rediscovering the Sanxingdui Ruins, A Heritage Site in Sichuan, China”
      • Charles Lindholm (Professor of Anthropology), “Adventure, Danger, and Authenticity”
      • Paulo Pinto (GRS 2002; currently Professor at the Graduate Program in Anthropology and Political Science Director, Center for Middle East Studies (NEOM), Fluminense Federal University (Brazil)), “The Shattered Nation: Protest, Violence and Social Fragmentation in the Syrian Uprising”/li>
      • Cynthia Becker (Professor, History of Art and Architecture), “The Diaspora Aesthetics of the Moroccan Gnawa: A Musical Journey across the Sahara” Music and Culture Series
      • Paula Pryce (Anthropology PhD candidate), “Monastic Chant as a Way of Knowing (in the Biblical Sense)” Music and Culture Series
      • Augusto Ferraiuolo (Lecturer, Anthropology) “Commonality and Subjectivity in Irish Traditional Music Sessions,” Music and Culture Series
      • Sara Bergstresser (Lecturer, Anthropology), “The doctor or the priest? Syncretism and conflict between Catholicism and Psychiatry in an Italian mental health center.”
      • Houchang Chehabi (Professor of International Relations and History), “The Controversy over Music after the Islamic Revolution in Iran” Music and Culture Series
      • Robert P. Weller (Professor and chair of Anthropology), “Ritual, Rhythm and Living with Difference in Chinese Societies.” Music and Culture Series
      • Peter Van Der Veer (Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Gottingen), “How to keep Muslims out? The enigma of civilization in India, China, and Europe.”
      • Shahla Haeri (Associate Professor of Anthropology), “The Queen of Sheba and the Challenge of Authority”
      • Yang Der-Ruey (Assoc Prof of Anthropology at Nanjing University), “Reification, homogenization, and vulgarization: A history of Hong Yang Teaching”
      • Dr. Gregory Savarimut (Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Lecture Fellow at the University of Chicago; Associate Professor and Head, Department of Anthropology; and Chairman, Board of Studies in Anthropology, at the Kannur University Campus), “Religion, Poverty, and Development”

Lectures from the 2010-2011 academic year include:

      • Dr. Carole Counihan (Visiting Professor of Food Anthropology, Gastronomy Program, Metropolitan College, Boston University), “Food Activism, Cuisine, and Technology in Italy’s Slow Food Movement”, Graduate Lunch Series
      • Professor YANG Xiaoliu (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China), “On the Move: Migrant Populations and Policy Adjustments in Guangdon Province, China Over the Past Thirty Years”, Lecture
      • Professor A.R. Norton (Professor of International Relations and Anthropology, Boston University), “Fallout in the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here?”, Lecture
      • Dr. Wang Tingzhi (Professor in School of History of Culture of Sichuan University), “Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development: A Case Study of Qionglin Village in Milin County, Tibet,” Lecture
      • Dr. Melissa Brown (Assistant Professor at Stanford),  “Unexpected (Epistatic) Associations between Foot Binding and Religion in Taiwan”
      • Dr Khiara Bridges, “Wily Patients, Welfare Queens, and the Reiteration of Race in the U.S.”
      • BU grad student Sarah Tobin, “Marketing and Managing Islam: Competing Vision of Right and Wrong with in an Islamic Bank”
      • Dr. David Carballo, “Community Ritual and Urbanization in Formative Central Mexico”
      • Tulasi Srinvas (Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Emerson College), “Spice Girls: Globalization, “Indian” food, and the Politics of Provisioning”
      • Tom Barfield, “Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History”
      • Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, “Darwin and the Ascent of Emotionally Modern Man: How humans became such hypersocial apes,”
      • Dr. Yang Xiaoliu, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, “On the Move: Migrant Populations and Policy Adjustments in Guangdong Province, China Over the Past Thirty Years”
      • Holocaust Remembrance Series (sponsored by Hillel, cosponsored by the Anthropology and Judaic Studies Departments)  Janet Applefield, “Hidden Child During the Holocaust”; Sidney Handler, “The Jews in Vilna: 1939-1945”
      • Dr. Laurel Kendall, “Korean Shaman Paintings: The Magical Object Becomes a Work of Art” (Miller Lecture Series)
      • Dr. Peter Ellison (Harvard bio-anthropologist), “Energy, Reproductive Ecology, and Human Evolution” (Miller Lecture Series)

Lectures from the 2009-2010 academic year include:

      • Noah Coburn (Grad Student), “All Politics are Local: Confusion, Corruption and Voting Blocs in the Afghan Elections,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Lucia Huwy-min Liu (Grad Student), “Preliminary Thoughts on the Modern Death Industry in Urban China: Conceptualizations of Self in Funeral Rituals,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Elizabeth Crocker (Grad Student), “Possessed Between Piety and Desire: Modern Vodou Practices in New Orleans,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Andrew Armstrong (Grad Student), “Other Japans': Hip hop (Sub)cultures and the Performance of Socioeconomic Marginality in the Kansai Region,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Mentor Mustafa (Grad Student), “Post-communist reconstitution of religion: Bektashi engagement of local, national, and transnational arenas in Albania,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Sarah Hardy, “Darwin and the Ascent of Emotionally Modern Man: How Humans became such Hypersocial Apes,” Lecture
      • Dr. James H. Smith (assistant professor of Anthropology at University of California, Davis), “Getting Dirty in the Digital Age: Notes on the Anthropology of Coltan Mining in the DR Congo and Beyond,” Lecture
      • Dr. Joanna Davidson (Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University), “Cultivating Knowledge: Development and Dissemblance among the Diola of Guinea-Bissau,”  Lecture
      • Dr. Fred Klaits (Duke University), “Asking as Giving: Apostolic Prayer and the Semiotics of Care in Botswana” Lecture
      • Tulasi Srinivas (Assistant Professor, Emerson College), “Spice Girls: Globalization, ‘Indian’ food, and the Politics of Provisioning,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Dr. George Perry (Postdoctoral fellow at University of Chicago), “Using Genomic Analysis to Illuminate the Evolution of Human and Non-human Primate Diets,” Lecture
      • Dr. Kevin Langergraber (Post-doctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), “A Molecular Ecology Perspective on the Evolution of Cooperation in Chimpanzees and Humans,” Lecture
      • Dr. Kirstin Sterner (Anthropologist and post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State University School of Medicine), “Using Comparative Genomics to Understand Human Biology and Health in an Evolutionary Context,” Lecture
      • Dr. Bryan Turner (Presidential Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center City University of New York), “Why the Body Matters,” lecture made possible through the generosity of Dr. Michael Miller.
      • Charles Lindholm (Professor at Boston University), “What Makes People Commit to Social Movements?” The Nature of Humanity Lecture Series
      • Leslie Aiello (President, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc.), “Writing Applications for Funding Graduate-Student Research in Anthropology,” Lecture
      • Dr. Robert D. Martin (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Curator of Biological Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History) and Dr. Fred Smith (Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University and Immediate Past President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists), “The Biology and Status of the Flores ‘Hobbit': Species or Disease?” Boston University Dialogues in Biological Anthropology
      • Dr. Bryan Tilt (Assistant Professor, Oregon State University), “Pollution, Politics and the Public in Rural China,” Graduate Lunch Series
      • Paula Pryce (Grad Student), “Radical Communion: Cultivating Monism Inside and Out of an American Monastery,” Lecture
      • Alanna Cooper (former Grad Student), “Narratives of Jewish Migrations from Muslim Lands: Public and Personal Remembering,” Graduate Lunch Series

Lectures from the 2008–2009 academic year include:

Photos from our social events are available on our Facebook page:  Boston University Anthropology Grad Students.

“Lost Memory of the Ancient Shu Kingdom: Rediscovering the Sanxingdui Ruins, A Heritage Site in Sichuan, China”