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College of Arts and Sciences Anthropology

Exhibit explains significance of ancient tattoo tool

mueseum exhibitThe discovery of the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America earned a WSU PhD student international acclaim from the likes of National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and the New York Times.

Now, faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the ancient implement and the Ancestral Pueblo people of Southeastern Utah who made it. » More …

Who dominates the discourse of the past?

Shannon Tushingham and Tiffany Fulkerson.WSU researchers Tiffany Fulkerson and Shannon Tushingham set out to determine how a rapidly evolving demographic and professional landscape is influencing the production and dissemination of knowledge in American archaeology.

Their study, published in American Antiquity in July, found that women, who now make up half of all archaeologists in North America, and professionals working outside of a university setting » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do we dance?

Dr. UniverseIf we traveled around the world, we would see all kinds of dancers. We might see classical ballerinas in Russia. We might see break dancers performing on the streets of New York. We might even see tango dancers in Argentina.

While the exact reasons we dance remain a mystery, there are a few theories about it.

That’s what I found out from my friend Ed Hagen, an anthropologist at WSU who has researched the roots of dance. » More …

Graduate students honored at Evening of Excellence

Steven Hobaica and Anne FullerTwelve College of Arts and Sciences graduate students in five different disciplines received scholarship awards at the WSU Graduate School at the fifth annual Evening of Excellence.

“I am grateful for the support that the award and the Graduate School have provided for graduate students to continue to serve their communities through research, scholarship, and public engagement,” said Tabitha Velasco, doctoral student in » More …

First WSU Udall Native American Congressional intern

Emma Johnson snorkeling during spring/summer study abroad in the Great Barrier Reef.WSU Vancouver cultural anthropology student Emma R. Johnson will spend the summer in the office of U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, serving as the university’s first Udall Native American Congressional intern.

“On May 29, I’m scheduled to board a plane headed to Washington, D.C., and soon I’ll be at work in the senator’s office learning first-hand how government operates and how federal issues involving Native Americans like me are addressed,” she said. Johnson is a member of the Cowlitz Tribe of western Washington State. She has worked as a Rangeland Management » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

11 faces and 3MT logoFrom creating voice-responsive materials, to enabling regrowth of lost fingers and limbs, to reducing stress on caregivers of autistic children, to unearthing cultural history in Puget Sound, a wide range of high-impact research topics were expeditiously explained in the recent CAS Three Minute Thesis contest.

Eleven Pullman-based doctoral students competed for valuable fellowship prizes by presenting their years of dissertation work in three minutes or less, using just one visual slide, and in language anyone could understand. » More …

Grad student discovers oldest tattoo tool in western North America

Tattoo ArtifactWith a handle of skunkbush and a cactus‑spine business end, the tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah.

Andrew Gillreath‑Brown, an anthropology PhD candidate, chanced upon the pen‑sized instrument while taking an inventory of archaeological materials that had been sitting in storage for more than 40 years. » More …

Curating community and conversation

Sydney MurphyWSU senior Sidney Murphy, curator of a special six-week exhibit at WSU’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, sees art as a path to a more honest, open, and liberating future.

Standing in front of the four panels of Myriads, Only by Dark by Julie Mehretu, Murphy says of the Ethiopian-American artist, “Mehretu focuses a lot on topology, maps, the connections we have between places—that’s my interpretation. This idea of place is messy, of where we come from, really messy.” She tosses off a small laugh. “You can’t really follow one line.” » More …

Undergraduate curates exhibit for Black History Month

Sidney Murphy discussing work on display in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.Anthropology senior Sidney Murphy thinks it’s important that people of all ethnicities connect with art and that art can help us celebrate culture.

Murphy, who is also earning a minor in exhibition studies, selected works of four prominent black artists from the collections of Jordan Schnitzer and his family foundation for a special six-week “Social Space” exhibit at WSU’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

“Black artists and ethnic artists are the lowest-represented at art museums — and especially black women,” Murphy said. The four featured artists–– » More …

WSU undergraduate receives Sigma Xi research grant

Sigma XI logoAnnMarie McCracken, a student at WSU Pullman, has been awarded one of only 17 undergraduate research grants from the international scientific research honor society Sigma Xi  and its Grants‑in‑Aid of Research program.

McCracken is pursuing a double degree and plans to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and French. She will receive financial support from the program’s ecology category for » More …